This county was formed from Orange, Feb. 23, 1798. It is trk
angular in form, Hudson River, New Jersey line, and the s. bounds
of Orange co. being respectively its e., s. w., and n. w. boundaries.
It is centrally distant 105 mi. from Albany, and contains 208 sq.
mi. The Ramapo Mts., extending along the n. w. border, are the
connecting link between the Blue Ridge of Eastern Penn, and N. J.
i and the Matteawan Mts. of Putnam co., e. of the Hudson. They
are separated into numerous distinct spurs, ridges, and peaks, and
occupy more than one-third of the entire surface of the co. They
are generally steep, rocky, and barren, and the valleys between
them are narrow, rocky ravines. The Palisade Range from N. J.
enters the extreme s. angle of the co., and terminates abruptly s.
of Piermont. A broken ridge, known as the Nyack Hills, forming a n. spur of this range, but
without its continuous and wall like character, extends n. along the river to the n. part of Clarks-
town, where it unites with Yerdrieteges Hook, an e. spur of the Ramapo Range. The surface
of the central and s. w. portions of the co., lying between these ranges, is rolling or moderately
hilly. The highest summits in the N. w. part are 700 to 1,000 feet above tide. The principal
streams are Hackensack Rive£, flowing s. through Clarkstown and Orangetown, Ramapo River, in
the w. angle of Ramapo, and Minisceongo Creek, Minas Fall Creek, and Spar Kil, tributaries
of the Hudson. The rocks of the Ramapo Mts. are principally primitive. Granite, gneiss, and
metamorphic limestone abound. The hills along the river and Yerdrieteges Hook are composed
of red sandstone, known to geologists as the New Red Sandstone; and the central and w. portions
of the co. are principally underlaid by limestone. These rocks yield an abundance of most
excellent building material,1 and from the white limestone in the n. e. corner of the co. large
quantities of lime are manufactured.2 Trap rock extends from N. J. into the s. border of the co.
The people are largely engaged in fruit growing and gardening. Milk is sent from some parts
of the co. in considerable quantities to the New York market. The manufacture of lime and brick
and the exportation of ice are important branches of the industry of the co. Large quantities of
red sandstone for building are annually quarried and exported. The manufactures of the co. are
also important and various, consisting principally of shoes, wooden ware, and woolen yarn.
The co. seat is located at the village of New City, in Clarkstown. A combined courthouse and
jail, built of brick, is situated upon a beautiful eminence overlooking the village.2 The clerk’s
office is a fireproof brick building adjacent to the courthouse. The poorhouse is located upon a
farm of 43 acres at Mechanicsville, in Ramapo, 7 mi. w. of the courthouse. The average number
of inmates is 100, supported at a weekly expense of 75 cts. each. The farm yields a revenue of
§700. A school is taught during the entire year, and the house is well kept. The N. Y. & Erie
R. R. extends through the w. part of Ramapo, and the Piermont Branch of the same road extends
from Piermont, on the Hudson, to Sufferns, where it unites with the main track.4
Two weekly newspapers are now published in the co.3
This co. was included in patents known as the Kakiate Patent, granted to Daniel Honan and
Michael Hawdon, June 25, 1696; the Wawayanda Patent, granted to John Bridges, April 29,
1703; and the Cheesecocks Patent, granted to Ann Bridges and others, March 25, 1707. The first
patent recorded in the co. clerk’s office is one granted to Samuel Bayard, bearing date Sept. 16,
The Rockland Advertiser was started at Warren, in May, 1333,
by John Douglas; and in 1834 it was united with The
Gazette, under the name of
The Rockland Advertiser and Family Gazette; and in 1843 it
was published as
The Rockland News and General Advertiser., by John L. Burtis.
The North River Times was started at Warren, in 1834, by
Alexander H. Wells, and was continued a short time.
The Mirror was published at Warren a short time in 1838.
Tlie Rockland County Messenger was established
at Warren, in May, 1846, by Kobert Marshall; in 1852
it passed into the hands of Bobert Smith, by whom it
is still continued.
The Rockland County Journal was commenced in
July, 1850, at Nyack, by Wm. G. Haeselbarth, and is
still continued by him.
See page 570.
8 The first courthouse after the erection of the co. was built in
1798-99. The present honse was erected in 1827, and the jail
was added in 1856. The whole cost was about $16,000. The
first co. officers were John Suffern, First Judge,; David Pye, Co.
Clerk; Jacob Wood, Sheriff; Peter Talman, Surrogate.
finished in 1859, and is intended to continue x. to Warren.