from THE DOUBLE-HEADED SNAKE OF NEWBURY by John Greenleaf Whittier

Far away in twilight time
Of every people, in every clime,
Dragons ans griffins and monsters dire,
Born of water, and air, and fire,
Or nursed, like the Python, in the mud, And ooze of the old Deucalion flood,
Crawl and wriggle and foam with rage,
Through dark tradition and ballad age.

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Jan Dirksen Van Aernam and his wife, Sara Theunis, were the first of the name in America. They had come from Holland and are recorded as being in New Amsterdam in 1663, where were born to them eight children. One of their sons, Jan Janse came to Albany and married Hester Fonda about 1696. Their children were six in number. One of their sons, Jan Dirk Van Aernam, was born in 1708, married Elizabeth Lansing in 1726 and to them were born eight children. Jan Dirk and his family were the first to locate near present Altamont, about 1750.  They are buried in their old farm grave yard south of Altamont 

             text adapted from Old Helleberg
                          a history by Arthur Gregg


Oft when a child I used to rove
  Among the meadows fair,
And dreamily my fancies wove
   Bright castles in the air,
Beyond the blue rimmed mountains I
    Transported seemed to be,
And other lands and other climes
     Were open unto me.

But now when all those visions fair
    Have come to me in truth,
Still dreams I on of other lands
     Just as I did in youth:
These wonderous scenes that come     and go
      Before my lomging eyes,
Are not of places Lnown on earth--
      They are of Paradise

               --Magdalene I. La Grange       
 in Songs of the Helderberg (1892)    

Clump looks over the valleys of streams

Clump with its pastures and herds:

Clump with its flowers and beechwood bowers 

And the grave of John 0' Birds.          

-- W.W. Christman