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Historical society meeting set

HAGAMAN — The Hagaman Historical Society will meet from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Pawling Hall, 104 N. Pawling St., according to a news release.

At 7 p.m. the demise of Philips Park, in the town of Florida but owned by the city of Amsterdam, began with a double murder in 1950. Starting with the murder and working back, Dan Weaver will chronicle the history of Philips Park and the Willigee Patent, a 266 acre parcel of land across the river from Cranesville on which the park was located, the news release stated.

Weaver will discuss the murder and the story of a dog who helped discover the murderer. He will also present evidence to show the Willigee Patent, not Heinrich Frey’s house in Palatine Bridge, was probably home to the first white settlement in Montgomery County. He will also discuss the first free black community in the county which was also located on this piece of land. If time permits, the discussion will include the two mixed Dutch and Mohawk sisters who were first given the land by the Mohawks, Sir Peter Warren’s desire to own the Willigee and Sir William Johnson’s relationship with the Philips family, whose descendants donated land for the park, the news release stated.

The 45 minute presentation is free and open to the public, the news release stated.

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