Purchase, NY Name is derived from Harrison “Purchase” of the land.

The Beginning of Harrison Purchase

According to Charles Dawson, Harrison’s first town historian, the true story began with the Siwanoy Indians who sold land to Peter Disbrow in 1662 and to John Budd in 1666, and again in 1695 to John Harrison. Unfortunately for Mr. Disbrow and Mr. Budd, neither had filed claims with the provincial government of New York. John Harrison, however, did file, and when his claim was disputed, it was upheld. Eventually, he and four others who were involved with him in the purchase, known as “Harrison’s Purchase,” sold the land, it is thought, to the first Harrison settlers who appeared around 1724.

The new owners were Quakers who settled in Purchase where they built their first Meeting House in 1727. This was later destroyed by fire, but a replica was erected on the same foundation, also to be destroyed by fire on January 1, 1973. The Friends now meet in another building near the site, which has been cleared. An old newspaper was found in the Harrison Public Library dated Saturday, April 29, 1911. It is a Souvenir Edition of the Harrison Observer, edited by the Ladies of the Presbyterian Church. And from it comes this piece about the early days of Purchase:

“Nearly everyone has heard of Haviland China, yet very few know that the first Haviland China was made in Harrison.

“A Frenchman by the name of Havreland, driven from France by religious troubles, crossed the Atlantic and settled at Flushing, Long Island. It was but a step for him to cross the Long Island Sound and make Purchase his home.

“Here he found a fair quality of felspar, one of the necessities in the manufacture of china. Probably for the sake of euphony, Mr. Havreland had changed his name to Haviland, and in Purchase he made and sold many Haviland China dishes.

“The religious troubles of France having ended, Mr. Haviland returned to France, leaving his sons in America. In his old home there was a better quality of felspar than America had yet produced. As a result, the famous Haviland China factory was established there, which now employs 7,000 people.”



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