Rowland Perry

  • Jeannine Woutersz - Town Historian

Picture: These hunters recorded their successful hunt with a rare picture. They are pictured on the porch of Ryan’s Hotel in downtown Wilton. Doctor Harry Lincoln may have been one of these woodsmen in the lower right hand corner. Harry Lincoln lived in the house on the corner of Parkhurst and the Lower Road (new Ernst).

Rowland Perry, with his eight sons, traveled from Dutches Couny in 1770, over the road cut by the Jessups, the early settlers of Corinth and Luzurne. They came “cross-lots” from the Hudson River at Fort Miller and then, through the area that would be Emerson’s Corners and Wiltonville.

They chose the Woodland Road area in the foothills of the Palmertown Range in the Northwest tip of Wilton because of the wonderful spring that flowed out of the hillside. It was said to produce two and one-half barrels per minute, and is still flowing to this day. The soil was rich but difficult to farm because of the multitude of large stones.

The Revolutionary War broke out, but the family was not considered a threat to the English, so they were allowed to stay in their settlement. Four of the eight sons stayed in Wilton and the Perry name is prominent in Wilton history. Requests for Perry genealogy at the Historian’s office are easily answered as it seems that Wilton is the “Perry” capital if the world”. The Woodard Road now “dead-ends” a short distance from the old Perry barn and the former spring house at what is now known as “Pratt’s Pond”. The pond was formed with a dam built by Fred Pratt around 1940. It has since been replaced by a Beaver dam and is much larger that the original.

Although this area of the Palmertown Range has been planned for development of ten acre homes the old trail still exists, only for snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles by special permission.  The remains of a Felspar mining operation and many old cellar holes are still evident.

Genealogy again plays a part in this area. Mr. Al Clarke who lives in the old Doc Lincoln house off Parkhurst Road in Wilton was asked to open his house for a house tour around the Millennium. Al decided to research the Doc Lincoln history and found that many Lincoln homesteads were on the Woodard Road, which crossed into the Northern tip of the Town of Greenfield and into the Town of Corinth. The Woodard Road once ran into the Lincoln Mountain Road in those early days.

Mr. Clarke decided to map each of those cellar holes and do complete histories of those families. This study has developed into two books. The first book was a complete study of the Doc Lincoln house and the owners and the second book was a complete history of this Lincoln family, which even has ties to Hawaii. Genealogy requests for the local Lincoln family history are now answered with “We are now the Lincoln capital of the World”.