It's all in a Name

 

Ashland
The Town of Ashland was formed in 1848 and was said to be named from the home of Henry Clay, who had friends living in the area. 

Athens
To date records have not been located that identify how the Town came by its name. One can surmise that the name originates from Athens, Greece.

Cairo    
Originally called Canton, the Town was renamed Cairo in 1808 at the suggestion of Asabel Stanley, a prominent citizen of the town, in honor of Cairo, Egypt.

Catskill
The actual source of the name Catskill (Katskill) is not entirely certain. Kill, in Dutch, means creek. The literal translation of Katskill would then be Kats Creek. So then, who or what is Kats? Local tradition suggests that Kats is Dutch for cat and numerous postcards at the turn of the century feature cartoons of cats hunting, fishing or hiking in the Catskill Mountains. Another explanation, which seems likely, is that when the first Dutchman to  look upon what is now Greene County in the 1600's named it after Jacob Kats, "Keeper of the Seal" in the homeland.

Coxsackie
Variously spelled Kocks Hackie or Kuxakee, it is suggested that Coxsackie is derived from an Indian word for hooting of the owls. Another suggests that it is a corruption of the Indian word, kaaks-aki, country of the wild goose.

Durham
Originally called Freehold, the name was changed to Durham in 1805, in recognition that many of the settlers in the town came from Durham, Connecticut. The name Freehold, it is suggested, comes from the fact that at the time Freehold was established in 1790 the land had no other claimants as it rested between two patents and was therefore a freehold. 

Greenville
Originally called Greenfield, the town name was changed to Freehold on April 6, 1808, and then on October 6th of the same year, at the house of Seymour Minor, it was voted to change the name to Greenville. Whether the town name was in reference to Nathaniel Greene or in reference to the "greenness" of the local environment is not known.

Halcott
The town was named for George W. Halcott, a politician and the son of Thomas Halcott, an early settler of the area, who is buried in a field near Halcott Center.

Hunter
Originally called Greenland, the Town was renamed Hunter around 1814, where the name first shows up in town meeting records. Undoubtedly the town name is derived from John Hunter, who along with Tomlinson Day and the Livingstons, purchased a series of land lots in the latter part of the 18th century, that comprised portions of the Town of  Hunter as it became known.

Jewett
The Town is named after Freeborn Garretson Jewett, a justice of the Supreme Court at the time of its formation on November 16, 1849. Freeborn was born in Sharon, Litchfield County, CT to Alpheus and Abigail (Sears) Jewett. He married Frances Warner and died in Skaneateles, Onondaga County, NY. He is buried in the Lake View Cemetery in Skaneateles. 

Lexington
Originally named New Goshen, as many of the original settlers in the area hailed from New Goshen, Connecticut, the name was changed in 1813 to Lexington. It is suggested that a prominent local citizen suggested the name change, to honor the town of Lexington, Massachusetts, which was involved in the historic battle of Lexington/Concord during the Revolutionary War. It is likely that some of the early settlers to the area were from Lexington, MA.

New Baltimore
The source of this name is yet to be confirmed. One story, however, has it that early surveyors came up the Hudson and thought the little cove in the area looked like the harbor at their home of Baltimore, Maryland. Another story suggests that it was sailors that noticed the similarity.

Prattsville
The Town was named in 1833 to honor  Col. Zadoc Pratt, an early settler to the area.

Windham
Many of the original settlers in the area came from Windham, Connecticut, hence the new name of the Town in 1798. 


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