Chestertown pioneers remembered

James Tripp later married Dorathea Mills and they had two sons, Isaac and Thomas Tripp. The Bond and Tripp combined bloodline went on to become a Chester dynasty in their time and Tripp Lake was probably named for patriarch Peleg Tripp. Many members of the Tripp family are buried in the cemetery next to where the burned West Church once stood. It was built in 1830 and again in 1867, south of state Rte. 9.

A history of Chestertown would not be complete without mention of Rev. Jehiel Fox, who is credited as the founder of Chestertown. This good man gave everything he had to the Lord. He was a circuit rider preacher who tirelessly traveled the untamed Adirondack wilderness, preaching to one and all. A Baptist, he established his church in Chester in 1796 and an edifice was built in 1810. He preached regularly in Warrensburgh back when the area was called "The Bridge." To earn a living, Fox established and operated a grist mill in South Gore (Chester) in 1799, back when George Washington was president.

Many steered Chester's development

Moving on to 1813, the first recorded town supervisor was Seba Higley and today, in 2009 attorney Frederick Monroe has that honor.

Other Chestertown notables through the years are pioneer abolitionist Joseph W. Leggett and his son Benjamin F. Leggett; photographer Itsuzo Sumy; editor Jeanne Robert Foster; poet Katherine Carpenter, known by her pen name Kay McKay; hoteliers Albert Thieriot and Harry S. Downs; historians Caroline Fish, Philip Sullivan and Arthur Moffitt; outstanding supervisors John Wertime, Spencer LeFlure and Howard B. Swan. Another notable is long-time hotel operator Tom Carroll, owner since 1957 of the Panther Mountain House, who died June 24, 2009.

Old David Culver, born in 1758, was buried in 1848 on Thieriot Ave. many years before he was dug up again and transported to his new site in the Leggett Cemetery. John Butler Yeats, Irish painter and writer and father of famous poet William Butler Yeats, is buried nearby in the Chestertown cemetery. The history of the Rising House and Down's Hotel could fill a volume. More people with more stories will go on indefinitely in Chestertown until the sun grows cold.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1nycap.rr.com or 623-2210

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