Walking atop of Sam's Point Nature preserve is the highlight of the Shawangunk Mountains especially as you look north at the Catskill Mountains whose depth and mass punctuate their grace and nobility. The views beckon one to travel forth, as these mountains rise in grace and nobility to frame the country north. To our surprise we discovered the first family to settle this valley came from Connecticut in 1792--including Oliver and Sarah Fairchild, our American fore-bearers who traveled all the way from Connecticut where the patriarch of the Fairchild family--Thomas Fairchild settled after leaving the Colne Valley in the shadows of Castle Hedingham. We since wonder of their delight seeing the first look upon this virgin valley before the nineteenth century left its mark of industrial wasteland. The Valley once known as the Fairchild's was renamed for some waif who came through. They lay now under tall pines in the Laurenkill cemetery where chance tilted their headstones four degrees forward that by chance their kin would one day find them again, and so I did Grandfather Oliver. You lived from 1730 til 1816, a healthy 96 years in the little Alps of the Shawangunk Ridge.
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