Family researchers from Tennesee visited the archival room at the Museum on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011, in search of Steele ancestry, a family who located in the northern portion of Sullivan County early in the 19th century. Salmon Steele, like so many other early migrants into the area during this era, began as a tenant on land owned by the aristocratic Livingston family. In 1848, Steele purchased lots from Dr. Edward Livingston, one of which would become the site of the tannery that would be built that same year along the shores of the Little Beaverkill Stream. Early records show that the tannery was built by Henry Schoonmaker, but according to deed research, it was located on the Steele property. In 1851, Steele sold the tannery property and rights to the hemlock bark on his other lots to William Bradley, a well-known and established tanner who also operated a tannery at Parksville. Bradley soon was became embroiled with financial difficulties and was forced to sell the business to a receiver, which was then transferred to Woodbourne tanners, Henry Osborn and Medad Morss [hence the name Morsston] in 1852. The precise location of the Salmon Steele homestead has not been determined, but according to the 1856 Sullivan County map, it appears to have been situated just to the east of what would later become known as the Morsston House, just a few hundred yards from the tannery site.



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04 Jul 2023
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Sullivan County Museum

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