Port Jervis, NY is named in honor of the chief engineer for the Delaware & Hudson Canal. John B. Jervis was born in Huntington, L.I., NY, in 1795. His father, Timothy Jarvis moved with his wife Phebe and young son to Ft. Stanwix, NY in 1797. The house where John Jervis was born still stands on the southeast corner of Park Ave and Woodhull St in Huntington. Records indicate it was built about 1688 by Wm. Jarvis, a whaling captain and distant relative of Jervis. It appears the family name was changed from Jarvis to Jervis sometime before 1820, likely as a patriotic gesture to counteract grandfather Jonathan Jervis' loyalty oath to the king in 1778. Two other noteworthy projects that involved engineer Jervis were the Erie Canal and of course, Croton Aqueduct, the first major system which first provided New York City with water. He wrote many books and engineering reports. His papers were bequeathed to the City of Rome, NY, and his home provided the city's first public library. It was named in his honor. He died in January, 1885 at Rome, NY.
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