The center of a Palatine community had begun to form around a large flat rock surface called the Kaatsbaan that made a clearing on a rise over which the Kings Highway passed. This site gave a comforting view of the land around and became the place where the farmers met to discuss business, to meet new neighbors and to worship.

"Kaatsbaan" is literally translated "tennis court" but more correctly means "hand ball court". There were other locations with a similar name in other Dutch settlements and could have been flat, hard spots chosen specifically because the amusement potential that they offered made a good excuse for a meeting place. These may have existed for centuries before as the Indians are represented as playing ball on them when the first Dutch arrive.

The lands surrounding the Kaatsbaan and further west had never been planted by the Indians and had never been cleared. The Palatine German farmers had a different preference in farmland to the Dutch. Both the Dutch and the Indians farmed low, almost marshy meadowland at the banks of small rivers, or kills. The Germans, whether from generations of being invaded or because their planting techniques required a different soil type, found the high knolls more to their liking. These lands were not lands of low bushes and in most cases required considerable clearing. When the Palatines moved west to clear farmsteads it was into a dense oak and pine forest.

The large-scale agriculture focus in the more settled areas of Kingston, Hurley and Marbletown was only evident in Saugerties around Dutch Settlement and into the Great Meadow and the Churchland. Only after the disbanding of the Palatine population of West Camp did farming activity in the northern frontier of Saugerties begin to be considered by the Dutch of Kingston.

The Palatine homesteaders were hard workers and soon their cleared lands around Kaatsbaan and the potential of using their excess energy as labor attracted the Dutch into areas that had been Indian plantations. In 1719 Evert Wynkoop, the son of Cornelius Wynkoop, one of the original Nieue Dorp settlers of 1662, purchased the majority of the Meals and Hayes patent at the Beaver Kill and built a stone house, the Wynkoop House, on the Kings Highway. In the next five years he added a considerable number of adjacent tracts purchased from the Corporation of Kingston to this.

Closer to the river the early stone houses still found in the village of Saugerties today were on lands originally Indian plantations. On Main Street Hisakia Du Bois built the Kiersted House and Egbert Schoonmaker built the Schoonmaker House (1727). John Persen built the earlier Mynderse House on the River.

These first non-Palatine settlers in Saugerties also show a distinct interest in waterpower; power for sawmills in particular. The obvious reason for this is the availability of timber from the lands that the new settlers were clearing and the general demand for a lumber product that could be easily shipped out by river.

John Wood, Saugerties' first settler, is shown to be ambitiously expanding his mill locations up to the Sawyerkill in 1717 and it is presumed that John Persen, who owned the other half of the Esopus outlet Meals and Hayes patent after 1712, installed a sawmill below the first fall on the Esopus sometime shortly after his purchase. There are indications that many more leased mill sites lined the banks of the Esopus at its first and second falls at this time.

At about this same time deeds from John Wood's sons to John Legg and Abraham Du Bois mention the "Negro Mill" as a landmark indicating that workers other than the Palatines were being used by the Dutch and Huguenot mill owners.

Later, before 1740, the old Bolting Act forbidding the milling of flour outside of New York City became unenforceable and Saugerties became a center for flour mills. Not only the Esopus, but its Sawkill and Plattekill tributaries and also the Kaaterskill high up on the northwest plateau, attracted investors and a new breed of non-farming settlers. Over the next decade this attracted the attention of both the landed Dutch of Kingston and the owners of the Hardenbergh patent.

In a short 20 years following the Palatines’ arrival a richly diverse community begins to be evident. By 1732 the Dutch are sufficiently settled to make a petition to the Corporation of Kingston for a deeding of the Kaatsbaan to the Dutch Reformed Church for a stone church to be built on this site.

Dutch and Palatine farmers from as far away as Kiskatom, Catskill and the Woodstock Valley had been making the journey every Sunday to Kaatsbaan to meet there. The church that they built on their meeting site in 1732 was to become a landmark on every map of Colonial America. Saugerties, itself, and the Esopus harbor would not warrant mention on a map for many more years to come. The only way to know where Saugerties was on any map made before 1800 was to look for "Kaatsbaan Kirk”, the only significant place name between Groote Esopus (Kingston) and Catskill.

The church at Kaatsbaan was a symbol of the solidarity of the Saugerties community. This early community could feel politically secure in its devout adherence to the Dutch Reformed Church and its relationship to the local control of the Trustees of the Kingston Commons. With this assurance, by the mid-18th century it had settled into a pattern of settlement highlighted by cultivated farmland and sturdy stone homes connected by well traveled herding paths, wagon roads and highways.

Between the time of the founding of the Kaatsbaan Church in 1732 and the beginning of the French and Indian War there was economic upheaval in New York. Pennsylvania became the main grain-producing center of the colonies and Philadelphia outgrew New York City as a population and shipping center. A corresponding decrease in the demand for the grain of New York brought about a failure of many of the Dutch planters of Kingston and millers of New York City. Both the planters and millers relied heavily on slave workers for production and the drop in demand made support of this idle workforce a considerable drain on the wealth of both communities. At the same time support of the local militias that were the frontier defense against the French, a unique responsibility of New York, stressed the treasuries of the counties and the manors. The owners of the manors and large patent lands settled by leaseholds needed to support their share of the militia out of their rents. The rent was paid in wheat.

The settlement of the Palatines on subsistence farmsteads in the Saugerties region and their willingness to provide frontier defenses at their homes and man the militias out of a sense of self interest provided a great advantage to the Corporation of Kingston at this time. This, and their basic ingenuity, skill and irascible independence provided the cushion that was disparately needed to keep Kingston a thriving community.

The Palatine immigrants had an angry and defensive character mainly directed against their archenemy, the French. Earlier; in 1710, before ever reaching America, they had organized to march on Canada and planned their settlement as close to that border as possible. It was only the catastrophic destruction of the British fleet in a storm in the St. Lawrence that year that spoiled this chance for vengeance. Later, at West Camp, their latent hostility teemed as they voiced their dissatisfaction with conditions under what they considered unjust bondage and servitude; so much so that the complete venture that they were central to was dissolved. Once settled in the Saugerties Region they ever looked to the looming wall of the Catskills as a potential threat to their homes and families. Just over the peaks they anticipated raids from the French and their Indian allies and could never lower their guard for fear of the attack.

The Saugerties region is divided down the middle with the eastern farmland deeded out early and more settled. The western half was recognized as wilder and kept as common lands by Kingston. The needs of the colonial militia for protection against French Canada encouraged the Corporation of Kingston to deed homesteads to the Palatines in the northwest frontier of Saugerties.

The Palatines of Saugerties were a perfect guardian for this northern frontier of the Kingston Commons with its dark passageways into the wild mountainous interior. They were in constant contact with their sister settlements across these mountains in the Schoharie Valley and into Pennsylvania and knew all the Indian paths in between.

As these settlers cleared their land, planted their fields and built their fortress homes along the highways, pathways and trails their sturdy stone walls, as ready for defense as the character of their builders, protected these vital thoroughfares. Though no battle took place at Saugerties, if one had, this region, made critical to the defense against any advancing army because of its constricted landscape between the mountains and the river, would have been well prepared to protect the valuable, low heartland of Kingston and the heart of the Colony, the Hudson River. If one were to describe the Saugerties region before and during the French and Indian War, the only word that would fit would be "defensible".

Kingston’s Palatine homesteads attracted a competitiveness for land from the second generation of Livingstons who owned the Hardenbergh patent to the west. In 1728 Robert (of Clarmont), the second son of Robert R. Livingston (the Founder), inherited a comparatively small portion of the original manor that was the land on the east side of the Hudson River directly opposite Saugerties. Nearly 6,000 acres had been separated from it for the Palatine settlement at East Camp (Germantown). The remainder he called Clermont. In an effort to expand his land holdings he took possession by various means of the Hardenbergh patent which comprised close to 2.5 million acres over nearly the whole of the Catskill mountain range. The closest settlement on this land was Woodstock, accessed by the ancient Indian path that ran right through the middle of Saugerties.

In the early 1750’s Robert Livingston of Clermont began to attract a new immigration of German homesteaders onto land overlapping the west claims of the Corporation of Kingston and along the rough roads that passed through the high mountain valleys of his Hardenbergh patent. Conflicting claims between the settlers on Kingston land and Livingston leases in the present Manorville and West Saugerties section of Saugerties led to an arbitrated settlement of the western bounds of the Corporation of Kingston extending to the northeast corner of the Hardenbergh patent on the Kaaterskill Creek - well into Albany County.

Documentation of this fight for jurisdiction over the land sheds light on the level of habitation that was in Saugerties at the time. The records of lease agreements between landed families and farm workers, the housing of slaves close to the pastureland, added to the large number of Palatine and more recent immigrant homesteads, show a Saugerties that is highly settled with a good stock of sturdy housing and cleared land by the close of the 1750’s. As a part of the growing population of the whole region this made Kingston a major force in the politics and economy of the time.

New York City had grown as a center of the slave market in the 1740’s and in the 1750’s as a major garrison for troops during the French and Indian War. Kingston, with its grain fields, water powered mills, vast herds of beef and swine and easy access to major transportation arteries prospered as it fed its hungry neighbor to the south. This attracted the attention of the Colonial authorities and the Crown in a way that would shape the destiny of all of New York.

Two of the earliest maps of Saugerties that exist are from the immediate post French and Indian War period. The 1763 map of Charles Clinton was to show the extent of occupation in Saugerties at the end of the French and Indian War. A map made by William Cockburn in 1765 of the "Division Line between the Countys of Albany and Ulster from the Mouth of the Sawyers Creek (west as the needle points) to the River Delaware being 75 ¾ miles” under the authority of Lt. Governor Cadwallander Colden reemphasizes the position of the Crown on the limits of the claim of the Corporation of Kingston. They are both made in response to policies that would lead Saugerties into the Revolution.

England was an empire with all of Canada and India and the French Carribean possessions after the Treaty of Paris. But maintaining an empire is expensive and the treasury was empty. The troops also had not been paid. To keep political havoc from happening back home King George III and the Tory Parliament distributed land as bounty grants to pay the officers and soldiers who fought in the war. In addition to resolving the payroll debt this was to encourage its soldiers to stay in the colonies and its officers to take on the responsibilities of local government there.

At one point the British Army was 25,000 strong just in the American Colonies during the war. An additional 15,000 mariners were in the fleet. With 40 acres to privates and 2000 acres to commanding officers being given, a lot of land had to be available to support the royal largess.

Most of the available lands were west of the Appalachians, in central New York and into Canada. Speculation companies in England were feverishly paying cash for the bounty rights of soldiers and making specific claims for the best lands. George Washington, as a Colonial officer, had already petitioned the Crown for 2.5 million acres at the junction of the Mississippi and the Ohio using the bounties his Mississippi Company speculators bought from Virginia Militia soldiers.

Included among these remote frontier lands were 2000 acre grants from the Crown’s unappropriated lands in a portion of the Hudson Valley spanning all of southern and western Albany County bordering Rensselaer manor and the Kingston and Hardenberg patents. These were the prizes of all the bounty grants because they were already settled and improved. They came with “instant tenants” and would make the grantees instant “lords” over large productive estates.

There was an overt political motive behind making these lands available. The period of the war had been very good to the Colonial “lords” like the Livingstons and the Beekmans and to the landholding Trustees of Kingston. Their wealth had compounded in these years and wealth had made them feel independent enough to demand that the Colonial Assembly have representation in the Parliament of England. Curbing this independent spirit by placing royal grants on the wealthy doorsteps of the most outspoken Colonial landlords was Parliament’s response.

Half of the Saugerties Region and all of the Catskill and Schoharie regions, were available for military bounty grants and these were all lands settled by the Palatines.

The Palatines thought they owned their land in Saugerties. They had deeds conveyed by the Trustees of the Corporation of Kingston. If the Crown did not recognize this ownership all their homes could be converted to leased farmsteads. Their ownership rights in Kingston were an anomaly in the Hudson Valley. In the manors and patents all around Kingston the farmsteads were leaseholds. All of their brethren’s homesteads in the Schoharie were also on disputed land now open to grant. There was nowhere for any of them to turn.

The period between 1763 and 1767 saw a frenzy of surveying activity to the north and west of the Kingston Patent mostly by William Cockburn working for William Beekman and Edward and Philip Livingston of Livingston Manor and Robert Livingston of Clermont for the Hardenbergh patent and also for Cadwallander Colden, Lt. Governor of the Colony. They all wanted to define their personal claims to settled lands in the Catskill region of Albany County to either counter or take advantage of the Crown’s search for available lands to grant.

William Cockburn’s marriage into the Trumpbour family, Palatines who had been farming the acreage from Kaatsbaan, north for nearly three generations, may have provided a great benefit to the Corporation of Kingston and its claim to the lands of other Palatine settlers. By respecting the boundaries of these previously settled farmsteads in his surveys as “Grants by Queen Anne” he effectively defined the northern boundary of the Kingston Commons.

Two other surveyors that had a stake in Saugerties were Charles Clinton, father of the first governor of New York State, George Clinton, and the future Governor’s brother, General James Clinton. George Clinton’s mother-in-law was the granddaughter of Evert Wynkoop, purchaser of the Meales and Hays Beaverkill patent and other adjacent lands on the Kings Highway in Saugerties. When Charles Clinton made his 1763 map of all the inhabitants of the “North Bounds of the Corporation of Kingston” many of them were friends and soon to become in-laws. In 1771 James Clinton made the first official map of the bounds of the Kingston lands with the Sawyerkill source as the north bound.

The purpose of the 1763 survey was to relate all the inhabitants in the disputed land to the Corporation of Kingston even though the boundary line between the counties places them outside of the originating Kingston patent. The point was to show the names as those who had loyally served in the Militia of Kingston during the French and Indian War. This clearly made them entitled to their homesteads. Since their agreements and deeds originated from Kingston’s Trustees this map anticipated a question of the extent of the “Claim of the Corporation of Kingston” which the later map of James Clinton defined.

However, against this convincing argument, six thousand acres resting on a county line from the mouth of the Sawyerkill was still granted in 1767 as military bounty lands. This made a mile-wide swath stretching from the Hardenberg patent’s east boundary to include most of the land at the Hudson River, right through the middle of the claim of Kingston in Saugerties. It essentially depriving Kingston of any connection to a farther north boundary.

The granting of these lands ignored the Wynkoop deeds from the Trustees of Kingston and the Trustees’ negotiated settlements with Robert Livingston. When George Clinton married into the Wynkoop family in 1770 he was becoming part not only of the grievance of his wife’s uncle, Evert Wynkoop, a captain in the Kingston militia, but also of the powerful Robert Livingston whose land route to the river these bounty lands overlaid and potentially blocked.

This single provocative act granting military bounties in Saugerties served to unify the full population of Kingston in distrust of the Crown and Parliament. In June of 1775, after the battle of Concord and Lexington, the Articles of Association pledging to support a separate New York State was signed by all but 33 of its 597 voting freeholders. The next election of Trustees of the Corporation in March, 1776 dropped from its minutes the customary recognition of the authority of the Legislature of the Colony of New York over its proceedings.

The following year, on Wednesday, the 12th of March, one week after the election of the Trustees of the Corporation of Kingston, the draft of the Constitution of New York State written by John Jay was introduced at the same meeting place in Kingston. This Constitution was approved on the 20th of April, 1777 and published and read in front of the court house in Kingston the following Tuesday marking the birth of New York State.

The Constitution called for a Governor elected by male residents of the state owning freeholds worth at least a hundred pounds. It also eliminated special representation from corporations, towns and manors but opened voting for an enlarged Assembly to all owning at least 20 pound freeholds or paying a least 2 pounds per year in rent. Though this eliminated the Corporation of Kingston’s special voice in the Assembly it made a large number of its freeholders eligible to vote for Governor. An even larger number could vote for representatives and even be representatives themselves.

The power of Kingston’s landholding population mustered its political unity just months later when through its vote George Clinton narrowly edged out General Philip Schuyler, John Jay and John Morris Scott to win the state’s first gubernatorial election. Kingston would see him elected to this office for eight terms and later to the vice-presidency of the United States for two.

Michael Sullivan Smith

Overview: Locating the first Homestead

The land south of the Esopus Creek in the Meals and Hayes patent is a large parcel that extends all the way from the Hudson River west to where the Esopus Creek turns east and enters the present mill pond. It extended north to include all the land from the present Barclay Street down to the location of Saugerties' early industrial revolution mill sites. This land and the land to its north and south, were separated from the central valley and the Kings Highway by the deep Esopus Gorge and the Kaleberg hills that it cut through. An early settler in this land was totally separated from the population center of Kingston.

It is possible to pinpoint, thanks to a later deed, the actual location of the homestead of John and Hanna Wood. In 1705 John Wood asked the Corporation of Kingston for a deed to some land adjacent to his 1687 purchase so that he could put fences on higher ground. There are three important landmarks used in this deed. One is a wagon road, the other is the house of John Wood at the wagon road and the third is the second fall on the Esopus.

The second fall on the Esopus was at Stony Point. After 1825, Barclay's dam on the first fall flooded it under the millpond. In John Wood's day the creek was much narrower behind Stony Point and was bound by a stretch of fertile bottomland, on the inside bank of the creek. This was a sheltered location, ideal for a homestead. This place and the house site of John and Hannah Wood is now visible across the creek from the Esopus Drive neighborhood at the base of Main Street and is in the land of the present Esopus Bend Conservancy.

A part of the present Town/Village boundary line follows the course of the wagon road that went past the door of John and Hannah Wood and continued up the hill that forms the south ridge of Stony Point. Above the waterfall at Stony Point, still following the Town/Village line, this ancient wagon road crossed the Esopus Creek at a ford.

Overview: Early Families in Saugerties

An early interest in Saugerties is expressed in a document of 1739/40 wherein the Kingston Trustees give a quite claim to the heirs of Barent Burhans that stated he had prior possession to lands given subsequently by patent under King James II to Meales and Hays in 1687. This document shows the Trustees placing their authority over the non Kingston patent lands in the way of their expansion north at the Hudson River assets of the present village of Saugerties. This document is a recognition of the growing importance of the community in what is referred to in it as ”at Sagerties in the bounds of the Town of Kingston”.

The founding Jan Burhans of the Burhans family was in Wiltwyck in the early 1660’s. Along with the Wynkoops, Dubois’ and Schoonmakers these were all early Dutch era settlers that had grown large families over time. They all had outgrown the practical division of their initial plantation lands nearer Kingston and Hurley and by the third generation were looking for new land.

These families are among the earliest permanent settlers of Saugerties. The early stone DuBois (Kiersted) and Schoonmaker houses’ placement on the north side of Main Street made them outside of the Meales and Hays patent and built before the Corporation of Kingston literally annexed that land. Earlier, in 1719, Cornelius Wynkoop had bought the Meales and Hays Beaverkill patent and built the stone Wynkoop house on the Kings Highway just north of the original Ulster County line. Schoonmakers andWynkoops may have been the first of the early Dutch families to spread this far north.

Comparatively new arrivals such as the Martin Snyder family, that had been working off their passage from Germany in New Paltz, also found the availability of land in Saugerties attractive. Before 1740 he had settled near Christian Myers, a Palatine, who had purchased land from Petrus Winne and built a stone house east of the Churchland along the Mudderkill in 1724. The 1750 Marius Snyder stone house on Churchland Lane is just south of the line that ran between the original Ulster and Albany Counties and the early north bounds of the Kingston patent.

Just west of the Marius Snyder house is the earlier stone Schoonmaker house on Ricks Lane in Veteran situated under Cockburn Hill. Cockburn Hill is a landmark whose northern-most prominence marked the line that separated the counties. This was named after the surveyor, William Cockburn, who in 1763 mapped the border. He later built the stone house on Powdermill Road and farmed under the south slopes of Mount Marion.

Following Cockburn’s surveyed border west the DeWitt stone house on the present Fishcreek Road and two stone Wolven houses south of the Woodstock wagon road (Rt. 212) also mark early farmsteads within the Kingston patent that hug its early north boundary.

Palatine families such as the Wolvens, Mynderses and Trumpbours were already spreading out to settle their second generation by the 1740’s. The DeWolven stone house just north of the village on the river, dating from around 1728, is the first homestead of the Wolvens. The Mynderse stone house on the river in the village was built by John Persen, a Dutchman, after 1719. His daughter married Myndert Mynderse, a Palatine. Further north across the Sawyerkill from West Camp the 1732 Trumphour stone house was built with a prominent placement on the Kings Highway. Other markers of the course of the Kings Highway, going south of the Trumpbour homestead, are the stone Kaatsbaan Church and its stone parsonage, the stone Wynkoop house, the stone Christian Myer house, the stone DeMyer, Peter Winne, and finally the second and first stone Brink houses before crossing the southern border of Saugerties.

The last four farmsteads, beginning with the 1701 stone house of the first Brink homestead, still maintained a relationship to Kingston as its early Dutch Settlement district. From their positioning on the Kings Highway many more stone houses begin to spread up along the Plattekill Creek and the Vlykill. Flanking the high banks and cascades of these streams are the ancient stone houses of the early mill operators who first made their claims in 1667. Just north of these on the level fields of the inside curve of the Plattekill is the 1750 stone house of Hendricus Wynkoop and an equally ancient stone house north of the Plattekill curve on the continuation of this level ground.

This cluster of ten or perhaps originally many more homestead houses around the streams and falls in Mount Marion were positioned to utilize the grazing fields they accessed from herding paths that paralleled the break in the hills made by the Plattekill. The upper reaches where the Plattekill and its tributaries wind through stone ridges that step their way up to the base of the Catskill escarpment was all common pasturage and this break in the Hoogebergs was the most direct access from below. Up this break where the Plattekill finds level ground are the early farmsteads already mentioned of the Wolven and Dewitt stone houses.

The relationship of these to the Kings Highway makes them equally distanced from Kingston village and the developing commercial center further north that was centered on the Wynkoop house. Mount Marion and the Hoogebergs make a wedge that made a community relationship to Kingston more likely for homesteads up the Plattekill Creek and into the interior. Along the Kings Highway, beginning at the original DeMeyer grant stone house, are three Myer stone houses found stretching north three miles in the17th Century DeMeyer “Great Meadow” grant. These likely began the homesteads that saw themselves as part of a new Saugerties separate from the old Kingston community. The homesteads of the interior would join this new community with the improvement of the wagon road access to the Kings Highway through present day Veteran.

1763 List of occupants of Saugerties North of Kingston

from: “Map of the North bounds of the Corporation of Kingston laid down by a scale of 40 chains to an inch by Char. Clinton May the 20, 1763” to a “line from the mouth of the Sawyers Kill with 4° variation 543 ch. 44 l to the range of the Blew Mountains N27°E”

1. Major Dan Wolfen’s Tract
2. Minard Scutt’s Patent
3. Fullerton’s Patent
N 4; 5; 6 Grant to Richard Hays and George Meales
7. A tract Granted to Dedrick Marterstock
8. Granted to Col. Beekman and Gilbert Livingston
9. Granted to George Meales
10. Catsban Church
11. Zachariah Snyder’s house
12. Evert Wynkoop’s house
13. Willm Dedrick’s house
14. Mindert Dedrick’s house
15. Hezekiah DuBois’ house & lott
16. Jan Post’s house
17. Abraham Post’s house
18. Pertrus Myer’s house
19. Ury Humble’s house
20. Schoolhouse
21. William Right Myer’s house
22. The house of Hezekiah DuBois
23. Johannas Trumpo’s house
24. Petrus Luyks’ house
25. Peter Freligh’s house
26. Richard Davenport’s house
27. John Lukes’ house
28. Egbert Schoonmaker
29. Samuel Schoonmaker
30. Schoolhouse
31. Jacobus Post
32. John Monk & John Tronnal
33. Johannas Myers
34. Isaac Post’s house and Lot to Brouser Dickers

35. Petrus Evenhal
36. Adam Short’s house
37. Fredrick Isenar’s house
38. Hendrick Osterhout’s house
39. Johannas Young house
40. Wilhelmus Folk house
41. Hans Ury Eligh house
42. Wilhelmus Row house
43. Peter McGee’s house
44. Cornelius Osterhout’s house
45. Tunis Aspel’s house
46. Johannis Freelings house
47. Johannis Mouries’ house
48. William Myer’s house
49. Capt. Tobias Wynkoop’s house
50. Johannis Folk’s house
51. Evert Wynkoop Jr.’s house
52. Johannis Honnel’s house
53. Ironimus Folkenbergh’s house
54. Marla Snyder
55. Ephraim VanKeura’s house
56. Johannis Plankr
57. Laurance Wynna
58. Jeremiah Snyder
59. Mathias Markell
60. Tunas Shad
61. Hendrick Wolffen
63. John Wolfen
64. Christian Snyder
65. Jacob Brink

The Great Knot, April 27, 2011

Michael Sullivan Smith, 2015
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5 Kingston
Pre-Revolution population centered on the church at Kaatsbaan in the northern land of the Corporation of Kingston