This is one of the older towns of Orange County, lying somewhat northwest of the geographical center. The towns of Hamptonburgh and New Windsor are on the north, Cornwall on the east, Monroe and Woodbury on the south and Goshen and Chester on the west. It covers an area of 21,739 acres.
The title to all the territory of this town conveyed by the various original patents, upon which rests the deed of every property holder today has been carefully preserved. The names and dates of the first settlers are also pretty fully recorded.
The oldest grant of land seems to be the Mompesson Patent, which is dated March 4, 1709, and confirmed May 31, 1712. This covered 1,000 acres. The next grant in order of time is that known as the Rip Van Dam patent, which is dated March 23, 1907 and covered some 3,000 acres. This was granted to Rip Van Dam, Adolph Phillips, David Provost, Jr., Lancaster Symes and Thomas Jones, each having an equal share in the tract. This is described as “beginning at a station bearing west 24 degrees north, and 83 chains from the wigwam of the Indian Maringamus, which was on the southwest bank of Murderer’s Creek just across the railroad track from the Catholic Church of St. Mary. The present village of Salisbury Mills is on the east end of this patent so far as the village lies in the town. In the northeast corner of the town on the old county line is the 1.000 acre tract of Roger Van Dam which is dated June 30, 1720, although a portion of this tract extends over into the present town of New Windsor. The next patent was granted to Ann Hoagland, May 24, 1723, and it contained 2,000 acres in the western part of the town. In the southeastern part of the town, adjoining the Rip Van Dam patent. and west of the Schunemunk Mountains was the 2,000 acre grant of Edward Blagg and Johannes Hey, dated March 28, 1726. This valley has been known ever since as Blagg’s Clove. West of this was the irregular tract of 2,440 acres granted to Nathaniel Hazzard January 11, 1727. This was south of Washingtonville. Still further west was the Joseph Sackett 2,000 acre tract, to which 222 acres were afterward added on the south. This patent was dated July 7, 1736, and the tract adjoins the present village of Oxford. Sackett got another grant of 149 acres September 1, 1737, on the west.
On August 10, 1723 a patent covering 2,600 acres was granted to Richard Gerard and William Bull. (Learn more – Courtesy – History Of Blooming Grove).