Town of Fremont

Sullivan County, New York

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Referring to the Acidalia settlement I wanted to mention that the King family have descendants living in the state of Kentucky today. Some of them live in Lexington, Kentucky. Two or more of these families come to Acidalia to spend their summers in cottages they own on the former lands of the King and Holcomb partnership. One of these, Frances Smith, was married to a naval officer, Hammond Duggan, who met a tragic death, that at the time, received world-wide publicity. The United States Navy was experimenting with dirigibles. He was in command of one named Akron. Officer Duggan took the Akron on a flight over Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, where he ran into an electric storm. A bolt of lightning struck the Akron and destroyed it and all its crew. I read an account of this incident in the Navy Journal, written by the widow. Because it is related to Fremont Township I believe it should be mentioned.
The King and Holcomb families in coming to Acidalia started from Cedarville in Herkimer County.
No history of Fremont would be complete without a mention of the “pipeline.” I really never knew who owned this “pipeline”. I know it appeared on the tax lists assessed against the National Transit Company. Roughly it was iron pipes through which crude petroleum was pumped from the oil fields near and around Loean, NY, and nearby Pennsylvania to tidewater at Bayonne, New Jersey, where the crude petroleum was refined into gasoline, kerosene, paraffin, lubricating oil and such other things made out of it. I am told that the crude oil produced by these oil wells had a paraffin base while Texas crude oil (and much of it over the world) has an asphalt base - the material that goes into the black top construction of our highways.
The “pipeline” that crossed Fremont was only a part of a big stretch from Olean to Bayonne and was laid down sometime between 1870 and 1800 (possibly some reader can give the exact date). Powerful pumping stations were located along the line to force the oil through the pipes over the mountains. One of these was at Hancock, now converted into a woodworking plant. Another near Cochecton is in ruins. While the pipeline carried the crude oil, a telegraph line ran along the course and men walked over the route every day to discover a break if one occurred west of Mileses on the hill. The stream all the way to the Delaware River was coated with crude oil. Of course, this killed the fish in the stream and the State Conservation Commission compelled the cleaning of the stream. This was done by a crew working with brooms. The Pipeline carries no more oil. The refineries were located nearer the wells, eliminating the need of the pipeline.
A Company has acquired the line and it is now used to carry natural gas that travels by pressure - no pumps are needed. When oil was carried there were four six inch pipes. I saw some of these taken up. Within the past few years new pipes for carrying the natural gas were laid down. The size of these new pipes are unknown to me - nor do I know how many were laid down. For fifty or sixty years crude oil was pushed through the pipeline across the township of Fremont. How many barrels went across the town is hard to tell. There may be statistics some place, but it must have been millions and millions and millions of barrels.
Near Hankins existed a bee rock that was a natural phenomenon. Here honey bees had a natural hive in a crevice of a rock in which there were tons of honey. This persisted until Route 97 was constructed when the Lane Construction Company blasted away the rock in which the bees lived. Many of my readers will remember the bee rock. Those that do not will find that it was at the first rock cut west of Hankins. I believe some one will have a view of this hanging rock that jutted out over the original highway at that point.

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