680 WASHINGTON COUNTY.
CAMBRIDGE—was incorp. by patent,1 July 21, 1761. It was formed as a town2 in Al¬
bany co. March 7, 1788, and annexed to Washington co. Feb. 7, 1791. White Creek and Jackson
were taken off in 1815. The surface of the town is hilly in the n. and rolling in the s. The
summits of the hills are 200 to 300 ft. above the valleys. The e. part embraces a portion of the
valley of Owl Kil, which is celebrated for the beauty of its scenery. Upon the w. of this
valley are high undulating hills, the broad sweeps of which show alternate patches of green wood¬
land and cultivated farms; and upon the e. rise the Taghkanick Mts., rough and broken, while
the valley itself is very smooth and level. The other streams are Wampecaek Creek, Whiteside
Brook, and several other small brooks. The soil is generally a gravelly and sandy loam. Flax is
extensively cultivated. Cambridge (p. v.) contains 100 houses and the Cambridge Washington
Academy; Center Cambridge (p.v.) 13 houses; North Cambridge (p. o.) 10; and
Buskirks Bridge2 (p.v.) 15. The first settlers consisted of 30 families, who located in 1761,
;62, and ’63 and who each received 100 acres of land as a gift from the proprietors.3 Phineas
Whiteside,4 from Penn., settled 8 mi. w. of the Colerain Colony, in 1766. The expedition against
Bennington, under Baum, passed through the town Aug. 13, 1777.; and the remnant of the fugi¬
tives returned on the night of the 16th. The first church (Asso. Presb.) was organized in 1789;
Bev. Thos. Beverly was the first pastor.5
DRESDEN—was formed from Putnam, as “ South Bay,” March 15, 1822; its present name
was adopted April 17,1822. It lies between Lake George and the s. extremity of Lake Champlain.
Nearly its entire surface is covered by steep mountain ridges, several peaks of which are 1500 ft.
above the lake. The declivities of the mountains are steep, sometimes forming perpendicular preci¬
pices several hundred feet high. Upon the side of Lake George the mountains rise abruptly from
the very edge of the water; but upon the borders of Lake Champlain is a narrow strip of arable
land. The principal mountain peaks are Black7 and Sugar Loaf Mts. and Diameter Precipice.
Pike Brook and the head branches of Mill Brook take their rise in these mountains. All of the
surface in the interior is covered with forests or naked rocky peaks. The soil is hard and sterile, and
is unfit for agricultural purposes. The town was principally conveyed to non-commissioned officers
and privatesof the Colonial British army; and settlement was begun about 1784, by Jos. Phippeny,
at the foot of South Bay. Ebenezer Chapman, Boggs, and Daniel Buff came soon after, and
settled along the bay and lake. Lumbering has formed a prominent pursuit. In several localities
iron and other ores have been noticed, but none worked to any extent. The town is without a p. o.
A bridge was built, at the expense of the State, across South Bay, near its outlet, in 1856.
EASTON—was formed from Stillwater and Saratoga, March 3, 1789, while a part of Albany
co., and so named from being the e. town in the Saratoga Patent. It was annexed to Washington
co. Feb. 7, 1791. It lies upon the e. bank of the Hudson. A broad intervale extends along the
course of the river,* which is succeeded by a plateau region, embracing the central and s. portions
of the town. The e. part is broken by several lofty hills. The principal highlands are Willards
Mt.8 and Harrington Hill. The streams are Hudson Biver and Batten Kil,9 forming the w. and
n. boundaries of the town, Kidney and Yly Creeks, and a few minor streams. Upon the e. borders
of the town is an extensive swamp known as “ The Vly.,m The Di-on-on-dah-o-wa Falls,11 upon
Thomas, William, and James) upon large farms near him.
These estates are all owned by his descendants at the present
day. The remaining lands were mostly leased by the six pro¬
prietors- at an annual rent of one shilling per acre; but, they
being generally willing to sell at. a sum equal to the present
worth of the perpetual rent, most of the settlers have gradually
acquired the fee simple of their farms. The first inn was of logs,
on the site of the “ Checkered House,” and kept by Jas. Cowden.
Philip Van Ness built the first sawmill and gristmill on Gordons
Brook, near Buskirks Bridge, This neighborhood was called by
the Indians “ Ty-o-shoke,” and by them a field of 12 acres had
been cleared there for corn. Other early settlers on the Hoosick
Patent were Col. Lewis Van Wort and John Quackenbush.
6 The census reports 4 churches; 3 M. E., 1 Asso. Presb.
r Black Mt., the highest, is 2,879 ft. above tide.
8 Willards Mt. is said to have derived its name from a Mr.
Willard, who from its summit, with a spyglass, reconnoitered
the position of Burgoyne’s army at Saratoga.
9 Judge Benson, in his work upon the names of places, states
that this stream was named from the Christian name of Bar¬
tholomew' Van Hogeboom, first settler above Stillwater. Bart,
is the abbreviation of Bartholomew, and hence Barts Kil, or
10 A term used to denote a marsh overgrown with bog moss
and low bushes.
u Pronounced Di-on-on-dah'o-wa. On a map of Saratoga Patent
published in 1709 it is written Di-on-on-de-ho-we.
This patent embraced 31,500 acres, and was nominally con¬
veyed to 60 persons, most of whom resided in Hebron, Conn.
The real owners were but 6 in number, and of these 3 only were
mentioned in the charter, viz.: Isaac Sawyer and Edward Wells,
of Conn., and Jacob Lansing, founder of Lansingburgh. The
other three owners—Alex. Colden, Wm. Smith, and Geo. Banyar
—were connected with the Colonial Government.
8 Named from Martin Van Buskirk, who built the first bridge.
The patent was conditional to the settlement of 30 families
within 3 years; and to meet this requirement the most inviting
portion was surveyed, and 100 acres offered as a gift to each
family that would remove thither. These lots lay in a double
row, on both sides of Owl Kil, from below the “Checkered
House” into the present town of Jackson. They embrace the
several village precincts from Davis Corners to near Stephen¬
sons Corners. Among the settlers were Jas. and Robt., sons of
Ephraim Cowan, Jas. and John Cowden, John McClung, Samuel
Bell, Col. Blair, Geo. Gilmore, Geo. Duncan, David Harrow, Wm.
Clark, John Scott, and Thos. Morrison. A son of the last was
the first child born of civilized parents in town. Hugh Kelso,
a son of Col. Blair, was the first person who died in town. It is
recorded that of these 30 families (who were for a time the most
thrifty in town) all but two lost their property and died in
poverty, mainly from intemperance. They were mostly from
William Whiteside acquired the title to 3 lots, of 400 acres
jKich, of the finest land, and settled his sons (John, Peter,