By Captain Franklin Ellis19
From an old parchment-bound book, dated 1772, we learn that the road commissioners appointed Feb. 6, 1773, were Robert Van Rensselaer, Peter Van Ness, Casparus Conyn, Isaac Vosburgh, John Van Alen, W. H. Ludlow, Richard Esselstyn, Henry Dibble, Martin Krum, and Abram Carley.
The record of the first survey, made June 22, 1773, reads: "One certain road, beginning at the now dwelling-house of Bartholomew Heth; thence northerly so as the roads run now along the east side of the meeting-house to the now dwelling-house of John McKinstry, and so running into the Albany road."
Ten more roads were located the same year, but the directions are so vaguely described that they are not deemed worthy of reproduction in this connection. The later records are equally unsatisfactory and obscure. The Albany road above referred to is better known as the old "Post road," from New York city to Albany. Its general direction through this town is along Claverack creek, a mile and a half east from it, on the first elevation above the flats, or meadow-lands. It formed a very important thoroughfare, and at certain seasons was lined with teams going to the metropolis with the produce of the northern counties. With the building of the railroads and increased shipping facilities on the river these conditions have become changed, yet it still forms one of the principal roads of the town. The first road is crossed, near the northwest corner of the town, by the Union turnpike in its course from Chatham to Hudson. The privileges of the company are yet exercised on this part of the turnpike, and the roadway is kept in excellent condition. East from Hudson runs the route of the Columbia turnpike. It passes through Claverack south of the centre of the town, crossing the Post road at Claverack village; thence east through Hollowville and Martindale into the town of Hillsdale and Massachusetts. It was, in early times, one of the principal highways from the east, and was much patronized by the farmers of that section who had a draw their produce to Hudson. The western part of this road is yet controlled by the turnpike company. Another important early road was located along the course of the north branch of Claverack creek, on the north side of that stream, the general direction being northeast. In a modified form this highway yet remains. (page 238) The Hudson and Boston railroad follows its general direction, and has stations at Claverack and Mellenville. The line has easy grades in town, and a well-ballasted road-bed. The New York and Harlem railroad enters the town from Hillsdale, near the southeast corner, and has a northwesterly direction into the town of Ghent, where it converges with the former railroad. On the line there are stations at Philmont and Martindale, in the town of Claverack.