The Battenkill Valley, in the southern part of Washington County, is the historical backdrop to many homesteading settlers as well as the Mohawk and Mahican tribes. Two retired Roger?s Rangers, James Turner and Joshua Conkey, came to Salem and purchased 25,000 acres of land?known as the Turner Patent?bringing many families from Pelham, Massachusetts, to settle along White Creek and the Battenkill. With the advent of photography, the results of this pioneering spirit were captured, first on glass negative plates and later with roll film, by numerous Salem photographers from 1865 to the early 1900s. As new canals, roads, and railroads of the 1800s were built, local photographers could travel easily with their heavy photography equipment, capturing scenes of the towns and villages nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, replete with their own rivers and lakes. Now, the region thrives off agriculture, logging, mining, and tourism. The Battenkill draws hundreds of fishermen, boaters, and swimmers to the area in the spring and summer.