Unveiling of historic marker will take place Sunday in New Kingston
New Kingston — The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown (HSM) and the New Kingston Valley Association will unveil a historic marker near the post office in the hamlet of New Kingston on Sunday, June 20 at 1 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to the event, which will include remarks by Bill Birns, historical columnist, retired teacher and former resident of New Kingston.
Those wanting a closer look at the picturesque hamlet, which was named to the state and national Registers of Historic Places in late 2007, are invited to take a guided walking tour after the unveiling. A display of photos, artifacts and memorabilia will be on view from 1:15 to 3 p.m. at the New Kingston Presbyterian Church, which is itself on the state and national registers.
Refreshments will be available at the church.
New Kingston got its name after Chancellor Robert Livingston’s 1782 donation deed of a 5,000-acre tract in the valley to the homeless citizens of the City of Kingston; which had been burned by the British during the Revolutionary War. Livingston was an owner of a large section of the 1,500,000-acre Hardenburgh Patent that included the New Kingston Valley. Fifty-acre parcels were given to 100 displaced “sufferers,” but neither the 1790 nor the 1800 federal census shows that any of them took up their lots. Some of their descendants, however, did eventually transplant to the New Kingston Valley.
By the 1840s, Samuel Ackerly, who had acquired some of the valley land, sold pieces of it to members of the Reynolds and Birdsall families, who, between 1855 and 1889, sold most of the house lots that now form the hamlet of New Kingston.
The hamlet became a trading and service community for the many farms that were established in the valley. Today, the last three dairy farms in the Town of Middletown are located in the New Kingston Valley.