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The Sloats House & Inn

Description Excerpted from National Registry
 (listed 1976)

The history of this house may go back to Wynant Van Gelder in 1738, or Isaac Van Deusen (bapt. Feb. 6, 1698) in 1747, when they respectively owned and lived on this land-the first white settlers in this part of the Clove.  The rear wing, now mainly kitchen, gives the appearance of being very early and primitive.

Stephen Slot (1727-1808) came from Hackensack and married Martha Van Dusen (Marritje 1727-1807) about 1753.  Stephen's great grandfather was Jan Pietersen (Peter) Slot who came from Holstein, Holland before 1662 and settled at Corlear's Hook.  This tract in Pothat (now Sloatsburg, named for Stephen and his descendants) was conveyed as a gift to Martha and Stephen by her father, Isaac Van Dusen (Deusen), on June 3, 1763.  Stephen and Martha had: John in 1754, who became a captain in the Cornwall Militia in the Revolution and was accidentally and fatally shot by one of their own sentries in the doorway of the Sloat House (bullet marks exist); Isaac (1758-1821) who inherited the house; Elizabeth, born in 1761; and Maria, born in 1767.

Captain John's son, Rear Admiral John Drake Sloat (1781-1867) had a brilliant naval career.  As Commodore, his most famous feat was the capture from Mexico and claiming of the territory of California for the United States on July 7, 1846 before the British could do so.  Ironically, his namesake and ancestor, Sir. Francis Drake, had accomplished the same feat for England in 1579.  A monument to Commander-in-Chief Sloat remains at Monterey, California.

Stephen either built or enlarged this house in 1755.  Indications in the structure lead one to believe that a frame section, in addition to the old part stone wing, existed at the time of the Revolution, which has now been replaced.  Probably the most important event in the history of the house is that, according to Willard Deyoe (writer), General George Washington stayed here on Sunday, June 5, 1779, and may have stopped here previously as he frequently used the road through the Clove.

Stephen's son Isaac married Lea Zabriskie about 1779, built a tannery in 1792 and probably built the main front part of the house in 1813-14.  Isaac ran it as a public house and it was the annual meeting place of "Supervisors, and Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Orange and Rockland counties for 23 years (1798-1821) for the purpose of inspecting and examining the mortgages, minutes, and accounts of the loan officers appointed in the county of Orange under the act for loaning moneys belonging to the State."

Isaac's son Stephen (1789-1861) and Jacob inherited the house.  Stephen married Catherine Mead Ward in 1809 and was a prominent farmer and manufacturer, building first a grist mill.  He ran the house as an inn known for its good food but allowed no alcoholic drinks.  It was a well-known stage stop, and the barn, with its eight stalls for the four coach horses, still exists.  Brother Jacob became Major Sloat and went into manufacturing.  He gave property for the Methodist Church in 1837 and built the brick railroad station.  Stephen's son, William Lafayette Sloat (b. 1824), ran the mill, bought and erected stores, and bought out the other heirs to the homestead.

Pictures of Sloat House