Drowned Lands of the Wallkill – 1807

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Warwick In History Minutes | 0 comments

“Warwick in History” – The need of roadways through the Drowned Lands became apparent to the early settlers, and by ditching they secured land suitable enough for such roads. The ditching and draining made the rare quality of the soil apparent.

The farmers in the Drowned Lands began as early as 1804 agitating for the drainage of the entire swamp for the purpose of reclaiming the waste soil. This, they believed, could be accomplished by altering the course of the Wallkill, and removing certain obstructions in its bed.

In 1807, the passage of an act by the legislature authorized the raising of money to drain the Drowned Lands of the Wallkill. The expense of the work was to be borne by assessment of the owners of the lands under the direction of commissioners appointed for the purpose of the act. From that year until 1826, $40,000 had been raised and expended by the proprietors in efforts to drain the lands, but with small success.