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Historical Tales and Sketches.
DOMINIE VAN NIST'S COURTSHIP.
Poughkeepsie is the shire-town of the wealthy and flourishing county of Dutchess. It is situated on the east bank of the noble Hudson, equidistant between New York and Albany, and contains about twenty-two thousand inhabitants. The original name of Poughkeepsie was Apokeepsing, an Indian word signifying safe harbor. The first settlers were Dutch, who came from Long Island about 1700. Boltus Van Kleek built the first house within the present limits of the city, in 1702. Jacobus Vander Bogart, Peter Velie, Johannas Van Kleek, and other pioneers, soon erected dwellings where the present city is now located, and a highway was opened east through the great Nine Partners patent, purchased by Caleb Heathcote and others, May 27th, 1697. This patent extended from the Hudson river to the west line of Connecticut. In 1709 building lots were laid out in Poughkeepsie and the Dutch Reformed Missionaries had commenced their labors there and at Fishkill. The Rev. Peter Vas, of Kingston, Rev. Gualterus Du Bois, of New York ; Rev. Vincentius Antonides, of Kings county, Long Island, and
the Rev. Mr. Van Deusen, of Albany, would in turn visit Poughkeepsie and Fishkill and preach to the then few inhabitants, in their houses, and administer the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. In 1716 the Reformed Dutch Church was organized at Poughkeepsie and Fishkill by the Rev. Peter Vas. A lot for a church and parsonage at Poughkeepsie was given by Captain Jacobus Vander Bogart, in 1716. This deed is recorded in the County Clerk's office, where it may be seen at the present day. The church stood in what is now known as Market street; the burying ground extended south near to what is now Cannon street, and along Main street east for several rods, and west of the church to the lot owned by the Court house. West of the Court house was the parsonage lot, where the present First Reformed Church is now located. This lot then contained several acres of land, and was conjointly owned by the congregations of Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, and remained so until the separation of the two churches, which took place in 1772. Since the separation, great alterations have taken place on the parsonage lot. The old parsonage has long since been demolished and a new one erected. The first church, which was erected in 1718, was taken down in 1782 and a new one erected on the opposite side of the street, near the Poughkeepsie Hotel, where the old burying ground is still to be seen. In 1822 they abandoned that ground and built a church on the parsonage lot. This church was destroyed by fire in 1857, when the present noble structure was erected on the same site.
As we have said, the parsonage formerly contained several acres of land, but portions of it have been sold