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