Southeast is a town located in the southeastern corner of Putnam County, with a population of 18,000. Founded in 1788 as one of the three original towns of Putnam County. It’s located at the crossroads of Interstate highways 684 and 84, and State Routes 22 and 312, as well as US Highways 6 and 202. Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem Line has two stops that service the area, at Brewster Village and Southeast Station (formerly Brewster North) off Route 312. Southeast contains the village of Brewster, and the hamlets of Brewster Heights, Deans Corners, Deforest Corners, Drewville Heights, Dykemans, Milltown, Sears Corners, and Sodom.
The history of Southeast begins with the first settler arriving around 1730. The area first exploited was called “The Oblong,” and was outside of the land claimed by the Philipse Patent. Due to a border dispute between New York and Connecticut, the area between the undisputed border of New York and the undisputed border of Connecticut was an approximately 4-mile-wide (6 km) area which ran the full north-south dimension along the state line, in what are now Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, and Columbia Counties. This was called the Oblong. Land was sold in this area both by the governor of New York and the King of England for Connecticut, with conflicting deeds. The boundary was settled in New York’s favor by the 1731 Treaty of Dover.
A small portion of The Oblong, namely the portion in the Philipse Patent (now Putnam County), was alternately known as Southeast as it was the southeasternmost town in Dutchess County. It consisted of the 4-mile-wide section of land along the Connecticut border, going the full north-south dimension of what is now Putnam County, i.e. the eastern part of the current town of Patterson, and the eastern part of the current town of Southeast. The western parts of those two current towns were part of the large Phillipse Patent which had not yet been divided into towns.