Prized family possession returns home

WARWICK. Warwick Historical Society presents rare Hathorn family dishes for display in Hathorn House Museum Room.

Aug 06 2019 | 12:38 PM

July 22 was the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Minisink in 1779.

And on that anniversary evening members of the Warwick Historical Society gathered in the Ketchum House, one of its 12 historic sites, for a special presentation of original Hathorn family dinner service.

Colonel of the Orange County Militia

To begin, John Hathorn, who is buried in Warwick Cemetery, was appointed as colonel of the Orange County Militia in 1776. He was the commander in that historic Battle of Minisink.

Wounded during battle, Hathorn, chased by Indians enlisted by the British, fled to the home in Warwick that he and his wife Elizabeth had built in 1773.

Sylvia Kubasiak and her husband, Arek Kwapinski, now own that same property, located on Hathorn Road just off Route 94 and County 1.

The Hathorn House, which they are currently restoring, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A wedding present, made in Paris

In 1807 General Hathorn's daughter Catherine married James B. Post.A set of dishes, made in Paris sometime between 1800 and 1805 by one of the factories known as Vieu Paris Factories, was a wedding present from Hathorn.

When Catherine and James Post went west, they wrapped the dinner service in straw. It was considered their most prized possession.

A call from Arizona

The dishes were still considered the most prized possession of Hathorn descendant Catherine Cornelia Thompson of Tucson, Arizona, who contacted the Warwick Historical Society to find out if there was any interest in caring for this family collection.

The society accepted the gift but felt the real home should be the old stone house where General Hathorn lived.

And so on July 22, Warwick Historical Society Executive Director Nora Gurich directed that presentation of the dishes to be on loan in the Hathorn House Museum Room

.Sue Gardner, secretary of Friends of Hathorn House, an organization formed to preserve the historic home, accepted the dishes on behalf of the new owners, who were away at that time.

- Roger Gavan

The historical Hathorns
Catherine Cornelia Hathorn was born in 1787 and died in 1828. She is buried in Locust Hill Cemetery on Colonial Avenue in the Village of Warwick.
Her husband, James B. Post, was born in Warwick's hamlet of Edenville to Gacobus Post, whose fame was that he had replaced General George Washington's horse's shoes when the horse threw them off.
Gacobus also founded Edenville, where Catherine and James Post lived for a while until they moved west to the Western Reserves, then Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
General Hathorn was considered well-rounded and educated for his time and involved in politics and farming. During the Revolutionary War he rose from the rank of captain to colonel and was promoted to major general afterwards.
Later, he served in the U..S House of Representatives.
Hathorn's friends included General and Martha Washington, who often stayed overnight on their trips from Philadelphia to Newburgh.