Galen Bennet's 1877 Guided Tour of Laurel Grove Cemetery


The Evening Gazette, Port Jervis, N.Y., August 18, 1877:


At Laurel Grove 
Galen Bennet's father-in-law, John Conkling
A Visitor's Tour Through Our Beautiful Cemetery.

To the Editor of the Gazette:
...Taking a stroll the other day to Laurel Grove Cemetery I met in there the genial proprietor of Laurel Grove Marble Works who kindly accompanied me through the grounds, showing me the points of interest.  He has grown up with our cemetery, which was begun eighteen years ago.  There were but two monuments on the grounds at that time, one on the lot of Ferguson and the other on the lot of John Conkling. The latter's has been remodeled, and he has erected every enclosure (but three) on the grounds.  My attention was called to a new galvanized bar drooping chain and tassel with marble parts, which must be durable.  One has just been erected around the lot of our friend Ellis Haring, and also one around the lot of James Martin, which stands near the entrance, and makes a fine appearance.  

The Evening Gazette, Port Jervis N.Y., 1888

I find that at least two-thirds of the marble work and granite have come from Bennet's establishment, and that the works of art requiring mechanical skill are from his place. 
I found the grave of an old friend, H. St John, upon the brow of the hill, with a neat stone, and carved upon its face a wreath of the oak and laurel tied together with a ribbon, upon which was inscribed the word "Horace."  As I pronounced the name it seemed as though I might hear him answer.

The Evening Gazette, Port Jervis, N.Y., 1886

Upon the lot of Abram Shimer I found a cottage monument over the grave of Jacob Shimer, showing beauty of design and workmanship.  One of the prettiest lots in our cemetery and always in order is the Lupton lot, in which we find a small monument, and with fluted die finished with a drape urn, and showing conclusively that we have here, in our midst workmen capable of executing anything in that line.

Another fine piece of art is over the grave of Mrs Riddle, designed by Galen Bennet, and executed at his place.  Also a curiosity in the shape of a tree monument upon the lot of the Dorr family.


The Evening Gazette, Port Jervis, N.Y., 1888

I went into the manufactory and looked at a handsome design for a Quincy granite monument about 17 feet in height, to be erected upon the lot of the Wickham family.  The design is very pretty and the monument will be an ornament to our cemetery.  Mr. Bennet reports that his sales are largely ahead of last year, showing increased interest by the people in this lovely resting place of the dead.  Surely none of our people can do better than to patronize home institutions.
Yours, Visitor

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Orange County Art Work, W.H. Parish Publishing Co., 1893

Time and the rivers have taken their toll on the fashionable 19th century landscape where Bennet's marble and granite work is most readily found. In 1907, the U.S. House of Representations received a lengthy Statement, as originally addressed to the Hon. Thomas W. Bradley, from a committee under the auspices of the Broad of Trade of the village, undersigned by: W.H. Nearpass, James Bennet, Merritt C. Speidel, O.P. Howell and Wm F Parshall as addendum to the Corps of Engineers report, An Examination and Survey of Neversink and Delaware rivers.

The Evening Gazette, 1904
The dramatic newspaper account of the ice gorge, A Night of Terror in Port Jervis, written by Mark V. Richards, published on March 9, 1904, details how the Delaware River forced huge quantities of ice up the Neversink destroying the Neversink bridge and damaging the cemetery.

A signed marble tombstone by Galen Bennet 
for Peter Ezekiel Gumaer, 1869

In the 158 years since the cemetery was founded many of the earlier and less durable marble tombstones have fallen prey to beating rain and winter's cycle of freeze/thaw damage. Lichen and mosses thrive in the river mists often obscuring the older marker inscriptions. The monuments of more durable granite remain in relatively good condition except where damaged by falling trees or vandals. The cemetery fencing has been repaired and repainted but of the once elegant iron railing and post enclosures only the posts remain.

"G. Bennet" signature, lower right corner,
Peter E Gumaer tombstone

 Atlas of Orange County, plate 46, A. H. Mueller, 1903, Hudson River Valley Heritage Collection

The list of commissions completed by Galen Bennet's company during his lifetime is too long for this brief exploration of his work.  One cannot walk the quiet pathways in any Tri-state NJ NY & PA cemetery without seeing examples of those efforts though, as marked in the tombstone's lower right hand corner, "G.Bennet".

Galen Bennet, 1838 - 1911

Laurel Grove Cemetery - Entrance Vintage Post Card
Postcard from an 1890s photograph.

Special thanks to Thomas M. Tryniski's for the newspaper clipping snapshots.

Co. H, 124th New York Infantry Reg't in Winter Camp

Company H  of the 124th New York Infantry Regiment recruited at Montgomery, Walden and Goshen, Orange County, New York in midsummer of 1862, mustering in early September. This treasure of a tintype, Co. H, 124th New York Infantry Regiment in Winter Camp in Virginia, possibly Brandy Station, from the Library of Congress is available to download in a high resolution TIFF (98.5mb) file format.

Co. H, 124th New York Infantry Reg't in Winter Camp, Library of Congress
Summary: Photograph shows a group of identified Union soldiers in frock coats, four-button blouses, and a shell jacket; most with M1855-61 or Enfield rifle muskets. (Source: Phil Spaugy, 2014.) The 1st sergeant is medal of honor winner Thomas Bradley. The Captain is David Crist who is, at this point in the war, the oldest member of the 124th (age 48/49 or so). From right to left: Captain David Crist, 1st Sergt. Thomas Bradley, Corp. William McVey, E. Dexter Van Keuren, Corp. Abram Rapelje, Gouveneer Legg, Sgt. George Butters, Josiah Dawson, William Buchanan, John Rediker, unknown (possibly John E. Camp), Corp. William Henry Brown, unknown, Chester Judson, unknown, Milton Crist, Jesse Camp, unknown, James Crist, Francis S. Brown, Corp. Alexander [Andrew] Armstrong, Grandison Judson, John Buckley (musician), Arthur Haigh (musician) Charles Whitehead (musician), Lieutenant John R. Hays. (Source: Ryan McIntyre, 2014.) No known restrictions on publication.  - Library of Congress.

Letter from the One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth.
NEAR BRANDY STATION, VA., Feb. 18, 1864.
To the Editor of the [Newburgh] Journal:

DEAR SIR: Some time ago, the novel idea was suggested to me by a friend, of writing a letter to the Journal concerning the movements, &c., of the Orange Blossoms; but, deeming myself incompetent to get up a letter that would interest my friends when there was nothing to write about but camp life, I have put it off till the present time.

... Our camp is situated on a slight eminence, with a beautiful brook running at its base. Our company streets are laid out with the strictest care, while our shanties, comparing our present ones with those of last winter, show a decided improvement. But why should they not, since experience is truly allowed to be our best teacher, and we have not lacked its advantages? My present house is the fourth one that I have helped build in Dixie.

Now, in order that you may understand what kind of a house it is that I with three other persons occupy, it will be necessary for me to describe it, so you can judge how much comfort the soldier can take if left alone. It is built up with logs about four feet high, twelve feet long, and seven feet wide, with a bunk in each end sufficiently large to hold two persons, and under which we pile wood and our cooking utensils, &c. Between the two bunks is a space of about five feet, in the centre of which is a fireplace, and directly opposite a door of about the dimensions of those you have often seen in a pig pen. This, covered with our shelter tent, affords a better protection from storm than a person unused to them would suppose. Being situated on an elevated piece of ground renders the health of the regiment generally good.... I remain yours, &c, Wm. Edgar 

Detail:  Co. H, 124th New York Infantry Reg't in Winter Camp

foreground right to left: Captain David Crist, 1st Sergt. Thomas Bradley, Corp. William McVey, E. Dexter Van Keuren

CRIST, DAVID.—Age, 47 years. Enrolled at Goshen, to serve three years, and mustered in as captain, Co. H, August 23,1862; wounded in action, May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Va.; killed in action, May 30,1864, at Totopotomy, Va. Commissioned captain, September 10, 1862, with rank from August, 23, 1862; original.

BRADLEY, THOMAS [WILSON]—Age, 18 years. Enrolled, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; promoted corporal, September 15, 1862; sergeant, No'vember 1, 1862; first sergeant, June 22, 1863; wounded in action, July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa., and May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Va.; mustered in as first lieutenant, Co. B, September 1, 1864; wounded in action, October 27,1864, at Boydton Road, Va.; mustered in as captain, November 16, 1864; mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.; awarded  Medal of Honor. Commissioned first lieutenant, September 27, 1864, with rank from August 1, 1864, vice J. R. Hayes resigned; captain, November 15, 1864, with rank from August 2, 1864, vice L. S. Wisner resigned. (April 6, 1844 - May 30, 1920; Wallkill Valley Cemetery, Walden NY)

McVAY [McVey], WILLIAM.—Age, 36 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; promoted corporal prior to October, 1864; mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

VAN KEUREN, ELISHA D [Dexter].—Age, 29 years. Enlisted, August 13, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; discharged, July 1, 1865, at Fort Delaware, Del.

right to left: Corp. Abram Rapelje, Gouveneer Legg,
Sgt. George Butters, Josiah Dawson, William Buchanan

RAPALJE, ABRAHAM B.—Age, 25 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as corporal, Co. H, September 5,1862; returned to ranks, no date; promoted corporal, November 1, 1864; mustered out with company, June 3, 1S65, near Washington, D. C. (born Feb. 9, 1837 in Montgomery, NY.)

LEGG, GOUVERNEUR M.—Age, 31 years. Enlisted, August 22, 1862, at Goshen, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; wounded in action, May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Va.; mustered out, June 6,1865, at Harewood Hospital, Washington, D. C as Governeur M. (died Jan. 1, 1905; Riverside Cemetery, Montgomery, NY)

BUTTERS, GEORGE.—Age, 24 years. Enlisted, August 13, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H , September 5, 1862; promoted corporal prior to April 10, 1863; sergeant, prior to May, 1864; captured in action, May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania Court House, Va.; no further record.

DAWSON, JOSIAH.—Age, 19 years. Enlisted, August 13, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; wounded in action, May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Va.; wounded and captured in action, May 8, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Va.; paroled, November 20, 1864; promoted sergeant, March 20, 1865; mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

BUCHANAN, WILLIAM.—Age, 32 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington D. C.

right to left: John Rediker, unknown, Corp. William Henry Brown, unknown, Chester Judson, unknown.

REDEKER [Rediker], JOHN.—Age, 22 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D.C.

BROWN, WILLIAM H.—Age, 20 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; wounded in action, May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, and May 8, 1864, at Spotsylvania, C. H., Va.; promoted corporal prior to October, 1864, sergeant, November 1, 1864; mustered out with detachment, May 17, 1865, at Harewood Hospital, Washington, D. C.

JUDSON, CHESTER.—Age, 18 years. Enlisted, August 14,1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, August 20, 1862; promoted corporal, no date; killed while on picket, September 14, 1864, at Petersburg, Va. ( Poplar Grove National Cemetery, Petersburg, VA, Grave 1153.  Younger brother of Grandason Judson, also of this Company. )

right to left: Milton Crist, Jesse Camp, unknown, James Crist,
Francis S. Brown,  Corp. Alexander Armstrong, Grandison Judson

CRIST, MILTON.—Age, 18 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; promoted corporal, September 1, 1864; sergeant, March 20, 1S65; mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

CAMP, JESSE F.—Age, 20 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; wounded in action, July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa.; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, January 14, 1864. (1841 - 1925, Brick Church Cemetery, Montgomery, NY)

CRIST, JAMES.—Age, 28 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September, 5, 1862; wounded in action, May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Va.; captured, June 1, 1864, at Totopotomoy Creek, Va.; died, November 11, 1864, at Andersonville, Ga.

BROWN, FRANCIS S.—Age, 30 years. Enlisted, August 13, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H , September 5, 1862; mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

ARMSTRONG, ANDREW.—Age, 17 years. Enlisted, August 13, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. H, September 5, 1862; promoted corporal, July 16, 1863; sergeant, prior to October, 1864; sergeant major, November 15, 1864; mustered out with regiment, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

JUDSON, GRANDASON.—Age, 30 years. Enlisted, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Go. H, September 5, 1862; wounded in action, May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Va.; transferred to Co. F, Ninth Regiment, Veteran Reserve Corps, February 1, 1865; mustered out with detachment, June 26, 1865, at Washington, D. C. (August 10, 1831 - March 29, 1908, Brick Church Cemetery, Montgomery, NY. Older brother of Chester Judson.)

right to left: John Buckley (musician), Arthur Haigh (musician)
Charles Whitehead (musician), Lieutenant John R. Hays.
BUCKLEY, JOHN G.—Age, 22 years. Enlisted, August 13,1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as musician, Co. H, September 5, 1862; promoted second principal musician, November 7, 1S63; mustered out with regiment, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

HAIGH, ARTHUR.—Age, 19 years. Enlisted, August 13, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as private. Co. H, September 5, 1862; appointed musician prior to April 10, 1863; mustered out with company. June 3, 1S65, near Washington, D.C.

WHITEHEAD, CHARLES.—Age, 20 years. Enlisted, August 18, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as musician, Co. H, September 5, 1862; mustered out with company, June 3, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

HAYS, JOHN R.—Age, 22 years. Enrolled, August 14, 1862, at Walden, to serve three years; mustered in as second lieutenant, Co. H, August 23, 1862; discharged, April 8, 1864. Commissioned second lieutenant, September 10, 1862, with rank from August 23, 1862, original; first lieutenant, not mustered, December 17, 1863, with rank from May 10, 1863, vice H. Gowdy, who died of wounds received in action. 

The author of the February letter to the Newburgh Journal, William Edgar, Co I, would be killed in action May 15, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia. He would end his missive to the Newburgh Journal thus:

Night is now upon us, and one of inky darkness, for there was no moon to light our weary way; and even had there been it would have done but little good. For as my countryman Burns says, in his celebrated poem on Tam O'Shanter, "And sic a nicht we took the road in, That nae puir sinner was e'er abroad in."

The 124th mustered out on June 3, 1865, in Washington D. C., Col. Weygant was permitted, by special order of Secretary of War, to take his regiment back to Orange County and disband it at Washington's Headquarters at Newburgh, NY.

Col. Charles H. Weygant's Address
 Reunion of the 124th Regiment Association,
The Goshen Democrat, Sept. 5, 1907. - Chester Historical Society

... Forty-five years and ten days ago there were encamped, on the green fields on the outskirts of this village, about nine hundred young men from the homes of Orange County, every one of whom had voluntarily offered to risk, and if need be lose his life in the service of his country. They had just been officially designated as a military body, the "124th Regiment New York Volunteers." Later in their career they became familiarly known by their foes as the "Red String Devils," and by their friends as the "Orange Blossoms." 

124th Regiment, New York Infantry
Organized at Goshen and mustered in September 5, 1862. Left State for Washington, D. C., September 6. Attached to Platt's Brigade, Whipple's Division, 3rd Army Corps, to October, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Army Corps. Army of the Potomac, to June, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps, to June, 1865.

Duty in the Defences of Washington, D. C., till October, 1862. Moved to Point of Rocks, thence to Pleasant Valley, Md., October 18-19. Movement toward Warrenton, Va., October 24-November 16. Reconnoissance to Manassas Gap November 5-6. Movement to Falmouth, Va., November 18-24. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Duty near Falmouth till April 27, 1863. "Mud March" January 20-24. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Beverly Ford and Brandy Station June 9. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee to Manassas Gap, Va., July 5-24. Wapping Heights, Va., July 23. Duty on line of the Rappahannock and the Rapidan till October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Kelly's Ford November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Payne's Farm November 27. Mine Run November 28-30. Duty near Brandy Station till May, 1864. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James May 3-June 15. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7. Laurel Hill May 8. Spotsylvania May 8-12. Po River May 10. Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient "Bloody Angle" May 12. Harris Farm, or Fredericksburg Road, May 19. North Anna River May 23-26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Jerusalem Plank Road, Weldon Railroad, June 22-23, 1864. Demonstration north of the James July 27-29. Deep Bottom July 27-28. Demonstration on north side of the James August 13-20. Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, August 14-18. Poplar Springs Church September 29-October 2. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Raid on Weldon Railroad December 9-10. Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865. Watkins' House March 25. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Boydton and White Oak Roads March 29-31. Crow's House March 31. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Sailor's Creek April 6. High Bridge and Farmville April 7. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. At Burkesville till May 2. Moved to Washington, D. C., May 2-12. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out June 3, 1865. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 93rd New York Infantry.

Regiment lost during service 11 Officers and 137 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 92 Enlisted men by disease. Total 241.

The Hubschmann Monument, Hipsman Burying Ground, Shohola, PA

Click to enlarge photos

Erected in 1901, likely by Valentine Hipsman, this monument stands at the center of the Hipsman plot on the old family farm burying ground, later known as German Hill Cemetery. The monument is unique in the area for honoring the Old World family surname, Hubschmann, yet is crowned with the shield of the Great Seal of the United States and inscribed with the given names of his first wife and young children, anglicized surname Hipsman in government records, who died in the 1870s.

Valentine's given name and that of his second wife, Josephine, would be added at their deaths in 1923 and 1927 respectively. The government issue Civil War veterans' headstone for Valentine E. Hipsman would be added to the plot before October of 1934, when a compilation of the cemetery's burials would be conducted by the local Daughters of the Union Chapter.

The flourishes of the late Victorian era excerpt below do have some critical errors:  No evidence is found in a page by page search for the family in Shohola Township in the 1860 census, though military records place Valentine in Shohola by 1862. No 1860 NY census record has been found to date for either father or son but given the possibility of surname variants or transcription errors this may not be surprising.  A search for the original deed is in order. (An adopted son, Herman, born in  New York in 1880, appears in the Valentine Hipsman household in the 1900 census.) Another discrepancy lies  in the stated 1870 census birth year, 1824, for George F., against his tombstone inscription, 1806.

VALENTINE E HIPSMAN is one of the most prominent and influential citizens of Shohola Township, Pike County, and has been actively identified with its agricultural interests for many years. An adopted son of America, his loyalty is above question, for he was one of the brave defenders of the Union during the dark days of the Civil War. Our subject's great-grandfather Hipsman (or Huebschmann,as the name was originally spelled) was a traveling landscape painter, and during his travels went to Saxony, Germany, where he was employed to paint some Biblical scenes in the Lutheran church at Steinbach. Being pleased with the country, he married and located there. His son Casper was born in Saxony and became a cabinet maker. He married and reared a family of five children, three sons and two daughters. George Frederick Hipsman, the son of Casper Hipsman, and father of our subject, was born in Steinbach, Saxony, April 13, 1806, and during his youth learned the locksmith's trade, but only followed it for a few years, obtaining a government position as game keeper, which situation he held for many years. 

 In 1836 he married Elizabetha Weisenborn, and to them were born two children, namely: Elizabeth, now the widow of Peter Eckhart, of Shohola Township; and Valentine Elias, our subject. The mother of these dying, the father subsequently married Elizabeth Mudler, by whom he also has two children: Augustus, who was born in Saxony, September 17, 1851, and died at the age of fourteen; and Mary, who was born August 31, 1856 and is now the wife of William Erie [John Erich, Ehrick], of Niles, Mich. The mother of these passed away September 4, 1871, at Shohola. In 1852 the family took passage on a sailing craft bound for America, and were seven weeks and three days crossing the ocean. They located at Monroe, Orange Co., N.Y., but after a short stay removed to Turners, same county, where the father engaged in farming. On April 1, 1856, they came to Shohola township, Pike Co., Penna., and purchased forty-two and one half acres of wild land, which the other members of the family worked while the father worked on the railroad. He was killed by the cars, March 23, 1871, while employed as night watchman.

Valentine E. Hipsman was born in Steinbach, Saxony, January 2, 1840, and received a fair education in the German language. He accompanied the family on their emigration to America, and at the age of thirteen began working for farmers in Orange County N.Y. When seventeen he became a driver on the canal, and subsequently learned the carpenter's trade, at which he was employed at different places in northeastern Pennsylvania for some time. In September, 1862, however he laid aside all personal interests and joined the boys in blue as a member of Company B, 151st P.V.I. With his regiment he proceeded to Virginia, and was on picket duty at the old Bull Run battle ground and also further down the Potomac river. He took part in the battle of Chancellorsville, and on the first day of the battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, had his right arm shot off.

Valentine E Hipsman

After his recovery he returned to Shohola, and for seven years acted as night watchman on the Erie railroad. The following six years he was engaged in mercantile business at that place, and on selling out at the end of that time he returned to the old homestead in Shohola township.. To its cultivation and further improvement he has since devoted his energies with marked success, and he now owns 445 acres of land in Pike County, sixty of which are under excellent cultivation.

At Shohola, April 2, 1866, Mr Hipsman was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Kreiter, who died March 29, 1879. Seven children blessed this union: Emma Elizabeth, born January 31, 1867, is at home; Margaret, born February 5, 1868, is the wife of George W. Cole, [1863-1933] of Middletown, N.Y.; Josephine, born October 31, 1869, died May 16, 1876; Elizabeth, born August 31, 1871, died May 3, 1876; Emil L., born July 15, 1873, died June 2, 1876; 

Bertha Hipsman Reugger

Bertha Georgiana, born September 22, 1875, was married January 30, 1897, to Charles Reugger, of Matamoras, Pike County; and Anna Cathryn, born October 6, 1877, is at home. Mr. Hipsman was again married, September 12, 1879, his second union being with Mrs. Josephine (Kreiter) Keller, a sister of his first wife. One daughter was born of this union: Gertrude, born August 19, 1882. 

Mr. Hipsman has been called upon to serve his fellow citizens as supervisor twelve years; overseer of the poor fourteen years; constable sixteen years; tax collector sixteen years; assessor one year; and school director several terms. Socially he has been a member of the Improved Order of the Red Men for ten years, and is also a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic, having served as commander of the post at Barryville, N.Y.

Emma Hipsman

He and his wife hold membership in the German Lutheran Church, and enjoy the hospitality of many of the best homes of Pike county. As a citizen, friend and neighbor our subject is true to every duty, and justly merits the esteem in which he is held."
~ Commemorative Biographical Record of Northeastern Pennsylvania: Including the Counties of Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike and Monroe, (Google eBook) J.H. Beers & Company, 1900, page 207-208.

Set back from the monument is the beautifully carved double headstone for Valentine Hipsman's parents, George Frederick and Elizabeth Hubschmann, by the stone cutter, William Goodliff.

Goodliff, a Civil War veteran from Barryville, New York, was likely a fellow member of the G.A.R. Post which Valentine Hipsman at one time commanded.

Michael A. Dreese in his superb book, The 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers at Gettysburg, mistakenly lists Pvt. Valentine Hipsman among those mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Norman Gasbarro's excellent series on The Great Shohola Train Wreck, includes a chapter offering additional confirmation on details of Valentine E. Hipsman's life and insight into the part he played in the exhumation of the Union and Confederate soldiers killed in that tragedy at the King & Fuller's Cut, Shohola, PA.

9000 Acres on the River Lachawaxen, 1785

New Jersey Gazette, February 21, 1785

Rich in period detail, this advertisement for land "situate on the river Lachawaxen" came to light while researching that variant in America's Historical Newspapers, available through the Pike County Public Library / Free Library of Philadelphia partnership. The ad, at varying length, would run from November 1784 to April of 1785 in the New Jersey Gazette, the Pennsylvania Packet and the Pennsylvania Journal. 

The prevailing currency of the time, the British pound, £., is used in a summary of timber industry costs, including occasional rum for the sawmill manager, for a period of five years. 

Transcription of the Advertisement
NINE thousand acres of land, situate on the river Lachawaxen, about ten miles from Delaware river, and about one hundred miles from Trenton-Landing, to which large boats and rafts do commonly run from Lachawaxen in two or three days.  On this tract there is a great quantity of white and yellow pines of every size, from an eighty feet mast to the size of a spar; the pines are straight and thrifty, and are equal to any on the Delaware for masts, spars or boards.  It is accommodated with four millseats, on which sawmills may be erected to great advantage -- and the whole tract may be properly divided in two equal parts, to each of which there would be three hundred acres of excellent meadow ground, a hundred acres of which are cleared, and produces wild grass in abundance.  From the mills, when built, rafts, from twenty to thirty thousand feet of boards in each, may be sent down these rivers to Philadelphia.
     Time will be given for payment of part of the purchase money, and the remainder will be taken in loan office certificates.  Apply to Michael Hillegas, Esquire, Reuben Haines or Richard Wells, in Philadelphia, or to the subscriber at Trenton.
     The inland navigation of the Delaware has been so little attended to for several years past, that at present it is imperfectly known to many, who, if they were acquainted with its advantages, would suddenly reap profits that in future cannot be obtained without a great increase of their capital:  I have therefore subjoined an estimate of the expences (sic) for which a sawmill, with four saws, may be carried on on the above estate.

CUTTING the logs,                    -            £. 0 2 6
Hauling do. for five years, to
keep four saws cutting 250 days
of each year,                               -             0 5 0
The Sawyer, the same as is generally
given in the counties of Burlington
and Gloucester,                            -            0 7 6
Manager's wages, and rum
occasionally                                 -             0 5 0
Rafting, and every contingent charge
included, to Philadelphia,
and delivering,                             -            1 0 0
                                                                ______ 40f (shilling) per m. (mile)

N.B. If the boards are delivered
at Trenton-Landing, the expence
of rafting will not exceed 12f 6p.m.
I suppose four saws will cut 800 m.
feet per annum, and that when
delivered at Philadelphia they
will sell for £. 6 per m.                          4800 0 0
Deduct 40f per m. raft cost,                   1600 0 0
                                                         £.3200 0 0
I allow, in addition to this esti-
mate, for accidents and charges
arising from delays, per annum,              500 0 0
Net profit gained per annum,              £.2700 0 0

IN the foregoing estimate no notice is taken of the profits arising from rafts of masts from sixty to seventy feet long, each stick proportioned; nor of the singular advantages gained by sawing deck-plank of forty-five feet long:  They will, I believe, readily sell for thirty-five shillings per hundred feet; if reduced to board measure, would be equal to seventeen shillings and six pence per hundred; it is therefore evident, that deck-plank will produce a greater profit than boards -- and may be rafted with as little trouble, and more safely, than masts or spars.

We find, at present, a ready market for boards and scantling at Trenton; and if they are of the first quality, they will generally sell for six pounds per thousand; and when the permanent seat of Congress is fixed on the banks of the Delaware, may I not say that the demand for those articles will increase, and that the prices will rise in proportion to the demand?"
                                                                                           Robert Lettis Hooper, jun.
Trenton, January 27, 1785.

By 1808, the economic benefit of the timber industry was important enough for Pennsylvania to declare part of the Lackawaxen River a public highway for those "desirous of using the navigation of said may be necessary for the passage of rafts, boats and other vessels..." Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1808.

"An Imperishable Fame" - Company B, 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers

While researching the life of Charles Bates, whose grave lies in obscurity on a sandy bank above the old Owego Turnpike in Dingman Township, I happened upon the following 1896 editorial  honoring the recruits of Company B, 151st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry. Enrolled at Milford in the fall of 1862, this would be the only Company raised within Pike County during the Civil War.  The youngest enlistees gave their age as 18.  The eldest, John Cortright, stated he was 44 years old.  They were brothers, cousins, neighbors, friends and kin through marriage. Some were immigrants, others were descendants of the first settlers and militia men on the provincial frontier of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

The official record of Company B, 151st Regiment, P. V. which was recruited from this county, and was mustered into service Oct. 20th, 1862 to serve nine months is as follows : Other companies were A. and C recruited in Susquehanna, F in Warren, D in Juniata E. G. H. K. and part of I in Berks and the remainder of I in Schuylkill. The regiment participated in the bloody battle of Gettysburg and history says of it:

"The heroism displayed by the One Hundred and Fifty-first in this battle, is unsurpassed. It went into the fight with twenty-one officers, and four hundred and sixty -six men. Of those, two officers and 66 men were killed, twelve officers and one hundred and eighty-seven men were wounded, and one hundred were missing, an aggregate loss of three hundred and sixty-seven, upwards of seventy -five per cent. At Gettysburg, says General Doubleday, who commanded the First Corps, they won, under the brave McFarland, an imperishable fame."

151st Pennsylvania Infantry Memorial, Co. B, Gettysburg, PA. Photo courtesy of Norman Gasbarro
The officers of Company B were :
Oscar H. [Harold] Mott, captain, discharged March 8, 1863.
Lafayette Westbrook, 1st lieutenant, promoted to captain, March 9, 1863. 
John H. Vincent, 2d lieutenant, promoted to 1st lieutenant, March 9, 1863.
Robert M. Kellogg, 1st sergeant, promoted to 2d lieutenant, March 9, 1863.
Herman Frank [var. Franke], promoted to 1st sergeant, March 9, 1863 ; wounded at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863.
Stephen [Hazard], sergeant. 
Henry Cuddeback, sergeant.
William A. Salmon, sergeant, discharged by special order, Feb. 10, 1863.
[Thomas] M. Beardsley, sergeant, promoted from private, March 9, 1863, killed at Gettysburg.
Henry Smith, sergeant, promoted from corporal, Feb. 11, 1863, killed at Gettysburg.
William Sutton, corporal, captured at Gettysburg.
Ira Pellett, corporal.
George W. Kimble, corporal.
James [Hatton], corporal.
Nelson DeWitt, corporal. 
Wesley Watson, corporal, promoted Jan. 5th, 1863. 
Jacob C. Schorr, corporal, promoted Jan. 5th, 1863. 
Charles Bates, corporal, promoted Jan. 6th, 1863, wounded at Gettysburg. Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Francis E. Hazen, corporal, promoted Feb. 11th, 1863, died at Acquia Creek, Va., June 4th, 1863.
David Miller, corporal, deserted Nov. 18th, 1863.
James S. Smith, corporal, discharged on surgeon's certificate, April 14th, 1863. 

Robert J. Andrews. 
Andrew J. Appleman.
[Edward] C. Appleman, died at Belle Plain, Va., April 15th, 1863.
Jesse R. Burrus. 
John Blackmore.
Simeon Brink. 
Benjamin C. Bonnell, captured at Gettvsburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
John Buckingham, captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, l863.
Joseph A. Buckley.
George Burrus, captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Charles Burrell [Jr], died at Union Mills, Va., Dec. 10th, 1862 buried in National Cemetery, Arlington Va.
Charles Blackmore, killed at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863.
Solomon B. Brink, killed at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Ira [Burrell] Case. 
David Canfield.
Janson Cole. 
John Cortright, Jr.
Wesley C. Cron.
Peter Cron, wounded and captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863.
James [Polk] Crone.
Cornelius Case, discharged on surgeon's certificate, April 13th, 1863.
Isaac S. Decker. 
George M. Decker.
Benjamin Degroat.
[Daniel Westbrook] Dingman [Jr.], captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. .
Adonijah [Brodhead] Drake.
Sealy S. Drake. 
William F. Fulkerson, captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Charles [Lewis] Frank, captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Nelson Garris.
Christian Grim [var. Grimm].
Conrad Happ.
Edward R. Hazen. 
John Henry.
Nicholas Hess. 
Valentine Hipsman.wounded with loss of arm, at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Michael Hissam, wounded at Chancellorsville. Va.. May 3d, 1863.
Rush K. [Killam, Jr.], wounded at Gettysburg. Pa.. July 1st. 1863. .
Robert [Augustus] Kayser, wounded at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
[Jonas] Kettle.
John Kleinstuber. 
Levi Labar. 
Levi Losey, wounded at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Casper Madden.
Enos B. Mapes.
Peter [Marger].
Abraham Masker, captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Warren Masker, captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
Mordecai M. Mott.  
James [A] Morrison, killed at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863.
Samuel McCormick, died at Philadelphia, Pa., August 3d, 1863
Charles M. [McCarter], wounded at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863.
James Nyce, captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863. 
John L. Pearson [Pierson], wounded at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863.
Burnham [Kimble] Pellett. 
Josiah Perry.
Michael B. Pitney. 
George W. Parr, killed at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863.
Nelson Reaser [var. Reser], wounded at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1st, 1863.
Francis Rolle. 
Silas Rosencrance. 
Randall D. Sayre. 
Charles D. Schmalzler [var. Schmazle, Schmalzle] 
Reuben [Sieg].
Gilbert Shaffer.
Edward Stidd.
Isaac Shearer.
Jacob C. Van Gordon, discharged on surgeon's certificate, Feb. 25th, 1863.
Amos Van Gordon, deserted Nov. 22d, 1862.
William M. Watson. 
Patrick White.
Ziba B Williams.
George G. [Gotlieb Worzel].
Henry P. [Worzel].
Joseph Zeimer [var. Zimer], died at Belle Plain, Va., April 1st, 1863.

The regiment was mustered out July 27, 1863, .... Of the 96 men composing Company B thirty-eight have gone over to the silent majority. Some rest in unknown graves, some are buried in National cemeteries and some sleep in our churchyards whose graves are yearly decked with flowers by the hands of their living comrades. Their names are enrolled on the Nation's page of honor, and their memories are revered for the noble sacrifice they made on the bloody field of battle. ~ May 15, 1896, Pike County Press, published by John Hixson Van Etten.

Charles Bates, 1812 - 1895
 Company B, 151st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA - Charles Burrell, Jr., 1839 - 1862.
Bath National Cemetery, Bath NY - Silas Rosencrance, ? - 1907
Bloss Family Burying Ground, Blooming Grove PA - Charles Lewis Frank, 1840 - 1918.
Cashmere Cemetery, Cashmere, WA - Benjamin C. Bonnell, 1842 - 1897.
Clinton Center Cemetery, Wayne Co PA - Sealy S. Drake, 1845 - 1927.
Delaware Cemetery, Dingmans Ferry PA - James Polk Crone, 1844 - 1897; Daniel Westbrook Dingman, Jr., 1835 - 1900; James Nyce, 1842 - 1897; Michael B. Pitney, 1839 - 1911.
Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore PA - Janson Cole, 1841-1921.
Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Snohomish County, WA - Joseph A. Buckley, 1842 - 1906, also served in Co. A, 161st NY.
Fredericksburg National Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA, Grave 5887 - Francis E. Hazen,  1840 -1863.
German Hill Cemetery aka Hipsman Farm Burying Ground, Shohola PA - Nicholas Hess, 1820 - 1899. Valentine Hipsman, 1840 - 1923.
Gettysburg National Cemetery, Gettysburg PA - Nelson Reaser, 1844 - 1863.
Greening Farm Burying Ground, Dingmans Township, PA - Charles Bates, 1812-1895.
Old Greentown Cemetery, Greentown PA - George Burrus, 1838-1863; Jesse R. Burrus 1833-1916.
Hopedale Moravian Cemetery, Pike County, PA - Reuben Sieg, 1844 - 1932.
Lakeville Cemetery, Lakeville PA - Benjamin Degroat, 1838 - 1909.
Milford Cemetery, Milford PA - Solomon B. Brink, 1834 - 1863; Ira Burrell Case, 1840 - 1917; Oscar Harold Mott, 1821 - 1864; Randal D. Sayre, 1840 - 1916; Jacob C. Schorr, 1838 - 1921; Wesley Watson, 1832 - 1910;  William M. Watson, 1834 - 1894.
Milton Junction Cemetery, Milton Junction WI - Ira Pellett, 1840-1916.
Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kimble PA - George W. Kimble; Josiah Perry, 1842 - 1922; John L. Pierson, 1841 -1921.
Oakland Cemetery, Keokuk IA - Robert Augustus Kayser 1842 - 1929.
Paupack Cemetery, Pike Co PA - John Buckingham, 1844 - 1917, also served with Co G, 213th Reg.; Rush K. Killam, Jr., 1844-1877; Abraham Masker, 1835 - 1912;  Warren Masker, - 1890; Burnham Kimble Pellett, 1842 - 1881.
Philadelphia National Cemetery, Philadelphia PA - James A Morrison, 1837 - 1863. 
Rowland Cemetery, Rowland PA - Nelson DeWitt, 1836 - 1923.
Sandhill Cemetery, Monroe Co PA - Levi Labar, 1823 -1910; Levi Losey, 1836 - 1897.
Stroudsburg Cemetery, Stroudsburg PA - Adonijah Brodhead Drake, 1821 - 1893; Lafayette Westbrook, 1824 - 1908.

Captain Lafayette Westbrook
Brothers:  Edward & Andrew Appleman, Charles & John Blackmore, Jesse & George Burrus, Isaac & George Decker (Dreese, 2000), Abraham & Warren Masker, Ira & Burnham Pellet, and Wesley & William Watson. 


Sources, corrections and additions: 
Battle Unit Details, 151st Reg. PA Infantry, National Park Service. 
Cemeteries, Graveyards, and Burying Grounds in Pike County, PA, Gettysburg Chapter, Daughters of the Union, Victoria W. Fields, 1941. 
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Library of Congress, Pike County Press, 1896.
Record of Deaths, Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, (Google eBook) Vol 1, 1908. 1850 Census (many transcription errors) and 1860 Census reports for Pike Pennsylvania.
Company B, 151st Regiment,, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, Volume 4 by Samuel P Bates, 1869.
National Cemetery Fredericksburg Burial Roster pdf
National Graves Registration Database, SUVCW.
The 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers at Gettysburg: Like Ripe Apples in a Storm, Michael Dreese, McFarland, 2009.
Pennsylvania State Archives, 151st Regiment, Company B, pages 5 - 7.
US Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890 Pennsylvania > Pike, NARA microfilm publication M123. 
USVA Grave Site Locator.

24 letters written by Peter Cron, 1862-1863, sold at Cowan's Auctions in 2014.  "The final letter in the collection is from Wesley Cron.... I don’t know any thing more about Peter only the Doctor says he is in Baltimore Badly Wounded but he thinks he will get well... Peter Cron died on July 27."  Dreese does not list Peter Cron among those mortally wounded.

Special thanks for permission to use the photo of the 151st Pennsylvania Infantry Memorial at Gettysburg, (c) 2011, Norman Gasbarro, all rights reserved. 

151st Reg: P.V.
151st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry 
Organized at Harrisburg October 18 to November 24, 1862. Moved to Washington, D. C., November 26. Attached to 3rd Brigade, Casey's Division, Defenses of Washington, to February, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to July, 1863.  Service:  Duty in the Defenses of Washington till February, 1863. Moved to Belle Plains, Va., and joined 1st Army Corps. Duty there till April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Operations about Pollock's Mill Creek April 29-May 2. Battle of Chancellorsville May 2-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Mustered out July 27, 1863. Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 67 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 53 Enlisted men by disease. Total 123.

Record of a Nine Months' Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg

The "Narrows of the Big Eddy" ~ Narrowsburg, NY

In 1823 an Act was passed into New York State Law to incorporate the Narrowsburgh Bridge Company under the aegis of William A. Cuddeback, Abraham Cuddeback, and William Stokes for the purpose of building a bridge over the Delaware River, "at the place known by the description of the Narrows of the Big Eddy." 

"... is another of the rapidly-growing communities which the rail-road has scattered along its path. Where, a few years since, were only a farm-house and hotel, now stands a village, with stores and dwellings clustering round the beneficent presence of a station. The village, as it may be called, lies on the margin of the Delaware that here is locked in between two points of rock, whose narrow gorge gives the place its title of Narrowsburgh, though the lumbermen call it by its old name, Big Eddy, because during a freshet there rushes through these "narrows" the "biggest kind of an eddy."  Over the "narrows" is flung a wooden bridge, with a single span of 184 feet -- a monstrous span, but not more so than the monstrous tolls for traversing it.

These are very high, and act prejudicially to Narrowsburgh, by diverting into other routes the produce that would flow into this station. The amount of business done here is proved by the appearance of the freight houses. The surrounding country is the region of tanneries, owing to the abundance of hemlock; and, in addition to the leather interests, the direct communication with the mines of Carbondale supply other sources of trade. The scenery around Narrowsburgh is very beautiful, and affords fine drives and strolling-grounds. The land, fortunately, is in the hands of a gentleman (Mr. Corwin) who has had the good taste to preserve the fine park-like trees dotting the beautiful meadow between the station and the river, and do every thing to make Narrowsburgh a favorite summer resort. Below the narrows spoken of the Delaware expands into a wide basin, which, during a freshet, exhibits a stirring scene. It is said the fury of the current through the "narrows" is such that no boat could live in it; and when large trees heave and toss in its eddies, a wilder scene can not be imagined. Mr Corwin says he has dropped in it a line 120 feet long with a weight of 28 pounds attached, without touching bottom. In the winter of 1850, when the river was frozen over, a sudden rise of its waters produced a novel scene in that gorge. The pressure of the swollen tide underneath caused the sheet of ice covering the basin below to heave in regular waves, till at last, giving way, the crash and roar of the floating fragments, as they were piled on each other, made a picture of true sublimity." Harper's Guidebook of the New York and Erie Canal Rail-Road, ~ William MacLeod 1856, p 83.

Narrowsburgh, 1875, Atlas of Sullivan County, New York

 History of Sullivan County
"...Oliver Calkins was the first Justice of the Peace at Big Eddy, William Dunn the second, and Jonathan Dexter the third. Some of the descendants of Judge Dexter are still living on the banks of the Delaware. Moses Dexter, who lives on a lot once owned by Wickham four miles above Narrowsburgh, is one of them. At an early day the Lassleys, Brannings, Drakes, and Cases settled in the neighborhood, but on the west side of the river. Of these John Lassley was drowned in the Delaware, at Big Eddy in the year 1798.  David and Joseph Guinnip, natives of New Jersey, settled near the Eddy but at what time we have not learned. John Bross located on the Deep Hollow brook about the year 1810. Timothy Tyler, who  was remarkable for some of his exploits, and has been immortalized by Alfred B Street under the nom of Tim Slowwater, lived at one time in a log-house where the Narrowsburgh Hotel now stands. In the early days of the settlement, the people had to go to Carpenter's Point to get their grain ground. They procured the largest part of their provisions in New Jersey, and hauled them up on the ice in the winter when the river was frozen. They bought their dry goods in Newburgh for a time, and it took a week to go there and return."  ~ James Eldridge Quinlan and Thomas Antisell, 1873, p 644.

Old   School  District  Burying  Ground: Dunning, Ennes, Little, Corwin, & Reynolds

Natural Gas at Narrowsburg 
"The existence of natural gas at Narrowsburg  was discovered in a curious way by Dr. L.A. Winslow, in 1850.  He was spending the summer at the Murray House in that village. The Delaware River at that place forms into a deep and wide lake-like body known as Big Eddy. On the Pennsylvania side of the river there is a whirlpool so strong that frequently rafts are drawn into it and kept whirling about for hours sometimes days before they can be turned into the channel again. One day Dr Winslow was rowing on the eddy. After lighting his pipe he threw the match, still blazing, into the river. Instantly a blaze up in the water where the match had dropped.  It burned with a faint blue light and finally went out. Then, for the first time, Dr Winslow noticed many bubbles were floating about on the water, and that they appeared frequently, coming quickly up from under the surface. The Doctor, being something of a geologist and scientist, knew at once that the bubbles were made by a gas that must come from the ground or rocks at the bottom of the river, and that the gas was inflammable. He touched a match to several of the bubbles, and each one responded with a blaze. At night he illuminated the entire eddy with these miniature natural bonfires. Dr. Winslow sounded the eddy, and found that in places the water was ninety feet deep, with a rocky bottom, and at some places could find no bottom at all.  His theory was that the rocky bottom was filled with crevices of unknown depth, and from them gas issued and found its way to the surface, forming the constantly appearing and disappearing bubbles.  In the mud along the shores of the eddy, and on islands of similar formation, this gas also found its way from the depths to the surface.  Dr. Winslow inverted a barrel with one head out over a spot on the New York shore where the gas came up out of the ground. He placed a small pipe in the other end of the barrel, and in a short time collected enough gas in the barrel to make a strong and brilliant flame at the end of the pipe when ignited, which burned steadily night and day." ~ Scientific American Vol. 54, April 10, 1886, p 233.

Two Hundred Miles on The Delaware
"...During high water there are two eddies so great that rafts running the river have not sufficient momentum to carry them through the dead water.  Consequently the rafts have to be towed until they reach the downward current. For this purpose ropes are carried to the island opposite the bend down which the raftsmen walk with their tow. This is the only spot from Arkville to Trenton where this hauling has to be done. During the rafting season the vicinity of the eddy is one of great activity and not a little confusion. Turning in after a day of labor we took a last look at the orb of night hanging over the motionless waters of  "Big Eddy." It was a picture not likely to be forgotten -- too enchanting to be easily dismissed from the memory." ~  J. Wallace Hoff, 1893, p 59.  
 Picturesque Erie: Summer Homes

                                                                             ~ Erie Railroad Company, 1889, p 99.

View Minisink Valley Genealogy in a larger map

 The Headwaters of the Delaware 
"... Stupendous cliffs contract the river above at the Narrows, where the village of Narrowsburg is built, and this region and the neighboring lake strewn highlands of Sullivan County, New York were the chief scenes of Cooper's novel, The Last of the Mohicans." ~ America: Picturesque and Descriptive, by Joel Cook, 1900, p 270.

The Big Eddy at Narrowsburg, June 7, 2014

"Most Wretchedly Spelled" ~ Variants of Maghagh-kamieck

One cannot approach the history of the Minisink region without happening upon the works of Edward Manning Ruttenber (1825-1907), a passionate amateur linguist, ethnographer, and historian. He worked throughout his life as a newspaper editor and would publish The Newburgh Gazette and Daily News.

This excerpt from Ruttenber's last book, Indian Geographical Names, serves well as an introduction to the compilation of Maghagh-kamieck variants drawn from 18th century sources which follow.

Footprints of the Red Man, Indian Geographical Names, p 223 & 224

18th Century Variants of Maghagh-kamieck

  • Deed of Conveyance Maugaukemeck, c 1700, Ulster County Clerk Archives, keyword search: Tetsoord.
  • Neighbourhood of Wagachkemeck, 1716, Tax Assessment List for the County of Ulster [present day Orange County NY].
  • Mehoccomick, 1769, Rittenhouse & Montresor, surveyors, letter to the Commissioners for settling the boundary line between the colonies of New York and New Jersey.

"The Fork or Branch at the Mouth of Mahacamack...1769"

Robert Grumet, in Manhatten to Minisink: American Indian Place Names in Greater New York and Vicinity, 2013, notes under the heading MachackemeckMechagachkamic (1649), Magagamieck (1694), and Magagkamack (recent). Royden Woodward Vosburgh's Machackemeck in Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records also appears in his work Machackemeck Gravestone Inscriptions, both published in 1913.

Maghaghkamik Church sign, 1938

Machackemech Burying Ground, Port Jervis NY