Evertson Hill


nine partners mapNine Partners Patent

Prior to the 1690s, the Smithfield Valley and the thousands of acres around it had no ownership claims. In 1697, as the Dutch-Anglo battles for control of New Amsterdam/New York City played out, the British granted 100,000 acres of land to nine well-connected New York gentlemen in the "Great Nine Partners Patent." The goal of the patent was to encourage settlement of the areas, especially as the Dutch were contending lands nearby. Some decades passed before the Patent was divided out to its 9 patentees; finally, in the 1740s the patentees and their successors defined 36 "lots" and allocated them so that each patentee received 4 lots totaling of approximately 11,000 acres. Lot 33, which includes the land that is now Evertson Hill, fell to one William Creed, one of the original 9 patentees. Creed promptly sold the lower two-thirds of that lot in 1741 to John Evertson, a successful New York merchant. Evertson was part of the Anglo-Dutch colonial establishment, spending most of his time in New York City, involved in politics and social events in addition to his commercial ventures.

From 1741 to 1803, John Evertson and his heir Jacob established on their 1,100 acres in what would in the American South be called a plantation: a large, integrated enterprise, with wheat as the main crop, as well as other crops, orchards, animals. The estate was unusual in its size and integration; most farms in the broader New York State area were in the 100 to 200 acre range and operated by a single middle-class family.

Our Petrides home is in the Northwestern corner of what was the 1,100 acre estate. The northern lot line is the one defined in 1741 by the sale from Creed to Evertson. The lands to the east, in the middle of the Valley and comprising the view from the house, were the main part of the farming operation, being flat fertile lands irrigated by Wassaic Creek in the area now known as Millbrook, New York.

Shortly after 1800, Jacob Evertson retired and the estate came to its end. Between 1803 and 1805 he subdivided the 1,100 acres into 3 lots and sold them to different parties; the land was by 1860 part of the Daniel Carpenter farm, who with his brother Edmund, ran a sizable operation which included a large herd of cattle; the name Carpenter Hill survives to this day. By 1870, Carpenter had sold out to the Putnam family, as new owners continued to enter the Valley. At present, the lands that comprised the Evertson Estate are owned by Messrs. Hammond, Cassidy, Meserve and Weatherstone Corp, and are all within view of our home.

© 2014 Petrides Homes LLC | Photography by Tim Wilkes