Town of Fremont

Sullivan County, New York

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rest of the town, is topographically closer to the town of Callicoon. It once had a post office which has gone the way of Tennanah and Acidalia. Philip Huff settled there from Jeffersonville and opened a sawmill below a dam he built on the stream. His saw mill was an up and down saw which stood until after 1900 and many persons saw the old type saw at this mill long after it no longer operated. Huff shipped a great many butcher blocks - the kind that were a block of a big maple tree - not the kind that are built up out of small pieces. Other parts of Fremont provided butcher blocks for the New York City shops when big maple trees were common in the town. I once read a tall tale about Huff’s pond at Buck Brook that should be a part of this story. It was told that whenever Huff wanted a mess of trout he took a wash tub, rowed onto his pond, placed it on a stump in the middle of the pond. As evening came and the trout began to jump out of the water either in play or in quest of insects, some of them landed in the wash tub and couldn’t get back to the water. All Huff needed to do was to row out, bring in his wash tub and the trout in it. This plan really saved him a lot of time. This story appeared in some farm paper one time.

Chinchillas Local Product

Between North Branch and Fremont Center lies a part of Fremont referred to locally by different names - Pleasant Valley, Handsome Hollow and Skunk Hollow. There may be more. This slopes east and contains some of the best farm land in the town. It is still a good farming section but not to the extend known in the past. A family named Graef today has the leading Chinchilla farm in the United States, where they raise these small fur bearing animals imported from the Andes Mountains in South America. The climate is adapted to them. These animals are so very valuable that this farm can demand $1500 for one animal for breeding purposes. A chinchilla is not much larger than a gray squirrel.
After the closing of the tanneries the families in Fremont found hard times. This continued until the demand for blue stone developed. The first blue stone reached the markets from quarries along the Delaware produced a much harder stone and fully as nicely colored, if not nicer. This was in the days when concrete was unknown. New York City and other cities in the metropolitan area wanted sidewalks. Flagstones of blue stone was the ideal solution. The sidewalks of New York (of Al Smith fame) came at least in part from Fremont. Curb along the street, window sills on brick buildings and facing on buildings all called for blue stone. The stone cutters in these quarries developed such skill that it was little short of marvelous to watch them make a stone take shape under their hammers. The early stone cutters had hand tools mainly and used derricks operated by hand to do the heavy lifting. No man worked long at stone without developing unusual strength in his back to use in lifting when necessary.