The cover on the History of the Town of Highland reminds me of the end of December 1815 arrival (according to my family story) of my Eldred ancestors (from Orange County, NY), in what is today Eldred (but at one time was called Halfway Brook) in what was then Lumberland (but became the Town of Highland in 1853), Sullivan County, New York.
The Eldred family was not the first one to arrive. Families were already in the area, including that of my great-great-grandmother Hannah Hickok who arrived in 1811.
Sixty years ago in December just closed, Grandfather Eldred came to this neighborhood. At that time it was called Lumberland.
Uncle C.C.P. Eldred was a little over seven years old. Came from Orange County, Wallkill Township to Halfway Brook on the old Cochecton Road.
Here they found a sawmill and log house. No other building of any kind within a mile of this place now called Eldred. They took possession of the house and sawmill and put up a temporary stable to shelter his horses. There was about two acres of cleared land.
The Johnston family were living near Handsome Eddy, Bartow at Barryville, Carpenter and Wells on Beaverbrook.
Two miles above Barryville lived a man by the name of Beeves who kept a tavern in a double log house. Two other families on Halfway Brook by the names of Watkins and Carmichael. Hickok, Waler, Wiggins and a black man lived between Beaverbrook and Halfway Brook.—January 1, 1876, Maria Austin.
When James Eldred moved here, December 1815, there were only about two acres of cleared land, a saw mill and a log house. No other building of any kind within a mile of this place. James Eldred took possession of the house and sawmill and put up a temporary stable for his horses.
After living here a few years, he purchased land and built a frame house near the mill site. George Crandall owns the place now and he and his wife live there.
The post office erected on the east side of the house and connected with it by a doorway leading into the sitting room was torn down when the Crandalls remodeled the house some years ago.—Aida Austin (Maria’s sister), March 8, 1939 letter.