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

Warren also bought the tavern once owned by James Pitts from Jasper Duel and renamed it the Warren House. It remained in the hands of the Warren family, long after James' death, until 1866.

In 1811, James Warren and his son Nelson embarked on a trip to attend an election held at the Nathanial Griffing farm in Thurman, located on the northwest side of the Hudson River near the present-day Thurman Bridge on state Rte. 418.. It wasn't until 1836 that the Legislature appropriated $4,000 for the construction of a bridge at that place - and in earlier years, people had to traverse the river by boat.

As James and Nelson Warren attempted to cross the Hudson, their skiff overturned in the roiling water and James Warren drowned in the sight of his son Nelson, then 10. Legend has it that Nelson's hair turned white and remained that way for the rest of his life. The whole town mourned the loss of this well-liked industrious man.

Two years later, on Feb. 12, 1813, Warrensburgh split from Thurman and became a town, but historical documents don't detail why the name "Warrensburgh" was chosen.

But pioneer John Thurman's middle name was Warren. Warren County was named for Dr. Joseph Warren, the hero of Bunker Hill. It is said that coming into town there was a big sign saying "Warrens" with an arrow pointing to the ashery. James Warren had died just two years earlier and he was well remembered - and his wife Malinda, who now ran the Warren House hotel with her young son, was respected. Although many other citizens may have deserved the honor, it was decided to name the town Warrensburgh. At the end of the 19 century, postal officials dropped the 'h."

We may think that life is now as good as it gets, however great wonders are yet to come. But we, like the early town settlers, will never live to see them.

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