Kent, New York

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Kent is a town in Putnam County, New York, United States. The population was 14,009 at the 2000 census. The name is that of an early settler family. The town is the north-central part of the Putnam County. Many of the lakes are reservoirs for New York City.[citation needed]



Kent was part of the Philipse Patent of 1679, when it was still populated by the Wappinger tribe. Daniel Nimham, (1724-1778) was the last chief of the Wappingers and was the most prominent Native American of his time in the Hudson Valley.

The town was first settled by Europeans in the mid-18th century by Zachariah Merritt and others, from New England, Westchester County, or the Fishkill area. Elisha Cole and his wife Hannah Smalley built Coles Mills in 1748, having moved to that location the previous year from Cape Cod [1]. Coles Mill operated until 1888 when it was submerged under West Branch Reservoir. Around this same time the northeastern part of the county was settled by the Kent, Townsend, and Ludington families, among others. The father of Hannah Smalley and his family moved to Kent about two years before Elisha and his family. [2]

Kent was a part of the Frederickstown Precinct which was chartered in 1772, the rest of Frederickstown consisting of the future town of Carmel and the western parts of the future towns of Patterson and Southeast. Other early family names were Townsend, Smalley, Kent, Dykeman, Barrett, Cole, Boyd, Wixon, Farrington, Burton, Carter, and Ludington .[3]

The present day intersection of I-84 and Ludingtonville Road was the home of Col. Henry Ludington and his daughter Sybil, who rode 40 miles one night in 1777 to call up her father's militia during the American Revolutionary War. A statue of her stands on the shores of Lake Gleneida across from the Putnam County Courthouse.

When the towns of Carmel and Patterson were split from Frederickstown in 1795, the remnant, constituting the current Kent, was established as the "Town of Frederick." Until 1812 it was part of Dutchess County. The town's name was changed to "Kent" in 1817. A small portion of the Town of Philipstown was transferred to Kent in 1877.

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