Eberle photo of Red Rock Cemetery and Christian Church

Eberle Photo of Red Rock Cemetery and Christian Church, Red Rock N. Y.

Circa 1901



John Howes Coxon

April 2023

An Introduction

There has been some discussion of late about whether the Red Rock Rural Cemetery and the Christian Church were related. The Church meeting house stood on what is now the cemetery grounds from 1829 until it burned in 1933, leading many to wonder if the cemetery was a consecrated Church burying ground.

Were they formally related? No, I don't think so.

Further investigation may prove me wrong but I haven't found any evidence that the cemetery and the Church were related beyond sharing a location and prominent roles in the community. Here's what I have found.

1 ~ 1814 — The Early Burial Ground

Early burials include members of several families. It seems William Goodrich generously offered Richard W. Bishop's family a spot on their farm to bury Richard upon his death in 1814. From there that area slowly grew as a burial ground as William continued to offer spots to his neighbors in need.

2 ~ 1830 — Christian Church Acquires Meeting House Property

There is no mention of the cemetery in the deed and all the earlier burials fall outside the deeded parcel. See attached Map.

3 ~ 1847 — Red Rock Rural Cemetery Association Organized

I see no reference in the cemetery book to an association of the cemetery with the Christian Church, other than that the organizers "met at Christian Chapel".

4 ~ 1873 — Chester Goodrich Farm Sold to Addison Burrows

"Excepting and reserving from this conveyance three plots of burying ground of Common size from any ground which may be deeded from the above premises to the Cemetery Association of Red Rock such as the parties of the first part may select".

5 ~ 1873 — Cemetery Acquires More Land

This becomes what is now known as the West Section and the New Section. The three Goodrich plots are reserved.

6 ~ 1900 — Red Rock Celebrates 150th Anniversary

I see no indication in these articles to indicate the cemetery was associated with the Church.

7 ~ 1922 — Christian Church Centennial Celebration

I find no reference to an association between the Church and the cemetery in this article.

8 ~ 1933 — Christian Church Burns

After the church burned and the congregation disbanded was the church property deeded to the cemetery? That I don't know.

9 ~ 1963 — Red Rock A Picturesque Community

"The Christian Church stood near the Red Rock cemetery and flourished for years, until it was destroyed by fire on June 23, 1933."

Attached ~ Cemetery Map With Deeds Superimposed

1 ~ 1814 — The Early Burial Ground

Let's start with the nine earliest burials I'm aware of, all before the construction of the Christian Church meeting house in 1829, and all while the burial ground was owned by William Goodrich and, after his death in 1821, by his son Chester.

These early burials include members of several families. It seems William Goodrich generously offered Richard W. Bishop's family a spot on their farm to bury Richard upon his death in 1814. From there that area slowly grew as a burial ground as William continued to offer spots to his neighbors in need. Later William's son Chester inherited the farm upon his father's death and continued to offer spots to neighbors.

I don't know exactly where many of these folks are buried. A visit to the cemetery might pin down some of these grave locations. That said, I don't see any indication that any of these burials were located outside the "old cemetery", now the East Section.

Burials Before the Church was Built

2 ~ 1830 — Christian Church Acquires Meeting House Property

The Christian Church was organized on the 25th day of May 1822, with seven members and the meeting house was built in 1829 on Chester Goodrich's farm next to the burial ground (before the Church acquired the property from Chester). The shed across the road was built at this time also.

In March 1830, shortly after the meeting house and shed were built, Chester Goodrich deeded a roughly triangular half acre of property, barely encompassing the buildings, to the Christian Church.

There is no mention of the cemetery in the deed and all the earlier burials fall outside the deeded parcel.

See attached Map.

1830-03-25 Deed — Chester Goodrich to Christian Church

This Indenture made the twenty fifth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty . Between Chester Goodrich and Phebe his wife of the town of Canaan in the County of Columbia and State of New York: of the first part, and John Wilcox, Reuben Jenkins, and Warren Ford. "Trustees of the Christian Church and Society in the town of Canaan" County of Columbia and State of New York aforesaid of the second part Witnesseth. That the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars, lawful money of the United States of America to them in hand paid by the parties of the second part, at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have granted, bargained, sold, aliened, remised, released, conveyed and confirmed and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, alien, remise, release and convey, unto the said party of the second part and to their successors in office, forever All that certain piece or parcel of land, situated in the said town of Canaan, County and State aforesaid. Butted, bounded and described as follows. Beginning at a Stake and Stones, on the East side of the road leading from the Christian Meeting house on the premises hereby conveyed to the house of J G Ford. The North East corner of the meeting house bearing South one half degree East. Thence S. 25 degrees East 4 chains 60 links to the end of a Stone wall formerly a Stake and Stones on the West side of a Small Brook and on the North side of the Indian Brook so called, thence S 53 degrees W. 2 chs 49 links to a stake and Stones 33-1/2 links from the South West corner of the shed erected on the same premises _ thence North 45 degrees W. 1 ch 16 links crossing the road from Red Rock to West Stockbridge. To a stake and Stones. The South West corner of the Meeting house bearing from this point North 25-1/2 degrees East 1 ch 36 links _ thence N. 3 Degrees E. 4 chs 76 links to a Stake and Stones on the West side of the first mentioned road to the house of J. G. Ford _ thence crossing said road N. 58-1/2 degrees East 56 links to the place of beginning Containing over and above the highway ways one half acre of Land. Together with all & singular the rights, [members?], privileges, hereditaments, and appurtenances. thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining. And also all the estate, right, title, interest, dower possession claim and demand of the said parties of the first part, of, in, or to the same, and the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders, rents, [word] and profits thereof. To have and to hold the herein before granted premises, with all and singular the rights members, privileges, hereditaments and appurtenances [word] unto belonging, unto the said party of the second part. and their successors to the sole and only proper use, benefit and behoof of the said party of the second part. And their successors forever. And the said parties of the first part, for themselves, their heirs, executors and administrators, do covenant grant and agree to and with the said party of the second part, and their successors in Office, that the said parties of the first part at the time of the unsealing and delivery of these presents were lawfully seized in their own right of a good absolute and indefeasible estate of inheritance in fee simple, of and in all and singular the above described premises, and have good right, full power, and lawful authority to grant and convey the same, in manner and form aforesaid. And that the said party of the second part and their successors in Office, shall and may at all times hereafter, quietly and peacefully have, hold, use, occupy, possess and enjoy the above granted premises with the appurtenances, without any let, suit, trouble, molestation, eviction or disturbance of the said parties of the first part, their heirs or assigns or of any other person or persons lawfully claiming or to claim the same. And that the same now are free, clear, discharged, and unencumbered, of and from all former and other grants, titles, charges, estates, judgements, taxes, assessments and encumbrances of what nature and kind soever. And also that the said parties of the first part, and their heirs, and all and every other person or persons whomsoever, lawfully or equitably deriving any estate, right, title, or interest of, in, or to the herein before granted premises, by, from, under, or in trust for them, or any of them, shell and will, at any time or times, hereafter, upon the reasonable request and at the proper costs and charges in the law, of the said party of the second part, or their successors, make, do, and execute, or cause or procure to be made, done and executed all & every such further and other lawful and reasonable [word], conveyances and appearances in the law for the better and more effectually vesting and confirming the premises hereby intended to be granted inland to the said parties of the second part and their successors forever as by the said party of the second part, their successors in Office, or their counsel learned in the law, shall be reasonably desired advised or required. And the said parties of the first part, and their heirs, the above described and hereby granted and released premises, and every part and parcel thereof, with the appurtenances unto the said party of the second part, and their successors, against the said parties of the first part and their heirs, and against all and every other person and persons whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same shall and will Warrant and by these presents forever Defend. The parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and Seals the day & year above written.


Chester Goodrich L.S.

Phebe Goodrich L. S.


Sealed & delivered in the presence of

J. G. Ford

David Pettit


State of New York. County of Columbia. On the twenty fifth day of March in the year One thousand eight hundred and thirty before me appeared Chester Goodrich and Phebe his wife, persons to me well known, to be the persons described in and who executed the written indenture, and severally acknowledged that the executed the written Indenture as their free act and Deed for the use and purpose therein mentioned, And I have examined the said Phebe privately and apart from her said husband & upon such examination she acknowledged that she executed the written indenture freely without any fear or compulsion of her said husband, and having examined the written indenture I find no material erasures or interlineations except what were note before signing _ J. G. Ford Commissioner of Deeds

Recorded 9 April 3/4 past 3. O'clock P.M.

I Francis Silvester for and in the consideration of the sum of one Dollar to me in hand paid by John Wilcox, Reuben Jenkins and Warren Ford within mentioned, do hereby release all right I have of and unto the premises within mentioned to them and their successors by virtue of a mortgage I hold against the same premises, holding the same Mortgage in full force against the residue of the land contained in the said Mortgage, the same as if this writing had not been made. This writing is made by and with approbation of Chester Goodrich the Mortgagor. Witness my hand and Seal this eighth day of April one thousand eight hundred and thirty

Sealed & delivered in the presence of J. G. Ford. Alanson Ford .. Francis Silvester L.S.

State of New York Columbia County On this eighth day of April 1833[sic] personally appeared Francis Silvester to me well known to be the same person described in the above release, and acknowledged that he executed the same as his free [word] and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned. J. G. Ford Commissioner of Deeds

Recorded 9 April 1833[sic] at 3/4 past 3 O'clock P.M.

Columbia County Deeds - Book S, Page 383, available at: "United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9W7-M6CC?cc=2078654&wc=M7H5-G68%3A358136801), Columbia > Deeds 1831-1834 vol R-S > image 544 of 644; multiple county courthouses, New York.

3 ~ 1847 — Red Rock Rural Cemetery Association Organized

In April 1847 the Legislature of the State of New York passed an act authorizing the incorporation of rural cemetery associations. In November the Red Rock Rural Cemetery Association organized and Chester Goodrich deeded the burial grounds to the Association.

This deed was not recorded or was incorrectly indexed; I failed to find it.

I see no connection to the Christian Church, other than that the organizers "met at Christian Chapel".

Redrock rural cemetery book

We whose names are hereunto subscribed do certify that on the 11th day of November 1847 Samuel Moore Jos G. Ford H. D. Ford Valentine J Wilcox Zenas Burrows Ashley Blinn Edward Clark John Hervey John Wilcox Martin Vanderburgh Robert Reynolds, Albert Wilcox David Ford, David G. Thorp Abijah Doty Samuel DeGroff John C. Waggoner, Lorenzo D. Ford, and John J. Vanderburgh residents of the state of New York met at Christian Chapel in the town of Canaan and County of Columbia and proceeded to form an association for the purpose of procuring and holding lands to be used exclusively for a Cemetery or place for the burial of the dead. Pursuant to an act of the Legislature of the State of New York Chapter 133. Entitled an act authorizing the incorporation of rural cemetery associations. Passed April 27th 1847. Samuel Moore by a vote of majority of the persons present and above named — carried over

Page 2

Was appointed Chairman and Joseph G, Ford Secretary.

We further Certify that the Corporate name determined upon by which the Association should be called and known was Redrock rural cemetery Association

That the number of Trustees determined upon to manage the Concerns of the association was nine —

That the Trustees were elected by ballot whose names were as follows to wit Ashley Blinn Martin Vanderburgh David G. Thorp Lorenzo D Ford Hiram D Ford John Wilcox Jos. G. Ford Robert Reynolds and Samuel Degroff.

That of the Trustees so elected Jos. G, Ford Samuel DeGroff and Robert Reynolds belonged to the first Class John Wilcox Lorenzo D. Ford and Ashley Blinn belonged to the second Class and Daniel G. Thorp H.D. Ford and Martin Vanderburgh to the third class

Page 3

That the day fixed on for the annual Election of Trustees be on the first Mondays of December.

In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and Seals this 13th November in the year 1847.
Samuel Moore — Chairman
Jos. G, Ford — Secretary
The foregoing was recorded Nov 17th 1847 at 2 PM in book of Miscellaneous records on pages 298 and 299. James Storm——Clerk
Deed given by Chester Goodrich and wife
To Trustees is on file in hands of Sec

Redrock rural cemetery book, pages 1 through 3, Original on file with Canaan Town Clerk?

4 ~ 1873 — Chester Goodrich Farm Sold to Addison Burrows

Chester Goodrich's heirs sold the farm to Addison Burrows. This deed anticipates the sale of additional land to the cemetery: "Excepting and reserving from this conveyance three plots of burying ground of Common size from any ground which may be deeded from the above premises to the Cemetery Association of Red Rock such as the parties of the first part may select".

See attached Map.

1873-03-05 Deed — Chester Goodrich Estate to Addison Burrows

This Indenture made this Fifth day of March in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy three Between Amos S Goodrich & Eliza his wife of Canaan Columbia County New York David D Starks & Charlotte M his wife of Berlin Greenlake County Wisconsin Almira J Goodrich of Canaan Columbia County N. Y. William H Goodrich & Angeline O his wife of Chatham Columbia County N. Y. Aaron J Goodrich & Martha E his wife Asher B Goodrich & Addie B his wife of Chicago Illinois and Elizabeth A Brown of Canaan Columbia County N. Y. Being all of the heirs of Chester Goodrich late of Canaan Columbia County N. Y. Parties of the first part and Addison Burrows of Canaan Columbia County New York Party of the second part Witnesseth That the said parties of the first part in consideration of the sum of Thirty Five Hundred Dollars to them duly paid have sold and by these presents do grant and convey to the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns All that tract or parcel of land situate in the town of Canaan of Columbia County & State of New York and bounded & described Commencing in the center of the highway leading from Red Rock to West Stockbridge near Benjamin Freese Wagon Shop Then along sd Freeses land crossing Indian Brook & running adjoining. Hiram Bliss land S 52-3/4 deg E 1.71 chs Thence in line north sd Blinns land S 42 deg E 3.51 chs S 58-1/4 deg E 1.5[6?] chs S 40 deg E [137?] chs S 25-1/2 deg E 1.11 chs S 43-3/4 deg E 71 links S 34-1/2 deg E 1.36 chs S 39-1/2 deg E 3.76 chs S 43 deg W 18 chs crossing Rock Oak Stump 13 links from the commencement of this course to Black Oak tree marked Thence S 24-1/2 deg W 175 links to point 19 links from Hard Maple tree in line with next course thence S 62 deg E 3.7[6?] chs to marked Hemlock Thence S 63 deg E [711?] chs passing through marked White Pine tree thence S 60 deg E 175 chs to the end of wall between Parke [word] & Sally Bishops land, thence along sd Sally Bishops land S 43 deg W [787?] chs to soft Maple Stump adjoining lands ofJason Lawton thence in line of sd Lawtons land N 74-1/2 deg W [834?] chs to Marked hemlock tree adjoining lands of Addison Burrows Thence in line with sd Burrows N 12-3/4 E 52 links N 70-3/4 deg W 3.95 chs S 71-1/4 deg W [313?] chs S 57-3/4 deg W [290?] chs S 44-1/4 deg W 1.51 chs S 59 deg W 137 chs S 76-1/4 deg W 121 chs S 57-3/4 deg W 441 chs N 74-1/2 deg W 523 chs to mark on a large rock Thence N 27-1/2 deg E 246 chs N 26 deg E 5.02 chs N 50 deg E 4.93 chs N 1-1/2 deg W [963?] chs N 2 deg W 233 chs N 47-1/4 deg W 42 links to center of aforesaid highway & near the dwelling house of Chester Goodrich deceased Thence S 58-1/2 deg W [231] chs to point in center of sd highway in front of the aforesaid Burrows Dwelling Thence N 33-1/2 deg W [318] chs crossing large stone in Corner of wall & also crossing the aforesaid Brook Thence along lands of sd Harriett Ford N 51 deg E 389 chs N 70 deg E 742 chs N 71-1/2 deg E 382 chs to wood lands of the heirs of Lydia Lee deceased & the east side of the highway leading from Canaan to Red Rock Thence along sd Lydia Lees Wood lot S 30 deg E 5.9 chs S 31-1/2 deg E 3.15 chs to point in line with the Cemetery thence crossing said highway & running in line with sd Cemetery S 77-1/2 deg W 2.92 chs S 22-1/2 deg E 5.97 chs to center of first named highway thence S 59-3/4 deg E 81 links to point in line with Christian Meeting house shed Thence along back side of sd shed N 50-1/2 deg E 2.24 chs to corner of sd shed thence N 27 deg W 1.10 chs to center of highway first mentioned Thence N 43-1/2 deg E 52 links to place of beginning Containing 74 acres 3 Roods & 31 Rods of land be the same more or less Excepting and reserving from this conveyance three plots of burying ground of Common size from any ground which may be deeded from the above premises to the Cemetery Association of Red Rock such as the parties of the first part may select.[1] Also another piece of land situate in the Town of Austerlitz Columbia County NY Called the "Narrows lot" bounded as follows towit On the east by lands formerly owned by Martin Parke on the south by lands of Addison Burrows & on the north by lands of Cyprian Powell & Addison Burrows & on the north by lands of Laban Holdridge Containing about two & one half acres of land be the same more or less. The two above described pieces of land being all the lands of which Chester Goodrich late of Canaan Columbia County New York dies seized and possessed.

With the appurtenances and all the Estate title and interest therein of the said parties of the first part And the said parties of the first part do hereby covenant and agree to and with the party of the second part his heirs and assigns, that at the time of the ensealing and delivery of these presents they are the lawful owners and are well seized of the premises above conveyed free and clear from all encumbrances and that the premises thus conveyed in the Quiet & Peaceable Possession of the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns they will forever Warrant and Defend against any person whomsoever lawfully claiming the same or any part thereof.

In Witness Whereof the parties of the first part have herewith set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

Columbia County Deeds Liber 48, Page 177

[1] Emphasis added. jhc

5 ~ 1873 — Cemetery Acquires More Land

A couple months after buying the Goodrich farm, Addison Burrows sells additional land to the cemetery, from which the Goodrich family reserves "three plots of common size" as stipulated in their deed to Burrows. This piece becomes what is now known as the West Section and the New Section, with the three Goodrich plots reserved.

See attached Map.

1873-04-29 Deed — Addison Burrows to The Red Rock Rural Cemetery Association

This Indenture made this twenty ninth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and seventy three, Between Adison(sic) Burrows and Ester Burrows his wife of the Town of Canaan in the County of Columbia and State of New York parties of the first part, and The Red Rock Rural Cemetery Association of the said Town of Canaan, party of the second part. Witnesseth that the said parties of the first part in consideration of the sum of Two Hundred and Nineteen Dollars and Eighty nine cts them duly paid have sold and By these presents do grant and convey to the said party of the second part and their assigns All that certain piece or parcel of land situate in the Town of Canaan and Bounded and described as follows twit. Beginning at N. W. Corner of old Cemetery, thence S 75-3/4 deg W 2.24 to point 2 links W of black cherry tree, thence S 22 deg E 6.47 to center of highway leading from Red Rock to West Stockbridge, thence along said Highway N 62-1/4 deg E 2.24 to a point in line with W side of old cemetery, thence at N 22 deg W 5.97 to place of Beginning. Containing one acre one rood and seventy poles of land. Excepting and reserving from this conveyance [three?] plots of the size of sixteen feet square each to be situated by William Goodrich and also excepting and reserving three other plots of the same size to be selected by the party of the first part, and also that they will remove from the hereby conveyed premises, the stone wall and rails and stakes [word] on the North and south sides of the hereby conveyed piece of land, granting to the party of the second part the right to take and use as many of the stone in the walls so to be removed as they desire. The party of the second part hereby agreeing to [word] and forever keep in repair the fence or fences around the hereby conveyed piece of land. With the appurtenances and all the Estate [word] and interest therein of the said parties of the first part and the said party of the first part do hereby covenant and agree to [word] with the said party of the second part and their assigns, that at the time of unsealing and delivery these presents they are the lawful owners as well seized in fee simple and possessed of the premises above conveyed and of the whole thereof and that the same are free and clear from all encumbrance lien charge and claim whatever, and that the premises thus conveyed in the quiet and Peaceable Possession of the said party of the second part and their assigns they will forever Warrant and Defend against any person whomsoever, lawfully claiming the same or any part thereof In Witness Thereof the said parties of the first part have herewith set their hands and seals the day and year first above written


Addison Burrows L.S.

Esther Burrows L.S.


Sealed and Delivered

In the presence of

In presence of

Joseph D. Park

State of New York
Columbia County
On this twenty ninth day of April in the year one thousand Eight hundred and seventy three before me appeared Addison Burrows and Esther his wife to me personally known to be the same persons described in and who executed the foregoing instrument who severally acknowledged that they executed the same, and the said Esther on a private examination by me, apart from her said husband acknowledged that she executed the same freely and without any fear or compulsion of her said husband

Joseph D. Park
Justice of the Peace

Recorded December 23rd 1879 at 10.20 a.m.

Columbia County Deeds Liber 65, Page 437

6 ~ 1900 — Red Rock Celebrates 150th Anniversary

I see no indication in these articles to indicate the cemetery was associated with the Church.

1900-10-10 Chatham Courier, Page 1: Red Rock, A Gala Holiday




A Big Day for the Little Burg. — Speeches, Music, and a Clam Bake, Ball Games and Foot Races. — A History of the Place, and its two Churches.

Red Rock is the hub of the universe to-day. With appropriate ceremony, speeches and sports it celebrates its 150th. anniversary, and the 40th. of the erection of its marble shaft on the monumental rock. The little hamlet has a proud record; many worthy sons has she sent into the busy world and their deeds will be recounted with pleasure. The following historical sketches, from the "Souvenir and Advertiser" will be of general interest.

Red Rock was settled about 1750, mostly by down east Yankees. Among these first settlers we find the names of Davis, Doty, Ford, Parke, Jenkins, Wilcox and others.

In regard to the early name of the place, tradition says that a traveling vender of tinware was so unfortunate as to upset his cart somewhere in this valley, scattering his goods along the highway and that the inhabitant’s gathered around to give him such assistance as they could, but that the ungrateful man accused them of stealing his wares, and declared he would give them a name that should stand by them for all time, and named the place Pilfershire, by which name it was known henceforth.

No doubt this peddler's story was a vile slander upon the good name of the people. However, they determined that it should not stick, and in 1825 a meeting was held and it was voted to paint the large rock, by the road side red, erect a wooden column thereon and name the place Red Rock.

This was done and the wooden columns stood until 1860, when the present marble shaft took its place. It was dedicated with imposing ceremonies, speech making and a big dinner. Hon. Charles L. Beale, then Member of Congress from this district, was orator of the day.

Many men of note were born and received a part of their education within the limits of the present school district. Among these were judges, members of state legislatures, lawyers, ministers, doctors and school teachers. Of judges were Hon. John Cadman and Hon. Hiram D. Ford. Dr. Elias W. Bostwick and Col. Philetus W. Bishop were members of our state legislature and Dr. Samuel M. Reynolds of the state legislature of Massachusetts. Of ministers were Elders David Ford and Rufus Howes of the Christian church and James M. Jenkins of the Methodist church. Dr. Richard Beebe, Dr. Elias W. Bostwick and Dr. Samuel M. Reynolds, all of whom were born and brought up here became noted physicians. Col. Sidney W. Park of Albany, who commanded the 125th Regt. N. Y. State Infantry in the civil war was born here.

Of the early school teachers most of whom had their birthplace here, were Joseph G. Ford, Frederick Manley, H. D. Ford, Edward Pierson, Joseph C. Ford, J. W. Braman, Miss Lucy Palmer of New Concord, and later the Vanderburg brothers, Edgar, John and Richard, William Sweet, Dr. Richard Beebe, Dr. Elias W. Bostwick, William and Asher Goodrich and still later Rowland T. Ford, Miss Anna Pettit, (afterwords, Mrs. F. V. Burrows), Miss Ellen Harmon, (afterwards Mrs.William Finch) and many others of whom the limits of this paper will not permit a mention. Of the teachers who have gone out from this school district their name is legion.

The Christian society of Red Rock was incorporated May 11, 1829 with John Wilcox, Reuben Jenkins and Warren Ford trustees, the church was built the following year.

The Methodist society was organized Dec. 1, 1829 and incorporated under the name of "The Trinity Methodist Society of South Canaan" with Matin Park, Israel Northup, Ebenezer Jenkins, Joseph Jenkins Jr., and Jesse Ford tustees(sic). This church was also built the following year.

In those days the use of ardent spirits at [gatherings?], even of churches, was universal. In view of this fact Deacon Curtis of Flat Brook, agreed with the trustees of the Methodist society, that they would not allow any intoxicating liquor to be used at the raising of their church he would give them several nice pine trees. This agreement was faithfully kept and the society received several thousand feet of fine lumber thereby.

The Baptists had large and flourishing society on Macedonia, and their church was the only house of worship in this vicinity 90 and more years ago. A large congregation came from mile around to attend the service held there.

Somewhere near 5 years ago the old church was taken down and rebuilt a mile down the hill on a site near the Stickles blacksmith shop. Later the society disbanded and the church was torn down.


Jonathan Ford, one of the first settlers, was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary army. Ezra Parke, son of Smith Parke, also served three years in the same war. Martin Parke, William Mercer, Thomas Bishop and others whose names I cannot obtain at present, were in the war of 1812. The war of the Rebellion called many of the sons of Red Rock to the field, Several of whom died in the service. Among those who enlisted were Warren Blinn, 1st Lieut.; Henry H. Park, 1st Sergeant, Eber T. Castle, Corporal, Chas. W. Battersall, George W. Holdridge, Sylvester Pettit, Stephen S. Reed, of the Ind. sharpshooters; Alonzo B. Reynolds, Vincent Burrows, William H. Briggs, 91st Regiment; Samuel DeGroff, John E. DeGroff, Justin A. Wilcox, promoted to [word] of the colored troops; [Martin V?] Wilcox, 128th Regiment; Hermon B. Bostwick, 1st Eng. John Wilcox, 192nd Regiment; Asa Holdridge 44th Regiment; Isacc Briggs, 1st Rifles; Charles W. Noyes, 37th [Ill?]. Regiment.

Two Red Rock boys were in the service in the war with Spain. Elliot Webster, a member of the 21st Regiment U. S Regulars, was in hot fighting in the trenches at Santiago and is now in the Philippines. Thaddeus W. Parke enlisted in the 1st Regiment, U. S. Vol. Engineers and went with his regiment to Porto Rico.


The first saw mill in the place was built by Joseph Jenkins and Ezra Parke, Sr. It was located on the Indian Brook a few rods above the Methodist church. Afterwards it became a wood turning mill and cider mill, and was owned and run a long time by Hiram Blinn, who moved it to its present location near the house of Chas. DeGroff. Seventy years or more ago another saw mill was built just below the premises of H. H. Park, and this region was known as Shingletown. The Stickles saw mill, I think, was built not far from this time.

Elder David Ford ran a wagon maker's shop in the building that is now A. H. Ford’s barn. Later a wagon and blacksmith shop was built opposite the dwelling house of Vincent Burrows. Hiram Crane was the proprietor. Thomas Bishop also had a wagon and blacksmith shop on the premises now owned by L. W. Pitcher. Benj. Freece carried on the business of wagon making in the shop that stands between the churches, and was noted for his excellent work.

Samuel DeGroff, Sr., was a noted horse shoer and for many years his shop was a busy place.

The old grist mill did a flourishing business, and large quantities of Nova Scotia plaster were ground there. The old carding mill on Mrs. Mary Stickles place was built by Robert and Hart Reynolds and operated by them; afterward it was owned by Hiram Hayes, who manufactured cotton rope, yarn and batting.

Some of the earlier merchants who did business in the old store that stood on the site of the present one, were J.W. Vincent, Daniel G Thorpe, E. D. Hunt and Cyprian Powell. Much more interest about people and places could be written but time and space forbid.

The Methodist Church.

Among the beautiful pictures.

Which hang on memory's wall

Is one of a quaint old village

That seemeth best of all.


For oft in my early childhood.

I played by its rippling rills.

Roamed o’er its verdant meadows

Climbed its rugged hills.


Or perchance with my little brother

In the noontides sultry gleam.

I lazily basked neath the willows.

Beside the sparkling stream.

With these and many other pleasant recollections concerning the little village of Red Rock often recurring to my mind it will be readily understood how, when asked by my pastor to write a brief history of the M. E. church for this paper it hardly occurred to me to refuse. Though it would be impossible for me to do so were it not for Mr. Francis Park of Chatham, through whose kindness I am supplied with many of the facts which I am able to give to you.

On looking over the records of the town of Canaan we learn that during the summer of 1829 five churches were built. One at North Canaan or as we know it now, Queechy Lake; one at South Canaan as it was then called, now Red Rock. These two churches were Methodist. The leading organizers of the South Canaan or Red Rock church were Ebenezer Jenkins, Martin Park, Israel Northup, Joseph Jenkins, Jr. , and Jesse Ford, Jr. But just here let us pause a moment and look at the photographs of this old couple with their pleasant genial faces and quaint old fashioned attire. No doubt some of you who have known their descendants for many years may guess their names but if not let me tell you. They are Smith Park and wife, Molly, who I believe were members of the first Methodist class at Red Rock and I believe there has never been a time in the history of the church but that the names of some of their descendants have been upon the church book.

Here too is a picture of John Alley who soon after that church was built preached and organized the first temperance society here which was kept up for many years. We must not pass over good old Deacon Curtis either — a Baptist man — who as the story goes offered to give the Methodist society a large pine tree if they would raise their church building without liquor although some thought it impossible, it was done. The building went up very nicely, and as to the pine tree, it grew so large that it could not be sawed in the mill without having its two sides first chipped off.

This church was incorporated under the name of the “Trinity M. E. church of South Canaan.” These two churches were prominent places in Methodism for all this section of country and formed a part of the large circuit then traveled by the circuit preachers appointed by conference. It was called a four weeks circuit for one man to go around. There being two men it gave these churches preaching once in two weeks. The alternate Sunday being supplied by local preachers. Among the first preachers after the church was opened were Mr. Carley Mr. Wm. Lull, Brown, Albert and Nash.

In 1841 during the ministry of Elijah Crawford the old Presbyterian church at New Concord was bought and became a regular appointment which I think consisted of Spencertown and Red Rock, White Mills, and New Concord. These appointments were again divided a few years later and New Concord was connected with Red Rock. Now we notice another group of ministers those who served at Now Concord and Red Rock, Nathaniel Mead, A. H. Furgeson, Geralds, W. G. Browning, P. Ward and Wm. Brush, and as we turn again to the old records we find that in 1856 the M. E. church at New Concord was removed to East Chatham and since then Red Rock and East Chatham have always formed one appointment. Rev. T. W. Chadwick was the first minister after this change was made. He was followed by, A. N. Molneaux, T. Y. Bates, Marvin R. Lent, each staying two years. After this came Araon Rogers in ’63 W. S. Bouton ’65 '67, Abram Davis '68, ’70. At this time I was(sic)

After Mr. Davis in '71 came Mr. Wm. Harris and now the pictures of memory become more distinct and I see so plainly the neat little white church and the broad platform with its steps leading up on either side just opposite the church is a pretty woodland, as we look for a moment upon it every restless passion is charmed down, all the natural religion of the soul springs up within us and we feel truly that this is a pretty place for a house of worship.

After Mr. Harris came Mr. Wm. Mackey, a very earnest devoted man who I believe has since been honored with larger fields of labor He was followed by [name missing] '76, '77. [part of line missing] H. B. Gilbert [part of line missing] Mead '81 '83, Newman l. Heroy '85 '86. A. Lincoln Shear '87 '89. The names of Eckert Shaw, Potter, Smith, Keogan and Albrecht are familiar to all. At different times in the history of the church special meetings have been held and many new members added. The present pastor, Rev. J. S. Ladd came in ’99.

The Christian Church.

This church was organized on the 25th day of May 1822, with seven members. The name of the church clerk who recorded this, was David Ford. There were present at this organization, three ministers, viz: Levi Hathway, John L. Peavy and David Call. As near as our information helps us, this church was depending largely upon Revs. Levi Hathway, John L. Peavy, David Call, L. S. Rixford and Stephen Hitchcock for preaching until Nov. 8th 1829, when David Ford was publicly set apart to the Gospel ministry by the following ministers, viz: Levi Hathway, John Spore, Edward H. Peavy, Amos Starks and Leonard S Rixford. In this meeting, only the day before the ordination, the church, which was built in 1829, was dedicated on Nov. 7th, 1829; John Spore preaching the morning sermon, Levi Hathway preaching in the afternoon and John Spore preaching in the evening again. On the 25th day of March, 1830, Mr Chester Goodrich and his wife, Phebe, gave a warrantee deed to the trustees of said church, John Wilcox, Reuben Jenkins and Warren Ford, or their successors in office.[1] The first book of records continued until 1866, and showes(sic) that the regular monthly church fellowship and business meetings were continued also the annual meetings were held regularly, and the necessary organization effected yearly, also the regular preaching has been continued since the beginning, and the ordinances of the church have been observed until this day.

The names of the pastors of the church are as follows:

David Ford, 1829-1840. At which time he was given a letter of dismission from the pastoral care of the church, by his request. He died Dec. 1, 1868, and is buried in Red Rock Rural Cemetery.

H. V. Teal, Dec , 1840-Feb., 1842.

G. N. Kelton, 1842.

Jedediah Hoag, 1843.

Philletus Roberts, 1844.

J. C. Wagner, 1845-1849.

G. N. Kelton, 1849-1858.

Joel Gallup, 1858-1864

Jedediah Hoag. 1864

C. W. Havens, 1804-1888 At which time, his health utterly failing, he resigned the pastoral care of the church and died the next year, and is buried in the cemetery near the church he served so long and faithfully.

Lester Howard, 1888

O. F. Winget, 1889

N. W. Crowell, 1890-1892

A. A. Lason, 1892

W Chase, 1892.

F Metzger, 1893.

Foster Crissie, 1894-Dec. 1860.

J. McGlauflin, Dec., 1895 to date.

By J. McG.

Chatham Courier., October 10, 1900, Page 1 (available at https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83031284/1900-10-10/ed-1/seq-1/ and https://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html)

[1] Emphasis added. jhc

1900-10-17 Chatham Courier, Page 1: RED ROCK DAY



A Pronounced Success in Every Particular A Gala Day of Sports, Music, Speech Making, Feasting and Good Cheer. The Net Proceeds will be $300, Report in Detail.

Last Wednesday was a red-letter day in the history of Red Rock, the occasion being the anniversaries celebration, the event that had been so anxiously awaited and eagerly anticipated, and from the formal opening of the affair in the morning until the last light was extinguished at night, not al ripple occurred to mar the pleasure of the occasion. Everything passed off with the greatest of regularity and many a time in the future will those who now compose the young manhood and womanhood of this peaceful hamlet, with children or grandchildren about their knees, wander back in memory over the intervening years and recount, with never flagging interest, the events of that memorable day in the history of Red Rock, Wednesday, October 10th, 1900, as those who attended or were identified, with the celebration of 40 years ago have told over and over again of the many interesting incidents of that occasion that are still prominently retained in memory. And surely this was an occasion that all who attended will wish to remember. It was a celebration of the good, old-fashioned sort, an occasion where good cheer was dominant, where there was no lack of enthusiasm to further the most laudable object for which the celebration was inspired, i.e. the financial benefit of the two churches and the improvement of the village cemetery. From afar off points came substantial contributions for the good of the cause, or messages of approval, from the many who first saw the light ??? ??? this hamlet where nature has bestowed some of her most picturesque handiwork. Although it is, mayhap, years since their eyes have feasted on the scenes familiar to them in youth, still in their hearts there is retained a recollection dearer than earthly treasures. On this hillside sleep their kinfolk and many is the eye a tear will dim as are recalled the days of childhood and the scenes in their dear old homes.

Although the weather was not us auspicious as might lave been desired for the event, still the attendance was all that could be expected and the gross receipts will reach $500 and about $300 will be netted.

One of the first sights to greet the eye of the pleasure seeker as he entered the village was one to cause the blood of patriotism to tingle in his veins. Away up in the air, 50 feet or more directly over the historic rock, waved the American flag suspended from a wire strung between two “giants of the forest" on the hills on either side. On the rock was the speakers’ platform resplendent in the national colors, the structural work concealed by evergreens. Further up the street, near the Christian church, along the banks of the famous Indian creek, were the eating tents and the various booths and stands where the wants of the crowds were catered to by attractive, neatly gowned young ladies and gorgeously attired young men. The savory odor of the edibles bade one sup whether he would or no and at the conclusion of the feast there was little to spare. From start to finish the affair was an exemplification of what unity can accomplish and the promoters of the event are to be congratulated on the success of their efforts.

In the morning a base ball game took place between the Ghent team and a team composed of players from both Red Rock and Spencertown It resulted in it victory for the Ghent team, score 13 to 6. The 150-pace foot race, in which there were 5 starters, was won by F. Goodrich and Eri Chase of Spencertown won the wheelbarrow race over the same course. Early in the forenoon the Ghent band arrived and discoursed enlivening music and in the afternoon the Chatham band arrived and added choice selections. After dinner the greased pig race took place. Nearly 20 persons joined in the chase but the porker was finally bagged by Edward Jenkins. The potato race had five participants and was won by Fred Goodrich. Five started in the barrel race which was won by Lester Goodrich. In the evening an enjoyable concert took place in the Christian church which was witnessed by an audience that crowded the edifice to the doors and which was participated in by Miss Lockrow, Miss Bliss, Mrs. Brower, D. D. Tompkins, Neal Van Deusen, A. B. Howes, Mrs. Henry Frisbee Miss Mable Ford, Mrs. F. F. Frisbee, Mrs. R. W. Morey and Miss Hallenbeck.

At the Rock

After a selection by the Chatham band, the Rev. J. S. Ladd introduced to the assembled crowd, the Rev. Dr. John McLaughlin, pastor of the Red Rock Christian church who read an appropriate poem, which he wrote for this occasion. He prefaced the reading by few remarks, in a humorous vein, relative to the formation of the rock and in conclusion said: It is my belief that this is one of two rocks that started out one morning to race and the other, when it saw was getting the worst of it stopped to pout in Mr. Jenkins’ field and this rock stopped here to wait for it. And the other rock is pouting still.

Although Mr. McLaughlin is a man more than 80 years of age he is still faithfully and satisfactorily discharging the duties of the pastorate of his church and has cemented a strong bond of friendship between himself and his parishioners.

After Judge Cadman's address, which will be found on the third page of this issue, the Master of the State Grange spoke on the Value of the Grange to the Farmers. We hope to publish a report of his address later. He was followed by School Commissioner H. I. Fish and Rev. Mr. McLaughlin and this closed the speech-making ceremonies.

H. M. D.

Clipped 2022-07-07 from The Chatham Courier, October 17, 1900, pg 1 (https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83031284/1900-10-17/ed-1/seq-1)

1900-10-17 Chatham Courier, Page 3: Hon. John Cadman's Speech



Some Interesting Reminiscences of Olden Times

Hon. John Cadman began his address with a description of Central Park in New York city and referred to a drive through it which he enjoyed with a friend who wanted to know what Mr. Cadman thought of it. “It is very grand,” said I, but I have now looked at it about half an hour and that will do. The fact is I was up to Red Rock last week and saw things there far superior to these in beauty and grandeur and have spent all the time I care to looking at this. (Applause.) Art cannot imitate nature, it has been tried for many centuries.

You who live here, continued the speaker to some extent, appreciate the picturesque beauty of this valley but I do not think you ever fully appreciated it. You cannot appreciate it unless you have been some ways away from it and have been without a good many of the comforts and beauties that you enjoy here. These hills, these rocks, these trees are grand and natural and above all one of the greatest attractions of this place is this Indian brook that runs down through here. I doubt if many of you appreciate or know that there is not a brook equal to it anywhere on this continent. If there is, I do not know it and I have traveled some ways and seen a great many brooks but have never seen one to equal it. I do not believe there is one that for picturesque beauty from its source until it empties into the Kline Kill creek, quals it. It is a grand and beautiful stream of water.

I spent a good many hours of my early boyhood wandering up and down it, fishing for trout, and I caught a great many. I want to tell you, if you do not know it, that they are the best trout I ever saw in any stream around here. It is because the water is so pure and so clear. If you know much about brook trout, (perhaps other fish are the same) they depend very much, or entirely upon the water in which you catch them. If you catch the trout out of cold, clear water, it is the finest fish in the world. I have caught a great many in the streams of Flat Brook and Green River but none of them are equal to the trout you catch out of this brook. I remember the first trout I ever caught—no, I got that wrong, it was the first one I did not catch. I was a little boy, I was barefooted and had run away from school to go fishing, I had a string, a fish hook and an angle worm and cut a pole out of the bushes, I put the worm on the hook. When two miles above here, or hereabouts, when I came to the deepest place I could find I threw in my hook and there I sat. I had never fished before and was anxious to see what would come of it and by and by I felt something on that string and well—but what’s the use? I can’t describe it, nobody can appreciate it except some boy who has been there and he knows it without my telling him of it. I could not wait long and pulled up and up came out of that water, some two or three feet high a trout—but I won’t tell how big that trout was I never caught one as big as that looked to me. Ever since that I have always had a great deal of charity for the boys who tell big stories about big fish that got away from them.

What a pleasure it is to me to go back in mind to those scenes more than half a century ago, with no anxiety, nothing to trouble me, no anxiety except to catch a trout and that was not the anxiety of fear, it was the anxiety of hope.

I want to make a point there. There is a great difference. Some say there is no anxiety in Heaven. It is not so. It would be death, eternal death, without anxiety. Where there is no anxiety there is no life. It is not the anxiety of fear, but there is plenty of anxiety of hope there. I remember in my early life there was what was called the “western fever,” a perfect epidemic. Stories were told about the beauties of the wast. Almost everybody wanted to sell his farm and go west and I had the fever as bad as anybody. I have been glad a good many times that I got over it before I was old enough to get there to stay. There was one thing that used to rather disgust me then. Old people would be talking about the west and everything there, rich and beautiful land a $1.25 per acre if you could get there and everybody wanted to go but once in a while some old man or woman would pipe in and say: “Is there good water there?” Where there was so much good land, what was the use grumbling about the water, we thought? I thought they did not know what they were talking about. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have been there and I know something about what good water means. During a western trip of a week, from the time I left northeastern Ohio I did not see one drop of pure running water anywhere, I saw nothing but yellow, stagnant, muddy water on either side of the road wherever I went. And the people were as yellow and as sluggish as the water and it is my recollection now that I did not see a man or woman laugh in the whole week I was taking that trip. They did not seem to know how. I don’t think much of a dominie who won’t laugh either. I was once introduced to one and told him a good story. I knew it was a good story. He looked as though he thought it would be a sin to laugh and he would not crack a smile. I tell you I had done with him. I tell you a man who will not laugh at a good joke is not to be trusted anywhere. These people in the west may think they are happy but they do not know what happiness is. If you want to take comfort in this world you want to live where there is good running water and you want to see it every day.

Mr. Cadman then gave a vivid description of the Black Hills region and predicted that it will some day be the metropolis of the United States, that the capital would be moved there from Washington as it is nearly the geographical center of the states. “Ships” said he, “will go sailing there from all parts of the world. That is a fact and still there is no ocean within a thousand miles of it. They will not sail there on the bosom of the ocean but through the air. Is that chimerical, is that foolish talk? Not a bit of it! Suppose 25 years ago I had told you that at this time, I could have stood in my office and in any ordinary tone of voice, conversed with a friend in Chicago? Would not that have sounded ridiculous? But the telephone has made it possible. Now I have told you ships will go sailing through the air. It is by now means incomprehensible or impossible. Some time ago I saw two very large eagles high up in the air, probably 500 feet. I should say their spread was 9 or 10 feet. They apparently, without much motion of their wings moved as easily against the wind as with it and in any direction. It was not magic but it was as the motion of machinery and man can imitate it and man will imitate it. It will come in a few years in my judgment. I set the time for the fulfillment of this prophecy not in 1900 but the year 2000 just 100 years from now. If you are alive you will see it done. Mark it down. (Laughter.)

One hundred years ago, just about, you say this place was settled. It had no other name or title than “The City.” I will tell a story as I have heard it from the old people. A man traveling through here had a plow share stolen out of his wagon. There is no doubt that someone stole that plow share. He could not find it at any rate and he did what a good many foolish people do, he condemned the whole place because there was, or he thought there was, one rascal in it and he called this place “Pilfershire” and, somehow or other, the name stuck to it for about 25 years and then Ezra D. Park, who kept store down where Mr. Powell keeps a store now, thought it was rather a disgraceful name for the place. Being a public-spirited man he conceived the idea of changing the name. He went and painted this rock and put a wooden monument on it 75 years ago and I can tell your committee you mad a mistake in saying it is the 40th and 150 anniversaries. That monument blew down and the present one was put up there. I was told by old people who lived at that time that Park did not succeed very well. He got belts for the girls and hats for the boys with “Red Rock” painted on them but it continued to be called “Pilfershire” for some four or five years in spite of anything the old man could do until he got a postoffice here as “Red Rock.” That then became its name and people gave up calling it “Pilfershire.”

I want to tell a little story about Park. My father was drawing saw logs down here to the saw mill or the one that stood where this is. He piled the logs and marked them with his initials on the end. He got quite a number of logs there. Some were large, others were small. One day he went down with a load and while there counted the logs but did not let out. There was one short. He finally spoke to the sawyer about it and he said: “I saw Ezra Park going down street with a saw log on his shoulder and I guess it was one of yours.” My father said: “Ezra Park may have all my saw logs he can carry away on his shoulder.”

About forty years ago I met Ezra Park and mentioned the incident. He took it good naturedly and said it was one of his capers. He would not have played it on good many men he said, but he knew father would take it in good part.

It is pleasure to me to stand here to-day when almost three-fourths of a century have rolled away and say to you that I have seen and touched and talked with the man who painted that rock and named this place Red Rock. I can stand here to-day, as it were, a connecting link between the past generation and those who sit or stand before me now. I knew a great many of the old timers in Red Rock and I want to speak briefly of a few. The first that I call to mind is the smithy, the village blacksmith, Samuel DeGroff, whose shop was located in the lower part of this “city” and I have many and many a time ridden father’s horses down these hills to that blacksmith shop when my legs were not long enough to hang down but stuck out each way. Some times I had to wait several hours or until it came my turn. I stood there and watched Samuel DeGroff blow his bellows and heat that iron red hot and put it on the anvil and strike it. I never saw any fireworks that looked as grand as those sparks that flew from the anvil. Samuel DeGroff kept that shop thirty or forty years and was a central figure in this town. The blacksmith shop was the center of the village for more people congregated there week days than any where else. He was a man of a great intelligence and wisdom, a man of spotless integrity.

I must speak of another man and that is Hiram D. Ford who was at one time one of the judges of this county. Soon after I went to Chatham he moved there and for a great many years he was one of my closest friends. He was in one respect, the very best friend I ever had for he loaned me a great deal of money when I could not give him any security for it. I speak of his memory now with a great deal of reverence and feeling for Judge Ford.

There was another man by the same name, Joseph G. Ford. He was a surveyor. I knew him very well. I used to go out with him to survey when I was a boy. I have known him more since he died than I did before and I am not a spiritualist either. I have seen a great many of his old surveys. I knew something about them when he was alive. It always pleases me to get hold of one of Joseph G. Ford’s surveys. I do not care how old the survey is, 50 years or more, you get one of these surveys and you can always find his line. They do not run from a hill of potatoes or things that perish but you will always find two monuments and when you can find two monuments you can find the rest.

I must also speak of “Aunt Lydia” Lee and the Bostwick family. When I was studying law in Chatham I would get a ride to Red Rock on Saturday afternoons and I would make for Aunt Lydia Lee’s or the Bostwick’s and we would sit around the fire on long winter evenings. These scenes were very enjoyable to me but perhaps the little jokes that answered for these occasions would be simple on any other occasion. But they kept things lively. I do not know among any of my acquaintances, of a house where so many felt at home as at Aunt Lydia Lee’s and the Bostwick’s. One reason was that when you went there they let you alone and you could make yourself at home with them; it was homelike place. But they are all dead and gone.

I see you say I was born in Red Rock. I suppose I was born in Macedonia but I see by the last school tax that I paid that you have annexed Macedonia to Red Rock so I suppose it is “Greater Red Rock.” (Applause.) And it is all right.

One more man I want to speak of and that is Asher Blinn. I knew him a great many years. I knew him to be a very quiet, unobtrusive man. I knew him to be a man who seemed to think he had something to do about every poor family there was in the neighborhood and that it was his business to see that they did not suffer. There was a family who lived a little way above him who had small pox and the father and one son died in the winter. The house quarantined and no one in the neighborhood dared to go there; they were afraid. The road was fenced up for a half mile each side of the house. The family, had hardly anything in the house to live on. Asher Blinn used to go up there every morning, get on the upwind side of the house and then get within calling distance and call to them and ask them what they wanted. They would come to the door and tell him and then he would go to his home or to the store and provide them with the provisions that kept them all winter long. No one ever knew he made any profession of religion, I do not know that he was a member of any church but I never knew a man who lived nearer up to the standard of religion than Asher Blinn. I am happy to pay this tribute to his memory and what I knew of him in this long ago.

Now I have already talked with you as long as I intended but I want to get home to you. I want to say that this is a beautiful place, Red Rock, a place where, if you only thought so, you can enjoy life as much as anywhere on this earth and better than you can in most other places. You ought to learn, most of you, to think more of your homes here. You ought to fix up your places, mend your fences, paint your houses and barns and make things look better and, one thing more, you ought to have a little more charity toward one another. I sometimes think there is a good deal of bickering among neighbors in this place and you should not all try to stop someone else from doing it but try to stop it yourself. The Bible tells us we must love our neighbors as ourselves. Do you know how you can do it? You can’t sit down and, by any exercise of your will power, love anybody. You can’t love your neighbor by trying to love him. There were once two neighbors who got to quarreling’ they got into law because one’s hens dug up the other’s garden. the sheep got through the fences, the cows got into the corn. They would not speak but finally a better spirit came over one of them. He got a glimmer of light that he owed some duty to that neighbor. Notwithstanding he had used him very mean, still he was his neighbor. In the road, right in front of this neighbors house, right in front of his gate, in fact, was a large stone. Somehow or other this man saw here his opportunity and he went like a thief in the night with his crowbar, stole that stone and lugged it away and did not let his neighbor know it. After that he was over in a back lot, saw this neighbor’s fence down and put it up again. He kept on in that way and finally he was not hating that man quite as bad as he had before.

If you want to love your neighbor, do him a kindness, do it when he don’t know it and I guarantee you will begin to love your neighbor. It applies to this or any other community and if you will show more of that kindness to your neighbor, you will find the place you live in better worth the living than it is now. (Applause.)

Transcribed from The Chatham Courier, October 17, 1900 pg3 (https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83031284/1900-10-17/ed-1/seq-3)

Judge Cadman was my great-great-grandmother Lovisa Cadman Howes’ brother. jhc

7 ~ 1922 — Christian Church Centennial Celebration

I find no reference to an association between the Church and the cemetery in this article.



Organization is One of Oldest of its Denominations in New York State-Morning, Afternoon and Evening Exercises Were Attended by Large Number of Present and Former Residents.

Seldom it is that there is a happening which in any way disturbs the peace, quiet and tranquility of the little hamlet of Red Rock which, from the standpoint of the admirers of landscape, is one of the most beautiful and most attractive sections of old Columbia county.

There are, however, occasions when Red Rock awakens and does things, does them thoroughly and in a manner befitting the cherished memories and traditions of the bygone years when it boasted of greater activity, larger population and of men and women whose names are prominently identified with the religious, commercial and civic history of the eastern portion of the county.

Recall, if you happen to he a native or one of the older residents of this section, the day, twenty-two years ago, when Red Rock observed the 150th anniversary of its settlement and the erection of the suitably inscribed marble shaft which surmounts the red rock from which the hamlet takes its name. (The hamlet was settled in 1750 and the monument was erected in 1860.) It was a gala occasion, a day on which hundreds of people from various sections of Columbia and Berkshire counties congregated to listen to addresses by the late Hon. John Cadman, esteemed by Red Rock as a native son, and by School Commissioner Hugh I. Fish, of Chatham also to listen to remarks by local speakers and to music by the Chatham band. Suspended from a wire which extended from tall trees on the hillside at either side of the rock was a large American flag, on the historic rock was a gaily decorated speakers' stand, the hillside forming a natural grandstand from which many people listened while the speakers paid their eloquent tributes to the Red Rock of that day and of the years preceding. In the afternoon there were various sports and in the evening there was a clam bake and a supper, one of those suppers for which Red Rock was famous. The hamlet may have had its shortcomings along some lines but when it came to satisfying the cravings of the inner man, it took no back seat for any other community and the supper and bake which capped the fitting climax on that occasion were culinary masterpieces. Our statement in this respect will be substantiated by all who were so fortunate as to obtain a seat beside that long table.

Many years of routine have passed since that eventful day and evening but on Tuesday of the present week Red Rock was again the Mecca for a large number of people and again the occasion was an anniversary, the formal observance of the centennial of the Christian church which is said to be of the oldest churches of this denomination in New York state.

Once more did Red Rock evidence the thoroughness of its preparation for events of this character and provided a very forcible demonstration of what can be accomplished by a small number of people in a small community when all work in harmony for a common purpose.

The old church, like those who attended the celebration, was fittingly dressed for the occasion. With its new suit of paint and with a brand new bell in its belfry,[1] in readiness to send forth the peals signifying the age of the church organization, it did not look its years. Its condition to-day proves that men who builded in the olden times did so with the desire for durability and the majority of the timbers used in its construction promise to withstand the ravages of another century.

Included in the throng who came to witness the exercises, to listen to greetings, music, scripture, prayer, history, sermon, the sound of the new bell and to witness pantomime and the pageant depicting the history of the organization, were former and present residents of Red Rock and the many surrounding communities. To these, particularly those who knew Red Rock and its residents in the olden days, the occasion was one tinged with sorrow and sadness as there was brought to mind the many who formerly were so prominently connected with this church and its activities, so thoroughly interested in its welfare and so faithful in their attendance at its services. The majority of these old-time church men and church women are at rest in the cemetery on the hillside adjoining the church and it is regretted that they could not be present on this occasion for it would have been a red-letter day in their existence.[1] However, it may be that though they were not present in the flesh, they were present in spirit. Who knows? If they were, we are assured that as they looked down from on high they rejoiced and approved, rejoiced because of their beloved organization having attained the age of one hundred years and approved of the very fitting manner in which their descendants, and the friends of their descendants, observed the anniversary of this venerable church.

The anniversary programme was one which extended throughout an ideal day and evening. The morning exercises opened with the invocation followed by a hymn, scripture lesson, duet by Mrs. H D. Frisbee and Elbridge Howes, greeting by Rev. Mr. ??oons, pastor of the Red Rock Methodist church, a duet by Mrs. C. H. Ford and Mrs. Arthur Beebe and in excellent address by the Rev. W. D. Rockwel1 of Medwary, N. Y., an assistant secretary of the Conference of Christian churches.

At noon there was a basket lunch, this providing the opportunity for the renewal of old friendships and good, old-fashioned visits between those who, perhaps, had not met before in many years. It was a glorious season of reminiscence and many a cherished incident of the bygone days was recalled and discussed.

None, however, derived greater pleasure and satisfaction from the centennial observance than did the older people who are former residents of Red Rock. For weeks they had been anticipating this visit to the old home hamlet, the meeting with those who were close friends in the olden days and a sight of the rehabilitated church, the valley and the old hills which were familiar scenes in years gone by. One by one these old residents told of the plans they made to attend the celebration and remarked that it would have been the greatest disappointment of their lives had they been unable to be present.

In connection with the afternoon exercises, the Rev. Mr. Gove made the announcement that the expenses in connection with the painting and repairing of the church and the sheds, also the purchase and locating of the bell, have been somewhat in excess of the estimates because of unanticipated work that became a necessity, and he asked his hearers for a freewill contribution to assist in wiping out the deficit. The appeal for assistance resulted in a very agreeable surprise, inasmuch as the collection amounted to forty-five dollars, an amount considerably larger than was anticipated and one which will enable the committees to discharge every financial obligation in connection with the anniversary celebration.

The afteroon exercises opened with the invocation, which was followed by the historical pageant which was ably directed by Miss Mary Eberly of Chatham. In several respects this was a remarkable and unusual presentation. It was an original pantomime based on actual incidents connected with forming the church organization a hundred years ago, and was produced by men and women who impersonated those whose action made the church possible. The first episode represented the home of Mr. and Mrs. Amos Starks. To that home came neighbors to discuss with Mr. and Mrs. Starks the advisability of organizing a church. Although the Starks family was a deeply devout and religious one, Mr. Starks was doubtful of the ultimate success of such a move but the pleading of his neighbors finally convinced him and it was decided to take action in the matter by calling in conference three elders from Kindcrhook and to them was sent an invitation to come to Red Rock.

The second episode represented a small number of residents of the community assembled in the schoolhouse near the home of Joseph Jenkins for the purpose of listening to what the elders had to say with regard to forming a church. These men, who addressed the assemblage at considerable length, considered it both possible and feasible to organize the church and the Red Rock residents, concurring in that opinion, decided to proceed with their plans. One of the elders presented a document that had been prepared for the occasion and when six charter members had written their names thereon, the church organization was formally launched. After the signatures had been appended, the elders extended their congratulations and the entire assemblage joined hands and sang "Blest be the Tie That Binds.”

The third episode, depicting a singing school in the schoolhouse, was one that revived for the older spectators, their childhood memories of the attire of the men and women of many years ago. In no place but a rural community, where such things are treasured and preserved, for sentimental or other reasons, could a like array of garments be produced. To see the impersonators clad in this attire was like sweeping away scores of intervening years and returning to the days of yore. Many of these costumes were provided by Miss Ebcrle. Although they caused much merriment on the part of the spectators, the element of comedy did not enter and the reproductions of the happenings of one hundred years ago were conducted with solemnity and decorum befitting the occasion. Elbridge Howes impersonated, to the manner born, the teacher or master of the old time singing school which was one of the adjuncts of nearly every church in the period represented. Standing behind a desk, the appearance of which would indicate that it is as old as the venerable church, Mr. Howes, with tuning fork in hand, found the keynote in the old-time manner and then proceeded with the instruction of his pupils who were ranged before him on the church lawn in old pews representing schoolhouse benches. The pupils managed the first selection fairly well but but discords that nearly distracted the master characterized the first two attempts to sing another tune. The third attempt was successful, however after which this selection and those that followed were rendered to the satisfaction of the instructor.

The fourth and final episode represented a scene, seven years later, when the church was finished and opened for worship. From various directions, up and down the roads leading to the church, came the religious folk, some or horseback and some on foot. By ones and twos and threes they filed into the building as did the worshippers of ninety-three years ago, and took their places in the rear pews. The spectators were then invited to enter and listen to the remainder of the afternoon programme.

It is probable that not since the remote day on which was held the dedicatory exercises which were, to a certain extent, duplicated Tuesday, has the old church housed a larger assemblage. Every pew was filled, chairs occupied the aisles and every other available spot and there were probably thirty or more persons who were unable to gain admission.

The history of the founding of the church and its existence in after years written by Ashley B. Howes of Canaan Center, was read by him and was listened to with rapt attention. This sketch appears elsewhere in connection with this report of the exercises.

After the singing of a hymn, the ancestral roll call of the church was given by Harry Doty who explained that because of the exceedingly long list of names on the church records, a list of about sixty names of old and representative families of Red Rock and vicinity had been prepared for roll call purposes. He requested that as these were read, the descendants of these families rise. It developed that there were more than twenty of the descendants of Amos and Talcott Starks present, seven descendants of David Ford, five of Joseph Jenkins, four of Phoebe Starks, six of Ester Jones, three of Abijah Doty, three of John Wilcox, three of Zenas Burrows, three of Calvin Beebe, one each of Harriet Ford, Betsy Wilcox, Polly Jenkins, Thomas Bishop, Joseph C. Ford, Mary Ambler and Richard Flint. After the reading of the list, those who are descendants of other members of this church, whose names were not read, were asked to stand and at least a dozen persons rose.

The Recessional was well rendered by Alfred Kline after which the Rev. R. G. English, pastor of the Christain church in Albany, made an address which was thoroughly enjoyed by the large congregation. The exercises closed with the singing of a hymn.

Supper consisted of the day’s second basket lunch after which the evening exercises in the church were opened with the invocation by the Rev. Mr English followed by a duet by Mrs. H. D. Frisbee and Elbridge Howes and a selection by a male quartette composed of Messrs Charles W. Havens, Elbridge Howes, Chester Ford and Daniel Lamoree.

One of the very pleasant features of the evening programme was the presentation of a pantomime directed by Mrs. Fred Kline and participated in by the Misses Doris Lamoree, Miriam Kline, Myrtle Goodrich, Dorothy Black, Arline Doty, Helen Jenkins and Hilda Briggs. These young ladies, attired in white, very gracefully executed the various movements which corresponded to the words as sung by Mrs. Kline and they were vigorously applauded at the conclusion of the presentation.

The speaker of the evening was the Rev. John B. Cove of Sprakers, N. Y., field secretary and president of the New York Christian conference.

Earlier in the day Mr. Gove told the writer that his position as field secretary of the conference corresponds to that of a trouble man with a telephone company, that he goes wherever there are little difficulties to be straightened out. However he was not in Red Rock for this purpose as there was no difficulty here. All was peace and harmony and everyone who attended the exercises was thoroughly in accord with the spirit of the day. He said the fact that the pastor of the Red Rock Methodist church extended the greeting in connection with the morning exercises evidenced a commendable spirit of fellowship among the church people of Red Rock and vicinity, a fellowship he believes should everywhere exist. The speaker prefaced hi remarks by the statement that he probably would not preach a sermon but he evidently changed his mind as he proceeded because he did preach a sermon, one which held the close and undivided attention of an audience that filled the church.

At the suggestion of Rev. Mr. English, the congregation sang the Doxology after which the benediction, pronounced by the Rev. Mr. Gove, concluded the exercises and ended a celebration the like of which will probably not be witnessed in Red Rock in many a year.

The committee in charge of the celebration wish, through The Courier, to extend their thanks to all who, in any I way, aided in making the celebration a success, to those who contributed toward repairs and the bell and to C. W. Havens and C. H. Ford who had the repair work and the bell installation in charge.

The Historical Sketch

The historical sketch read by Ashley B. Howes, is as follows:

In writing up the history of this church I have taken occasion to ramble a little interspersing a few thoughts which I trust may not prove entirely uninteresting.

By request of the committee having in charge the affairs concerning the observance of the centennial of the organization of the church in which we are now assembled and as your chosen historian I have grouped together the following facts, reference being had to old records of the church and I have drawn on the memories of several of the older members who recollect many of the happenings here recorded.

Sometime in the early part of the eighteenth century the advisability of organizing a church for the worship of God in the hamlet of Red Rock then a thriving village began to agitate the minds of the dwellers of this suburban town.

After many gatherings and discussions of the subject had taken place and finding in their judgement sufficient sentiment in that direction it was decided that a church should he organized in this place whereupon according to previous appointment on the 25th day of May, 1822 a meeting was held in the school house near Joseph Jenkins' and the following named Elders were summoned from adjoining churches for the purpose of organizing said church. The names of the Elders here follow: Levi Hathaway, John L. Perry, Daniel Call. I here quote from the records: “And after the Elders had spent some time in explaining the purpose for which a church was organized we whose names here follow gathered, took hold of hands and also the Elders with us and frankly delivered our fellowship with and for each other and were by the Elders hereby constituted a Christian church in fellowship with other churches in the communities: David Ford, Jonathan Ford, Jr., Stephen Soule, Ruth Starks and Harriet Ford.”

Thus on the 25th day of May, 1822, the organization of the Red Rock Christian church became an accomplished fact.

From this point on these faithful few labored diligently, encountering many difficulties, holding their meetings wherever an opportunity presented itself, many times in the school house, and on one occasion at least, in Joseph Jenkins’ barn on which occasion the records show that Amos Starks, was ordained an elder in the church by the laying on of hands by the other Elders.

As the years came and went they slowly gathered to themselves until their little flock numbered 45 including the names of Ford, Doty, Wilcox, Jenkins, Smith, Beebe, Lee, Castle, Starks and others.

Seven years after its organization, this little band of faithful brethren began to feel the need of a home for themselves and as their numbers augmented they were encouraged to make the attempt. A committee consisting of the following: Joseph Jenkins, John Wilcox, Joseph G. Ford, Amos Starks, David Ford, Eleazer Davis and Warren Ford was appointed.

The required amount was obtained viz $900, and the construction began and on Saturday, November 7, I829, seven years after the organization of this church, these doors were opened for the first time for the worship of God, it being their regular Saturday church meeting, but as the church society had summoned several Elders viz Levi Hathaway, John Spoor, Jr., Edward H. Perry, Amos Starks and Leonard I. Bixford for the purpose of dedicating this church, on the following day a sermon was preached by John Spoor Jr., Text, Revelations, 3-5.

How the hearts of those good people and true must have leaped within them as they entered through these doors for worship for the first time which event marked the fruition of their cherished hopes and fond desires, the self same doors through which we have entered this day, after the lapse of 100 years with their tight butt hinges and iron latch only one degree removed from the historic latch string.

The brain that conceived the building of this temple of worship and the hand that fashioned the doors thereof have long since ceased their activities but the results of their handiwork still remain, whose doors ever swing inward, mute reminders that all who will may enter, and be welcome It might be well at this point to refer to the fact that these Saturday afternoon prayer conference meetings, which were held monthly within these very walls, were held sacred by these pioneers and afforded them an opportunity long sought when and where they could worship God in their own chosen way in their own place of worship builded by their own hands untrammeled and unmolested with no Czar's ultimatum to obey, no Kaiser's hand in control. The Bible upon which rests the entire fabric of the religious world was their only rule of faith and practice. The shackles of church and state were shaken off and religious freedom, the main thing sought by our forefathers who braved the dangers of the briny deep, was here typified. Their ideals were exalted, their devotion sublime in its simpliety. On the following day Sunday, November 8, 1822, the people assembled in this house for regular Sabbath day worship, also for dedication of the church. Rev. Levi Hathaway preached the sermon from the text, Malichi 5, 2 and 3 verses after which David Ford was ordained into the ministry by prayer and the laying on of hands, the officiating clergymen being: Levi Hathaway, John Spoor Jr., Edward Perry, Amos Starks and Leonard Bixford.

From this time forward this church had a regular pastor in the person of Rev. David Ford. As the years came and went one pastor succeeded another, prominent among whom were Rev. Mr. Roberts, Rev. Mr. Kellun, Rev. Mr. Hoag, Rev. J. Gallup, Rev. Chas, W. Havens, Rev. Mr. Crowell, Rev. Mr. Chase, Rev. McLaughlin and many others. This is the contellated galaxy of shining stars that deck your pastoral firmament and I say to you advisedly that their brilliancy will not be dimmed by the addition of the name of Rev. Frederick Kline, your present pastor, when opportunity permits.

This church so auspiciously begun, enjoyed a long and prosperous period after the building of its home whose every sill is level and every joint is plumb notwithstanding the fact that one hundred years have elapsed since its construction but like many another suburban church after a time it began to decline as the centres of population changed. Many of its members and their descendants have gone abroad. We hear of them in Canada some in Florida some in Boston others in Nebraska and still others in California and many, oh, how many, have quietly folded their mantles about them and lain themselves down to peaceful sleep on yonder hillside, there to await, the dawning of the morning when the mist has passed away, when we will know each other better in that land of prefect day.

That renewed interest is being taken in this church is evidenced by the fact that many have contributed from their own private funds on solicitation of the committee of which Charles W. Havens is chairman for the painting of the church, and still others have contributed to a committee of which Chester Ford is Chairman, for the purpose of a bell which after a century of waiting has been placed in position and whose rhythmic chimes will hereafter reverberate from these hillsides on Sabbath mornings, proclaiming to the dwellers of this historic hamlet that the hour of worship has arrived. So, my friends, you in turn are making history and as this day shall come to its close another leaf will be added which may find a response a century hence.

For here we are assembled in the church of our fathers. The scenes have shifted. They are not as of yore, for many new faces have taken the places of those who have left us and gone on before.


Red Rock, a Gala Holiday, Its 150th Anniversary Is Celebrated, The Chatham Courier, June 1, 1922, Page 1 (https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83031284/1922-06-01/ed-1/seq-1)

[1] Emphasis added. jhc

8 ~ 1933 — Christian Church Burns

After the church burned and the congregation disbanded was the church property deeded to the cemetery? That I don't know.

Christian Church Burns June 23, 1933


Christian Church, 111 Years Old, Swept By Flames.

RED ROCK —Fire of unknown origin destroyed the Christian church at Red Rock, between 10 and 11 P. M. Friday evening[1]. This church, about 111 years old, was in good condition and had recently been redecorated inside by George Hitchcock. The fire was discovered by James Coxon.[2]

Although no services had been held for several years all members and friends of the church, all residents of this place were deeply grieved by its destruction. It is understood that no insurance was carried. It was planned to reopen the church soon.

Members of the church, which had become a landmark, have become scattered, one of the oldest being Mrs, Eugene Vermilyea, of Malden, formerly Mrs. Phoebe Jones, of this place. Many excellent and very helpful sermons were preached from its pulpit, among those who occupied it being Elders Havens, Howard, Mc- Glanflin, Crowell, Metzger and Chase.

Among those who presided at the organ were Miss Augusta Stickles, who became Mrs. Bert L. Bemiss, Elbridge S. Howes, and Mrs. Henry D. Frisbee. The janitor, Alonzo B. Reynolds, gave careful attention to stoves, floors, lamps, etc. Although the scene of these labors has become ashes, those who are trying to “carry on” will be inspired by the memory of these faithful workers to strive in every way to continue the work which they in their turn endeavored to perpetuate.

The Chatham Courier, 1933-06-29.

[1] The fire was Friday, June 23, 1933.

[2] Dad said, coming home from work that day, he saw someone climbing out a back window of the church. But did he discover the fire? I always assumed so but maybe not. Maybe it was his Dad passing through, or on his way to visit Dad at his place up on Overlook Drive, who actually discovered the fire. jhc

9 ~ 1963 — Red Rock A Picturesque Community

"The Christian Church stood near the Red Rock cemetery and flourished for years, until it was destroyed by fire on June 23, 1933."

Red Rock

Picturesque Community Settled in 1750 Boasts a Rich Historical Heritage

ONE OF THE MOST picturesque hamlets in Columbia County is Red Rock, a handful of houses situated on a small stream some three miles east of Chatham. Located in the Town of Canaan, it was settled about 1750 but early historians failed to record the names of its very first inhabitants.

Early maps show the present settlement as South Canaan
while others refer to it as Pilfershire. The latter name has caused no end of argument as it is purported that the hamlet was once plagued with itinerant travelers who "pilfered' any and all objects they could find. A few years ago there was a movement to restore the name Pilfershire to Red Rock but the proposal was ruled out by more conservative members of the community.

It was in 1825 that a huge rock along the road running from the hamlet to Austerlitz was painted red and crowned with a wooden column to commemorate the change of name to Red Rock. In 1860 a marble shaft was placed on the rock by the citizens of the community with appropriate exercises including music and orations.[1]

Earliest records indicate that Smith Parke moved to Red Rock from Sharon, Conn. in the year 1780. His brother and a nephew had been slain by the Tories during the Revolution because of their devotion to the cause of the patriots. Smith Parke, we are told had one son who served three years in the Continental Army as an artisan and helped construct a chevaux-de-frise across the Hudson River. A defensive device made with huge iron spikes, its purpose was to prevent the British from sailing up the river.

. . .

AN HEIRLOOM in the Parke family has been a silver stock buckle. The story has been handed down from generation to generation that Ezra Parke, another soldier in the Continental Army, did not drink the whiskey rations that were passed out to the troops. He, instead, sold his allotment and with the savings purchased the stock buckle.

Another family which settled the south eastern section of Canaan were the Fords, whose homestead was a large brick structure still standing today a short distance north of the hamlet. Jonathan G. Ford was a lieutenant in the American army during the Revolution, the first of a line of men to hold offices of trust in the community and state. Joseph G. Ford, born in 1787, was one of the nation's outstanding surveyors and Hiram D. Ford, who moved to Chatham about 1810, was named to several posts in Chatham Township. Mrs. R. D. Patterson and Harry Henderson both of Chatham, are direct descendants of this old family. Edward Jenkins of Chatham, traces his ancestry to the Jenkins family that settled in Red Rock 200 years ago and Mrs. Elsie Hess of Chatham is a descendant of the Howes family.

A short distance from Red Rock is a rather heavily wooded and isolated section known as "Macedonia." Here resided the Cadman family, William J. Cadman, who served in the War of 1812, was the father of the well known Columbia County lawyer, the Hon. John Cadman of Hudson. All Cadmans sleep in the family cemetery at "Macedonia."

. . .

NEAR "MACEDONIA" was built the first church by the Baptists. It is believed this church was founded in the 1760's but no records exist of the long forgotten place of worship. A Methodist Church was organized December 1, 1829 with the following trustees, Martin Parker, Israel Northup, Ebenezer Jenkins, Joseph Jenkins, Jr. and Jesse Ford.

The Christian Church of Red Rock was organized by six persons on May 15, 1822, with John Wilcox, Reuben Jenkins and Warren Ford as trustees. Meetings were held in a one-room school house and in 1829 the church was constructed and the first services were held. The Christian Church stood near the Red Rock cemetery and flourished for years, until it was destroyed by fire on June 23, 1933.

Red Rock, at one time was a bustling community. There were several mills, a store, and a postoffice kept by James J. Powell. Other early storekeepers were Cyprian Powell, Daniel G. Thorpe and J. W. Vincent. On the little stream that runs through the hamlet was Hiram Hayer's wadding mill operated by H. Fowler and a saw mill built by D. Wilcox and run by Walter Kelsey.

NEAR RED ROCK there are two ponds. The best known of the pair is No Bottom Pond, which according to legend, is so deep that no one has beer able to sound its depths. Another less known pond still retain, the name of an early settler and is called John Howes Pond.

For years the children of Red Rock attended a small one room school in the community but its doors have since been shuttered and youngsters ride to Chatham Central School each day.

. . .

TODAY, RED ROCK IS still a quiet, undisturbed little community much the same as it was two centuries ago. Its handsome old homes face the highway running through the community along with its two business enterprises, Arthur Lee Real Estate, located in the former Kenneth Ford lumber yard[2].

Patriarch of the community is Chester Ford, a, direct descendant of the early Ford family, who will mark his 90th birthday in December of this year.

Charles Briggs, the former owner of the village store, is now postmaster at East Chatham. His ancestor, Isaac Briggs, answered Lincoln's call in the Civil War and served as a private in Company I, NY Mounted Rifles.

. . .

THE COMMUNITY burial ground where many of the founding fathers' sleep, is directed by the Red Rock Cemetery Assoc.

The Red Rock Fire Dept. is currently engaged in building a new firehouse and meeting room and a recently organized fire auxiliary is aiding the fire men to raise funds for this major project. Mr.: and Mrs. Arthur Lee head the respective firemanic units. Religious services are held in the Red Rock Methodist Church whose pastor is the Rev. Oscar Arnold of New Lebanon. According to legend, the handsome pews in this church were made from the wood of a single, but extremely large pine tree.

Red Rock creates no world shaking news as its respected residents complete their tasks at home or in nearby communities. However, what does occur is carefully chronicled by Miss Ruby M. Belding, the Chatham Courier's correspondent, who, in fact is the true day-to-day historian of day to day happenings in this delightful valley.

The Chatham Courier, October 24, 1963

[1]Included with the text is a picture of the red rock captioned: The community took its name from this huge granite boulder, once painted red, on which this monument was erected in 1860. The marble shaft replaced an earlier wooden column., a photo of an old 1860 poster advertising the monument raising celebration captioned Old poster recalls it was 103 years ago on September 14 that Red Rock residents dedicated the marble monument that stands atop the famous Rock. This handbill was distributed throughout the countryside to herald the event, and a photo of the roadside historical marker captioned Unpleasant reminder for some Red Rock residents appears on this historical marker. There has been great controversy over the years if the hamlet was called "Pilfershire" because, according to legend, itinerant pedlars[sic] did a great deal of pilfering in the neighborhood. jhc

[2] No. Arthur Lee's office was located in Charlie Briggs old store. jhc

Attached ~ Cemetery Map With Deeds Superimposed

Red Rock Rural Cemetery Map With Deeds Superimposed

Red Rock Rural Cemetery Map With Deeds Superimposed