Acquired from the Esopus (a northern tribe of the Lenape/Delaware nation) by Barent Cornelis Volge in the 1650s, he operated a sawmill there, supplying lumber for the Rensselaerwyck. Between 1659 and 1663 the region was rocked by a series of violent incidents between the Dutch colonists and Esopus Lenape known as "The Esopus Wars." In 1664, the Dutch surrendered their colonial claim on the region to the English, and New Netherland became New York.
In the 1710s German Palatines settled in the area north of Saugerties known as West Camp (East Camp was across the Hudson) to produce pine pitch and tar for the British Navy. The endeavor largely failed, and most of the Palatines moved on. The region continued to be exploited for lumber and a number of saw mills were established over the 18th century. The hamlet of Saugerties was officially established in 1811, though it did not get the name Saugerties until 1855. Throughout the 19th century Saugerties became an industrial hub, with an iron works established in the 1820s and a series of paper mills in the 1830s. Bluestone quarrying and shipment, brick making, and ice harvesting were other major industries in the area. Although the village had passenger steamboat service as early as the 1830s, it wasn't until the 1880s that the Saugerties and New York Steamboat Company was established in the village, providing homegrown steamboat access.
Many of the paper mills, especially the Martin Cantine Paper Company (1870s-1970s) continued in operation until the mid-20th century, when industrial manufacturing declined throughout the Hudson Valley.
Saugerties is also the location of the Saugerties Lighthouse. First built in 1835 to mark the entrance to the Esopus Creek, the lighthouse was replaced in 1869 with the current structure, which still stands.
We stopped at the lighthouse yesterday to record some interviews, so stay tuned for a new video on the Saugerties Lighthouse coming soon! In the meantime, you can check out this documentary film from the Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy.
See you this afternoon in Kingston!
This Captains' Log is kept by the captains and crew of Solaris and Apollonia and staff of the Hudson River Maritime Museum.