A Brief History of Philipstown

A Brief History of Philipstown
by Don McDonald (1925-2016)

Writing as Town Historian in 2004

The Town of Philipstown came into being resulting from what might seem to be considered the first ever real estate deal in what was then the southwestern corner of Dutchess County. Two obscure gentlemen, originally from Holland, and later taking up residency in New Amsterdam, (today's Manhattan) obtained a license from New York State in October 1687 permitting their purchase of a deed from the Native Americans then living in what is now Philipstown. Lambert Dorlandt and Jan Sybrant, 4 years later, purchased said deed in July 1691, through the sanction of New York State.

For whatever reasons, Lambert and Jan, in July 1697, six years later sold their property to abundantly rich and politically minded merchant, Adolph Philipse, from New York. (New Amsterdam was renamed New York in 1664.) This pivotal transaction would, down a long road, culminate in Philipstown originating into one of the first townships in the "Philipse Patent", which was then still a part of Dutchess County.

Philipstown, officially on March 7, 1788, became a township; 91 years following Adolph's purchase from Dorlandt and Sybrant. It would be another 24 years before what is now Putnam County would break away from Dutchess County, becoming its own entity. Incorporated in the new county was the old township, which continues to this day more vibrant than ever, having matured in character and substance through the wisdom of age.