In 1803, Cornelius Nelson sold 125 acres land, including the Garrison riverbank, to Harry Garrison as farm land. John Garrison, Harry's son, inherited the land. The Garrisons established the ferry to West Point in the early 1800s. Garrison Landing was named for John Garrison in 1847. John Garrison sold 82.9 acres to Samuel Sloan in 1863. The parcel of land included Fort Hill, the site of the South Redoubt.
Samuel Sloan was president of the Hudson River Railroad from 1855 to 1862. Later, he was president of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad company, as well as many other local New York State railroads. Sloan became interested in living in the Hudson Highlands for the sake of the health of his children. He built a large hillside villa in Garrison, called Oulagisket. He also bought more property and built houses for his adult children around the base of what became known as Sloan Mountain. Sloan had a road built to the South Redoubt, as well as an observation tower at the summit, between 1881 and 1882.
This 1891 Plan of Garrison Putnam County was published by Watson & Co. under the supervision of F.W. Beers. The map shows the families that owned the land where the Garrison School Forest is now located. The Desmond-Fish Library displays a copy of this map, which is also part of the New York Public Library's collection of open access maps. Click on the map to view a larger version.