Fishkill Landing

Text from William Wade

Fishkill Landing, opposite Newburgh, contains three churches, eight or ten stores, and eight or nine hundred inhabitants. Matteawan is a celebrated manufacturing village on the Fishkill, a mile and a half east of the landing. Glen-ham, noted for its woollen cloths, is three miles distant; and six miles from the landing, is Fishkill, with its population of eleven thousand. This village was also for a time, the headquarters of the Revolutionary army, and a church is still shown in which Enoch Crosby, the spy, was confined for a time: his escape from captivity, it may be remembered, is described by Cooper in his romance of " The Spy," under the name of Harvey Birch.

Edgar Mayhew Bacon relates that Francis Rombout and Gulian VerPlanck were the first to purchase a tract of land in Duchess County which would later be Fishkill. The purchase was made from The Wappinger's Indians in August 1683. Later an English patent was granted to Rombout, Stephanus Van Cortlandt and Jacobus Kipp, a representative of the children of VerPlanck.

Fishkill Landing. Matteawan and Glenham all became the city of Beacon in 1913. The village of Fishkill is today the town of Fishkill and the church in which Enoch Crosby the spy was confined is well preserved. The Landing with its ferry crossing to Newburgh played an important role in the Revolutionary War:

From Bacon's The Hudson From Ocean to Source:

"Upon the military road of which the Newburgh (to Fishkill Landing) ferry was so important a feature, not only troops, but waggon-trains and artillery, were continually being moved. Most of the material for carrying on the war came through New England, her ports being the only ones then available and was transported by way of Fishkill and Newburgh, and so back of the Highlands on the west shore, and southward."

"On the level plateau at the base of the hills (Mount Beacon) the encampment of the American army was at one time situated; and fortified works, manned by detachments from the camp were placed upon hills that commanded the approach. Here, after the battle of White Plains, were brought many soldiers, many of whom lie in unidentified graves near the spot. "

"Fishkill Landing, Matteawan (so named for an Indian sub-tribe), and Fishkill village are here grouped as they are in reality under one name. Along wit the Revolutionary story there is a later flavour of the delightful conservative life of old country families, with traditions of wholesome living and hospitality to balance the inborn thrift of a race whose forebears wrested their acres with pain and sweat of brow from the abounding wilderness."

Bacon also notes that modern Fishkill (1903) is known for brickmaking and hat factories.