Ulster County New York 

Rosendale, New York

   Although our families have spread to the four corners of this country in the nearly 140 years documented here, their beginnings center on three primary regions in the northeast.  Rosendale, in Ulster County New York, the County of Kings (Brooklyn) which is part of the five boroughs of New York City, and Quincy in Essex County, Massachusetts.  Places of Interest will attempt to document the places where they lived, worked and worshiped. I paid particular interest to the church they attended because much of what I have been able to reconstruct over the years has been through baptismal and marital records.  Their godparents were usually family members or close friends who figured largely in their network of countrymen.  Our experience in the New World begins with a young rebel on the run from the British after a failed uprising in Tipperary Ireland in 1866. 

    James Fleming was born in Carrickbeg, County Waterford, Ireland in 28 February,1846 the third child of James Fleming and Catherine Phelan.  How he came to know the Sullivan family is a mystery, but Carrickbeg and Clogheen are within walking distance across the mountains.  James and perhaps both Paul and William Sullivan were more than just sympathetic to the anti British Feneans but it was James who had to flee the country and make his way to North America. 

    James entered North America by way of Canada and worked there on the railroads, and by 1873 he eventually found his way to the town of Kingston in Ulster County NY.  It's not clear if James and Mary had pledged themselves to each other before he left Ireland (he was 20 years old and she was merely 12).  Mary came to America between June and October of 1873 and married James Fleming on October 26, 1873. James Fleming Jr was born the following August in Kingston NY the first of 11 children, and the only child not born in Rosendale.


Rosendale, NY 1875

By 1875 the family had moved to Rosendale NY where James found work at the James B. James Cement Company as a quarryman.  The house pictured at the left actually belonged to the James B James Cement Company and was used to house several of the mine employees and their families. Across the road from the house was one of several of the James Company mines.  The Fleming family lived in the house from 1883  until it was purchase by James Fleming in 1899.  It remains in the family untill 2012.

    Joseph Fleming one of the 11 children of James and Mary Fleming, wrote extensively about his childhood years on James Street, much of which was published in The Rosendale News under the title Do You Remember from 1938 through 1943. He became the Assistant Editor to that paper and some of his remembrances also appear in the booklet A Story of James Street indexed by Linda Tantillo which is available at the Rosendale Public Library.  The story of this generation of Fleming's is a story unto itself and will be documented in later issues of POI.    The picture at the  left is the house on James Street as it appeared in 1912. Notice the stairway to the second floor on either side.  The stairs were built to provide access to second floor apartments for employees of the James Mine.

The Fleming house as it appear in a drawing by Joseph Fleming in 1885 left  and a phot in 1912 center, and as it appears today.  The porch and side entrance are long gone.




St Peter RC Church on James Street Rosendale, NY


Left: The Kilns of the New York & Rosendale Cement Works as they appear  today

Right: Saint Peter Church sits at the head of James Street below the old railroad station and bridge that crosses the Roundout River. The present edifice was built in 1873, a year prior to the time when James and Mary Fleming came to the region.  An early description of the church and its surroundings appeared in the Catholic journal below     




The parish of St. Peter's has a somewhat peculiar history.  Owing to the discovery of natural cement in the mountains, the territory underwent a rapid development.  The displacement of a natural product by a superior article being put on the market caused a serious calamity to the neighborhood for numbers of  families that emigrated.  Rosendale was at first a mission of Roundoutt (Kingston), and the church built by Father Martin, its first pastor, now serves as a school.  The present buildings are on a plateau overlooking the entire village, and stand as a monument to the memory of Father O'Flaherty the priest who planned and built the school and convent.  The school is in charge of 4 Sisters of Charity and has about 120 pupils.  Rosendale has two missions in Whiteport and High Falls, where Father Hickey built a church as well as the station at Riftonn Glenn.  - The Catholic Church In America