Sloatsburg, New York

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Sloatsburg is a village in the town of Ramapo in Rockland County, New York, United States. It is located east of Orange County, New York and sits at the southern entrance to Harriman State Park. The population was 3,117 at the 2000 census. The village is named after Stephen Sloat, an early landowner.



Sloatsburg, originally Pothat, is named after the Sloat family, having settled in area about 1760. Jacob Sloat, a mechanical genius, opened a mill in 1815 for making cotton cloth. He successfully turned to making exclusively cotton twine after patenting a process for dressing it in 1840. At peak, he produced around 8,000 lbs. per week. The mill ceased operations in 1878. The original Sloat stone house was a tavern, a regular stop on the New York to Albany stage route, and during the American Revolution, it was headquarters for American troops stationed in the Ramapo Pass. The house is a private residence, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The land that would become the village of Sloatsburg was part of the hunting grounds of the Minsi tribe of the Leni Lenape Indians. The area was also the site of a major Indian path through the Ramapo Mountains. The path would subsequently become the New York to Albany road and, in 1800, the Orange Turnpike; it remains an important thoroughfare today—the New York State Thruway, New York Route 17 and the Norfolk Southern Railway line run along its route.

Wynant Van Gelder purchased the area from the Minsi in 1738, and in 1747, gave it to his father-in-law, Isaac Van Deusen. Stephen Sloat married Marritje Van Deusen and was given the land in 1763. There he established Sloat's Tavern, which became a regular stop on the New York to Albany stage route.

During the American Revolutionary War the stage route became an important military route and the Ramapo pass an important strategic point, occupied by American troops throughout the war. George Washington travelled through the area several times and stayed in Sloat's Tavern at least once, on June 6, 1779.

After the war, the Sloats added a tannery and a cotton mill, which continued in operation by the family until the American Civil War, when it closed due to a lack of cotton. In the early 19th century, Abram Dater built a forge on the Ramapo River, and a grist mill and a saw mill soon followed.

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