To start the history of Rock Hill, we must begin without Rock Hill for there was no such place when the area was settled and known as the Town of Mamakating in Ulster County. Sullivan County was erected from Ulster County on June 1, 1809. The Town of Thompson, named for Judge William A. Thompson, was erected from the Town of Mamakating in April, 1803.
Reuben Allen settled about half-mile south of Bridgeville about 1795. He served in the Revolutionary War. John Brooks located one mile north of the village, at Wakeman’s Ford about 1787, having come from Mamakating via Sandburgh (now Mountaindale) and Denniston’s Ford, to remain at Wakeman’s. He took the Revolutionary Pledge in 1775, probably at Mamakating.
Glen Wild was settled about 1800 by Judge Johannes Miller and the area was called Miller’s Settlement. Its center lay about one mile east of the Neversink River, near the border of the Town of Fallsburgh on the north, and the Town of Mamakating on the east. Other early settlers were Samuel Adams and Simeon Misner.
One of the earliest settlers in the Bridgeville area was Jabez Wakeman, from Connecticut, who located a mile north of Bridgeville about 1801-1802. Jonathan Hoyt, in the spring of 1804, came from Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut. He settled on the Neversink, half mile south (downriver) from Bridgeville. He lived on two hundred acres until his death in 1833. In 1806, Daniel, Lewis and Daniel Ketcham, Jr. came from Putnam County but their location is uncertain at this writing.
Gales was located on the Newburgh-Cochecton Turnpike near the town lines of Thompson and Mamakating.
The Hackeldam area, downriver from Bridgeville, was settled by a Dutchman, named Hackel. This is all we know of him. He sold his property to Silvieus. He built a dam on Wolf Lake Brook to build a sawmill on the edge of the Neversink. There are natural steps (stone) at the Hackeldam Crossing. Most of the present Rock Hill was called Bridgeville on the early maps and early Census records, both State and Federal. By standing at the site of the iron bridge and looking east across the river at the high rock cliffs, one can imagine how the new post office on Katrina Falls Road was named “Rock Hill,” when it opened in October 29, 1885.
The Post Office >>