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Doodletown, New York

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Doodletown, New York

In 1683, Stephanus Van Cortlandt bought the area of Doodletown from the Haverstraw Indians. The name is said to derive from the Dutch Dooddel, or "dead valley", with the "town" suffix added later by English-speaking settlers. It was an important stop for soldiers during the American Revolution and the Doodletown Road was used by the troops under Mad Anthony Wayne as they entered the Battle of Stony Point. In the 1890s, Thomas Edison bought a defunct iron mine in Doodletown to test a new technique for refining ore. However, nothing came of his project.

Doodletown reached its peak in the 1920s. It held a school, a church, several small businesses, and 2 cemeteries. The population peaked at about 350 residents. Soon, however, Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park began taking land and those people who refused to sell their land had it taken away through eminent domain. The last remaining building, the stone school house, was kept as a shelter for hikers until vandalism caused the park commission to tear it down in 1980 .

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Categories: Doodletown, New York