The Hudson Valley can date back to towns that existed as early as the 1600s and prior. Learning about Hudson Valley towns that used to be referred to by a name before the one it has today, are examples of the rich history that lies within our communities.

Kingston was once referred to as Wiltwyck, NY while New Paltz used to be called Old Patz, NY. The names of towns that we may know best tell a story about who settled the land, how life was during those hard times and possibly the role that our ancestors played in all of it.

Have you ever been to a ghost town before? It's quite possible that you have visited one and didn't even know it.

New York State Ghost Towns

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I came across information about a mysterious community that once existed in Ulster County, NY. Some local residents have heard about it before while others were shocked about this town that went unknown over time.

Parksville, NY is another town located in Sullivan County that was once thriving and now there's no one there. Some of these ghost towns in Hudson Valley aren't in our view to see while many are hidden within acres of land.

Have You Heard Of This Abandoned New York Ghost Town? 

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I heard about this town before I had the opportunity to go near it and was intrigued. Recently, I found videos on YouTube of those who have visited this forgotten town and visited it themselves.

This Hudson Valley ghost town was one of the silliest and wackiest names that I have ever heard of. It reminds me of somewhere that kids would like to visit or hang out.

Doodletown Is An Abandoned Ghost Town With The Wackiest Name

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Doodletown is an abandoned ghost town located in Rockland County, NY. 

The New York Times covered information regarding Doodletown, NY. They explained that in the mid-1960s, the last residents who remained in Doodletown left. 

Doodletown is known for being, 

"an isolated hamlet situated in a valley tucked into a rugged crescent of land that curves to the southeast from Bear Mountain to the Hudson River across from Peekskill."

 

SEE ALSO: The Awkwardly Named Hudson Valley Town We've Been All Mispronouncing 

Why Did Residents Leave Doodletown, NY?

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While there isn't a solid answer, The New York Times shared, 

"Their departure ended an effort over decades by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission to acquire the hamlet to expand ski slopes at Bear Mountain State Park, 45 miles north of New York City."

However, the ski slope idea didn't happen. Today, those who take the path at Bear Mountain are able to see roads that connect Doodletown. If you look closely, it's said that you can see, "Doodletown’s 70 homes and the families who lived there."

 

What Exists On The Grounds of The Abandoned Town of Doodletown?

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The New York Times continued to explain Doodletown.

Those who explore the forgotten town of Doodletown may come across a lot. There are concrete stairs that are examples of where houses stood along with stone foundations. 

Doodletown Was Settled Thousands Of Years Ago

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The New York Times shared information from the Bear Mountain Park historian, Susan E. Smith. Smith stated that 5,000-10,000 years ago, Munsee Indians settled the land.

It wasn't until the 1680s that Stephanus VanCortlandt bought the land from who was known as the Haverstraw Indians. Van Cortlandt was the mayor of New York.

Where Does The Trail Start To Explore Doodletown's Past?

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According to the New York Times, 

"The trail begins where Route 9W and Doodletown Brook intersect near an access road to Iona Island. As hikers go up the trail, which used to be a road called Gray’s Hill, the isolation of the town becomes apparent, with the Hudson River to the east and the five Hudson Highlands summits in all the other directions  Dunderberg Mountain, Bald Mountain, the Timp, West Mountain and Bear Mountain."

Along the trail, signs provide information to those who visit about the buildings and homes that once existed where they were standing.

Residents Left Doodletown, But Why?

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The Rockland Audubon Society explained information about Doodletown's past.

"The site was settled by at least 1762 and, at its peak (about 1945), was home to about 300.  After WWII, the Park gradually acquired many of the homes.  By 1962, the remaining homes were condemned and the site was vacated by 1965.  The foundations of many of the homes are still clearly visible.  In the clearings, scrubby secondary growth, dominated by barberry, is prevalent. "

While some wonder what actually happened in Doodletown to cause a town to disappear, others believe that it has something to do with the park expanding the lands, which never happened. 

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The chairman of Friends of Doodletown, Mark Jelléy is a part of the nonprofit organization that maintains the historical site. Hikers from all over the world head to Doodletown to explore the beauty of Hudson Valley nature and the history lesson behind an abandoned town.

Have you ever heard of Doodletown before? What town do you believe has the wackiest name in New York? Tell us below.

Take This Fascinating History Crawl Through Hyde Park, NY

Hyde Park, NY is located in Dutchess County, NY. It is the home to several prominent figures that played a role in how the world was once formed. Even though these members of society have passed on, their stories and legacies continue in our area.

I have had the chance to visit these historical sites and will always remember what each one meant to me, what I learned on the tours and how guests can continue to visit in 2023.

Have You Been To FDR's Cousin's House in Rhinebeck, NY?

Some may only know about FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt but there were other family members who played a role in the Hudson Valley.

Thomas Suckley and his wife Catherine Murray Bowne created history in Dutchess County, NY. Their estate called "Wilderstein" was designed in the 1800's. 

According to Wilderstein.org, the meaning behind the name of their estate means "wild man's stone". This was in reference to "an Indian petroglyph on the property, a reminder of the cultural heritage that preceded European settlement of the region."

By the late 1800's, the son of Thomas and Catherine (Robert Bowne Suckley) along with his wife, Elizabeth Philips Montgomery decided to add onto the estate.

This "Queen Anne style mansion" is also known for its beautiful views, lush landscape and large property. There were three generations of the Suckley family members that lived at Wilderstein. 

Who was related to FDR?

Margaret Suckley was not only just a cousin of FDR but they spent quality time together. She traveled with FDR during his presidency and gifted him his black Scottish terrier dog, Fala.
Margaret also helped FDR form his library located in Hyde Park, NY.

Some would also say that she was a "confidante" to him as well. Margaret was with FDR when he passed away in Georgia. She died at the Wilderstein estate in 1991 at 100 years old.

Margaret was the last resident to live at Wilderstein. 

Wilderstein is also known as "the Hudson Valley's most important example of Victorian architecture."