About Greenwich, New York
The Town of Greenwich originally comprised parts of the Saratoga, Argyle and Campbell Patents, which were granted in 1684, 1764, and 1783, respectively. The ravages of the French and Indian Wars kept much of the area from being settled until after 1763. One notable exception being the Dutch families who settled along the Hudson River. Beginning in 1776, the Revolutionary War did little to further growth in the Greenwich area.
The area was separated for the Town of Argyle and, in 1803, became the Town of Greenwich. With ample supply of waterpower, the town began to grow. The first water power to come from the Hudson was at Hiram Clark’s Mills in 1731. William Mowry, who was brought to the area by Job Whipple, along with Joseph Anthony (father of Susan B. Anthony) and Joseph McClellan, established the second cotton mill in America, and the first in New York state, along the east side of the Battenkill. He later married Whipple’s daughter, Lydia.
The Village of Greenwich is located on both sides of the Battenkill River, a noted trout and recreation stream, which empties into the Hudson River at Clarks Mills in the Town of Greenwich. Prior to European contact, tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy known as the Horizons, travelled and fished this river. Along the western border of the township and through the village lies a portion of the Great War Trail. Armies used this trail up to and during the Revolutionary War. Colonel Baum followed it on his way to the Battle of Bennington and General Burgoyne on his way to the Battle of Saratoga. The falls in the Battenkill, which enticed settlers, descend 17 feet at Center Falls, 15 feet at Greenwich, and 40 feet at Middle Falls; Dionondahowa (The Great Falls), named by the Native Americans, drops 70 feet about one-half mile below Middle Falls.
The first Europeans in the area were Dutch who settled on the Saratoga Patent. Later, the Scotch-Irish came to the Argyle Patent. These early settlers were soon followed by Baptists and Quakers from Rhode Island, some of whom came to what is now Greenwich. Prior to the Revolutionary War, the Quakers established a masting house in a log cabin built over the Battenkill in the community of Easton a few miles to the south. (In 1795 the log cabin was replaced by the present clapboard structure which is still used by area Quakers). In 1783 the Baptists established their first church in a log cabin built below the village on land obtained from General Philip Schuyler. (In 1795 it was replaced with a church of wood on the site of the present brick church).