January 2021

ACTIVE PROPERTIES in Warwick's Greenbelt

1. Pulpit Rock, a 15' Lenape Manitou Standing Stone, on West Street, Warwick, NY.

What is a Manitou Stone?      The Energy of Stones 

Edit of 1929 Article on Spirit Rocks

From Local Historian, Sue Gardner

A shady developer wants to build hotel/motel units and swimming pool up to and around it. 

Pulpit Rock has a deed restriction prohibiting the owner from "damaging, removing or relocating the rocks."  He cannot arbitrarily  blast them away. The town recorded that deed as a part of its Community Preservation Fund program and the Town Board is required to enforce deed restriction.  The Town Planning Board is awaiting the Developer's responses to the Scoping Document

2. Ball Rock Shelter, Brady Road, Warwick        a short history







An “Indian Cave” with artifacts (removed in 1960s),  located on a steep ridge, adjacent to a proposed 90-unit condo project. It's likely on property still owned by the Ball Family.   At the 11/10/2020 Village Planning Board Meeting, the Project Engineer, after questioning by a PB member, agreed to double check the condo property for "cemeteries and native sites."  This is ripe for discussion about becoming part of a "greenbelt" and how much to mark and designte the site.


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 all these 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.

What to Do?    

Sign The Petition!         

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


Do what they did in Rockland County: Turn it into a cute mallEven 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  


Other 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 and Touch Nearby Reminders of the Lenape:

Ball Rock Shelter,  Brady Rd and Melody Lane, 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               Local Lenape

Slideshow on Lenape Life from Riverkeeper          Delaware Tribe

Lenape in West Milford Area         After Contact

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