Patterson 200 Years
The Proposed Historic District
People have lived for a long time in this beautiful valley where a natural trail, running from New England to the Hudson, makes a gentle bend here along the edge of the Great Swamp. Traces have been found nearby of campsites dating back three thousand years. More recently, but still before the arrival of the Europeans, Indian tribes from Connecticut and from the Hudson Valley shared this area as a summer hunting ground. This trail became one of the main roads used by settlers from New England who began to arrive in the early 1730s and it appears on a map made for General Washington in 1778. The center of Patterson, then called Fredericksburg, was located at the Triangle Inn Corner, now the intersection of Routes 311 and 292. The remains of the original three-way intersection (so typical of that time and this place), and the foundation of the tavern which was located there were destroyed when the intersection was "improved" by N.Y.S.D.O.T.
Patterson was an important town, a center of local government and culture, unconnected to the markets of NYC and the West as were the towns along the Hudson River in the western part of the county. The coming of the railroad in 1840 and its expansion during and after the Civil War changed all that. Patterson became a prosperous agricultural center and the center of Town shifted from one end of Main Street to the other, from the Triangle Inn Corner to the railroad line.
Now Patterson is changing again. The interstate has replaced the railroad and the automobile has taken us from the land to jobs in other areas. Through all this change however, this bend in the road on the edge of the swamp has been a special place where people have shared hunting campfires or church suppers, celebrated births and buried their dead, worshipped their God, remembered their heroes, taught their children and shared with each other the lessons learned from the land. While the structures and groups which are here now all have wonderful stories to tell of more than 200 years of growing up in Patterson, this Historic District is proposed, not as a museum of the past, but as a celebration of the place itself and concern for its continuing existence in the future.