What is now the hamlet of Pleasant Valley was in 1762 referred to as Charlotte. At that time it was part of the Crum Elbow Precinct section of the Nine Partners Grant.
The Presbyterian Church was reestablished here in 1765 as settlers moved west to take advantage of Wappingers Creek for water power. The church was incorporated in 1785 and was known as the Presbyterian Congregation of Pleasant Valley.
Malancton Smith who was a delegate to the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution at the court house in Poughkeepsie was a ruling elder in this church.
In 1788 Pleasant Valley became part of the Town of Clinton when the precincts were divided into townships.
The Methodist Church was originally built in 1827 on a site east of the American Legion Hall. The building was moved in winter to where we see it and recognize it as the Masonic Temple.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was built in 1842 by settlers from England who had come to work in the mill.
St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church began with services in a barn on the inn property across the street from where it currently stands. On it’s current site there was originally a small chapel built for services and the present building was erected in 1956.
The Quakers built their meeting house on the corner of North Avenue and Quaker Hill Road in 1810. This building is now owned by the Grange.
Amasa Angell was the first postmaster and was appointed to his position in 1812. Early on postmasters were appointed by the ruling political party, so from 1880 through 1897 the office regularly switched between postmasters Edward Drake and Wright Devine, both oh whom were proprietors of general stores.
Farming was the main source of early revenue for the area but it was closely followed by early industry, specifically milling. There were grain mills, cotton mills and fulling mills. The one mill to survive was Robert Abbot’s cotton and grain mill first built in 1808. It burned and was rebuilt and stands today, a derilict building which has become a victim of time and weather.
The early maps of the village do not show names of roads and chances are they had different names than we are familiar with today. The Beers map of 1867 shows six schools in the hamlet as was required by law at that time. Traver Road School is the one location to survive and through it’s history it has had three different buildings. All of which had undergone renovations, or at times, the buildings had to be completely rebuilt to keep up with the growing population of the area.
There were three hotels on the main street. The only building still standing is The Roadhouse on the corner of Route 44 and Quaker Hill Road. When the railroad came through in 1871 there was an influx of summer visitors. They stayed at the hotels and at the farm houses turned summer boarding houses to enjoy the scenery of the Hudson Valley and Pleasant Valley specifically.
The town as been protected volunteers since 1907 at which time a charter was given to the John Knott Fire Company. The first fire house still stands to the east of the present one.
Main Street, Pleasant Valley, has been the location of the town’s library since 1903. It was first located west of Marine Midland Bank. It was moved to Route 44 at the junction of South Avenue in 1914. Its location now is the former manse of the Presbyterian Church.
There were more residences on the tree-lined street at the turn of the century and with its picket fences it had as much charm as Salt Point has today. It has been taking a swift move towards the next century as we watch.
by Olive Doty, Town Historian