Patterson is a town located in the northeast area of Putnam County with a population of 12,000. Patterson, originally named Franklin, was divided from the former town of Frederickstown, in 1795.
Patterson contains the hamlets of Patterson, Barnum Corners, Camp Brady, Fields Corners, Haines Corners, Haviland Hollow, Putnam Lake, Steinbeck Corners, Towners, and West Patterson.
The town is named after early farmer Matthew Paterson. The reason Patterson was spelled with two “t”s was due to the looseness with which Paterson spelled his own last name. The town was first settled around 1720 in The Oblong, which was a disputed area in southeastern New York also claimed by the colony of Connecticut. The Oblong was a strip of land approximately 2.9 km wide between Dutchess County New York and Connecticut, ceded to New York in the 1731 Treaty of Dover.
Between 1720 and 1776 a large number of mostly Connecticut families settled in the southern Oblong who could not settle west of it because that land was privately owned by the Philipse Family, who owned virtually all of the rest of the future Putnam County. The first such settlers were the Hyat family, who built a house at The Elm in 1720. Another early settler was Jacob Haviland, who settled Haviland Hollow in 1731.
The first village in Putnam County, the hamlet of Patterson, was originally called Frederickstown, which lent its name to the eastern part of the future Putnam County other than the oblong, which was called Southeast Precinct (not the same as the current town of Southeast).