Topics

The main topics are listed below, but many of these pages branch to related subtopics. The pages are well-illustrated with maps, photos, ads, and newspaper clippings. Most of the illustrations appear in "thumbnail" form and have a blue border. These illustrations can be viewed full-size by simply positioning your mouse pointer within the blue border and pressing the left mouse button.

While every attempt has been made to accurately report these events in our Town's history, it must be recognized that the recollections of people will vary, and that even newspapers accounts are not always completely reliable. Some historical accounts are open to interpretation as they are read decades after the fact, and sometimes there are gaps in the chronological sequence between events. But even with those limitations, the stories presented here will provide an informative and, we hope, interesting look back at the events that shaped Patterson and made it what it is today.

Introduction A brief overview of the history of the town of Patterson.
The 18th Century A brief look at the Continental Army encampments and Patterson during the War of Independence.
The late 19th Century The Rev. H. E. Hillery's summary of world, national, and local events in the period from 1865-1875 includes the Civil War, and concludes with a look at the Patterson Presbyterian Church. Also included is the full text of Hillery's book, Putnam County in the Civil War which describes the causes of the Civil War and the contributions of Patterson and Putnam County to the war effort.
Automobiles The "horseless carriage" makes its appearance in Patterson
Area Names Learn about the people after whom our roads and neighborhoods are named.
Businesses The businesses and shops that served the Patterson community
Camp Wilbur Herrlich A Towners farm becomes a summer camp for inner city youth.
Electricity Electric service comes to Patterson
Fires Read about some of the major fires in Patterson's history, and the creation of the Town's first fire department.
The Great Depression Global economic collapse and widespread unemployment marked the years from 1929 to the start of the Second World War.
Green Chimneys Farm and School A former dairy farm becomes a world renowned school that combines specials needs youth with farm animals.
Haviland Hollow A brief look at one of the oldest areas in the town of Patterson.
From Dirt Roads to the Interstate Highway Learn how Patterson's roadways evolved from muddy trails to an ever-growing network of suburban highways.
Historic District Learn about the Historic District in the hamlet of Patterson, which includes the Christ Episcopal, the Patterson Presbyterian, and Patterson Baptist Churches, the Maple Avenue Cemetery and the War Memorial, and the Patterson Grange. Self-guided walking tour brochures are also available.
Early Industries Learn about the early industries in Patterson, including ice harvesting, mills, mining and quarrying, and agriculture and dairy farming.
Movies Motion pictures entertain the Patterson Community.
Native Americans Learn about the indigenous peoples who inhabited the Patterson area before the coming of the European explorers.
NYS Historic Markers Find the locations of the markers in Patterson and learn about the events commemorated by them.
Our Town - 1960 A unique film gives a glimpse of life in Patterson in 1960. Two web streams are available.
The Patterson Library Association Learn the history behind the formation of one of Patterson's most vital services.
The Patterson Post Office Mail service linked Patterson to the rest of the young nation, and the Post Office remains an important part of the Patterson community.
The Patterson Reservoir Discover how close Patterson came to extinction in the early 20th century.
The Patterson School Districts Patterson's education system evolves from a network of one-room schoolhouses to a centralized system.
Patterson Then and Now An interactive photo essay on Patterson through the years.
Patterson Through the Years A collection of short articles on events and people in the Town's history.
Prohibition Learn about the liquor-free "dry" years of 1920-1933.
Putnam Lake Learn about the community created around a man-made recreational lake, and how it became Patterson's most densely populated neighborhood.
Radio The "wireless" comes to Patterson.
The Railroads in Patterson Learn about the two railroads that helped to shape Patterson, The New York and Harlem Railroad and the New York & New England. Also read about the bus service that replaced passenger rail service on the Maybrook Line, and the controversial grade crossings in the Patterson Hamlet.
Sybil Ludington A short biography of a beloved local heroine of the American War of Independence.
The Telephone Telephone service comes to Patterson.
The Town Government Some events and individuals in the development of the Patterson town government.
World War I Learn about the events leading to the War, and the effect on Patterson of the events of the War years.
World War II Learn about the events leading to the second global war, and how our local community was affected by the events of the War years.
The 1950s The threat of an atomic bombing, the Korean War, the Polio crisis, the introduction of television, and other events from the decade.
The 1960s Civil Defense preparedness continues, the Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassination, the 1964-65 World's Fair, and a unique film offers a glimpse of life in Patterson in 1960.