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the Bank of Fishkill. It was built of wood, roofed and sided with cedar shingles, and was never painted. The roof was very steep ; the length of the rafters reached two-thirds the width of the building, what carpenters used to call a square roof. There was no stoop, the front door opening from the yard. This house existed until 1835, when it was taken down by Nelson Burroughs, who then owned the premises, and erected the present building, now owned by Oliver W. Barnes.
The next house was the Union Hotel. Part of the hotel then existed, and was kept by James Cooper. This hotel was destroyed by fire in December, 1873.
On the south side of the street from the hotel, formerly lived a Rosacranze, who owned a farm which joined Terbush's, who was one of the first settlers in Fishkill, but whether he was there in the Revolution is uncertain.
East of the Union Hotel, on the north side of the street, there was only one small house before you reached the Dutch church, and was occupied by Abraham Smith. It is owned by James E. Dean, and has been recently taken down.
Beyond the Dutch church there was but one house on that side of the street, until you arrived at the residence of Mrs. John Van Wyck. Robert Brett, son of Madam Brett, lived there, and owned a large farm, containing 650 acres of land. His farm extended east to the residence of Henry D. B. Sherwood, and west to what is now known as Osborn Hill. The house was built of stone, and was dernolished by Obadiah Bowne, in 1819, who then owned the premises, and
built the present beautiful structure. Robert Brett was a man of eminence, occuping a high position in society, and holding offices of trust in the county. The first constitutional convention held a session in his house, in the autumn of 1776. He gave shelter to the printer, Samuel Loudon, and General Washington was afterwards a guest in his house. Robert Brett had two sons, whose names were Matthew and Robert. Matthew died in the morning of life, aged 28 years. Robert was the father of James Brett, who resides in Fishkill Hook; he died in 1831, at the advanced age of 80 years. The highway then was very close so Robert Brett's house, and wound around the brow of the hill, crossing the creek near Isaac Cotheal's house. Capt. Richard Southard lived there then, and owned a large farm, extending up the creek, including the farm owned by the heirs of Cornelius Burroughs. The old house was taken down by Richard Rapalje, who came in possession of the farm soon after the Revolution, and erected the present house in 1800. Southard had six children, four sons and two daughters.
The next house was the old Van Wyck homestead, now owned by Sidney E. Van Wyck, a descendant of the family, and was erected by Cornelius Van Wyck in 1737. This house was the headquarters of our officers while in Fishkill, and it remains much the same, although it has been built more than a century and a quarter.
On the opposite side of the street from the Dutch church was a school house, and west of the school house, on the same side of the street, was a small house occupied by Edward Griffin, and then there
were no more houses until
you reached the Rosacranse place.
The Episcopal church was built in 1770, which was six years before the Declaration of our Independence. The architect who had the supervision of the building got so befogged that he and his workmen left before they finished framing. It was said that they were more or less intemperate. The building committee then went to New York, and procured another set of mechanics. They had to commence anew and reframe
the building, and it is said the two framings can be seen in the upper part of the structure. This church was formerly surmounted with a towering steeple, running up in four sections, and its height was only three feet less than the spire on the present Reformed Dutch Church. This steeple was very heavily timbered, and a sad accident occurred when it was raised. One of the workmen fell from a height of nearly sixty feet, striking on a stick of timber, and was instantly killed.
The steeple, with the exception of the lower section, was taken off in 1810. A complaint was brought against the congregation, saying that the steeple was not safe ; that it might fall and endanger the life of some person. The last section was taken off some thirteen years since, otherwise the church remains the same. The exterior has never been remodelled, although the church has stood more than a century. The convention of the representatives of the State of New York, held a session in this church in the Revolution. It was used as a hospital when the army encamped on the flats south of the village, near the Highlands. The small pox breaking out in the army, the sick were taken to this church. The father of the writer was then a lad, ten years old, and he caught the small pox when going to see the soldiers in their encampment. The board of health waited on his father and informed him that he must be taken to the hospital. His father prevailed on them to let his son remain at home, on account of his being so young. The board then informed him that if he would keep his son where the disease would not be likely to spread, they would consent for him to remain with his parents. This his father promised to do, for the small pox then was a terrible scourge, and it was a terror to civilized as well as savage nations. It was not until 1798 that vaccination was discovered by Dr. Jenner. Mr. Bailey placed his son in a bedroom, and with the assistance of a negro slave whose name was Cæsar, who had had the small pox, took care of him, and grandfather Bailey altered the road that ran close to the house, through a woods on the north side, which was some
distance off, for it was said that the disease could be taken from the smoke of a chimney, nearly fifty rods. The boy's mother never had had the small pox, and she could not see him, and it was thought that he could not live. She became almost frantic with grief, when grandfather and Cæsar made an opening in the bedroom door, and placing a window light in the opening, then making it perfectly tight, which afforded the mother great consolation to look through the window and see her son, who, after a very severe sickness, recovered. The following spring, in 1778, our family, as I have stated above, left Fishkill, and moved to Poughkeepsie.
While the army was encamped at Fishkill, the soldiers would pass the sentinels at night, and commit many depredations. They robbed hen roosts for miles from their barracks, and every fence rail along the highway from Fishkill to Brinckerhoffville they took for fuel. They stripped the siding off the old Presbyterian church, as high as they could reach, to boil their camp kettles. Abram Brinckerhoff kept a store and owned a mill. The soldiers would come to his store to get something to eat and drink. One night his mill caught fire, and mill and contents were all consumed. How the fire originated was not known; it was supposed it was accidentally fired by the soldiers. General Washington ordered his officers to send what men Mr. Brinckerhoff needed, gratuitously, to help him rebuild his mill. A large gang of soldiers were sent, and immediately set to work; some hauling timber, others in hewing and framing, and the mill now occupied by Alexander Dudley was then built.