Oct 25 Meeting for strategies to Save the Dutchess Quarry Caves/Lookout Mountain

Developer wants to build hotel/motel units and swimming pool up to and around this Standing Stone.

Pulpit Rock, a Lenape Manitou Stone, Warwick, NY

From Local Historian, Sue Gardner

What is a Manitou Stone?      The Energy of Stones        Edit of 1929 Article on Spirit Rocks

Who Speaks for the Rocks?            from DIRT Magazine March, 2020

Pulpit Rock, is a 15-foot limestone monolith, very visible, in anempty farm field on the edge of the Village of Warwick.  It is risesout of rocky soil considered too poor for farming. The parcel wassold to a developer who wants to build a 100-room Pulpit Rock Inn on the site and is asking for special planning board approval. The current plan has cottages surrounding the rock and making it accessible to visit.  There is strong, vocal, public pushback about safety, environmental and open land issues.  This process will unfold over the next year.

Lookout Mountain, in Goshen, is the location of eight caves, called the Dutchess Quarry Cave Site. Excavated in the 1960’s, they yielded objects and tools dating back12,000 years indicating use as a paleolithic seasonal hunting camp. The caves are unique and now on the National Register of Historic Places which required protective 13-acre buffer area.  Like many archeological sites, the caves are fragile,  They are not accessible to the public.

The area is also rich in dolomitic limestone, a mineral used in roadbeds and asphalt.  The whole site is owned by Orange County and has been leased to quarry companies for fifty years. In October, the County Legislature, voted (16-5) to consider selling 31-acres near the caves which contain an estimated 4 million tons of dolomite. The land was deemed “unnecessary for public use”.  One big concern was to limit County liability when the mining is done and the quarry fills with water. Selling the property would do this.  The County is presently preparing a document to invite offers to purchase that land. Legislator Barry Cheney, chairman of Physical Space Committee, expects there will be offers in this calendar year.  Local archeologists and citizens are very concerned that the caves may be in danger.

What these two properties share is the difficult issue of competing use.  Whose vision of Land, Rocks, Water, Nature  guides the uses of land?   In both these cases, there are unpredictable geological and water table consequences of the required blasting, mining and construction.  Is the risk of damaging these ancient icons worth it?   In both cases there has been talk about developing the sites for “Heritage Tourism”,  places which offer a a unique experience with the past and the land, a pleasant complement to Woodbury Commons, Wineries, Breweries and Legoland.

Pulpit Rock has a deed restriction prohibiting  the owner from damaging, removing or relocating the rocks.  It conveys with the deed from the Pennings to Kitar and his successors and assigns.  So, no he cannot arbitrarily blast them away.  The town recorded that deed as a part of its Community Preservation Fund program - one that records all transactions.  Sweeton is aware of the deed restriction, and it is recorded as such with the County, meaning the Town Board would be required to enforce the deed restriction. 

What to Do?    

Sign The Petition!         

Donate to "Warwick Greenbelt Preservation Society” PO Box 656, Warwick. NY 10990

Do what they did in Rockland CountyTurn it into a cute mall . Even when there is very   clear historical documentation of the importance of a site to indigenous people, and even when that site has and is being consistently and actively utilized for ceremonial practices, it is still a major uphill battle to stop development   Examples: The Oka crisis for the Mohawk 

and the years long battle in Mahwah, NJ over a site and stone sacred to local Lenape.


Repatriate Pulpit Rock to Lenape?

Go Visit Nearby Reminders of the Lenape:

Ball Rock Shelter, Warwick

Churt in Rocks, Lewis Woodlands

Cairns and Stone Lithics, Fitgerald Falls area, Lakes Rd, Monroe

Churt Quarries along the Appalachian Trail, Rt 94S

Minisink Rock Shelter, Minisink, NY.  

Rich Pillar suggests a cultural mapping of places/features in the region a day's walk from Pulpit Rock. eg Ball Rock Shelter, Dutchess Quarry Caves, Lenape Village in Vernon, Goosepond,   This is similar to what Hermen Bender suggested on 7.10

Yours fits the pattern, but what you need to do is link it with the cultural landscape which is very encompassing and would include research on known prehistoric Indian trails, habitation sites (who and when), if there are any 'phenomenal attributes' and such or other landscape associations worth noting like springs or a prominence.


More on Sacred Geomancy

The Lenape         The Lands of the Lenape  from Wikipedia

Slideshow on Lenape Life from Riverkeeper

Delaware Tribe     

Lenape in West Milford Area         After Contact

www.lenapelifeways.org/      lenapetxts.com        tribe@delawaretribe.org