Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond: Blog http://www.americancatskills.com/blog en-us Copyright (C). All Rights Reserved. 2009-2018. Matthew Jarnich Photography. dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) Thu, 26 Apr 2018 23:30:00 GMT Thu, 26 Apr 2018 23:30:00 GMT http://www.americancatskills.com/img/s/v-5/u21107031-o922362058-50.jpg Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond: Blog http://www.americancatskills.com/blog 120 80 Ultimate Road Trip #6 http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/4/ultimate-road-trip-6 The weather is starting to turn, the buds are out, flowering bushes are blooming, the snow and extreme cold are in the rearview mirror. The sun is out, the sky is deep blue. Spring cleanup in the yard. The cover is off the barbecue and the patio set. Our first dinner outside. Moods are improving. Driving home in the light. Every day gets longer. And looking forward to my first Catskills trip of the year in a few weeks.

 

Plenty of inside time during the long winter meant having the time to take a look at a new music set for that first Catskills trip. Depending on where I’m headed the drive takes about ~2 hours. This music set comes in at 1 hour, 28 minutes, covering me for most of the drive. Plenty of first timers to my ultimate road trip sets, including a well-known and diverse set of musicians such as Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell, Chris Smither, Tom Russell, Kim Richey, Colter Wall, Chris Stapleton, Chris Knight and Darius Rucker.

 

  1. I Am the Ride – Chris Smither
  1. Tonight We Ride – Tom Russell
  1. The Sky Above, the Mud Below – Tom Russell
  1. The Pugilist at 59 – Tom Russell
  1. Don’t Get Me Started – Rodney Crowell
  1. East Side of Town – Lucinda Williams
  1. Longest Days – John Mellencamp
  1. 24 Frames – Jason Isbell
  1. Racing In the Street – Charlie Robinson
  1. Sleeping on the Blacktop – Colter Wall
  1. Breakaway Speed – Kim Richey
  1. How Am I Ever Gonna Be Me? – Scott Miller
  1. Amtrak Cresent – Scott Miller & The Commonwealth
  1. The Rain – Scott Miller
  1. Thorn In My Heart – Kim Richey
  1. House and 90 Acres – Chris Knight
  1. Outlaw State of Mind – Chris Stapleton
  1. Highland Country Boy – Scott Miller
  1. Hot Corn, Cold Corn – Robert Earl Keen
  1. Surrender Under Protest – Drive-By Truckers
  1. Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) album alt-country americana ballad band best country digital drive favorite freedom great greatest listen lyrics mix music musician place playlist road road trip singer song story travel trip ultimate ultimate road trip http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/4/ultimate-road-trip-6 Thu, 26 Apr 2018 23:30:15 GMT
Thomas Morris Longstreth, Author of The Catskills  (Part 5 of 5) http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/4/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-5-of-5 The books written by T. Morris Longstreth include, but are not limited to, the following:

Title

Year

Publisher

Comments

Reading the Weather

1915

New York: Outing Publishing Company

Reissued in 1943 as Knowing the Weather.

The Adirondacks

1917

New York: The Century Co.

Travelogue through the Adirondacks region.

Lake Placid and an Experiment in Intelligence

1917

New York: The Century Co.

Reprinted from The Adirondacks.

The Catskills

1918

New York: The Century Co.

Travelogue through the Catskills region.

Mac of Placid

1920

New York: The Century Co.

 

The Laurentians: The Hills of the Habitant

1922

New York: The Century Company

 

The Lake Placid Country Tramper’s Guide

1922

Lake Placid: Adirondack Camp and Trail Club

Guide book to over 60 trails in the Lake Placid region of the Adirondacks.

The Lake Superior Country

1924

New York: The Century Company

“Outdoor life, the land, the people, and the animals in a wild and beautiful region.”

The Silent Five

 

1924

New York: The Century Co.

 

Coin and Crossbones

1925

New York: The Century Co.

Sequel to The Silent Five

Ade of the Marcy Mounted

1926

New York: Century Company

 

The Silent Force: Scenes from the Life of the Mounted Police of Canada

1927

New York: Century Company

 

Sons of the Mounted Police

1928

New York: Century Company

 

The Sky Through Branches.

 

1930

New York: Century Company

Volume of poems.

Murder at Belly Butte and other mysteries from the records of the mounted police

1931

New York: The Century Co.

Follows 14 different criminal cases involving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Quebec Montreal and Ottawa

 

1933

New York: The Century Co.

 

In Scarlet and Plain Clothes: The History of the Mounted Police

1933

New York: Macmillan

 

To Nova Scotia: The Sunrise Province of Canada

1935

New York: D. Appleton-Century Company

 

Trial by Wilderness

 

1940

New York: D. Appleton-Century

 

Trooper’s Friend: A Tale of Mountain Prep

 

1940

New York: D. Appleton-Century Company

 

In Lightning or in Rain.

 

1941

New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, incorporated

 

Jess

 

1941

Philadelphia: Westminster Press

“. . . the story of a vivacious and effervescent school girl who ultimately becomes the star of her home town.” (“Book Reviews.” The Bronxville Review-Press. December 23, 1941. 2nd section, page 5.)

The Missouri Clipper: A Mountain Prep Story

1941

New York: D. Appleton-Century Co.

 

Knowing the Weather

 

1943

New York: The Macmillan Co.

Reissued from the original 1915 Reading the Weather. Subject is meteorology aimed at the beginner.

Tad Lincoln, The President’s Son

 

1944

Philadelphia: The Westminster Press

Biography of Tad Lincoln

Two Rivers Meet in Concord

 

1946

Philadelphia: The Westminster Press

 

Hide-out

 

1947

New York: The Macmillan Co.

“A story of Concord in the days of Thoreau and Emerson. Reuben loses his temper with the jailer where his father is imprisoned and is forced to run away from home. As a helper in a livery stable he has a part in the struggle between the new railroads and the old stages. An interesting story with a good historical background.” (“Background of History.” The Saturday Review. November 15, 1947. Page 61.)

The Great Venture

 

1948

New York: The Macmillan Co.

Biography. “The story of the early years as a sculptor of Daniel Chester French. The scene is Concord in the time of Emerson, the Alcotts, Richard Dana, and other famous Americans. It is an unusually interesting biography, convincing and full of life.” (“Biography.” The Saturday Review. November 13, 1948. Page 40.)

Mounty in a Jeep

 

1949

New York: Macmillan Company

“In an isolated village on the Alberta-Northwest Territories boundary a young Mountie brings law and order to his territory by exercising leadership and by participating in youth activities.”

Showdown

 

1950

New York: Macmillan

 

Gallows Rock

 

1951

New York: Macmillan

 

Elephant Toast

 

1953

New York: Macmillan Co.

“A hilarious story of a boys’ camp where everything happens, including an elephant.” Ages 8-12.

Camping Like Crazy

1953

New York: Macmillan

 

The Scarlet Force: The Making of the Mounted Police

1953

Toronto: Macmillan

About the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Understanding the Weather

1953

New York: Macmillan

 

The Force Carries On

1954

Toronto: Macmillan

Subject is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The sequel to The Scarlet Force.

Time Flight

1954

New York: Macmillan

 

Dangerline

1955

New York: MacMillan

 

Doorway in the Dark

 

1956

New York: Macmillan

“Communist intrigue and cruelty play a large part in this thrilling story of two young men who struggle to keep a free university in occupied Berlin.”

The MacQuarrie Boys

 

1957

New York: Macmillan

 

Bull Session

 

1958

New York: Macmillan

 

Michel of Ironwood

1959

New York: Macmillan

 

Trouble Guaranteed

1960

New York: Macmillan

 

That Williams Boy

1961

New York: Macmillan

 

The Calgary Challengers

1962

Toronto, Macmillan of Toronto

 

Henry Thoreau, American Rebel

 

1963

New York: Dodd, Mead

Biography of Thoreau, and overview of his works

The Comeback Catcher

 

1965

New York: Dodd, Mead

 

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) 1886 1975 adirondacks author back log camp benjamin longstreth benjamin taylor longstreth books canada canada royal mounted police catskills concord friends select school haverford college henry thoreau history longstreth magazine mounted police mounties pennsylvania periodical philadelphia poem poet publication quaker radio t. morris longstreth the adirondacks the catskills thomas morris longstreth thoreau travel travelogue westtown westtown school william collins longstreth with canada's mounted wynnewood http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/4/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-5-of-5 Sat, 21 Apr 2018 00:00:48 GMT
Thomas Morris Longstreth, Author of The Catskills  (Part 4 of 5) http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/4/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-4-of-5            Through his extensive time spent living in Canada, Longstreth would become enamored with the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, a subject which remained important throughout his career. He wrote many books on the subject, both fiction and non-fiction. While researching his Canadian subjects, Longstreth became an historian for the Mounted Police, even working in their office, and claimed “the distinction of being the only man outside the organization ever to have been granted access to complete records.”[1] He lived for a time in Ottawa. His early books on the subject included The Silent Force (1927), Sons of the Mounted Police (1928), and Murder at Belly Butte and other mysteries from the records of the mounted police (1931). Later books included In Scarlet and Plain Clothes (1933), Mounty in a Jeep (1949), The Scarlet Force: The Making of the Mounted Police (1953) and The Force Carries On (1956).

Longstreth’s work about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would launch a popular radio show on the subject in the early 1930s. Titled With Canada’s Mounted, but also known as Canada’s Mounted on the Air, the 30 minute show aired on channel NBC Blue from January 11 to April 4, 1932. The show was sponsored by the Canada Dry Bottling Company for its popular Canada Dry Ginger Ale soft drink. The lead cast on the show included Allyn Joslyn (1901-1981), a well known stage, radio, television and film actor, and Eustace Wyatt (1882-1944), a British actor and well known radio personality. Longstreth was responsible for writing “the continuity” for the show. The show would prompt a number of succeeding programs on the subject of the Mounted Police.

The show was described as “the real story of the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, written by the official historian of the group that always gets its man . . . each broadcast will be a complete story in itself, dealing with the inside history of some famous Canadian crime or criminal. The initial show tells how a famous forger was run to earth. The title is “The Case of Ernest Cashell.”[2]

Jim Cox, author of Radio Crime Fighters: More Than 300 Programs from the Golden Age, described the show and its lasting legacy: “These dramatizations featured tales focused on Royal Canadian Mounted Police files. Instead of a single hero, as in the more prominent Challenge of the Yukon, there were two Mounties as central figures searching for lawbreakers. “The O’Brien Murders,” “The Idaho Kid,” “The Island Affair,” The Mad Trapper of the Rat River” and “Constable Whaley’s First Patrol” were among the titles of the 13-week show.

Following extensive research on the aural dramas about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Jack French suggested that this was the progenitor of a dozen or more series in that line (including at least a trio of narratives that were produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. – Men in Scarlet [1943-48], The Queen’s Men [early 1950s], and The Quiet Force [1954-55]). The footprints of With Canada’s Mounted Police therefore loom large for it inspired a wave of successors that enthralled millions of fans young and old in two nations for nearly a quarter of a century.”[3]

Around 1937 Longstreth “then settled down in Washington for five years; spent seven years at Concord, Massachusetts; and is now living close to his old Westtown school, which often figures in the familiar essays he has written once a month for the Christian Science Monitor” for over twenty years.”[4] Longstreth was a member of the Author’s League (now The Authors Guild), the oldest and largest professional organization for writers.

Throughout his life Longstreth was a great admirer of the works of Henry Thoreau (1817-1862), the famous American author, naturalist and philosopher. Longstreth lived in Thoreau’s home town of Concord, Massachussetts for seven years. He served on the Library Committee for the Concord Fee Public Library and contributed to a booklet that detailed its history upon the Library’s 75th anniversary in 1948. He took frequent walks to Walden, the site of Thoreau’s famous book where “I [Thoreau] went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what they had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Longstreth was living in Concord when the site of Thoreau’s cabin was discovered in 1945 by archaeologist Roland Wells Robbins (1908-1987), and was present at the excavation of the cabin’s cellar hole. Robbins wrote in his 1947 book titled Discovery at Walden that “The undersigned have witnessed the excavation of the cellar-hole of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden cabin on Labor Day, September 2, 1946 by Roland Wells Robbins who discovered the site of the chimney foundation on November 11, 1945.”[5] The statement was signed by Roland Wells Robbins (Lincoln, Mass.), T. Morris Longstreth (Concord, Mass.), Aletta L. French (Concord, Mass.) Wallace B. Conant (Concord, Mass.), Anton Kovar (Arlington, Mass.) and Walter Harding (Secretary of the Thoreau Society, Bridgewater, Mass.). The original Thoreau site and replica cabin at Walden Pond form part of the Massachusetts State Park known as the Walden Pond State Reservation and can be visited by any fan of Thoreau.

While in Concord Longstreth participated in the informal Thoreau Reading Circle at the home of Allen and Aletta French and was a member of the Thoreau Society for many years, serving as its secretary and treasurer. The Thoreau Society was formed in 1941 and continues today as “the oldest and largest single-author society in the United States.” Longstreth wrote frequently of Thoreau in articles for the Christian Science Monitor, including “Thoreau and the Thrushes” (June 8, 1944), “On Thoreau’s Coldness” (August 25, 1944), and “Thoreau As Writing Instructor” (July 12, 1945). In 1963, at the age of 77, Longstreth authored Henry Thoreau, American Rebel. In the introduction he wrote of Thoreau’s profound influence on his life:

“Best of all, books give us their creators, the wise and great and funny and lasting people who saw deeper into human beings and farther into spiritual greatness than most of us. Anybody who can read soon starts acquiring friends of this sort, and quite by accident I fell in step with Henry Thoreau when I was thirteen. I was as wild-feeling as he, as crazy about weather and the woods and rivers. I liked to laugh just as much. This happened in 1899, and we are better friends than ever today.

               This is because I wanted to be I, and he wanted to be completely himself. It is because I wanted more life, and his suggestions as to how to get it were simpler, more practical and more exciting than any I heard elsewhere. It is because I wanted to rich and lazy, to live in the country and have everything the city offered, to stay young however old I had to be, to enjoy every moment in spite of everything. The evening I first looked into Thoreau’s Journals in the Westtown School library, was one of the great beginning moments of my whole experience. And I am still turning to them for pleasure and laughs, for aspects of nature I have overlooked, for good practical common sense, and above all, for my friend Henry Thoreau. “The bluebird carries the sky on his back,” he said, and Henry Thoreau carries the fire of life in his sentences. The more of them you have made your own, the richer and wiser you will be.”[6]

 

The 1950 book Current Biography offered a few more personal details about Longstreth: “In view of the fact that Longstreth does not consider himself photogenic, and thinks press photographs misleading anyway, no picture of him appears here. He is of medium height, with fair hair and blue-gray eyes. He is a member of the Society of Friends, a bachelor, and a Republican in politics (“for default of better”). Skiing and canoeing were his favorite sports, and he still enjoys music and the outdoors. Besides his nearly thirty books [later over forty], he was written hundreds of magazine articles. His most widely quoted sentence is, “As youth goes, so does the nation.” And he has read Huckleberry Finn as often as The Virginian and the poems of Robert Frost – as well as Hamlet and “the great pieces in the Bible.”[7]

Longstreth lived in Westtown, Pennsylvania from 1949 until his death. Longstreth died at Wynnewood, Pennsylvania on December 21, 1975.

 

 

[1] “Radio News.” The Daily Star. January 11, 1932. Page 8.

[2] “With Canada’s Mounted Is New Air Story Series.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 10, 1932. Page C 12.

[3] Cox, Jim. Radio Crime Fighters: More than 300 Programs from the Golden Age. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2002. Page 277.

[4] Rothe, Anna. Current Biography. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1951. Pages 349-350.

[5] Robbins, Roland Wells. Discovery at Walden. Stoneham, Mass.: George R. Barnstead & Son, 1947. Page 51.

[6] Longstreth, T. Morris. Henry Thoreau, American Rebel. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1963. Pages IX-X.

[7] Rothe, Anna. Current Biography. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1951. Pages 349-350.

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) 1886 1975 adirondacks author back log camp benjamin longstreth benjamin taylor longstreth books canada canada royal mounted police catskills concord friends select school haverford college henry thoreau history longstreth magazine mounted police mounties pennsylvania periodical philadelphia poem poet publication quaker radio t. morris longstreth the adirondacks the catskills thomas morris longstreth thoreau travel travelogue westtown westtown school william collins longstreth with canada's mounted wynnewood http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/4/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-4-of-5 Sat, 21 Apr 2018 00:00:41 GMT
Thomas Morris Longstreth, Author of The Catskills (Part 3 of 5) http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/4/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-3-of-5    Upon graduation from Haverford College T. Morris Longstreth originally intended to pursue music as a career. “Music was then banned by the Quakers and so my intoxication by it grew. I planned to become a composer, Beethoven’s successor, to speak frankly. But my father’s death [in 1912] routed me out of dreamland and I taught school instead.”[1]

               For the future author of over forty books it is interesting he graduated Haverford, “with another solemn admonition from an instructor to beware of writing as a profession. (At Haverford he had written a description of the cane rush for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, and some personality sketches for the Haverfordian.

Since Longstreth had in any case decided to study and compose music, he was not unduly perturbed by this advice. . . “Finally a gentleman whose boys I had tutored into St. Paul’s offered to stake me to an education in Vienna (this was in 1912), but when I returned from Europe in order to make arrangements to go back there, I found my father fatally ill and I must earn money.” I think the Germans, without meaning to, stimulated me out of my pleasure-loving existence (for I had had five trips to Europe as tutor) and into serious work. For in 1914, the outbreak of war, with much of the world taken on Germans and Austrians, was somewhat like a sporting event, and stirred my blood. I was in London when it broke out and felt the impact. It made a profound difference to my feeling and thinking. Of course, I soon got over the sporting-event phase as my friends began to get killed in August 1914, but the stimulus remained. This is a unique and not very intelligent entrance into letters, but a true one.”[2] Thankful for all readers, young and old, Longstreth did not follow the advice of his college instructor.

After graduation Longstreth first worked as a travelling tutor from 1908 to 1912, including spending the winter of 1908-1909 in Europe as a private tutor. Based on his father’s illness and the outbreak of World War I, Longstreth changed his career to teaching, working at a variety of positions including as an English teacher at the Blight Preparatory School in Philadelphia; as a camp director at Camp Megunticook in Camden, Maine in the summer of 1911; a teacher in 1912-13 at the De Lancey School in Philadelphia; and a teacher in 1917 at Montgomery Country Day School in Wynnewood, Philadelphia.

Thereafter, realizing that “teaching was fun, but I found writing at night fun, too”,[3] Longstreth became a free-lance author, publishing a wide variety of books, including travelogues, science fiction adventures, many stories of Canada’s mounted police and several biographies, including one on Tad Lincoln, President Abraham Lincoln’s son, and one on Daniel Chester French, a well known sculptor. Longstreth authored over 40 books in his career.  Longstreth was also a prolific contributor to the leading magazines of the day including Harper’s, Century, St. Nicholas, Christian Science Monitor and many others.

Longstreth’s first book titled Reading the Weather was published in 1915. It was dedicated to his grandmother, Mary Gibson Haldeman, “herself responsible for so much sunshine.” The 195 page book observed that [the weather] was at once the commonest topic for conversation and the rarest for thought”, and so Longstreth responded by writing the book stating that “he wanted to see the commoner weather pinned down to facts.” He would later write two other weather books, Knowing the Weather in 1943 and Understanding the Weather in 1953.

In the early years of his post-teaching career Longstreth visited and tramped the famous Adirondacks of northern New York state, which led to the publication in 1917 of his second book titled The Adirondacks. The travelogue was based on Longstreth’s 6 month journey through the region in 1916. After its publication Longstreth received an invitation from Melvil Dewey of the Lake Placid Club, a social and recreation club in the Adirondacks, to be a guest for a year. Dewey, an American librarian and inventor of the Dewey Decimal system of library classification, was the founder of the Lake Placid Club (in 1895). Longstreth accepted Dewey’s invitation and remained in the Adirondacks region for ten years. He was active in local affairs, serving for many years as the Vice President of the Lake Placid Club and keeping detailed weather records. In 1922, Longstreth would author a second Adirondacks book titled The Lake Placid Country Tramper’s Guide, a popular guide book to over 60 trails in the Lake Placid region of the Adirondacks.

Speaking of his early writing and its influences Longstreth wrote in 1920 that “There is only one kind of writer worth considering, the writer who writes in accordance with his desire. That desire may be for money, or to relieve some ardor of the senses, or to edify, or to amuse, or to express the heritage of the past years in durable form. The desire may be wrong or unintelligent, or merely vain, but as long as it is genuine it is worth a hearing.”

Longstreth continued, “But the wise writer will seek out what seems the unique in him (though it is not) and add it to the universal, justifying the use of God’s time in his private employ. For each man has had emotions, experiences, visions, which, if uttered truly, resolutely, and with regard to art, must cheer or warn or even inspire others who have dimly felt but cannot realize so fully. I have not yet graduated into this class, for I have not written with the definite object of cheering or warning or inspiring. My writing has sprung, so far, as a reaction to friendships I have had situated amount the inexpressible but ever-inviting-to-be-expressed beauty of nature.”[4]

His third book, like his previous, The Adirondacks, involved an interesting trek through a popular mountain region of New York State, this time in the Catskills. Upon its release in 1918, The Catskills sold for $2.50. The publisher, the Century Company, advertised the book in its catalog: “This is a sort of glorified guidebook, a delightfully written and charmingly illustrated informal handbook on one of the most interesting and accessible of our great national playgrounds. As is well known, the Catskills are a joy to the geologist as well as the naturalist, and they are the scene of many of the most fascinating of the old Dutch legends of the Hudson River region. Mr. Longstreth is a born tramper and camper, intimately familiar with the natural and historical features of the mountains, as well as their villages and country folk. His book will appeal strongly to those who know the beautiful views, the famous climate, and the bracing air of the Catskills, and others will read it for its evocation of a notable America panorama, its breezy aroma of the great outdoors. The 32 full-page illustrations add materially to the charm of the book.”[5]

It is without a doubt one of the best books ever written about the Catskills region and was very positively received at the time by literary critics and in local newspapers:

----------------------------------

LITERARY DIGEST

“To write a book which is at once an appreciation and a guide is an accomplishment. The present author has tramped the Catskills to some purpose; he has not fallen into conventional tracks, but, by use of the unusual phrase and exercise of humor, sketches people and places with vividness. To be a native means often to be blind to the beauty of one's environment. The Catskillers do not even know their legends. "Do you happen to have a Rip Van Winkle handy?" asked Mr. Longstreth of one of them. To which the answer came, "The bar's closed." But this enthusiastic nature-lover, a tramp on an unexpected vacation, knows everything about the Catskills. And, what is more, he understands life and character. There is a chapter on John Burroughs, who is now the vital, wide-awake Rip of the mountains; it is an appreciation of wide sympathy and understanding. We cheerfully recommend the reading of this guide, which leads us, not in the way of guides, by rote, but in the way of appreciators, by grace of manner and expression. The copious illustrations add much to the text.”[6]

----------------------------------

THE OUTLOOK

“This is a pleasantly humorous, agreeably desultory, vividly colorful account of a walking trip through the Catskills. The author feels the atmosphere of the mountains and makes the reader feel it. There are exceptionally good pictures.”[7]

----------------------------------

EVENING PUBLIC LEDGER

“There is no pleasanter companion for fireside travel than T. Morris Longstreth. One can sit in an easy chair and climb mountains or wander along the highways with him and get all the enjoyment of the experience with none of the annoyances. He took his readers to the Adirondacks last year and this year he is taking them to the Catskills. He has made a most delightfully unconventional book. It is a guide to the mountains, if one chooses to regard it as such. But it is much more. It is a study in human nature and an exhibition of the effect of mountain scenery on a youth of the Catskill country who had never wandered about the mountains until Mr. Longstreth took him as a companion. The youth discovers that one gets more than a view over a horizon when he is on a mountain top – his mental horizon widens also. As the youth confessed he had got more ideas in two weeks in the mountains than would last him a year at his work in the valley. Mr. Longstreth succeeds in impressing his readers with the fact that this is what tramping in the country is for. It clears the cobwebs from the brain, freshens the thinking, is a discourager of cynicism and an encourager of wholesomeness of all kinds. His book is illustrated from photographs and contains an excellent map of the Catskill region.”[8]

----------------------------------

THE AMERICAN REVIEW OF REVIEWS

“This informal description of the Catskill region derives a great part of its inspiration and value from the fact that its author has tramped and camped in the mountains for many years, and has made himself familiar not only with the natural features of the Catskills, but with the people the countryside as well. Mr. Longstreth is the author of a similar book on the Adirondacks.”[9]

----------------------------------

THE INDEPENDENT

“For the genuine lover of tramping, with an understanding heart and mind for the joys of the road and the open country. To him who knows the Catskills as only a walker may know them, the book is continuous thrill and satisfaction.”[10]

----------------------------------

THE CENTURY ILLUSTRATED MONTHLY MAGAZINE

“T. Morris Longstreth in his new book, “The Catskills,” which is a delectable combination of guide-book and the spirited and enthusiastic travel-book, recalls to New Yorkers and the East generally, the too little recognized fact that the Catskill region, in spite of its nearness, is far from tame and is beautiful with a quality of its own. “Time was when the Catskills were about the only mountain country available for the fortnight vacation,” Mr. Longstreth writes in his book. “The White Mountains were a little far away, and the Adirondacks an unexplored wilderness. The West was unknown. Now it is but a day from Broadway to Montreal. A trip to be talked about means at least Australia or the Ural Mountains. Therefore the Catskills are passed by. They are actually getting wilder. There are more deer in them than ever before, as many bear. Fewer people put up at the big hotels than when Queen Victoria was planning her Jubilee. Consequently a man with a map in his hand can plunge into as wild a wild as most men want in four or five hours after he has left his taxicab in New York.”[11]

----------------------------------

BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE

 “The Adirondacks : The Catskills. Two Delightful Books That Picture The Wildwood and Lakes of This State. By T. Morris Longstreth.

WHOEVER can read "The Adirondacks" or "The Catskills," by Mr. Longstreth without immediately longing to go a tramping through the delightful trails and lakes and mountain fastnesses therein described, must be cold-blooded indeed.

Here is a writer who can make us see the beauties of Wild Nature; the depths of woodland that he has discovered within a few hours journey of the great city.

To many his books will be a revelation of our New York State mountains that will stir vacation thoughts; to all they will provide a pleasant picturing of the natural loveliness of the territory described.”[12]

----------------------------------

BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE

 “John Burroughs says the author “sees straight and writes vividly and convincingly.” “The Catskills” is at once a sort of glorified guide book and an evocation of a notable American panorama. And it is a beautiful book.”[13]

----------------------------------

With the success of both The Adirondacks and The Catskills, Longstreth, “a confirmed open-air man,”[14] authored several more travelogues over the years. Destinations included the Laurentian Mountains, which are located north of the Canadian city of Quebec (1922); the Lake Superior region (1924); the Canadian cities of Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa 1933); and the Nova Scotia region of Canada (1935). Each of them was well received by readers and critics.

By virtue of his travelogues and his extensive time in the Adirondacks and the mountains of Canada, it is easy to sense Longstreth’s love of the outdoors. At the age of 73, Longstreth wrote a newspaper article about man’s inner child when vacationing in the outdoors “Astronomers have discovered a strange thing: the universe harbors an obscure desire to return to its origins. So do we. The city-dweller dreams of a place in the country. Then, when he gets it, he hikes off to the wilds for vacation. And once there, let it rain, let it buzz, let him burn his fingers, he keeps saying “This is the life!” And so it is, the immemorial life of breathing pure air, drinking pure water, soaking in the sunshine on all sides, and using every muscle in his body. Everything he does is play. For a few heavenly weeks he is once more a child, the boy he had forgotten.”[15]

 

 

 

 

[1] Fuller, Muriel. More Junior Authors. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1963. Pages 145-146.

[2] Rothe, Anna. Current Biography. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1951. Pages 349-350.

[3] Fuller, Muriel. More Junior Authors. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1963. Page 145.

[4] “Mac of Placid.” The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. New Series: Vol. LXXVIII. May to October 1920. New York: The Century Co., 1920.

[5] Publications of The Century Co. New York: The Century Co., Autumn of 1918.  Page 5.

[6] The Literary Digest. December 7, 1918. Page 49.

[7] The Outlook. November 6, 1918. Page 384.

[8] “Longstreth on the Catskills.” Evening Public Ledger. Philadelphia. December 21, 1918.

[9] The American Review of Reviews. New York: The Review of Reviews Company, July-December 1918. Page 662.

[10] The Independent. June 11, 1921. Page 626.

[11] The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. New York: The Century Co., November, 1918, to April, 1919. Page 8.

[12] “The Adirondacks : The Catskills.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York. January 22, 1919.

[13] “The Catskills.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York. December 7, 1918. 

[14] The Publisher’s Weekly. Vol. CI, No. 13. New York. April 1, 1922.

[15] Longstreth, T. Morris. “A Summer to Grown On.” Cazenovia Republican. June 25, 1959. Page 18.

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) 1886 1975 adirondacks author back log camp benjamin longstreth benjamin taylor longstreth books canada canada royal mounted police catskills concord friends select school haverford college henry thoreau history longstreth magazine mounted police mounties pennsylvania periodical philadelphia poem poet publication quaker radio t. morris longstreth the adirondacks the catskills thomas morris longstreth thoreau travel travelogue westtown westtown school william collins longstreth with canada's mounted wynnewood http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/4/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-3-of-5 Sat, 07 Apr 2018 01:26:13 GMT
Thomas Morris Longstreth, Author of The Catskills (Part 2 of 5) http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/3/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-2-of-5 After attending the Friends Select School for his early education, Longstreth entered the Westtown Boarding School in 1899 at the age of 13. The school had a long, distinguished history having been first established in 1799 by the Members of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The school campus, located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, is still located on the same 600 acres as when it was originally founded. It is one of the oldest boarding schools in the United States.

During his time at Westtown from 1899 to 1904, Longstreth was active in the school community. The school publication notes his 1901 concert recitation of the poem “Evening Star” by Edgar Allen Poe; his 1903 entry into the school elocutionary contest; and his 1904 entry into the school elocutionary contest with a reading of “The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Longstreth “played tennis and football, skated, bobsledded, and went on solitary hikes.”[1] It was at Westtown that Longstreth would discover the writings of Henry Thoreau, which would have a significant impact on his life. Longstreth would later describe the school as “a country heaven, a square mile of orchard, farm, and lake in Chester County, Pennsylvania.”[2]

Longstreth also actively sought to build a swimming pool for the Westtown school: “Near the close of last term, a movement was made, at the suggestion of T. Morris Longstreth, to enlist the students in the work of raising money for the proposed swimming pool. Since our return to school the various class collectors have been reporting to Master William and the total amount from this source has reached about $450. While this is not quite what we aimed to do, it brings the available funds almost to the estimated cost of the pool. Hope are entertained that the stone work may yet be done before frost, and possibly the pool be in use in the early spring. However that may be, we feel to thank the kind friends who have contributed so liberally, and hope the pool may be a success for their sakes as well as our own.”[3]

Longstreth graduated from Westtown School in 1904. Upon his graduation, The Westonian, the school newspaper, offered a brief summary for each of the students. For Longstreth it stated that “Thos. Morris Longstreth was born in 1886, and entered in the fall of 1899. Not being of a particularly athletic turn of mind, a good deal of his time has been devoted to his love of art. His mental pop-valve is very often blown off is horrible puns.”[4] Each member of the class wrote a graduating essay, which for Longstreth was titled “Distinctive American Art.” Demonstrating his appreciation of his Westtown education, in 1974 for the school’s 175th anniversary Longstreth wrote that “Westtown lasts because it keeps heading in the right direction . . . and because the Quaker ethic that supplies its energy draws largely on immortal truth.”

Recollecting his childhood, Longstreth wrote of his fondness for family and summer vacation and his love of books: 

“As I remember it, my boyhood was pretty well divided between times, good or bad, and the timeless, which was perfect. I approved of mealtime and disapproved of bedtime. There was schooltime, an uneven adventure, my father's coming-home-from-business time, and the great stated times that cast their brightness before—the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Best of all was the liberation from city school into country summer and wonderful weeks by the sea.

Father and a storytelling aunt watered my sprouting imagination, but it was through books that I installed myself in life. Henty and Hans Christian Andersen and Cooper and, above all, Dickens were my private tutors. No school teacher is as wise as a library, nor half so attractive. I gathered up myself while in company with the Count of Monte Cristo, Pickwick, the Virginian, and while tracing the route of Bunyan's hero. What school board is rich enough to provide teachers of their humane caliber? One third of my reading was new knowledge, one third wonder, and the remainder, the kindling of emulation in an air of joy.”

                              --T. Morris Longstreth. “A Paradise Regained.” Suburbia Today. November 1959.

              

Longstreth entered Haverford College (at Haverford, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia) on scholarship in 1904 with a class with 42 other students. Longstreth was active in the college community, playing in the Haverford Musical Club, was a member of the class relay team, and authored numerous essays for The Haverfordian, the school publication. In December 1906 he was elected to the Haverfordian board and later served as an Associate Editor. He was active on the track and tennis teams. In the winter of 1908 Longstreth worked in England for several months as tutor for a private family. He would take four more working trips to Europe as a tutor over the next several years.

While at college Longstreth also worked at a small side business as college agents for a local shoe repair company. An advertisement in the 1907 class yearbook stated: “Fine Shoe Repairing. Take Shoes to room 43 Barclay Hall, either Monday, Wednesday or Friday, and we will have them repaired and returned the second following evening. BURTT AND LONGSTRETH. YETTERS Shoe Repair Shop, Anderson Ave., Ardmore, Pa.”[5]

Longstreth graduated from Haverford College in 1908 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Haverford College was established by members of the Society of Friends, the first Quaker college in the United States.

 

[1] Rothe, Anna. Current Biography. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1951. Pages 349-350.

[2] Rothe, Anna. Current Biography. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1951. Pages 349-350.

[3] “School and Campus.” The Westonian. Westtown, PA. October 1902. Volume VIII, No. 8. Page 206.

[4] “Individual History.” The Westonian. Westtown, PA. July 1904. Volume X, No. 7. Page 131.

[5] Record of the Class of Nineteen Seven of Haverford College. Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1907. Page xxvi.

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) 1886 1975 adirondacks author back log camp benjamin longstreth benjamin taylor longstreth books canada canada royal mounted police catskills concord friends select school haverford college henry thoreau history longstreth magazine mounted police mounties pennsylvania periodical philadelphia poem poet publication quaker radio t. morris longstreth the adirondacks the catskills thomas morris longstreth thoreau travel travelogue westtown westtown school william collins longstreth with canada's mounted wynnewood http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/3/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-2-of-5 Fri, 30 Mar 2018 22:29:20 GMT
Thomas Morris Longstreth, Author of The Catskills (Part 1 of 5) http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/3/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-1-of-5                The Catskills by T. Morris Longstreth is one of the best books ever written about that famous region. The travelogue follows the author as he journeys through the Catskill Mountains in 1918. Longstreth takes you to Overlook Mountain, Stony Clove, Phoenicia, Hunter, Slide Mountain, Kaaterskill Falls, the Ashokan Reservoir, Mount Utsayantha and many more places. Along the way Longstreth fishes the mountain streams, sleeps under the stars, lodges at local boarding houses and dairy farms, tramps the backroads, talks to the people and witnesses the many majesties of nature. The book has an easy flow, making the pages turn by effortlessly. Interspersed throughout the book are great pieces of advice which, taken by themselves, are worth the read. Here is the story of its author.

 

Thomas Morris Longstreth was born “in the midst of a February blizzard” on February 17, 1886 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the Quaker family of Benjamin Taylor Longstreth (1849-1912) and Frances Haldeman. Benjamin and Frances married the year prior on April 29, 1885. When Thomas was only two years old, his mother Frances died on March 24, 1888 while giving birth to his brother Frances H. Longstreth, who also died that same day. His father Benjamin would remarry to Sara Gibson Haldeman, the sister of his first wife, on November 14, 1889. Benjamin and Sara would have three children together, Walter Wood (b. 1890), Charles Haldeman (b. 1893) and Richard (b. 1903).    

Longstreth’s father, Benjamin Taylor Longstreth, was born on August 16, 1849 at “Locust Grove” in Springfield, Pennsylvania. Like his father before him, and his son after him, Benjamin attended Haverford College, entering the school in 1865. However, Benjamin did not graduate, leaving at the close of his sophomore year. Benjamin’s post-college professions were as an iron manufacturer and merchant. After leaving Haverford, Benjamin joined the iron firm of Morris, Wheeler, & Co., where his uncle, Israel Morris, was the senior partner. He became a member of the Firm on January 1, 1892. Benjamin served the community well as a member of the Board of Education of Philadelphia. Benjamin died on November 11, 1912 and is buried at the Friends Southwestern Burial Ground in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.   

Longstreth’s grandfather, William Collins Longstreth (1821-1881), was born on March 12, 1821 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. William was well educated from an early age: “He began the study of Latin at six years of age and read Virgil at eight. When twelve years old he entered Haverford School.”[1] William entered Haverford College with the sophomore class of 1834 and graduated in 1837. He was one of the first graduates of the college, which was established only several years prior in 1833. William’s post-college professions included being a Farmer; Treasurer of the Elmira & Williamsport Railroad Company; Vice President of the Provident Life and Trust Company in Philadelphia for 15 years; and Manager of Haverford College from 1864-1881. William was also influential in the community, having founded the Greenway Union Sabbath School in 1858 in order “to teach and nurture the children of Southwest Philadelphia” as well as starting “a Sunday afternoon preaching service, and invited talented preachers from Baptist, Episcopal, Presbyterian and other churches to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.”[2] Through mergers and name changes, the school and church continue to exist today.

William Collins Longstreth married Abby Ann Taylor on November 16, 1848 and together they had nine children including Benjamin Taylor (b. 1849), Thomas Kimber (b. 1851), William Morris (b. 1853), Henry (b. 1855), Charles Albert (b. 1857), Mary (b. 1859), Sara Morris (b. 1865), Anna (b. 1868) and Edward Rhoads (b. 1871). William died at “Ingleside” on April 25, 1881 and is buried at the Friends Southwestern Burial Ground in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. 

Tracing Thomas’ lineage back even further, there is Isaac Longstreth (1742-1817), his great-great grandfather, who served as a Captain in the American Revolution and commanded a company at the battle of Crooked Billet (present-day Hatboro, Pennsylvania) that took place on May 1, 1778. Prior to the battle the Pennsylvania militia unit under the command of Brigadier General John Lacey (1755-1814) had been tasked by General Washington to patrol the Pennsylvania countryside in order to cut off the resupply of British troops headquartered in Philadelphia. On the morning of May 1st, the British under the command of Major John Graves Simcoe attacked Lacey’s Pennsylvania militia unit at Crooked Billet. After being surprised in camp, the American troops quickly retreated to nearby woods to the north, skirmishing with British troops along the way. The British eventually broke off the attack and withdrew to their base in Philadelphia. The Americans suffered 26 killed, 58 missing and 8 wounded as well as the loss of numerous supplies and wagons. The battle is particularly noted for British atrocities, including the murder of prisoners-of-war and setting fire to the American wounded soldiers. Although the battle is officially recognized as a British victory, given the level of surprise and being massively outnumbered, the defeat could have been much worse if not for the quick actions taken by Brigadier General Lacey and his troops. At Hatboro, Pennsylvania Isaac Longstreth’s name is inscribed upon the historic monument that commemorates the battle. Erected in 1861 by the Hatborough Monument Association, one of the inscriptions on the monument reads “The Patriots of 1776 achieved our independence. Their successors established it in 1812. We are now struggling for its perpetuation in 1861. The Union must and shall be preserved.”  

Longstreth’s brother (via Sara), Richard Longstreth, was born on June 25, 1903. As with his grandfather, father and brother, Richard also attended Haverford College. “He captained the soccer team during his senior year, in 1925, and was named for the All-American team. In addition he was a member of the football squad and pitched for the baseball team during four seasons. He was vice president of the Founders’ Club and a member of the Glee Club and Athletic Cabinet. The son of Mrs. Sarah G. Longstreth, he married Mary Comfort shortly after his graduation from college, and moved to Detroit, where he had been engaged in the investment brokerage business. Besides his wife and mother, he is survived by one brother, T. Morris Longstreth, a writer.”[3] Richard Longstreth died in 1928 at his home in Detroit, Michigan. He was the son-in-law of Dr. William W. Comfort, the president of Haverford College.

Longstreth’s brother (via Sara), Walter Wood Longstreth, was born on October 6, 1890. Like his brother and many others in the family he attended Westtown Boarding School and then Haverford College. While at Haverford Walter was on the class cricket team, the class track team, and was an associate manager for the Class Record. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1912.

Throughout his youth Longstreth received a strong Quaker education. After kindergarten, Longstreth attended the Friends Select School until he was 13 years old, after which he moved to the Quaker run Westtown Boarding School. Upon graduation from the Westtown School Longstreth attended the Quaker founded Haverford College. All three of the institutions continue to operate today.

Growing up, Longstreth had much access to his extended family. “I enjoyed the adjacent large estate of my grandmother Longstreth, with farm, orchard, horses, and nearly thirty cousins.”[4]

Early in life T. Morris Longstreth developed his lust for nature and writing. “I got my second wind at thirteen, when Back Log Camp introduced me to the Adirondacks and the wilderness which I loved at first smell. Thanks to its founder, Thomas K. Brown, I shifted to Westtown Boarding School, where I discovered friendship, first love, poetry, and the joys of freedom.”[5]

Thomas Kite Brown (1851-1929) played an influential role in Longstreth’s life. Brown was a “well-loved teacher and principal at Westtown School, familiarly known to hundreds of his pupils as “Master Thomas.”[6] Like Longstreth, Brown had attended the Westtown School himself as a student. Brown would return to teach there from 1875 to 1912, serving as the head of the mathematics department for 35 years, and serving as its principal from 1912 to 1917. Longstreth dedicated one of his earliest books, The Adirondacks, written in 1917, to Brown as “Our One-time Master, Our Oft-Time Counselor, Our All-time Friend.”

When Brown announced his resignation from Westtown School in 1917, it was a great loss for the school. With his retirement, “Westtown loses practically a godfather . . . the ideals and policies of the school have been his earnest concern for generations . . . There are hundreds of prominent “Quakers” in the vicinity of Philadelphia who will probably still believe that if John, Jr., can’t have the same mathematical training that John himself had, the result will be little short of disastrous. “T.K.” always had the reputation of getting more work out of a pupil to the square inch than any teacher in the history of the school. And the funny part of it was he always did it unconsciously – to the pupil. His quaint anecdotes and absent-minded antics served to infuse a good-natured willingness to do everything possible for Master Thomas.”[7]

Brown was also the founder and owner of the “Back Log Camp”, located on the banks of Indian Lake in the Adirondacks, which provided a treasured country destination for a summer retreat to Longstreth and many other Quaker families. The Back Log Camp, which Longstreth spoke so highly of, originated in 1896 when Thomas Brown established a camp on Agnes Island, near Hulett’s Landing on Lake George. In 1898 the camp moved the camp to Thirteenth Lake. In 1900 the camp moved again to North Bay on Raquette Lake, where it remained until 1910. These first camps were all located on state land. Given the tightening restrictions on such state land use, Brown and the camp then decided to purchase their own property. In 1911 the Backlog Camp moved to its permanent destination with the purchase from a lumber company of 125 acres on the Jessup River arm of Indian Lake. The camp expanded to include greater comforts.

Although it was for many years open to the public, the camp officially closed to outside visitors in February 1969 and is now used exclusively by family descendents of Thomas Brown. Upon its closing the Back Log Camp sent letters to many of its former campers:

“Dear Friends,

For many years the family has sent out a greeting of bet wishes to old campers. This year, 1969, however, our greeting must also be a goodbye, for this past summer was Back Log Camp’s last season. For some time, now, we have been concerned at our inability to maintain the traditional quality of Back Log services and have decided to close camp.

For many of us in the Back Log family the running of Camp has been an important part of our lives. We shall miss the joys and the trials our joint enterprise, but most especially we shall miss you, the many guests who made Back Log a very special place.

                                             With best wishes,

                                             The Back Log Family”

 

 

 

 

[1] Reminiscences of Isaac and Rachel (Budd) Collins. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1893. Page 144.

[2] www.thecommonplacephilly.org. Accessed January 11, 2018.

[3] “Obituary: Richard Longstreth.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. March 16, 1930.

[4] Rothe, Anna. Current Biography. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1951. Pages 349-350.

[5] Fuller, Muriel. “T. Morris Longstreth.” More Junior Authors. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1963. Pages 145-146.

[6] “Thomas Kite Brown, Jr.” Bulletin of Friends’ Historical Association. Volume 33, No. 2 Autumn Number, 1944. Pages 51-52.”

[7] “Westtown School Soon to Lose Its Mentor: Retirement of Thomas K. Brown From Principalship Will Remove Beloved Figure.” Evening Ledger. Philadelphia. February 27, 1917.

 

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) 1886 1975 adirondacks author back log camp benjamin longstreth benjamin taylor longstreth books canada canada royal mounted police catskills concord friends select school haverford college henry thoreau history longstreth magazine mounted police mounties pennsylvania periodical philadelphia poem poet publication quaker radio t. morris longstreth the adirondacks the catskills thomas morris longstreth thoreau travel travelogue westtown westtown school william collins longstreth with canada's mounted wynnewood http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/3/thomas-morris-longstreth-author-of-the-catskills-part-1-of-5 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 22:02:12 GMT
Stone Arch Bridges of Sullivan County, New York http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/2/stone-arch-bridges-of-sullivan-county-new-york Sullivan County is home to three beautiful and historic stone arch bridges, the Hankins Stone Arch Bridge, the Tusten Stone Arch Bridge and the simply named Stone Arch Bridge. All three bridges played an important role in the development of their respective communities and are therefore listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “rare and intact example(s) of traditional stone arch bridge construction.” For photographs of all three bridges, visit the Structures page within the Gallery. Regional visitors can easily visit all three in a ½ day tour (and leave time for other attractions along the way). 

 

The first of three stone arch bridges in Sullivan County is the charming Hankins Stone Arch Bridge which was constructed in 1905 by John B. Inman, a local mason and quarryman, in order to link the hamlet of Hankins to the river community of Long Eddy. The single arch bridge crosses Hankins Creek just north of its confluence with the Delaware River. It is approximately 40 feet long, 15 feet wide and is made of local bluestone and Rosendale cement. The bridge remained a vital creek crossing for local traffic until 1973 when it was abandoned. The bridge, now open to pedestrian traffic only, has been restored and is home to a small roadside park. The historic bridge and the creek it spans are likely named in honor of John Hankins (1803-1847), who established the first permanent settlement here in 1835 with a home, store, sawmill and blacksmith’s shop. The Hankins Stone Arch Bridge is probably the least visited of the three bridges. The Hankins Stone Arch Bridge is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The second bridge is the Tusten Stone Arch Bridge which was constructed in 1896 by William H. (“Uncle Billy”) Hankins, a local timber raftsman, stone mason and occasional postmaster. The bridge crosses the Ten Mile River just northeast of its confluence with the Delaware River. The two arch bridge, constructed of native bluestone, is approximately 52 feet long and 15 feet wide and continues to operate as a single lane vehicle bridge for local traffic. As per the bridge’s application form for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge is named in honor of Dr. Benjamin Tusten, “an American militia volunteer and physician, who was killed as he ministered to the wounded at the Battle of Minisink on July 22, 1779 less than ten mile to the south of this settlement.” The bridge and the surrounding land have been owned by the Boy Scouts of America since 1927 for their use an educational camp. Fortunately, through an agreement with the National Park Service, the bridge is publically accessible along the beginning section of the 3-mile Tusten Mountain Trail, an interesting hike with outstanding Upper Delaware Valley scenery. The Tusten Stone Arch Bridge is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The third bridge is the simply named Stone Arch Bridge, one of the most recognizable sites in Sullivan County. The Stone Arch Bridge was constructed in 1872 by Henry and Phillip Hembdt, brothers and recent German immigrants, in order to support the growing commercial needs of the county, particularly farming, timbering and tanning. The three arch bridge, constructed of hand-cut native stone, crosses the East Branch Callicoon Creek, a major tributary of the Delaware River. The bridge remained open to vehicular traffic until 1955, after which it has since been open to pedestrian traffic only. Today, the bridge serves as the focal point of an eight acre county park that features a woodland walk, fishing rights, and a kid’s playground. It is the most popular of the three stone bridges featured here. The Stone Arch Bridge is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The Stone Arch Bridge is also locally famous for its role in one of the most prominent murder cases in Catskills history. According to Cindy Monahan-Herbert at the Jeffersonville township website, “One of the few hex murders on record was committed on the bridge in 1882. A hex is a curse, a form of witchcraft. A curse was placed on Adam Heidt which was said to have caused him much pain and suffering in his life. To end this torment he and his son, Joseph, decided that murdering George Markert, the man they claimed to have put the spell on Adam was the only way to break the curse. One night, while Markert was crossing the bridge, Joseph shot Markert five times in the head, clubbed him with his own old heavy chairleg he used as a cane and dumped him over the bridge into the icy waters below. Joseph was convicted of the murder and spent several years in prison. Adam claimed a sudden recovery of all that plagued him.” Since that infamous night there have many rumored ghostly sightings of the murdered George Markert.

 

Locations:

The Hankins Stone Arch Bridge is located in the hamlet of Hankins on Route 94, just north of its junction with Route 97.

The Tusten Stone Arch Bridge is located off of Route 97 in the former hamlet of Tusten, where Tusten Road crosses Ten Mile River.

The Stone Arch Bridge is located at the intersection of Route 52 and Route 52A, approximately 2 ½ miles south of Jeffersonville. 

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) arch bridge architecture art artist bridge catskills county park creek east branch callicoon creek gallery hankins hankins creek hankins stone arch bridge hex murder jeffersonville kenoza lake matthew jarnich murder national register of historic places new york park photographer photographs photography photos pictures river sightseeing stone arch bridge stone bridge structure sullivan county ten mile river tourism tourist travel tusten tusten stone arch bridge http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/2/stone-arch-bridges-of-sullivan-county-new-york Fri, 09 Feb 2018 01:09:52 GMT
An Old Man Leaves a Message http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/1/an-old-man-leaves-a-message All that I tell you now,

All that my white hairs know,

I learned on a tall hill’s brow,

I found out from the snow.

 

All that the years have tried,

All I am sure is true,

I heard at a river’s side

Or followed the river to.

 

And all that I hold by came

In a time of solitude,

On a day without a name,

At the heart of an ancient wood;

 

For unsuspected friends

Are met by a man alone.

The wind from the world’s ends,

The sky no wind has known;

 

And they taught me, long ago,

To ponder earth and all.

From a hill, on days of snow,

In a wood when the soft rains fall.

 

 

– T. Morris Longstreth, author of the 1918 classic “The Catskills.”

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) adirondacks an old man leaves a message articles author books catskills earth longstreth poem poet river sky snow solitude song t. morris longstreth thomas morris longstreth http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/1/an-old-man-leaves-a-message Sat, 20 Jan 2018 01:52:28 GMT
Wanderer's Song http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/1/wanderers-song Noted authors John Burroughs and T. Morris Longstreth enjoying a quiet moment together.The Greatest Catskills WritersNoted authors John Burroughs and T. Morris Longstreth enjoying a quiet moment together.

T. Morris Longstreth authored the 1918 classic "The Catskills," one of the best books ever written on that famous region.

Photo credit: "Books and the People Who Make Them." The Sun. Sunday, January 12, 1919.

 

The earth is my country,

I travel unknown,

Yet where I may wander

I go not alone,

The hills are my kindred

And the place where I dwell

Knows her son like a mother

And comforts her well.

 

The wind is my comrade,

His counsel is good, - -

Long days on the upland,

At nightfall the wood;

Her wide eaves are shelter

And her bed is the best

With a rain-song for slumber

When wanderers rest.

 

The earth is my kingdom,

My king, who is he?

His crown is the desert,

His scepter the sea,

His feet tread the hill-lines

That are lost in the dawn,

And his hand plucks my heart-strings

Compelling me on.

 

– T. Morris Longstreth, author of the 1918 classic “The Catskills.”

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) adirondacks articles author books catskills longstreth poem poet song t. morris longstreth thomas morris longstreth travel vagabond wander wanderer wanderer's song http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2018/1/wanderers-song Sat, 13 Jan 2018 00:49:29 GMT
Your Voice http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2017/9/your-voice “Photographers find their voice when they discover what subjects move them most deeply. That passion, that emotion from within is the magic element.” – William Neill

 

“Learn to focus on your greatest sources of inspiration. Commit to seeking your own creative vision. Consider what style or themes drive your passion to photograph, and follow that path even if it’s “the long road” to success.” – William Neill

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) focus inspiration quote subject theme vision voice william neill http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2017/9/your-voice Sun, 01 Oct 2017 02:31:07 GMT
Travelogue With Music for the Road http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2017/9/travelogue-with-music-for-the-road There is something to be said for the 2 week vacation. One week vacations seem to be the standard, whether for work, personal or financial reasons. But with two weeks you find another level of satisfaction. When you hit the Saturday of the first week, instead of your mind straying to returning to work and responsibility, you are overcome with ease knowing that you still have an another, entire week to go. With that, we just wrapped up our wonderful 2 week family vacation to the great states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. For me it was also another step towards completing a “bucket list” goal of visiting all 50 states, with Minnesota being state 48 and Wisconsin being state 49.

 

We got an early start with a flight out of Newark airport to the Minneapolis airport, and then took a scenic four hour drive to the north country, “land of 10,000 lakes” section of northern Minnesota. Our first destination was the historic Burntside Lodge in Ely, Minnesota. The Lodge has been listed in the book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, but that in itself shouldn’t be the reason to visit, for there is so much more.

 

Our fantastic 1920’s era cabin echoed an aura of rustic chic, and my son fell in love fell in love with his room, an altered porch with wall-to-wall windows and direct water views. With a reputation that preceded it, the stay at Burnside still managed to exceed everything I had imagined about staying in a cabin on a Minnesota lake. Wonderful accommodations, gracious hosts, and a fully available marina with kayaks, canoes, pontoon boats. Boating a 12 mile long wild lake with 125 islands, and a world class dining experience that included an almond infused dessert that was one of the best of my life. Scenic waterfall at Kawishiwi Falls, great hiking at Bass Lake and Dry Lake, a tour of an old mine at Soudan with the charming character of a guide, an ex-miner, named Carl. Teaching my son to play solitaire on a quiet rainy day at the cabin. The distinctive call of the loon. The smile on my son’s face when I let him drive the pontoon boat across open waters. Watching my son belt out Country Roads (by John Denver), while my wife drives a boat for her first time, cruising along Burntside Lake in the glorious sunlight, was a defining moment. The Lodge is situated such that the sun sets on the far side of the lake, making for several memorable sunsets, including one of the best of my life on the first night of our stay. At Ely we also all picked up the Midwestern phrase of “you bet’cha” or “you bet” as a replacement for “thank you”, something that my son never tired of saying for the rest of the trip with an ear-to-ear smile on his face. 

 

After the week of quiet, we then hit the road for a 6 hour drive down to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, which included a lunch stop on Lake Superior at Duluth, with the destination of five days at “the Dells”, advertised as the “Waterpark Capital of the World.” After having been in town for a few days I turned to my wife and said “This town is so gaudy that it works.” A 40-foot dinosaur at a gas station, an upside down White House, and at least 4 water parks all claiming to be the largest in the United States. Go-karts, mini-golf and arcades at every turn. Taking in the Tommy Bartlett show, one of the best live shows I have seen in a long time, complete with world class water-skiing followed by some comedic and stunt acts. The highlight was certainly the water-ski stunts, with Aqua the clown that had my son laughing out loud, but a close second would definitely be TJ Howell, making his entry on his famous “rocket cycle”, juggling chain saws and his comedic, side-splitting “little man” skit that brought me and wife to tears. 

 

We then headed west to the river port city of La Crosse, Wisconsin to spend a few days. The stay included a stop at the Grandad Bluff where it seemed you could see to infinity, a paddle boat trip with the La Crosse Queen along the “mighty” Mississippi River and a stop at the World’s Largest Six-Pack. Although my first impression of the city as we drove in was not a good one, I quickly warmed up to its charms with a concert at the riverside park, and more restaurants than would seem could be supported by a city of 52,000 people. If I were to associate Wisconsin with a food, it would of course be cheese, perhaps cheese curds, and maybe even beer, but we quickly learned, to my delight, the small pleasures of warm, soft pretzels with cheese that seemed to be available at every restaurant.

 

The drive back to Minneapolis brought us along the famous Great River Road, and included a stop at the National Eagle Center in the small riverside town of Wabasha, Minnesota. Everyone seemingly has a favorite animal, and for whatever reason mine is the bald eagle. Learning about these iconic creatures, seeing them close up, was well worth the visit. Although not for everyone, the live educational event that in part had an eagle eat a dead rat was interesting, although my son was not as big a fan, exclaiming “that’s disgusting!” 

 

In preparation for the trip I made yet another epic road trip mix. Hope you like it.

 

Yuma – Justin Townes Earle

Nobody Knows My Trouble – Ryan Bingham

Ain’t No Reason – Brett Dennan

I’m Goin’ Down – Trampled By Turtles

Lungs (Live) – Townes Van Zandt

Aunt Peg’s New Old Man – Robbie Fulks

Unknown Legend – Shovels & Rope & Shakey Graves

Time To Move On – Tom Petty

Telephone Road – Steve Earle

Valley Road – James McMurty

Rio Grande – Dave Alvin

Waitin’ Around To Die – Townes Van Zandt

Dollar Bill Blues – Townes Van Zandt

Pancho and Lefty – Townes Van Zandt

Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight – Rodney Crowell

Seven Times the Wind – John Stewart

Gold – John Stewart

Crazy Eddie’s Last Hurrah – Reckless Kelly

Seven Nights In Eire – Reckless Kelly

 

Overall, it was the kind of trip that hits your soul. Witnessing the majesty of Americana and life on the road, and to do it as a family made it that much more special. It hit the peaceful moments of life on a lake, the chaotic fun of an over-the-top tourist town and a step back in time at a river port city. For me there is something about classic road trips that really makes me live in the moment, seemingly forgetting about any troubles, and reminding me of one of my favorite songs for the road, Windfall by Son Volt:

May the wind take your troubles away,

May the wind take your troubles away,

Both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel,

May the wind take your trouble away.

 

Till the next time on the road . . .

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) bald eagle bucket list burntside lake burntside lodge duluth eagle ely grandad bluff la crosse la crosse queen lake minnesota mississippi river music national eagle center playlist road trip show song tommy bartlett travel trip wabasha wisconsin wisconsin dells world's largest six-pack http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2017/9/travelogue-with-music-for-the-road Sun, 03 Sep 2017 02:32:04 GMT
Music for the Catskills http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2016/6/music-for-the-catskills Here is the latest ultimate road trip music playlist I’ve created for an upcoming road trip to the southern Catskills. I will be heading out to the Liberty area as a base from which to photograph beautiful summer time Sullivan County. With cooperating weather it should be a very exciting trip, with a new playlist to accompany me down long country roads. Hope you enjoy the music!

 

Ultimate Road Trip #4

 

We Can’t Make It Here – James McMurty

Stuff That Works – Guy Clark

Youngstown – Bruce Springstein

The Ghost of Tom Joad – Bruce Springstein

Lone Pine Hill – Justin Townes Earle

Crossing the Water – Bill Staines

Born and Raised in Black and White – Highwaymen

123 Goodbye – Elvis Perkins in Dearland

These Old Shoes – Deer Tick

Twenty Miles – Deer Tick

Turtles All The Way Down – Sturgil Simpson

Crossroads – Gurf Morlix

Big Trucks – Pedro the Lion

Baltimore Blues No. 1 – Deer Tick

Ridin’ Out the Storm – Rodney Crowell

Clay Pigeons – Gurf Morlix

Earthbound – Rodney Crowell

Fate’s Right Hand – Rodney Crowell

Harlem River Blues – Justin Townes Earle

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) Music for the Catskills artist mix music musician playlist road road trip song travel trip http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2016/6/music-for-the-catskills Fri, 01 Jul 2016 02:04:38 GMT
Recommencement http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2015/6/recommencement "The history of success in any art is a history of recommencements, of the dispersal and reforming of doubts, of an ever-increasing conception of the extent of the territory unconquered, and an ever-decreasing conception of the extent of territory conquered." --- Arnold Bennett

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) Arnold Bennett The Human Machine art artist author book challenge creativity history photographer photography quotation quote recommencement http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2015/6/recommencement Sat, 06 Jun 2015 15:56:00 GMT
The Ultimate Road Trip Mix http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/12/the-ultimate-road-trip-mix Travel enough, drive enough, explore enough and you will want a top notch music road trip mix. Music that coincides with a feeling of freedom. Music that puts you in another place. Music that makes you “one with the road” as the miles pass by. Song lyrics that ring forever true. Of course in today’s digital world it is easier than ever to put together a mix, with listeners having access to practically every song ever made. With access to so much music some would even say that the very notion of a mix is outdated. With them, I disagree. There is still something about a unique set of songs, with a certain mood, songs that just feel right for you the driver, a playlist with a beginning and end, songs meant for driving the back roads of the country.

 

Over the years I’ve made several such road trip mixes for my national park and Catskills trips, and listened to them all during one 27 hour, cross country drive to Texas. These mixes have often taken months, if not years, to put together. I was not content with any catchy song, any playlist. There was no rush to complete each mix. I wanted music with a certain mood, often with lyrics highlighting travel and being on the road. The music, each song, had to “fit” together, although defining what made music “fit” was nearly impossible. The order of the songs was critical, each song to flow from the previous, and in to the next. Below are a couple of my favorite mixes that have accompanied me on more trips that I can remember. Enjoy!

 

Ultimate Road Trip #1

Turn the Page – Bob Seger

Roll Me Away – Bob Seger

Kamera – Wilco

Not Home Anymore – Whiskeytown

Punkrocker – Teddybears

Road Trippin – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Saving the Best for Last – Marc Cohn

City of New Orleans – Willie Nelson

White Crosses – Omar and the Howlers

Waymore’s Blues – J.J. Cale

Me and You and a Dog Named Boo – Lobo

Lake Shore Drive – Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah

Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show

The Only Road – Scott Miller and the Commonwealth

Pancho and Lefty – Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

American Remains – Highwaymen

 

Ultimate Road Trip # 2

Lucky Break – The Bottle Rockets

The Road Goes on Forever – Robert Earl Keen

Highwayman – Highwaymen

People Are Crazy – Billy Currington

Walking in Memphis – Marc Cohn

Everything is Beautiful (In It’s Own Way) – Willie Nelson & Dolly Parton

On the Road Again – Bill Staines

One Prairie Outpost – Carbon Leaf

Everett Reuss – Dana and Susan Robinson

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

The Rain Came Down – Steve Earle

Montana Time – David Walburn

This Land Is Your Land – Woody and Arlo Guthrie

The Pilgrim, Chapter 33 – Kris Kristofferson

I Taught Myself How to Grow Old – Ryan Adams

Moving it Down the Line – Bill Staines

If I Needed You – Townes Van Zandt

Looking For a Way Out – Uncle Tupelo

The Weary Kind – Ryan Bingham

Windfall – Son Volt

 

Ultimate Road Trip #3

Southside of Heaven – Ryan Bingham

Everett Reuss – Dave Alvin

L.A. Freeway – Guy Clark

Follow the Sun – Xavier Rudd

Alone – Trampled by Turtles

Cross by the Highway – The Bottle Rockets

Among the Leaves – Sun Kill Moon

Me and Bobby McGee – Kris Kristofferson

Copenhagen – Lucinda Williams

When the Well Runs Dry – Drive-by Truckers

The Persecution and Restoration of Dean Moriarty (On the Road) – Aztec Two-Step

America – Neil Diamond

Convoy – C.W. McCall

Silver Stallion – The Highwaymen

Wanderin’ – Justin Townes Earle

Clyde – Waylon Jennings

Feeling Good Again – Robert Earl Keen

Let It Ride – Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) album band best country digital drive favorite freedom great greatest listen lyrics mix music musician place playlist road road trip singer song travel trip ultimate ultimate road trip http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/12/the-ultimate-road-trip-mix Sat, 27 Dec 2014 21:40:38 GMT
The Lost Treasure of Phoenicia http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/11/the-lost-treasure-of-phoenicia When one thinks of lost or hidden treasure, places in the United States that likely come to mind are the waters off North Carolina or Florida with sunken ships carrying tons of gold and silver, or perhaps a secret cave in the American west where outlaws and bank robbers stashed their ill-gotten gains, or even secret vaults owned by Chicago prohibition-era mobsters. But one does not have to travel that far as right here in the Catskills there is the enduring legend of gangster Dutch Schultz and his lost treasure.

 

Dutch Schultz, born as Arthur Flegenheimer, was a fearsome mobster in the early 20th century who made a career bootlegging alcohol during prohibition, extortion and organizing numbers rackets. His criminal activities brought him into to contact with other notorious mobsters of the day including Lucky Luciano, Jack “Legs” Diamond and the “Commission”, a committee of the bosses of the mafia’s New York Five Families.

 

As Schultz’s wealth and power grew authorities targeted him for income tax evasion. Despite several acquittals Schultz was still under pressure from the authorities and sought permission from the mafia Commission to murder US Attorney and special prosecutor Thomas Dewey. Permission was not granted, and fearing the attention of law enforcement if Schultz were to go ahead with the hit anyway, the Commission immediately ordered a hit on Schultz. Schultz was killed in October 1935 at the Palace Chop House in Newark, New Jersey. He is buried at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York. 

 

The legend of Schultz’s lost treasure begins around the time of his tax evasion trials. Worried that he would be convicted and sent to jail and that he would have no money upon his release, Schultz supposedly constructed an airtight, waterproof “treasure” chest. The metal chest was supposedly filled with millions of dollars worth of money, gold, diamonds, and bonds. Schultz transported the chest to upstate New York and, being known to have been a regular visitor to the Phoenicia area, supposedly buried it in that vicinity. 

 

Schultz was killed soon thereafter. Right after the mafia’s Newark hit, despite his body being riddled with bullets, Schultz survived for nearly 24 hours. During those last hours, his rambling, seemingly incoherent words were recorded by a police stenographer. Some believe that those last words provide key clues in finding the Schultz treasure. 

 

Whether the treasure ever existed is anyone’s guess. And if it was in fact buried in the Phoenicia area, it’s also anyone’s guess as to whether it is still there. But that doesn’t stop many of the adventure seekers who have tried their luck in searching the area in and around Phoenicia. Perhaps one of Dutch’s henchman found the loot soon after Schultz was killed. Or the chest could still be out there, perhaps in the woods. Or near the Esopus Creek. Or within a grove of pine trees. Or near the Phoenicia hamlet. Or near Devil’s Tombstone. Or just maybe though the treasure could have just been legend all along.

 

For more information specifically about this legend there is a great book by John Conway, Sullivan County Historian, called Dutch Schultz and His Lost Catskills’ Treasure. The book is a short read but is detailed, yet quite engaging in recounting the entire tale. There are several available books about Schultz that cover his life and mob career. Dutch Schultz has also been portrayed in several movies including The Cotton Club (1984) and Billy Bathgate (1991). There was also a locally produced documentary that featured at a local film festival called Digging for Dutch: The Search for the Lost Treasure of Dutch Schultz. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a copy.

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) alcohol arthur flegenheimer assassination attorney billy bathgate bonds books bootlegging catskills chest commission devil's tombstone diamonds digging for dutch dollars dutch schultz dutch schultz and his lost catskills treasure esopus creek extortion family five families gangster gate of heaven cemetery gold hamlet hawthorne historian hit income tax jack legs diamond john conway killed legend lucky luciano mafia map mob money murder new jersey new york newark numbers palace chop house phoenicia prohibition prosecutor rackets shandaken story sullivan county historian tale the cotton club thomas dewey treasure treasure hunter ulster county http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/11/the-lost-treasure-of-phoenicia Thu, 20 Nov 2014 01:42:57 GMT
Good Reading: My Favorite Books about the Catskills http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/6/good-reading-my-favorite-books-about-the-catskills There is a wealth of information about the Catskills, with new books being released every year. There are books on history, railroads, bluestone, famous national and regional painters, travel guides for nearly every activity and much more. Having read a lot, if not most, of the books about the region, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to narrow down the lengthy list of books to my favorites. If someone were to say to me: “I am not familiar with the Catskills. Which books should I read first?”; then these are my choices.

#1   

The Catskills by T. Morris Longstreth (1886-1975). This is perhaps my favorite book about the Catskills. The travelogue follows the author as he journeys through the Catskill Mountains in 1918. Longstreth takes you to Overlook Mountain, Stony Clove, Phoenicia, Hunter, Slide Mountain, Kaaterskill Falls, the Ashokan Reservoir, Mount Utsayantha and many more places. Along the way Longstreth fishes the mountain streams, sleeps under the stars, lodges at local boarding houses and dairy farms, tramps the backroads, talks to the people and witnesses the many majesties of nature. The book has an easy flow, making the pages turn by effortlessly. Interspersed throughout the book are great pieces of advice which, taken by themselves, are worth the read.

#2

Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. No literary list about the best of Catskills related books can be complete without including the timeless Rip Van Winkle, published in 1819 to international acclaim. Set in the Catskills, an amiable Rip wanders off in the woods with his dog Wolf to escape his wife’s nagging and to avert “all kinds of profitable labor” only to encounter a silent group of short, bearded men playing nine-pins. After drinking some of their liquor he falls asleep for twenty years. Upon waking, he returns to his village to learn that his wife has died, the American Revolution has occurred and that he must face the fact that many of his former friends have either died, moved on or simply do not recognize him. The short story is an American classic. Today, you can’t turn anywhere in the Catskills region without seeing a reference to the affable Rip Van Winkle.

#3

The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock by Alf Evers. The Catskills, the result of over eight years of detailed research, is the most authoritative book on Catskills history ever published. Although, at 736 pages it is long and will take you several, if not many, sittings to complete, it is worth the effort to gain an in-depth perspective of the region. It covers a lot of ground, with a thoroughness and breadth that you won’t find in any other regional history. Alf Evers (1905-2004) began his career as a children’s writer, authoring over 50 books with his wife Helen. After their divorce he turned his attention to history, publishing numerous newspaper articles and several other authoritative books including Woodstock: History of an American Town; Kingston: City on the Hudson; and In Catskill Country: Collected Essays on Mountain History, Life and Lore. Alf also served as the Woodstock town historian.

#4

The Catskill Mountain House by Roland Van Zandt. Once upon a time, the Catskill Mountain House was among the most famous hotels in the United States, if not the world. Van Zandt brilliantly takes you through the hotel’s history, the people, and its lasting influence on the region. Van Zandt also provides insightful historical context that helps the reader understand the popularity of the Catskills in popular culture and the public’s imagination. Any person looking to learn more about the Catskills region should certainly seek out this book. Roland Van Zandt served as director of the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. The Catskills Mountain House has long been out of print, but you can often pick up a copy online.

#5

My Side of the Mountain. Although I have not read this book in many, many years it was still very easy for me to include it on the list of my favorite Catskills books. This is one of the books from my childhood that I remember the most. I read, and re-read, this book so many times that it is a wonder that the binding didn’t fall off. I already look forward to sharing this story with my son when he gets older. I can only hope that he enjoys it as much as I did when I was a kid. 

 

The fictional story follows a young Sam Gribley who, tired of his family’s crowded New York City apartment, runs away from home to his great-grandfather’s abandoned farm in the town of Delhi in Delaware County. Sam begins a new life by building a home in a carved out tree and learning to live off the land. In the process, Sam learns about nature, himself and survival in this fictional tale of courage and determination. My Side of the Mountain was written in 1959 by Jean Craighead George. It won the Newbury Award  and several other honors for young adult fiction books, in addition to being named to the “Top 100 Books for Children” list by the National Education Association. It is a timeless classic.

#6

In the Catskills: Selections from the Writings of John Burroughs  This is a collection of eight essays about the author’s home region, and includes an essay called “The Heart of the Southern Catskills” that details his climb of Slide Mountain, the tallest mountain in the Catskills.

 

John Burroughs (1837-1921) was a noted Catskills and American naturalist, writer and conservationist. Burroughs’ most popular writings became generally known as the nature essay. The nature essay relied on Burroughs’ astute observation of his natural surroundings. He took long walks in the woods, collected plant and animal specimens and read voraciously about nature. He would often write not about faraway places that few readers would ever see but about his immediate surroundings. Subjects would include flowers, trees, birds, country living, open fields, barns and barnyards and farm animals. He would write about long hiking trips and fly-fishing. Readers could individually relate to the subjects and his essays resonated with wide audiences.

 

Burroughs would author some 27 books, many of them collections of articles and essays that appeared in the most popular magazines of the day. His first book (and his big break), Wake Robin in 1871, was an early collection of his published nature essays. Although Burroughs traveled and wrote widely he was always most associated with the Catskills region. His fame led to friendships with some of the country’s most influential citizens such as Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Walt Whitman, about whom he would write several biographies.    

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) Alf Evers Catskills In the Catskills: Selections from the Writings of John Burroughs Jean Craighead George John Burroughs My Side of the Mountain Rip Van Winkle Roland Van Zandt T. Morris Longstreth The Catskills The Catskills Mountain House The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock Washington Irving author book children favorite fiction history kid list literature non-fiction read reader reading young adult http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/6/good-reading-my-favorite-books-about-the-catskills Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:12:21 GMT
John Burroughs: My Favorite Quotes http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/6/john-burroughs-my-favorite-quotes John Burroughs was a popular author, naturalist and conservationist in the 19th and early 20th century. Burroughs would author some 27 books, many of them collections of articles and essays that appeared in the most popular magazines of the day. His first book (and his big break), Wake Robin in 1871, was an early collection of his published nature essays. In The Catskills: Selections from the Writings of John Burroughs collects eight essays about the author’s home region, including an essay called “The Heart of the Southern Catskills” that details his climb of Slide Mountain, the tallest mountain in the Catskills. Although Burroughs traveled and wrote widely he was always most associated with the Catskills region. His fame led to friendships with some of the country’s most influential citizens such as Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Walt Whitman, about whom he would write several biographies.

 

Burroughs’ most popular writings became generally known as the nature essay. The nature essay relied on Burroughs’ astute observation of his natural surroundings. He took long walks in the woods, collected plant and animal specimens and read voraciously about nature. He would often write not about faraway places that few readers would ever see but about his immediate surroundings. Subjects would include flowers, trees, birds, country living, open fields, barns and barnyards and farm animals. He would write about long hiking trips and fly-fishing. Readers could individually relate to the subjects and his essays resonated with wide audiences.

 

Woodchuck Lodge, the old family home and Burroughs summertime home that is now also known as John Burroughs Memorial State Historic Site, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962. Slabsides, a rustic cabin built in 1895 by his Riverby home, followed suit in 1968. Slide, Cornell and Wittenburg Mountains in the central Catskills are collectively referred to as the Burroughs Range in his honor. A memorial plaque commemorates Burroughs at the summit of Slide Mountain. While his fame has diminished over the past century since his death, his contribution to the literary arts and environmental conservation has ensured that his legacy will not be forgotten. 

 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the legendary John Burroughs:

 

  • “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

  • “If I were to name the three most precious resources of life, I should say books, friends, and nature; and the greatest of these, at least the most constant and always at hand, is nature.”

  • “Every walk to the woods is a religious rite, every bath in the stream is a saving ordinance. Communion service is at all hours, and the bread and wine are from the heart and marrow of Mother Earth.”

  • “To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter. . . to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”

  • “A man’s life may stagnate as literally as water may stagnate, and just as motion and direction are the remedy for one, so purpose and activity are the remedy for the other.”

  • “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”

  • “We cannot walk through life on mountain peaks.”

  • “I have discovered the secret of happiness – it is work, either with the hands or the head. The moment I have something to do, the draughts are open and my chimney draws, and I am happy.”

  • “Blessed is the man who has some congenial work, some occupation in which he can put his heart, and which affords a complete outlet to all the forces there are in him.”

  • “To me – old age is always ten years older than I am.”

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) Catskills John Burroughs author conservationist essay naturalist nature quotation quotes writer http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/6/john-burroughs-my-favorite-quotes Sun, 08 Jun 2014 01:25:01 GMT
Making Art http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/2/making-art “Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) Andy Warhol art artist quotation quote http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/2/making-art Sun, 09 Feb 2014 15:00:26 GMT
One Sunrise, One Sunset http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/2/one-sunrise-one-sunset “You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either.” ―Galen Rowell

 

Burntside Lake, located adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Ely, perfectly represents the beauty of the Northwoods region of Minnesota.Burntside Lake SunsetBurnstside Lake, Ely, Minnesota

Burntside Lake perfectly represents the beauty of the Northwoods region of Minnesota. Located adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Ely, Minnesota, the lake spans over 12 miles and is dotted with over 125 islands such as Lost Girl, Honeymoon, Blueberry, Snake, Moccasin and Beach Islands. The shoreline is dotted with beautiful lake homes as well as the famous and historic Burntside Lodge. The lake makes for a perfect place to hear the call of the loon, revel in beautiful sunsets or take the boat out for the day for some fishing, swimming or on-the-water picnicking.

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) galen rowell photographer quote sunrise sunset http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/2/one-sunrise-one-sunset Wed, 05 Feb 2014 01:34:26 GMT
Richard Lionel De Lisser: Catskills Photographer http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/1/richard-lionel-de-lisser-catskills-photographer      No discussion about Catskill Mountain photography would be complete without mention of Richard Lionel De Lisser, author of two late 19th century photographic surveys of Greene and Ulster Counties. Combined, they contain over 1,600 over photographs, mixed among the author’s writings, that highlighted his rambles in search of the picturesque. Part guidebook, part photo-documentary, both volumes vividly capture the essence of late 19th century life in the Catskills.

 

     De Lisser was born in 1849 in New York City to Richard Lindo and Elizabeth Mary De Lisser. Although not much is known about his early years, it is known that he studied art in Germany. He achieved a small amount of fame for his paintings, several of which sell today for thousands of dollars. But it is his photographic work in the Catskills for which he his most remembered and would become, perhaps, his lasting legacy.

     

     Beginning in the summer and fall of 1893, De Lisser tramped the countryside of Greene County searching for the picturesque. He traveled extensively on his buggy pulled by his faithful companion, his horse known as Cherry-Tree. The culmination of these ramblings was the first of his photographic surveys, Picturesque Catskills: Greene County. It was published in 1894 by the aptly named Picturesque Publishing Company. The work contains over 600 black-and-white photographs and illustrations of the people and places of the county.

 

     The second photographic survey was Picturesque Ulster, which was originally published in eight numbered parts between 1896 and 1905. (The 1960s reprinted version combines all eight parts in to one volume.) It was published by the Styles and Bruyn Publishing Company and contained over 1,000 black-and-white photographs and original illustrations. Each section was sold to regional tourists for 75 cents. Picturesque Ulster focused on the city of Kingston, townships of Denning, Hardenburgh, Hurley, Olive, Shandaken, Woodstock and the village of Saugerties. A second volume focusing on the southern section of Ulster County was planned but was never completed.

 

     The people and occupations typical of the era are all vividly represented: farmers, lumbermen, railroad men, bluestone quarry workers, summer boarders, hikers and blacksmiths. The places are also diligently captured: scenic views, grand hotels, boarding houses, churches, barns, farm houses, Main Street business districts and so on. The photographs have stood the test of time as one of the most comprehensive collections ever taken of the Catskills region. Alf Evers, the noted Catskills historian, writes in the introduction of the reprinted version: “Nothing else ever written about Ulster County has anything like the transporting power of Picturesque Ulster.”

 

     For many years both Picturesque Catskills and Picturesque Ulster were long out of print, being found only in the hands of the lucky few. Fortunately, both volumes have been reprinted in recent years, first in the 1960s and then again in 2006 and 1998, respectively, by Hope Farm Press. Today, they are now available to any student of Catskills region history or photography. Enjoy the step back in time to the late 19th century!  

]]>
dalencon@aol.com (Matthew Jarnich Photography: The Catskills and Beyond) Cherry-Tree Denning Hardenburgh Hope Farm Press Hurley Kingston Olive Picturesque Catskills: Greene County Picturesque Publishing Company Picturesque Ulster Richard Lionel de Lisser Saugerties Shandaken Styles and Bruyn Publishing Company Ulster County Woodstock art artist photograph photographer http://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2014/1/richard-lionel-de-lisser-catskills-photographer Fri, 03 Jan 2014 18:09:39 GMT