Thursday, January 26, 2012

1712-2012 - Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Sarah Wells' Arrival

Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Sarah Wells' Arrival

Ray Decker photo

William Bull and Sarah Wells Stone House Association, Inc.
183 County Route 51, Campbell Hall, NY 10916-2924

The year 2012 marks an extremely significant time for the Hudson Valley. It was 300 years ago, in 1712 that Sarah Wells arrived to the Wawayanda Patent which covered most of what is now south central Orange County. The Board of Directors of the William Bull and Sarah Wells Stone House Association and I invite you to join us in celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Sarah Wells' arrival at several events throughout this year.

Sarah Wells was a young indentured servant to Christopher and Elizabeth Denn. In 1712 Mr. Denn asked Sarah to sail up the Hudson River to settle his portion of the Wawayanda Patent. Accompanied by Indian guides and carpenters, Sarah ventured inland with horses, cows, dogs, and household equipment. Hard work and a formidable character allowed Sarah to survive the unsettled and wild territory of that time. In 1718, Sarah married William Bull, a stonemason, and together they raised a large and enduring family. At the time of her death in 1796 there were 335 descendants of Sarah and William Bull; today there are more than 65,000 names in the Bull family genealogy.

To this day, throughout Orange County, there are still many physical connections to Sarah Wells and William Bull: road and street names, towns and buildings. Two of the earliest of these are the 1722 Bull Stone House and the New World Dutch Barn on the original Bull property in Hamptonburgh. William built the Bull Stone House and named his homestead Hamptonburgh after his birthplace in Wolverhampton, England. The Sarah Wells Trail is a main road that connects Goshen to Washingtonville; most likely a path well worn by Sarah Wells herself. Have you heard of Bullville, NY and Thomas Bull Memorial Park? All part of the Sarah Wells and William Bull legacy.

1712-2012 - Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Sarah Wells' Arrival

Please join us as we celebrate the Sarah Wells Tricentennial at any or all of the following exciting events:

The Sarah Wells Tricentennial Reception on February 23 at SUNY Orange, Middletown campus 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Gallery - music, presentations, artifact displays and light refreshments

Sarah Wells Day - family-style country fun on May 19 at the Bull Stone House

Running With the Bulls - 5k walk/run between Hill-Hold, another Bull family structure, and the Bull Stone House, date TBA in the fall.

We also ask that you help "spread the word" about our 300th Anniversary events and the importance of Sarah Wells to the history of the local area and New York State.

For further information please feel free to contact Todd Vandervort at 518-376-4476 or by e-mail at

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