The Delaware Valley

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To orient those of you whose families have since migrated to other areas of the United States, I have displayed above a map of the areas where the first generations of our family lived. If you are planning to visit this area, you will need a more detailed map than the one shown here.

New York City, not shown on this map, lies immediately below the lower left corner; the small blue patch of water is Long Island Sound. Interstate 87 - the New York State Thruway - runs north from New York City, past Newburgh (my home town,) and passes Kingston near the upper right of the map. From there the Thruway continues north to Albany, NY, after which it turns west and goes on to Buffalo, NY.

Harmon Hendrick first set foot on American soil in New York City in 1655, although it was called New Amsterdam and controlled by the Dutch at that time. He married Magdalena Dircks, the widow of Cornelius Caper, in New Amsterdam in 1657. I urge you to read the fascinating story of how Magdalena and Harmon were deported to Holland shortly after their marriage in Appendix A at the end. But fortunately for the American branch of our family, they were allowed to return in June of 1658. They were, however, not permitted to stay in New Amsterdam, so they settled in Kingston, New York.


Harmon Hendricks' Tract

Some time prior to 1863, Harmon purchased a tract of land at the confluence of the Peterskill and Rondout from the Indians and settled there. If you travel south from Kingston on US 209, turn left about 0.4 miles past Stone Ridge onto Old Kings Highway, and go straight until you reach Lucas Turnpike. Continue on Lucas Turnpike for 1.4 miles, turn left on Keyserike Road, cross the bridge over the Rondout and park along Towpath Road. My son and I visited this area in 1999; click the button below to see some photos we took on that trip.

Continuing south on US 209, you will come to Port Jervis, NY, which is very close to the tri-state border of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The Delaware River marks the boundary between New York on the east and Pennsylvania and New Jersey on the west.

Just south of Port Jervis on Route 23 you will cross the border into Sussex County, New Jersey. You will find many of the entries in Allen's book list Sussex County as their residences - not surprising since Allen's residence, Newton New Jersey, is also in Sussex County.

Shortly after crossing into New Jersey you will see a sign for High Point State Park, which is the highest point in New Jersey. There is an obelisk there that was closed when we visited it in 1999. Nevertheless, you can see many miles in all directions from the base of the obelisk. The obelisk itself can be seen from many miles around when the weather is clear. These photos can be seen by clicking the "Mombaccus" button, above.


The Old Mine Road

My son and I visited the area along the Delaware Water Gap National Area in 2000. At one time the federal government decided to build a dam and flood this area along the Delaware River to create a reservoir. They condemned and bought out the properties in the vicinity of the Delaware River in order to accomplish this. Among the places included in this plan were Walpack Center and the home built by Alexander Rosenkrans (#2,) Harmon's eldest son. Alexander's home became known as VanCampen's Inn, the name by which it is known today.

This plan was strongly opposed by the governors of both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and in the end the project was abandoned by the federal government. Nevertheless, the land had been acquired and the people who had been living on it had been relocated, and it became the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as it is known today.

There are very few people or buildings in this area, and when they are gone their land will revert to the federal government. Among those still in the area are the Walpack Historical Society, which meets regularly in the building in the photo below. The sign in the window on the right can be seen in the window in the photo on the left.

               

Newton, NJ, 2000

  Walpack Historical Society

One of the activities of the Walpack Historical Society is the preservation of the building known as the VanCampen Inn. This building was originally built by Harmon's eldest son, Alexander (#2,) and a sketch of it can be seen in Alexander's biography in Allen's book. The pictures of this structure were taken in 2000:

 
Van Campen Inn, Extreme Left   Van Campen Inn, Left
     
 
Van Campen Inn, Front   \Van Campen Inn, Right
     
 
Van Campen Inn, Right Rear   Sketch, ca. 1900

The small structure on the right side of the building, visible in the 1900 sketch, has been taken down since then, but the place where it was can be easily seen in the photos.

To get to the Old Mine Road, you must continue south from Port Jervis on US 209. Note that that if you have visited the obelisk you must first backtrack to Port Jervis. From Port Jervis, US 209 will cross the Delaware River to Matamoras, PA. Immediately after you pass through Matamoras, turn left on US 206, which will take you back across the Delaware River and into New Jersey again. Then look for the Old Mine Road which will come up very quickly on your right.

Many of the people mentioned in Allen's book are buried in the cemetery shown below. This cemetery, and the former church with it, lie within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

abandoned Church and Cemetery

 


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This page was last updated on February 26, 2007 .
Copyright 1997 - 2007 by James P. Rosenkrans, IV.  All rights reserved.