Pierre Dumas was the first European to establish permanent residence within the township of Sterling, New York. He settled at Sterling Valley in 1805 and his sons probably arrived with him to help clear the land and build their first log cabin.
His original cabin stood on Laxton Road east of State Route 104A overlooking Sterling Valley. (Pierre is also often referred to as Peter Demas and details about his life are sometimes confused with his son, Peter Dumass.)
born 1756 Nov 25 in Bergerac, Guyenne Province, France
married 1786 June 11 to Mary Huntley in Stillwater, New York, age 29
1805 – Arrival in Sterling Valley, New York, age 58
died 1825 Aug 13 in Sterling Valley, Cayuga County, New York, age 78
buried Pierre is said to have been buried on his property in Sterling Valley, near his home. No grave-marker exists. Today there are a few gravestones at the location of a small cemetery on King Road in Sterling Valley not far from the site of Pierre’s house. Whether he was buried in this cemetery or closer to his house is not known. Over the years as crops were planted in the adjacent field some portion of this cemetery was plowed over.
military service One source tells us that Pierre Dumas arrived at Delaware as a member of the French Navy aboard the Le Cezar. Another source says that he arrived at Connecticut with General Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau. Yet another states that he arrived with Lafayette, but this seems to be thought false by current researchers. Documentation needs to be located.
1778 – In Salem, Massachusetts Pierre enlisted in the Continental Army for a period of three years in Captain Treadwell’s Company, Colonel Crane’s Artillery Regiment. Later he was transferred to Captain Wright’s Company.
1781 – Re-enlisted at West Point, New York as a Private in Captain Gershom Mott’s Company of Colonel John Lamb’s second Artillery Regiment. He was at Yorktown when Colonel Cornwallis surrendered.
1782 Oct – Served as Life Guard to George Washington.
For his service Pierre received land in New York’s Military Tract. This land was located in Locke, New York. Pierre sold this land and bought the property he settled on in Sterling Valley.