Tuxedo, New York

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Tuxedo is a town located in Orange County, New York. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 3,334.[1] The town is in the southeastern part of the county. NY Route 17 and the New York State Thruway (Interstate 87) pass through the town. The name is derived from a native word tucseto, which has several known meanings.

Contents

History

The earliest occupants of what is now the town of Tuxedo were the Lenni-Lenape Indians, who named the largest lake in the town "Tucseto," meaning either "place of the bear" or "clear flowing water."[citation needed]

1700s

18th century settlers were mainly employed at the nearby Stirling Iron Works in neighboring Ringwood, New Jersey. Several served in the Revolutionary War, which brought the 1779 construction of Continental Road from Eagle Valley through the present-day village of Tuxedo Park to what is now Route 17 near Warwick Brook Road. The first industry in Tuxedo was the Augusta Forge at the falls on the Ramapo, founded by Solomon Townsend in 1783.

The town of Southfield (now part of the town of Tuxedo) was renamed Monroe in 1808. The area of Tuxedo still known as Southfields contained an active iron forge, its ruins visible today. The oldest structure in Tuxedo to be documented is the Adam Belcher house. Dating from 1790, it still stands in Southfields.

1800s

By 1812, the Augusta Forge went out of business and the 7,000-acre (28 kmĀ²) Augusta Tract owned by Townsend was sold to Pierre Lorillard IV, who was in the tobacco business. He used the tract for lumbering, especially important for the wood-fired Erie Railroad, which was built in 1841.

In the southern part of Tuxedo, known as Eagle Valley, farming took place, as well as just south of Lake Mombasha in areas named Helmsburg and Bramertown after early settlers. In the northern part of town, in the area known as Arden, the Greenwood Furnace was established in 1810. During the Civil War, this forge produced the iron for the famous Parrott rifles, which were built at the West Point Foundry by the Parrott Brothers, then owners of the Greenwood tract. The Parrotts built St. John's Episcopal Church in Arden in 1863. The cemetery along Route 17 in Arden was associated with St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, built there in 1867 and now gone. The Southfields Methodist Church was built in 1848. By the 1890s, the iron industry had faded away due to the discovery of surface beds of iron in Minnesota.

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