Article Number 22 - The Loveridge Patent No. 3 - The Imbogt and Dutch/Indian place names
Originally published in the Catskill Examiner by Henry Brace between the years 1876 and 1879. Article 22 was published on February 9,1877. Extracted from the microfilm copies of the Catskill Examiner located at the Vedder Research Library. Transcribed by Barbara Bartley.
Local Sketches--No. 22. An Outline of The
History of the Town of Catskill,
To the Year 1783. By Henry Brace.
The tract of six thousand acres known as the Loveridge Patent is divided from north to south by the precipitous face of an ancient coral reef, which bears, in the county of Albany, the name of Helderberg, and in the town of Catskill, the name Kalkberg. In 1783, in the region between the base of this cliff and the Katerskill, a few patches of land only were under cultivation. John Fiero had made a meadow of the intervale at the foot of the Westberg, which has never since been torn by a plough. Petrus Overbagh was tilling a few acres in the lonely but picturesque glen of the Fuyk. Frederick Diedrich, a thrifty and industrious German, had established himself on the Katerskill, above Loveridge’s Vallenje, or the rapids at the second bridge. Farther down this river, Benjamin Dubois had his wheat fields and an orchard of apple trees. But the remainder of this rugged tract was covered by a dense forest, which, for many years, had been held as commons by the yeoman of the Inbogt, with free access for timber, fuel, stone and pasturage.
Remnants of this noble wood still exist, on the western side of the highway to Saugerties, on the King’s Road, and in the neighborhood of the Streeke. Sixty years ago, however, when Dr. Abel Brace was entering upon the full practice of his profession, he was wont to ride, as he told me, in unbroken shade from the beginning of the Saugerties road to the Lutheran Church near West Camp. And so late as 1860, a few of the largest trees of this primreview forest had as yet escaped the axe. A white oak stood on the western side of the road to Saugerties, a short distance below the brick school-house. five feet from the ground, this kingly tree was fourteen feet in circumference, and when it was cut down, I counted more than two hundred rings of yearly growth in the stump. In the Streeke, upon its western edge, a hundred paces south of the road which crosses the rivulet, grew another white oak. Five feet from the ground, its girth was eleven feet and nine inches, and from north to south its leafy top was spread out for fifty five feet. Near and below this oak, was an ancient and stately elm, which was nearly eighty feet high, and was nine feet in circumference.
In this district, west of the Kalkberg, the roads were rude paths through the forest, and were full of stumps and large stones, and, in the hollows, very miry. The oldest highway is still known as the King’s Road, and was in existence at least as early as 1690. It led from the ford east of the house of the Van Vechtens, up the hill, crossed the Katerskill road east of Robert Story’s, passed a few rods to the west of the Streeke, and followed the line of the present highway to Kaatsbaan Church. Another road led from the ford below the natural dam at Katerskill, through the Fuyk, to a junction with the King’s Road on the summit of the Kalkberg. There were probably other wagon-paths, as, for example, one from the ford under the natural dam westward along the Katerskill, and thence southward to Fiero’s and behind his house to the King’s Road, and another from Fiero’s nearly upon the site of the Little Delaware Turnpike-road. But of these old highways, I have no certain knowledge.
The Inbogt, or the region between the Kalkberg and the Hudson, had been more extensively cleared. Yet, upon a careful estimate, I should say that not more than one quarter of the land was under cultivation. The forest covered the banks of the Hudson, the rocky hills, the sides of the numerous gullies and many parcels of arable land, which, during this century, have become meadows and maize fields. The soil was fertile, and as the wants of its owners were few and as the market was limited, the land brought forth an abundant store.
In 1783, the roads in the Inbogt had been laid out nearly as they now run, except that the road from the Kykuit, which now leads to the houses of Burger, Wyncoop, and Van Orden, did not then exist. The Burgers and the Wyncookps reached Catskill Landing, when they went by land, by the way of the Haverplaat and Peter, now James P., Overbagh’s. But these yeomen kept skiffs and rude scows at the Canoe Place, at the head of Burget’s Creek, and in these usually brought out their produce to the waiting sloops in the Hudson.
Before passing to an account of the inhabitants with the bounds of the Loveridge Patent, I subjoin a list of the Dutch names of places therein. The two Indian names I have already mentioned in a former article.
1. Hopenose. This word may mean Hop’s Nose, but its derivation is unknown. The various traditions respecting it are all alike untrustworthy. It may be of Indian origin, as the termination, nose, occurs in Nippenose, a valley in Lycoming county, in Pennsylvania, and in Kokeose, on the Delaware River. The name is first used in the form, Hop’s Nose, in a deed dated November 3, 1720, from Alexander McDonall, of Perth Amboy, to Solomon Dubois. The place designated, as my readers know, is the rocky point nearly opposite the foot of Greene street, in the village of Catskill.
2. Uylen Spiegel’s Kil, that is Owl’s Looking Glass Creek, named for Claes Teunisse, called Uylenspiegel, and now known as John Dubois’s Creek. Among the German tales of the sixteenth century is the popular story of the pranks, drolleries and misfortunes, of a mechanic, Till Eulenspiegel, and I suspect that Teunisse received his nick-name from a fancied resemblance in his character to the character of the hero of the novel. The name first occurs in the will of Benjamin Dubois, dated May 20, 1762.
3. Roefenje. This word probably means a little roof. The place designated is the rounded knoll south of the barn once owned by John Dubois, and at the head of the first reach in John Dubois’s Creek. I have never found the name in any record but the traditions of the Dubois family have preserved it. Forty years ago it was covered with savins, or red cedars, of great size and of great age. Anson Dubois, minister of the Reformed Church at Flatlands, has told me that, in his boyhood, great numbers of stone arrow heads were found on this hillock, and the ground was strewn with chips or flakes of flint and hornstone, as if the place had been an Indian manufactory of arrow heads. Before the war of 1812, strolling parties of Indians from the western portion of the State, were wont to encamp on the Roefenje, and earned a scanty living and their large and daily allowance of hard cider by making baskets for the farmers in the neighborhood. The story goes, that these Indians heard of the declaration of war before their white neighbors, and suddenly broke up their camp and disappeared over the Catskill Mountains.
4. Plattekil. The meaning is flat or level creek, plat being a different word from plaat, which signifies first a platter and then a sand bank or a shallow place in the water. On the coast of Holland, at this day, may such banks and shoals are called Platt. This creek is now called Ram’s Horn Creek.
5. Jurry’s Klip. That is, George’s Cliff. The rocky point on the Hudson east of the house of Henry Wynkoop.
6. Eike-hockje, or the Little Oak Hook, near Jurry’s Klip.
7. Maquaa’s Hoek, or Mohawk’s Hook, now called De Witt’s Point. It is the south-eastern corner of the Loveridge Patent.
8. Fuyk, or a hoop-net, which is made smaller at one end than the other. It is the name of a farm, which has the shape of this kind of net, and which lies among the hills of the Kalkberg, west of the junction of the road to Saugerties with the Little Delaware Turnpike-road.
9. Streeke, prounced Strakie, and means a streak, and also a region or a place. Thus, one finds in old deeds, written in Dutch, the phrase, ‘een streeke lands’, that is, a parcel of land. The name was given, a hundred and sixty years ago, to an oval and grassy hollow on the Kalkberg, north of the road which now leads westward from the school-house in the Inbogt. In the spring and autumn, the Streeke is a lake of clear water, and forty years ago was surrounded by a belt of huge oaks, pines, elms and ash-trees.
10. Kykuit, pronounced Kakeout, and means Lookout. The name was given, about 1720, to the ledges of sandstone which lie west of the house of Lewis Overbagh, and occurs frequently in ancient deeds. It is the name of a hill near Otsquage, of another hill in the town of Kingston, and of another hill near Tarrytown. In Capt Colony also, in Southern Africa, an eminence bears the name of “Uitkyk, or Lookout.”
12. Westberg, or West Hill. The cliffs and ledges of limestone which stand east of the house of Frederick Fiero. The name first occurs in a deed, dated June 12, 1762, from Jacobus Hegeman to Philip Spaan and Johannes Burger.
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