Southeast, New York

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Southeast is a town in Putnam County, New York, United States. The population was 17,316 at the 2000 census.[1] The town is in the southeast part of the county. Interstate 84, Interstate 684, US Route 202, and US Route 6 pass through the town.



The first settler arrived around 1730. The area first exploited was called "The Oblong," and was outside of the land claimed by the Philipse Patent. Due to a border dispute between New York and Connecticut the area between the undisputed border of NY and the undisputed border of CT was an approximately 4-mile-wide area which ran the full north-south dimension of Dutchess County. This was called the Oblong. Land was sold in this area both by the governor of NY and the King of England for Connecticut, with conflicting deeds. The boundary was settled in New York's favor by the 1731 Treaty of Dover. A southern portion of the Oblong was alternately known as Southeast as it was the southeasternmost town in Dutchess County. It consisted of the eastern half of the current Town of Patterson, and the eastern half of the current town of Southeast. The western half of the current town of Southeast was part of the large Phillipse Patent which had not yet been divided into towns. The most heavily-settled area of the Oblong at this point was the "city" of Frederickstown, now the hamlet of Patterson.

The town of Southeast, then still including its portion of the Oblong, was founded in 1788, and formed the southeast corner of Dutchess County. In 1795, the town that had been Southeast's neighbor, Frederickstown was divided into the present Carmel, Kent, and Patterson, the latter two known at first as "Frederick" and "Franklin." At that time, Southeast lost its northern half to Patterson, and expanded to the west to become the shape it is now. Putnam County split from Dutchess in 1812. The most densely populated area in the town is the village of Brewster.

Post Offices

The first “South East” post office was established in 1797, when the town was still a municipality in Dutchess County. [2] On June 12, 1812, the county of Putnam was established from six Dutchess County towns: Carmel, Kent, Patterson, Philipstown, Putnam Valley and Southeast. [3] These two dates provide a frame of reference for the dates of operation of each Southeast post office.

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