The portrait above the desk is of Thomas Ellison.
John Ellison, a rich landholder, came to New York from New Castle-on-Tyne, England, in 1688. His great-great-grandfather, Cuthbert Ellison, was sheriff there in 1544 and mayor in 1549. Some of his family are still living there.
…John Ellison bought large tracts of land here and in 1691 he was admitted a freeman of the City of New York
In 1718 he took for a debt loaned to William Southerland, a tract of land lying in the precinct of the Highlands, afterward called New Windsor. This land was part of the Chambers patent. He died in 1724 leaving four sons, John, Thomas, William and Joseph.
Thomas Ellison was born in New York in 1701 and married in1723. He took possession of his land in New Windsor built log houses for his colony of colored servants, and in 1723 erected a house on a bluff overlooking the river, known as “homestead”. Nearly 60 years afterwards, Gen. Washington used it as his headquarters.
…Ellison bought several parcels of land near his estate and later had grants of land near Shawanak Kill in Ulster County and several others. Part of these grants he procured from Indian deeds and signed by their marks. All of these properties made him one of the largest landed proprietors of this country.
At the time of his marriage he was made deputy chief ranger under Cadwallader Colden. He was for many years Colonel of the Second Regiment of militia of Ulster County and served with his regiment in the war against the French. He built warehouses and docks on his New Windsor property and established a line of boats to New York, where grain from the country around was sent to his father’s dock in Little Queens Street, New York City.
…In 1754 Thomas Ellison built a stone house farther away from the river, near Vails Gate, known as “the Ellison House” and erected a mill for the grinding of the grain. Later Gen. Knox made it his headquarters. Col. Thomas Ellison died in 1779, leaving seven children: Elizabeth married Cadwallader Colden Jr.; Margaret married John Crooke; Eleanor and Mary unmarried; Thomas, born 1732, married Mary Peck of New York; John born 1736, married Catherine Johnston of Kingston; William, born 1739, married Mary Floyd of Long Island. (Ellison saga -Newburgh News Aug. 23, 1937)
Taken with a Panasonic Lumix GF1 and G vario 14-42 asph f3.5-5.6.