What’s in a Name?: “Short [and] Long Clove”

Believe it or not, the origination of the word “Clove,” which is featured in the names of two prominent mountain passes at the southern end of Haverstraw, Short Clove and Long Clove, begins in Dutch-influenced Afrikaans.  A “Kloof” is a deep ravine or mountain pass in Middle Dutch tradition. “Kloove” is directly translated as a “cut or gash in the body of Mother Earth” in Old Dutch. The Dutch, in their conquest of new worlds settled many regions including the Hudson Valley, parts of the Caribbean, and Africa. The use of the term arrived with the earliest Dutch settlers as they settled Haverstraw. “Clove” is an anglicized version of “Kloove” or “Kloof.” The Short and Long Clove are rifts in the Palisades Escarpment south of High Tor Mountain, which became the most obvious locations for Native American then Colonial paths out of Haverstraw and south in to Clarkstown and the Nyacks. Today, the Long Clove hosts Route 9W and the Short Clove allows the passage of vehicles on Haverstraw Road past the Quarry and toward South Mountain Road.


One thought on “What’s in a Name?: “Short [and] Long Clove”

  1. Wow, I never understood where that name came from. I thought it was cloves as in the spice clove; but short and long didn’t make sense to me. Thanks for clearing that up!

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