Envelopes from 1878 and 1879

Envelopes from 1878 and 1879.

I continue to organize my Halfway Brook files, when I am not doing new research.

This is one of the many images which I scanned in color. I was on such a steep learning curve when I first began compiling information that I often scanned items in black and white and/or too small.

Of course the world was “black and white” in “olden days” so I didn’t really need to scan in color. I now have the option of creating books with color interiors at a more reasonable cost.

Some of my posts have included the images I did scan in color that were black and white in my Halfway Brook books.

Click on the image above twice to see the scan full size.

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Henry Austin’s Ledger, 1879

Pages from Henry Austin’s Ledger with mentions of 1879 through 1881.

Henry Austin kept a ledger. The page above shows what Henry sold to Abel Sprague Myers in November and December 1879 and mentions of 1880 and 1881. What follows are some earlier entries in Great-Grandfather Henry’s ledger.

1878, A.S. Myers
January: 700 hoops, $4.00
June 25: cash, $10.00
Nov. 6: 20 bushel ears corn at 37.5 cents per bushel=7.50

1879, A.S. Myers
Feb. 18: 6 doz. eggs, 1.25
Mar. 29: 11.55 pd. by check
May 26: 12 pounds of rugs
Oct. 13: 30.00, paid by cash
Oct. 23: two dozen eggs, .37
Oct. 24: 25 bushel ears corn, 9.38
Oct. 29: 30 bushel buckwheat, 15.00
Nov. 27: 18 bushel oats, $9.00 (50 cents/bushel)
Nov. 29: 20 bushel buckwheat,10.00;
6 bushel ears corn, 2.25 (37.5 cents/bushel)
Dec 4: bushel ears corn, 1.50

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The Bunk House

Leavenworth home when it was Echo Hill Farm House.
Photo courtesy of C. Myers.

The early bunkhouses for lumbermen were small with dirt floors. Their later living quarters were usually in a larger building.

The ground floor contained a room for the cook (who could be a woman, as in the case of my great-great-grandmother Charlotte Ingram Leavenworth), and a dining room.

Meals were served on long board tables, and the crew were only allowed in the room at meal time. A “men’s room” was at the end of the room where the crew could relax, read, grind their axes, or tell stories in the evening.

A ladder went to the attic where there were tiers of bunks for sleeping. A one story log building was used as a barn for the horses and a storehouse for hay and oats.

In the above photo of the Leavenworth home, the larger building on the right (which is no longer there) and the small one story building in front, seem to match the description of the loggers’ living quarters just mentioned.

When it was in use, the first floor of the larger building (on the right) was the family’s summer kitchen and the upstairs was the servant quarters.—Louise Austin Smith.

Source: Fox, William Freeman, A History of the Lumber Industry in the State of New York, published in the Sixth Annual Report of the New York Forest, Fish, and Game Commission, 1901. —The Mill on Halfway Brook, p. 42.

An 1896 photo of the Leavenworth home does not include the two story building on the right. When I wrote “The Mill on Halfway Brook,” I had thought that at least the small one-story building might have been the early bunkhouse, but I am not so sure of that now. There would need to be more research.—Louise, April 2015.

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The Goose Lot and Stone Walls

View of Leavenworth House from Blind Pond Brook.

April 27, 1864
Dear Brother Sherman,
We are all well at present. We have got our new barn a going up at last.

We are doing the foundation now and we have put the last stones in that you pried up in the ten acres fallow, the last after mine that you worked here…I am back home again.

The last we heard from you, you were on Saybrook Island. They don’t draft any around here, but strong talk we would see greys heels up in the air.

Stonewalls in 2009.
Stonewalls on what was Leavenworth Property.
Inside the Gooselot.
Stonewalls and glimpse of Leavenworth home.

Me and father saws down to the mill…Mother wishes you back to Yorktown again as she could send you something.

Mother says you must write her a good long letter from Atwell.
Write soon,
John E. Leavenworth

John Leavenworth mentioned the stone walls on their property in a letter to his brother Sherman. Here are some photos of the walls, and the goose lot taken by Cousin Cynthia in 2009.

The goose lot was a large area surrounded by stone walls with a space that was left for a gate. The geese had one wing clipped so they couldn’t fly over the stone walls.

The Leavenworths raised geese for their meat and eggs. Their feathers were used for stuffing pillows and comforters.

The walls were probably built in the Civil War era. Dad mentioned that Atwell was working on stone walls before he went to war and probably the goose lot was part of that too.—Cynthia.

One of the stories said that because the men were fighting in the war, it left the ladies at home to finish making the rock walls. The ladies carried the rocks in their aprons to the place they needed to be, or so the story goes. Some of those rocks were pretty heavy.
—Louise Austin Smith; The Mill on Halfway Brook, p. 99.

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Sawmill on Blind Pond Brook

Stone walls of the Leavenworth sawmill on Blind Pond Brook.
Detail of stone walls to channel the water to the Leavenworth Mill.
The posts which were vertical at one time.

The first two photos show where the old Leavenworth sawmill used to stand on Blind Pond Brook. The two stone walls were built to channel the water to the mill.

A sluice was created utilizing the large vertical posts placed vertically in the brook. Horizontal boards would be raised or lowered against the posts. In this way the flow of water to the waterwheel could be regulated.—The Mill on Halfway Brook, p. 43.

A special thank you to my cousin Cynthia for the photos.

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Early 19th Century Up and Down Sawmill

Waterwheel with gear.
Overall view of sawmill.
Vertical saw can be seen above the wooden log carriage set.
Interior view of sawmill.
REmains of water channelling walls.
Remains of concrete sluice.

This unusual survivor of a water powered vertical saw with few changes was located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and photographed in 1961.

It is typical of the sawmills that were in Lumberland.

It is a water-powered vertical saw with a single blade and wooden log carriage set in a heavy wooden frame.

The saw operated at 100–130 strokes per minute and the log advanced approximately two
feet per minute.

The saw was contained in a framed superstructure on a stone foundation built over a millrace.

A wooden undershot waterwheel was housed in a shed on the side. Water was supplied by an adjacent stone dam.

The sawmill was dismantled and moved to the National Museum of History
and Technology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.—The Mill on Halfway Brook, p. 48.

Please click on the photos for a larger image.

Photos: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS, Reproduction number HABS PA,15-CHESP.V,1-6.

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Towns on the Upper Delaware River

Towns along the Upper Delaware River. Map: Gary Smith.

This is basically a repost of October 2009, with the addition of Gary’s helpful map.

Cushetunk/Cochecton: In 1754, Connecticut Yankees established Cushetunk and claimed the Delaware River’s west bank for the Colony of Connecticut. Cochecton (cuh-SHEK-ton), meaning low land, is also called the flats. It is rich and fertile, full of fish and game.

Narrowsburg(h): Narrowsburg (Homan’s Eddy), has the narrowest and deepest points on the Upper Delaware River.

Tusten (Ten Mile River): Tusten at the mouth of the Ten Mile River was first called the Ten Mile River settlement, and grew up around 1751. It was later named for the Revolutionary hero, Dr. Tusten. Ten Mile River is the site of a large summer camp maintained by the Boy Scouts of America.

Shehola, Shohola: Shehola is Lenape for slow waters where the geese rest. The Pennsylvania town Shohola is on the Shohola River directly across from The River or Barryville, New York.

Mongaup: Mongaup is a small, quiet hamlet at the mouth of the Mongaup River, which is still the eastern border of the town of Lumberland.

Sparrowbush: Sparrowbush was named for H.L. Sparrow, a dealer in ship-knee timber. Mr. Sparrow rafted down the Delaware River in the early 1800s.The land was originally named Sparrow’s Bosh. Bosh was a sloping thicket or woods.

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Early 1800s Roads

“The Highway Mast Hope, PA.” Postcard in the Austin Family.

In the early 1800s, there were only two roads to the Town of Lumberland—the Sackett Road and the Newburgh-Cochecton Turnpike. Neither of them, perhaps, deserved to be identified as roads.

The Newburgh and Cochecton Turnpike was a 70-mile plank road. It started at Newburgh on the Hudson River, and went west to Cochecton, on the Delaware River. Newburgh became a trade center to get supplies to and from New York City.

So many settlers traveled to the new area that in 1809, Sullivan County was split out of Ulster County (one of the original twelve New York Counties). At the same time, Bethel, which had been part of the Town of Lumberland, became its own Town (township), and included the villages of Cochecton and Delaware.

Later, there were other roads to or through the Town of Lumberland. James Eldred worked on the Mast Hope Turnpike, which started near Middletown, went through Forestburg, and crossed through the Town of Lumberland on its way to Mast Hope, Pennsylvania.

In 1815, work was started on the Mount Hope-Lumberland Turnpike, which went from Orange County to Narrowsburgh, New York, and later to Honesdale, Pennsylvania.

George D. Wickham, Benjamin Dodge, John Duer, Benjamin Woodward, Benjamin B. Newkirk, William A. and Abraham Cuddeback were the directors of the Mount Hope-Lumberland Turnpike, segments of which are still in use today.—The Mill on Halfway Brook, p. 8.

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