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The town is in the eastern part of the county, just north of New Jersey. The region was inhabited by various tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans at the time Dutch settlers moved into New Amsterdam (present day Manhattan) in 1624. The first Europeans to settle here were English Quakers who arrived from Long Island and Connecticut during a religious migration to what they called "the wilderness". They established farms along Muddy Brook near its confluence with two other brooks that flow through today's downtown area: Stony Brook (which flows south toward Wawayanda) and Roaring Brook (which flows east toward Greenwood Lake). These small family groups adopted names such as Stagg, Huntley, Boice, Hartwells Mills for their settlements along these streams which have since been dammed up or buried underground for urban development. Their descendants are still found throughout Orange County today; many have changed their last names to sound more fashionable but some families continue using original surnames centuries later.