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Warrensburg's rivers, mills and taverns played prominent role in its history

WARRENSBURG - Time grinds away so slowly that we can barely perceive the changes that relentlessly eroding so many familiar landmarks around us.

With the exception of Hackensack Mountain looming over the town, the first early Warrensburgh settlers who populated the area before 1800 would, if they returned today, likely see nothing they recognized.

Just after the American Revolution, John Thurman acquired a vast territory which is now Warrensburg, Bolton, Chester, Thurman, Stony Creek, Johnsburg and a part of Caldwell (now the Town of Lake George). Warrensburgh, as well as the rest of the unpopulated wilderness, was covered with thick pine forests, growing on rocky, sandy soil - an expanse of 68 square miles. The forest was broken only by numerous lakes, streams and Native American trails.

Many know that originally the town was named "The Bridge," but perhaps they don't know why. In 1789, settler Timothy Stowe came to the area and soon after built a toll bridge across the Schroon River near the present Judd Bridge, which is located near D&G Hardware on lower Main St. In those early days, it was impossible to go to the River Street area of town or to Thurman without crossing the Schroon River at some point unless you hiked north through the dense forest over Harrington Hill on foot.

A dam was constructed below Stowe's toll bridge and then a sawmill and a gristmill were built. The little town began to grow from there.

Warrensburgh was also sometimes called "The Rock" for a more prominent landmark. High Rock, as it was later called, loomed across the road from the toll bridge with the top hanging over the dirt trail beneath it. The huge boulder was blasted away in the mid 1920's, in the name of progress, to make room for an expanded state Rte. 9 through town. Decades ago, the Warrensburgh school newspaper was given the name "Hi-Rock" commemorating this landmark.

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