American Catskills: Blog https://www.americancatskills.com/blog en-us Copyright (C). All Rights Reserved. 2009-2021. Matthew Jarnich. dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Wed, 21 Sep 2022 20:54:00 GMT Wed, 21 Sep 2022 20:54:00 GMT https://www.americancatskills.com/img/s/v-12/u126062438-o922362058-50.jpg American Catskills: Blog https://www.americancatskills.com/blog 120 80 Angel Falls and Sholam Falls – A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/9/angel-falls-and-sholam-falls-a-photographic-study Angel Falls and Sholam Falls are both amazing destinations located along Trout Creek, near the Rondout Reservoir. It’s a two-for-one destination with both falls located within close proximity of each other, with the separate “upper” falls, known as Sholam Falls, measuring approximately 40 feet, and the “lower” falls, known as Angel Falls, measuring approximately 30 feet.

 

Angel Falls

Angel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Angel FallsAngel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Angel Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Angel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Angel Falls, FlowingAngel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Angel Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Angel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Angel Falls, Over the RocksAngel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Angel Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Angel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Angel Falls, Through the GapAngel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Angel Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Angel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Angel Falls, AutumnAngel Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Angel Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

 

Angel Falls and Sholam Falls are located within the Trout Creek Unit, which is managed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The Trout Creek Unit falls within the town of Wawarsing in Ulster County. The unit is 1,506 acres in size. The lands of the Trout Creek Unit are open for hiking, fishing, hunting and trapping. The section of Sholam Road near Trout Creek, as well as the bridge over the top of Sholam Falls, has long been abandoned.

 

Trout Creek is 5.6 miles in length, originating in the Sundown Wild Forest near Balsam Swamp and flowing south past the hamlet of Yagerville and then into the Rondout Reservoir. Trout Creek enters the reservoir just east of the intersection of Route 46 and Route 55A, near the former site of the hamlet of Montela, one of three hamlets destroyed during the construction of the Rondout Reservoir. The other two destroyed hamlets were Lackawack and Eureka. Trout Creek is one of several primary tributaries of the Rondout Reservoir, the others being Chestnut Creek, Red Brook, Sugarloaf Brook, and the Rondout Creek. Even with their rustic beauty, Angel Falls and Sholam Falls are both largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

 

Sholam Falls

Sholam Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Sholam FallsSholam Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Sholam Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Sholam Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Sholam Falls, Trout Creek UnitSholam Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Sholam Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Sholam Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Sholam Falls, Through the CutSholam Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Sholam Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Sholam Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near Yagerville and the Rondout Reservoir.Sholam Falls, B&WSholam Falls is a beautiful waterfall located along Trout Creek near the Rondout Reservoir. Even with its rustic beauty, Sholam Falls is largely unknown, having only recently been acquired and opened to the public by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

 

Angel Falls and Sholam Falls are both located in close proximity to the former hamlet of Sholam, which has quite an interesting place in Catskills history. The former hamlet, located north of the hamlet of Lackawack and south of the hamlet of Yagerville, was founded in 1837 by a group of Jewish settlers from New York City as an agricultural and religious co-operative community. At the time of its founding Sholam was home to the only synagogue in the Catskills, which was called Covenant Observers, or Shomre Ha-Brit. (Marcus, Jacob Rader. United States Jewry, 1776-1985. Vol. 4. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 1993.)

 

The settlement would eventually be home to approximately 15 families. In addition to hard-scrabble farming (given the inhospitable land), some settlers operated two factories, which manufactured quill pens and fur caps, while others engaged in various trades including cobbling, tailoring and selling used clothing purchased in New York. Despite noble intentions, the community faced numerous business and financial issues, and only lasted four years before its collapse circa 1842.

 

The community was originally named Sholem, a variant of “shalom,” the Hebrew word for “peace,” but later appeared on maps as “Sholam.” In 1912, Olde Ulster, a local publication dedicated to regional Ulster County history, published a brief history of the Sholam community.

 

“At that period Edmund Bruyn of Kingston was the possessor of a large tract of land in the north part of the town of Wawarsing at the head of the Ver Nooy kill. This land lies north of Lackawack and near the town of Rochester. He established his home there and named the place Bruynsville. It is now known as Brownsville. This was during the decade 1830-1840. He threw the property, containing 3,000 acres, upon the market. A survey was made by Jacob Chambers and the tract was divided into lots and a village was laid out and sub-divided into village lots. A map was made and said to have been filed in the office of the county clerk in Kingston . . .

 

. . . the records in the office of the county clerk of Ulster county show that on the 12th of December, 1837, Edmund Bruyn conveyed by deed hundreds of acres of land “of the Sholam tract” to certain parties of the City of New York, each of whom bought in addition one of more lots in “Sholam village.” The deeds give in each instance the numbers of both of the lots upon the tract and in the village of Sholam, referring to the Chambers map. There are eight of these deeds of the date of 12th December, 1837 and three of subsequent dates. All are recorded in Book of Deeds No. 49 except one in Book No. 50. The names of the parties purchasing are William N. Polack, Marcus Van Gelderen, Elias Rodman, Benedict Cohen, Jonas Solomon, Edward May, Solomon Samelson, Ignatz Newman, Moses Cohen and Charles A. Sahroni. One deed on the record is to Zion Berenstein for nine lots on “Sholam tract” and two lots in “Sholam village.” Was this for the synagogue they erected?

 

Whence these colonists came is forgotten today and the story of the settlement is almost unknown . . .

 

The colonists contracted with a man named Rich, of Napanoch, for the erection of about a dozen houses for residences, a store, a synagogue, a museum, an art building and two factories.

 

When the colonists arrived they were found to be a highly educated people possessed of a taste for art and music, and who loved and sought social intercourse with all neighbors. Their store was stocked with a general assortment of goods; the museum filled with attractions and the art gallery with many oil paintings. Customers at the store were first received in a reception room, given a cup of tea and cakes and then permitted to trade.

 

One factory was devoted to the manufacturing of goose quill pens. Quills were purchased by the wagon load in New York, sent to Rondout and brought to Sholam. Here they were boiled in oil, scraped, split and tied in bunches of a dozen quills with bright red ribbons. They were then transported back to New York. A Mr. Castor conducted a fur-cap factory, using local firs as well as seal.

 

Farms were cleared and fenced, and the homes were models of neatness and thrift. Some members of the colony peddled with packs; others were traveling shoemakers and tailors. All engaged in some employment and prospered. The Reverend Solomon Samelson was the rabbi. It is the opinion in the vicinity that these colonists were refugees from persecution in some country in Europe. They came laden with a quantity of rich furniture and household effects and beautiful paintings. They seemed to have been a people once possessed of wealth which may have been swept away by such an experience.

 

In the former part of this article we stated that the abundance of paper money and the fever of speculation with the inflated and irredeemable currency reached a crisis in 1837. There was currency, such as it was, in abundance, but no capital. This had been absorbed in speculative schemes and measures all over the land far beyond the needs of the day. During the spring of that year holders of the great issues of bank bills began to ask that these bills be converted into specie. Panic reigned everywhere.

 

The President, Martin Van Buren, on May 15th, 1837, called a meeting of Congress to assemble on the first Monday in September. People everywhere locked up what gold and silver money was in their possession. During all this time the president stood by his position that public lands must be paid for in specie, not in renewed promises to pay. In this he was firm during his whole administration. Besides, he insisted that the fiscal concerns of the government must be divorced from those of private individuals and corporations. It was a long and bitter struggle but the president won.

 

As we just said Congress was to meet on the first Monday of September, 1837. A few days before this, August 14th, 1837, Edmund Bruyn and the Jews mentioned had agreed upon the formation of a village on his lands in the town of Wawarsing. The surveys therefore were to be made by Jacob Chambers. The survey and map was completed and filed under date of November 22nd, 1837. The panic was at its height. When the purchasing colonists met on December 12th, 1837, for the receipt of their deeds, they could pay but from forth to fifty per cent of the purchase price because of the financial stringency and mortgages at seven per cent were given for the difference, payable in five years.

 

As the immediately succeeding years showed little improvement the mortgagors defaulted. By the autumn of 1841 they were considerable in arrears and foreclosures were begun. The court directed a sale and William H. Romeyn, editor of the Kingston Democratic Journal, was directed to sell Zion Berenstein and Ignatz Newman had paid off the mortgages on their lots. But the others were foreclosed and sold. Edmund Bruyn was the purchaser in each instance, buying the lots of Charles Saroni, Marcus Van Gelderen, Elias Rodman, Benedict Cohen, Moses Cohen, Solomon Samelson, Jonas Solomon, Edward May and William N. Polack, some on May 6th and the others on May 27th, 1842.

 

This brought the project to an end. The colony broke up. Auctions were held and the personal possessions of the colonists disposed of by auction sales. Houses were removed to other sites, goods and effects, including rich old furniture of mahogany and large gilt mirrors found their way into families of the vicinity where, it is probable, some may yet be traced and found.

 

This seems to have ended the enterprise early in 1842. As it could not have been under way before the spring of 1838 it must have been of not more than four years duration. Most of the lands cleared for farms and even the village site have returned to the wilderness in which the settlers found them and where they made a heroic attempt to build a model home and community. The colonists returned to New York City. Their future history is not known.” (“The Jewish Colony at Sholam, Ulster County.” Olde Ulster. Vol. 8, no. 6. June, 1912. Pp. 161-167.)

 

Given the local interest in the subject, Olde Ulster, in the following year of 1913, published a second article on the hamlet titled “Establishing a New Jerusalem in Sholam.” The article expanded on the 1912 article and contained additional information on the people, business, financial troubles and downfall of the experimental Jewish community in the woods. (“Establishing a New Jerusalem in Sholam.” Olde Ulster. Vol. 9, no. 8. August, 1913.)

 

For a more detailed history of the Sholam community, see also “The Sholem community: reimagining a Jewish agricultural community as the First Jewish Resort in the Catskill Mountains” by Michele Ferris, published in 2013 in the Communal Societies Journal, volume 33, number 2, pages 105 to 132.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Angel Falls brook Catskill Mountains Catskills creek DEP Department of Environmental Protection falls hike hiker hiking New York photographs photography photos river Rondout Reservoir Sholam Sholam Falls Sholem stream Sundown tourism travel Trout Creek Trout Creek Unit Ulster County water waterfall Wawarsing Yagerville https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/9/angel-falls-and-sholam-falls-a-photographic-study Sat, 24 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Ashley Falls – A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/9/ashley-falls-a-photographic-study Ashley Falls is a delightful three-tier waterfall located in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills. Ashley Creek, which originates from North Mountain, flows into North Lake, from which the waters of the lake continue its journey to Kaaterskill Falls, through Kaaterskill Clove and ultimately to the Hudson River.

 

Delightful Ashley Falls can be found in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills.Ashley FallsAshley Falls is a delightful 40-foot, three-tier waterfall located in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills. Ashley Falls is named for John Ashley, who used spruce trees in the North Lake area during the early 1800s to manufacture spruce beer. The waterfall is located on the Mary’s Glen trail, named for Mary Scribner who, along with her husband Ira, owned a sawmill and boarding house called the Glen Mary on the creek in the 1840s and 1850s.

Delightful Ashley Falls can be found in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills.Ashley Falls, North-South LakeAshley Falls is a delightful 40-foot, three-tier waterfall located in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills. Ashley Falls is named for John Ashley, who used spruce trees in the North Lake area during the early 1800s to manufacture spruce beer. The waterfall is located on the Mary’s Glen trail, named for Mary Scribner who, along with her husband Ira, owned a sawmill and boarding house called the Glen Mary on the creek in the 1840s and 1850s.

 

Ashley Falls is reached via the red-blazed Mary’s Glen trail, to a short yellow-blazed spur trail. The roundtrip hike is approximately 1/2 mile. The trailhead is located along the main road between the North Lake entrance and the North Lake parking area. Given its easy access, short hiking distance and beautiful scenery, Ashley Falls is popular for families with children and for those looking for a quick walk.

 

The Mary’s Glen trail is named for Mary (Saxe) Scribner (1807-1889) who, along with her husband Ira Scribner (1800-1890), owned a sawmill and boarding house called the Glen Mary on the creek in the 1840s and 1850s.

 

Mary Saxe was the daughter of Catharina Irene Layman Saxe (1786-1853) and Frederick William Saxe (1780-1854), a noted member of the Kiskatom community. Mary and Ira Scribner were married on March 1, 1829. Mary passed away at Kiskatom on February 22, 1889 and Ira passed away at 89 years of age at Kiskatom on September 12, 1890. Both Mary and Ira are buried at the Linzey Family Cemetery on the grounds of the old Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, New York. Ashley Falls has sometimes been referred to as Mary’s Glen Falls.

 

Famous American author Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), along with his friend William Ellery Channing (1817-1901), stayed at the Glen Mary in July 1844, where he found “the inspiration for his momentous experiment at Walden Pond”. Thoreau, in beginning his daily journal at Walden on July 5th of the following year, wrote of his time at Mary’s Glen.

 

“Yesterday, I came here to live. My house makes me think of some mountain houses I have seen, which seemed to have a fresher auroral atmosphere about them, as I fancy of the halls of Olympus. I lodged at the house of a saw-miller last summer, on the Catskill Mountains, high up as Pine Orchard, in the blueberry and raspberry region, where the quiet and cleanliness and coolness seemed to be all one, – which had their ambrosial character.

 

He was the miller of the Kaaterskill Falls. They were a clean and wholesome family, inside and out, like their house. The latter was not plastered, only lathed and the inner doors were not hung. The house seemed high-placed, airy, and perfumed, fit to entertain a travelling god. It was so high, indeed, that all the music, the broken strains, the waifs and accompaniments of tunes, that swept over the ridge of the Catskills, passed through its aisles. Could not man be man in such an abode? And would he ever find out this groveling life? It was the very light and atmosphere in which the works of Grecian art were composed, and in which they rest. They have appropriated to themselves a loftier hall than mortals ever occupy, at least on a level with the mountain-brows of the world. There was wanting a little of the glare of the lower vales, and in its place a pure twilight as become the precincts of heaven. Yet so equable and calm was the season there that you could not tell whether it was morning or noon or evening. Always there was the sound of the morning cricket.”

 

“For Thoreau, Scribner’s house offered the instant revelation of a rustic architectural ideal; rough, unplastered, open to nature, clean, and healthful. It even resonated with the extraordinary virtues of the Parthenon, as he hints by calling it “high placed, airy, and perfumed, fit to entertain a travelling God” and by referring to its “aisles.” For the classically inspired young writer with an enthusiasm for the primitive hut, Scribner’s evidently seemed a latter-day Doric cabin . . . The origin of Thoreau’s Walden idea, it seems, was to join Scribner’s “airy and unplastered cabin” and the South Lake “tarn” into the conception of a rustic lakeshore retreat of his own, one that would allow him to live the vigorous Catskills life not only in summer but all year long.” (Maynard, W. Barksdale. “Thoreau’s House at Walden.” The Art Bulletin, vol. 81, no. 2, 1999, pp. 303–25, https://doi.org/10.2307/3050694. Accessed 21 Apr. 2022.)

 

In his “experiment”, Thoreau would live for two years in a cabin near Walden Pond in Massachusetts removed but not isolated from others with minimal material goods to “live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Walden would become a classic American book noted for its themes of individualism, simplification and self-reliance.

 

Delightful Ashley Falls can be found in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills.Ashley FallsAshley Falls is a delightful 40-foot, three-tier waterfall located in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills. Ashley Falls is named for John Ashley, who used spruce trees in the North Lake area during the early 1800s to manufacture spruce beer. The waterfall is located on the Mary’s Glen trail, named for Mary Scribner who, along with her husband Ira, owned a sawmill and boarding house called the Glen Mary on the creek in the 1840s and 1850s.

Delightful Ashley Falls can be found in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills.In Memory of John AshleyAshley Falls is a delightful 40-foot, three-tier waterfall located in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills. Ashley Falls is named for John Ashley, who used spruce trees in the North Lake area during the early 1800s to manufacture spruce beer. The waterfall is located on the Mary’s Glen trail, named for Mary Scribner who, along with her husband Ira, owned a sawmill and boarding house called the Glen Mary on the creek in the 1840s and 1850s.

 

Noted American landscape painter Sanford Gifford (1823-1880), a leading member of the Hudson River School of Art, was a regular guest at the Glen Mary during the late 1840s and the early 1850s. The Autobiography of Worthington Whittredge details some of Gifford’s time at Scribner’s Boarding House.

 

“Many years ago he [Gifford] hunted up a little house in Kaaterskill Clove, in which lived a family of plain country folk, and, as the place was secluded an there were no boarders, he liked it and managed to obtain quarters there. This house, scarcely enough to hold the family, was, nevertheless, for many summers the abiding place of a congregation of artists. The beds were few and it may truly be said that the best were the cheapest, for the most expensive were composed of straw, while the cheapest were of feathers.

 

As may well be imagined, the table at this house was not very good. Gifford was no gourmet, but he had a commendable ambition to improve the cooking of the Catskills. To this end, he urged the immigration of some of the wives and sisters of those present, whose culinary gifts he was acquainted with. In due time they appeared upon the scene and, by their adroit direction, new dishes were served and coffee was improved.

 

But this experiment proved fatal in the end. Boarders came in flocks from the city, and Scribner’s Boarding House had to be abandoned by the artists and new quarters found further on.” (Bauer, John I. H. “The Autobiography of Worthington Whittredge, 1820-1910.” Brooklyn Museum Journal, 1942. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, 1942. p. 59.)

 

Famed author and historian Alf Evers, writing in his classic The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, noted the name origins of Ashley Falls and Ashley’s Creek.

 

“One man found an unusual way to use one of the kinds of trees which grew in the Catskills. He was John Ashley. Hardly had the Schohariekill Road been opened when Ashley was traveling it in order to set up on the shore of North Lake two log buildings in which he manufactured from the tips of the branches of spruce trees a substance known as the essence of spruce. This John Ashley was a man worth knowing, for he emerges from the old records seeming even yet to bounce and quiver with acquisitive energy and ingenuity. Of Yankee origin, he had come from the city of Hudson to serve as the town baker of Catskill. Years after Ashley was gone, old-timers recalled that he had advertised with a vigor worthy of more recent times. The signboard attached to his shop was actually bigger than the shop. On it were shown in natural colors monumental loaves of bread and giant barrels of overflowing with crackers. Surmounting these appeals to the public appetite was a slogan reading, “May our County never want for Bread.” But baking could not absorb all of John Ashley’s energy. He was ever on the alert for new ways of laying his hands on dollars. As a baker he supplied the people of Catskill with bread to eat. Sometime in the 1790s he proposed supplying them, as well as more distant Americans, with something to drink.

 

The tips of the spruce trees to be found beside North Lake were the raw materials of Ashley’s method of quenching Americans’ thirst. In Ashley’s day, the artificially carbonated drinks daily consumed by millions in our time were yet unknown, although a beginning had been made by druggists who flavored, colored and carbonated waters prescribed by physicians for those who could or would not visit spas where naturally carbonated waters were to be found. The place in life of the cola drinks, the ginger ales, and similar concoctions of our day was once filled very well indeed by a slightly alcoholic liquid known as spruce beer. People of all ages relished spruce beer but it was the especial favorite of children and adolescents. Old ladies and one-armed veterans often kept refreshment stands at which they offered spruce beer and gingerbread of their own brewing and baking. Such stands sprang up in cities on holidays and were a feature of summer resorts and of places to which people traveled to see natural wonders.

 

Most spruce beer was made from the essence of spruce. To a small amount of essence, water, sugar or molasses, and a little yeast were added. The mixture was allowed to ferment for a few days and was then bottled. John Ashley’s plan was to settle on the shores of North Lake and there produce the essence of spruce which he could send down to the Hudson River over the new road. The log buildings were his headquarters, located close to the point at which the stream once known in his honor as Ashley’s Brook enters the lake. For years the spruce trees bordering the lakes dwindled as Ashley’s kettles boiled and bubbled. But by 1809 the project failed and Ashley was turning his attention to fresh paths to riches. An alum mine in the Kaaterskill Clove and a plaster mill near Catskill had become the subjects of his dreams.” (pp. 293-295.)

 

Delightful Ashley Falls can be found in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills.Ashley Falls, Mary's Glen TrailAshley Falls is a delightful 40-foot, three-tier waterfall located in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills. Ashley Falls is named for John Ashley, who used spruce trees in the North Lake area during the early 1800s to manufacture spruce beer. The waterfall is located on the Mary’s Glen trail, named for Mary Scribner who, along with her husband Ira, owned a sawmill and boarding house called the Glen Mary on the creek in the 1840s and 1850s.

Delightful Ashley Falls can be found in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills.Ashley Falls, North-South Lake, CatskillsAshley Falls is a delightful 40-foot, three-tier waterfall located in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills. Ashley Falls is named for John Ashley, who used spruce trees in the North Lake area during the early 1800s to manufacture spruce beer. The waterfall is located on the Mary’s Glen trail, named for Mary Scribner who, along with her husband Ira, owned a sawmill and boarding house called the Glen Mary on the creek in the 1840s and 1850s.

Delightful Ashley Falls can be found in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills.Ashley Falls, In DetailAshley Falls is a delightful 40-foot, three-tier waterfall located in the North-South Lake area of the northern Catskills. Ashley Falls is named for John Ashley, who used spruce trees in the North Lake area during the early 1800s to manufacture spruce beer. The waterfall is located on the Mary’s Glen trail, named for Mary Scribner who, along with her husband Ira, owned a sawmill and boarding house called the Glen Mary on the creek in the 1840s and 1850s.

 

Samuel E. Rusk, in his 1879 guidebook titled Rusk’s Illustrated Guide to the Catskill Mountains, described the Mary’s Glen and Ashley’s Creek area as being a popular walk from the Catskill Mountain House.

 

“Mary’s Glen. Walk in the Mt. House Region. The shady walk of a mile, without climbing, from the Mountain House to Mary’s Glen is a desirable one. The way is down the mountain road to the top of the second small hill, where the left one of the two paths on the north should be followed. It leads past the eastern end of North Lake, crossing a small stream near the Lake. Half a mile farther Ashley’s Creek is crossed on a log for a footbridge. A pretty falls are some two hundred feet further up the stream. A path leads from the top of the falls to the road, by the charcoal pit west of the lake, and the return is usually by this way.” (p. 88.)

 

Three years later, in 1882, Walton Van Loan also described the area in his own guidebook titled Van Loan’s Catskill Mountain Guide.

 

“Mary’s Glen – North Mountain. Go down the mountain road to the general entrance of North Mountain. Take the left hand path – a wood-road – part of the way along the eastern shore of North Lake; cross Ravine Creek, and just before reaching “Glen Mary,” cross Ashley’s Creek on a log placed there for the purpose. From here the sound of the fall can generally be heard, distant about two hundred feet up the creek.

 

Arriving at the falls, cross the stream, and ascend the bank so as to cross back again on the top of the falls, where a well defined path will bring you out on the main road by the charcoal pit, three quarters of a mile from the Mountain House. This delightful and shady walk is recommended to those who wish to avoid climbing, and is a favorite walk with the ladies.” (p. 18.)

 

Roland Van Zandt described the Ashley’s Falls area in his book titled The Catskill Mountain House.

 

“Quickly descending the mountain, it soon arrives at the headwaters of Ashley’s Creek, the principal source of North and South Lakes. Following this mountain stream for about half a mile, the trail then intersects the red trail that provides a shortcut to the eastern escarpment (not known in the nineteenth century), and soon reaches the head of Ashley’s Falls, the main feature of the idyllic Glen Mary. The falls are not large, but they are proportionate to the intimate seclusion of the surrounding dale and afford a delightful contrast to the more spectacular scenes of the upper trail. A subsidiary yellow trail (much used in the nineteenth century) provides a detour to the top and bottom of the falls, then back to the main trail. During the last century this trail was a popular walk for those who did not wish to encounter the rigors of the eastern escarpment and was a ‘favorite walk with the ladies.’” (p. 115.)

 

The North-South Lake area is described on the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website as the most popular state property in the Catskills and includes its largest campground. During the summer months the 84-acre North-South Lake area offers a picture-perfect location for swimming, boating, camping, hiking and picnicking.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Ashley Falls boarding house camp campground camping Catskill Mountains Catskills creek Escarpment Escarpment Trail Glen Mary Henry David Thoreau Ira Scribner Mary Scribner Mary's Glen Massachusetts North Lake photographs photography photos river Sanford Gifford sawmill South Lake tourism trail travel Walden Walden Pond water waterfall https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/9/ashley-falls-a-photographic-study Sat, 17 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Tompkins Falls – A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/9/tompkins-falls-a-photographic-study Tompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

 

Photographs of Tompkins Falls, a waterfall in the western Catskills, located near the hamlet of Andes and the village of Margaretville.Tompkins FallsTompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

Photographs of Tompkins Falls, a waterfall in the western Catskills, located near the hamlet of Andes and the village of Margaretville.Autumn at Tompkins FallsTompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

Photographs of Tompkins Falls, a waterfall in the western Catskills, located near the hamlet of Andes and the village of Margaretville.Tompkins Falls, On the Barkaboom StreamTompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

Photographs of Tompkins Falls, a waterfall in the western Catskills, located near the hamlet of Andes and the village of Margaretville.Tompkins Falls, Close UpTompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

 

The Barkaboom Stream, which rises between Barkaboom Mountain and Touchmenot Mountain, once flowed into the East Branch of the Delaware River, but now sends its waters into the Pepacton Reservoir, south of the hamlet of Andes and west of the village of Margaretville. Deerlick Brook flows west off of Barkaboom Mountain and joins the Barkaboom Stream upstream of Tompkins Falls.

 

The nearby 3,140-foot Barkaboom Mountain is part of the Mill Brook Ridge Range. Other peaks in this range include Balsam Lake Mountain, Schoolhouse Mountain, Graham Mountain and Doubletop Mountain. Graham Mountain, at 3,868 feet, and Doubletop Mountain, at 3,860 feet are the seventh and eighth highest mountains in the Catskills. (Kudish, Michael. The Catskill Forest: A History. Fleischmanns, NY: Purple Mountain Press, 2000. pp. 91-96.) For more information on hiking the unmarked Barkaboom Mountain, see Alan Via’s book titled The Catskill 67 – A Hiker’s Guide to the Catskill 100 Highest Peaks under 3500’.

 

Barkaboom Stream, Barkaboom Road and Barkaboom Mountain all have quite interesting names. According to the History of Delaware County, N.Y., the Barkaboom name “is of Indian origin, signifying a birch bridge, and alludes to an immense birch tree which had so fallen as to make a suitable bridge on one of the Indian trails crossing this stream.” (History of Delaware County, N.Y. New York: W.W. Munsell & Co., 1880. p. 111.)

 

Two other sources state that the Barkaboom name derives from either the Dutch word “berkenboom,” meaning “birch tree,” or perhaps otherwise a family name. (Van Der Sijs, Nicoline. Cookies, Coleslaw and Stoops. Amsterdam University Press, 2009. p. 52.; also, Stewart, George Rippey. American Place-Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. p. 35.)

 

However, a third theory about the Barkaboom name was put forward by journalist David Rossie in a 1991 article for the Press and Sun-Bulletin newspaper of Binghamton, New York.

 

“Bob Gonos of Binghamton solved the mystery of Barkaboom for me. A “barkaboom,” Gonos wrote, was a person who stripped bark from trees – hemlock, I believe – in the Catskill Mountains around the turn of the century and probably into the 1930s. The bark was used as a dying agent in the shoe industry.

 

Gonos said his information was supplied by a man named Cal Smith of Phoenicia. He said Cal’s father was a fishing guide on the Esopus and that one of his frequent clients was the comedian, Fred Allen.

 

“Incidentally,” Gonos added, “from the way Cal referred to barkabooms, it was not a highly regarded occupation.”

 

Sort of like journalist, maybe.” (Rossie, David. “How the barkaboom got his name.” Press and Sun-Bulletin. June 10, 1991.)  

 

Photographs of Tompkins Falls, a waterfall in the western Catskills, located near the hamlet of Andes and the village of Margaretville.Past the Former DamTompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

Photographs of Tompkins Falls, a waterfall in the western Catskills, located near the hamlet of Andes and the village of Margaretville.The Flowing Barkaboom StreamTompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

Photographs of Tompkins Falls, a waterfall in the western Catskills, located near the hamlet of Andes and the village of Margaretville.Over the Edge at Tompkins FallsTompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

Photographs of Tompkins Falls, a waterfall in the western Catskills, located near the hamlet of Andes and the village of Margaretville.Upper Tompkins FallsTompkins Falls is a beautiful roadside water fall located in the Delaware Wild Forest section of the western Catskills. The falls, located on the Barkaboom Stream, are approximately 25 feet tall. Near the top of the falls are the remnants of old dam and mill site.

 

The valley of the Barkaboom was closely associated with the history of the nearby hamlet of Union Grove. The hamlet was located where the Barkaboom Stream entered the East Branch of the Delaware.

 

The Union Grove area was first settled in 1800 by a family with the name of Howks. With an abundance of lumber, including white hemlock trees, Eli Sears established a sawmill on the Barkaboom Stream in 1801, moving the wood each year to the Philadelphia market.

 

In 1848 the firm of Jenkins and Mekeel built another sawmill further up the Barkaboom Stream. This firm, a partnership between James Jenkins (1812-1883) and John Mekeel (b. 1798) & Son, was established with the purchase of 130 acres of land, to which an additional 270 acres were later added. This mill was later operated by Anson Jenkins (1833-1905), son of James Jenkins.

 

In 1857 Andrew Hawver settled further up the valley, about one-third of a mile below Tompkins Falls, and established his own mill. This mill was later operated by William M. Spickerman.

 

In September 1863 flooding caused much damage in the Barkaboom area. “On the Barkaboom stream its ravages were very great. About 1200 logs were taken out of the milldam, belonging to A. Hawver, Esq. Part of the sawmill of James Jenkins were swept away – the entire sawmill, logs and lumber around it, belonging to Harrison Hawver, were taken down the stream – and, finally, the dwelling house of Mr. Hawver, P. M., of Union Grove Post Office, was undermined, broken to pieces and taken away.” (“Flood in Andes.” Bloomville Mirror. September 29, 1863.)

 

In 1868 Robert M. Hammer and Herman D. Hammer established a sawmill 3.3 miles up the Barkaboom Stream from the East Branch confluence. This was known as the Little Falls Mill. The Hammer’s also operated a lumber and general merchandise business at the hamlet of Union Grove.

 

In 1880 Union Grove was described as having a post office, a hotel, several shops, a sawmill, three churches and a schoolhouse. In terms of progress at Union Grove, district school number 20 was established in 1843, the Union Grove post office was established in 1857, and the first general store was established in 1860 by R. M. Hammer.

 

The business dealings of the Barkaboom valley, in a book on local history, were described in 1880. “Opposite Union Grove, on the right bank of the river, are old, well improved farms, but up the valley of the Barkaboom is a newly cleared, sparsely settled tract, which seems to be in a sort of transition state between lumbering and farming, where the one has ceased to pay and the other has not become profitable.” (History of Delaware County, N.Y. New York: W.W. Munsell & Co., 1880. p. 111.)

 

Union Grove was one of the four hamlets destroyed during the construction of the Pepacton Reservoir. The other three destroyed hamlets included Pepacton, Shavertown and Arena.

 

For those who wish to spend a little more time in this area in a beautiful rustic setting, the Little Pond Campground is located approximately five miles south along Barkaboom Road. The state campground offers tent and RV camping, fishing, boating and swimming, all set on the picturesque, 13-acre Little Pond. For more information visit the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website for Little Pond Campground and Day Use Area.

 

For those with a need for more refined lodging, the historic Beaverkill Valley Inn is also located in this region. The Inn, formerly known as The Bonnie View, was built for anglers seeking to spend time on the pristine waters of the Beaverkill. The Inn continues today with its history of inviting hospitality. Visit their website at www.beaverkillvalleyinn.com for more information.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Barkaboom Mountain Barkaboom Road Barkaboom Stream Catskill Mountains Catskills Delaware Wild Forest Margaretville Matthew Jarnich New York Pepacton Reservoir photographs photography photos Tompkins Falls tourism travel Union Grove water waterfall https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/9/tompkins-falls-a-photographic-study Sat, 10 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Otto Hillig – New Photographs https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/9/otto-hillig-new-photographs Otto Hillig can be considered one of the great photographers in Catskills history. Arriving from Germany in the United States as a poor teenage immigrant he took on a series of odd jobs before developing a prosperous photography business at his adopted hometown in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York. He operated a well-regarded portrait studio in the village, extensively photographed the landscapes of the region and was considered an earlier pioneer of aerial photography.

 

I have recently acquired a number of photographic items published by Otto Hillig, including postcards, a photograph and a rare stereoview. They have all been added to the Otto Hillig gallery, which now contains over 120 of his works.

 

Liberty House, Liberty, N.Y.

Vintage postcard published by photographer Otto Hillig depicting the Liberty House, located in the village of Liberty, New York.Liberty House, Liberty, N.Y.This vintage postcard published by photographer Otto Hillig depicts the grand Liberty House, located in the village of Liberty, New York. The postmark on the reverse side shows that the postcard was mailed in 1911.

 

Colonial Hall, Liberty, N.Y.

Vintage postcard by photographer Otto Hillig depicting the charming Colonial Hall building in the village of Liberty, New York.Colonial Hall, Liberty, N.Y.This vintage postcard by photographer Otto Hillig depicts the charming Colonial Hall building in the village of Liberty, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

 

Crest Lawn, Liberty, N.Y.

Vintage postcard published by photographer Otto Hillig depicting the charming Crest Lawn building in the village of Liberty, New York.Crest Lawn, Liberty, N.Y.This vintage postcard published by photographer Otto Hillig depicts the charming Crest Lawn building in the village of Liberty, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

 

The Mapledoram Log Cabin, DeBruce, N.Y.

Vintage photograph from Otto Hillig titled “The Mapledoram Log Cabin, DeBruce, N.Y.”The Mapledoram Log Cabin, DeBruce, N.Y.

 

Xmas at the M. E. Church, Liberty, N.Y.

Photographer Otto Hillig of Liberty, New York published this vintage postcard titled “Xmas at the M. E. Church, Liberty, N.Y.”Xmas at the M. E. Church, Liberty, N.Y.

 

Grooville, N.Y.

Vintage photograph by Otto Hillig titled “Grooville, N.Y.”Grooville, N.Y.

 

Beautiful Scenery near Grooville, N.Y.

Vintage photograph by Otto Hillig titled “Beautiful Scenery near Grooville, N.Y.”Beautiful Scenery near Grooville, N.Y.

 

One of the Many Waterfalls in Sull. Co., N.Y. Parksville, N.Y.

Vintage photograph by Otto Hillig titled “One of the Many Waterfalls in Sull. Co., N.Y. Parksville, N.Y.”One of the Many Waterfalls in Sull. Co., N.Y. Parksville, N.Y.

 

Koons Bros. Turning Mill, Emmonsville, N.Y.

Vintage photography by Otto Hillig titled “Koons Bros. Turning Mill, Emmonsville, N.Y.”Koons Bros. Turning Mill, Emmonsville, N.Y.

 

Young, Messiter and Dodge Float. Centennial, 1907, Liberty, N.Y.

Vintage photograph by Otto Hillig titled “Young, Messiter and Dodge Float. Centennial, 1907, Liberty, N.Y.”Young, Messiter and Dodge Float. Centennial, 1907, Liberty, N.Y.

 

I. O. G. T. Float from White Sulpher Springs. Centennial, Liberty, N.Y. 1907

Vintage photograph by Otto Hillig titled “I. O. G. T. Float from White Sulpher Springs. Centennial, Liberty, N.Y. 1907.”I. O. G. T. Float from White Sulpher Springs. Centennial, Liberty, N.Y. 1907

 

The Trout Stream near Lake Ophelia, Liberty, N.Y.

Vintage photo by Otto Hillig titled “The Trout Stream near Lake Ophelia, Liberty, N.Y.”The Trout Stream near Lake Ophelia, Liberty, N.Y.

 

Arriving of the U.S. Mail, Grooville, N.Y.

Vintage photog by Otto Hillig titled “Arriving of the U.S. Mail, Grooville, N.Y.”Arriving of the U.S. Mail, Grooville, N.Y.

 

Remains of the Old Tanning Industry, Claryville, N.Y.

Vintage photo by Otto Hillig titled “Remains of the Old Tanning Industry, Claryville, N.Y.”Remains of the Old Tanning Industry, Claryville, N.Y.

 

The Acid Factory, Willowemoc, N.Y.

Vintage photo by Otto Hillig titled “The Acid Factory, Willowemoc, N.Y.”The Acid Factory, Willowemoc, N.Y.

 

Stevensville, N.Y.

Vintage stereoview by Otto Hillig titled “Stevensville, N.Y.” depicting a scenic waterfall.Stevensville, N.Y.

 

Untitled (Man, Horse and Wagon)

Vintage untitled photograph by Otto Hillig depicting a man sitting in a wagon being pulled by two horses.Man, Horse and Wagon

 

Hillig’s Castle

Hillig's CastleHillig's Castle

 

Otto Hillig and Holger Hoiriis

Vintage advertising card depicting Otto Hillig and Holger Hoiriis with their plane Liberty.Otto Hillig and Holger HoiriisOtto Hillig and Holger Hoiriis, with their plane Liberty, are depicted on this vintage advertising card, which highlighted their trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Copenhagen in 1931.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) aerial architecture building Catskill Mountains Catskills gallery Hillig's Photo Studio landscapes Liberty Main Street New York Otto Hillig photographer photographs photography photos pictures portrait postcards studio Sullivan County https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/9/otto-hillig-new-photographs Sat, 03 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Louis E. Jones – New Photographs https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/8/louis-e-jones-new-photographs Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskill Mountains and, later in his career, with the Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

 

I have recently acquired a number of new Catskills photographs by Louis E. Jones. They have all been added to the Jones gallery, which now contains 24 of his original postcard photographs.

 

Mountain Laurel. #1, Beautiful Catskill Mountain Series.

Mountain Laurel. Louis E. Jones. Beautiful Catskill Mountain Series, No. 1.Mountain LaurelLouis E. Jones. Beautiful Catskill Mountain Series, No. 1. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

On Breezy Heights. #5, Beautiful Catskill Mountains Series.

Breezy Heights. Louis E. Jones. Beautiful Catskill Mountain Series, No. 5.Breezy HeightsLouis E. Jones. Beautiful Catskill Mountain Series, No. 5. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Haunts of Rip Van Winkle. #13, Beautiful Catskill Mountain Series.

Haunts of Rip Van WinkleHaunts of Rip Van WinkleLouis E. Jones. Beautiful Catskill Mountain Series, No. 13. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Tower at Lake Mohonk. #4, Beautiful Kingston Series.

Tower at Lake Mohonk. Louis E. Jones. Beautiful Kingston Series, No. 4.Tower at Lake MohonkLouis E. Jones. Beautiful Kingston Series, No. 4. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Hillside Cottages. #15, Beautiful Kingston Series.

Hillside Cottages. Louis E. Jones. Beautiful Kingston Series, No. 15.Hillside CottagesLouis E. Jones. Beautiful Kingston Series, No. 15. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Across the Meadows. #24, Beautiful Kingston Series.

Across the Meadows. Louis E. Jones. Beautiful Kingston Series, No. 24.Across the MeadowsLouis E. Jones. Beautiful Kingston Series, No. 24. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Cutting Logs near Woodstock. #36, Beautiful Woodstock Series.

Cutting Logs near Woodstock. Louis E. Jones. Beautiful Woodstock Series, No. 36.Cutting Logs near WoodstockLouis E. Jones. Beautiful Woodstock Series, No. 36. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

A Woodstock Studio. Copyright 1920.

A Woodstock Studio. Louis E. Jones.A Woodstock StudioLouis E. Jones. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Concert Hall at the Maverick, Woodstock, N.Y. Copyright 1918.

Concert Hall at the Maverick, Woodstock, N.Y. Louis E. Jones.Concert Hall at the Maverick, Woodstock, N.Y.Louis E. Jones. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

The Woodstock Valley. Copyright 1925.

The Woodstock Valley. Louis E. Jones.The Woodstock ValleyLouis E. Jones. Author’s collection.

Louis E. Jones was a well-regarded photographer and painter closely associated with the Catskills and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) art artist Bucknell University Catskill Mountains Catskills Cliff Dwellers exhibit gallery Gatlinburg gift shop Kingston L. E. J. L. E. Jones Little Art Gallery Little Art Shop Louis E. Jones Louis Edward Jones New York painter photo photographer photography show Smoky Mountains Tennessee tourism travel Williamsport Woodstock https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/8/louis-e-jones-new-photographs Sat, 27 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Buttermilk Falls: A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/8/buttermilk-falls-a-photographic-study Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

 

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

 

Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous Catskills waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest.Buttermilk FallsButtermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous Catskills waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest.Like ButtermilkButtermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous Catskills waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest.Buttermilk Falls, FlowingButtermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous Catskills waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest.Flowing Buttermilk FallsButtermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous Catskills waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest.Buttermilk Falls BrookButtermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous Catskills waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest.Buttermilk Falls, Close UpButtermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous Catskills waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest.Rocky ButtermilkButtermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

Buttermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous Catskills waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest.Descending Buttermilk FallsButtermilk Falls is a relatively anonymous waterfall located in the Peekamoose Valley near Sundown in the Sundown Wild Forest. The falls consist of two tiers, the upper tier measuring approximately 45 feet in height and the lower tier measuring 5 feet in height.

Buttermilk Falls Brook forms on the south slopes of Peekamoose Mountain and joins the Rondout Creek on the far side of Route 47.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) brook Buttermilk Falls Buttermilk Falls Brook Catskill Mountains Catskills creek Peekamoose Mountain Peekamoose Valley photographs photography photos river Rondout Creek Route 42 Route 47 stream Sundown Sundown Wild Forest tourism travel Ulster County water waterfall https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/8/buttermilk-falls-a-photographic-study Sat, 20 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Kaaterskill Falls: A Springtime Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/8/kaaterskill-falls-a-springtime-photographic-study Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, including many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls and found themselves amazed at its beauty.

 

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.Kaaterskill FallsHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.Kaaterskill Falls, SpringHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.Gem of the CatskillsHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.From the TopHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.The Rock at the TopHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.Where the Mountain DividesHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

The “jewel of the upper Catskills” was a popular haunt of the Hudson River School artists, including Thomas Cole whose paintings brought world-wide fame to the Catskills region. His 1826 Falls of the Kaaterskill and Kaaterskill Falls both beautifully capture the essence of what was to become one of the most popular subjects of 19th century American painting. Sanford Robinson Gifford’s 1871 Kaaterskill Falls is another masterpiece rendition.

 

The most celebrated painting of the falls though is certainly Asher Durand’s 1849 Kindred Spirits, sometimes referred to as the defining work of the Hudson River School. Originally created as a tribute to Thomas Cole, after his death, and poet William Cullen Bryant, it offers a romanticized view of the Kaaterskill Falls area, although it is actually a composite of several scenes in the area. In 2005, Kindred Spirits sold at auction for $35 million dollars, the highest price ever paid for an American painting.

 

One of the greatest descriptions of Kaaterskill Falls was written by James Fenimore Cooper in his 1823 novel titled The Pioneers. The dialogue below begins with Leatherstocking, also known as Natty Bumppo, talking of his time in the Catskills region.

 

“‘But there’s a place, a short two miles back of that very hill, that in late times I relished better than the mountains; for it was more kivered with the trees, and more natural.’

 

“And where was that?” inquired Edwards, whose curiosity was strongly excited by the simple description of the hunter.

 

“Why there’s a fall in the hills, where the water of two little ponds that lie near each other breaks out of their bounds, and runs over the rocks into the valley. The stream is, maybe, such a one as would turn a mill, if so useless a thing was wanted in the wilderness. But the hand that made that ‘leap’ never made a mill! There the water comes crooking and winding among the rocks, first so slow that a trout could swim in it, and then starting and running just like any creator that wanted to make a far spring, till it gets to where the mountain divides, like the cleft hoof of a deer, leaving a deep hollow for the brook to tumble into. The first pitch is night two hundred feet, and the water looks likes flakes of driven snow, before it touches the bottom; and there the stream gathers itself together again for a new start, and maybe flutters over fifty feet of flat rocks, before it falls for another hundred, when it jumps about from shelf to shelf, first turning this-away and then turning that-away, striving to get out of the hollow, till it finally comes to the plain.”

 

“I have never heard of this spot before!” exclaimed Edwards; “it is not mentioned in the books.”

 

“I never read a book in my life,” said Leather-stocking; “and how should a man who has lived in towns and schools known anything about the wonders of the woods! No, no lad; there has that little stream of water been playing among them hills, since He made the world, and not a dozen white men have ever laid eyes on it. The rock sweeps like a mason’s work, in a half-round, on both sides of the fall, and shelves over the bottom for fifty feet; so that when I’ve been sitting at the foot of the first pitch, and my hounds have run into the caverns behind the sheet of water, they’ve looked no bigger than so many rabbits. To my judgment, lad, it’s the best piece of work that I’ve met with in the woods; and none know how often the hand of God is seen in a wilderness, but them that rover it for a man’s life.”

 

“What becomes of the water? In which direction does it run? Is it a tributary of the Delaware?”

 

“Anan!” said Natty.

 

“Does the wat run into the Delaware?”

 

“No, no, it’s a drop for the old Hudson; and a merry time it has till it gets down off the mountain. I’ve sat on the shelving rock many a long hour, boy and watched the bubbles as they shot by me, and thought how long it would be before that very water, which seemed made for the wilderness, would be under the bottom of a vessel, and tossing in the salt sea. It is a spot to make a man solemnize. You can see right down into the valley that lies to the east of the High Peak, where, in the fall of the year, thousands of acres of woods are before your eyes, in the deep hollow, and along the side of the mountain, painted like ten thousand rainbows, by no hand of man, though without the ordering of God’s providence.”

 

For many years the former Laurel House hotel was located near the top of Kaaterskill Falls. The Laurel House was constructed as a boarding house in 1852 by Peter Schutt, and later managed by his son Jacob L. Schutt. The Laurel House, named for the mountain laurel (kalmia latifolia) that grows and blossoms around the area, originally had room for 50 visitors but was expanded after the Civil War and again in the early 1880s to accommodate approximately 300 people. The hotel was very popular given its location near the falls, its views of Kaaterskill Clove and its moderate pricing when compared to the more upscale Catskill Mountain House and the Kaaterskill Hotel. The grand Laurel House hotel operated until 1963, was acquired by New York State two years later and its grounds added to the Catskill Forest Preserve. The state intentionally burned the historic structure in March 1967.

 

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.The best piece of workHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.The Wonders of the WoodsHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.The Lower FallHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.Kaaterskill Falls, Close UpHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills.Than turning that-awayHaines Falls, Greene County

Kaaterskill Falls, at over 260 feet, is the tallest waterfall in New York State and is one of the popular destinations in the Catskills. For over two centuries, visitors, as well as many famous artists and writers, have journeyed to the falls to be amazed at its beauty. Be prepared for crowds though as it is likely one of the most popular destinations in all of the Catskills.

Samuel E. Rusk, who would later become a noted Catskills photographer and boarding house owner, beautifully described the setting of the Laurel House and Kaaterskill Falls in his 1879 book titled Rusk’s Illustrated Guide to the Catskill Mountains.

 

“It is but a few feet from the Laurel House to the top of the [Kaaterskill] Falls. The Spray House stands on the very verge, and its platform, with timbers bolted to the rock, projects over the awful chasm. This is the point from which to view the Falls from above; and over this first Fall the water drops a hundred and sixty feet, broken into millions of foamy fragments ere it strikes below, and flowing along a few yards it again plunges to the depth of eighty feet . . .

 

It is from under the Falls where its grandeur becomes most striking. At a gate by the Spray House a payment of twenty-five cents is made – for once during the season – and a charming path followed a few yards through the forest to the head of the stairs. Rustic seats are place along the way, and there are resting-places at various landings along down the many flights of stairs passed in reaching the bottom of the falls.

 

In the immense ampitheater which curves behind of the first Fall is a level path on which one may safely pass entirely around behind the falling water. Midway along the path the flood comes pouring over the enormous arch of rock, and as it descends, is eighty feet distant from the point of observation. After passing around by this path, the stream may be re-crossed a few yards below, at the top of the second Fall, where the stairs continue down to the foot, and reach a seat placed so as to give an unobstructed view of both Falls. While parties are down here, the gate of a dam immediately above the Falls is opened, thus augmenting the usual flow of water, and the scene is then truly marvellous.” 

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) brook Catskill Mountains Catskills creek Greene County Haines Falls hike hiking Kaaterskill Clove Kaaterskill Falls New York photographs photography photos river tourism trail travel water waterfall https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/8/kaaterskill-falls-a-springtime-photographic-study Sat, 13 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Sunset Rock: A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/8/sunset-rock-a-photographic-study Sunset Rock is one of the finest views in all of the Catskill Park. Its open ledge area overlooks North and South Lakes and South Mountain (2,460 feet), with Kaaterskill High Peak (3,655 feet) and Roundtop Mountain (3,440 feet) hovering in the background to the south west. The ridge of North Mountain can be seen towards the northwest. The Hudson Valley can be seen.

 

Sunset Rock’s picturesque beauty made it a favorite location for both visitors to the famed Catskill Mountain House, once one of the most famous hotels in the world, and many of the early Hudson River School artists of the 19th century, including Thomas Cole and Jasper Cropsey. Today, it continues as one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Catskills.

 

Sunset Rock along the Escarpment Trail is one of the finest views in the Catskills.Sunset RockSunset Rock is one of the finest views in all of the Catskill Park. Its open ledge area overlooks North and South Lakes and South Mountain (2,460 feet), with Kaaterskill High Peak (3,655 feet) and Roundtop Mountain (3,440 feet) hovering in the background to the south west. The ridge of North Mountain can be seen towards the northwest. The Hudson Valley can be seen. Sunset Rock’s picturesque beauty made it a favorite location for both visitors to the famed Catskill Mountain House, once one of the most famous hotels in the world, and many of the early Hudson River School artists of the 19th century, including Thomas Cole and Jasper Cropsey. Today, it continues as one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Catskills.

Sunset Rock along the Escarpment Trail is one of the finest views in the Catskills.Sunset Rock ViewSunset Rock is one of the finest views in all of the Catskill Park. Its open ledge area overlooks North and South Lakes and South Mountain (2,460 feet), with Kaaterskill High Peak (3,655 feet) and Roundtop Mountain (3,440 feet) hovering in the background to the south west. The ridge of North Mountain can be seen towards the northwest. The Hudson Valley can be seen. Sunset Rock’s picturesque beauty made it a favorite location for both visitors to the famed Catskill Mountain House, once one of the most famous hotels in the world, and many of the early Hudson River School artists of the 19th century, including Thomas Cole and Jasper Cropsey. Today, it continues as one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Catskills.

Sunset Rock along the Escarpment Trail is one of the finest views in the Catskills.Rocks, Lakes and MountainsSunset Rock is one of the finest views in all of the Catskill Park. Its open ledge area overlooks North and South Lakes and South Mountain (2,460 feet), with Kaaterskill High Peak (3,655 feet) and Roundtop Mountain (3,440 feet) hovering in the background to the south west. The ridge of North Mountain can be seen towards the northwest. The Hudson Valley can be seen. Sunset Rock’s picturesque beauty made it a favorite location for both visitors to the famed Catskill Mountain House, once one of the most famous hotels in the world, and many of the early Hudson River School artists of the 19th century, including Thomas Cole and Jasper Cropsey. Today, it continues as one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Catskills.

Sunset Rock along the Escarpment Trail is one of the finest views in the Catskills.Sunset Rock PanoramicSunset Rock is one of the finest views in all of the Catskill Park. Its open ledge area overlooks North and South Lakes and South Mountain (2,460 feet), with Kaaterskill High Peak (3,655 feet) and Roundtop Mountain (3,440 feet) hovering in the background to the south west. The ridge of North Mountain can be seen towards the northwest. The Hudson Valley can be seen. Sunset Rock’s picturesque beauty made it a favorite location for both visitors to the famed Catskill Mountain House, once one of the most famous hotels in the world, and many of the early Hudson River School artists of the 19th century, including Thomas Cole and Jasper Cropsey. Today, it continues as one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Catskills.

Sunset Rock along the Escarpment Trail is one of the finest views in the Catskills.First Light at Sunset RockSunset Rock is one of the finest views in all of the Catskill Park. Its open ledge area overlooks North and South Lakes and South Mountain (2,460 feet), with Kaaterskill High Peak (3,655 feet) and Roundtop Mountain (3,440 feet) hovering in the background to the south west. The ridge of North Mountain can be seen towards the northwest. The Hudson Valley can be seen. Sunset Rock’s picturesque beauty made it a favorite location for both visitors to the famed Catskill Mountain House, once one of the most famous hotels in the world, and many of the early Hudson River School artists of the 19th century, including Thomas Cole and Jasper Cropsey. Today, it continues as one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Catskills.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Catskill Mountain House Catskill Mountains Catskills hike hiker hiking Hudson River Hudson River School Hudson Valley Jasper Cropsey Kaaterskill High Peak mountain North Lake overlook photographs photography photos Roundtop Mountain South Lake South Mountain Sunset Rock Thomas Cole tourism travel view https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/8/sunset-rock-a-photographic-study Sat, 06 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Conklin Hill Falls: A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/conklin-hill-falls-a-photographic-study Conklin Hill Falls is a quiet, yet beautiful, destination in the Willowemoc Wild Forest, located between the hamlets of Claryville and Livingston Manor. The falls are located on an unnamed tributary that feeds in to the Willowemoc Creek, sister to the more famous Beaverkill River.

 

There are actually several falls along the unmarked trail, ranging in height from 4 feet to 15 feet, with the tallest one being the most impressive. Given its out-of-the-way location and its being located on an unmarked path through the woods, you will typically find yourself alone here, unlike many of the more well-known waterfalls throughout the Catskills.

 

Conklin Hill Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc in Sullivan County, New York.Conklin Hill Falls (Upper)Debruce, Sullivan County

Conklin Hill Falls is a quiet, out-of-the-way destination in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc. The falls are located on an unnamed tributary that feeds in to the Willowemoc Creek, the sister to the more famous Beaverkill River.

Conklin Hill Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc in Sullivan County, New York.Who Was Conklin?Debruce, Sullivan County

Conklin Hill Falls is a quiet, out-of-the-way destination in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc. The falls are located on an unnamed tributary that feeds in to the Willowemoc Creek, the sister to the more famous Beaverkill River.

Conklin Hill Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc in Sullivan County, New York.SereneDebruce, Sullivan County

Conklin Hill Falls is a quiet, out-of-the-way destination in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc. The falls are located on an unnamed tributary that feeds in to the Willowemoc Creek, the sister to the more famous Beaverkill River.

Conklin Hill Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc in Sullivan County, New York.Conklin Hill Falls (Lower)Debruce, Sullivan County

Conklin Hill Falls is a quiet, out-of-the-way destination in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc. The falls are located on an unnamed tributary that feeds in to the Willowemoc Creek, the sister to the more famous Beaverkill River.

Conklin Hill Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc in Sullivan County, New York.Conklin Hill Falls, AutumnDebruce, Sullivan County

Conklin Hill Falls is a quiet, out-of-the-way destination in the Willowemoc Wild Forest near the towns of Debruce and Willowemoc. The falls are located on an unnamed tributary that feeds in to the Willowemoc Creek, the sister to the more famous Beaverkill River.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Beaverkill River Bendo Covered Bridge brook Catskill Mountains Catskills Claryville Conklin Hill Falls creek Debruce hike hiker hiking Livingston Manor New York photographs photography photos river stream Sullivan County tourism travel tributary water waterfall Willowemoc Willowemoc Creek Willowemoc Wild Forest https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/conklin-hill-falls-a-photographic-study Sat, 30 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Rosendale Trestle: A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/rosendale-trestle-a-photographic-study The Rosendale Trestle was originally opened in April 1872 to serve the Wallkill Valley Railroad along its line from New Paltz to Kingston. The bridge was built of iron, in five spans, supported by heavy stone piers and abutment, along with iron columns. At the time of its construction, it was the highest span bridge in the United States. The bridge was rebuilt in 1895 to address safety concerns associated with the new steam locomotives as well as longer and heavier trains.

 

The Rosendale Trestle in the hamlet of Rosendale is part of the 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston.View from Joppenbergh MountainRosendale, Ulster County

The Rosendale Trestle was originally opened in 1872 to serve the Wallkill Valley Railroad along its line from New Paltz to Kingston. After over a century of service the Rosendale rail line closed in 1977. The bridge was then sold to a private businessman in 1986 and briefly used for commercial bungee jumping. Ulster County seized the property in 2009 for delinquent taxes, and subsequently sold the property to the Wallkill Valley Trust and Open Space Conservancy.

Due to the many years of prior neglect, the bridge underwent extensive renovations in order to ensure its safety for the public. The Rosendale Trestle officially reopened to the public in June 2013. Today, the 940-foot trestle is part of the popular 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston. Rising 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, the trestle provides amazing views of the Rosendale hamlet, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Joppenbergh Mountain and the surrounding countryside.

The Rosendale Trestle in the hamlet of Rosendale is part of the 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston.Morning WalkRosendale, Ulster County

The Rosendale Trestle was originally opened in 1872 to serve the Wallkill Valley Railroad along its line from New Paltz to Kingston. After over a century of service the Rosendale rail line closed in 1977. The bridge was then sold to a private businessman in 1986 and briefly used for commercial bungee jumping. Ulster County seized the property in 2009 for delinquent taxes, and subsequently sold the property to the Wallkill Valley Trust and Open Space Conservancy.

Due to the many years of prior neglect, the bridge underwent extensive renovations in order to ensure its safety for the public. The Rosendale Trestle officially reopened to the public in June 2013. Today, the 940-foot trestle is part of the popular 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston. Rising 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, the trestle provides amazing views of the Rosendale hamlet, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Joppenbergh Mountain and the surrounding countryside.

The Rosendale Trestle in the hamlet of Rosendale is part of the 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston.Take the Road Less TravelledRosendale, Ulster County

The Rosendale Trestle was originally opened in 1872 to serve the Wallkill Valley Railroad along its line from New Paltz to Kingston. After over a century of service the Rosendale rail line closed in 1977. The bridge was then sold to a private businessman in 1986 and briefly used for commercial bungee jumping. Ulster County seized the property in 2009 for delinquent taxes, and subsequently sold the property to the Wallkill Valley Trust and Open Space Conservancy.

Due to the many years of prior neglect, the bridge underwent extensive renovations in order to ensure its safety for the public. The Rosendale Trestle officially reopened to the public in June 2013. Today, the 940-foot trestle is part of the popular 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston. Rising 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, the trestle provides amazing views of the Rosendale hamlet, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Joppenbergh Mountain and the surrounding countryside.

 

After over a century of service the Rosendale rail line closed in 1977. The bridge was then sold to a private businessman in 1986 and briefly used for commercial bungee jumping. Ulster County seized the property in 2009 for delinquent taxes, and subsequently sold the property to the Wallkill Valley Trust and Open Space Conservancy.

 

Due to the many years of prior neglect, the bridge underwent extensive renovations in order to ensure its safety for the public. The Rosendale Trestle officially reopened to the public in June 2013. Today, the 940-foot trestle is part of the popular 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston.

 

Rising 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, the trestle provides amazing views of the Rosendale hamlet, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Joppenbergh Mountain and the surrounding countryside.

 

The Rosendale Trestle in the hamlet of Rosendale is part of the 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston.Over the RondoutRosendale, Ulster County

The Rosendale Trestle was originally opened in 1872 to serve the Wallkill Valley Railroad along its line from New Paltz to Kingston. After over a century of service the Rosendale rail line closed in 1977. The bridge was then sold to a private businessman in 1986 and briefly used for commercial bungee jumping. Ulster County seized the property in 2009 for delinquent taxes, and subsequently sold the property to the Wallkill Valley Trust and Open Space Conservancy.

Due to the many years of prior neglect, the bridge underwent extensive renovations in order to ensure its safety for the public. The Rosendale Trestle officially reopened to the public in June 2013. Today, the 940-foot trestle is part of the popular 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston. Rising 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, the trestle provides amazing views of the Rosendale hamlet, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Joppenbergh Mountain and the surrounding countryside.

This beautiful fall foliage scene takes in the Rosendale landscape including Route 213, 500-foot Joppenbergh Mountain, the Rondout Creek and Saint Peter’s Catholic Church.Country Scene at RosendaleRosendale, Ulster County

This beautiful fall foliage scene takes in the Rosendale landscape including Route 213, 500-foot Joppenbergh Mountain, the famous Rondout Creek and the historic 1875 Saint Peter’s Catholic Church. As viewed from the Rosendale Trestle along the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, the classic scene, with elements of both man and nature, seems to come together in perfect harmony.

The Rosendale Trestle in the hamlet of Rosendale is part of the 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston.First Light at RosendaleRosendale, Ulster County

The Rosendale Trestle was originally opened in 1872 to serve the Wallkill Valley Railroad along its line from New Paltz to Kingston. After over a century of service the Rosendale rail line closed in 1977. The bridge was then sold to a private businessman in 1986 and briefly used for commercial bungee jumping. Ulster County seized the property in 2009 for delinquent taxes, and subsequently sold the property to the Wallkill Valley Trust and Open Space Conservancy.

Due to the many years of prior neglect, the bridge underwent extensive renovations in order to ensure its safety for the public. The Rosendale Trestle officially reopened to the public in June 2013. Today, the 940-foot trestle is part of the popular 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston. Rising 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, the trestle provides amazing views of the Rosendale hamlet, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Joppenbergh Mountain and the surrounding countryside.

The Rosendale Trestle in the hamlet of Rosendale is part of the 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston.Sunrise Over the RondoutRosendale, Ulster County

The Rosendale Trestle was originally opened in 1872 to serve the Wallkill Valley Railroad along its line from New Paltz to Kingston. After over a century of service the Rosendale rail line closed in 1977. The bridge was then sold to a private businessman in 1986 and briefly used for commercial bungee jumping. Ulster County seized the property in 2009 for delinquent taxes, and subsequently sold the property to the Wallkill Valley Trust and Open Space Conservancy.

Due to the many years of prior neglect, the bridge underwent extensive renovations in order to ensure its safety for the public. The Rosendale Trestle officially reopened to the public in June 2013. Today, the 940-foot trestle is part of the popular 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that runs from Gardiner to Kingston. Rising 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, the trestle provides amazing views of the Rosendale hamlet, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Joppenbergh Mountain and the surrounding countryside.

This beautiful fall foliage scene in Rosendale takes in the cliffs of 500-foot Joppenbergh Mountain as it blooms with vibrant orange, red, green and yellow colors.Joppenbergh MountainThis beautiful fall foliage scene in Rosendale takes in the cliffs of 500-foot Joppenbergh Mountain as it blooms with vibrant orange, red, green and yellow colors. Despite what would be its diminutive size in other locations, Joppenbergh Mountain seems to fit perfectly in Rosendale, providing a dramatic backdrop as walkers and bikers cross the Rosendale Trestle on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.

 

The 500-foot Joppenbergh Mountain, despite what would be its diminutive size in other locations, seems to fit perfectly in Rosendale, providing a dramatic backdrop as walkers and bikers cross the Rosendale Trestle on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. The mountain was actively mined in the late 19th century for dolomite, which was used to manufacture natural cement. Visitors can take an easy hike to the top of Joppenbergh Mountain for a birds-eye view of the Rosendale Trestle.

 

The Rondout Creek, underneath the trestle, flows 63 miles from its origin on the col between Rocky Mountain and Balsam Cap to its confluence with the Hudson River at the city of Kingston.

 

The village of Rosendale is beautifully situated along the Rondout Creek and at the base of Joppenbergh Mountain. In addition to the trestle, Rosendale is also home to the equally interesting Snyder Estate and the Widow Jane mine, The 1850 House Inn, the Rosendale Theatre and several shops and restaurants.

 

The parish at St. Peter’s Church was established in 1855 to meet the religious needs of the rapidly growing population of Rosendale that was closely associated with the cement industry and the Delaware & Hudson canal. The church building was constructed 20 years later in 1875-76, with the first service taking place on Christmas Day, 1876. The church, over 150 years later, continues to play an active role in the Rosendale community.

 

Parking for the Rosendale Trestle can be found at the Binnewater Kiln parking area on Binnewater Road, off of Route 213, north of the trestle. Parking for the hike up Joppenbergh Mountain can be found at Willow Kiln Park, just off of Main Street, in the village of Rosendale.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) bike biking bridge Catskill Mountains Catskills Gardiner hike hiking Joppenbergh Mountain Kingston New Paltz Open Space Conservancy photographs photography photos railroad Rondout Creek Rosendale Rosendale Trestle scenery St. Peter's Church tourism train travel trestle Ulster County view walk walking Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Wallkill Valley Railroad Wallkill Valley Trust https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/rosendale-trestle-a-photographic-study Sat, 23 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Pickles: The Saugerties Dinosaur https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/pickles-the-saugerties-dinosaur The extreme road side dinosaur known as Pickles can be found at the entrance of the always popular Rip Van Winkle Campground in Saugerties, New York.

 

Large scale metal dinosaur sculpture known as Pickles can be found at the entrance of the Rip Van Winkle Campground in Saugerties, New York.PicklesThe extreme road side dinosaur known as Pickles can be found at the entrance of the always popular Rip Van Winkle Campground in Saugerties, New York. Blending the body of an Apatosaurus with the head of a T-Rex, the large-scale skeleton stands 38 feet tall and 49 feet long and weighs four tons.

The skeleton was constructed in 1994 by Benson Steel, a local fabrication company, and is engineered to withstand winds up to 75 miles per hour. Pickles marks the entrance of the campground’s “fun zone,” which includes an outdoor movie theater, swimming pool, remote control tracks and more. For 25 cents the dinosaur sprays water from its mouth. The dinosaur got its name from a campground fundraiser for a local cancer charity.

 

Blending the body of an Apatosaurus with the head of a T-Rex, the large-scale skeleton stands 38 feet tall and 49 feet long and weighs four tons.

 

The skeleton was constructed in 1994 by Benson Steel, a local fabrication company, and is engineered to withstand winds up to 75 miles per hour. Pickles marks the entrance of the campground’s “fun zone,” which includes an outdoor movie theater, swimming pool, remote control tracks and more. For 25 cents the dinosaur sprays water from its mouth. The dinosaur got its name from a campground fundraiser for a local cancer charity.

 

Visit the Rip Van Winkle Campground website at www.ripvanwinklecampgrounds.com for more information.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) attraction Benson Steel camp campground cancer Catskill Mountains Catskills charity dinosaur fundraiser Matthew Jarnich photographs photography photos Pickles pond Rip Van Winkle Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds Saugerties skeleton steel tourism travel Ulster County https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/pickles-the-saugerties-dinosaur Sat, 16 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
The “X” Barn of Callicoon https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/the-x-barn-of-callicoon The region around Callicoon in Sullivan County, New York is home to a great number of farms and barns. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Sullivan County is home to 366 farms with an average size of 164 acres. Some of the top products from the county include poultry and eggs, milk from cows, hay, cattle and calves and vegetables, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Agriculture represents the second largest economic sector in the County.

 

This bright, red-colored barn, with a green roof and a towering silo topped with silver and red, certainly catches the eye of any traveler in the region.
 

Farm and barn scene located near Callicoon in Sullivan County.X Barn

 

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) agriculture barn Callicoon Catskill Mountains Catskills country farm Matthew Jarnich New York photographer photographs photos scene Sullivan County tourism travel X Barn https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/the-x-barn-of-callicoon Sat, 09 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Want a Nice Cold Coke? https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/want-a-nice-cold-coke For most of my visits to the Catskills, I have planned my shooting destinations in advance, while also allowing for a degree of change for lighting, weather, etc. Although it may sound oxymoronic, sometimes as part of the planning process, I will schedule a morning or an afternoon with no plan, to either scout possible future locations or to just simply drive around to see what I can found.

 

This country scene in Pleasant Valley, Sullivan County shows an old Coke machine, horseshoe, saw blades and pitchfork blade along the side of small barn.Want a Nice Cold Coke?

 

And that’s what happened with this photograph. I had finished an early morning session at Callicoon, which has the look of many bygone years, and was then just driving around the backroads of Sullivan County. There are many great rural scenes in this section of the Catskills, including a wide variety of farms, barns and landscapes. As I was driving by one particular farm, this country scene came across my vision and caused me to immediately stop.

 

This wonderful scene shows an old Coke machine that had certainly seen better days, several lucky horseshoes, a few rusted saw blades and a corroded pitchfork blade, all proudly displayed on the side of a small, weather-beaten barn. Contrary to the image seen here, the actual farm was a beehive of activity with tractors and workers moving every which way.

 

Although it is a simple photograph, “f8 and be there” as they say, I thought it was a great capture that I felt quite fortunate to have come across.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) barn beverage building Callicoon Catskill Mountains Catskills Coke drink farm machine Matthew Jarnich New York photographer photographs photos Sullivan County tourism travel Want a Nice Cold Coke? https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/7/want-a-nice-cold-coke Sat, 02 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
The Children Are Our Future: Jeffersonville Central School https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/6/the-children-are-our-future-jeffersonville-central-school The Jeffersonville Central School building is located in the village of Jeffersonville in Sullivan County. It is situated on the top of Behnken Hill, the high point of the 54-acre campus. East of the school is the central business district of the Jeffersonville village, while to the north, west and south are “the rolling foothills of the Catskill Mountains, marked by small farms and one-family residences.”

 

The Jeffersonville Central School building is located in the village of Jeffersonville in Sullivan County, New York.Jeffersonville Central SchoolThe Jeffersonville Central School building is located in the village of Jeffersonville in Sullivan County. The building was designed by architect Harold Fullerton in the Colonial Revival style and constructed as a Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) project in 1938-1939. At the time of its construction, and as part of the school centralization movement, the building “replaced 15 one-room and rural school-houses in the towns of Callicoon, Bethel, Fremont, Liberty, Delaware, and Cochecton.” The village of Jeffersonville and the Jeffersonville Central School were both named by a local 19th century hotel builder who was an admirer of Thomas Jefferson. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Jeffersonville Central School building is located in the village of Jeffersonville in Sullivan County, New York.The Walk to Jefferson Central SchoolThe Jeffersonville Central School building is located in the village of Jeffersonville in Sullivan County. The building was designed by architect Harold Fullerton in the Colonial Revival style and constructed as a Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) project in 1938-1939. At the time of its construction, and as part of the school centralization movement, the building “replaced 15 one-room and rural school-houses in the towns of Callicoon, Bethel, Fremont, Liberty, Delaware, and Cochecton.” The village of Jeffersonville and the Jeffersonville Central School were both named by a local 19th century hotel builder who was an admirer of Thomas Jefferson. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Jeffersonville Central School building is located in the village of Jeffersonville in Sullivan County, New York.Jefferson CentralThe Jeffersonville Central School building is located in the village of Jeffersonville in Sullivan County. The building was designed by architect Harold Fullerton in the Colonial Revival style and constructed as a Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) project in 1938-1939. At the time of its construction, and as part of the school centralization movement, the building “replaced 15 one-room and rural school-houses in the towns of Callicoon, Bethel, Fremont, Liberty, Delaware, and Cochecton.” The village of Jeffersonville and the Jeffersonville Central School were both named by a local 19th century hotel builder who was an admirer of Thomas Jefferson. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The building was designed by architect Harold Fullerton (1895-1965) in the Colonial Revival style and constructed as a Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) project in 1938-1939. At the time of its construction, and as part of the school centralization movement, the building replaced 15 one-room and rural school-houses in the towns of Callicoon, Bethel, Fremont, Liberty, Delaware, and Cochecton. The building is estimated to have cost $418,000.

 

“Harold O. Fullerton, born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1896, opened his firm in Albany twelve years after graduating from the University of Michigan (1920) with degrees in Architecture and Architectural Engineering . . . During his career, he designed over 50 public and private schools, office buildings, churches, and other structures. Other work in New York State includes Livingston Manor Central School, Delaware Academy in Delhi, and the dormitory complex of the State University of New York (Albany Campus). He planned the modernization of Page, Draper, Heusted, and Richardson Halls on that campus. During World War II, he served as a Naval Commander of Yards and Docks. He was a member of many professional associations, including the American Institute of Architects, the Architectural League of New York, the Engineers Club of New York City, and the University Clubs of Washington and New York.” (Kuhn)

 

The village of Jeffersonville and the Jeffersonville Central School were both named by a local 19th century hotel builder who was an admirer of Thomas Jefferson.

 

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places “as a monumental Colonial Revival style building that is associated with the period of centralization in the development of the New York State educational system.”

 

Source: Kuhn, Robert D. “Jefferson School.” National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. 1988.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) architect architecture Bethel building Callicoon Catskill Mountains Catskills Cochecton Colonial Revival Delaware Fremont Harold Fullerton Jeffersonville Jeffersonville Central School Liberty Matthew Jarnich National Register of Historic Places P.W.A. photographs photography photos Public Works Administration school schoolhouse Sullivan County Thomas Jefferson tourism travel village https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/6/the-children-are-our-future-jeffersonville-central-school Sat, 25 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Signs of the Past in Monticello https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/6/signs-of-the-past-in-monticello Ghost signs are old and fading advertising signs painted on the exterior building walls, often remaining in place well after the business has closed. Ghost signs can be found throughout the Catskills and across the United States. The ghost signs seen here advertise for Al Cohen’s Sport Shop and the legendary Roark’s Tavern in the village of Monticello, New York.

 

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The long gone Al Cohen’s Sport Shop was located at 246 Broadway in the village of Monticello. The popular store sold a wide range of sporting gear, tennis and golf equipment, fishing equipment, fly rods, hunting rifles and much more. Newspaper advertisements in 1965 boasted that the shop was “Sullivan County’s Largest and Most Complete Sporting Goods and Sports Wear Store.”

 

Ghost sign advertising the long gone Al Cohen’s Sport Shop at 246 Broadway in Monticello, New York.Al Cohen's Sport ShopMonticello, Sullivan County

This ghost sign advertises the long gone Al Cohen’s Sport Shop at 246 Broadway in the village of Monticello. The popular store sold a wide range of sporting gear, tennis and golf equipment, fishing equipment, fly rods, hunting rifles and much more. Newspaper advertisements in 1965 boasted that the shop was “Sullivan County’s Largest and Most Complete Sporting Goods and Sports Wear Store.”

 

Milton Kabak (1926-2010) managed Al Cohen’s Sport Shop for 27 years and after worked at the Sullivan County Courthouse in Monticello for 17 years. Kabak was a veteran of World War II, having served as a Forward Scout in the Army, serving a majority of his time in the Philippines. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service. Kabak had served as president of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He passed away at the age of 84 in 2010. He was survived by his wife Charlotte Kabak, his son Stuart Kabak, of Swan Lake, and his daughter Stephanie Suarez, of Liverpool, New York.

 

* * * * * * *

 

Legendary Roark’s Tavern on Landfield Avenue in the village of Monticello first opened its doors in 1932 during the height of the Great Depression.

 

Roark’s Tavern on Landfield Avenue in Monticello, New York first opened in 1932 during the height of the Great Depression by William Roark.Roark's TavernLegendary Roark’s Tavern on Landfield Avenue in the village of Monticello first opened its doors in 1932 during the height of the Great Depression.

William “Bill” Roark (1892-1947), a Monticello native, started the tavern. He was the son of Michael Roark (1845-1925), a well-respected farmer, and Bridget Carroll Roark (1857-1929). He attended the Monticello schools and was a star basketball and baseball player. Prior to the tavern he had worked at a bakery and at the Monticello Inn. William was active in the community, being a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks and president of the Monticello soft ball league. William passed away at the age of 54 in 1947 at the Hamilton Avenue Hospital. Services were held at Saint Peter’s Church and he is buried at Saint Peter’s Cemetery in Monticello, New York.

 

William “Bill” Roark (1892-1947), a Monticello native, started the tavern. He was the son of Michael Roark (1845-1925), a well-respected farmer, and Bridget Carroll Roark (1857-1929). He attended the Monticello schools and was a star basketball and baseball player. Prior to the tavern he had worked at a bakery and at the Monticello Inn. William was active in the community, being a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks and president of the Monticello soft ball league. William passed away at the age of 54 in 1947 at the Hamilton Avenue Hospital. Services were held at Saint Peter’s Church and he is buried at Saint Peter’s Cemetery in Monticello, New York.

 

After William Roark passed away in 1947, the tavern was briefly operated by Ted Dowd for 1 1/2 years.

 

Roark’s Tavern was then taken over by the well-known Clement “Clem” Leffer, who operated it from 1948 to 1971. Leffer was the son of Nathan Leffer and Mary Schneider. The Leffer family, originally from Brooklyn, moved to Sullivan County when Clement was 15 years old. Clement married Madeline V. Leffer (1913-2001), daughter of William and Anna Karlberg McGuigan. Clement was a veteran of World War II, having served in the US Army during its Africa campaign. Clement died at Delray Beach, Florida in 2007 at the age of 95.

 

The following advertisement for Roark’s Tavern was published in 1948.

 

Roark’s is the place where old friends meet,

               To better their service would be a fete,

So for fun and cheer, to set you “aglow,”

               Then it’s Roark’s; the place to go.

 

Likely taking over from Leffer, Roark’s Tavern was then operated by Tony Cellini for many years until 1984. Cellini later served as the Town of Thompson supervisor for over 20 years and then as Security Supervisor at the Monticello Motor Club. He served in the US Army Military Police from 1958 to 1961.

 

Interestingly, famous musician Gavin DeGraw, a nearby South Fallsburg native, got his start playing local bars around Monticello, including Roark’s Tavern and the Nowhere Bar.

 

Roark’s Tavern, with a motto of “Saving the world one beer at a time,” continues to be a longtime mainstay of downtown Monticello.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1932 246 Broadway advertisement Al Cohen Al Cohen's Sport Shop bar Catskill Mountains Catskills Clem Leffer Clement Leffer Gavin DeGraw ghost sign Matthew Jarnich Milton Kabak Monticello New York photographer photographs photos Roark's Tavern sign store Sullivan County tavern Tony Cellini tourism travel William Roark https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/6/signs-of-the-past-in-monticello Sat, 18 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT
The Last of an Era: The One-Room Ferndale Schoolhouse https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/6/the-last-of-an-era-the-one-room-ferndale-schoolhouse The Ferndale School is a one-story, one-room wood-frame schoolhouse located in the small hamlet of Ferndale in Sullivan County, New York. The school was built circa 1850 for District 6 in the town of Liberty, New York.

 

The Ferndale School is a one-room wood-frame schoolhouse located in the small hamlet of Ferndale in Sullivan County, New York.Ferndale SchoolThe Ferndale School is a one-story, one-room wood-frame schoolhouse located in the small hamlet of Ferndale in Sullivan County, New York. The school was built circa 1850 for District 6 in the town of Liberty and served the community through the 1950s, when it closed due to school district consolidation. The Ferndale School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The Ferndale School is a one-room wood-frame schoolhouse located in the small hamlet of Ferndale in Sullivan County, New York.Ferndale SchoolThe Ferndale School is a one-story, one-room wood-frame schoolhouse located in the small hamlet of Ferndale in Sullivan County, New York. The school was built circa 1850 for District 6 in the town of Liberty and served the community through the 1950s, when it closed due to school district consolidation. The Ferndale School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The hamlet of Ferndale, formerly known as Liberty Falls, is located south of the village of Liberty. The Mongaup River and the route of the former O. & W. Railroad run through the hamlet. The school is located at the intersection of Ferndale Loomis Road and Upper Ferndale Road.

 

Ferndale was settled in 1807 by Roswell Russell, who established a sawmill at the Falls. When Liberty Falls sought to change names in the early 1900s to avoid confusion with the village of Liberty, which had become closely associated with the treatment of tuberculosis, the Ferndale name came from the Ferndale Villa, a popular local resort built by Joshua Gerow. The once world-famous Grossinger’s Resort Hotel, which was established in 1919 and operated until 1986, was located at Ferndale.

 

The Ferndale School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “an intact representative of a nineteenth century rural schoolhouse in Sullivan County and for its association with the history of education in the hamlet of Ferndale.”

 

“The building was a typical example of a nineteenth-century common school. Schools built in rural areas during the first half of the nineteenth century were generally small wood-frame buildings, domestic in scale, featuring undifferentiated interior spaces. Beginning in the 1840s, numerous pattern books were published that provided plans for schools that incorporated features intended to enhance the learning experience and accommodate advances in education, such as more specialized or graded instruction. Henry Barnard, for example, published ten editions of School Architecture between 1842 and 1883, all featuring examples of model schools that local districts could draw upon. The typical 1850 school was a small building with a vestibule (used as a cloakroom) and one large classroom. A teacher’s platform was located at the front of the room and students sat at fixed stations. The school was usually heated with a stove in the school room and there were windows on two or three sides of the building. Restrooms were generally privies. Despite certain variations and improvements, this remained the basic model for rural school buildings until the late nineteenth century.

 

The Ferndale School follows this model. Its modest size, rectangular form, wood-frame construction, and regular fenestration identify the building as a traditional and easily recognizable icon on the landscape. On the interior, the school was a single, undivided classroom (typically, a partition would have divided off a narrow vestibule just inside the door; it is not known whether Ferndale had this feature). The school was heated by a stove and a small wood-frame building at the rear served as a woodshed. Bathrooms were probably accommodated by privies; however, there is no evidence of them today. While modest, the school was constructed with windows on three elevations to provide a maximum amount of light and good ventilation. As per contemporary practice, the teacher probably sat at the front of the room facing the students. There were no openings on the rear elevation (behind the teacher) so that the students would not have to look into direct sunlight.”

 

The school served the community through the 1950s, when it closed due to school district consolidation. As was common for rural areas of the era, the one room schoolhouse served students of all grade levels.

 

Remarkably, although one room schoolhouses are considered a product of a long-gone era, there are still approximately 400 active one-room schoolhouses in the United States.

 

Source: LaFrank, Kathleen. “Ferndale School.” National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. April, 2004.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) architecture building Catskill Mountains Catskills community District 6 Ferndale Ferndale School Liberty Matthew Jarnich National Register of Historic Places New York one-room one-room schoolhouse photographer photographs photos rural school schoolhouse student Sullivan County tourism travel https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/6/the-last-of-an-era-the-one-room-ferndale-schoolhouse Sat, 11 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT
What Once Was: The Apollo Mall at Monticello https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/6/what-once-was-the-apollo-mall-at-monticello The long-abandoned Apollo Mall on the east side of Monticello first opened in 1983. The mall, formerly the Monteco Mall, was developed by Alfred S. “Flap” Ingber of Fallsburg (1931-1991).

 

Photograph of the abandoned Apollo Mall in the southern Catskills in the village of Monticello, Sullivan County, New York.Apollo MallThe long-abandoned Apollo Mall on the east side of Monticello first opened in 1983. The factory outlet mall, although popular for a time with about 37 stores, did not last long. Plagued with issues, the last retail tenant moved out in 2003 and by 2007 the county had repossessed the property from its prior owners due to back taxes.

Photograph of the abandoned Apollo Mall in the southern Catskills in the village of Monticello, Sullivan County, New York.Apollo's FallThe long-abandoned Apollo Mall on the east side of Monticello first opened in 1983. The factory outlet mall, although popular for a time with about 37 stores, did not last long. Plagued with issues, the last retail tenant moved out in 2003 and by 2007 the county had repossessed the property from its prior owners due to back taxes.

Photograph of the abandoned Apollo Mall in the southern Catskills in the village of Monticello, Sullivan County, New York.ApolloThe long-abandoned Apollo Mall on the east side of Monticello first opened in 1983. The factory outlet mall, although popular for a time with about 37 stores, did not last long. Plagued with issues, the last retail tenant moved out in 2003 and by 2007 the county had repossessed the property from its prior owners due to back taxes.

 

Ingber was a graduate of Columbia University in 1954 and later served as president of the Apollo Scaffold and Equipment Company in Monticello. In 1973 he was named a trustee of the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Columbia University and was considered a “well-known area horseman.” He was married to Mary Ann Toomey (1938-2015), a graduate of Anna Maria College, Town of Forestburgh historian and partner with her husband at the Apollo Scaffold Company. Flap Ingber died at the age of 60 on October 1, 1991 and is buried at Temple Sholom Cemetery in Monticello.

 

At the time the Apollo was Sullivan County’s only indoor mall. Stores included Van Heusen, Hallmark, Mostly Books, Catskill Corner, American Tourister, Toy Liquidators, Fieldcrest Cannon, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a food court and a movie theater, among many others.

 

The factory outlet mall, although popular for a time with about 37 stores, did not last long. The mall was plagued with issues, including huge potholes in the parking lot, health code violations, fire hazards, uninspected fire sprinklers and a leaky roof. The mall was located adjacent to the Sullivan County landfill.

 

The last retail tenant moved out in 2003 and by 2007 the county had repossessed the property from its prior owners due to back taxes. The property is now in a high state of decay with broken glass, collapsed ceilings, overgrown vegetation and graffiti.

 

Photograph of the abandoned Apollo Mall in the southern Catskills in the village of Monticello, Sullivan County, New York.FriendsThe long-abandoned Apollo Mall on the east side of Monticello first opened in 1983. The factory outlet mall, although popular for a time with about 37 stores, did not last long. Plagued with issues, the last retail tenant moved out in 2003 and by 2007 the county had repossessed the property from its prior owners due to back taxes.

Photograph of the abandoned Apollo Mall in the southern Catskills in the village of Monticello, Sullivan County, New York.Iron Man at the ApolloThe long-abandoned Apollo Mall on the east side of Monticello first opened in 1983. The factory outlet mall, although popular for a time with about 37 stores, did not last long. Plagued with issues, the last retail tenant moved out in 2003 and by 2007 the county had repossessed the property from its prior owners due to back taxes.

 

In 2013, 10 years after the mall closed, several scenes from the supernatural horror film titled “Jamie Marks is Dead” were filmed at the abandoned mall. The movie was based on Christopher Barzak’s novel titled “One for Sorrow.”

 

The property is often in the local news as local officials work towards a solution on what do with the 25-acre property going forward. Ideas have included a boutique distillery, high stakes bingo parlor, office center, an updated shopping mall, a big box store or a truck stop and hotel off the redeveloped exit 106 as part of the Interstate 86 project.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1983 2003 abandoned Apollo Mall Apollo Plaza bingo parlor Catskill Mountains Catskills closed county decay distillery East Broadway graffiti highway hotel interstate mall Matthew Jarnich Monticello motel New York office center photographer photographs photos property retail shops stores Sullivan County tourism travel truck stop https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/6/what-once-was-the-apollo-mall-at-monticello Sat, 04 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Hunter, New York: The Story of Dolan’s Lake https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/5/hunter-new-york-the-story-of-dolan-s-lake Dolan’s Lake, is scenically located adjacent to the Schoharie Creek at the base of Hunter Mountain in Greene County, New York. The park at the lake is a popular summer swimming destination, with public fishing, walking paths, picnic tables and a pavilion also available.

 

Photograph of Dolan’s Lake, which is located in the northern Catskills at the village of Hunter in Greene County, New York.Dolan's LakeDolan’s Lake is scenically located adjacent to the Schoharie Creek at the base of Hunter Mountain in Greene County, New York. The park at the lake is a popular summer swimming destination, with public fishing, walking paths, picnic tables and a pavilion also available. The lake is named for Michael Buddington Dolan (1861-1931), “one of the most prominent men in Greene County, and a lifelong resident of Hunter.”

 

Dolan’s Lake Park is home to a memorial in honor of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The memorial includes two 14-foot-high steel towers from the World Trade Center, an American flag and a bronze plaque. The plaque reads: “10th Anniversary of 9/11. This monument of WTC steel is dedicated to all were lost on 9/11/01 and to our heroes who made the supreme sacrifice. Never to be forgotten.” The memorial was installed in 2011 through the collaboration of Joe Jove, a retired lieutenant of the New York City Fire Department and a member of the Hunter Mountain Hall of Fame, and David Slutzky, one of the owners of Hunter Mountain.

 

The lake is named for Michael Buddington Dolan, “one of the most prominent men in Greene County, and a lifelong resident of Hunter.” Dolan was born on October 16, 1861 at Elka Park, in the town of Hunter, to James Dolan (1824-1899) and Mary (Miller) Dolan (1831-1902). Michael was one of 16 children.

 

James Dolan, Michael’s father, was an Irish immigrant who first worked as a tannery worker and later became a farmer at Platte Clove. James was also a veteran of the Civil War, having served with the 15th New York Engineers. James passed away in 1899, and was survived by his wife Mary, eight sons and five daughters, with three of his children having died. Both James and Mary, Michael’s parents, are buried at Saint Francis de Sales Cemetery at Elka Park, New York.

 

Michael married Lizzie Patricia (Lackey) Dolan (1859-1947) at the “parochial residence” on Thanksgiving Day in 1888. She was the daughter of Michael Lackey, Sr. (1815-1901) and Catharine Burke (1825-1905). Michael Lackey, Sr. was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1829 at the age of 14. He received an education at night school in New York City. After moving to Tannersville, he continued his trade as a house painter and also operated a country tavern. Lizzie is buried at Saint Francis de Sales Cemetery at Elka Park, New York.

 

A combination of local, government and newspaper records show that Michael certainly had a diverse career. In addition to operating Dolan’s Lake as a tourist attraction, he operated the Half-Way House between Hunter and Tannersville. In 1896 it was reported that Dolan had exchanged this “saloon property” with his brother-in-law M. Lackey, Jr. for a farm.

 

In 1908 Dolan was reported as operating the livery at Hotel St. Charles during the summer months. The hotel was highly regarded in the Hunter area. “This hotel, which is situated upon the highest elevation in the Catskill region, occupies a desirable location on what is known as Breeze Lawn Farm. The building is seventy-five feet front, one hundred and sixty-three feet deep, and four stories high. It has broad piazzas on three sides, and is equipped with all modern improvements, including passenger elevator and telegraph office. With the annex it has accommodations for two hundred guests. The table is supplied with fresh cream, butter, eggs, and vegetables from the farm connected with the house; and the service is of the best.” (Biographical Review Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Schoharie, Schenectady and Greene Counties, New York. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899. p. 403.)

 

During the early winter months of the 1910s Dolan would travel to New York City to sell Christmas trees. In 1913 his partners included his son Robert and Frank Carr. In 1918 it was reported that Dolan was robbed at his city tree stand. “It is said that M. B. Dolan was held up and robbed in New York, and that thieves stole Christmas trees from his stand on the river front. He knew what he was talking about when he said ‘Good-bye, God; I am going to New York.’” (The Recorder. Catskill, New York. December 27, 1918.)

 

For many years, Dolan operated a prospering ice business, cutting the ice each winter from his lake. He would supply the local hotels as well as fill his own ice houses.

 

The 1880 United States census, while 18-year-old Michael was living with his parents, listed his profession as “at home”. The 1896 Greene County Directory listed Michael with a profession as a “hotel keeper.” The 1900 US census listed his profession as “beer bottler”; the 1910 US census listed his profession as “livery”; the 1920 US census listed his profession as “farmer” and “ice dealer”; and the 1930 US census listed his profession as “ice dealer.”

 

Beyond his business activity, Dolan was very active in the community. He was member of the Kingston Council, No. 275, of the Knights of Columbus and was a member of the Catskill Lodge of Elks. He served as president of the village of Hunter for several years. He was long affiliated with the Democratic party, including serving as an active member of the County Democratic Committee.

 

Michael B. Dolan died on December 4, 1931 at the age of 70 at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston from an acute attack of diabetes. He is buried at Saint Francis de Sales Cemetery at Elka Park, New York. He was survived by his wife Lizzie, and five children, including three sons Julius Dolan (1891-1966) of Tannersville, Robert Dolan (1895-1986) of Hunter and Leo Dolan (1900-1959) of California, and two daughters, Frances (b. 1889) of Hunter, and Margaret (1893-1980), a teacher with the New York public schools.

 

Dolan established the artificial lake sometime in the 1910s or the early 1920s. The lake was a popular establishment with summer visitors. A 1922 newspaper advertisement talked about the lake and its popular features. “Dolan’s Lake in the Heart of the village of Hunter, N.Y. Now open to the public for Boating and Bathing. Dressing booths. Lake well illuminated at night. High class refreshment parlor on premises.” (The Windham Journal. August 10, 1922.) In the early times of the lake, winter was also a popular time to visit the lake. Ice skating was a popular activity. Ice was harvested during the winter time.

 

Photograph of Dolan’s Lake, which is located in the northern Catskills at the village of Hunter in Greene County, New York.Dolan's Lake at DuskDolan’s Lake, is scenically located adjacent to the Schoharie Creek at the base of Hunter Mountain in Greene County, New York. The park at the lake is a popular summer swimming destination, with public fishing, walking paths, picnic tables and a pavilion also available. The lake is named for Michael Buddington Dolan (1861-1931), “one of the most prominent men in Greene County, and a lifelong resident of Hunter.”

In 1929, flooding of Schoharie Creek caused much damage to Dolan’s Lake. Local newspapers reported on the storm’s effects. “Trees of all sizes and heights once covered the site of the lake and held the creek in leash to some extent, but during last year’s November freshet the creek broke through below the upper bridge, tearing out the bank and creek sides of the lake below and rushing with tremendous suction over and around the abutment of the middle bridge. A hole was made in the once shallow creek bed to a depth of 15 feet along Mr. Jackson’s property.” (“Big Concrete Jobs at Hunter.” Stamford Mirror-Recorder (Stamford, New York). October 29, 1927.)

 

In response the flooding Dolan went to work the next year to repair some of the damage to his lake. “Mr. Dolan’s activities consist of building a barrier wall along the bank of the creek below the upper iron bridge, 4 to 8 feet high of boulders and lesser stones, and then from the filled upper lake end scraping the gravel up against the inside of the wall. About 400 tons of gravel will be moved. Added to this work is that done last spring, such as repairing bulkheads and building wall at the lower end.” (“Big Concrete Jobs at Hunter.” Stamford Mirror-Recorder. Stamford, New York. October 29, 1927.)

 

A few years later, in September 1930, tragedy again struck at Dolan’s Lake when a fire broke out, destroying both the restaurant and the pavilion. It was reported that the windows were boarded up, and the inside was in flames before the fire was discovered, so the structures were completely lost.

 

In 1932 flooding again damaged the lake. “At Dolan’s Lake, in Hunter, the flood got in some damaging work not only on the building foundation which now has been undermined about eight feet, but also on the bridge abutment on the south side which shows an ominous crack in the roadway some feet from the bridge. The lot below the dam was badly washed. At the end of this street the Hunter branch of the Central railroad was badly washed out, the tracks being twisted out of line and the roadbed considerably damaged.” (“Storm Damages Mountain Area.” Stamford Mirror Recorder. Stamford, New York. October 13, 1932.)

 

In 1940 Dolan’s Lake was aptly described by F. A. Gallt in his guidebook titled Picturesque Catskills. “While right in the heart of the village is located Dolan’s Lake, a grand sheet of water, with boat house, bathing houses, refreshment pavilion. 35 boats affording boating, bathing and fishing as well as water sports.”

 

Photograph of Dolan’s Lake, which is located in the northern Catskills at the village of Hunter in Greene County, New York.Dolan's Lake ParkDolan’s Lake is scenically located adjacent to the Schoharie Creek at the base of Hunter Mountain in Greene County, New York. The park at the lake is a popular summer swimming destination, with public fishing, walking paths, picnic tables and a pavilion also available. The lake is named for Michael Buddington Dolan (1861-1931), “one of the most prominent men in Greene County, and a lifelong resident of Hunter.”

 

For a time, in the 1940s, the lake was known as Topps Lake, for the Topps Hotel that operated in the village of Hunter. The hotel had 110 rooms, a hunter lodge and over 100 acres. In 1945 the Topps Hotel was nicely described in a newspaper advertisement. “Ideal vacation resort where fun and relaxation are ideally blended. Delightfully cool. Modern throughout. 100 acres of nature’s splendor. Swimming, boating, fishing. Dancing, Casino, Orchestra. A. Wise. Prop.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 17, 1945.)

 

In 1946 benefits of the Topps Hotel were again described in newspaper advertisement. “It’s Topps Hotel at Hunter, N.Y. Decoration Weekend and June Frolic for Honeymooners, & Early Vacationists. Free Golf and Horses. Private Lake. All sports, dancing, orchestra, entertainment. 4-day weekend $32, ($9 day), $45 weekly, choice of rooms inc. bath during June.” (Evening Post.  The property had previously been known as the Alpine House. The lake has also been known as Hunter Lake.

 

Dolan’s Lake is fed by Shanty Hollow Brook, which originates on the north side of Hunter Mountain and flows for approximately 2.4 miles before joining the Schoharie Creek near the County Route 83 bridge at the entrance of the Hunter Mountain ski area. The water from Dolan’s Lake is used by Hunter Mountain as a source of water for its snowmaking activities.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Catskill Mountains Catskills Dolan Lake Park Dolan's Lake Elka Park Greene County Hunter Hunter Lake Hunter Mountain ice lake Matthew Jarnich Michael B. Dolan Michael Buddington Dolan New York park photographer photographs photos picnic Schoharie Creek Shanty Hollow swim swimming Topps Lake tourism travel https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/5/hunter-new-york-the-story-of-dolan-s-lake Sat, 28 May 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Ellenville Pride: The Boy with the Boot https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/5/ellenville-pride-the-boy-with-the-boot Located in Liberty Square at the center of Ellenville, the four-foot, bronze “Boy with the Boot” statue has come to symbolize the small Ulster County village. This public Ellenville version was created in 1997 by local sculptor Matt Pozorski. It was modeled after one of the original Ellenville “Boy with the Boot” statues that was located for many years in front of the Scoresby Hose, Hook & Ladder Company.

 

The “Boy with the Boot” statue is located in the southern Catskills on Liberty Square at the village of Ellenville in Ulster County, New York.Boy with the BootLocated in Liberty Square at the center of Ellenville, the four-foot, bronze “Boy with the Boot” statue has come to symbolize the small Ulster County village. This public Ellenville version was created in 1997 by local sculptor Matt Pozorski. It was modeled after one of the original Ellenville “Boy with the Boot” statues that was located for many years in front of the Scoresby Hose, Hook & Ladder Company.

 

The “Boy with the Boot” statue is located in the southern Catskills on Liberty Square at the village of Ellenville in Ulster County, New York.Boy with the Leaky BootLocated in Liberty Square at the center of Ellenville, the four-foot, bronze “Boy with the Boot” statue has come to symbolize the small Ulster County village. This public Ellenville version was created in 1997 by local sculptor Matt Pozorski. It was modeled after one of the original Ellenville “Boy with the Boot” statues that was located for many years in front of the Scoresby Hose, Hook & Ladder Company.

 

Liberty Square, current location of the 1997 statue, has long played a central role in the history of Ellenville. The southwest corner of Canal Street and Market Street was the site of the first stores and homes in Ellenville. The square was also home to Charles Hartshorn, who served as Ellenville’s first postmaster and who was elected in 1856 as the village’s first president. Today, Liberty Square continues to play an important role in Ellenville, being the home of the historic U. S. Post Office, constructed in 1940, and the beautiful Hunt Memorial Building, constructed 1915-1917, both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Marion M. Dumond, former historian for the town of Wawarsing, offers additional details about the history of Liberty Square and its role with the “Boy with The Boot” statue.

 

“The first fountain was on the lawn of the home of Charles Hartshorn, which stood where the Hunt Memorial Building still stands. Mr. Hartshorn was the first President of the Village of Ellenville in 1856 and a leading citizen. His son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Tuthill, lived with him and inherited the house at his death. In 1875, they gave a large section of their front yard, containing the fountain, to the Village of Ellenville, ‘for the purpose of a public square, and the maintenance of a fountain thereon at or about the site of the present fountain.’ The deed also stipulates that, if the Village did not live up to the terms of the gift, the land would revert to the Tuthills and their heirs.” (Dumond, Marion M. “The Boy with the Boot.” Wawarsing.net Magazine. December 2002, Issue 1. p. 18.)

 

Matt Pozorski, the sculptor, operates his own foundry and sculpture services company named Matt Pozorski Sculptureworks, located at Phillipsport, New York. He has completed projects for The American Museum of Natural History and New York City’s Percent for Art program. Pozorski’s role with Ellenville’s “Boy with the Boot” statue was detailed by Beth Scullion in a 2010 article for the Catskill Mountainkeeper.

 

“So how did our current Boot Boy make his way to Liberty Square? Back in late 1997, Ellenville-resident Iris Friedman approached her friend, Phillipsport sculptor Matt Pozorski, about casting a new 'Boy with the Boot' for Ellenville – a proposition to which the artist readily agreed. Pozorski worked with the original Scoresby statue, which he then restored in return for being allowed to work with it. The statue is now on display at the Ellenville Public Library and Museum.

 

‘I pulled a mold, or a series of molds, off of the original, and used those,’ says Pozorski of the process. ‘I poured wax into them, to make wax patterns, so I could do wax casting, cast it into bronze, and welded all the parts together.’" (Scullion, Beth. “Shawangunk: So what’s the story with that ‘Boy with the Boot’ statue, anyway?” Catskill Mountainkeeper. (www.catskillmountainkeeper.org). February 3, 2010. Accessed March 27, 2022.)

 

The “Boy with the Boot” statue is located in the southern Catskills on Liberty Square at the village of Ellenville in Ulster County, New York.Leaking BootLocated in Liberty Square at the center of Ellenville, the four-foot, bronze “Boy with the Boot” statue has come to symbolize the small Ulster County village. This public Ellenville version was created in 1997 by local sculptor Matt Pozorski. It was modeled after one of the original Ellenville “Boy with the Boot” statues that was located for many years in front of the Scoresby Hose, Hook & Ladder Company.

 

The “Boy with the Boot” statue, also known as the “Boy with the Leaking Boot”, is not unique to Ellenville however, as there are similar statues throughout the United States. States where “Boy with the Boot” statues are known to exist include California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. International locations include Canada, Cuba, England and Sweden. Each has their own distinct story, including cost, installation year, being lost, decay from the weather, theft, vandalism and accidents, but each also has their own unique role in the history of their respective communities.

 

Each “Boy with the Boot” statue is typically quite similar, with a young boy, with a slight look of amusement on his face, wearing a cap, his shirt sleeves rolled-up, with a bare right foot and his right pant leg rolled up to the knee, left hand in his pocket with the thumb sticking out, while in his right hand he holds a leaking boot out in front of himself. The statue is typically affixed on top of a pedestal and/or fountain and is located at a park, museum, library or town building. Some, like the Ellenville version, retain their metallic appearance while other versions are colorfully painted. The original manufacturer offered several different sizes and shapes for the basin portion of the fountain underneath the statue, ranging from 7 feet, inches to 12 feet 6 inches, with either a round or octagonal shape.

 

The “Boy with the Boot” statue is located in the southern Catskills on Liberty Square at the village of Ellenville in Ulster County, New York.Liberty Square: The Boy with the BootLocated in Liberty Square at the center of Ellenville, the four-foot, bronze “Boy with the Boot” statue has come to symbolize the small Ulster County village. This public Ellenville version was created in 1997 by local sculptor Matt Pozorski. It was modeled after one of the original Ellenville “Boy with the Boot” statues that was located for many years in front of the Scoresby Hose, Hook & Ladder Company.

The “Boy with the Boot” statue is located in the southern Catskills on Liberty Square at the village of Ellenville in Ulster County, New York.Boy with the BootLocated in Liberty Square at the center of Ellenville, the four-foot, bronze “Boy with the Boot” statue has come to symbolize the small Ulster County village. This public Ellenville version was created in 1997 by local sculptor Matt Pozorski. It was modeled after one of the original Ellenville “Boy with the Boot” statues that was located for many years in front of the Scoresby Hose, Hook & Ladder Company.

 

In 1894 the city of Hillsboro, Ohio installed their own version of the “Boy with the Boot,” with the statue being beautifully described in the local newspaper.

 

“The design is a departure from the old stiff and staid styles, alike refreshing and delightfully attractive. This bright and cute conceit has been very appropriately been christened “The Unfortunate Boot.” The merry-faced urchin who holds aloft his much-abused footwear, is the typical boy. His counterpart can be found in flesh and blood in a thousand happy Highland homes. How his mirthful, careless glee takes us back to the days when you and were like him! Though that time may never come back, the old thrill of pleasure tingles through our veins as we gaze on this juvenile with his “Unfortunate Boot!” What a subject for the poet and the painter! It is such things that break like gleams of sunshine through the shadows of mature life. Without glad fancies that now and then flit across our pathways, life would be dreary indeed.” (“A Touch of the Beautiful.” The News-Herald (Hillsboro, Ohio). March 22, 1894.)

 

The statue was originally known as the “Unfortunate Boot” and was first produced by the J. L. Mott Iron Works company, who offered it for sale via their catalog. The statue was first advertised for sale in the company’s 1875 catalog. The company was founded by Jordan L. Mott (1799-1866), an American inventor and industrialist, in 1828 at what is now known as the Mott Haven neighborhood in the South Bronx area of New York City. J. L. Mott is credited with being the inventor of the first coal-burning stove. The company became highly regarded for manufacturing a wide range of products including stoves, fireplaces, household products such as tubs, sinks and urinals, iron pipes, water tanks, drain and manhole covers, drinking fountains, lamp pillars, gates, statuary, garden furniture and much more. Jordan L. Mott, Jr. (1829-1915) succeeded his father as owner of the foundry business.

 

The “Fountain: Unfortunate Boot” was one of many fountains available for sale in the 1905 catalog for the J. L. Mott Iron Works company. The statue was described as: “Height of Fountain, 5 feet 3 inches. Diameter of base, 2 feet nine inches. Suitable for 7 feet 6 inches and 9 feet 6 inches diameter Round, or 10 feet 6 inches and 12 feet 6 inches diameter Octagon Ground Basin. NOTE.– The Ground Basin shown above is our 7 feet 6 inches or 9 feet 6 inches diameter Round Ground Basin.” (J. L. Mott iron Works. Fountains. New York, 1905. p. 106.)

 

The first statues appeared in the United States in the late 19th century. The artistic origins of the statue are unknown but that hasn’t stopped several legends from developing. Three of the more popular theories include an American army drummer boy who carried water in his leaking boot for his fallen comrades, a young fire fighter carrying water with his boot as part of a communal bucket chain to put out a fire and a young newspaper boy who drowned.

 

For more information about the statue’s history across the United States see Mary’n B Rosson’s book titled The Mystery of the Boy with the Leaking Boot. For a listing of many of the known statues throughout the United States, see Carol A. Grissom’s book titled Zinc Sculpture in America 1850-1950 (pages 330-337).

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Hook & Ladder Company art artist boy Boy with the Boot Boy with the Leaking Boot Boy with the Leaky Boot Catskill Mountains Catskills Charles Hartshorn drummer boy Ellenville J. L. Mott Iron Works Liberty Square library Matt Pozorski Matthew Jarnich museum New York park photographer photographs photos Scoresby Hose sculptor sculpture soldier square statue tourism town travel Ulster County Unfortunate Boot village https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/5/ellenville-pride-the-boy-with-the-boot Sat, 21 May 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Longo’s Work: The Woodridge O. & W. Mural https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/5/longo-s-work-the-woodridge-o-w-mural Walking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

 

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse. William Panos, grandfather of Joan Collins, former mayor of Woodridge, is depicted as an O. & W. flagman.

 

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.N. Y. O. & W. #405Walking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.At Work on the 405Walking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

 

Engine #405, depicted in the mural, was constructed in 1923 by American Locomotive Works (Alco) in Schenectady, New York. It was a class Y, wheels 4-8-2 type train. It was designed to lead the company’s passenger train, referred to as the Mountaineer. In 1938 O. & W. undertook a major effort to upgrade its passenger trains, including engine no. 405. The project was led by industrial designer Otto Kuhler.

 

“Working closely with the Middletown shop forces, Kuhler transformed a fifteen-year-old veteran, engine No. 405, into a dramatic and colorful steam locomotive. He mixed brilliant hues of orange and maroon paint with which to garnish the boiler, drivers, cab and tender. With stainless steel and chromium plate, he emphasized the handrails, the bell, and by the addition of two narrow stainless steel bands around it, the stack. Sheet metal skirts were run along the running boards and a large panel placed between the pilot braces. On this panel the age-old Ontario and Western symbol appeared with the added flair of orange wings.” (Helmer, William F. O. & W. The Long Life and Slow Death of the New York, Ontario & Western Railway. Berkley, California: Howell-North Press, 1959. p. 140.)

 

As for the no. 405 parlor cars, these were also upgraded, or “streamstyled,” in 1938.

 

“Turning to necessary car renovations, Kuhler carried through the maroon color scheme with a horizontal stripe of light orange just below the windows, to suggest speed and motion. The interior appearance of the coaches was not only antiquated but shabby. To hide the soiled and worn seat cushions, tan slip-covers were made, with the railroad’s monogram applied in a cool green. The walls were brightened with brushstrokes of gray and ivory paint, trim of black and maroon. Then, taking one of the steel parlor cars (the Ulster) of vintage 1913, the renovators laid new gray linoleum, threw out the old wicker armchairs, brought in inexpensive maple armchairs and wisely kept the rich mahogany paneling. The sister parlor-observation car, the Orange, received similar treatment and soon the train stood in the Middletown yard, gleaming in the sunlight.” (pp. 140-141.)

 

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.New York, Ontario & WesternWalking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.Saying GoodbyeWalking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

 

The mural was created by well-known artist Robert “Bob” Longo (1921-2019). After graduating from Hazleton High School in 1939, Longo attended Kutztown State College. His college education was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the Air Corps for 4 years as an aerial engineer on B-26 bombers in Del Rio, Texas. One of the notable projects he worked on during the war was the creation of a supersonic radio map of Osaka, Japan, which was to be the third atomic bomb drop if Japan did not surrender after the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings.

 

After the war, Longo completed his Art Education degree at Kutztown and went on to attend Columbia University, where he earned a Master’s degree for teaching. He moved to Woodridge, New York where he became a respected art teacher at the Fallsburg Central School District. He retired in 1984 after 35 years of teaching.

 

Longo’s artwork for the 1970 movie “The Molly Maguires,” starring Sean Connery, were used to promote the film. The watercolors depicted the movie sets used in the Hazleton, Eckley and Jim Thorpe areas of Pennsylvania. Several of the scenes were reproduced as postcards.

 

In addition to this work, Longo also created over 55 different postal cancellations for the United States Postal Service (USPS), including stamps that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and two stamp designs to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival. Other designs included the International Space Station and the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

 

The Woodridge Kiwanis Club awarded Longo its Everyday Hero award for his work on the O&W Railroad mural. In 2010 the Lions Club of Fallsburg awarded Longo its highest honor, the Melvin Jones Fellows award. Longo was a member of the Lions Club for over 65 years, and had previously served as its president. In 2017, he was inducted into the Fallsburg Central School District Hall of Fame. Robert passed away in 2019 at his son’s home in Colorado, and was survived by his wife Irma, and his sons Robert, Alan and Joseph.

 

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.All Aboard, WoodridgeWalking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.Woodridge StationWalking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.At the StationWalking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.Flag Over WoodridgeWalking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

 

The New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.) was a regional railroad that operated from 1868 to 1957. The railroad ran from Weehawken, New Jersey to Cornwall on the Hudson River and then on to Oswego on Lake Ontario, with branches to Kingston, Port Jervis, Monticello, Delhi, Utica, Rome and Scranton. The railroad entered bankruptcy in 1937 due to lower passenger traffic (largely due to improved automobile roads), declining coal shipments and outdated equipment. The railroad never emerged from that bankruptcy, and was liquidated in 1957, becoming the first US Class I railroad to be abandoned.

 

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.Loading UpWalking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

The mural of the Ontario & Western (O. & W.) railroad is located in the southern Catskills at the village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York.N. Y. O. & W.Walking along Broadway in the village of Woodridge in Sullivan County, New York, perhaps on your way to a restaurant or to the market, you will find an amazing, 100-foot-long mural dedicated to the history of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (N.Y. O. & W.).

The mural, located on the side of Slater’s Garage building, was completed in the early 1990s. The vibrant scene is set with powerful engine #405 chugging away, a full passenger train, the postcard-worthy Woodridge train station complete with the American flag flying high and an active freight dock at the station warehouse.

 

Today, the route of the former O. & W. railroad through Sullivan County, New York has been developed into a popular rail trail, although only available in several disconnected sections. Currently developed sections include Parksville (1.3 miles), Liberty (2.7 miles), Hurleyville (5.4 miles), Woodridge (1.7 miles) and Mountain Dale (2.6 miles). It is hoped to complete a continuous 25-mile section through Sullivan County from Summitville to the village of Liberty.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Bob Longo Catskill Mountains Catskills Cornwall Delhi Kingston Matthew Jarnich Monticello mural N.Y. O. & W. New York Ontario and Western Railway O. & W. Oswego painting photographer photographs photos Port Jervis rail trail railroad railway Robert Longo Rome Roscoe Scranton Sullivan County The Molly Maguires tourism train travel Utica Weehawken Woodridge https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/5/longo-s-work-the-woodridge-o-w-mural Sat, 14 May 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Our Lady of Knock Shrine: A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/5/our-lady-of-knock-shrine-a-photographic-study Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. Reverend Jay Atherton is the current pastor of the church, which offers daily and weekend masses. Atherton also serves as pastor for Sacred Heart in Cairo, St. John the Baptist in Greenville, St. Theresa’s in Windham, Sacred Heart in Palenville and Immaculate Conception in Haines Falls.

 

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.Our Lady of Knock ShrineOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.Our Lady of Knock Shrine, East DurhamOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

 

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine was constructed in 1989 with seating capacity for 500 people. The interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

 

Over the exterior doors, decorated with a wood carving depicting a family of four entering the church, is the Bible passage from John 6, verse 51. “I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he shall live forever. The bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

 

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.I myself am the living bread.Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

 

The stained-glass window over the exterior doors was donated by The Mayo Society, which was founded in 1879 at New York City to assist immigrants moving to the United States from County Mayo, Ireland due to the potato famine.

 

Gerry Laverty, a designer, architect and craftsman from Dunkineely, County Donegal, designed and built much of the interior of the Shrine at his workshop in Ireland, and then amazingly exported it to East Durham, New York in the United States. He employed 17 people for the project, which was worth more than $250,000.

 

“‘It all started when I was making a few Irish souvenirs – copper and woodwork items. The fellow marketing them in the States happened to be from Donegal. Next thing he asked me to design a shop front for him. I made it and shipped it out to East Durham in upstate New York. Then the Irish community there asked if I would work on the church. It was all by chance and good luck – no planning at all.’ . . .

 

Some sales success was achieved with high-quality Irish artefacts, mostly sold to the US, but fluctuations in exchange rates put paid to that. Then along came the shop front project. An entire frontage made in Donegal, complete with carvings and paintings, is now part of an Irish goods shop in New York . . .

 

The church has taken a year to complete. Two of the Laverty daughters have done much of the work on about 70 stained glass windows for the church. Laverty himself has carved 20 statues. Workers at his small factory have been putting in more than 40 hours overtime per week recently in order to get the project finished.

 

‘Two container loads of material, including everything from the tabernacle to a 32 ft. spire, are going out to the US. The funny thing is that the architect I’m working with over there is Jewish. And I’ve made it plain that I am not a particularly religious person. But the community is great. It has just said ‘Go ahead.’”
 

(“Opportunity Knocks for Gerry.” Financial Times. August 12, 1989. p. 6.)

 

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.Into the ShrineOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.At the AltarOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.The Lamb of GodOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

 

All 15 witnesses testified for the Church inquiry later that year of 1879, and the commission found that “the testimony of all, taken as a whole, was trustworthy and satisfactory.” A second inquiry was held in 1936, which confirmed the findings of 1879. Every Pope since Pius XII (1939-1958) has recognized Knock, including Saint John Paul II during his 1979 visit to commemorate the centenary of the apparition.

 

Prayer to Our Lady of Knock

Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to your people in a time of distress and comforted them in sorrow. You have inspired countless pilgrims to pray with confidence to your divine Son, remembering His promise, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find." Help me to remember that we are all pilgrims on the road to Heaven. Fill me with love and concern for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who live with me. Comfort me when I am sick, lonely or depressed. Teach me how to take part ever more reverently in the Holy Mass. Give me a greater love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death. Amen.

 

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.Donegal GlassOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.Mother Frances CabriniOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.Saint JosephOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.Servants of GodOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

The Our Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at East Durham, New York.For the FatherOur Lady of Knock Shrine is located in the northern Catskills at the hamlet of East Durham. The beautiful church, constructed in 1989, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. The church interior is decorated with stained-glass windows from Donegal, Ireland, which depict many of the favorite Celtic saints. There are also mahogany carvings and an altar screen that resembles the original church wall in the village of Knock on which the apparition appeared.

The shrine commemorates the August 21, 1879 event at the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland in which locals reported to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God, understood to be Jesus Christ, on an altar standing before a cross. The apparition was a silent one. The event took place on the gable wall of the Parish Church. There were 15 witnesses to the apparition, ranging in ages from 5 to 75 years old, all of whom watched it for two hours as they recited the rosary.

 

The word ‘knock’ “is an anglicization of the Irish word cnoc, meaning a hill . . . One’s first impression, though the elevation is only 400 feet above sea level, is of being on top of the world.” At the time of the apparition, the village of Knock was quite small, with only a dozen or so “thatched cabins.”

 

The village of Knock of 1879, at the time of the apparition, was suffering from hard times. “The stony soil of their little patchwork of fields surrounded by dark peat bogs scarcely yielded enough in good years to pay the terrible rents charged by cruel landlords. And 1879 in Mayo was a bad year; a potato failure brought on a famine comparable to those experienced by the entire country 30 odd years earlier. The people, their few possessions long since sold to stave off eviction, huddled at night on the earthen floors of their bare huts. Their only coverings were a few tattered potato bags. Their food consisted of a watery gruel made with corn meal obtained on relief tickets.” (Our Lady of Knock in Ireland. St. Paul, Minnesota: Catholic Digest, Inc.: 1957. pp. 8-9.)

 

The Feast of Our Lady of Knock is celebrated by the Roman Catholic church annually on August 17.  The village of Knock has become a popular international pilgrimage destination for the faithful, attracting over 1.5 million people every year.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1879 apparition Catskill Mountains Catskills church Donegal East Durham Gerry Laverty Greene County Knock Matthew Jarnich Mayo Society New York Our Lady of Knock Shrine photographer photographs photos Roman Catholic shrine tourism travel https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/5/our-lady-of-knock-shrine-a-photographic-study Sat, 07 May 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Forestburgh Log Cabin: A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/forestburgh-log-cabin-a-photographic-study The Forestburgh Log Cabin, constructed circa the 1790s, is one of the earliest structures built in Sullivan County, New York. The Forestburgh town website notes that the cabin was once owned by Abe Cuddeback. A primitive school was functioning at the cabin prior to the town of Forestburgh being established.

 

The Forestburgh log cabin, constructed in the 1790s, is located at the Forestburgh town hall in Sullivan County, New York.Forestburgh Log CabinThe Forestburgh Log Cabin, constructed circa the 1790s, is one of the earliest structures built in Sullivan County, New York. The Forestburgh town website notes that the cabin was once owned by Abe Cuddeback. A primitive school was functioning at the cabin prior to the town of Forestburgh being established.

The Forestburgh log cabin, constructed in the 1790s, is located at the Forestburgh town hall in Sullivan County, New York.Forestburgh Log CabinThe Forestburgh Log Cabin, constructed circa the 1790s, is one of the earliest structures built in Sullivan County, New York. The Forestburgh town website notes that the cabin was once owned by Abe Cuddeback. A primitive school was functioning at the cabin prior to the town of Forestburgh being established.

 

For many years the cabin was undetected as it was covered up by a later period structure. The cabin was discovered in the summer of 1982 when the recently purchased home was being renovated. As one wing of the house, known as the old Theimer place, was being removed, the cabin logs were found under the clapboards. The cabin was subsequently purchased by the town and moved to its current location in 1987. The cabin was preserved through the combined efforts of the Town, Sullivan County and Federal resources as well as generous private individuals and groups.

 

The year 1987, when the cabin was moved, was particularly important as it represented the 150th anniversary of the town of Forestburgh being established. Forestburgh was established on May 2, 1837 from sections of the towns of Mamakating and Thompson. Early industries included lumbering, dairying, tanning and quarrying.

 

The Forestburgh log cabin, constructed in the 1790s, is located at the Forestburgh town hall in Sullivan County, New York.Abe Cuddeback House at ForestburghThe Forestburgh Log Cabin, constructed circa the 1790s, is one of the earliest structures built in Sullivan County, New York. The Forestburgh town website notes that the cabin was once owned by Abe Cuddeback. A primitive school was functioning at the cabin prior to the town of Forestburgh being established.

The Forestburgh log cabin, constructed in the 1790s, is located at the Forestburgh town hall in Sullivan County, New York.Through the DoorThe Forestburgh Log Cabin, constructed circa the 1790s, is one of the earliest structures built in Sullivan County, New York. The Forestburgh town website notes that the cabin was once owned by Abe Cuddeback. A primitive school was functioning at the cabin prior to the town of Forestburgh being established.

 

The Forestburgh log cabin, constructed in the 1790s, is located at the Forestburgh town hall in Sullivan County, New York.Over 200 YearsThe Forestburgh Log Cabin, constructed circa the 1790s, is one of the earliest structures built in Sullivan County, New York. The Forestburgh town website notes that the cabin was once owned by Abe Cuddeback. A primitive school was functioning at the cabin prior to the town of Forestburgh being established.

 

Elsie Winterberger (1910-1992), historian for the Town of Forestburgh, played a pivotal role in managing the dismantling, moving and then reconstruction of the cabin at its new location. She organized various fundraisers, including raffles and stitching a commemorative quilt, in order to purchase antiques for the cabin. Winterberger notably served as town historian for 18 years until her passing in 1992. She was also the author of the well-read “Forestburgh Lore” column published in the Sullivan County Democrat and other local publications in which she shared her stories of regional history. In 2012 Winterberger was honored by the Sullivan County Historical Society with its History Preserver award.

 

A sign at the Forestburgh cabin notes that famous author Stephen Crane (1871-1900), while residing with his brother Edmund at the nearby hamlet of Hartwood, “was inspired to create” his Sullivan County Sketches (1891); The Red Badge of Courage (1895); and The Third Violet (1896). The Red Badge of Courage, a novel about the Civil War, follows soldier Henry Fleming as he finds the courage to fight in battle. It is considered a classic American novel.

 

The lake near Edmund Crane’s home is now called Stephen Crane’s Pond, a name which “comes from an unpublished fragment of a letter by E. B. Crane: ‘My brother and I think that the little lake that has never up to now been dignified on any map by a name should henceforth be called Stephen Crane’s Pond.’” (Sorrentino, Paul. Stephen Crane: A Life of Fire. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014. p. 402.)

 

The Forestburgh log cabin, constructed in the 1790s, is located at the Forestburgh town hall in Sullivan County, New York.Forestburgh Log Cabin Historical MonumentThe Forestburgh Log Cabin, constructed circa the 1790s, is one of the earliest structures built in Sullivan County, New York. The Forestburgh town website notes that the cabin was once owned by Abe Cuddeback. A primitive school was functioning at the cabin prior to the town of Forestburgh being established.

The Forestburgh log cabin, constructed in the 1790s, is located at the Forestburgh town hall in Sullivan County, New York.Welcome to ForestburghThe Forestburgh Log Cabin, constructed circa the 1790s, is one of the earliest structures built in Sullivan County, New York. The Forestburgh town website notes that the cabin was once owned by Abe Cuddeback. A primitive school was functioning at the cabin prior to the town of Forestburgh being established.

 

The Forestburgh Log Cabin is now located at Forestburgh Town Hall, which is situated on King Road, off of Route 42 South. The original Town Hall building, which was located on the north side of County Route 48 near its intersection with Carpenter Road, was constructed in 1895, but was destroyed by fire in 1928. On the same site, and using the same plans, an exact replica of the original town hall building was constructed in 1929, which was used until 1980. This building still survives, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Today’s Town Hall building, dedicated in 1980, was designed to meet the needs of a modern local government. The building contains a courtroom, a supervisor’s office, an assessor’s office and the clerk’s office. In addition to the cabin, the property is also home to a swimming pool and a children’s play area.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Abe Cuddeback cabin Catskill Mountains Catskills Crane's Pond Edmund Crane Elsie Winterberger Forestburgh log cabin New York photographer photographs photos Stephen Crane Stephen Crane's Pond Sullivan County tourism town hall travel https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/forestburgh-log-cabin-a-photographic-study Sat, 30 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Diamond Notch Falls: A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/diamond-notch-falls-a-photographic-study Diamond Notch Falls, sometimes referred to as West Kill Falls, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall located on the West Kill at the end of Spruceton Valley in the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area. Diamond Notch is the gap between Hunter Mountain and West Kill Mountain.

 

Diamond Notch Falls, located on the West Kill in the Spruceton Valley, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall.Diamond Notch FallsDiamond Notch Falls, sometimes referred to as West Kill Falls, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall located on the West Kill at the end of Spruceton Valley in the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area. The falls are easily accessible via a relatively flat 1.4-mile roundtrip hike.

Diamond Notch Falls, located on the West Kill in the Spruceton Valley, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall.Scene at Diamond Notch FallsDiamond Notch Falls, sometimes referred to as West Kill Falls, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall located on the West Kill at the end of Spruceton Valley in the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area. The falls are easily accessible via a relatively flat 1.4-mile roundtrip hike.

 

From the end of Greene County Route 6 (Spruceton Road), the falls are easily accessible via a relatively flat, family-friendly 1.4-mile roundtrip hike along the West Kill. For a different starting point, the trail to the falls can also be accessed from the end of Diamond Notch Road, 1.5 miles off of Route 214 near Lanesville. This route to the falls, which follows along Hollow Tree Brook through Diamond Notch Hollow, is approximately 4.0 miles roundtrip. The entire blue-blazed Diamond Notch Trail from Lanesville to Spruceton Road is 2.7 miles long one-way, or 5.4 miles roundtrip.

 

Diamond Notch Falls is located on the regionally famous Devil’s Path, at its junction with the Diamond Notch Trail. The 25.2-mile Devil’s Path is an extremely challenging hike that crosses the summits of Indian Head, Twin, Sugarloaf, Plateau and West Kill Mountains, all of which are over 3,500 feet. With its notorious rocky terrain and approximately 9,000 feet of elevation gain, the Devil’s Path is considered one of the most challenging hikes in all of the Catskills, and perhaps even the tri-state area.

 

Diamond Notch Falls, located on the West Kill in the Spruceton Valley, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall.Diamond Notch Falls, AutumnDiamond Notch Falls, sometimes referred to as West Kill Falls, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall located on the West Kill at the end of Spruceton Valley in the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area. The falls are easily accessible via a relatively flat 1.4-mile roundtrip hike.

Diamond Notch Falls, located on the West Kill in the Spruceton Valley, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall.From the Top of Diamond Notch FallsDiamond Notch Falls, sometimes referred to as West Kill Falls, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall located on the West Kill at the end of Spruceton Valley in the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area. The falls are easily accessible via a relatively flat 1.4-mile roundtrip hike.

 

The 11-mile-long West Kill, on which Diamond Notch Falls sit, forms between Hunter Mountain and Westkill Mountain, flows through the Spruceton Valley and past the hamlets of Spruceton and West Kill before joining the Schoharie Creek at the hamlet of Lexington.

 

Spruceton, located near the northern terminus of the Diamond Notch Trail, is one of four historic hamlets located within the town of Lexington, the other three being Lexington, Westkill and Bushnellsville. The Spruceton hamlet is beautifully situated within the West Kill valley, with the hamlet of West Kill (junction of County Route 6 and Route42) at the western terminus of the valley, and the parking area for the Diamond Notch Trail at the eastern terminus of the valley. The focal point for today’s Spruceton hamlet is the Spruceton Methodist Church, which was founded in 1889, and its adjacent graveyard enclosed by a stone wall.

 

According to noted professor, author and naturalist Michael Kudish “the name of the hamlet of Spruceton does originate from the presence of this conifer in the valley of the West Kill. Most of the red spruce were and are today on the upper slopes and ridgecrests of Rusk and West Kill Mountains. West of these two peaks, no spruce was or is to be found along the ridges. In the West Kill Valley, spruce descended to about the hamlet of Spruceton and not any farther west. Most of the red spruce in the valley was logged off during the nineteenth century.” (Kudish, Michael. The Catskill Forest: A History. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, 2000. p. 124.)

 

J. B. Beers wrote in 1884 in his definitive History of Greene County, New York of the origin of the hamlet of Lanesville, which is located near the southern terminus of Diamond Notch Hollow. “Still lower down is Lanesville, named from its early pioneer, Peter R. Lane, who came within the bounds of Greene County about 1830. It is a small settlement and its few citizens are mostly farmers, among them are Edward Lane, Orrin B. Crosby and the genial post-master, Mr. Barber, who keeps a small general store. The other early settlers were the Martins, Connolly, William Barber, Jacob D. Lane, Robert Kerr, H. D. Devall, Mr. Fairchild and a few others. Their chief business from the earliest dates has been lumbering, and the stream abounds in old mill and dam sites, many owned and run by the above men. At present there are but a few in operation, but to locate the sites by other methods than a map, would be impossible.” (Beers, J. B. History of Greene County, New York. New York: J. B. Beers & Co., 1884. p. 83.)

 

By the mid-1880s the well-regarded Diamond Notch House, with accommodations for 30 people, had been established at the hamlet of Lanesville. The Diamond Notch House was early managed by Orrin B. Crosby (1813-1900) and later by his son Asa Crosby (1860-1926). A 1915 advertisement noted that the farm house included “excellent table; airy rooms; dancing, fishing, etc.; homelike; restful; telephone.” Asa Crosby was a lifelong resident of Lanesville, and in addition to the boarding house, he also managed his farm and operated a general store business.

 

In 1892 the Diamond Notch House was the scene of much excitement. “David J. Crosby, son of O. B. Crosby, who keeps the Diamond Notch House at Lanesville, in the Catskills Mountains, one night, a short time ago, had two sheep killed by some wild animal. He set a trap, and the next morning found a large animal fast in it. Believing the animal to be dead he carelessly unloosed the jaws of the trap. This proved an unfortunate circumstance, as the animal was by no means dead. In a “York second” Crosby and a large catamount were rolling around in the snow. Crosby managed to get a large jackknife from his pocket, and after one or two well-directed stabs the catamount yielded up its life. Mr. Crosby had his clothing torn into shreds, and his body was terribly scratched. The catamount was four feet in length and weighed forty pounds.” (“New York State News.” Republican Watchman. Monticello, New York. February 12, 1892.)

 

David Crosby, brother of Asa Crosby, would establish Echo Cottage, also located at Lanesville. Echo Cottage had accommodations for 40 people. Other boarding houses operating at Lanesville in 1919 included the Lanesville House (Mrs. J. McGinn), the Central Farm House (F. A. Barber), The Ruggles (C. R. Lane), Pleasant View House (T. H. Jansen), Clover Leaf Cottage (A. H. Stryker), Notch View Farm (E. Kerr), The Brunswick (H. S. Lane), The Elmwood (Louisa North) and The Norwood (George Lindsley).

 

A similarly named Diamond Notch House was located at the hamlet of Spruceton and was operated by Henry I. Van Valkenburgh.

 

Between 1890 and 1910 there was a massive landslide on the east wall of Diamond Notch that “removed all vegetation and soil helping to create a landslide-prone boulder talus slope with very little vegetation even today. The area was also reportedly logged during this period.” (Hunter Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan. November 1995. pp. 21-22.)

 

Diamond Notch Falls, located on the West Kill in the Spruceton Valley, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall.Diamond Notch FallsDiamond Notch Falls, sometimes referred to as West Kill Falls, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall located on the West Kill at the end of Spruceton Valley in the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area. The falls are easily accessible via a relatively flat 1.4-mile roundtrip hike.

Diamond Notch Falls, located on the West Kill in the Spruceton Valley, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall.Diamond Notch FallsDiamond Notch Falls, sometimes referred to as West Kill Falls, is a pleasant 25-foot waterfall located on the West Kill at the end of Spruceton Valley in the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area. The falls are easily accessible via a relatively flat 1.4-mile roundtrip hike.

 

The Diamond Notch Trail from Lanesville to Spruceton was an old public road that was eventually abandoned, and later converted to trail use. Both the 1856 Map of Greene County, N.Y. by Samuel Geil and the 1867 Atlas of Greene County map by F. W. Beers did not show a road through the notch between Lanesville and Spruceton. However, the U.S. Geological Survey of 1900, as seen on the Phoenicia Quadrangle, did show the route through Diamond Notch. This route was shown as a trail, not as a road.

 

The road through Diamond Notch was officially abandoned on November 26, 1924 by order of the Town Board of Lexington, although the portion of the road operated by the town of Hunter was maintained for some years after. Lands within Diamond Notch were purchased by New York State in 1932 to incorporate as part of the Catskill Forest Preserve. The Diamond Notch Trail “was developed during the 1937 season primarily as a ski trail from Stony Clove Road (Route 214) near Lanesville to the Spruceton Road near its junction with the old Spruceton-Hunter Road.” (Delaware Republican Express. Summer Vacation Issue, 1974.) The original 5-mile cross-country ski trail, with exposure to the north and south, was rated by the New York State Conservation Department as “novice.”

 

The lean-to located within Diamond Notch, approximately 1/2 mile from the Falls, was originally constructed in 1968, and rehabilitated in 2010. It is a popular overnight spot for backpackers given its proximity to the Devil’s Path and to Diamond Notch Falls. The Diamond Notch lean-to is one of three shelters located within the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area, the other two being the John Robb lean-to on the Spruceton Trail and the Devil’s Acre lean-to on the Devil’s Path.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) brook Catskill Mountains Catskills creek Devil's Path Diamond Notch Diamond Notch Falls Diamond Notch Hollow Greene County hike hiker hiking Hollow Tree Brook Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area Lanesville Matthew Jarnich New York photographer photographs photos river Spruceton Spruceton Road tourism trail travel water waterfall West Kill West Kill Falls https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/diamond-notch-falls-a-photographic-study Sat, 23 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
On the Road Again: Ultimate Road Trip # 10 https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/on-the-road-again-ultimate-road-trip-10 The latest iteration of the Ultimate Road Trip music mix series went live in the fall of 2021. In October of that year, I took a fantastic week-long vacation to the Catskills. I stayed for several days at Resorts World Catskills in Monticello and spent the rest of the week in the Phoenicia area.

 

Using Monticello as a base for the first half of the week, the surrounding Sullivan County region offered, as always, some great shooting opportunities including two beautiful Ukrainian churches, Bethel Woods (site of the 1969 Woodstock festival), Forestburgh, the historic Beaverkill Covered Bridge, the near-abandoned hamlet of Parksville, the serene Alder Lake, several beautiful waterfalls, and much more.

 

Using the quiet hamlet of Phoenicia as a base for the second half of the week, I visited the amazing sculptures at Emile Brunel Park in Boiceville, the always inviting Ashokan Reservoir, the peaceful Spruceton Valley, the flowing Diamond Notch Falls, the quirky village of Woodstock and several other scenic locations.

 

Overall, I was accompanied by some great weather, and even the periods of rain added to the trip by adding increased volume to the several waterfalls that I visited.

 

Here is the latest mix that kept me company during my travels through the southern and central Catskills. There are a number of new artists that have not appeared on any of my prior mixes, including Uncle Lucius, Ashley McBryde, Sons of Bill, Lord Huron, Katie Pruitt and Joshua Ray Walker. It’s always a great feeling when you find a new song and/or a new artist that immediately makes you think “oh yeah, that’s going on the mix.” The mix contains 20 songs with 1 hour, 23 minutes of listening time.

 

  1. The Sound of Silence – Disturbed

 

  1. Further On (Up the Road) – Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band

 

  1. Keep the Wolves Away – Uncle Lucius

 

  1. Only Children – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

 

  1. Girl Goin’ Nowhere (Live from Nashville) – Ashley McBryde

 

  1. Running For So Long – Parker Ainsworth, Butch Walker, Paris Jackson and Jessie Payo

 

  1. Maybe It’s Time – Bradley Cooper

 

  1. Highwayman – The White Buffalo

 

  1. A Simple Song – Chris Stapleton

 

  1. American Ride – Willie Nile

 

  1. Wilson’s Track – Kevin Welch

 

  1. Frozen Pines – Lord Huron

 

  1. Here’s Looking at You, Kid (Live) – The Gaslight Anthem

 

  1. Santa Ana Winds – Sons of Bill

 

  1. Virginia Calling (Live) – Sons of Bill

 

  1. Expectations – Katie Pruitt

 

  1. Further On Up the Road – Johnny Cash

 

  1. God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Johnny Cash

 

  1. Paradise – Bruce Springsteen

 

  1. Canyon – Joshua Ray Walker

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) album ballad band best Catskill Mountains Catskills country digital drive favorite freedom great greatest listen lyrics mix music musician photographer photography place playlist road road trip singer song soundtrack story travel trip ultimate ultimate road trip https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/on-the-road-again-ultimate-road-trip-10 Sat, 16 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
William England and His 1859 Tour of the Catskills (Part 9) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-9 Introduction

 

William England (1830-1896) was a 19th century British photographer who was widely known for his travel images. He was an early adopter of photography, operating a studio in the late 1840s, less than ten years after the daguerreotype was created by French inventor Louis Daguerre. England’s 1859 trip through the United States, including a visit to the Catskills, and Canada gained widespread praise. His image of Charles Blondin tightrope walking across the Niagara Gorge is among the top selling stereoviews of all time. Although largely forgotten today, William England was considered one of the great photographers of his era.

 

 

Continued from Part 8, Conclusion.

 

Following in His Footsteps

 

“As Mr. England has for some little time been resting on his oars, the whole of these businesses is now carried on by his sons, under the firm of England Brothers . . .”

 

 

Several children of William England followed in their father’s footsteps by working in the photography industry. Louis William England, William’s oldest child, started in the photography business at a young age. “Mr. England is one of the few who have already introduced photography to a second generation: his eldest son, a youth of seventeen, has commenced his career as photographer, as a dry plate man, having produced some excellent dry plate negatives, before he has yet produced one by the wet process.”[1]

 

According to UK census and marriage records, Louis William England worked as a photo landscape artist (1881 census), a publisher (1889 marriage record), a photographer (1891 census), a photographic printer (1901 census) and a photographer (1911 census). Louis, for a time, operated the L. W. England & Co. business, located at 25 Charles Street in Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, London, which offered photographic printing and enlarging. Louis was also a partner with his brothers in the England Bros. firm. Louis William England passed away in 1919.

 

The Amateur photographer.L. W. England & Co.L. W. England & Co.,
Photographic Printers & Enlargers,
25, Charles Street, Royal Crescent, London,
Price List on Application.
Finest Sensitized Paper, 13s, 6d, per quire, Post Free.

 

Walter John England, William’s third child, and according to UK census records, was educated as a “Student of Arts” (1871 census). In 1877, according to the record of his first marriage, Walter was working as an “Artist.” In 1888, according to the record of his second marriage, Walter was working as a “publisher.” He later worked with an occupation of “Photo mount manufacturer and Lithograph” (1891 census), a “Manager Collotype printing” (1901 census), and as a printer (1911 census). Walter was also a partner with his brothers in the England Bros. firm. Walter John England passed away in 1914.

 

John Desire England, William’s youngest child, and according to his 1887 marriage record, at age 26, was working as a dry plate maker. According to UK census records, John then worked with photographic materials (1891 census), and worked as a photographic chemist (1901 census) and as a technical chemist in photographic paper manufacturing (1911 census). John worked with and then took over the dry plate manufacturing business of his father, with money invested by his father, operating at 21 to 24 Charles Street in Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, London. John was a Council Member of the West London Photographic Society and became a member of the Photographic Society of Great Britain, later the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, in 1884.

 

Like his father, John wrote detailed technical articles for the leading photographic industry publications.

 

  • 1885. “Electric Light in Developing Rooms.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac and Photographer’s Daily Companion for 1885. London: Ross & Co., 1885.  p. 68.
  • 1886. “On the Development of Chloride Plates.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac and Photographer’s Daily Companion for 1886. London: Ross & Co., 1886. p. 190.
  • 1887. “A Method of Estimating the Value of Photographic Waste.” The Photographic News. Vol. 31, No. 1487. March 4, 1887. p. 132.
  • 1892. “Celluloid Films.” Scientific American Supplement. Vol. 33, No. 847. March 26, 1892. p. 13,530. Also, The Amateur Photographer. Vol. 15, No. 383. February 5, 1892. London: Hazell, Watson, and Viney, LD., 1892. p. 99.
  • 1893. “The Manufacture of Gelatine Dry Plates.” The Journal and Transactions of the Photographic Society of Great Britain. New Series, Vol. 17, No. 8. May 30, 1893. pp. 222-228.

 

Later John and his brothers combined efforts to form the England Bros. company, which offered plate-making, the production of lantern slides, gelatine dry plates, letterpress and lithographic printing, including the production of “photographic mounts in carte, cabinet, and every other size made use of in the profession,” books, magazines and photographic catalogs. The England Bros. firm later merged with Charles Tylor in the late 1890s to form the Chas. Tyler and England Bros. company. The Chas. Tyler and England Bros. company operated until 1907 when it was incorporated into the firm of W. Butcher and Sons, Limited. John Desire England passed away in 1931.

 

England's Dry PlatesEngland's Dry PlatesEngland's Dry Plates.

The Plates are tested by Mr. W. England, and guaranteed to be of the same quality as those used by him, and for which he received several Medals, and also the SILVER MEDAL OF THE BELGIAN EXHIBITION just awarded.

Best Selected Glass only Used. Rapid and Instantaneous same Price.

Sample Dozen of Quarter Plates forwarded per Parcels Post on Receipt of 2/-.

The New Gelatino-Chloride Plates, Now Ready. These are especially prepared for Copying Negatives Stereoscopic and Lantern Transparencies. Prices same as Bromide Samples, and Full Particulars for Working forwarded.

J. Desire England, Manufacturer, 21 and 23 Charles Street, Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W.

Special Landscape Plate . . . Tested by William EnglandSpecial Landscape Plate . . . Tested by William EnglandSpecial Landscape Plate. Made by an entirely new FORMULA and tested by WILLIAM ENGLAND.

These Plates which are made in two rapidities Slow and Extra rapid are without exception the finest Plates ever made.

J. Desire England, Charles St. Royal Crescent, Notting Hill.

Fas-simile of Label of England's New Landscape Plate.

Professional and Amateur Landscape Photographers will be much pleased by the ease with which they can be used and the brilliant results obtained. The Extra Rapid are admirably suited for Instantaneous Works.

 

England's Studio PlatesEngland's Studio PlatesEngland's Studio Plates.

Manufactured by J. Desire England, Charles St., Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W.

Telegraphic address.–"England, London."

 

England's Dry PlatesEngland's Dry PlatesEngland's New Instantaneous Dry Plates. Especially prepared for Winter use and Instantaneous Views.

These Plates will be found to give remarkably brilliant negatives.

Those operators who have not yet used them should send at once for sample dozen, which will be forwarded on receipt of 24 stamps.

J. Desire England, 21 to 24, Charles Street, Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W.

 

Endorsements

 

“The new Tourist’s Knapsack Tent. This tent was used by that eminent photographer Mr. England during the whole of his tour through Switzerland.”

 

 

The name of William England, given its prominence in the photographic industry, was widely used by companies in advertisements to promote their products. Examples of advertisements where England’s name was used include W. W. Rouch for their Tourist’s Knapsack Tent and their collodion plates, Newman’s Diamond Print Varnish, Dallmeyer’s assortment of lenses, the E. & H. T. Anthony Company, and various distributors of stereoscopic views and other photography prints, among many others.

 

The New Tourist's Knapsack TentThe New Tourist's Knapsack TentThe New Tourist's Knapsack Tent.

This tent was used by that eminent photographer Mr. England during the whole of his tour through Switzerland.

Weight of Tent when Packed 8 lbs.
Price Complete £6 15s. Od.


MR. ENGLAND
Writes;–"I have now used the KNAPSACK TENT for four Seasons for both Dry and Wet Plate Work. I am still of opinion that it is by far the best form of tent for Tourists and Others."

 

The Tourist's Knapsack TentThe Tourist's Knapsack TentW. W. Rouch & Co.

Are the Sole Makers of

The Tourist's Knapsack Tent.

This tent was used by that eminent photographer Mr. England during the whole of his tour through Switzerland.

Weight of Tent when Packed 8 lbs.
Price Complete 6 15s.

MR. ENGLAND writes:–"I have used the Knapsack Tent for five seasons abroad, in mountainous districts, and I retain the opinion that for both dry and wet plate work it it by far the best form of Tent for Tourists and others."

W. W. ROUCH & CO.,
180, STRAND, LONDON.

 

Photographic Society of Great Britain

 

“The object of the Photographic Society is the promotion of the Art and Science of Photography, by the interchange of thought and experience among Photographers . . .”

 

 

William England was long associated with the Photographic Society of Great Britain, later the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, having joined the society in 1863. He made his debut at the society the year prior on March 4, 1862 “when he exhibited a series of lantern slides, consisting of ‘instantaneous street scenes in Paris, etc.’” England was elected as a Council Member in 1867, a position he held until his death. In 1886 and 1887 England served as the organization’s Vice President. The Royal Photographic Society, founded in 1853, continues to operate today. More information about the organization and their history can be found on their website at www.rps.org.

 

Solar Club

 

“Gentlemen in lux way.” – Solar Club.

 

 

William England was a founding member of the Solar Club, which was established in 1866. Although founded as a photographic professional society, the group functioned more as a gentleman’s social club, with a decided focus on dining.

 

“The prospectus of the club was as follows:

 

WHEREAS the object of this Club is Social Enjoyment, and WHEREAS we have the authority of many famous men that it is good to dine, videlicet, Dr. Johnson said, “Sir, let us dine;” Shakespeare recommends us to “dine and never fret;” he also says “Though should’st hazard they life for they dinner;” and authority, Prior, says:

 

“Thus of your heroes and brave boys

With whom old Homer makes such noise,

The greatest actions I can find

Are that they did their work – and dined.”

 

And WHEREAS it is clearly great and virtuous to dine, therefore BE IT ENACTED that we be great and virtuous.

 

At each meeting of the Members they will dine together. The diner may consist of herps and of water from the spring, or –

 

To promote freedom and avoid formality, it is suggested that Members shall not appear in Regimentals, Court Dress, as Guys or in Disguise, in a Dress Coat, or any other than their ordinary costume, unless they wish their portraits, in such costume, to hang up during every meeting as a warning to others. Further, to fuse all elements into harmony, it is suggested that Smoking not be prohibited, but, on the contrary, strictly enforced.”[2]

 

Members of the Solar Club were addressed as “Rays,” instead of the usual “Brothers”; for example, “Ray England will now propose a toast.” Members included writers and editors for trade magazines, studio proprietors and, generally, a who’s who of London photography. Other founding members included Francis Bedford (1816-1894), Valentine Blanchard (1831-1901), G. Bishop, John Henry Dallmeyer (1830-1883), Samuel Fry, Russell Manners Gordon (1829-1906), W. Holyoake, Frank Howard, Jabez Hughes (1819-1884), J. E. Mayall (1813-1901), William Mayland (1821-1907), W. F. Mills, Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875), George Wharton Simpson (1825-1880), M. Whiting, Jr., Walter Bentley Woodbury (1834-1885), and Thomas Richard Williams (1824-1871) and Henry Peach Robinson (1830-1901), Chancellor. Membership in the Solar Club was restricted to 25 people, with guests from the arts and the press often invited to the monthly dinners.

 

Members of the Solar Club, including England, were notably photographed in 1869 by O. G. Rejlander, and the picture was later enlarged by Jabez Hughes. The Photographic Journal noted that there was “special interest” in the photograph “from the circumstance of its being the only picture extant exhibiting so large a group of British photographers.”[3] The photograph was exhibited in 1870 at the 15th Annual Exhibition of the Photographic Society of London. The photograph is now part of the Royal Photographic Society collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

Solar ClubSolar ClubWilliam England was a founding member of the Solar Club, which was established in 1866. Although founded as a photographic professional society, the group functioned more as a gentleman’s social club, with a decided focus on dining.

“The prospectus of the club was as follows:

WHEREAS the object of this Club is Social Enjoyment, and WHEREAS we have the authority of many famous men that it is good to dine, videlicet, Dr. Johnson said, “Sir, let us dine;” Shakespeare recommends us to “dine and never fret;” he also says “Though should’st hazard they life for they dinner;” and authority, Prior, says:

“Thus of your heroes and brave boys
With whom old Homer makes such noise,
The greatest actions I can find
Are that they did their work – and dined.”

And WHEREAS it is clearly great and virtuous to dine, therefore BE IT ENACTED that we be great and virtuous.

At each meeting of the Members they will dine together. The diner may consist of herps and of water from the spring, or –

To promote freedom and avoid formality, it is suggested that Members shall not appear in Regimentals, Court Dress, as Guys or in Disguise, in a Dress Coat, or any other than their ordinary costume, unless they wish their portraits, in such costume, to hang up during every meeting as a warning to others. Further, to fuse all elements into harmony, it is suggested that Smoking not be prohibited, but, on the contrary, strictly enforced.” (“Editorial Notes.” The Photographic Times. Vol. 28, No. 5. May 1896. pp. 240-241.)

Members of the Solar Club were addressed as “Rays,” instead of the usual “Brothers”; for example, “Ray England will now propose a toast.” Members included writers and editors for trade magazines, studio proprietors and, generally, a who’s who of London photography. Other founding members included Francis Bedford (1816-1894), Valentine Blanchard (1831-1901), G. Bishop, John Henry Dallmeyer (1830-1883), Samuel Fry, Russell Manners Gordon (1829-1906), W. Holyoake, Frank Howard, Jabez Hughes (1819-1884), J. E. Mayall (1813-1901), William Mayland (1821-1907), W. F. Mills, Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875), George Wharton Simpson (1825-1880), M. Whiting, Jr., Walter Bentley Woodbury (1834-1885), and Thomas Richard Williams (1824-1871) and Henry Peach Robinson (1830-1901), Chancellor. Membership in the Solar Club was restricted to 25 people, with guests from the arts and the press often invited to the monthly dinners.

 

Edgar Yoxall Jones described the historic photograph in his 1973 biography of Rejlander. “In June, Rejlander invited his friends of the Solar Club to a house-warming, and the group photograph taken during the proceedings shows him in the company of some of the foremost figures in the photographic world. On the left sits William England of the London Stereoscopic Company, whose extensive tours opened up the continent and the United States to the British public. With his back to the camera sits Wharton Simpson, editor of Photographic News; and to his right is Jabez Hughes, whose lucrative business in the Isle of Wight enjoyed royal patronage. Leaning back into the window one catches the profile of Walter Woodbury, inventor of the Woodbury type, whose name is perpetuated in The Oxford Dictionary. H. P. Robinson sits near Rejlander, who smiles benignly upon the proceedings.”[4]

 

Photographers’ Benevolent Association

 

“Some further effort has been made by a few earnest working photographers to establish a Benevolent Society, for the benefit of the unfortunate and needy amongst their body . . .”

 

 

Seeking to aid members of the photographic community in need, the Photographers’ Benevolent Association, sometimes referred to as the P. B. A., was founded in 1874. William England served as one of the association’s earliest trustees. The organization was supported by donations and subscriptions from those interested in the photographic trade, including employers, workers, amateurs and even those generally interested in photography. Professional photographers closely associated with the Photographers’ Benevolent Association also donated some of their completed photographs, which were then used to raise money via art shows and art sales. In June 1874 it was noted that “as a beginning, Mr. England has kindly promised a liberal donation.”[5] The following January, in 1875, England again donated photographs, this time “a splendid collection of statuary.”[6]

 

The charitable aims of the Photographers’ Benevolent Association were detailed in an advertisement in The Photographic Journal.

 

“The objects of the Association are – To receive Subscriptions and Donations, and by other means to raise funds, and to apply them to the following purposes:–

 

1.– The assistance, by grants or loans, of persons connected with Photography, their widowss and orphans, who are in neessitous circumstances arising from age, sickness, misfortune, or any other cause.

 

2.– The Grant of Annuities for life or for a term of years to such persons as are hereinafter indicated as qualified to receive such Annuities. Also,

 

3.– To aid unemployed Photographers in obtaining situations.”[7]  

 

Despite the laudable goals of the organization, it often faced challenging times given the lack of financial support from the photographic industry at large. Near its demise in the 1890s professional publications often wrote about how unfortunate it was that the Photographers’ Benevolent Association was not better supported.

 

  • “It is little short of scandalous that so exceedingly useful a body should languish for the want of funds.” – Photography, 1895.

 

  • “The Benevolent died through the neglect of those for whom it was instituted.” – The British Journal of Photography, 1896.

 

  • “There are probably 50,000 or 60,000 people engaged in the photographic industry in Great Britain who last year contributed to the funds of the Photographers’ Benevolent Association (lately dead) the magnificent sum of – nothing!” – Photographic News. 1896.

 

  • “Professional photographers cannot even combine for their own interests. Where is the Photographers’ Benevolent Association now? That was an institution for the benefit of professional photographers, and, with a reasonable amount of support from the profession, would have become a credit to it and a valuable aid for the sick and wounded. For years it lingered on, almost entirely supported and adminstered by amateurs and dealers, for the benefit of the professional photographer, who would not help himself, but was quite content to allow outsiders to pay for him and work for him.” – The British Journal of Photography, 1899.

 

Due to the lack of general interest and an absence of incoming financial support from subscriptions and donations, the Photographers’ Benevolent Association ceased operating in 1898. Any remaining funds were provided to the Royal Photographic Society on condition that the money be used for benevolent purposes.

 

Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom

 

“The object of the Convention . . . was an interchange of opinions and experiences on the subject of photography, combined with friendly intercourse amongst the charming Derbyshire scenery, and the general advancement of the photographic art.” – First annual convention in 1886.

 

 

In August 1886 England attended the inaugural meeting of the Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom held at the School of Art in Derby. “Its object was to afford facilities to photographers, professional and amateur, for an annual gathering at some suitable town, previously agreed upon, for the purpose of hearing and discussing papers of photographic interest; of holding exhibitions; excursions; a dinner; and other social gatherings. Conventions carried out on this model have for many years been popular amongst the photographers of the United States.”[8]

 

The first convention meeting, taking place over the course of three days from August 12 to 14, 1886, attracted approximately 46 well-to-do amateurs and successful professionals. Excursions were arranged to nearby destinations including Haddon Hall, Chatsworth, Dovedale and Matlock. Various papers were read including “Success” by H. P. Robinson, “Instantaneous Photography” by William Cobb, “Emulsion-making” by W. K. Burton and “Daylight Enlarging” by Andrew Pringle, among others.

 

Convention membership expanded to 193 photographers in 1887, 232 photographers in 1888 and 328 photographers by 1899. Each year the convention would be held in a different location, including Glasgow in 1887, Birmingham in 1888, London in 1889 and Chester in 1890. The challenging World War I years caused a drop in interest, which was followed by years with an ageing and declining membership. Despite the growing challenges the Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom managed to continue with its annual meeting until the 1930s.

 

West London Photographic Society

 

“The name of William England was so well known in the photographic world . . .”

 

 

England became the first president of the West London Photographic Society at its inaugural meeting on December 28, 1888 at Addison Hall in Kensington. The organization was considered “one of the most able of Metropolitan local photographic organizations.”[9] The West London Photographic Society later moved locations to Broadway, Hammersmith, and then again to the School of Arts and Crafts in Bedford Park. At some point it absorbed the Chiswick Camera Club, another local photographic organization.

 

Upon the founding of the West London Photographic Society, “John A. Hodges said that it was his pleasing duty to propose the election of William England as President of the new Society. He felt that the name of William England was so well known in the photographic world, that it would be conceded on all hands that anything beyond the mere mention of his name was unnecessary. The motion was carried with acclimation.”[10] England served as president of the organization for less than one year, announcing his resignation in October 1889.

 

Legacy

 

“No name is better known in London circles in connexion with photography than that of Mr. William England, who has practised [sic] in succession every branch and process of photography from the Daguerreotype onwards, and has done so with a high degree of success, both technically and financially.” – The British Journal of Photography, 1887.

 

 

William England died on a street near his home on August 13, 1896 at the age of 66. The sudden cause of death was heart disease. His death was a shock to many: “Although one of our oldest workers, Mr. England had always seemed so healthy and active that his death could not be expected by anyone who knew him personally.”[11] He is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in the west of London, although his tombstone was destroyed during the bombings of World War II.

 

England helped establish the London Stereoscopic Company as a leader in the stereoview market. He shot the photograph that became perhaps the top selling stereoview of all time. He invented the focal plane shutter, an idea that was ahead of its time.

 

William England undertook numerous photographic journeys, all to picturesque locations, including Wales, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Paris, Switzerland, Savoy, Tyrol, the Rhine, and others. For every journey his photographic work was reviewed by the leading industry artists of the era, and in each case his work was accorded nothing but the highest of praise, for both their artistic and technical merits.

 

After establishing his own business, he would become perhaps the largest publisher of European views. His work won countless awards and he juried important competitions. He published numerous technical articles in highly respected photographic journals. England was a long-standing member of the leading photography associations of the day.

 

John Hannavy, a noted photographer and historian, wrote of England’s legacy. “At his peak, England was regarded as one of the leading landscape photographers in Europe. . . [He was considered] “perhaps one of an elite band of photographers who spanned the whole evolution of photography from the daguerreotype to the roll-film and seemingly adapted to each phase with relative ease. Throughout his career his advice was much sought after and he was a member of several photographic societies.”[12]

 

Comments and Corrections

 

If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer William England please add a comment to this page, or send me an email using the contact page. Where possible, please include any available references. Thank you.

 

 

[1] “Visits to Noteworthy Studios. Mr. England’s Establishment at Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12, No. 502. April 17, 1868. pp. 184-185.

[2] “Editorial Notes.” The Photographic Times. Vol. 28, No. 5. May 1896. pp. 240-241.

[3] “Photographic Society.” The Photographic Journal, Containing the Transactions of the Photographic Society. Vol. 15, No. 219. November 8, 1870. p. 34.

[4] Jones, Edgar Yoxall. Father of Photography: O. G. Rejlander 1813-1875. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, LTD, 1973. pp. 36-37.

[5] “Photographers’ Benevolent Association.” The Photographic News. Vol. 18, No. 823. June 12, 1874. p. 286.

[6] “Photographers’ Benevolent Association.” The Photographic News. Vol. 19, No. 854. January 15, 1875. London: Piper and Carter, 1875. pp. 35-36.

[7] “The Photographers’ Benevolent Association.” Advertisement. The Photographic Journal. Vol. 21. London: The Royal Photographic Society, 1897. December 21, 1896.

[8] “The Gloucester Convention.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 46. March 10, 1899. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1899. p. 150.

[9] “Spirit of the Times.” Photography, The Journal of The Amateur, The Profession, and the Trade. Vol. 6, No. 270. January 11, 1894. p. 20.

[10] “West London Photographic Society.” The Photographic News. Vol. 32, No. 1581. December 21, 1888. London: Piper and Carter, 1888. p. 815.

[11] “Current Topics.” The Photogram. Vol. 3, No. 34. October 1896. pp. 253-254.

[12] Hannavy, John. Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 2008. p. 489.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1859 alpine America in the Stereoscope Blondin Britain Catskills England exhibit Fawn's Leap International Exhibition Ireland Italy Kaaterskill Clove Kaaterskill Falls Kauterskill Falls landscape Laurel House London Stereoscopic Company mountains Niagara Falls North American Series North Lake photographer photographs photography Plattekill Clove Plauterkill Clove Rhine scenery statuary stereoscope stereoscopic stereoviews Switzerland waterfalls William England https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-9 Sat, 09 Apr 2022 12:15:00 GMT
William England and His 1859 Tour of the Catskills (Part 8) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-8

Introduction

 

William England (1830-1896) was a 19th century British photographer who was widely known for his travel images. He was an early adopter of photography, operating a studio in the late 1840s, less than ten years after the daguerreotype was created by French inventor Louis Daguerre. England’s 1859 trip through the United States, including a visit to the Catskills, and Canada gained widespread praise. His image of Charles Blondin tightrope walking across the Niagara Gorge is among the top selling stereoviews of all time. Although largely forgotten today, William England was considered one of the great photographers of his era.

 

 

Continued from Part 7.

 

Exhibits

 

“. . . a fine series of views in the Tyrol, Italy, Switzerland, and on the Rhine, by the well-known photographer, Mr. W. England. For transparency, relief, and pictorial effect these beautiful little photographs are unsurpassed by any in the exhibition.”

 

 

England exhibited his work widely, received many awards and served as judge on countless leading exhibitions of the day. A few examples of England’s exhibitions, as either exhibitor or judge, are listed below.

 

  • 1858. London Photographic Society Exhibition. The exhibited photographs were all of Ireland and were attributed to the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company. Number 5, “Stereoscopic Views in Ireland.” Number 384, “View in Killarney.” Number 423, “Glangariff, near Killarney.” Number 591, “View in Killarney.” Number 606, “St. Boyne’s Cross, County Louth.” Number 627, “Ross Castle, Killarney.” Number 649, “Blarney Castle, Co. Cork.” Number 657, “Lake of Killarney.” Number 659, “Holy Cross Abbey, Co. Tipperary.” Number 661, “Glena Mountain, Killarney.” Number 664, “Vale of Avoca, Co. Wicklow.” Number 666, “General View of Killarney.” Number 691, “Tore Waterfall, Killarney.”

 

  • 1860. London Photographic Society Exhibition. The exhibited photographs, titled “Stereographic Views in America,” were attributed to the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company.

 

  • 1861. London Photographic Society Exhibition. The exhibited photographs were attributed to the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company. Number 610, “Portion of the Horse-shoe Fall from below, Winter Scene.” Number 611, “The American Fall, Niagara.” Number 612, “The Victoria Bridge, Montreal.” Number 613, “Rustic Bridge, Sleepy Hollow.” Number 614, “The American Fall, from Luna Island.” Number 615, “Scene from Ottawa, Canada.” Number 616, “Niagara from Prospect Point.”

 

  • 1862. International Exhibition. The exhibited photographs were attributed to the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company. Number 229, "Quebec." Number 234, "Rustic Bridge, Sleepy Hollow - American View." Number 244, "Stereoscopic Views of Paris - Instantaneous." Number 245, "Stereoscopic Views of Paris - Instantaneous." Number 246, "Natural Bridge - Kentucky." Number 248, "Niagara Falls." "Number 251, "Kauterskill Cavern - American View."

 

England received an award for his instantaneous work, “stereoscopic pictures of Paris (exhibited in name of the London Stereoscopic Co.)”

 

A medal for “photographic excellence” was awarded to the London Stereoscopic Company “for great excellence in photographic views, and especially a series of stereoscopic pictures of Paris.”[1]

 

“The Jurors of Class XIV . . . [have bestowed] the medal for the best series of instantaneous street views ever executed – the Paris views, by Mr. W. England – upon the London Stereoscopic Company, who have not the remotest claim to any share of the merit due, either photographic or manufacturing.”[2]

 

“One of the most interesting branches of modern photography is the production of instantaneous pictures, such as street scenes, and marine pictures, with breaking waves, shipping, fine cloud and atmospheric effects. In the production of a street scene with vehicles and pedestrians in rapid motion, and all the bustle of a London main thoroughfare or a Parisian boulevard, Mr. W. England, of the London Stereoscopic Company, stands unrivalled.”[3]

 

  • 1863. London Photographic Society. England exhibited an extensive number of views from the International Exhibition of 1862.

 

  • 1863. Glasgow Photographic Association Exhibition, Merchants’ Hall, Glasgow. “And lastly, the dissolving views for the magic lantern had been kindly furnished by Mr. England for that occasion; they were from negatives taken by himself, the transparencies being printed on tannin plates. They had thus every reason to hope that the evening would result in the satisfaction of all present.”[4]

 

  • 1865. Photographic Society of London Exhibition. England was awarded a medal “for landscapes.” “Mr. England exhibits a fine collection of his very fine views of Swiss scenery, taken on 9 by 7 plates, a size which has been somewhat neglected of late. Mr. England has shown rare skill in dealing with difficult subjects; Swiss scenery has been too often rendered familiar to the public as hard and snowy in a pictorial as well as a physical sense; but by a judicious mastery over his materials and art, Mr. England has produced some grand representations of Alpine scenery full of gradation and tone. Possibly a little less depth in printing would be more pleasing to the majority of visitors, but altogether there is a degree of uniform excellence not hitherto attained in pictures of this kind. Mr. England also exhibits a frame of stereoscopic pictures of the same scenery, which leave little to desire.”[5]

 

“If a piece of sculpture be judiciously lighted it forms one of the most effective of photographic subjects. Halse’s Advance, Australia! Photographed by Mr. England, shows more modelling and stereoscope effect than we are accustomed to look for in a monocular picture.”[6] This photograph was again exhibited by England in 1872 at the 17th Photographic Society of London Exhibition.

 

  • 1865. Dublin International Exhibition, Ireland. Exhibit number 107, “Cabinet and stereoscopic photographs of Switzerland and Savoy, taken by the wet collodion process, in four frames.”

 

“The admirable Swiss views of England, so full of quiet harmony, so free from the hardness which many photographers of similar scenery mistake for brilliancy.”[7]

 

England received a medal “for excellence in his manipulation and artistic effect.”[8]

 

“Mr. England’s Alpine views claim admiring attention. He exhibits several frames of 9 x 7 views, and a large collection of stereoscopic pictures of Swiss scenery, all exhibiting the well-known perfection for which this artist’s works are famous.”[9]

 

  • 1865. North London Photographic Exhibition. “The displays of landscapes at this exhibition includes some of the finest examples of this branch of the art we have seen. When we mention the names of Mudd, Bedford, and England, it will be readily understood that the pictures are good and we may add that the contributions are amongst the finest we have ever seen them exhibit.”[10]

 

  • 1866. Photographic Society of Scotland Exhibition. “The Exhibition is rather strong in landscapes, prominent among which are the Alpine views of Mr. England. Some of these we have never seen surpassed for delicacy, choice of subject, or excellence of manipulation.”[11]

 

  • 1867. Paris Universal Exhibition, Champ de Mars, Paris, France. England was awarded a silver medal for “views.” “W. England exhibits only views 9 x 7, or about that size, and I saw about forty of them. Whether all who deserved silver medals have got them or not, no one will doubt Mr. England’s right to the award that has been made to him. His productions are all well printed, and occupy good positions. The pictures are well known, and need no praise from me. He shows nothing but views, if we except a group of ecclesiastics, seemingly taken in the open air; but the picture is not essentially a landscape. It is clear and clean enough, but stiff, formal, and poor as a specimen of photographic art.”[12]

 

  • 1867. Exhibition Soiree of the London Photographic Society. “Mr. England exhibited very largely. That all his pictures were excellent it would be superfluous to remark. A frame of dry-plate subjects mainly claim our attention here. These were not in any sense inferior to those by the wet process hanging side by side with the artist’s works. There is all the detail, softness, and gradation in Mr. England’s dry plates that characterize his pictures by the wet process . . .Mr. England’s series of views comprised no stereographic subjects, those exhibited being from half-plate up to 9 x 7 inches.”[13]

 

  • 1867. Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society. “Mr. William England, a number of pretty and well photographed Swiss views.”[14]

 

“. . . and another second silver medal had been given to Mr. William England, for his views of Swiss scenery.”[15]

 

  • 1868. Photographic Society of London Exhibition. “Mr. England sends a frame of the capital results obtained during the summer in the Savoy.”[16]

 

“Amongst the other landscape photographers Mr. England and Mr. Bedford stand unrivalled in their peculiar branches. The views in the Tyrol, lately taken by Mr. England, are so excellent that they cannot but add to that gentleman’s high reputation.”[17]

 

  • 1869. Dutch Photographic Exhibition, at Groningen. England received a silver medal for landscapes.[18]

 

  • 1869. Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Exhibition. “Also 411, by Mr. W. England, a case of views on the Tyrol, very fine indeed.”[19]

 

  • 1869. Photographic Society of London Exhibition. Number 136, Stereo views of Switzerland and Savoy. Number 137, Eight views in Switzerland (wet plates). Number 138, Eight views in Switzerland (dry plates).

 

“Mr. England was, as usual, admirable in Swiss scenery. His contributions, besides their pictorial excellence, had another special source of interest, as he exhibited, side by side, a frame of eight examples of the wet process, and eight examples, from similar subjects, of dry plate work. Both were, as in all Mr. England’s work, in all respects exceedingly fine, but it was possible for the critical observer to note a little more hardness and wiriness in the prints from dry plates than in those from wet plate negatives.”[20]

 

“Mr. England has a large number of his inimitable Swiss views. This artist’s works are ever fresh and charming.”[21]

 

  • 1869. Manchester Photographic Society Exhibition, Memorial Hall, Albert-square. “Next in order came a number of views by Mr. England, illustrative of scenery on the Rhine. The character of Mr. England’s work is so familiar to the photographic world that it is unnecessary to say that his contributions were very excellent.”[22]

 

  • 1870. Manchester Photographic Society Exhibition, Memorial Hall, Albert-square, Manchester. The exhibit included 500 photographs from 45 different exhibitors. “Mr. W. England, a London artist, has sent a number of beautiful Swiss views.”[23]

 

“. . . and some very fine views on the Rhine, and of the more rugged beauties of Switzerland, are contributed by W. England, of London . . . in which the bold grandeur of the scenery is forcibly exhibited, form quite a collection; and the same may be said of the views of the Rhine, exhibited by Mr. William England, London.”[24]

 

  • 1870. Palais de l’Industrie, Champs Elysees, Paris, France. England exhibited as one of 15 photographers from his home country.[25]

 

  • 1871. International Exhibition. England displayed a series of landscapes.

 

  • 1872. 17th Photographic Society of London Exhibition. Number 303, “Photographs of Sculpture.” Number 304, “Halse’s ‘Advance Australia.’”

 

“Mr. England contributed only a few pictures, but they were quite worthy of him. There were eight views of statuary by this artist which possessed great beauty.”[26]

 

  • 1872. London International Exhibition. England exhibited a “frame of eight photos.”[27]

 

  • 1873. 18th Photographic Society of London Exhibition. Numbers 113, 114, 115, “Statuary of the International Exhibition, 1873.” Number 116, “The Albert Memorial.” Numbers 117, 118, 119, 120, “Statuary from the International Exhibition, 1873.” Number 516, “Cabinet Statuary for the Stereoscope (from the International Exhibition).”

 

“William England, who of late years has made statuary his especial study, shows some marvellous productions of the kind, soft and harmonious, and as solid apparently, as the originals; a graceful rendering of the Albert memorial is also exhibited by Mr. England.”[28]

 

  • 1874. 19th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Number 5, “Statuary in the International Exhibition, 1874 (12 subjects).”

 

“Mr. England shows a choice collection of photographs from statuary in the International Exhibition at present open. Being sole photographer in the “International” Mr. England has exceptional facilities for reproducing works of this description.”[29]

 

“Next to these, but yet unnumbered, appeared a series of twelve telling copies of marbles from the International Exhibition, by Mr. W. England – we presume a member of this Society’s Council.”[30]

 

  • 1874. Bengal Photographic Society Exhibition. England received a silver medal for his photographs of statuary. “On the reverse side of the same stand are a fine series of views in the Tyrol, Italy, Switzerland, and on the Rhine, by the well-known photographer, Mr. W. England. For transparency, relief, and pictorial effect these beautiful little photographs are unsurpassed by any in the exhibition.”[31]

 

“The admirable series of photographs of statuary by Mr. W. England merits particular attention for the delicacy and perfection of light and shade which characterize them. At first sight it would seem child’s play to photograph such subjects; but the manipulation of both negatives and prints, so as to produce the effect most suitable to each subject, and the proper direction of light and shade, so as to produce relief, and bring out the beauties of the work without deep black shadows on the one hand or flat blank whites on the other, demand considerable technical skill and artistic taste, and we quite agree with the judges that these beautiful pictures are worthy of the award of an extra silver medal.”[32]

 

  • 1874. International Exhibition, Albert Hall. “The views of Holland House are, we observe, from negatives taken by Mr. England. In addition to prints upon paper this company also exhibit a charming series of glass lantern transparencies of a most attractive tone.”[33]

 

“To Mr. William England has been entrusted the privilege of photographing the subjects in the present International Exhibition.”[34]

 

  • 1874. Photographic Society of France Exhibition, Palais de l’Industrie, Paris, France. England was awarded a medal. Other English medalists included Bedford, Johnson, Woodbury, D. Hedges and Brownrigg.[35]

 

  • 1875. 20th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Numbers 61, 62 and 63, “Copies of Oil-Paintings.” Numbers 64, 65, 66, “Copies of Sculpture.” Numbers 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, “Copy of a Painting.” Number 141, “Copy of Sculpture.” “Mr. England also contributes largely, his exhibits being confined to copies of paintings and sculpture. The latter will amply repay the most careful study, so skillfully has the lighting and general treatment been managed.”[36]

 

“Mr. England sends some very admirable reproductions from painting and sculpture; the excellence of his work causes regret that the paintings copied are in many cases so poor.”[37]

 

  • 1876. Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, United States. England displayed landscapes and sculpture, “some of them being fine in lighting and composition.”[38]

 

  • 1877. 22nd Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. England was awarded a medal “for the best Frame of Dry-Plate Photographs” for his Swiss views, numbers 26 to 34. Number 26, “Righi Staffel.” Number 27, “Valley of Grindelwald.” Number 28, “Interlaken.” Number 29, “Berne.” Number 30, “Pont du Chemin de Fer.” Number 31, “Lake of Thun.” Number 32, “The Jungfrau.” Number 33, “Berne.” Number 34, “On the Road to Grindelwald.” Number 84, “Grindelwald.” Number 85, “The Jungfrau.” Number 86, “The Jungfrau.” Number 87, “Thun.” Number 38, “On the Road to Lauterbrunnen.” Number 89, “Interlaken.” Number 90, “On the Road Grindelwald.” Number 91, “On the Road to Grindelwald.” Number 92, “Attenburg, near Burne.” Number 343, “Statuary.” Number 543, “Revolving Stereoscope, with Views taken, and exhibited by.”

 

“To ascertain what can be done with dry plates in the hands of a capable artist the visitor has only to examine a series of Swiss views by Mr. England (Nos. 26-34).”[39]

 

“Mr. William England, whose Swiss photographs are so widely known, is represented here by numerous examples, remarkable for their extreme distinctness of definition. These are from dry plates.”[40]

 

“Respecting the medal for the best frame of dry-plate photographs awarded to Mr. William England for his Swiss Views, the President said that as specimens of dry-plate work they were perfect; and when the various difficulties arising from local colour – affecting distances combined with the foreground colours of a totally different nature were considered, they showed that some mastery had been obtained over dry-plate work when put in competition with wet.”[41]

 

“Mr. England has produced his splendid collection of Swiss views, in which (though no information is given in the catalogue regarding it) we think we can trace the delicacy due to albumen in the sensitive film, combine probably in some way or another with bromide of silver.”[42]

 

“The Swiss views of W. England, which occur very early in the catalogue, cannot fail to charm the spectator. “The Road to Grindelwals” (34) is particularly tender.”[43]

 

  • 1877. Edinburgh Photographic Society Exhibition. “Mr. Wm. England has sent a series of very exquisite pictures from dry plates, consisting of views in Switzerland, Belgium, & c.”[44]

 

“A silver medal for the best landscape of 8 ½ x 6 ½ or under to Mr. Wm. England, 7 St. James’s square, Notting-hill, London, for his picture The Wetterhorn (No. 768), from a dry plate. Characteristics: fine aerial perspective, with both foreground and extreme distance in good keeping.”[45]

 

“In landscape photographs the Exhibition is very rich. If there are any who still have a doubt as to the suitability of dry plates for the very highest class of work in this direction, they have only to look at the exhibits of Mr. Wm. England to have the doubt dispelled. Hung together are six charming views in Switzerland, Italy, and Savoy, so soft, yet full of brilliant detail, and most perfect gradation, even when, as is generally the case, such difficult combinations as summer foliage and snow-clad mountains are included. Where all are so excellent, it is difficult to particularize; but we may mention “Monk and Eiger from St. Beatenburg” (No. 767) as a work of rare merit. The foreground is the bank of a lake, with finely-grouped trees on the right and left, and a few well-arranged figures in the centre. The middle distance includes groups of grand mountains, whose shadows are more or less indefinitely mirrored on the bosom of the lake, and, rising high behind all, are the beautiful snowy peaks so well known to travellers in the district.”[46]

 

  • 1877. West Riding of Yorkshire Photographic Society Exhibition, Belle Vue Hotel, Bradford. “The views of Swiss scenery shown by Mr. W. England in his well-known style need no comment.”[47]

 

  • 1878. 23rd Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Number 172, “View in the Avenue of Nations.” Number 173, “Monaco Pavilion in the Gardens.” Number 174, “English Country House. (erected by Collinson and Lock).” Number 175, “View in the Austrian Section.” Number 176, “Portuguese Pavilion, Avenue of Nations.” Number 177, “Exhibition, Principal Entrance.” Number 178, “Gateway of the Portuguese Pavilion.” Number 179, “Façade of the Spanish Pavilion.” Number 180, “View in the Gardens.” Number 181, “United States Pavilion.” Number 182, “View in the Gallery de Jena.” Number 183, “Spanish Pavilion.” Number 184, “View in the Avenue of Nations.” Number 185, “Gallery de Jena, Indian Section.” Number 186, “View in the Gardens.” Number 187, “French Fine Art Pavilion.” Number 188, “Swiss Pavilion.” Number 189, “View in the Pavilion of Fine Arts.” Number 190, “Pavilion of the Central States of America.” Number 191, “View in the Avenue of Nations.” Number 192, “Pavilion of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales (designed by Gilbert R. Redgrave).” Number 193, “Old English Mansion. (erected by Cubitt & Co.).” Number 194, “View of the Trocadero.” Number 349, “Transparencies.”

 

“A large collection of noteworthy photographs taken in Paris transport the sympathetic observer to the Great International Exhibition now open in that city. The twenty-three views of various interesting scenes in the World’s Fair, selected by Mr. England for exhibition, have been executed with all that care and skill for the possession of which Mr. England has obtained a world-wide reputation. Those who, on visiting the French Exhibition, have had to hurry past numerous beautiful architectural and other details are here enabled to revisit such scenes once more, pictorially, and dwell at leisure on the structural peculiarities of each.”[48]

 

  • 1878. Exposition Universelle, Paris, France. England served as a juror for the exhibition. He also displayed “a collection of views and sculpture” and “instantaneous views of the ceremony, having understood they had made applications for the necessary official permission to photograph generally the Exhibition.”[49]

 

  • 1878. Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, 46th Annual Exhibition. View numbers 658 to 672 titled “Views in Switzerland.”

 

“For the best landscape by the collodion emulsion process, size not less than 9 x 7 inches. First silver medal to W. England, for his splendid Swiss view, No. 666. Mr. England exhibits fifteen gems – views in Switzerland – all in his well-known style, possessing the highest artistic excellence. They are full of atmosphere – broad, yet exquisite in detail.”[50]

 

  • 1880. Bristol and West of England Amateur Photographic Association’s International Exhibition. “Mr. William England is also represented by a couple of dozen 12 x 10 Swiss views of magnificent quality. These, again, are produced from gelatine plates, and are equal, if not superior, to any of the artist’s work in the same class with wet collodion – and that, too, in those points where gelatine is usually supposed to be far inferior to collodion. The power possessed by gelatine, in capable hands, of rendering at once foreground and distance is well exemplified in Near Chamounix (No. 281) and Mount Blanc and the Valley of Chamounix (No. 286.) The strong shadows cast by the Swiss sun, which are so difficult to soften down in a photograph, are full of detail, and are rendered in perfect harmony with the delicate gradations of the distant snow-clad peaks. Surely the detractors of gelatine must, ere long, be convinced that it is the operator, and not the process, which should be blamed for the inferior results said to be produced by gelatine.”[51]

 

“Mr. William England and Mr. Bedford are too well known for their fine pictures to require dwelling on here . . . Those who do not quite realise the meaning of the words “breadth” and “atmosphere” could not study them better than in Mr. England’s pictures; these will at once reveal their full meaning.”[52]

 

  • 1881. 26th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Number 3 titled “The Pisevache, near Martigny, Switzerland.” Number 4 titled “Place de Beltir, Geneva.” Number 5 titled “Village of Zermatt.” Number 6 titled “Valley of Chamounix. (Landscape and clouds, taken with one exposure).” Number 7 titled “Matterhorn, Zermatt.” Number 8 titled “Matterhorn, Zermatt.” Number 9 titled “Matterhorn, Zermatt and Lake on the Riffleberg.” Number 10 titled “Mont Blanc: Village of Chamounix.” Number 11 titled “Mont Blanc Range.” Number 12 titled “St. Nicolas, Valley of Zermatt.” Number 13 titled “Mont Blanc Range.” Number 14 titled “Valley of Chamounix.” Number 15 titled “View on the Imperial Route.” Number 16 titled “Village and Valley of Chamounix.” Number 17 titled “Monument to the Duke of Brunswick, Geneva. (Clouds and view, one exposure).” Number 18 titled “View on the Imperial Route.” Number 19 titled “Pass of the Tete Noire.” Number 20 titled “Village of Chamounix.” Number 342 titled “Gorge St. Gervois, Savoy.” Number 343 titled “Gorge of Trient, Switzerland.”

 

“Mr. William England receives a medal for a series of Swiss views (Nos. 3 to 20), many of which we have reviewed before in connection with the late Bristol International Exhibition. The special feature of these pictures is the admirable manner in which the dark foregrounds are rendered in conjunction with the snowy peaks – in many cases miles distant – without producing heaviness in the one case or destroying the delicacy of detail in the other. Three views of The Matterhorn (Nos. 7, 8, and 9) especially show this. In The Village of Chamounix (No. 20) – in addition to the dark foreground and delicate distance – we have in the middle distance white houses partly in sunshine and partly in shade, which leave nothing to be desired on the score of rendering.”[53]

 

  • 1881. Manchester Photographic Society Exhibition. “. . . the soft and brilliant Alpine views of Mr. W. England, are as conspicuous here as at London . . .”[54]

 

  • 1882. Dundee and East of Scotland Photographic Association Exhibition. England exhibited landscape photographs of Swiss scenery. “Bronze Medal for second best series of (not fewer than six) Landscapes, of 8 1/2 x 6 1/2, or under: Mr. W. England, London.”[55]

 

“Mr. William England, London, exhibits some very charming specimens of Swiss scenery. The pictures are hung exactly on the line, and are well seen.”[56]

 

  • 1882. Third Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America. “Among the pictures from Europe was . . . a charming selection of Swiss pictures, by Mr. Wm. England.”[57] 

 

  • 1883. 28th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. England was awarded a medal for his work. Number 66 titled “Sulzeck Tunnel.” Number 67 titled “St. Gothard Railway.” Number 322 titled “Wasen in Winter. (Gelatine plates, own make).” Number 323 titled Three Brides at Wasen.” Number 324 titled “Wasen in Summer.” Number 325 titled “View at Wasen.” Number 326 titled “Railway Bridge over the Reuss.” Number 327 titled “View at Intsch.” Number 328 titled “View at Wasen.” Number 329 titled “Fluelin, Lake of Lucerne.” Number 330 titled “Amstaig.”

 

“Mr. William England’s Swiss views (Nos. 322-330), in his usual style, formed a feature amongst the landscapes, from which we select No. 329 as the best.”[58]

 

“A frame of lantern transparencies, by Messrs. England Brothers, possess a charming tone for effective exhibition on an enlarged scale, being of a rich purplish-black. Their views of Swiss scenery, from negatives by Mr. W. England, display great delicacy of gradation in the distances, with ample vigour in the shadows. They also exhibit some good transparencies of statuary.”[59]

 

  • 1883. Second International Exhibition of the Association Belge de Photographie, Palais des Beuax Arts, Paris, France. England was awarded a silver medal for Swiss mountain views. “Mr. W. England’s mountain scenery is, as usual, so charming that we could wish the pictures were larger, so that no visitor to the Exhibition might miss them.”[60]

 

  • 1884. 29th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Number 297 titled “Views in Switzerland.” England also served as Judge along with James Glaisher, William Bedford, William F. Donkin, John E. Mayall, William Mayland and Andrew Pringle.

 

“Mr. William England shows a single frame containing four late Swiss views, measuring something like 18 x 15. Mr. England’s work has been familiar to not only visitor to the annua exhibition, but to nearly the whole world, for years past; but, however good it has been previously, we are constrained to confess that his late venture into a large size seems to us to show better work than ever.”[61]

 

“Photography is fast advancing its claims to be regarded as an art as well as a scientific and mechanical process, and in place of the clear hard backgrounds and disproportionate dark foreground patches that used to characterize landscape scenery under the lens, it is now possible to represent mist-clad hills, delicate gradations of distance, and soft shadows. This is especially instanced in Mr. W. England’s beautiful views in Switzerland . . .”[62]

 

  • 1884. Sheffield Photographic Society Exhibition, Cutlers’ Hall. The annual exhibition opened on January 7, 1884.[63]

 

  • 1884. Glasgow Photographic Association Exhibition, Christian Institute.[64]

 

  • 1884. Newcastle-on-Tyne and Northern Counties’ Photographic Association. The exhibition was held at the College of Physical Science at Newcastle. England served as a judge along with W. Bedford, W. F. Donkin, J. E. Mayall, W. Mayland and Andrew Pringle.[65]

 

  • 1887. 32nd Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Number 242 titled “Four Views of Goring.” Numbers 362, 363 and 364 titled “Street Views of London (Taken from a Tricycle)”. England also served as Judge.

 

“William England (No. 362), Street Views of London.–This frame and two others contain small photographs taken from a tricycle. Here we have work by this well-known exhibitor which constitutes a departure from his usual Swiss scenes. The realistic part has been enriched by choosing moving objects, when they were in a position to add increased value to the streets and buildings depicted.”[66]

 

  • 1887. Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Exhibition. “Mr. W. England, of London, sends some small instantaneous pictures taken on a tricycle, which are very perfect and natural.”[67]

 

  • 1888. 33rd Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Number 581 titled “Revolving Stereoscope, with Slides.”

 

  • 1889. 34th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Number 687, “Revolving Stereoscope.” England also served as Judge.

 

  • 1889. Paris International Exhibition. England served as a juror, working as the foreman of the British photographic section, receiving the thanks of H.R.H., the Princess of Wales.

 

  • 1890. 35th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. England served as a Judge.

 

  • 1891. International Photographic Exhibition, Leeds. England served as a Judge along with A. Pringle, V. Blanchard, J. Gale and F. P. Cembrano.[68]

 

  • 1892. 37th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. “Slides by Mr. W. England.” England also served as Judge along with F. P. Cembrano, W. E. Debenham, F. Hollyer, and J. Traill Taylor.[69]

 

  • 1893. 38th Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. Number 14 titled “Clouds descending the Valley. Taken from the Hotel du Lac Noir, Zermatt. (Bromide Enlargement).” Number 158 titled “View in the Zermatt Valley. (Bromide Enlargement).” Number 287 titled “Dome et Aguille du Goute, Chamounix. (Bromide Enlargement).” Number 297 titled “Glacier de Bossons, Chamounix. (Bromide Enlargement).”

 

“14, a bromide enlargement of descending clouds, by Wm England is noticeable for the fine rendering of the clouds.”[70]

 

  • 1893. Hackney Photographic Society Exhibition. England was awarded a silver medal for “open lantern slides.” “Other good work in the Class was shown by Messrs. W. England (The Matterhorn).”[71]

 

  • 1893. Lille Photographic Exhibition. England was awarded a silver medal for his Alpine studies.[72]

 

  • 1893. Bristol International Photographic Exhibition. England displayed a series of Alpine views.[73]

 

  • 1894. Royal Aquarium Photographic Exhibition. England displayed a series of Alpine views.[74]

 

  • 1894. Ealing Photographic Society Exhibition. England served as a judge.[75]

 

  • 1895. 40th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society. Number 326 titled “Aiguille Verte, Chamonix.” Number 327 titled “Glacier die Boissons, Chamonix.” Number 328 titled “Mont Blanc from Argenterre.” Number 339 titled “View at St. Michel, Savoie.” Number 340 titled “View in Suterlaken.” Number 341 titled “Lake near Pontresina, Engadine.”

 

  • 1895. Leeds Photographic Society Exhibition, City Art Gallery, Leeds. The exhibit opened on September 24, 1895 and was expected to last approximately two months. The event was curated by George Birkett. “Mr. W. England shows several small Swiss views, which he has vignetted. Vignetted landscapes, however, do not meet with much favour [sic] nowadays, and the rarity with which they are produced makes them look all the more old-fashioned and, as it were, artificial.”[76]

 

  • 1895. Photographic Exhibition at the Imperial Institute, South Kensington. In the historical division, “some interesting old Daguerreotypes, shown by Mr. W. England.”[77]

 

  • 1895. Derby Photographic Society, Outdoor Meeting Competition. England served as a judge for the competition.[78]

 

  • 1895. Linked Ring, 3rd Annual Photographic Society, Dudley Gallery. “The vignetted subjects by W. England, in both the galleries, are excellent examples of good commercial topographic work, but they fail to interest one apart from their subjects.”[79]

 

  • 1896. 41st Annual Exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society. “In Memoriam, a portrait of the late William England (146), by Andrew Pringle, has a sad interest of its own in the exhibition which the sitter helped to prepare.”[80]

 

  • 1897. Imperial Victorian Loan Exhibition, Crystal Palace. “In the cases are to be seen one of the finest collection of Daguerreotypes ever got together . . . There are also instantaneous Daguerreotypes, one of New York Harbour, taken later on, lent, amongst others, by Mr. L. W. England, in which the frame of the paddle wheels of a steamer, and the waves, are as sharp as in modern work, as well as an excellent picture of Daguerre himself.”[81] Also displayed were the actual Daguerreotype equipment used by the late William England.

 

  • 1898. Royal Photographic Society Exhibition. “Yet work still unsurpassed, and instantaneous views even, were taken quite as good as those taken nowadays on gelatine plates. Examples of these, by the late Mr. William England and by Mr. Valentine Blanchard – taken 1856-1865 – are shown which prove it. Some of the primitive apparatus used in the Daguerreotype process and the calotype and wax-paper processes have been quite a source of amusement to some, yet withal the older workers managed to obtain excellent results with it, and it is doubtful if they could have surpassed them even with the most modern of apparatus, though, of course, they would have obtained them with for less inconvenience to themselves.”[82]
 

[1] “Exhibition Gossip. The Awards of the Jurors.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 9. August 1, 1862. Liverpool: Henry Greenwood, 1862. pp. 289-290.

[2] “Notes of the Month.” The British Journal of Photography.” Vol. 8. August 1, 1862. Liverpool: Henry Greenwood, 1862. p. 297.

[3] “Photographic Pictures.” Record of the International Exhibition, 1862. London: William Mackenzie, 1862. p. 576.

[4] “Glasgow Photographic Association.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 10. March 2, 1863. Liverpool: Henry Greenwood, 1863. pp. 103-106.

[5] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The Photographic News. Vol. 9, No. 349. May 12, 1865. pp. 217-218.

[6] “The Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 12. June 9, 1865. London: Henry Greenwood, 1865. p. 305.

[7] “Photography at the Dublin International Exhibition.” The Photographic News. Vol. 9. August 25, 1865. London: Thomas Piper, 1865. p. 399.

[8] “Photography at the Dublin Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 12. October 6, 1865. London: Henry Greenwood, 1865. p. 512.

[9] “The Dublin Exhibition – Photographic Department.” The Journal of The Photographic Society of London. Vol. 10, No. 160. August 15, 1865. p. 123.

[10] “North London Photographic Exhibition.” The Photographic News. Vol. 9. September 29, 1865. London: Thomas Piper, 1865. p. 459.

[11] “Photographic Society of Scotland.” The British Journal of Photography. March 16, 1866. p. 128.

[12] “Paris Universal Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 14. August 23, 1867. London: Henry Greenwood, 1867. pp. 398-399.

[13] “Exhibition Soiree of the London Photographic Society.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 14. November 22, 1867. London: Henry Greenwood, 1867. pp. 555-556.

[14] “Photography at the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12. May 1, 1868. London: Piper and Carter, 1868. p. 209.

[15] “Fine Arts Department.” The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society. The Thirty-Fifth Annual Report. 1867. Falmouth: Heard and Sons. 1867. p. 34.

[16] “Exhibition of the Photographic Society.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12, No. 532. November 13, 1868. London: Piper and Carter, 1868. pp. 541-542.

[17] “Lux Graphics on the Wing.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12. November 20, 1868. London: Piper and Carter, 1868.  p. 560.

[18] “Photographic Exhibition at Groningen.” The Photographic News. Vol. 13. August 20, 1869. London: Piper and Carter, 1869. p. 400.

[19] “Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society’s Report.” The Photographic News. Vol. 14. April 14, 1870. p. 180.

[20] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The Photographic News. Vol. 13. December 10, 1869. p. 588.

[21] “The Exhibition of the London Photographic Society.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 16. November 18, 1869. p. 556.

[22] “Manchester Photographic Society.– Soiree and Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 16. March 5, 1869. p. 114.

[23] “Photographic Exhibition at Manchester.” The Photographic News. Vol. 14. March 4, 1870. pp. 106-107.

[24] “Exhibition of the Manchester Photographic Society. The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 17. March 11, 1870. London: Henry Greenwood, 1870. p. 114.

[25] “Correspondence.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 17. June 17, 1870. London: Henry Greenwood, 1870. p. 284.

[26] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 19. December 6, 1872. London: Henry Greenwood, 1872. p. 576.

[27] “West Quadrant. Engravings, Etchings, Lithographs, and Photographs.” London International Exhibition, 1872. London: J. M. Johnson & Sons, 1872. p. 103.

[28] “The Exhibition of 1873.” The Photographic Journal. October 21, 1873. pp. 2-3.

[29] “Exhibition of the Photographic Society.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 21. October 16, 1874. pp. 492-493.

[30] “The Annual Exhibition of the Photographic Society of Great Britain.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 21. October 23, 1874. p. 510.

[31] “The Bengal Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 21.  April 3, 1874. London: Henry Greenwood, 1874. pp. 162-163.

[32] “The Bengal Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 21. April 3, 1874. London: Henry Greenwood, 1874. pp. 162-163.

[33] “Photographs at the International Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 21. May 8, 1874. p. 219.

[34] “Photographs at the International Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 21. April 10, 1874. London: Henry Greenwood, 1874. p. 169.

[35] “Medalists of the French Exhibition of Photographs.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 21. July 17, 1874. London: Henry Greenwood, 1874. p. 343.

[36] “The Photographic Exhibition. The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 22. October 15, 1875. London: Henry Greenwood, 1875. pp. 496-497.

[37] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The Photographic News. Vol. 19. October 29, 1875. London: Piper and Carter, 1875. pp. 522-523.

[38] “English Photographs at the Philadelphia Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 23. September 22, 1876. pp. 453-454.

[39] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 24, No. 910. October 12, 1877. pp. 487-488.

[40] “The Photographic Society of Great Britain.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 24. October 26, 1877. p. 514.

[41] “Photographic Society of Great Britain.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 24. November 16, 1877. pp. 547-548.

[42] “Opinions of the London Press on the Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 24. November 23, 1877. p. 560.

[43] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The Photographic News. Vol. 21. November 23, 1877. London: Piper and Carter, 1877. p. 557.

[44] “Edinburgh Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 24, No. 870. January 5, 1877. London: Henry Greenwood, 1877. p. 3.

[45] “Edinburgh Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 24. January 12, 1877. London: Henry Greenwood, 1877. p. 15.

[46] “Edinburgh Photographic Exhibition.” The Photographic News. Vol. 21. January 19, 1877. London: Piper and Carter, 1877. p. 32.

[47] “West Riding of Yorkshire Photographic Society.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 24. December 14, 1877. pp. 596-597.

[48] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 25. October 25, 1878. pp. 505-505.

[49] “The French Exhibition.–Meeting of the Photographic Society of France.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 25. May 10, 1878. Pp. 224-226.

[50] “Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 25. September 6, 1878. p. 426.

[51] “Bristol and West of England Amateur Photographic Association’s International Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 27. December 31, 1880. pp. 627-628.

[52] “Art Notes at the Bristol Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 28. January 14, 1881. London: Henry Greenwood, 1881. p. 17.

[53] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 28. October 14, 1881. p. 527.

[54] “The Manchester Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 28. December 2, 1881. pp. 624-625.

[55] “Exhibition of the Dundee and East of Scotland Photographic Association.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 29. February 10, 1882. p. 79.

[56] “Exhibition of the Dundee and East of Scotland Photographic Association.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 29. February 24, 1882. pp. 106-107.

[57] “Third Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 29. September 8, 1882. pp. 520-522

[58] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 30. November 23, 1883. pp. 701-702.

[59] “Transparencies at the Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 30. November 9, 1883. p. 674.

[60] “The Second International Exhibition of the Association Belge de Photographie.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 30. September 7, 1883. pp. 526-527.

[61] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 31. November 14, 1884. London: Henry Greenwood, 1884. p. 724.

[62] “The Photographic Society of Great Britain.” Daily News (London). October 6, 1884. p. 6.

[63] “Sheffield Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 31. January 11, 1884. London: Henry Greenwood, 1884. p. 27.

[64] “Glasgow Photographic Association.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 31. February 22, 1884. London: Henry Greenwood, 1884. p. 125.

[65] “Newcastle-on-Tyne and Northern Counties’ Photographic Association.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 31. February 22, 1884. London: Henry Greenwood, 1884. p. 125.

[66] “The Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 34. November 4, 1887. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1887. pp. 692-693.

[67] “The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 34. September 16, 1887. London: Henry Greenwood, 1887. p. 588.

[68] “Leeds Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 38. December 11, 1891. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1891. p. 800.

[69] “The Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 39. September 2, 1892. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1892. p. 565.

[70] “Photographic Society of Great Britain.” The Amateur Photographer. Vol. 18, July–December 1893. October 6, 1893. p. 221.

[71] “Hackney Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 40. October 27, 1893. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1893. p. 689.

[72] The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 40. June 30, 1893. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1893. p. 416.

[73] “Bristol International Photographic Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 40. December 22, 1893. London: Henry Greenwood, 1893. p. 812.

[74] “Photographic Exhibition at the Royal Aquarium.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 41. September 14, 1894. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1894. p. 586.

[75] “Ealing Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 41. November 30, 1894. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1894. p. 764.

[76] “The Leeds Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 42. September 27, 1895. pp. 615-616.

[77] “The Photographic Exhibition at the Imperial Institute.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 42. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1895. p. 332.

[78] “Derby Photographic Society.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 43. May 1, 1896. p. 286.

[79] “The Two Great Exhibitions.” Photograms of the Year. London: Dawbarn & Ward, 1895. p. 66.

[80] “The Great Exhibitions.” Photograms of the Year, 1896. London: Dawbarn & Ward, Ltd., 1896. p. 92.

[81] “The Photographic Exhibition at the Crystal Palace.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 44. May 14, 1897. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1897. p. 307.

[82] “Some Lessons of the Royal Photographic Society’s Exhibition.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 45. May 13, 1898. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1898. p. 306.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1859 alpine America in the Stereoscope Blondin Britain Catskills England exhibit Fawn's Leap International Exhibition Ireland Italy Kaaterskill Clove Kaaterskill Falls Kauterskill Falls landscape Laurel House London Stereoscopic Company mountains Niagara Falls North American Series North Lake photographer photographs photography Plattekill Clove Plauterkill Clove Rhine scenery statuary stereoscope stereoscopic stereoviews Switzerland waterfalls William England https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-8 Sat, 09 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
William England and His 1859 Tour of the Catskills (Part 7) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-7 Introduction

 

William England (1830-1896) was a 19th century British photographer who was widely known for his travel images. He was an early adopter of photography, operating a studio in the late 1840s, less than ten years after the daguerreotype was created by French inventor Louis Daguerre. England’s 1859 trip through the United States, including a visit to the Catskills, and Canada gained widespread praise. His image of Charles Blondin tightrope walking across the Niagara Gorge is among the top selling stereoviews of all time. Although largely forgotten today, William England was considered one of the great photographers of his era.

 

 

Continued from Part 6.

 

Publications

 

“ . . . it is well known to all those who have the advantage of Mr. England’s friendship, that when he advises a given course, or when he published a process, it is certain to be practical and trustworthy.”

 

 

“Another very important practical article in the ALMANAC is from the pen of Mr. England; for how can such a man as this put pen to paper without teaching us something valuable from the stores of his immense practical experience.”

 

 

England was widely published in the leading photographic industry magazines of the day, with his articles most frequently highlighting his various technical processes. A few examples of England’s publications are listed below.

 

  • 1862. “On a Method of producing Photographic Transparencies and Instantaneous Negatives.” The Journal of The Photographic Society of London. Vol. 8, No. 120, April 15, 1862. London: Taylor and Francis. pp.24-26.
  • 1862. "On a Rapid Dry Process, Printing Transparencies, and Remarks on 'Instantaneous Photography.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 9, No. 164. April 15, 1862. p. 143.
  • 1862. “On a Method of Producing Photographic Transparencies and Instantaneous Negatives.” The Photographic Journal. Vol. 8, No. 120. April 15, 1862. pp. 24-26.
  • 1862. “The Tannin Process – Transparencies – Instantaneous Photography. The Photographic News. Vol. 6, No. 188. April 11, 1862. London: Thomas Piper, 1862. p. 175.

 

  • 1863. “On a Simple Method of choosing Glass suited for the Operating-room.” The Journal of the Photographic Society of London. Vol. 8, No. 130, February 16, 1863. London: Taylor and Francis. p.222.
  • 1863. “Recovery of Gold and Silver from Waste Photographic Materials.” The Photographic News. Vol. 7, No. 245. May 15, 1863. London: Thomas Piper, 1863. p. 234.
  • 1863. “A Neat Mode of Washing Sensitive Plates.” The Photographic News. Vol. 7, No. 251. June 26, 1863. London: Thomas Piper, 1863. p. 304.

 

  • 1866. “Recovering the Gold from Old Toning Baths.” The Photographic News. May 4, 1866. London: Thomas Piper, 1866. p. 209.
  • 1866. “Hints to Photographic Tourists.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac, for 1866. London: Office of the Photographic News, 1866. pp. 48-50.
  • 1866. “The Discussion on the Organic Iron Developer.” The Photographic News. Vol. 10, No. 384. January 12, 1866. London: Thomas Piper, 1866. p. 23.
  • 1866. “Recovering Silver from Ashes.” The Photographic News. Vol. 10, No. 429. November 23, 1866. London: Thomas Piper, 1866. p. 563.

 

  • 1867. “Resin in Collodion.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1867. London: Thomas Piper, 1867. pp. 34-35.
  • 1867. "On the Preservation, Restoration and Perfection of Negatives.” (Read before the London Photographic Society, January 8, 1867), in: The Philadelphia Photographer. Vol. 4, No. 40. April 1867, pp. 108-110. Also, The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 14, No. 350. January 18, 1867. pp. 24-25.
  • 1867. “Collodio-Albumen Process Requiring but One Sensitising Bath.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1867. London: Thomas Piper, 1867. pp. 55-56.
  • 1867. “England’s Modified Collodion-Albumen Process.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 14, No. 362. April 12, 1867. London: Henry Greenwood, 1867. p. 167.
  • 1867. “A Modification of the Collodio-Albumen Process, Requiring but One Sensitising Bath.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 14. April 18, 1867. London: Henry Greenwood, 1867. p. 181.
  • 1867. “Mr. England’s Method of Cleaning and Modifying Intensity of Varnished Negatives.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1867. London: Office of the Photographic News, 1867. p. 64.

 

  • 1869. “Aphorisms for Photographers.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1869. London: Piper and Carter, 1869. p. 15.
  • 1869. “Impure Water and Dry Plate Failures.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1869. London: Piper and Carter, 1869. pp. 33-34.
  • 1869. “On the Preservation of Negatives.” The Photographic News. Vol. 13, No. 546. February 19, 1869. London: Piper and Carter, 1869. pp. 88-89.
  • 1869. “Treatment of the Printing Bath.” The Photographic Journal. June 15, 1869. pp. 65-66.
  • 1869. “Mr. England’s Method of Preparing Collodion.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1870. London: Piper and Carter, 1869. pp. 87-88.

 

  • 1870. “Rain-Water for Photography.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1870. London: Piper and Carter, 1870. pp. 30-31.
  • 1870. “Note on the Varnishing of Negatives.” The Photographic News. London: Piper and Carter, 1870. January 21, 1870. p. 32.
  • 1870. “Which is the Best Dry Process? Mr. England on the Relative Merits of Dry Processes.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 17, No. 523. May 13, 1870. pp. 215-216.
  • 1870. “Remarks on the Dry-Plate Process.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 17, No.  524. May 20, 1870. p. 231.
  • 1870. “New Method of Treating a Discolored Printing Bath.” Photographic Mosaics. Philadelphia: Benerman & Wilson, 1870. p. 103.

 

  • 1871. “Some Hints on Development.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1871. London: Piper and Carter, 1871. pp. 32-33.
  • 1871. “Modified Morphine Process.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1871. London: Piper and Carter, 1871. p. 91.
  • 1871. “How to Make a Negative Nitrate Bath.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac and Photographer’s Daily Companion for 1871. Liverpool: H. Greenwood, 1871. pp. 81-82.
  • 1871. “Developing Dishes.” The Photographic News. Vol. 15, No. 647. January 27, 1871. London: Piper and Carter, 1871. p. 39.
  • 1871. “Practical Hints on the Preservation of Negatives.” The Photographic Journal. No. 223. March 21, 1871. pp. 62-66.

 

  • 1872. "Talc as a protection to negatives.” British Journal Photographic Almanac, and Photographer's Daily Companion 1872. p. 52.
  • 1872. “A Ready Mode of Drying Albumenized Paper.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1872. London: Piper and Carter, 1872. p. 35.

 

  • 1873. “On Copying Sculpture.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1873. London: Piper and Carter, 1873. pp. 29-30.

 

  • 1875. “Hints and Suggestions.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1875. London: Piper and Carter, 1873. p. 5.

 

  • 1878. “On Dry Plate Processes.” The Photographic News. Vol. 22, No. 1029. May 24, 1878. London: Piper and Carter, 1878. pp. 241-243.

 

  • 1880. “The England Drying Box.” The Photographic News. Vol. 24, No. 1129. April 23, 1880. London: Piper and Carter, 1880. p. 201.
  • 1880. “On a Drying-box for Gelatine Plates.” The Photographic Journal. New Series, Vol. 4, No. 6. April 16, 1880. pp. 97-98.
  • 1880. “Iodine in Gelatine Emulsion.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 27, No. 1073. November 26, 1880. p. 575.
  • 1880. “How to Treat Negatives that are to be Printed Before Varnishing.” The Photographic News. Vol. 24, No. 1129. April 23, 1880. London: Piper and Carter, 1880. p. 100.

 

  • 1881. “On Washing Gelatine Emulsion.” The Photographic News. Vol. 25, No. 1216. December 23, 1881. London: Piper and Carter, 1881. p. 607.
  • 1881. “A Simple Method of Enamelling Prints.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac, and Photographer’s Daily Companion for 1880. London, Ross & Co. pp. 162-163.
  • 1881. “The Slow Development of Gelantine Plates.” The Year-Book of Photography, and Photographic News Almanac for 1881. London: Piper and Carter, 1881. pp. 112-113.
  • 1881. “Reducing Over-Printed Proofs.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 28, No. 1099. May 27, 1881. London: Henry Greenwood, 1881. p. 264.
  • 1881. “Mr. England’s Drying-Box for Gelatine Plates.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac, and Photographer’s Daily Companion for 1881. London: Ross & Co., 1880. pp. 241-242.

 

  • 1882. “A Transparent Paper for Backing Negatives.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac, and Photographer’s Daily Companion for 1882. London: Ross & Co., 1882. p. 99.
  • 1882. “England’s Method of Reducing Over-Printed Proofs.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac, and Photographer’s Daily Companion for 1882. London: Ross & Co., 1882. pp. 207-208.
  • 1882. “The Breakage of Negatives.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 29, No. 1141. March 17, 1882. London: Henry Greenwood, 1882. pp. 157-158.
  • 1882. “Electric Light in the Dark Room.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 29, No. 1143. March 31, 1882. London: Henry Greenwood, 1882. p. 190.
  • 1882. “A Knapsack Tent.” The Journal and Transactions of the Photographic Society of Great Britain. New Series, Vol. 6, No. 8. May 19, 1882. pp. 158-161.

 

  • 1883. “The Daguerreotype Process in Practice.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1883.  London: Piper and Carter, 1883. pp. 100-101.
  • 1883. “Collodion Emulsion.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 30, No. 1206. June 15, 1883. London: Henry Greenwood, 1883. p. 349.

 

  • 1886. “Development.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac, and Photographer’s Daily Companion for 1886. London: Ross & Co., 1886. pp. 215-216.
  • 1886. “England on Development.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1886. pp. 166-167.

 

  • 1887. “A Print-Washing Machine.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1887. London: Piper and Carter, 1887. pp. 103-104.

 

  • 1888. “Photography on Wheels.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1888. London: Piper and Carter, 1888. pp. 93-94.

 

  • 1889. “Cleaning and Copying Daguerreotypes.” The British Journal Photographic Almanac, and Photographer’s Daily Companion 1889. London: Ross & Co., 1889. pp. 573-574.

 

  • 1890. “Mr. William England’s Flash Lamp.” The Year-Book of Photography and Photographic News Almanac for 1890. London: Piper and Carter, 1890. p. 167.
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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1859 alpine America in the Stereoscope Blondin Britain Catskills England exhibit Fawn's Leap International Exhibition Ireland Italy Kaaterskill Clove Kaaterskill Falls Kauterskill Falls landscape Laurel House London Stereoscopic Company mountains Niagara Falls North American Series North Lake photographer photographs photography Plattekill Clove Plauterkill Clove Rhine scenery statuary stereoscope stereoscopic stereoviews Switzerland waterfalls William England https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-7 Sat, 02 Apr 2022 12:15:00 GMT
William England and His 1859 Tour of the Catskills (Part 6) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-6

Introduction

 

William England (1830-1896) was a 19th century British photographer who was widely known for his travel images. He was an early adopter of photography, operating a studio in the late 1840s, less than ten years after the daguerreotype was created by French inventor Louis Daguerre. England’s 1859 trip through the United States, including a visit to the Catskills, and Canada gained widespread praise. His image of Charles Blondin tightrope walking across the Niagara Gorge is among the top selling stereoviews of all time. Although largely forgotten today, William England was considered one of the great photographers of his era.

 

 

Continued from Part 5.

 

Going on His Own

 

“Mr. William England is probably the largest Continental publisher of European views . . .” – The Photographic News.

 

“Mr. England has returned from his few months’ sojourn in the region of the Alps, with a stock of negatives of the charming scenery, the most perfect in photography, and the most uniform in excellence, that we have ever had the pleasure of examining.” – The Photographic News, 1864.

 

 

Circa 1863 William England left the LSC to establish his own photography business at 7 James’s Square in Notting Hill, London. He continued his foreign photographic journeys with trips to Switzerland (Views of Switzerland, 1863), Savoy (Views of Switzerland and Savoy), Italy (Views of Switzerland, Savoy and Italy), the Italian Alps (1866), the Rhine (Views of the Rhine and its Vicinity, 1867/68), Tyrol (A Choice Selection of Scenes in the Tyrol, 1868), France and Italy (1869), Rhineland (1870), Switzerland (1880), the St. Gothard District (1882), Switzerland (1885), Switzerland (1892), and other beautiful, tourist-friendly destinations. His images from Europe were as widely praised and as commercially successful as his earlier work in the United States and France.

 

In one of his first trips after becoming an independent photographer England traveled to Switzerland in the summer of 1863. The result was a series of 130 stereoviews titled Views of Switzerland. According to historian Paul Blair, England’s travels “took him to some of the most famous tourist spots: Geneva, Lausanne, Chillon Castle, Sallanches, Chamonix, Gorges du Trient, Martigny, Sion, Zermatt, Interlaken, Grindlewald, Lauterbrunnen, Reichenbach, Rosenlaui, Thun, Bern and Fribourg.”[1] With numerous subsequent trips to the Alps region, the series would later expand to include over 1,000 photographs and was retitled, first to Views of Switzerland and Savoy, and later to Views of Switzerland, Savoy and Italy.

 

L'Hospice du Grand St. Bernard et le Mont Velan. Suisse.L'Hospice du Grand St. Bernard et le Mont Velan. Suisse.

L'Hospice du Grand St. Bernard et le Mont Velan. Views of Switzerland. William England.

 

In an 1864 review of the Views of Switzerland and Savoy series The Photographic News emphatically praised England’s work, noting that the photographs were the best they had ever seen of the region.

 

“VIEWS OF SWITZERLAND AND SAVOY. Photographed by Wm. England.

 

Mr. England has returned from his few months’ sojourn in the region of the Alps, with a stock of negatives of the charming scenery, the most perfect in photography, and the most uniform in excellence, that we have ever had the pleasure of examining. They consist of cabinet pictures, album views, and stereographs. The series before us, consists of the latter, 130 in number, issued under the special patronage of the Alpine Club.

 

There are, perhaps, few subjects which better repay the photographer with satisfactory results, than Alpine scenery, especially if he be working for the stereoscope, and it might readily have been anticipated, with Mr. England’s well-known fine feeling and skillful manipulation that his Swiss photography should be unusually beautiful. The results before us will satisfy the anticipations of the most sanguine. We have seen excellent photographs of Alpine scenery before, but we have met with none that approach these as pictures, and few that equal them as photographs.

 

The admirable selection of subjects, the judicious choice of point of view, the rare fulness and gradation of tone, all combine to give this series unusual pictorial value. Perhaps, never was the value of bromo-iodized collodion more triumphantly illustrated than in these pictures. We have snow-clad peaks, and pine forests of deep green in the same pictures, each alternately in foreground and distance, rendered with perfect detail and softness. Here is the glistening, icy, broken surface of La Mer de Glace rendered with perfect texture, without an approach to chalkiness. Here are Mont Blanc, with a view of the Chemin de la Tete Noire, and a view of the Wetterhorn, each with foliage and figures in the foreground, and the snow-clad craggy summits of the mountains in the distance, rendered with equally tender gradations. Harmony is an essential quality of each picture, and there is not a white sky in all the pictures before us. In the more animated scenes on the Lake of Geneva, he is just as happy and successful. Some of the scenes on the lake, crowded with small craft, amongst which the feluccas with their wide stretching lateen sails are conspicuous, are very picturesque. On the lake also, we have exceeding fine views of the Chateau Chillon, awaking memories of Byron’s poem and Rousseau’s romance. To detail al that is beautiful, and describe all that is interesting, would require many columns; we must, therefore, content ourselves by recommending to our readers the series as containing some of the most charming pictures, and of the most perfect photographic studies that we have ever come under our notice.”[2]

 

Two years later, in 1866, The Photographic News reviewed England’s alpine work, again with overwhelming acclaim.

 

“In the selection of photographs of Swiss scenery before us, we have the highest perfection of landscape photography; in every technical point it would seem impossible to attain a higher degree of excellence than is here secured, and at the same time nothing is left to desire on the score of artistic rendering . . . the pictures before us far surpass all that we have seen before in almost every quality of excellence. There is an exquisite delicacy of gradation, an infinity of exquisitely marked demi-tones, which we have rarely seen even in very good photographs. With the greatest brilliancy and richness of contrast, there is scarcely a single space of object larger than a pepper corn of a pure white or pure black in any of the pictures; but still minute traces of these extremes are there, giving infinite value to all the gradations of mezzotint, and conferring great brilliancy on the whole.”[3]

 

As England sought to establish his own business independent of the London Stereoscopic Company, he faced the challenges typically associated with running your own business. In 1863 employees associated with England’s business complained of the working conditions, and took their complaints to the press.

 

“NOTTING HILL PHOTOGRAPHERS. –We always feel pleasure in advocating the interests of every class of photographic operatives; but we must remind our readers that the bargain between employers and employed, whether it refer to the hours of labour, the work done, or remuneration received, is entirely a personal question between the parties to the contract. We strongly recommend liberality to employers as good policy, and because photography is generally sufficient remunerative to justify liberality. But on the other hand it should be borne in mind that in winter a photographer’s working hours are necessarily short, and that no available light should be wasted in summer. We do not think there is much danger of over-work or under pay in the present state of the profession, inasmuch as the market is not so much stocked with thoroughly skilled workmen to induce any of them to accept injustice. Where there is good demand for any class of labour it will always command a fair price for reasonable hours. An employer who, under such circumstances, attempted to grind his people would soon find them leaving him for more liberal employers. Whatever grievance of this kind exists must soon right itself. We cannot offer a more definite opinion without knowing more of the circumstances, and hearing the case states by both sides.”[4]

 

One week after the initial complaints were published England responded in a letter to the editor of The Photographic News, providing details on the working conditions of his operation. Note England’s sarcastic finish when describing the sleeping habits of the discovered complainant.

 

“My dear sir,– In your last Number I saw, in the “Answers to Correspondents,” an allusion to some complaints emanating from the employees of a photographic establishment at Notting Hill.

 

As I know of no other business of that kind in the neighborhood than my own, I, in justice to myself, beg to offer you the other side of the question. In the first place, no one in my employ has worked more than seven hours and a half this winter and during short days and foggy weather. I will leave you to judge how much of that time could be profitably employed.

 

As the longer days are now coming in I desired the men to work nine hours per day and boys nine hours and a half. All time beyond that I have always paid for, both to men and boys.

 

A notion seems to have entered their heads that they should work the same hours only as operators employed in the close confinement of the dark room, and at that requiring infinitely more head work than printing, divided, as it is, into different branches, each one to his own department.

 

Several of my hands I could have well dispensed with, but having had their services through the summer, I have kept them through the winter, and at full wages too.

 

During this winter I have paid a lad to be here two hours before the others to get the workshops dry and warm, ready for the day’s operations.

 

I now, sir, leave you to judge how tyrannical has been my conduct.

 

Apologising [sic] for this troubling you, I remain, dear sir, your obediently. W. ENGLAND.

 

P.S.– Since writing the above I have discovered the chief mover in the affair to be an apprentice in the house, of whose character the best I can say (after an experience of five years) is that it is very difficult to get him out of bed before 9 o’clock in the morning.”[5]

 

In 1866 England can be found traveling through the Italian Alps. “Further on Mr. Foster, speaking of the glorious scenery of the Italian Alps, says “what would not a Wilson or an England effect here!” With many thanks for the great compliment he pays me I may also state that I have a series of views of the Italian Alps, procured during the summer of 1866, and which I am happy to say has been favourably received, both at home and abroad.”[6]

 

The series titled Views of the Rhine and its Vicinity, which included “the most striking and well-known subjects,” was published in 1867. England, using his own dry plate process, took over 400 negatives of Rhine scenery. The resulting published series was comprised of “80 stereo photographs of the Rhine from Cologne to Mayence, and of the Lahn and the Nahe. Priority is given to the big cities. There are 11 photographs of Cologne, Coblenz and the surrounding areas, 7 pictures of Wiesbaden, then a famous spa. However it is the Lahn which is well presented – there are 16 pictures. Photographs of the Moselle are lacking completely. There are only two pictures of Mayence, and four of the lower Nahe. This series also seems to be incomplete. Whether this is due to the unreliability of the dry plate procedure, to the lack of transport or perhaps other causes, it is hard to tell.”[7]

 

Abside de la Cathedrale de Limburg sur le LannAbside de la Cathedrale de Limburg sur le LannAbside de la Cathedrale de Limburg sur le Lann. Views of the Rhine and Its Vicinity. J. Paul Getty Museum.

Abside de la Cathedrale de Limburg sur le Lann. Views of the Rhine and Its Vicinity. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

The last statement around the “unreliability of the dry plate procedure” is disputed by the fact that England used dry plates extensively, and successfully, during his Rhine journey. “In dry collodion processes the year has been more rich in good results than in any other branch of the art. Simplicity, sensitiveness, and certainty have been attained in several processes in a higher degree than had before been secured in dry plates. A simplified collodio-albumen process, by Mr. England, in which the preparation of the plate is completed at one operation and with one bath, has been found in his own practice sufficiently trustworthy to be employed commercially instead of the wet process; and during the summer he obtained by it upwards of 400 negatives of the Rhine scenery.”[8]

 

Further confirming his confidence in dry plates, England, in the same year as his Rhine journey, published several articles regarding collodio-albumen process. One article, titled “Collodio-Albumen Process Requiring but One Sensitising Bath,” was published in The Year-Book of Photography and two articles, one of which was titled “England’s Modified Collodion-Albumen Process,” were published in The British Journal of Photography.

 

Marion and Company, operating at Soho square, offered the set of England’s Rhine photographs for sale. There were 72 different panoramic views for sale for 1 shilling each, or the complete set, bound in half morocco, with each picture in a linen joint, for £4. The 80 stereoscopic views were available for 1 shilling each.

 

Following his trip to the Rhine region the prior year, England travelled to Tyrol in the Alps region of Italy and Austria in 1868. The resulting series, titled A Choice Selection of Scenes in the Tyrol, is comprised of approximately 80 pictures, although England was known to add, delete and reorder his sets in order to attract and keep the public’s interest. As with his previous photographic series, the Tyrol series was highly regarded. “The views in the Tyrol, lately taken by Mr. England, are so excellent that they cannot but add to that gentleman’s high reputation.”[9] England’s photographic work in Tyrol is attributed with contributing to the growing development of the tourist industry there.

 

In 1869 England can found traveling in France and Italy, where he “spent a good portion of the year 1869 taking views on the whole route, from St. Michel to Susa, including the top of the pass – a most interesting journey. Of this series of views a portion was shown at our Exhibition of that year, and also at the International Exhibition last year [1871].”[10]

 

In addition to his travel and landscape photography, other sets released by England included Views of Sandringham (1863); Views of Holland House (c.1864); Collection d'Objets d'Artet de Curiosité de M. Le Duc de Morny (1865); Gems of Statuary by Eminent Sculptors (1870s); and the London Exhibitions of 1871, 1872, 1873 and 1874.

 

The Views of Sandringham series was published in 1863 to a popular reception. There were two series of views, one set that included fifteen large views and another set that included fifteen stereoscopic views. For the British public, noteworthy among the series were several portraits of the Prince and Princess of Wales. There were six individual photographs of the Prince, nine individual photographs of the Princess and six photographs of the Prince and Princess together. Other subjects included the exterior and interior of Sandringham Hall, the grounds with “a pretty sheet of water, with some fine old trees; and very effective combinations may be made of them with the house,” and Sandringham Church. One review noted that all the photographs were “likely to be of interest to the large number of loyal subjects who are brimming over with curiosity as to every detail of the life, walks, and ways of this happy and honoured pair.”[11]

 

The Princess. Views of Sandringham.The Princess. Views of Sandringham.London Stereoscopic Company. The Princess. [London: london stereoscopic and photographic company, between 1863 and 1901] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017651255/>.

The Princess. Views of Sandringham. London Stereoscopic Company. The Princess. [London: london stereoscopic and photographic company, between 1863 and 1901] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017651255/>.

 

The Photographic News reviewed the Sandringham series, noting that the scenery was rather “unpicturesque.” Nonetheless, William England still managed to produce a pleasing series of photographs and stereoscopic views, including portraits of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

 

“PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN AT SANDRINGHAM. By the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company.

 

To make good pictures out of unpicturesque subjects is a task more difficult than making bricks with straw. All that could be done for Sandringham in the shape of good photography and well chosen positions, has been done, however, by Mr. England and the staff of operators sent down by the Stereoscopic Company. The result is some really pleasing pictures of the hall and grounds, and surrounding neighborhood, both in stereoscopic and 10 by 8 pictures. In the production of portraits the task was easier. The Princess, always graceful and charming – the Prince, always pleasant, easy, and a gentleman, make good pictures in any style; and of the score of different positions, & c., produced by the company, there is not one bad. A group of the Prince and Princess, the latter sitting on a rustic garden-seat, and the Prince leaning against it, forms at once as pleasing a picture and satisfactory likeness as have yet been produced. This picture is published both in stereoscopic size and as a vignetted 10 by 8 picture for framing. All the portraits are good, but the group is a gem.”[12]

 

The Holland House, located at Kensington, and photographed by England in circa 1864, has a long and distinguished place in the history of London. The historic house was constructed in 1605 by Sir Walter Cope, and later passed through the Rich and Fox families. Originally called Cope Castle, the house takes its newer name from Henry Rich, the Earl of Holland, son-in-law of Walter Cope. The house was mostly destroyed in World War II during the German firebombing runs of the Blitz in October 1940.  

 

In 1865 England traveled to Paris to photograph the art collection of the late Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de Morny, or the Duc de Morny (1811-1865). “DUC DE MORNY’S PICTURES.–It is satisfactory to find the high status of our best English photographers so practically recognised [sic] on the continent. Mr. England has just returned from Paris with a large and very fine series of negatives from the magnificent collection of paintings and other articles of vertu of the late Duc de Morny, now dispersed, by the auctioneer’s inexorable hammer, to all quarters of the globe. Mr. England had the honour [sic] to receive a commission from the Duchess to execute the task, and has also received her gracious permission to publish the series, as a souvenir of this unique collection.”[13]

 

The Gems of Statuary series focused on the works of noteworthy sculptors. The photographs frequently portrayed a statue reflected in a mirror. Statuary works photographed by England included Hop Queen and Britannia Unveiling Australia by George Halse, Golden Age and Love Restraining Wrath by William Beattie, Paul and Virginia by Charles Cumberworth, Florence Nightingale by Theodore Phyffers, Ino and Bacchus by John Henry Foley (1818-1874), The Bather by Luchini, The Quarrelsome Blacksmith by Leopold Harze, The First Thorn of Life by R. A. Macdowell, Bashfulness by E. Braga, The Finish of a Run with Foxhounds by J. Willis Good, The Bather by Odoardo Tabacchi, Parting of the Lovers by H. R. H. Prince Christian, Cinderella by J. Hirt, I’m First Sir! by Giovanni Focardi, Little Girl with Dove by A. Itasse, Her Majesty the Queen by J. E. Boehm, to name but a few.

 

Paul and Virginia by Cumberworth.Paul and Virginia by Cumberworth.Paul and Virginia by Cumberworth. Photograph. Gems of Statuary. William England. Marian S. Carson Collection. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017650745/>.

Paul and Virginia by Cumberworth. Photograph. Gems of Statuary. William England. Marian S. Carson Collection. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017650745/>.

 

By 1868 England had earned a reputation as one of the great photographers in England and Europe, if not the world. He was noted for his artistic efforts and his technical expertise, as well as his willingness to share his technical findings with the entire photographic community.

 

“For many years he has been chiefly devoted, however, to the production of landscapes, especially stereoscopic and instantaneous work. His success in these departments has been most unequivocal, his especial work work being unsurpassed by any in the world, and equalled by very few.

 

His views of Niagara, taken under serious disadvantages, upwards of ten years ago, are still the finest views of the grand scenery of the Falls that have been issued. His instantaneous views of the streets of Paris have never been surpassed. His views of the International Exhibition of 1862 were perfect, and, by contrast, give a singular point to the failure in the attempt to photograph the recent exhibition of a similar kind. The Swiss scenery, which for some years has absorbed Mr. England’s attention, is executed with a degree of care which leaves nothing to desire.

 

Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic in all Mr. England’s operations is their preeminently practical quality. An earnest experimentalist, with a perfect knowledge of all the capabilities of the art, and a liberal communicator of all the results of his knowledge to his brethern, it is well known to all those who have the advantage of Mr. England’s friendship, that when he advises a given course, or when he publishes a process, it is certain to be practical and trustworthy. A cultivated artistic feeling characterizes all his pictures; whilst their photographic manipulation is generally absolutely perfect. A scrupulous and conscientious care to secure in all cases the best possible result is manifest.”[14]

 

As for the breadth of his skill, William C. Darrah, a recognized expert on the history of photography, wrote that England was considered “a skillful artist in virtually all areas of photography, but especially landscape, architecture, interiors and sculpture.”[15]

 

In 1870, while photographing in the Rhine region of Germany, England was the subject of international intrigue. “At his peak, England was regarded as one of the leading landscape photographers in Europe. However this did not help him during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when he was arrested in the Rhine region of Germany and accused of being a French spy. England was eventually released but not before authorities had initially confiscated his lenses, though these were later returned.”[16]

 

The Photographic News, in 1882, also wrote of the earlier international incident. “It is not so long ago that Mr. William England was arrested on the Rhine, and marched off between two spiked helmets with all the pomp and circumstances of a spy. But this was at the beginning of the Franco-German war; and no doubt if “Gelatine-Amateur” takes care to keep out of sight of the fortifications of Metz, Strasburg, Ehrenbreitstein, and the like, he will not be molested by German officials.”[17]

 

In August 1870, soon after England’s return from the Rhineland, The Photographic News published some details around the encounter.

 

“I was somewhat startled the other day, when I was asked by a friend if I had heard that England bad been attacked and plundered by the Prussians. My alarm was removed and my sympathy quickened when he explained, however, that it was Mr. England, and not England as a nation or territory, and that the proper statement of the case should have been that Mr. England had been robbed during his continental campaign of a pair of lenses worth £20, and subsequently arrested by two Prussian soldiers as a French spy. Fortunately, the delay and ignominy were of brief duration, as he was soon able to prove that his occupation was altogether of a peaceful character, and that he was a votary of Phoebus Apollo, not Bellona, I was glad to learn subsequently that he had recovered the lenses, after much bother and the disbursement of cash in “tipping” officers of justice. His photographic operations for the season were, however, strictly prohibited by the military authorities, and he has left Rhineland in disgust, his summer’s work practically ended.

 

This is perhaps one of the most trivial of the evils caused by the insane war now pending – a trifle compared with the terrible horrors which must ensue; but such trifles are serious when they touch our immediate interests. Who does not echo the wish of simple little Jeanette, in the song, that they who make the quarrels “should be the only men to fight’?”[18]

 

In July 1870 another version of England’s arrest was published in The British Journal of Photography.

 

“In the course of conversation, a few days since, with Mr. England, who has just returned from the continent, that gentleman informed us of a series of misadventures which he has recently encountered, and which have culminated in his having had to beat a retreat from the intended scene of his photographic labours. Mr. England, about six weeks ago, left this country for the Rhine, with the intention of taking a series of negatives of the charming scenes to be found in the vicinity of that far-famed river.

 

The first drawback to his anticipated success was a steady downpour of rain, which set in upon his arrival and continued for several days. This pluvial visitation, however, eventually came to an end, and he at last found himself in the field of his artistic operations. Having occasion to leave his camera for a very brief interval, he found, on his return, that some enterprising native had stolen a bag containing a valuable pair of Voigtlander portrait lenses that were used by him in the production of instantaneous views. These were fortunately recovered, but not until much time had been wasted in feeing policemen and in attendance at a court of justice; and as this happened when the Queen of Prussia was on a visit to Coblentz, where Mr. England was then sojourning, trifling legal matters were not likely to receive immediate attention at the hands of the officials.

 

Eventually, however, Mr. England got once more on to the scene of action. On the morning of the day succeeding that on which the war was proclaimed between France and Germany, Mr. England was arrested by four Prussian soldiers, who, imagining that he was a French spy engaged to photograph the fortifications on the Rhine, conveyed him before the military authorities. After a short interview they realized the fact that he was simply what he professed himself to be, viz., an English photographer in quest of artistic pictures and not of fortifications. The negatives he had already taken were sent for and examined, and, as these bore out his statement, he was cautioned against taking any more pictures while the war lasted, after which he was released.

 

The Rhine being thus closed against Mr. England, he has returned home. There are many Englishmen at present on the continent with their cameras, and probably many more have been preparing to go there; but we trust the experience of one of our oldest and best photographers will suffice to prevent other of our countrymen from visit that portion of the continent which is now the scene of strife between Gaul and Teuton.”[19]

 

In 1872 England was engaged by the Heliotype Company to photograph the London International Exhibition, possibly due to a lack of expertise. “Now for a few instances to the point, which, being strictly true, will, I hope, give no offense. It is no secret that the Heliotype Company, working one of the collographic processes as perfected by Mr. E. Edwards, during their reign as sole photographers in the International Exhibition of this year found it necessary to employ the staff of Mr. England to produce silver prints of the views, statuary, &c., taken in the building for sale there.”[20] For the years 1873 and 1874 England was the sole photographer for the London International Exhibitions.

 

Historian Alexander Guano wrote of England’s business practices while self-employed. William England “did not himself place any advertisements drawing attention to his photographs in the relevant specialist periodicals. On the contrary, from the description by Pritchard it becomes clear that not even a plate on his house, 7 St. James’s Square, Notting Hill, London, in which his business was situated from 1867 onwards, drew attention to the fact that it housed one of the biggest enterprises undertaking landscape photography in Europe. This shows that England was not aiming at drop-in customers. The question then is, how did he publicise and sell his photographs throughout the world? The answer, most probably, is via a tight network of publishers. Labels and stamps of publishers from various countries are often found on England’s photographs . . .”[21]

 

Confirming Guano’s observations about England’s business, an article in The British Journal of Photography titled “A London Photographic Establishment” extensively described the England residence and production facility.

 

“The residence and ateliers of Mr. England adjoin each other, and are situated in the extreme west end, in the outskirts of Notting Hill. In passing through the square – which is one of a very staid character, and the gentility of which is not marred by the presence of a tradesman’s shop – we were struck by the fact that there was not the slightest indication whatever of the vicninity of an extensive photographic establishment. Not only was there not a single “specimen” visible, as we might have supposed to be perceptible, but on the entrance door, which was essentially that of a gentleman’s private house, there was not even a name-plate to indicated either the resident or the profession carried on so extensively in connection with this particular mansion.”[22]

 

This same article, written in 1865, noted that England was producing an estimated 1,680 stereoscopic pictures per day during normal times. For times of high demand, as associated with the International Exhibition, production could reach upwards of 4,800 stereoscopic pictures per day. As a point of emphasis, the article closed by noting that the England “establishment of which we have attempted to convey some idea is not that of a portrait, but of a landscape photographer.” 

 

In 1881 England wrote to the editors of The British Journal of Photography in response to an earlier article, which claimed the benefits of photographing landscapes in cloudy weather. With this England steadfastly disagreed. 

 

“Gentleman,– In glancing through the British Journal Photographic Almanac, just published, I notice Mr. W. Harding Warner makes the remark that bright sunshine in most cases is destructive to the working of a gelatine plate, and he intimates that more detail and finer pictures may be obtained on dull and cloudy days.

 

Surely Mr. Warner must be trying to pass a practical joke on the readers, or he can have had no knowledge of landscape photography. If he has examined the works in gelatine recently exhibited by many of the best photographers he will find that all the most successful pictures have been obtained in sunlight. I can also say that in my own experience of some twenty-five years I have seldom taken a landscape on a dull or cloudy day. Close studies, certainly, may be taken; but extensive views without the bright, crisp sunlight I should esteem a failure. If I ever venture out on a cloudy day to take a view I arrange my camera ready, take a comfortable seat on the nearest convenient spot, and wait till the sun makes its appearance, which may be, and has been many times, from minutes to hours; and, in the event of its not doing so till the day is too far advances or my patience has been exhausted, I simply pack up, and, as Jacob Faithful says, look for “better luck next time,” and return on some future occasion.

 

Dull days, when the sun is not shining, may be profitably employed in selecting the views to be taken when the weather becomes favourable. On such occasions one should carry a compass, and also make a note of the time of day when the light I most suitable for takin the various views.

 

I have been induced to make these remarks, as they may be of service to the inexperienced. With the compliments of the season, – I am your, & c., William England. December 27, 1881.”[23]

 

In 1880 the Photographic News wrote of England, his popular establishment and his world-class reputation. “Yes, Mr. William England is probably the largest Continental publisher of European views, and here at St. James’s Square, or rather in a compact little establishment at the back of his residence, is the source of all the prints issued in his name. In the summer, Mr. England travels in Switzerland, the Tyrol, and Italy for months together with camera and apparatus, bringing back with him additions to his series of photographs, the names of which fill a good-sized pamphlet . . . The harmony and delicacy of Mr. England’s landscapes are proverbial; the sun’s glare is never permitted to exercise a baneful influence upon the middle distance and horizon, and this simple shade has much to do with Mr. England’s reputation as one of the first landscape photographers.”[24]

 

In 1880 England again traveled to Switzerland, including stops at Chamonix, the Pass of Tete Noire and the Matterhorn. During his trip England was accompanied by Captain Abbey and Lieutenant Darwin. The resulting photographs were much praised.

 

“The most charming effects of light and shade have been secured; summer clouds float over black pine forest and deep shadowed vale, the gloom rendered with full detail, while the high lights are milk-white in tone, with all absence of glare. In nearly every plate, Mr. England has succeeded by the aid of his well-known camera screen, or camera-peak, in faithfully depicting the sky as well as the earth; some of his “cloud-capt” peaks are really marvellous.”[25]

 

“Mr. England’s pictures come from Switzerland. Look at the Pass of Tete Noire (279). The pathway is but a narrow shelf cut in the rocky side of a steep mountain; as you stand here on the jutting prominence, the whole of the magnificent defile is before you – the pine clad slopes – the lofty peaks towering to the clouds – the sheer precipices of cliff and crag. A clump of black firs in the foreground supply a contrast to the clear bright panorama beyond, and give a sense of the magnitude of the vast mountain ranges before you. Look, too, at the Matterhorn and the Riffel (285), two lofty pinnacles, the one a glittering spire of ice crystals – the other in the foreground a black pyramid that might be taken for the Matterhorn’s shadow, it is so dark and gloomy. Mr. England has never shown a finer series of studies.”[26]

 

In the fall of 1882 England extensively photographed the St. Gothard route between Switzerland and Italy, “one of the greatest centres of attraction in Europe during the past year or two.”[27] An amateur photographer, who was at St. Gothard at the same time as England, wrote of England’s trip and the resulting photographs. England took extensive views at Amsteg and Wasen and the “beautiful valley of Goshenen.” He shot at Locarno and at the head of Lake Maggiore. His trip lasted well into the fall, so that he was able to photograph several scenes under snow. “Doubtless, long before these lines are published, Mr. England will have arranged mountains and clouds to his satisfaction, and his pictures of the the St. Gothard will be keeping up his well-deserved high reputation.”

 

In 1885 England was again photographing in Switzerland. Paul Felix Kuhne served as a porter for England for four years, including the 1885 Switzerland trip. Kuhne was engaged to carry England’s photographic apparatus. Kuhne would be arrested 1886 upon accusations from William England and his son John Desire England, being accused of “forging and uttering an endorsement on an order for the payment of 6£., with intent to defraud.”[28] Kuhne was found not guilty.

 

In 1892 England was back in Switzerland, this time using a new technique of “cut films.” “Although the value of cut films has long been established, more especially those of the smaller sizes, yet it is well that the endorsement of such a well-known practical man as Mr. William England should be put upon record. This veteran photographer, who has just returned from Switzerland, informs us that when he went abroad he took with him twenty-four dozen whole-plate and half-plate films, and, having developed them all, is in a position to say that he has not experienced a single failure directly or indirectly traceable to his having used films instead of glass, as formerly. His film holders are made with a slight curve, causing the films to assume a cylindrical bend towards the lens, and this enabled him to get marginal sharpness when employing a stop larger in size than would suffice if the film were impressed when in a flat position.”[29]

 

William England continued to operate his photography business in the 1870s and the 1880s. In 1871, as per the national census, England was listed with a profession of “photographer, employs 1 boy, 2 girls.” In 1877, William listed his profession as “artist,” as per the marriage record of his son Walter. The 1881 England census listed William with an occupation of “photo publisher.” In 1887 William’s profession was listed as “gentleman,” as per the marriage record of his son John Desire. That same year a magazine article about the England Brothers firm noted that “Mr. England has for some little time been resting on his oars,” i.e., noting that he was retired. In 1889 William’s profession was again listed as “gentleman,” as per the marriage record of his son Louis. By 1891 he was listed in the United Kingdom census as a retired photographer, i.e., “own means,” but remained active in the trade until his passing in 1896.

 

Technical Expert

 

“Mr. England was to the front as a clever manipulator and all round photographer.”

 

 

England’s technical prowess was widely respected. He widely published a number of practices that he thought worthy of sharing; and if those ideas were published, they were to be respected. “Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic in all Mr. England’s operations is their eminently practical quality. An earnest experimentalist, with a perfect knowledge of all the capabilities of the art, and a liberal communicator of all the results of his knowledge to his brethren, it is well known to all those who have the advantage of Mr. England’s friendship, that when he advises a given course, or when he published a process, it is certain to be practical and trustworthy.”[30]

 

In addition to his picture taking England was also well acquainted with the technical hardware of the photography trade. In 1861 he notably created the first ever focal plane shutter, which allowed greater control of exposure times. The “focal plane shutter” greatly increased image clarity, thus improving the overall stereoview quality.

 

“A shutter that works immediately in front of the plate, and now commonly fitted to the highest class cameras. It is believed to owe its practical form to B. J. Edwards, who in 1882 published a description of his apparatus; but some eighteen or twenty years previously the principles were known to William England, who used a crude device working on the same principle a long time before Edwards’s ideas were published. England’s device was a board containing a horizontal slit which travelled in front of the plate in the same manner as the drop shutter of the present-day travels in front of the lens, and it was caught in a kind of bag suspended from the camera.”[31]

 

Writing for The Amateur Photographer in 1890, W. Jerome Harrison detailed of the history of instantaneous photography. As part of the article Harrison wrote at length of England’s innovative shutter device.

 

“The dark slide used in obtaining the instantaneous negatives was exhibited. Instead of adopting the usual method of covering and uncovering the lens, Mr. England uses a shutter on the inside of his camera, forming part of the dark-slide. It consists of a shutter having a slot the whole length of the plate. The lower part of this shutter, before the exposure, covers the whole of the plate; on touching a small lever, it is released, and falls rapidly by its own weight, after the principle of the guillotine; in falling, the long aperture or slot passes over the plate, giving in its passage a rapid exposure to every part of the plate, which is again covered by the upper part of the shutter. The slot may be widened or contracted at will, so as to control in some degree the amount of exposure given to the plate. This is an excellent form of shutter, and is now in use by some of our best workers.”[32]

 

In addition to the focal plane shutter, England was also widely associated with the lens shade. At the May 1890 meeting of the Photographic Society of Great Britain, while discussing the topic of lens hoods, “Mr. W. England wondered why so little care was generally taken to shade the camera. He never went out to photograph without a shade. All cameras ought to be furnished with a hood. He used it in such a way as to all but cut off the image . . . Mr. V. Blanchard said that he believed the mode of shading the lens by a hood was originally suggested by Mr. England and the late Mr. Dallmeyer.”[33]

 

“The lens shade, which Mr. England was one of the first to employ, if not introduce, is scarcely so well known as it deserves to be. Mr. England invariably employs it for landscape work, and if jointed, as shown in our picture, the shade may be depressed in front of the lens, to cut off every bit of glare on a sunny day. As the peak of a cap shades its wearer, and permits him to see more clearly, so the lens-shade allows the camera to conceive a more vivid image. Such an apparatus fixed to the front of the camera is far better than any make-shift arrangement at the moment of exposure.”[34]

 

The Camera of William EnglandThe Camera of William EnglandThe lens shade, which Mr. England was one of the first to employ, if not introduce, is scarcely so well known as it deserves to be. Mr. England invariably employs it for landscape work, and if jointed, as shown in our picture, the shade may be depressed in front of the lens, to cut off every bit of glare on a sunny day. As the peak of a cap shades its wearer, and permits him to see more clearly, so the lens-shade allows the camera to conceive a more vivid image. Such an apparatus fixed to the front of the camera is far better than any make-shift arrangement at the moment of exposure.

 

Lens Shade of William EnglandLens Shade of William EnglandIn 1880 The Photographic News published a lengthy profile on England, his equipment and his studio, including some additional details about his lens shade. “Mr. England confines himself for the most part to views of small size, or, in other words, rarely goes beyond a 10 by 8 plate. His favorite travelling camera is standing in a corner, and he sets it up for inspection; it will do for stereoscopic pictures, or for whole-plate negatives. “Here is a simple arrangement for shading the lens,” says Mr. England, and he shows us what appears to be the peak of a cap made of mahogany. We made a rough sketch of this apparatus, and here it is. The front flap measures four inches and the middle flap about three, and the double hinge arrangement permits you to bend down the peak right in front of the lens, if you like, so that you may almost employ it as a cap. But for shading the lens the arrangement is invaluable, and travelling photographers would be wise indeed to adopt so simple a modification to their apparatus.” (“Mr. William England at St. James’s Square, Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. Vol. 24. April 9, 1880. London: Piper and Carter, 1880. pp. 171-173.)

 

In 1880 The Photographic News published a lengthy profile on England, his equipment and his studio, including some additional details about his lens shade. “Mr. England confines himself for the most part to views of small size, or, in other words, rarely goes beyond a 10 by 8 plate. His favorite travelling camera is standing in a corner, and he sets it up for inspection; it will do for stereoscopic pictures, or for whole-plate negatives. “Here is a simple arrangement for shading the lens,” says Mr. England, and he shows us what appears to be the peak of a cap made of mahogany. We made a rough sketch of this apparatus, and here it is. The front flap measures four inches and the middle flap about three, and the double hinge arrangement permits you to bend down the peak right in front of the lens, if you like, so that you may almost employ it as a cap. But for shading the lens the arrangement is invaluable, and travelling photographers would be wise indeed to adopt so simple a modification to their apparatus.”[35]

The camera and equipment of William England, noted photographer.W. Englands tragbares LaboratoriumSource: Photographisches Archiv. No. 309. 1875. p. 54.

 

In 1868 The Photographic News published a profile of England’s studio, including a description of his innovative washing equipment and process.

 

“The washing arrangements are very excellent. After the fixed prints are received three or four rapid changes of water to remove the bulk of the hypo, they are transferred to the washing machine, an invention of Mr. England, and used by him for the past ten years, diagram of which we give. It consists primarily of a large trough 7 feet long, by 4 feet 6 inches wide, and 11 inches deep. Placed in this are two trays with lattice work, made of gutta-percha strips, at the bottom. Just above, supported by a bracket on the wall, is a box containing a water-wheel turned by the stream from a tap just above it.

 

The two trays are connected with this wheel by a rod attached to a crank, and as the wheel revolves the trays are kept in a constantly oscillating motion, which serves the double purpose of preventing the prints from sticking together, and of securing more effectual washing than is effected by great soaking. The water which turns the wheel passes through a pipe at the bottom of the wheel-box into the washing trays; and about once in every hour, the large trough having become full, brings into action a syphon, which empties it in ten minutes, leaving the prints to drain for a time, resting on the gutta-percha lattice work. The washing, thus managed, is found to be very effectual.

 

The prints are removed each morning after a night’s washing, and placed in a straight heap in a screw press, by which all the water is squeezed out of them, which is a more effectual aid to drying than blotting off; and when spread on canvas frames the prints rapidly dry flat and even, with little curling or cockling.”[36]

 

In 1888, over 20 years after the publication of the details of England’s washing equipment, those ideas were still being used throughout the industry. The “Optimus” Rocking Print Washer, being sold in 1888, was designed “after a model invented over a quarter of a century ago by Mr. England” with “a form not much differing from its forefather configuration.” One retailer noted that when selling the washer, he did not refer to the equipment as the “Optimus,” but rather the “England,” “as we think Mr. England, who invented it over a quarter of a century ago, ought to get some little credit by the article which gets so many compliments for the way in which it does its work.”[37]

 

Photographic Washing Machine by William EnglandPhotographic Washing Machine by William England“The washing arrangements are very excellent. After the fixed prints are received three or four rapid changes of water to remove the bulk of the hypo, they are transferred to the washing machine, an invention of Mr. England, and used by him for the past ten years, diagram of which we give. It consists primarily of a large trough 7 feet long, by 4 fee 6 inches wide, and 11 inches deep. Placed in this are two trays with lattice work, made of gutta-percha strips, at the bottom. Just above, supported by a bracket on the wall, is a box containing a water-wheel turned by the stream from a tap just above it.

The two trays are connected with this wheel by a rod attached to a crank, and as the wheel revolves the trays are kept in a constantly oscillating motion, which serves the double purpose of preventing the prints from sticking together, and of securing more effectual washing than is effected by great soaking. The water which turns the wheel passes through a pipe at the bottom of the wheel-box into the washing trays; and about once in every hour, the large trough having become full, brings into action a syphon, which empties it in ten minutes, leaving the prints to drain for a time, resting on the gutta-percha lattice work. The washing, thus managed, is found to be very effectual.

The prints are removed each morning after a night’s washing, and placed in a straight heap in a screw press, by which al the water is squeezed out of them, which is a more effectual aid to drying than blotting off; and when spread on canvas frames the prints rapidly dry flat and even, with little curling or cockling.” (“Visits to Noteworthy Studios. Mr. England’s Establishment at Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12, No. 502. April 17, 1868. pp. 185.)
Photographic Washing Machine by William England

 

Optimus Rocking Print WasherOptimus Rocking Print WasherIn 1888, over 20 years after the publication of the details of England’s washing equipment, those ideas were still being used throughout the industry. The “Optimus” Rocking Print Washer, being sold in 1888, was designed “after a model invented over a quarter of a century ago by Mr. England” with “a form not much differing from its forefather configuration.” One retailer noted that when selling the washer, he did not refer to the equipment as the “Optimus,” but rather the “England,” “as we think Mr. England, who invented it over a quarter of a century ago, ought to get some little credit by the article which gets so many compliments for the way in which it does its work.” (“Correspondence.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 35. October 19, 1888. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1888. p. 671.)  Optimus Rocking Print Washer

 

William England, and later his sons, were noted manufacturers of a variety of plates, including landscape plates, dry plates, lantern plates, gelatino-chloride plates and many others. The drying box was a key piece of equipment in the process, and was described in The Photographic Studios of Europe by H. Baden Pritchard.

 

“As our readers are aware, Mr. England is facile princeps in the preparation and manipulation of gelatine plates, and his drying-box is the best model yet devised. It is nothing more nor less than a light-tight cupboard, with wires stretched across to support the plates. Through the centre runs an inch gas-pipe, open at both ends, at the bottom of which is a small gas jet which burns inside. At the top and bottom of the box are two draught-holes cut, to which a tin tubing about three inches diameter is attached, as shown in the figure.

 

The gas tube gets warmed with a very small jet of gas burning in it, a mere pin-hole being sufficient exit for the gas. This warms the air in contact with the tin tube, and also slightly the air inside the cupboard. The consequence is, that a current of slightly warm air is set up, and circulates amongst the plates while supported on the wires, and the drying of the films takes place rapidly. Five or six hours is a sufficient time in which to dry the plates, whilst without the gas jet it would take twenty-four hours or more. In the inside of the cupboard, and near the top and bottom, are placed two cupboard discs to stop the possibility of any stray light entering, and as the whole affair is place in the dark-room, the chances of any such access even without it would be small.

 

Inside the cupboard door is fixed a thermometer, and the jet is regulated so that a temperature of about 70 degrees is indicated – 80 degrees would do no harm to the plates; beyond that temperature it might not be safe to go.

 

The small gas jet used is the same as may be seen in tobacconists’ shops; the hole in the end is plugged up, and a very small hole drilled at the side.”[38]

 

Drying box of William England, noted photographer.England's Drying BoxDrying box by William England. England's Drying Box

 

Beyond his technical knowledge of the camera and its related equipment, and beyond his expert skill in taking photographs, England also ran a fine manufacturing operation. “Mr. England is a man of resource. At St. James’s Square he prepares his own plates, makes his own varnish, albumenizes his paper, prints and mounts his pictures, and does what lithographic or letter-press work the mounts require. Here is a model little printing establishment with two type-presses and a litho-press; and adjoining is the compositor’s room, with type trays and desk complete. Both litho-press and printing-press are busily at work just now, and stacks of white and yellow mounts are standing by ready for printing. Farther on, across a spacious yard, half covered in with glass, where the printing takes place, is another building devoted downstairs to the toning and washing of prints, and upstairs to albumenizing paper and sensitizing it. The albumenizing is done when eggs are cheap, and there is very little mystery about the matter. The best Saxe paper is employed, and this floated upon the albumen in the same way as paper is sensitized.”[39]

 

 

[1] Blair, Peter. Stereo Views: Victorian 3D Photography of the Alps. pp. 227-233.

[2] “Critical Notices. Views of Switzerland and Savoy. Photographed by Wm. England.” The Photographic News. Vol. 8, No. 278. January 1, 1864. p. 4.

[3] “Views of Switzerland and Savoy. By William England.” The Photographic News. Vol. 10. April 20, 1866. London: Thomas Piper, 1866. p. 183.

[4] “Notting Hill Photographers.” The Photographic News. Vol. 7. March 13, 1863. London: Thomas Piper, 1863. p 132.

[5] “Photographic Notes and Queries. Working Hours of Photographers.” The Photographic News. Vol. 7. March 20, 1863. London: Thomas Piper, 1863. p 143.

[6] “Transalpine Photography.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 19. February 9, 1872. London: Henry Greenwood, 1872. p. 69.

[7] Wettmann, Hartmut. “William England’s 1867 Rhine Journey.” Stereo World. Vol. 29, No. 1. pp. 4-9, 13.

[8] “Photography During the Past Year.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12, No. 487. January 3, 1868. London: Piper and Carter, 1868.

[9] Werge, John. The Evolution of Photography. London: Piper and Carter, 1890. p. 295.

[10] “Transalpine Photography.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 19. February 9, 1872. London: Henry Greenwood, 1872. p. 69.

[11] “The Sandringham Series of Photographs.” The Photographic Journal. Vol. 8, No. 134. London: Taylor and Francis, 1864. June 15, 1863. p. 306.

[12] “Photographs Taken at Sandringham.” The Photographic News. Vol. 7, No. 256. July 31, 1863. London: Thomas Piper, 1863. p. 366.

[13] “Miscellanea.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 12. June 9, 1865. London: Henry Greenwood, 1865. p. 306.

[14] “Visits to Noteworthy Studios. Mr. England’s Establishment at Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12, No. 502. April 17, 1868. p. 185.

[15] Darrah, William C. The World of Stereographs. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: W. C. Darrah, 1977. p. 103.

[16] Hannavy, John. Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 2008. p. 489.

[17] “Notes.” The Photographic News. Vol. 26, No. 1243. June 30, 1882. pp. 376-377.

[18] “Echoes of the Month.” The Photographic News. Vol. 14. August 5, 1870. London: Piper and Carter, 1870. p. 362.

[19] The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 17. July 29, 1870. London: Henry Greenwood, 1870. p. 349.

[20] “Mechanical Printing.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 19. October 4, 1872. London: Henry Greenwood, 1872. p. 471.

[21] Guano, Alexander. “The views of the Tyrol by William England.” The PhotoHistorian. Summer 2019 / No. 184. p. 11.

[22] “A London Photographic Establishment.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 12. January 20, 1865. London: Henry Greenwood, 1865. pp. 28-29.

[23] “Sunshine of Shade.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 28, No. 1130. December 20, 1881. London: Henry Greenwood, 1881. p76.

[24] “Mr. William England at St. James’s Square, Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. April 9, 1880. pp. 171-173.

[25] “Notes.” The Photographic News. Vol. 24. December 10, 1880. London: Piper and Carter, 1880. p. 595.

[26] “At the Opening of the Bristol International Exhibition.” The Photographic News. Vol. 24. December 24, 1880. London: Piper and Carter, 1880. p. 615.

[27] “Mr. W. England’s Photographs of the St. Gothard District.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 30, No. 1197. April 13, 1883. London: Henry Greenwood, 1883. pp. 208-209.

[28] “New Court.—Monday, September 20th, 1886.” The Proceedings of the Old Bailey. London’s Central Criminal Court, 1674 to 1913.

[29] “Cut Films in Professional Practice.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 34. September 23, 1892. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1892. p. 612.

[30] “Visits to Noteworthy Studios. Mr. England’s Establishment at Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12, No. 502. April 17, 1868. pp. 185.

[31] Jones, Bernard E. Cassel’s Cyclopedia of Photography. Vol. 1. New York: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1912. p. 262.

[32] Harrison, W. Jerome. “Instantaneous Photography.” Chapter 4, Pioneers of Instantaneous Photography. The Amateur Photographer. Vol. 12. October 31, 1890. pp. 309-310.

[33] “Photographic Society of Great Britain.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 37. May 16, 1890. London: H. Greenwood & Co., 1890. p. 316.

[34] “Notes.” The Photographic News. Vol. 27. June 29, 1883. London: Piper and Carter, 1883. p. 408.

[35] “Mr. William England at St. James’s Square, Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. Vol. 24. April 9, 1880. London: Piper and Carter, 1880. pp. 171-173.

[36] “Visits to Noteworthy Studios. Mr. England’s Establishment at Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. Vol. 12, No. 502. April 17, 1868. pp. 185.

[37] “Correspondence.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 35. October 19, 1888. London: Henry Greenwood & Co., 1888. p. 671.

[38] Pritchard, H. Baden. “Mr. William England at Notting Hill.” The Photographic Studios of Europe. London: Piper and Carter, 1882. pp. 14-19.

[39] “Mr. William England at St. James’s Square, Notting Hill.” The Photographic News. Vol. 24. April 9, 1880. London: Piper and Carter, 1880. p. 172.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1859 alpine America in the Stereoscope Blondin Britain Catskills England exhibit Fawn's Leap International Exhibition Ireland Italy Kaaterskill Clove Kaaterskill Falls Kauterskill Falls landscape Laurel House London Stereoscopic Company mountains Niagara Falls North American Series North Lake photographer photographs photography Plattekill Clove Plauterkill Clove Rhine scenery statuary stereoscope stereoscopic stereoviews Switzerland waterfalls William England https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/4/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-6 Sat, 02 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
William England and His 1859 Tour of the Catskills (Part 5) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/3/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-5

Introduction

 

William England (1830-1896) was a 19th century British photographer who was widely known for his travel images. He was an early adopter of photography, operating a studio in the late 1840s, less than ten years after the daguerreotype was created by French inventor Louis Daguerre. England’s 1859 trip through the United States, including a visit to the Catskills, and Canada gained widespread praise. His image of Charles Blondin tightrope walking across the Niagara Gorge is among the top selling stereoviews of all time. Although largely forgotten today, William England was considered one of the great photographers of his era.

 

 

Continued from Part 4.

 

Reviews

 

“One of the remarkable things about this collection . . . is that it can be attributed to a single hand, that of William England, one of Nottage’s principal photographers. It is also rare – indeed unique – in being a complete account of a single trip, through the Northeast. It was also, and as you would expect of a commercial photographer, a disciplined journey, one which took account of pictorial expectations, for America, in particular, was a much traveled land . . .” – Ian Jeffrey. (p. 10)

 

 

Upon returning to Britain after his travels in the United States William England exhibited his American stereoscopic views in various forums. His work was also reviewed in several leading publications.

 

On May 3, 1860, The Times, of London, published an extensive review of England’s North American series in an article titled “America in the Stereoscope.”

 

“America in the Stereoscope.– It is hardly too much praise to say that a good set of stereoscopes is equal in interest to a good book of travels, with all those additional advantages which the former must derive from giving us their quick, life-like glimpses into costumes, manners, and modes of life of all kinds, and reproducing with minute fidelity the scenery which is always so characteristic of a people. Stereoscopes, in fact, anticipate travel.

 

The peculiar genius of the Egyptians, as manifested in their rock-hewn temples and colossal monuments, can be appreciated and understood in beautiful little stereoscopes without quitting an arm-chair. The great pictorial features of British India are familiar to millions who have never been within the tropics. We can study and admire the sacred shrines of the Holy Land, and look with something like dismay on these arid places which spread in a sea of hot sand around Mounts Horeb and Sinai. Robertson has made the mosques of Constantinople and the ruined temples of Aegean as familiar as Tintern or Melrose; and, except among the untrodden wilds of Asia Minor and Circassian coast, where Europeans seldom venture, photography has done all it can do for the East.

 

The West, however, has not been attempted, and till within the last two or three months the grand scenery of North America with its checkered beauties of cataract and river, lake and mountain, have remained unknown save to those who have extended their travels so far.

 

Now, however, the turn of the New World has come round for photographic illustration, and under the title of “America in the Stereoscope,” the London Stereoscopic Company have just issued a most charming set of views, so well chosen and so varied that as we pass from one to the other American life and scenery in every phase are present to the eye. American cities, as a rule, afford little matter for pictorial illustration when compared with the gorgeous edifices and many-tinted capitals of the East. The artist therefore has, with much tact, avoided a repitition of American towns and villages, and flown to those scenes on the Delaware, the Hudson, and the St. Lawrence which seem always new. In these views we seem to travel through the states, starting from New York, which is of course made much of, and with its angular streets and blinding sunglare is brought with all the vividness of reality before the spectator.

 

From this point, then, we journey along the Hudson, past the Falls of the Poniac, Patterson, Peekskill, Poughkeepsie, Indian Glen, and Sunnyside. The Hudson, of course, affords an endless source of views, and the "Falls of the Poniac," "Sleepy Hollow," "Indian Fall," and "Rustic Bridge" are among the best things of the kind that has ever been attempted.

 

In the gorges and gaps of the Katskill Mountains we look for and get some sublime pieces of mountain scenery, rough and wild as can well be conceived; but it is in "the matchless cataract," the fountain of an infant sea – Niagara, that the artist exhausts all his skill in instantaneous photographs of this tremendous scene. In these views, fortunately, he is even, if possible, more successful than with the others, and for a marvellous specimen of stereoscopic skill we should select the view of the fall from Prospect Point and the Rapids as being in clearness and grandeur of detail beyond all views of the kind that we have seen. All the views of the Falls, in fact, are perfect studies, and here we get the cataract from every point, lit by the sun or moon red in the day's decline, gray as evening slowly falls upon it, or in the winter when snow and ice are the ruling genii of the spot, and when the spray which rises from the cataract hangs heavy in gigantic crystals on all around. The view near the Terrapin Tower in winter is a splendid example of this kind.

 

In addition to these grand objects we find scores of others less striking, but of equal interest – the tomb of Washington, Trenton Falls, the Mississippi river boats, the broad commodious trains and sleeping cars, with grand suspension bridges out of number, and the great Victoria Bridge, of course. In fact, the title which has been given to those views of "America in the Stereoscope, is amply borne out, and the whole series forms a most interesting and attractive collection.

 

In connexion with the stereoscopes, the Stereoscopic Company have published some large views of the Falls of Niagara, which are wonderful examples of the vividness with which, in skilful hands, photography may be made to reproduce even the most fleeting grandeur of these tremendous cataracts. Some of these are most beautiful and excellent of their kind – quite beyond mere description to do justice to.”[1]

 

The Art-Journal, in July 1860, published an overwhelmingly glowing review of the work created by William England during his tour of the United States and Canada.

 

“There are hundreds of thousands in Great Britain who are continually hearing of the grandeur and beuaty of scenery in the United States and in Canada who have not, and probably never will have, a chance of examining its peculiar marvels and graces, except by the aid of the artist. And that aid is rarely so obtained as to convey assurance of positive truth; we suspect, if we are not certain, that Art has derived help from Fancy; we doubt while we admire, and attribute to invention that which may be only fact. The photography, however, cannot deceive; in nothing can it extenuate; there is no power in this marvellous maching either to add to or take from: we know that what we see must be TRUE. So guided, therefore, we can travel over all the countries of the world, without moving a yard from our own firesides. Fortunately there are those who, from love of wandering, or of Art, or of gain, will incur any amount of fatigue or danger, and bring to us enjoyment and knowledge, without demanding from us either labour or risk; giving in an hour the information that has been gained by years of toil and peril. All honour to the men who are thus our ministers!

 

The series of stereoscopic views recently brought under our notice by the London Stereoscopic Company – taken in various parts of Canada and the United States – bring us, as far as they go, into closer and safer aquaintance with the New World than all the books that have been written on the subject, and “their name is legion.” Lake and mountain, glen and river, picturesque waterfalls and gigantic cataracts, spacious harbors, populous cities – all the glories of Nature and of Art – are here brought so vividly before the eye that we seem to have journeyed with the traveller and worked with the artist. It is indeed impossible to overrate the debt we owe for so much of pleasure and so much of information.

 

The city views are chiefly those of New York, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Quebec, Montreal and Ottawas (the new capital of Canada); but more interesting are those which picture attractive scenes on the rivers St. Lawrence, the Delaware, and the Hudson. Still more so, perhaps are those that introduce us to the far-famed “Katskills,” Sleepy Hollow, the Indian Fall, the Falls of the Pontiac, and Trenton Falls – not forgetting Pougheepsie, and which other accomplished Americans have made renowned. There is, indead, no one of the series that fails to gratify; some may be better than others, but all are full of interest, anc convey instruction. The artist has, however, most put forth his strength where it became most effective. Hundreds of pictues have been painted, and description written, to make us acquainted with NIAGARA; but until now we seem to have been utterly ignorant concerning the character of this – one of the wonders of the world. The views are many: – Comprising 1. the Suspension Bridge, hung, as it were, in mid air; the railway trains, as they pass, seeming but little larger than the miniature toys of children; 2. The Bridge again, a nearer view; 3. The Bridge over the Rapids, a remarkably light and graceful structure; 4. The Lewiston Suspension Bridge; 5. The American Fall; 6. The American Fall in winter; 7. The Terrapin Towr and Bridge, the tower standing on the very edge of the Great Horse-shoe Fall –

 

“How dizzy ‘tis to cast one’s eyes below;”

 

8. Another view of the terrific scene, the torrent rushing over the brink; 9. The Rapids: a view that must have been caught instantaneously, the tremendous character of which is given with marvellous accuracy; 10. A general view of the Falls, in which Niagara is beheld “in all its glory and magnificence;” 11. A sylvan scene on Goat Island, the rush of water in the distance; and though last not least in this singular series, are two views showing the daring adventurer, Blondin, crossing the Niagara on a tight rope – one of the most daring feats ever achieved. We have thus ome fifteen or sixteen views of this wonderful wrok of nature, including the objects by which Art has succeeded in rendering Niagara in a degree subject to the will of man. Unquestionably no series of stereoscopic views has been yet issued at once so interesting and so instructive; they so thoroughly convey accurate ideas of the marvels they depict. Moreover, they are exceedingly well executed, and may vie with the best, in clearness of detail and power of effect, when seen in the stereoscope. A brief but carefully written description accompanies each view, giving such particulars as are requisite for a complete comprehension of the theme, in its grandeur, or its beauty, or its combination of both.

 

We shall rejoice if our notice be the means of enabling others to partake of the rich treat we have enjoyed in examing this delightfuly series: it would be difficult to pass an hour more pleasantly or more profitably. Of the many boons conferred by the London Stereoscopic Company, this, their latest, is undoubtedly the best.”[2]

 

Yet another praising review was published on August 31, 1860 in The Photographic News.

 

“AMERICA IN THE STEREOSCOPE, a Series of One Hundred Views of the most choice and interesting Portions of American Scenery.

 

We know of no application of instantaneous photography more important in its relation to the picturesque, more capable of aiding the imagination in realizing some of the most sublime and soul-stirring of nature’s beauties, than is presented by some of the stereographs before as of the cataract scenery of the Western World. We gaze with varying wonder and elight as we turn from the silvery cascades of the Kauterskill to the turbulent rapids of the Niagara, and from these to the overpowering immensity and bewildering sublimity of the gigantic cataract. To secure the slightest approximation of a truthful effect in depicting such scenes, it is imperative that the operation be in the strictest sense of the word, instantaneous, otherwise the broken mass of falling water becomes a white patch, and the boiling, surging, seething abyss into which they faill is represented by a mass of something like wool.

 

In the pictures before us we have some of the best instantaneous effects we have seen, and in the various views of Niagara, of which we have something like a score, their value and beauty are strikingly illustrated, conveying as they do the most vivid and impressive idea, not simply of the whirling and conflicting waters; but also of the transparent cloud of misty spray with which they are enveloped. So real is the scene, that as we turn from slide to slide, obtaining with each change fresh views and new surprises of tumultuous beauty, we seem to lose the monechrome of the photograph, and behold the scene invested with all the glorious hues as well as the “thousand fantastic shapes” of nature, and stand with silent awe before the stupendous cataract.

 

Among the views of Niagara which please us most by a charm peculiarly their own, are the various winter scenes in which snow and ice are “the ruling genii of the spot.” Huge icicles hang from every available point, and the spray which bursts rom the thundering avalanche of water encrusts everything with a coat of dazzling purity and whiteness, which seems to give additional sublimity to the darkling waters.

 

In addition to the various views of the mighty Niagara we have a large variety of cascades and cataracts of varying degrees of beauty, but less considerable in vastness and sublimity, such as the falls on the Passaic and Genessee rivers, the Trenton Falls, and some exquisitely beautiful cascades in the Catskill Mountains, in all of which a large amount of artistic skill in selection is displayed.

 

We have headed these remarks by a quotation from the catalogue, describing the series as “One hundred views” of choice and interesting portions of American scenery. We believe, however, that we have looked through a selection of not less than twice that number, comprising every variety of the characteristic natural scenery of the western world, together with some striking street-scenes and architectural views. Among the former, we may especially mention a scene in Goat Island, Niagara, called the “Lovers’ Walk,” – a perfect gem of landscape stereography, full of sun-light. An ice-cavern in the White Mountains presents in the stereoscope a wondrously beautiful and sparkling effect. Some of the subjects, in addition to their natural beauties, have the added charm of associations, as scenes identified with popular literature. Amongst these, is an interesting view, and excellent photograph of the “Rustic Bridge, Sleepy Hollow,” the scene of Washington Irving’s “Headless Man.”

 

A slide which possesses some interest, as the verification of what has been regarded as a somewhat mythical event, is a stereograph of Blondin crossing the Niagara river on a tight rope. The feat, at the time of its accomplishment, was the subject of so much assertion and enial, that it became generally regarded as an American canard. We have it here, however, verified by the lens which will not lie, the adventurous Frenchman being taken in transitu.

 

An interesting circumstance, in connection with these slides, is the fact that they include the several spots of interest which his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is now in course of visiting. A set of the stereographs of these places, together with twelve-by-ten pictures of the same places, have been purchased by his father the Prince Consort, in order that he might thus trace his son’s progress.

 

In concluding our notice of this series, and speaking of their high merits as photographs, which, as a whole, we have not seen surpassed, we may mention the interesting fact that they are the production of an English photographer, sent out specifically by the Stereoscopic Company, for the purpose of taking them. The negatives are produced by the wet process, and possess merits as high of a photographic character, as they do in an artistic and picturesque point of view. The prints are clear, bright, and vigorous, and of the warm, purple-borwn tone which is so satisfactory in landscape photograpy.”[3]

 

In August 1860 the Photographic Notes publication provided a brief, but very positive, review of the American series. “The London Stereoscopic Company have lately brought out a series of stereoscopic views of American Scenery, which possess uncommon interest, and are well executed.”[4]

 

In August 1860 The Literary Gazette published a review of a small selection of severn views from the series. Once again, the views were widely praised, being noted as “fantastic, and exceedingly beautiful.”

 

“SEVEN Select Stereoscopic Gems of American Scenery.” (London Stereoscopic company, 54, Cheapside, 313, Oxford Street, and 594 Broadway, New York.) The photographer is a great teacher; he brings home to our very doors scenes and likenesses which very few of us could ever hope to realise. But the photographer has an ally in that simple, but yet wonderful, discovery of Sir David Brewster, the stereoscope, which places his art in such a position as almost to deceive the spectator.

 

We have before us “Seven Select Stereoscopic Gems of American Scenery,” issued by the London Stereoscopic Company. The first is an exterior view of the Victoria Tubular Bridge two miles in length, spanning the great St. Lawrence, at Montreal, Canada, and which was designed by the late surprising genius, Mr. Robert Stephenson. Its purpose is to connect the British colony of Canada with the United States of America, by the route of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. The pictures before us give a wonderful impression of the stupendous work, and are so clear and well defined as to make us believe we are looking at the structure itself.

 

The next subject is that of Blondin’s Tight Rope Feat, which the hazardous adventurer is depicted crossing the Niagara river. Placing this picture in the stereoscope, and looking at for a moment, we realise the impression of a scene which, whatever may have been though of its sanity, is one of great peril to the performer, and so vividly does the image become impressed on the mind by the medium of the eye, that it becomes actually painful to contemplate.

 

The Ice Caverns in the White Mountains, New Hampshire, U.S., is the next in order. The description tells us that, during the winter, the roofs, which are formed of the trunks of trees falling upon small rivulets, soon accumulate a very beautiful stalactite appearance, or, in the words of Bryant –

 

“You might deem the spot

The spacious cavern of some virgin mine,

Deep in the womb of earth – where the gems grow

And diamonds put forth radiant rods and bud

With amethyst and topaz – and the place

Lit up most royally with the pure beam

That dwells therein.”

 

They are very fantastic and exceedingly beautiful. The remainder are – Niagara Falls; White-hall Street, New York; Montreal; and a View on the St. Lawrence. Too much praise cannot be given to the London Stereoscopic Company for these views. They are clear, distinct, and graphic, conveying such an impression of the places represented that will ensure remembrance. Each picture has a brief description printed at the back, and the getting up, generally, is worthy of succes.”[5]

 

In October 1860 Simeon Headsman visited the facilities of the London Stereoscopic Company at Cheapside. In a letter titled “Letters to a Photographic Friend” Headsman wrote of his impressions of the new American views taken by William England.

 

“I next made my way to the London Stereoscopic Company, in Cheapside, and examined an extensive series of photographs of American scenery lately introduced into this country. These comprise not merely stereoscopic subjects, but large views of the most interesting spots in Canada and the United States. Of course, Niagara figures largely in the series; and one is easily able to form a very good idea of the grandeur of those mighty Falls by examining such stereographs as The Rapids, No. 115; The General view of the Falls from Prospect Point, No. 140; The Horse-Shoe Fall and the Terrapin Tower (instantaneous) No. 153; and the Table Rock, from the base of the Horse-shoe Fall.

 

Among the large photographs there is a capital panoramic view of the entire scene. Most persons in England have been in doubt as to whether Blondin was not an apocryphal personage, but a stereograph in this series depicts a gentleman in the usual “India-rubber—incredible-brother” costume, poised on a rope over the rushing waters of Niagara. This is something like an authentic proof that Blondin had an existence otherwise than in the fertile brains of a Yankee editors or in the veracious and voracious columns of American newspapers. Slide 136 gives an exquisite rendering of the stalactite-like icicles in one of the ice caverns of the White Mountains, New Hampshire; The Chaudier Falls, No. 113; The Cataracts on the Genesee, near Portage, No. 125; whilst many other of these stereographs present objects of great interest. Moreover, they are as well executed as the points of view are well selected.”[6]

 

In April 1861 The Photographic Journal extensively reviewed the American series, including individual descriptions of twenty photographs. Locations in the series include Niagara Falls, the Victoria Bridge at Montreal, the city of Montreal, Montmorenci Falls at Quebec, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the city of Boston and the Natural Bridge in Virginia.

 

“We have before us a collection of twenty admirable stereograms of some of the most remarkable scenery in the United States and Canada, which possess great interest as representations of the natural beauties of the country, as well as the great engineering triumphs of our transatlantic cousins. Of these views nine are devoted to the town and Falls of Niagara, and of which we will first proceed to speak.

 

Bird’s-eye view of Niagara.–We have here a view of Niagara town, the great Suspension Bridge, and two miles of the river, clearly and brightly photographed. The definition from the foreground, which does not possess much interest, to the extreme distance, in which is seen the world-renowned Falls – a mass of spray, but which with the river forms a valuable “bit” of light in the centre of the picture, the effect of which is strengthened by the dark towers of the bridge cutting sharply against it.

 

General View of the Falls from Prospect Point.–Niagara in all its glory! In the foreground is the American fall, falling sheer 164 feet, making the beholder feel anxious for the safety of the little ferry-boat steaming across the river below. In the middle distance is seen the Terrapin Tower and the Horseshoe Fall enveloped in a cloud of mist: the stereoscopic effect of this cloud is exceedingly fine.

 

The Horseshoe Fall affords a good idea of the awful power of the mass of descending water; we can almost hear the deafening roar. The effect of viewing this little photograph in the stereoscope is to make one giddy. Byron’s description of the Falls of Terni” might be well applied to this view:–

 

“The roar of waters!–from the headlong height

Velino cleaves the wave-worn precipice;

The fall of waters! rapid as the light

The flashing mass foams, shaking the abyss;

The hell of waters! where they howl and hiss,

And boil in endless torture; while the sweat

Of their great agony, wrung out from this

Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet

That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set,

And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again

Returns in an unceasing shower.”

 

The Spiral Staircase, Table Rock, although not equal to the others as a photograph, is interesting as being the entrance to the path beneath the great Horseshoe Fall.

 

The Terrapin Tower and Bridge.–This tower occupies a singular position on a scattered mass of rock on the verge of the Horseshoe Fall, and which is gradually dissolving away from the action of the water; threatening in time to swallow tower and rocks into its gulf. It is approached by a wooden bridge, and its summit affords a fine view of the rapids and falls.

 

The Rapids. (Instantaneous.)–A fine scene, admirably photographed, reminding us of Wilson’s sea views. Although the water is rolling and dashing along in wild confusion, there is no want of detail; every wave and fall is sharp and distinct. Perfect in every respect, this is one of the best photographs of rushing water we have seen.

 

The Niagara Suspension Bridge. (Three Views.)–This bridge is a stupendous structure, 258 feet above the water, forming a communication between Canada and the United States. The interior view, besides being a fine photograph, gives a clear idea of its ingenious construction. The three pictures are also noticeable from some well-placed figures.

 

Two Views of the Victoria Bridge, Montreal, designed by the late Mr. Robert Stephenson, and constructed by Messrs. Peto, Betts, and Brassey, are interesting as memorials of this extraordinary undertaking. Some ideas of the solidity of its construction may be gathered from the fact that each buttress is calculated to withstand the pressure of 70,000 tons of ice, which comes sweeping down the St. Lawrence when winter breaks up. This bridge is the great feature in the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, the longest railway in the world, extending the distance of upwards of a thousand miles.

 

A General View of Montreal from Mount Royal.–An admirable and extensive view of the city, with the Victoria Bridge, in course of construction, spanning the St. Lawrence, in the distance.

 

View on the Montmorenci River, near Quebec.–Perhaps the most picturesque river in the world, being a wild and continued torrent from its source till it empties itself into the St. Lawrence. This view consists of a wooden bridge extending between beautifully wooded banks; a broad sheet of water broken about into picturesque forms; and in the foreground a cascade dashing over immense rocks – forming a charming picture.

 

The Falls of Montmorenci, where that river joins the St. Lawrence, is a delicious subject. Its natural beauties are still further enhanced by some judiciously placed figures. The reflexion [sic] in the water is admirable, and in the stereoscope has an astonishing effect.

 

Crystal Cascade, White Mountains; View on the Genesee River, and portion of the Chaudière Falls, are exquisite specimens of well-photographed falling water, having no evidence of the wooliness which so often mars the effect of photographs of scenes of this kind.

 

Ice Cavern, White Mountains.–This is the gem of the collection. The long icicles hanging from the top of the picture to the bottom have a marvellously [sic] natural effect, particularly when ween in the stereoscope, the want of achromatism in the lenses adding the prismatic colours often seen in ice.

 

Washington Street, Boston.–An instantaneous view of a picturesque street, with omnibuses, carriages, & c., full of life and motion; all, with the exception of a gig which must have been proceeding at a very rapid pace, as distinct as if they had stood for their portraits.

 

Natural Bridge, Virginia.–This well-known bridge is one of the greatest natural wonders in America, and is a good subject for the stereoscope.

 

In looking over this collection of stereograms, we were much pleased with the even tone and general excellence of the whole, and we much regret that the name of the clever artist who produced them has not been given.”[7]

 

In April 1861 twenty views from the North American series reached Australia. That month the Sydney Morning Herald wrote of their impressions of the series.

 

“PHOTOGRAPHS OF AMERICAN SCENES.–We extracted, a few weeks ago, from the Times, a notice of several beautiful photographic views taken in North America by artists engaged for the purpose by the London Stereoscopic Company. ON Saturday last we had the pleasure of inspecting a complete set of these views – about twenty in number – which have lately been imported by Mr. J. R. Clarke, of George-street. A very superficial glance at these pictures will show the encomiums passed upon them were well deserved. As photographic pictures, they are remarkable for the exquisite softness of the shades, and for the almost stereoscopic distinctness of the minutest lines; but, in addition to their intrinsic excellence as photographs, the scenes selected are some of the most conspicuous to be found in North America, either for their picturesque beauty, or for the magnitude of the engineering works. Several views were taken of Niagara, and they represent as accurately as it is possible for photographs to do, the wild impetuosity and grandeur of that celebrated cataract. The views of bridges across Niagara, and also across the St. Lawrence, and the Genesee, are of great interest as showing the ingenious construction of works, which are the wonders of this, as they will doubtless be of succeeding ages. Of course the most remarkable of these is the Victoria Bridge, across the St. Lawrence, which was opened a few months ago by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. A good position has been taken for giving some idea of the enormous length of this viaduct, which connects shores a mile and three-quarters distant from each other, and is supported on only twenty-four piers. Considering the beauty of these pictures as photographs, and the interest which attaches to the scenes they represent, we may doubt whether any similar works of greater value have arrived in the colony.”[8]

 

In March 1862, at a Polytechnic Institution meeting, England conducted a full showing using “the aid of the magic lantern.” The Photographic News wrote of the show, including views of New York City, Sleepy Hollow, West Point, Niagara Falls, Quebec and the Catskills.

 

“The Polytechnic Institution is one of the oldest favourites with the public as a place combining instruction and amusement, and has, moreover, many associations connected with photography. Recently, it has acquired a distinctive characteristic in the prominence which it gives to photographic illustration. By the aid of the magic lantern, or dissolving view apparatus on a very large scale, photographic transparencies receive the utmost possible effect. The series of photographs which are now exciting considerable attention consist of a selection from Mr. England’s stereoscopic views of American scenery, published by the London Stereoscopic Company. These pictures, illuminate b the oxy-hydrogen lime light, are thrown on an immense screen, the disk covering seven hundred superficial feet, and notwithstanding this immense amplification, produce a very fine effect. The only faults we have to notice consist in a little hardness in some, and a little coldness in the tone of others.

 

Firs on the list is the Broadway, New York, an instantaneous view, giving a very good idea of that busy thoroughfare, and reminding us vividly of the day we first stood there. West Point, on the Hudson River, with its military academy, is a fine picturesque view, as is also the view of Sleepy Hollow, rendered so famous by the legends of Washington Irving. Here we have the veritable spot where the “Headless Man,” to the no small terror of the inhabitants of this dreamy region, performed his nocturnal excursions.

 

Passing up the Hudson, we find ourselves amongst the Catskill Mountains, where Rip Van Winkle slept and dreamed. Some of the scenery here is very grand, and like the Hartz Mountains, fit dwelling place of elf and gnome. Here are the Catskill Falls, a deep gorge, with a cascade descending some hundreds of feet, dashing from rock to rock in wild confusion and turbulent beauty.

 

The chief attractions of this series are the superb views of Niagara. The falls in summer, with warm glowing atmosphere, soft and sunny, and in winter, when the spray is frozen into myriads of sparking diamonds; whilst around are icicles of enormous size, hanging from the rocks, and reaching almost to the foot of the falls. The panorama from Prospect Point shows the American and Horse-shoe Falls, the figures in the foreground suggesting the vastness of the scene. This is a charming photograph, full of softness and atmosphere. The Lover’s Walk, Niagara, is a well chosen view, with fine perspective, very sunny effect. Passing down the Niagara River, we get a representation of the longest suspension bridge in the world. The details of this fairy-like structure is very fine. Here also we have the crowning work of Stephenson – the Victoria Bridge, Montreal. The St. Lawrence at Quebec, with its thousand ships, riding peacefully at anchor on the broad bosom of this mighty river, is another excellent view.

 

The Falls of Montmorenci, a cataract near Quebec, of two hundred feet in height, is a fine and telling picture. An ice cavern is amazingly effective and beautiful. Long icicles depending several feet from the roof glitter in dazzling rays of wondrous splendour, such subjects illustrating pre-eminently the excellence of photographic delineation.

 

The undoubted success of these transparencies is due as much to their photographic excellence as to the interest of the subjects. We are glad to believe that photographs must ere long largely, if not entirely, supersede the gaudy and unreal paintings which have hitherto formed the staple of views for the magic lantern.”[9]

 

In March 1862 England again displayed his American photographs, this time at the London Photographic Society. “The chairman announced that Mr. England would exhibit some instantaneous and other views of Paris and America. They would be enlarged on the screen ten feet square and by the aid of the magic lantern, so as to be seen by all the members at once. Mr. England had not prepared a paper on the subject, but would be happy to answer any questions put to him as to the process followed in the production of the pictures . . . The members were entertained for more than half-an-hour by the inspection of these photographs.”[10]

 

The “America in the Stereoscope” series firmly estalished the reputation of both William England and his employer, the LSC. Although very skilled, England, before the America series, was not, perhaps, as well-known as he should have been. This was likely due to the fact that the LSC had a policy of not including the photographer’s name on any of their published stereoviews. It is conjectured that this may have eventually contributed to England leaving the LSC.

 

 

Advertisements for the “America in the Stereoscope” Series

 

“The London Stereoscopic Company . . . having sent out a special artist to America and Canada, have secured all the above celebrated places in large single, and also in stereoscopic photographs of remarkable beauty, both of which sets his Royal Highness the Prince Consort has most graciously patronized.” – The Morning Post (London).

 

“The company have, through their aid, just secured a most remarkable series of upwards of 100 views from America, among which Niagara presents us, within compass of a few inches, all its rush and roar, and ever-hurrying waters.” – The Morning Post (London).

 

 

Advertisements for the “America in the Stereoscope” series were placed in various publications around the globe. The commercial response was near universal, with the LSC selling an incredible number of views. One advertisement from the company noted that 12,000 views were sold on their issue date alone. Below are a few examples of these “America in the Stereoscope” advertisements.

 

This advertisement one was featured in published in The Cathedrals of the United Kingdom.

Advertisement for the photographs taken by William England during his 1859 tour of the United States.America in the Stereoscope“America in the Stereoscope. This wonderful and extraordinary Series of Pictures is now ready; they comprehend the wildest and loveliest portions of this world-renowned Scenery. In Leather Case, price £7 7s. the Set. Specimens sent (Niagara if desired) free by post, 18 stamps each. As proof of the high quality and beauty of the above, 1000 Dozen were sold on the first day of their issue. EXPORTERS AND TRADE SUPPLIED. Post Office Orders (crossed Union Bank of London) payable to George Swan Nottage.”

Source: Walcott, MacKenzie. The Cathedrals of the United Kingdom. London: Edward Stanford, 1860.

Caption: “America in the Stereoscope. This wonderful and extraordinary Series of Pictures is now ready; they comprehend the wildest and loveliest portions of this world-renowned Scenery. In Leather Case, price £7 7s. the Set. Specimens sent (Niagara if desired) free by post, 18 stamps each. As proof of the high quality and beauty of the above, 1000 Dozen were sold on the first day of their issue. EXPORTERS AND TRADE SUPPLIED. Post Office Orders (crossed Union Bank of London) payable to George Swan Nottage.”[11]

 

Another advertisement was placed in The Art-Journal Advertiser over several months in 1859.

Advertisement for the America in Stereoscope series of photographs by William England.Now Publishing, America in the StereoscopeNow Publishing, America in the Stereoscope. The LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY beg to announce that their long expected series of American Views is now complete, consisting of ONE HUNDRED. The Company have had one of their principal Artists engaged upon these views in the United States for upwards of six months, and all who have examined the subjects, declare them to be the grandest series of views ever produced. They comprehend alike the most terrific and the loveliest portions of this world-renowned scenery, and are specimens of the highest style of the Photographic Art. As a simple proof of their excellence and beauty, upwards of 1000 DOZEN were sold on the first day of their publication. THE SET COMPLETE, in gold lettered HANDSOME LEATHER CASE £7 7S. 54 Cheapside, E.C., and 313, Oxford Street, W. Post Office Orders (crossed “Union Bank of London”) payable to GEORGE SWAN NOTTAGE.”

Caption: Now Publishing, America in the Stereoscope. The LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY beg to announce that their long expected series of American Views is now complete, consisting of ONE HUNDRED. The Company have had one of their principal Artists engaged upon these views in the United States for upwards of six months, and all who have examined the subjects, declare them to be the grandest series of views ever produced. They comprehend alike the most terrific and the loveliest portions of this world-renowned scenery, and are specimens of the highest style of the Photographic Art. As a simple proof of their excellence and beauty, upwards of 1000 DOZEN were sold on the first day of their publication. THE SET COMPLETE, in gold lettered HANDSOME LEATHER CASE £7 7S. 54 Cheapside, E.C., and 313, Oxford Street, W. Post Office Orders (crossed “Union Bank of London”) payable to GEORGE SWAN NOTTAGE.”[12]

 

This advertisement was placed in The Morning Post of London on May 15, 1860.

Advertisement for the photographs taken by William England during his 1859 tour of the United States.Seven New American Stereographs“This day (Tuesday), the 15th,
Seven new American
S T E R E O G R A P H S.
NIAGARA FALLS.
NEW VICTORIA BRIDGE, Two Miles Long.
PANORAMA – BROADWAY.
PANORAMA – MONTREAL.
PANORAMA – QUEBEC.
ICE CAVERN – WHITE MOUNTAINS.
BLONDIN CROSSING THE FALLS.
In Ornamental Envelope.
Free by post, 10s.
Post-office orders to GEORGE SWAN NOTTAGE,
54, CHEAPSIDE, and 313, OXFORD STREET.
“A most charming set of stereoscopic views. In the matchless cataract of Niagara, the fountain of an infant sea, the artist exhausts his skill in instantaneous photography of this tremendous scene. For fearlessness and grandeur of detail, these surpass anything of the kind we have ever seen.” – Times, May 3.
Now Publishing,
A SET of 21 LARGE PHOTOGRAPHIS OF AMERICAN SCENERY,
Portfolio Included, £5 5s.

“This day (Tuesday), the 15th,

Seven new American

S T E R E O G R A P H S.

NIAGARA FALLS.

NEW VICTORIA BRIDGE, Two Miles Long.

PANORAMA – BROADWAY.

PANORAMA – MONTREAL.

PANORAMA – QUEBEC.

ICE CAVERN – WHITE MOUNTAINS.

BLONDIN CROSSING THE FALLS.

In Ornamental Envelope.

Free by post, 10s.

Post-office orders to GEORGE SWAN NOTTAGE,

54, CHEAPSIDE, and 313, OXFORD STREET.

“A most charming set of stereoscopic views. In the matchless cataract of Niagara, the fountain of an infant sea, the artist exhausts his skill in instantaneous photography of this tremendous scene. For fearlessness and grandeur of detail, these surpass anything of the kind we have ever seen.” – Times, May 3.

Now Publishing,

A SET of 21 LARGE PHOTOGRAPHIS OF AMERICAN SCENERY,

Portfolio Included, £5 5s.

 

This advertisement was published in The Athanaeum in May 1860.

Advertisement for the photographs taken by William England during his 1859 tour of the United States.21 Large Photographs21
LARGE
P H O T O G R A P H S
OF
AMERICAN SCENERY.
Price 5£. 5s.
Including Portfolio.
“They are wonderful examples of the vividness with which, in skillful hands, Photography may be made to reproduce the most fleeting grandeur of these tremendous cataracts; and are quite beyond mere description to do justice to.” – Times, May 3.

LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY
54, CHEAPSIDE, AND 313, OXFORD STREET.
*** The New Stereoscopic Series will be published Next Week.”

Source: The Athenaeum. May 19, 1860.

 

21

LARGE

P H O T O G R A P H S

OF

AMERICAN SCENERY.

Price 5£. 5s.

Including Portfolio.

“They are wonderful examples of the vividness with which, in skillful hands, Photography may be made to reproduce the most fleeting grandeur of these tremendous cataracts; and are quite beyond mere description to do justice to.” – Times, May 3.

 

LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY

54, CHEAPSIDE, AND 313, OXFORD STREET.

*** The New Stereoscopic Series will be published Next Week.”[13]

 

The London Stereoscopic Company also advertised their American and Canadian views in association with the trip of Albert Edward (1841-1910), the Prince of Wales, i.e., the future King Edward VII, to Canada and the United States in 1860. During the Canadian portion of the extended 3-month tour the Prince of Wales visited St. John’s, Sydney, Halifax, Hantsport, Fredericton, Pictou, Charlotte Town, Gaspe, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and London. During the American portion of the tour the Prince of Wales visited Niagara Falls, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Washington DC, Mount Vernon, Richmond, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Albany, Boston and Portland.

 

Several of these sites had been visited and photographed by William England in the years prior to the Prince’s trip. In Canada, locations that were photographed by England and later visited by the Prince of Wales included Quebec, Chaudière Falls, Montmorency Falls, Montreal, the Victoria Bridge and Ottawa. American locations that were photographed by England included Niagara Falls, Washington DC, Mount Vernon, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston. The Prince Consort, father of the Prince of Wales, reportedly purchased a set of the stereoviews in order to follow his son’s trip, a fact that the London Stereoscopic Company gladly advertised.

 

The Prince of Wales's TourThe Prince of Wales's TourTHE PRINCE OF WALES'S TOUR.

Patronised by His Royal Highness the PRINCE CONSORT. A SET OF STEREOGRAMS, including NIAGARA, for 10s., in stamps.

LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY, 54, Cheapside, and 313, Oxford-street.

A Large Set, 35s.

"The most wonderful pictures we ever saw." – Art Journal.


Source: The Morning Post. (London.) August 24, 1860. p. 4.

 

THE PRINCE OF WALES’S TOUR.

Patronised by

His Royal Highness the PRINCE CONSORT.

A SET OF STEREGRAMS, including

NIAGARA, for 10s., in stamps.

LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY,

54, Cheapside, and 313, Oxford-street.

A Large St, 35s.

“The most wonderful pictures we ever saw.”–Art Journal.”[14]

 

The Prince of Wales's Tour.The Prince of Wales's Tour.THE PRINCE OF WALES'S TOUR.

A Series of large Photographs of the principal places visited by his Royal Highness, with portfolio, £5 5s. The LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY have had the honour to receive the royal commands for the above fine series of views.

The above are sent carriage free, on remittance to George Swan Nottage, 54, Cheapside.

They form a handsome New-Year's gift.

"Impossible for mere description to do justice to these photographs."–Times.

"We never realised America until we saw these wonderful photographs."–Art Journal.

Source: The Morning Post. (London.) January 5, 1861.

 

THE PRINCE OF WALES'S TOUR. A Series of large Photographs of the principal places visited by his Royal Highness, with portfolio, £5 5s. The LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY have had the honour to receive the royal commands for the above fine series of views. The above are sent carriage free, on remittance to George Swan Nottage, 54, Cheapside. They form a handsome New-Year's gift. "Impossible for mere description to do justice to these photographs."–Times.

"We never realised America until we saw these wonderful photographs."–Art Journal.”[15]

 

The Prince of Wales's TourThe Prince of Wales's Tour"Impossible for mere description to do justice to these Photographs." – Times.

"We never realised America until we saw these wonderful Photographs."–Art Journal.

THE PRINCE of WALES'S TOUR of the PRINCIPAL PLACES VISITED by H.R.H. With Portfolio, £5 5s.

The LONDON STEREOSCOPIC COMPANY have had the honour to receive the ROYAL COMMAND for the above fine SERIES OF VIEWS.

They are sent, carriage free, on remittance to
GEORGE SWAN NOTTAGE, 54, CHEAPSIDE.

The above form a handsome New Year's Gift.


Source: Daily News. (London.) January 5, 1861. p. 4.

“THE PRINCE OF WALES IN CANADA.–His royal highness visits, on the 18th, Quebec; 20th, Chaudière Falls; 22d, Falls of Montmorency; 23d, Montreal; 25th, Victoria Bridge (opening ceremony); 31st, Ottawa; 12th September, Falls of Niagara. The London Stereoscopic Company, of 54, Cheapside, and 313, Oxford-street, having sent out a special artist to America and Canada, have secured all the above celebrated places in large single, and also in stereoscopic photographs of remarkable beauty, both of which sets his Royal Highness the Prince Consort has most graciously patronized. The cost of the set of seven large pictures is 35s.; the stereoscopic set of seven, 10s. Sent free to any part of England on remittance to Mr. George Swan Nottage, the managing partner. Opinions of the press:– “Quite beyond mere description to do justice to.”–Times. “We never realized Niagara before we saw these wonderful pictures.”–Art-Journal.”[16]

 

 

[1] “America in the Stereoscope.” The Times. May 3, 1860.

[2] “America in the Stereoscope.” The Art-Journal. Vol. 6. July 1, 1860. London: James S. Virtue, 1860. p. 221.

[3] “Critical Notices.” The Photographic News. Vol. 4, No. 104. August 31, 1860. pp. 208-209.

[4] Photographic Notes. Vol. 5. August 1, 1860. London: Sampson Low, Son, & Co., 1860. p. 204.

[5] “Fine Arts.” The Literary Gazette. New Series, Vol. 5, No. 113. August 25, 1860. p. 137.

[6] Headsman, Simeon. “Letters to a Photographic Friend.” British Journal of Photography. Vol. 7, No. 128. October 15, 1860. pp. 302-303.

[7] “American Scenery.” Published by the London Stereoscopic Company.” The Photographic Journal. Vol. 7. April 15, 1861. London: Taylor and Francis, 1862. pp. 167-169.

[8] “Photographs of American Scenery.” The Sydney Morning Herald. April 1, 1861. p. 4.

[9] “Photography at the Polytechnic Institution.” The Photographic News. March 28, 1862. London: Thomas Piper, 1862. p. 150.

[10] “London Photographic Society.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 8. March 15, 1862. Liverpool: Henry Greenwood, 1862. p. 113.

[11] Walcott, MacKenzie. The Cathedrals of the United Kingdom. London: Edward Stanford, 1860.

[12] The Art-Journal Advertiser. November 1859.

[13] The Athenaeum. May 19, 1860.

[14] “The Prince of Wales’s Tour.” The Morning Post. August 24, 1860. p. 4.

[15] “The Prince of Wales’s Tour.” The Morning Post. (London.) January 5, 1861.

[16] “The Prince of Wales in Canada.” The Morning Post (London). August 20, 1860. p. 6.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1859 alpine America in the Stereoscope Blondin Britain Catskills England exhibit Fawn's Leap International Exhibition Ireland Italy Kaaterskill Clove Kaaterskill Falls Kauterskill Falls landscape Laurel House London Stereoscopic Company mountains Niagara Falls North American Series North Lake photographer photographs photography Plattekill Clove Plauterkill Clove Rhine scenery statuary stereoscope stereoscopic stereoviews Switzerland waterfalls William England https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/3/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-5 Sat, 26 Mar 2022 12:15:00 GMT
William England and His 1859 Tour of the Catskills (Part 4) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/3/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-4 Introduction

 

William England (1830-1896) was a 19th century British photographer who was widely known for his travel images. He was an early adopter of photography, operating a studio in the late 1840s, less than ten years after the daguerreotype was created by French inventor Louis Daguerre. England’s 1859 trip through the United States, including a visit to the Catskills, and Canada gained widespread praise. His image of Charles Blondin tightrope walking across the Niagara Gorge is among the top selling stereoviews of all time. Although largely forgotten today, William England was considered one of the great photographers of his era.

 

 

Continued from Part 3

 

Study of the Catskills

 

In 1882 The Photographic News noted England’s earlier work in the Hudson Valley and in the Catskills. “Speaking of Mr. England’s photographs, it is well worth noting that he was the first to produce a series of views of that charming district hallowed by the romance of Washington Irving. The green-shored Hudson river and craggy Kaatskills, world-famous as the home of Rip Van Winkle, where passed “the legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and where Hendrick Hudson and his old-Dutch associates still live and move in spirit, carrying on in phantom-life their old sailor-smuggler adventures among the silvery crags and green forest land that overlook the winding river – these scenes were depicted with all Mr. England’s art and skill during his stay in the New World.”[1]

 

England’s stereoviews of the Catskills offer three contrasting views of Kaaterskill Falls, i.e., numbers 55, 56 and 68. Number 55 shows the side view of the falls, a view that is today quite accessible since the construction of a viewing platform by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Number 56 offers a view from underneath the first drop, a location that was for many years difficult to reach, although in recent years additional trails have been constructed around Kaaterskill Falls for safety reasons, and this view is now easily accessed. Number 68 offers the classic view of the falls, from the bottom of the gorge, showing both drops, and the spray house of the former Laurel House. This view was featured in a 2019 New York Times article about the Catskills and their growing popularity.

 

#55 Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#55 Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.#55
Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.
“This branch of the Kauterskill Falls, after winding and rippling o’er its rocky bed, singing and murmuring through forest shades and wild secluded glens, descends in a white and misty torrent over a ledge of rock to the depth of 180 feet, its incessant music, as it splashes on the projecting ledges in its descent, falling pleasantly on the ear.

From rock to rock the waters leap,
In a fair white sheet they flow,
Then sparkling fall o’er the rugged steep,
To the dark abyss below;
Dashing and splashing in extacy,
As they dance to their own rough minstrelrcy.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a57e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

#56 Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#56 Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below.#56
Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below.
“This portion of Kauterskill Falls, when viewed from beneath, presents a most peculiar feature. From a height of nearly 180 feet the water descends into an ampitheatre scooped by the hand of nature out of the solid rock, and forming a cavern of vast extent, and of grand and solemn aspect. As we stand upon the floor of this and gaze upward, we behold the limpid waters descending in a white and flaky column, their light and sparkling beauty contrasting greatly with the gloomy walls of the overhanging rocks, the misty stream presenting the appearance of a bright sunbeam piercing through the arched roof above.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

#68 Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#68 Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains.#68
Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains.
“FENNIMORE COOPER in his story of “The Pioneer” thus describes these cascades: “The water comes croaking and winding among the rocks, first so slow that a trout might swim in it, then starting and running like any creature that wanted to make a fair spring, till it gets to where the mountain divides like the cleft foot of deer, leaving a deep hollow for the brook to tumble into. The first falls is night 200 feet, and the water looks like flakes of snow before it touches the bottom, and then gathers itself together again for a new start, and maybe flutters over 50 feet of that rock before it falls for another 100 feet, when it jumps from shelf to shelf, first running this way, and then that way, striving to get out of the hollow, till it finally gets to the plain.”

“Midst greens and shades the Kauterskill leaps,
From cliffs there the wood flower clings;
All summer he moistens his verdant steeps,
With the sweet light spray of the mountain springs;
And he shakes the woods on the mountain side,
When they drip with the rains of autumn tide.

“But when in the forest bare and old,
The blast of December calls,
He builds, in the starlight clear and cold,
A palace of light where his torrent falls,
With turret, and arch, and fretwork fair,
And pillars blue as the summer air.”–Bryant.

Source: England, William, photographer. Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a57a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Two photos of Kaaterskill Falls, numbers 55 and 68, depict the “spray house” of the former Laurel House hotel, which was constructed as a boarding house in 1852 by Peter Schutt, and later managed by his son Jacob L. Schutt. The Laurel House, named for the mountain laurel (kalmia latifolia) that grows and blossoms around the area, originally had room for 50 visitors but was expanded after the Civil War and again in the early 1880s to accommodate approximately 300 people. The hotel was very popular given its location near the falls, its views of Kaaterskill Clove and its moderate pricing when compared to the more upscale Catskill Mountain House and the Kaaterskill Hotel. The grand Laurel House hotel operated until 1963, was acquired by New York State two years later and its grounds added to the Catskill Forest Preserve. The state intentionally burned the historic structure in March 1967.

 

All three of England’s photos of Kaaterskill Falls notably show a heavy flow of water. This type of flow at Kaaterskill Falls is fairly typical with the spring thaw, in the autumn season and after a heavy rain. However, summer was, by far, the busiest season in the 19th-century Catskills, a time of year when the falls often slow considerably, sometimes to a mere trickle. Given that visitors desired to see the falls at full flow, an early entrepreneur had a solution, i.e., dam the creek, and, then when visitors were at the Falls, open the dam’s gate to allow the water to freely flow when requested, all for a fee, of course, typically noted as being 25 cents for the season. Not everyone was happy about paying for nature’s flowing water, and yet most wanted to witness the Kaaterskill Falls made famous in so many paintings, engravings and poems. This “spray” operation began in the 1820s with Ira Scribner and father Silas who operated a sawmill upstream from the falls, and continued with the Schutt family while they operated the Laurel House. The option to let the water flow for a fee would have almost certainly been made available to William England during his visit to Kaaterskill Falls.

 

Samuel E. Rusk, who would later become a noted Catskills photographer and boarding house owner, beautifully described the setting of the Laurel House, the Spray House and Kaaterskill Falls in his 1879 book titled Rusk’s Illustrated Guide to the Catskill Mountains.

 

“It is but a few feet from the Laurel House to the top of the [Kaaterskill] Falls. The Spray House stands on the very verge, and its platform, with timbers bolted to the rock, projects over the awful chasm. This is the point from which to view the Falls from above; and over this first Fall the water drops a hundred and sixty feet, broken into millions of foamy fragments ere it strikes below, and flowing along a few yards it again plunges to the depth of eighty feet . . .

 

It is from under the Falls where its grandeur becomes most striking. At a gate by the Spray House a payment of twenty-five cents is made – for once during the season – and a charming path followed a few yards through the forest to the head of the stairs. Rustic seats are place along the way, and there are resting-places at various landings along down the many flights of stairs passed in reaching the bottom of the falls.

 

In the immense ampitheater which curves behind of the first Fall is a level path on which one may safely pass entirely around behind the falling water. Midway along the path the flood comes pouring over the enormous arch of rock, and as it descends, is eighty feet distant from the point of observation. After passing around by this path, the stream may be re-crossed a few yards below, at the top of the second Fall, where the stairs continue down to the foot, and reach a seat placed so as to give an unobstructed view of both Falls. While parties are down here, the gate of a dam immediately above the Falls is opened, thus augmenting the usual flow of water, and the scene is then truly marvellous.”[2]

 

Fawn’s Leap, number 74, once known as the less poetic Dog’s Hole, is a quaint, fabled waterfall spilling through a narrow gorge along the lower Kaaterskill Creek. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Kaaterskill Clove. The falls are approximately 30 feet tall, “and so runs on this wonderful stream, giving the Fawn’s Leap, where the waters plunge into a seething gulf between the cleft rocks and then flow gently to make still greater plunges into darker depths a short distance below.”[3]

 

#74 The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#74 The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.#74
The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.
“At one period these mountain ranges and thick tangled forests, were the homes of the red deer, and from a circumstance which transpired some years since, the spot, which the accompanying photograph represents, was named; and from which it would appear, that a fawn, pursued by the angry dog of one of the settlers, and just as escape seemed hopeless, suddenly espied this wide and gaping chasm. Goaded by desperation, the fawn attempted the leap, and succeeded in reaching the opposite side in safety. The dog, less nimble that his expected prey, in attempting to follow, missed his footing, and was dashed down the yawning abyss, his mangled body being carried away by the current.

Fresh vigour with the hope returned,
With flying foot the heath he spurned,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.–LADY OF THE LAKE.”

Source: London Stereoscopic Company. The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

There are multiple versions of the legend as to how Fawn’s Leap takes its name. One version “has a young deer having here escaped a hunter and his dog that pursued it to the verge of the chasm; the fawn leaped it, but the dog, attempting to follow, fell into the gulf and was drowned.”[4] The historic marker at the waterfall has the fawn, not the dog, meeting its fate: “A fawn pursued by a dog tried to jump the chasm and failed.” Yet another version states “that a doe made the leap of the chasm over the fall, and that her fawn, in attempting to follow, fell into the deep pool, and swan round the pool for two days, the doe remaining near and watching it.”[5] An 1839 article in The Evening Post in still yet another version said the falls were “so called from the bones of a deer being found near the opening of a rocky chasm into which the sheet of water throws itself.”[6]

 

No matter the origin of its name, Fawn’s Leap has long been a favorite destination for artists and photographers and today is a locally popular swimming hole and cliff jumping location. Fawn’s Leap was the inspiration for the lower waterfall in Asher Brown Durand’s classic painting Kindred Spirits. Other well-known paintings of the waterfall include The Fawn’s Leap (1859) by John Frederick Kensett, Mountain View (1860) by Charles Herbert Moore and Fawn’s Leap, Catskill, New York (1868) by John William Hill.

 

“Sylvan Lake, Catskill Mountains,” number 65, was one of several former names of today’s North-South Lake, as per Alf Evers, noted Catskills’ historian. “Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains,” number 59, and “View on the Catskill Mountains,” number 62, both appear that they may also be scenes on the shores of Sylvan Lake.

 

#59 Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.

#59  Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.#59 Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.

 

#62 View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#62 View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)#62
View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)
“The Catskill Mountains are the most grand and picturesque of the mountain ranges of the United States, and are part of the great Appallachian chain, which extends through all the eastern portion of the Union, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Their chief ranges follow the course of the Hudson River for some twenty or thirty miles, lying west of it, and separated by a valley stretch of ten or twelve miles. These mountains lend to all the landscape of that part of the Hudson from which they are visible, its greatest charm. Of the unrivalled sight one can never weary; and at the dawn of day, or as the rising of the sun, when its magical beams are lifting the mystical vapours and cloud-curtain, which the night has invisibly spread over the scene, the beauty of these rugged mountains is complete.”

Source: England, William, photographer. View on the Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

Sylvan Lake, or North-South Lake, has also been known as the Kaaterskill Lakes. At times the two names, North-South Lake and Kaaterskill Lakes, were used interchangeably; while at other times the name Kaaterskill Lake referred specifically to South Lake, while the other lake continued to be known as North Lake. The 1884 Walton Van Loan map referred to them as North Lake and South Lake.

 

Sylvan Lake, “a perfect gem of a lake,” was, like Kaaterskill Falls and Fawn’s Leap, a required stop for those visiting Kaaterskill Clove of the northern Catskills. Sylvan Lake is located between South Mountain and North Mountain, west of the Escarpment, and near the former site of the famed Catskill Mountain House. Particularly with visitors to the Mountain House, the lakes were a much-sought destination for walks along its shores as well as being a haven for swimming, boating and fishing. North-South Lake used to be two separate, distinct lakes. However, as per the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, “the narrow isthmus between the lakes was removed and a dam was built at the outlet of South Lake to create one large lake.” Today, North-South Lake is home to the largest campground in the Catskills.

 

Sylvan Lake had long gained the attention of artists. The first painting of the lake, titled Lake with Dead Trees, was completed in 1825 by the then unknown 24-year-old landscape artist Thomas Cole. Lake with Dead Trees was one of five paintings completed that year by Cole of scenery in the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains. Th painting was displayed in a New York City shop, where it was purchased by William Dunlap (1766-1839), a noted painter and historian, and then displayed at the American Academy of Fine Arts exhibition to favorable reviews. The five paintings helped launch both Cole’s painting career and the Hudson River School of Art, a new style of painting, the first uniquely American painting style and one that Americans could call their own. In 1835, ten years after his initial visit and painting, Cole wrote of “two of the happiest days I remember,” which included his experiences at Sylvan Lake.

 

“After breakfast, we strolled down to the small lake, a few hundred yards from the house [the Catskill Mountain House]. It has beautiful as well as grand features – rich forests and mountains . . . I pointed out a view which I once painted, which was, I think, the first picture ever painted of the lake, which will hereafter be the subject of a thousand pencils. Several years since I explored its shores for some distance, but thick woods and swampy ground impeded me. I enriched by sketch-book with studies of the fine dead trees, which stand like spectres on the shores. As we made our way to an opening through the woods, which disclosed the lake in a charming manner, we perceived a rude boat among the bushes, which was exactly what we wanted. We pushed off and leaped into it, as if the genius of the deep had placed it there for our special use. Before us spread the virgin waters which the prow of the sketcher has never yet curled, enfolded by the green woods, whose venerable masses had never yet figured in annuals, and overlooked by the stern mountain peaks never beheld by Claude or Salvator, nor subjected to the canvas by the innumerable dabblers in paint of all past time . . . .

 

A little promontory, forming a fine foreground to a charming view down the lake, invited us. We had some fine perspective lines of forest on our right, with many dead trees standing near the shore, as if stripped for the elements.  These dead trees are a striking feature in the scenery of this lake, and exceedingly picturesque. Their pale forms rise from the margin of the lake, stretching out their contorted branches, and looking like so many genii set to protect their sacred waters. On the left was another reach of forest of various hues, and in the center of the picture rose the distant Round Top, blue and well defined, and cast its reflection on the lake, out to the point where our boat swung like a thing in air. The headland was picturesque in the extreme. Apart from the dense wood, a few birches and pines were grouped together in a rich mass, and one giant pine rose far above the rest. On the extreme cape a few bushes of light green grew directly from the water. In the midst of their sparkling foliage stood two of the bare spectral trees, with limbs decorated with moss of silvery hue, and waving like gray locks in the wind. We remained here long enough to finish a sketch, and returned to our harbor to refit.

 

After dinner we again launched our vessel for a longer voyage of discovery. We now crossed the lake, paddling, after the manner of Indians. Our boat glided beautifully over the tranquil waters, and swept aside the yellow water-lilies. In a strait between the mainland and a low islet, where the water was very still, the woods were reflected beautifully. I never saw such depth and brilliancy in the reflections. The dead trees on the margin added by their silvery tints to the harmony of color, and their images in the waters, which had a gentle undulation, appeared like immense glittering serpents playing in the deep. At every stroke of the oar some fresh object of beauty would break upon us. We made several sketches, and about sunset turned our prow. As we returned we struck up the ‘Canadian Boat Song,’ and though our music was rude, the woods answered in melodious echoes. What a place for music by moonlight! It would be romance itself! This may be, and I may enjoy it.”[7]            

 

T. Addison Richards, a noted landscape painter, described the scene at Sylvan Lake during his travels through the region in 1854, only five years before England’s arrival.

 

“The next pilgrimage which the tourist is expected to make is the two charming lakelets, which, in their strange mountain bed, add so greatly to the interest of the surrounding points. Their waters supply the renowned Catskill Falls, which we shall reach in due order. An easy wagon passes the lakes at intervals throughout the day, on its way from the hotel to the cascades, but an orthodox Syntax will indignantly scorn this vulgar mode of locomotion, and bless the man who first invented boots.

 

A few minutes’ walk will bring you to the margin of the Upper or Sylvan Lake, a view of which we add to the list of our pictorial memories. You may pass an hour or two delightfully in strolling upon the pleasant shores, or you may enter one of the skiffs which skim the waters, and mingle your voice in happy carol with the murmur of the breeze, which never fails to play with the bright image cast by tree and rock and sail on the pellucid bosom of the lake. When these more demonstrative expressions of pleasure, which the scene will always draw from the coldest hearts, are spent, you may give your thoughts to the poetic page, or to the dreams of the romancer, occasionally glancing at the fly which you have cast upon the water to lure the wary trout. In short, unless you can find here some or other source of pleasure, God pity you, unhappy man!”[8]

 

“Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains,” number 77, appears to be a photograph of Moore’s Bridge Falls, a scenic 20-foot waterfall located in Kaaterskill Clove near Palenville. The falls flow beneath the Route 23A bridge, known as Moore’s Bridge, with Fawn’s Leap being located just upstream. The waterfall and the bridge over the falls are named for Charles Herbert Moore (1840-1930), a 19th century artist, writer, professor and museum director. During the 1860s Moore resided just north of the village of Catskill near today’s Rip Van Winkle Bridge. That estate, known as the Moore-Howland Estate, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Moore then moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where he took a teaching position at Harvard University and would become the first director of Harvard’s Fogg Museum. The rock wall adjacent to the waterfall is a popular destination for ice climbers during the winter months, while the pool just past the falls is a popular swimming hole during the summer months.

 

#77 Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#77 Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains.#77
Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains.
“Prone down the rocks the whitening sheet descends,
And viewless Echo’s ear astonished lends;
Dim seen thro’ rising mists and ceaseless showers,
The hoary cavern wide, surrounding lowers.
Still through the gap the struggling river toils,
And still below the horrid cauldron boils.”

Source: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a576-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

William England, in his Catskills photos, makes great use of adding people to the foreground to add both human interest and to reference the scale of the mountains. This use of people in landscapes, known as staffage, would continue to be used in England’s landscape work throughout his career. In his use of staffage, England was known to include various people including his traveling companions, his wife Rosalie and even himself.

 

The use of people in landscape photography, as England was inclined, was often debated. At a meeting of the Camera Club on February 13, 1890, 31 years after England’s journey to the United States, there was a discussion as to “the relative artistic merits of pure landscape and landscape with figures.” “Mr. William England was of the opinion that it is desirable to introduce figures into landscapes where it can be judiciously done, and that in some cases it is absolutely necessary. He had seen American stereoscopic pictures in which the introduction of the human figure gave an idea of the approximate height of the geysers in the Yellowstone Park. Sometimes the introduction of a figure will help to suitably break up a landscape foreground, and in the instance of a trout stream, the introduction of a man fishing was an improvement.”[9]

 

Not everyone at the Camera Club agreed with England’s assertions on staffage. Graham Balfour noted “the relative artistic merits of pure landscape and landscape with figures, and stated that he felt inclined to recommend the former.” Andrew Pringle, photographic author and president of the Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom, “maintains figures in landscape photographs are scarcely ever in the right place, and that it is better to leave them out.” Mr. George Davison, later a proponent of impressionistic photography and director at the Kodak company, stated that he “believed that there might be as much beauty in a simple landscape, or a tree, or a bit of a pond, as in grand scenery, and he did not think figures to be essential to pure artistic work.” Mr. Balfour, perhaps most harshly, stated that “the great experience of Mr. England made his utterances welcome and valuable, but that evening they were rather outside the range of the subjects dealt with in his paper. When figures were introduced to give the scale of the dimensions of a geyser, he should consider the result to be more properly classified with diagrams than with works of art.”

 

In the summer of 1863 England traveled to Switzerland, which resulted in the series Views of Switzerland, comprised of 130 widely praised stereoviews. Historian Peter Blair notes England’s use of staffage in an article about stereoviews in the Alps. “Long before the impact of global warming was felt, his [England’s] stereoviews provide a remarkable photographic record of the Alps at the end of the Little Ice Age with dramatic glaciers reaching the valley floors. His images demonstrate a genius for composition and an eye for the picturesque, with people placed in the foreground, usually including his French wife Rosalie, to provide interest and a sense of depth and scale.”[10]

 

In 1865 The Photographic News wrote of England’s expert use of staffage in a review of his “Views in Switzerland” series. “Another quality in which Mr. England excels, the want of facility in doing which often causes the ruin of otherwise charming views, is the judicious introduction of figures. In all the series before us we seldom find a figure out of place, and in the majority of instances they greatly assist in completing the pictorial effect of the composition.”[11]

 

During 1868, nine years after his trip to the United States, William England travelled to Tyrol in the Alps region of Italy and Austria. Historian Alexander Guano wrote of England’s travels in that beautiful region and the importance of staffage figures in his photographs taken there. “. . . one can nearly always find staffage figures in England’s work that enlivened the picture. On the one hand, they demonstrate the scale of the mountains, and on the other hand, function as representatives of the viewer in the landscape or in space.”[12]

 

#53 Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains.
 

As an example of England’s use of people in the Catskills, in view #53 titled Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains, a well-dressed, bearded man in a hat relaxingly sits with legs crossed among the enormous boulders that are quite characteristic of Platte Clove.

 

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#53 Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains.#53
Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains.
“This wild and almost untrodden spot is one of the most rugged scenes in the Catskill Mountains. By a strange and sudden convulsion of nature, the solid mountains has been cleft, as it were, in twain, the stupendous masses which have fallen from its sides filling the intermediate chasm with vast piles of solid blocks, heaped one upon another in grand confusion. Stretching out far beyond, an extensive area is covered with these gigantic fragments and as one gazes on them, strewn far and wide, he is prone to think that nature dissatisfied with a portion of her handiwork, and disdaining the mountains she had once reared, had, in momentary anger, undone her work and scattered the huge mountains in fragments around. From between the fallen ruins a solitary tree will raise its head, the almost leafless branches partaking of the desolation around.

Crags, knolls, and mounds confusedly hurled
The fragments of an earlier world.”–Scott.

Source: England, William, photographer. Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

#54 View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.
 

In view #54 titled View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains, a well-dressed man in a suit and hat carries a walking stick while standing on the edge of a boulder-strewn river. The view is stamped with the imprint of The London Stereoscopic Company 534 Broadway.

 

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#54 View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.#54
View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #71.) OR
Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

“The Kautsberg or Catskill mountains have always been a region full of fable. The Indians considered them the abode of spirits, who influenced the weather, spreading sunshine or clouds over the landscape and sending good or bad hunting seasons. They were ruled by an old squaw spirit, said to be their mother. She dwelt on the highest peak of the Catskills, and had charge of the doors of day and night, to open and shut them at the proper hour. She hung up the new moon in the skies, and cut up the old ones into stars. In times of drought, if properly propitiated, she would spin light summer clouds out of cobwebs and morning dew, and send them off from the crest of the mountain, flake after flake, like flakes of carded cotton, to float in the air until dissolved by the heat of the sun, they would fall in gentle showers, causing the grass to spring, the fruits to ripen, and the corn to grow an inch an hour. If displeased, however, she would brew up clouds black as ink sitting in the midst of them like a bottle-bellied spider in the midst of its web; and when this cloud broke, woe betide the valleys.” Notes to the “The Sketch Book,” by Washington Irving.

Source: England, William, photographer. View in the Kauterskill Glove, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a584-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

#57 Mountain Scene on the Catskills.
 

In view #57 titled Mountain Scene on the Catskills, a man in a hand-painted red shirt sits along at the bottom of a rocky cliff ledge while seemingly drawing on a sketch pad. Large boulders can be seen, along with a set of trail stairs leading up the cliffside, as well as a young woman in an aqua shirt sitting on a rock. The hand-painted elements, i.e., the man’s red shirt, the woman’s aqua shirt, the green trees and the blue sky, all add to the view.

 

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#57 Mountain Scene on the Catskills.#57
Mountain Scene on the Catskills.
“WASHINGTON IRVING in his “Sketch Book” thus writes of these mountains;– “Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical lines and shapes of these mountains; and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled they are clothed in blue and purple; and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of clear vapours about their summits, which in the last rays of the setting sun will glow and light up like a crown of glory.” ‘Twas on these mountains that “the simple good natured fellow Rip Van Winkle, a descendent of the Van Winkles, who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina,” took his long doze of twenty years’ duration.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Mountain scene on the Catskills. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

#62 View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)
 

In view #62 titled View on the Catskill Mountains, a well-dressed young man sits on a fallen tree with a lake in the background. The view has been hand-painted, including the man’s yellow hat, the tree trunks and ground in a natural orange, the tree foliage in green and the sky in blue.

 

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#62 View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)#62
View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)
“The Catskill Mountains are the most grand and picturesque of the mountain ranges of the United States, and are part of the great Appallachian chain, which extends through all the eastern portion of the Union, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Their chief ranges follow the course of the Hudson River for some twenty or thirty miles, lying west of it, and separated by a valley stretch of ten or twelve miles. These mountains lend to all the landscape of that part of the Hudson from which they are visible, its greatest charm. Of the unrivalled sight one can never weary; and at the dawn of day, or as the rising of the sun, when its magical beams are lifting the mystical vapours and cloud-curtain, which the night has invisibly spread over the scene, the beauty of these rugged mountains is complete.”

Source: England, William, photographer. View on the Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

#69 View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.
 

View #69 titled View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains depicts two men scrambling amongst boulders in the middle of a series of towering cascades.

 

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#69 View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.#69
View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.
“In old times, say the Indian traditions, there was a kind of Manitou or Spirit, who kept about the wildest recesses of the Catskill mountains, and took a mischievous pleasure in wreaking all kinds of even and vexations upon the red men. Sometimes he would assume the form of a bear, a panther, or a deer, lead the bewildered hunter a weary chase through tangled forests and among ragged rocks, and then spring off with a loud ho! ho! leaving him aghast on the brink of a beetling precipice or raging torrent.”– Notes to “The Sketch Book,” by Washington Irving.

“The pent up flood, impatient of control,
In ages past here broke its granite bound,
Then to the sea in broad meanders stole,
While the ponderous ruins strew’d the broken ground
And these gigantic hills for over closed around.”

Source: England, William, photographer. View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a586-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

#60 Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills.
 

In several views, including #60 titled Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills, #74 titled The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains and #76 titled Sylvan Cascade, Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains, young men can be seen sitting or standing, all while admiring beautiful waterfalls.

 

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#60 Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills.#60
Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills.
“‘Mountain scenery,’ remarks an elegant writer, “is, after all, that which most impresses the mind with the greatness of the works of the Creator. The summit of the mountains crowned with granite, and lifting its unadorned crest to the clouds, or perhaps above them, speaks to us in a majesty and glory derived from its severe boldness of outline, as well as magnitude of parts.

To sit on rocks, to muse on flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shade scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flocks that never need a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's God, and view his stores unroll'd.”
BYRON.

Source: England, William, photographer. Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

#74 The Fawn's Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#74 The Fawn's Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.#74
The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.
“At one period these mountain ranges and thick tangled forests, were the homes of the red deer, and from a circumstance which transpired some years since, the spot, which the accompanying photograph represents, was named; and from which it would appear, that a fawn, pursued by the angry dog of one of the settlers, and just as escape seemed hopeless, suddenly espied this wide and gaping chasm. Goaded by desperation, the fawn attempted the leap, and succeeded in reaching the opposite side in safety. The dog, less nimble that his expected prey, in attempting to follow, missed his footing, and was dashed down the yawning abyss, his mangled body being carried away by the current.

Fresh vigour with the hope returned,
With flying foot the heath he spurned,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.–LADY OF THE LAKE.”

Source: London Stereoscopic Company. The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

#76 Sylvan Cascade, Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#76 Sylvan Cascade, Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.#76
Sylvan Cascade, Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.
“This cascade is justly considered the finest of the Kauterskill Falls, and may literally be said to take its course through a rock grove, for on either side the perpendicular cliffs rise to a height of many hundred feet, sheltering the sparkling stream from summer sun, and casting a subdued and mellow light on the scene. From the rough sides of these towering cliffs stunted trees and shrubs stretch out their verdant arms, the green foliage presenting a pleasing contrast to the dark ledges of rock, and offering a charming relief to the otherwise nakedness of the view. From ledge to ledge the beautiful waters descend and in a succession of silvery cascades unceasingly tumble and flow, the waters of each fall as they reach the deep and rugged basin beneath, boiling and bubbling as through impatient of delay, then bursting their momentary bonds, again hurry on, winding their way between the fallen fragments, till they reach the brink of the next precipice, over which they again descend in a white and foamy stream. There is a quiet and secluded beauty about this spot which is only equalled by that of the Alhambra Cascade, Trenton.

Bright scenes of mountain and of lake,
With rugged glens where torrents break,
In floods of silver white;

Mid cliffs, and crags, and stone peaks,
Green woods, and isles of flowing creeks,
In chequered shade and light.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Sylvan Cascade, Plautterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains. [London? or New York?: London Stereoscopic Company, Publisher] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017660500/>.

 

Three of England’s stereoviews (numbers 57, 59 and 70), interestingly, feature other artists, likely painters, working at their trade. “Mountain Scene on the Catskills,” number 57, was described above. In “Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains,” number 59, a well-dressed man comfortably sits straddling on a dead tree, while in front of him is a tripod and a small easel, with a seemingly near completed work of art, either a sketch or a painting. Although the exact subject in the artist’s work is difficult to determine, it may possibly be a waterfall scene, perhaps Kaaterskill Falls. “View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains,” number 70, shows two men in front of a towering waterfall, with one of them comfortably sitting on a rock with a sketch pad in his lap.

 

#57 Mountain Scene on the Catskills.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#57 Mountain Scene on the Catskills.#57
Mountain Scene on the Catskills.
“WASHINGTON IRVING in his “Sketch Book” thus writes of these mountains;– “Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical lines and shapes of these mountains; and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled they are clothed in blue and purple; and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of clear vapours about their summits, which in the last rays of the setting sun will glow and light up like a crown of glory.” ‘Twas on these mountains that “the simple good natured fellow Rip Van Winkle, a descendent of the Van Winkles, who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina,” took his long doze of twenty years’ duration.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Mountain scene on the Catskills. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

#59 Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.

#59  Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.#59 Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.

 

#70 View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.

#70  View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.#70 View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.#70
View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains. OR
View near the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains.

 

As for the equipment used by England during his United States trip, historian Alexander Guano writes: “William England used a light ‘pocket’ camera, measuring 20 x 12 x 5 cm. With a weight of only half a kilogram, it was perfect for travelling, but there was one problem with this ‘pocket’ camera; it used only a single lens, which forced England, while taking a photograph, and in order to attain the desired stereo effect, to move precisely 33 cm sideways, on an exactly pre-defined line, before taking a second picture. The tent he carried with him for processing the plates on the spot, was also very lightweight.”[13]

 

During his time in the United States England worked through all seasons. Winter photographs included snow and ice scenes at Niagara Falls and in the White Mountains. Working in the frigid cold of winter in the northeast United States placed additional technical burdens on England.

 

“During Mr. England’s operations in America and Canada, the film of his wet plate, he has told us, would often freeze in the low temperature, for a long time would sometimes elapse between the plate’s withdrawal from the bath and its development. At first he was much exercised in mind, lest no picture should be developed from the glazed collodion surface he brought out of the dark slide; but he paid little heed, and developed in the same way precisely as if nothing had happened. The result was in every way satisfactory, and there was no sign, indeed, in the image to show that anything extraordinary had happened to the plate.”[14]

 

“Mr. W. England said that, when working in America several years ago, he had encountered a temperature as low as thirty degrees below freezing point. He found that, although the cold was so great as to freeze the surface of the wet collodion plates he was using, the quality of the negatives was unimpaired.”[15]

 

In addition to tough weather conditions, England also faced challenges with wildlife in the United States, to which he responded quickly and decisively. “It is not often, we apprehend, that photographers are visited by snakes during their operations; but we remember Mr. England describing an incident of a similar kind. Whilst photographing in America he found a large snake rearing its head with open mouth just outside his tent. The cyanide solution being close at hand, a little of it was poured between the gaping jaws of the snake, his fate being less fortunate that that of those for which Professor Towler found a better berth than the photographer’s water bucket.”[16]

 

England’s time in the Catskills offer some of the earliest landscape photographs from that once world-famous region. The photos provide great insight, in both the changing and unchanging elements of the Catskills. For the changing elements, there are early captures of the spray house at the top of Kaaterskill Falls and the simple bridge above what is now known as Moore’s Bridge Falls. The unchanging elements include numerous waterfalls and mountain scenes that seemingly, in their own way, emphasize the timeless beauty of the Catskills. All the Catskills scenes can be enjoyed today in the same way that they were at the time of England’s visit in 1859.

 

William England would be followed in the 19th century Catskills by several other notable photographers such as E. and H. T. Anthony, John Jacob Loeffler and Richard Lionel De Lisser. Anthony and Loeffler would both offer an extensive series of Catskills stereoviews, while De Lisser would publish Picturesque Catskills: Greene County, a thorough photographic survey of the northern Catskills that included over 800 photographs.

 

Kaaterskill Clove and Plattekill Clove

 

"Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains . . .

 

When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory." – Rip Van Winkle, Washington Irving, 1819.

 

 

Kaaterskill Clove and Plattekill Clove are two of the most popular areas within the northern Catskills. At the time of England’s trip, the geographic understanding of what constituted the Catskills was generally thought to be the Greene County region around the Catskill Mountain House, including Pine Orchard, South Mountain, North Mountain and North-South Lake, as well as Palenville, Haines Falls, Hunter, Stony Clove, Kaaterskill Clove and Plattekill Clove. It was only later that areas in the rest of Greene County, Ulster County, Delaware County and Sullivan County also became thought of as being part of the Catskills. Therefore, in 1859, it is no surprise that William England would have focused his photographic efforts on the northern Catskills regions of Kaaterskill Clove and Plattekill Clove.

 

Kaaterskill Clove is a deep gorge that cuts through the northern Catskills Mountains, with the village of Palenville located at the base of the Clove and the village of Haines Falls located at its head. The clove is formed by Kaaterskill and Lake Creeks, with the gorge cutting as deep as 2,500 feet in places.

 

South Mountain forms the north wall of the clove. Prospect Mountain, located west of Lake Creek, looms over the upper part of the Clove near Bastion Falls. Kaaterskill High Peak and Round Top Mountain form the south wall of the clove, with the Long Path traversing much of its length. The south wall is home to the Wildcat Ravine, Buttermilk Ravine and Santa Cruz Ravine. The south wall, at its head, culminates at Twilight Park, a private residential community that offers magnificent views of the entire clove. The entire length of the Clove is traversed by Route 23A.

 

Numerous hiking trails in Kaaterskill Clove offer access to overlooks with outstanding views. Notable examples include the Escarpment trail that takes the hiker along the north wall to viewpoints such as Inspiration Point and Sunset Rock, the viewpoints at Palenville Overlook and Indian Head near the entrance of the clove, as well as Poet’s Ledge on the south wall. The clove is also home to countless other scenic wonders such as Moore’s Bridge Falls, Fawn’s Leap, Bastion Falls, the Five Cascades and Kaaterskill Falls.

 

Kaaterskill Falls, the subject of three of England’s photographs (numbers 55, 56 and 68), can be considered one of the most iconic destinations in all of the Catskills. With two drops measuring a combined 260 feet, 175 feet for the upper and 85 feet for the lower, Kaaterskill Falls is taller than Niagara Falls, which measures 173 feet. Kaaterskill Falls, the tallest waterfall in New York State, is a classic Catskills, “must see” location, and has been for nearly two centuries.

 

In 1823 James Fenimore Cooper in his classic The Pioneers poetically described Kaaterskill Falls.

 

“Why, there’s a fall in the hills where the water of two little ponds, that lie near each other, breaks out of their bounds and runs over the rocks into the valley. The stream is, maybe, such a one as would turn a mill, if so useless a thing was wasted in the wilderness. But the hand that made that ‘Leap’ never made a mill. There the water comes crooking and winding among the rocks; first so slow that a trout could swim in it, and then starting and running like a crater that wanted to make a far spring, till it gets to where the mountain divides, like the cleft hoof of a deer, leaving a deep hollow for the brook to tumble into.

 

The first pitch is nigh two hundred feet, and the water looks like flakes of a driven snow afore it touches the bottom; and there the stream gathers itself together again for a new start, and maybe flutters over fifty feet of flat rock before it falls for another hundred, when it jumps about from shelf to shelf, first turning this-way and then turning that-away, striving to get out of the hollow, till it finally comes to the plain . . .

 

To my judgment, lad, it’s the best piece of work that I’ve met with in the woods; and none know how often the hand of God is seen in the wilderness, but them that rove it for a man’s life.”

 

The “jewel of the upper Catskills” was a popular haunt of the Hudson River School artists, including Thomas Cole whose paintings brought world-wide fame to the region. His 1826 Falls of the Kaaterskill and Kaaterskill Falls both beautifully capture the essence of what was to become one of the most popular subjects of 19th century American painting. Sanford Robinson Gifford’s 1871 Kaaterskill Falls is another masterpiece rendition.

 

The most celebrated painting of the falls though is certainly Asher Durand’s 1849 Kindred Spirits, sometimes referred to as the defining work of the Hudson River School. Originally created as a tribute to Thomas Cole, after his death, and poet William Cullen Bryant, it offers a romanticized view of the Kaaterskill Falls area, although it is actually a composite of several scenes in the area. In 2005, Kindred Spirits sold at auction for $35 million dollars, the highest price ever paid for an American painting. 

 

The second of England’s Catskills destinations, Platte Clove, also known as Plattekill Clove, is a deep, dark, heavily wooded, historic, wildly rugged and wonderfully scenic mountain pass through the northern Catskills. Charles Lanman, a noted American writer and artist who spent much time in the clove, described his impressions in 1844.

 

“Plauterkill Clove is an eddy of the great and tumultuous world, and in itself a world of unwritten poetry, whose primitive loveliness has not yet been disfigured by the influences of mammon, and God grant that it may continue so forever. It is endeared to my heart for being a favourite haunt for solitude, and for having been consecrated by a brotherhood of friends to the pure religion of nature; and they always enter there as into a holy sanctuary.”

 

With Plattekill Mountain encroaching from the south and Kaaterskill High Peak looming to the north, a narrow and winding two-lane road precipitously crosses the eastern portion of the clove, rising over 1,400 feet from West Saugerties in only 2.1 miles. There are no guardrails despite the nearly vertical cliffs along much of the drive. The climb is so dangerously steep that the road is closed in the winter from November 15th to April 15th as the town provides no maintenance.

 

Platte Clove is home to, depending on who’s counting, over 18 waterfalls, many of which are only reachable with extreme caution and effort and is not recommended. There are fatalities in the clove area just about every year. Fortunately, the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, is easily and safely accessible.

 

Well-known photographer and guidebook author Richard Lionel De Lisser wrote of his 1894 trip through Platte Clove.

 

“A trip through the clove, following the bed of the stream, to West Saugerties, in Ulster County, is fully worth the exertion necessary to make it, and is full of interest to the lover of Nature in her barbaric state. There is nothing in the Catskills to equal it – of the kind. My trip was made with an assistance and a guide, with an axe to clear the way of fallen trees and other obstructions. Although not much over a mile, it took us from early morning till late in the evening to make the passage. In the descent, of over 2,000 feet, no less than eighteen large waterfalls are encountered and passed, which vary in height – from twenty-five up to many which are higher – some of them hundreds of feet. There are no paths or roads through; in fact there is little chance for any, the creek occupying about all the space between the mountains on either side.

 

After a visit to Black Chasm and the Plaaterkill Falls, the next point of interest is the Old Mill Falls, just below the bridge that crosses the stream on the Overlook Mountain road. Then comes Pomeroy Falls. Here the visitor will find a flight of steps that will take him to the foot of the ravine. From there, down the clove, he must do as I did – make the best of the natural opportunities afforded by the depth of the water in the creek, and the fallen trees and rocks in the bed.

 

I should judge that a foot-path could be made through the entire length of the clove, and at but little expense, that would make it passable for ladies and summer people in general. The place only needs to be known and made passable, to take precedence over any other of the cloves in the Catskill region.

 

The next fall below Pomeroy is the Rainbow, the one below that is the Lower Rainbow, or Hell Hole Falls. The stream that enters the creek at this point comes from High Peak, passes under Hell Hole bridge, on the clove wagon road, and falls almost perpendicularly hundreds of feet, over huge rocks and high cliffs, into the wild stream below.

 

Green Falls comes next. A second view of this falls I have called “The Ghost,” as it suggested to me a Death-head wrapped in a winding-sheet. Looking to one side of the “Ghost,” you can find two other heads, one clearly defined.

 

Evergreen Falls is named from the quantities of green moss that covers its rocks, and comes next in order. Then comes Rocky Rapids, which is a wild and rather a dangerous spot, quite narrow and in which one is in as much danger from the rocks handing above as from the big boulders in the path.

 

Gray Rock is a beautiful falls, and would well repay a visit to the clove. The stream from Black Chasm enters the creek just below these falls.

 

In attempting to cross the stream here I fell in the creek, for about the twentieth time that day, but unfortunately, this time, having in one hand the camera and in the other the lens, and wishing to keep them dry, at any cost, I was obliged to remain as I had fallen, until relieved of them, while the water, which had found convenient passageway through my trousers, spurted out over my collar in playful jets. My guide set to laughing at this, and laughed so long and so hard that we had to sit down and wait for him to get through and afterward to recover from the fatigue caused thereby.

 

The last falls in Greene county is the Upper Red Falls, so called to distinguish it from the Lower Red Falls, which in Ulster county.”[17]

 

 

[1] “Notes.” The Photographic News. Vol. 27. September 8, 1882. London: Piper and Carter, 1882. p. 536.

[2] Rusk, Samuel E. Rusk’s Illustrated Guide to the Catskill Mountains. Catskill, NY: Samuel E. Rusk, 1879. pp. 68-71.

[3] Beers, J. B. History of Greene County, New York. New York: J. B. Beers & Co., 1884. p. 82.

[4] Beers, J. B. History of Greene County, New York. New York: J. B. Beers & Co., 1884. p. 82.

[5] Van Loan, Walton. Van Loan’s Catskill Mountain Guide. New York: The Aldine Publishing Company, 1882. p. 20.

[6] The Evening Post. August 2, 1839.

[7] Rockwell, Charles. The Catskill Mountains and the Region Around. New York: Taintor Brothers & Co., 1869. pp. 280-283.

[8] Richards, T. Addison. “The Catskills.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Vol. 9, No. 50. July 1854. p. 148.

[9] “Proceedings of Societies.” The Photographic News. Vol. 34, No. 1642, February 21, 1890. London: Piper and Carter, 1890. pp. 153-154.

[10] Blair, Peter. “Stereo Views: Victorian 3D Photography of The Alps.” The Alpine Journal. 2015.

[11] “View in Switzerland. Photographed by W. England.” The Photographic News. Vol. 9. January 20, 1865. London: Thomas Piper, 1865. p. 28.

[12] Guano, Alexander. “The views of the Tyrol by William England.” The PhotoHistorian. Summer 2019 / No. 184. p. 18.

[13] Guano, Alexander. “The views of the Tyrol by William England.” The PhotoHistorian. Summer 2019 / No. 184. p. 13.

[14] “Cold Weather and Photography.” The Photographic Times. Vol. 5, No. 50. February, 1875. p. 37.

[15] “Photographic Society of Great Britain.” The British Journal of Photography. Vol. 23. December 15, 1876. p. 596.

[16] “Snakes Amongst the Chemicals – Metallic Silver Stains in the Negative.” The Photographic News. Vol. 10. October 19, 1866. London: Thomas Piper, 1866. p. 494.

[17] De Lisser, Richard Lionel. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. pp. 76-77.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1859 alpine America in the Stereoscope Blondin Britain Catskills England exhibit Fawn's Leap International Exhibition Ireland Italy Kaaterskill Clove Kaaterskill Falls Kauterskill Falls landscape Laurel House London Stereoscopic Company mountains Niagara Falls North American Series North Lake photographer photographs photography Plattekill Clove Plauterkill Clove Rhine scenery statuary stereoscope stereoscopic stereoviews Switzerland waterfalls William England https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/3/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-4 Sat, 26 Mar 2022 12:00:00 GMT
William England and His 1859 Tour of the Catskills (Part 3) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/3/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-3 Introduction

 

William England (1830-1896) was a 19th century British photographer who was widely known for his travel images. He was an early adopter of photography, operating a studio in the late 1840s, less than ten years after the daguerreotype was created by French inventor Louis Daguerre. England’s 1859 trip through the United States, including a visit to the Catskills, and Canada gained widespread praise. His image of Charles Blondin tightrope walking across the Niagara Gorge is among the top selling stereoviews of all time. Although largely forgotten today, William England was considered one of the great photographers of his era.

 

 

Continued from Part 2

 

The Catskills

 

“A ramble, or, as might properly be said, a scramble amid the varied scenes on the Catskill mountains, is a thing to be felt and remembered. Their ever-changing features, and the sublimity of their aspect, strike home to the heart, and sink deep into the soul.”

 

 

The photographs of the “North American Series” by William England contained 238 unique views. Of those 238 views, 26 of the scenes were taken from within the Catskill Mountains, almost exclusively within the Kaaterskill Clove, then known as Kauterskill Clove, and Plattekill Clove, then known as Plauterkill, regions. Catskills’ scenes included the world famous Kaaterskill Falls, Fawn’s Leap, Moore’s Bridge Falls, Sylvan Lake (now North-South Lake), and various other waterfalls and rugged mountain landscapes.

 

Catalog numbers for the Catskills stereoviews from the “North American Series” ranged from 53 to 78. Although the individual stereoviews were not numbered they can be cross-referenced against the catalog by name. Only in several cases is there mild confusion due to a similar or duplicate name.

 

#53 Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#53 Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains.#53
Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains.
“This wild and almost untrodden spot is one of the most rugged scenes in the Catskill Mountains. By a strange and sudden convulsion of nature, the solid mountains has been cleft, as it were, in twain, the stupendous masses which have fallen from its sides filling the intermediate chasm with vast piles of solid blocks, heaped one upon another in grand confusion. Stretching out far beyond, an extensive area is covered with these gigantic fragments and as one gazes on them, strewn far and wide, he is prone to think that nature dissatisfied with a portion of her handiwork, and disdaining the mountains she had once reared, had, in momentary anger, undone her work and scattered the huge mountains in fragments around. From between the fallen ruins a solitary tree will raise its head, the almost leafless branches partaking of the desolation around.

Crags, knolls, and mounds confusedly hurled
The fragments of an earlier world.”–Scott.

Source: England, William, photographer. Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“This wild and almost untrodden spot is one of the most rugged scenes in the Catskill Mountains. By a strange and sudden convulsion of nature, the solid mountains has been cleft, as it were, in twain, the stupendous masses which have fallen from its sides filling the intermediate chasm with vast piles of solid blocks, heaped one upon another in grand confusion. Stretching out far beyond, an extensive area is covered with these gigantic fragments and as one gazes on them, strewn far and wide, he is prone to think that nature dissatisfied with a portion of her handiwork, and disdaining the mountains she had once reared, had, in momentary anger, undone her work and scattered the huge mountains in fragments around. From between the fallen ruins a solitary tree will raise its head, the almost leafless branches partaking of the desolation around.

 

Crags, knolls, and mounds confusedly hurled

The fragments of an earlier world.”–Scott.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Plauterkill Gap, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#54 View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #71.) OR Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#54 View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.#54
View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #71.) OR
Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

“The Kautsberg or Catskill mountains have always been a region full of fable. The Indians considered them the abode of spirits, who influenced the weather, spreading sunshine or clouds over the landscape and sending good or bad hunting seasons. They were ruled by an old squaw spirit, said to be their mother. She dwelt on the highest peak of the Catskills, and had charge of the doors of day and night, to open and shut them at the proper hour. She hung up the new moon in the skies, and cut up the old ones into stars. In times of drought, if properly propitiated, she would spin light summer clouds out of cobwebs and morning dew, and send them off from the crest of the mountain, flake after flake, like flakes of carded cotton, to float in the air until dissolved by the heat of the sun, they would fall in gentle showers, causing the grass to spring, the fruits to ripen, and the corn to grow an inch an hour. If displeased, however, she would brew up clouds black as ink sitting in the midst of them like a bottle-bellied spider in the midst of its web; and when this cloud broke, woe betide the valleys.” Notes to the “The Sketch Book,” by Washington Irving.

Source: England, William, photographer. View in the Kauterskill Glove, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a584-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“The Kautsberg or Catskill mountains have always been a region full of fable. The Indians considered them the abode of spirits, who influenced the weather, spreading sunshine or clouds over the landscape and sending good or bad hunting seasons. They were ruled by an old squaw spirit, said to be their mother. She dwelt on the highest peak of the Catskills, and had charge of the doors of day and night, to open and shut them at the proper hour. She hung up the new moon in the skies, and cut up the old ones into stars. In times of drought, if properly propitiated, she would spin light summer clouds out of cobwebs and morning dew, and send them off from the crest of the mountain, flake after flake, like flakes of carded cotton, to float in the air until dissolved by the heat of the sun, they would fall in gentle showers, causing the grass to spring, the fruits to ripen, and the corn to grow an inch an hour. If displeased, however, she would brew up clouds black as ink sitting in the midst of them like a bottle-bellied spider in the midst of its web; and when this cloud broke, woe betide the valleys.” Notes to the “The Sketch Book,” by Washington Irving.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. View in the Kauterskill Glove, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a584-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#55 Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#55 Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.#55
Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.
“This branch of the Kauterskill Falls, after winding and rippling o’er its rocky bed, singing and murmuring through forest shades and wild secluded glens, descends in a white and misty torrent over a ledge of rock to the depth of 180 feet, its incessant music, as it splashes on the projecting ledges in its descent, falling pleasantly on the ear.

From rock to rock the waters leap,
In a fair white sheet they flow,
Then sparkling fall o’er the rugged steep,
To the dark abyss below;
Dashing and splashing in extacy,
As they dance to their own rough minstrelrcy.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a57e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“This branch of the Kauterskill Falls, after winding and rippling o’er its rocky bed, singing and murmuring through forest shades and wild secluded glens, descends in a white and misty torrent over a ledge of rock to the depth of 180 feet, its incessant music, as it splashes on the projecting ledges in its descent, falling pleasantly on the ear.

 

From rock to rock the waters leap,

               In a fair white sheet they flow,

Then sparkling fall o’er the rugged steep,

               To the dark abyss below;

Dashing and splashing in extacy,

As they dance to their own rough minstrelcy.”

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a57e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#56 Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#56 Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below.#56
Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below.
“This portion of Kauterskill Falls, when viewed from beneath, presents a most peculiar feature. From a height of nearly 180 feet the water descends into an ampitheatre scooped by the hand of nature out of the solid rock, and forming a cavern of vast extent, and of grand and solemn aspect. As we stand upon the floor of this and gaze upward, we behold the limpid waters descending in a white and flaky column, their light and sparkling beauty contrasting greatly with the gloomy walls of the overhanging rocks, the misty stream presenting the appearance of a bright sunbeam piercing through the arched roof above.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

“This portion of Kauterskill Falls, when viewed from beneath, presents a most peculiar feature. From a height of nearly 180 feet the water descends into an ampitheatre scooped by the hand of nature out of the solid rock, and forming a cavern of vast extent, and of grand and solemn aspect. As we stand upon the floor of this and gaze upward, we behold the limpid waters descending in a white and flaky column, their light and sparkling beauty contrasting greatly with the gloomy walls of the overhanging rocks, the misty stream presenting the appearance of a bright sunbeam piercing through the arched roof above.”

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Fall, Catskill Mountains.–View from Below. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

 

#57 Mountain Scene on the Catskills.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#57 Mountain Scene on the Catskills.#57
Mountain Scene on the Catskills.
“WASHINGTON IRVING in his “Sketch Book” thus writes of these mountains;– “Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical lines and shapes of these mountains; and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled they are clothed in blue and purple; and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of clear vapours about their summits, which in the last rays of the setting sun will glow and light up like a crown of glory.” ‘Twas on these mountains that “the simple good natured fellow Rip Van Winkle, a descendent of the Van Winkles, who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina,” took his long doze of twenty years’ duration.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Mountain scene on the Catskills. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“WASHINGTON IRVING in his “Sketch Book” thus writes of these mountains;– “Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical lines and shapes of these mountains; and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled they are clothed in blue and purple; and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of clear vapours about their summits, which in the last rays of the setting sun will glow and light up like a crown of glory.” ‘Twas on these mountains that “the simple good natured fellow Rip Van Winkle, a descendent of the Van Winkles, who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina,” took his long doze of twenty years’ duration.”

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Mountain scene on the Catskills. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#58 Kauterskill Chasm, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#58 Kauterskill Chasm, Catskill Mountains.#58
Kauterskill Chasm, Catskill Mountains.
“To where the bank opposing showed
Its huge square cliffs and shaggy wood,
One prominent above the rest,
Reared to the sun its pale grey breast;
Around its broken summit grew,
The hazel rude and sable yew;
A thousand varied lichens dyed
Its waste and weather-beaten side,
And round its rugged basis lay,
By time or thunder rent away,
Fragments that from its frontlet torn,
Were mantled now by varied thorn.”–Scott

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Chasm, Catskill Mountains. [London? or New York?: London Stereoscopic Company, Publisher] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017660499/>.

“To where the bank opposing showed

Its huge square cliffs and shaggy wood,

One prominent above the rest,

Reared to the sun its pale grey breast;

Around its broken summit grew,

The hazel rude and sable yew;

A thousand varied lichens dyed

Its waste and weather-beaten side,

And round its rugged basis lay,

By time or thunder rent away,

Fragments that from its frontlet torn,

Were mantled now by varied thorn.”–Scott

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Chasm, Catskill Mountains. [London? or New York?: London Stereoscopic Company, Publisher] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017660499/>.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Kauterskill Chasm, Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

 

#59 Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.

#59  Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.#59 Forest Scene, on the Catskill Mountains.

 

#60 Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#60 Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills.#60
Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills.
“‘Mountain scenery,’ remarks an elegant writer, “is, after all, that which most impresses the mind with the greatness of the works of the Creator. The summit of the mountains crowned with granite, and lifting its unadorned crest to the clouds, or perhaps above them, speaks to us in a majesty and glory derived from its severe boldness of outline, as well as magnitude of parts.

To sit on rocks, to muse on flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shade scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flocks that never need a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's God, and view his stores unroll'd.”
BYRON.

Source: England, William, photographer. Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“‘Mountain scenery,’ remarks an elegant writer, “is, after all, that which most impresses the mind with the greatness of the works of the Creator. The summit of the mountains crowned with granite, and lifting its unadorned crest to the clouds, or perhaps above them, speaks to us in a majesty and glory derived from its severe boldness of outline, as well as magnitude of parts.

 

To sit on rocks, to muse on flood and fell,

To slowly trace the forest's shade scene,

Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,

And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;

To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,

With the wild flocks that never need a fold;

Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;

This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold

Converse with Nature's God, and view his stores unroll'd.”

BYRON.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Mountain Gorge, on the Catskills. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a58a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#61 Forest Scene, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#61 Forest Scene, Catskill Mountains.#61
Forest Scene, Catskill Mountains.
“A ramble, or, as might properly, be said, a scramble amid the varied scenes on the Catskill mountains, is a thing to be felt and remembered. Their ever-changing features, and the sublimity of their aspect, strike home to the heart, and sink deep into the soul. In after-times, although one may speak of their beauties, and extol with graphic effect the scenes with which they abound, ‘tis impossible to convey by words alone, a just idea of their attractions. ‘Tis only amid the scenes themselves, that one can be fully awakened to their impressive grandeur and extent.

When to the city’s crowded streets,
The fiercest spells of summer come,
Then for they calm and cool retreats,
Sweet Catskill may the wanderer roam.

Then may he seek thy guardian haunts,
They quiet streams, they shady tree,
And, while the world around him pants,
From all oppression find him free.”

Source: Author’s Collection.

“A ramble, or, as might properly be said, a scramble amid the varied scenes on the Catskill mountains, is a thing to be felt and remembered. Their ever-changing features, and the sublimity of their aspect, strike home to the heart, and sink deep into the soul. In after-times, although one may speak of their beauties, and extol with graphic effect the scenes with which they abound, ‘tis impossible to convey by words alone, a just idea of their attractions. ‘Tis only amid the scenes themselves, that one can be fully awakened to their impressive grandeur and extent.

 

When to the city’s crowded streets,

               The fiercest spells of summer come,

Then for they calm and cool retreats,

               Sweet Catskill may the wanderer roam.

 

Then may he seek thy guardian haunts,

               They quiet streams, they shady tree,

And, while the world around him pants,

               From all oppression find him free.”

 

Source: Author’s Collection.

 

 

#62 View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#62 View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)#62
View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #67.)
“The Catskill Mountains are the most grand and picturesque of the mountain ranges of the United States, and are part of the great Appallachian chain, which extends through all the eastern portion of the Union, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Their chief ranges follow the course of the Hudson River for some twenty or thirty miles, lying west of it, and separated by a valley stretch of ten or twelve miles. These mountains lend to all the landscape of that part of the Hudson from which they are visible, its greatest charm. Of the unrivalled sight one can never weary; and at the dawn of day, or as the rising of the sun, when its magical beams are lifting the mystical vapours and cloud-curtain, which the night has invisibly spread over the scene, the beauty of these rugged mountains is complete.”

Source: England, William, photographer. View on the Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

“The Catskill Mountains are the most grand and picturesque of the mountain ranges of the United States, and are part of the great Appallachian chain, which extends through all the eastern portion of the Union, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Their chief ranges follow the course of the Hudson River for some twenty or thirty miles, lying west of it, and separated by a valley stretch of ten or twelve miles. These mountains lend to all the landscape of that part of the Hudson from which they are visible, its greatest charm. Of the unrivalled sight one can never weary; and at the dawn of day, or as the rising of the sun, when its magical beams are lifting the mystical vapours and cloud-curtain, which the night has invisibly spread over the scene, the beauty of these rugged mountains is complete.”

 

Source: England, William, photographer. View on the Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

 

#63 View on the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#63 View on the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains.#63
View on the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains.
“Like streamlet on the mountain north,
Now in a torrent racing forth,
Now winding slow its silver train,
And almost slumb’ring on the plain.”–Scott.

Source: Author’s Collection.

“Like streamlet on the mountain north,

Now in a torrent racing forth,

Now winding slow its silver train,

And almost slumb’ring on the plain.”–Scott.

 

Source: Author’s Collection.

 

 

#64 Cascade on the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains.

64  Cascade on the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains#64 Cascade on the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains

 

#65 Sylvan Lake, Catskill Mountains.

 

 

#66 Split Rock, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#66 Split Rock, Catskill Mountains.#66
Split Rock, Catskill Mountains.
“The scenery around this spot stands almost unrivalled. It carries with it a charm peculiar to itself. Bold and striking in some respects, simple and beauteous in others, it fails not to delight the lover of all that is grand and beautiful in nature. Through the gaping chasms and openings in the tall stupendous rocks we behold the wild and rugged scenery beyond; the tall aspiring mountains, from the steep sides of which the slender pines spring up as it were ambitious of topping the mountains themselves, while at their feet the gushing waters of no “babbling brook,” but some foaming cataract add to the charms of the scene by their rough unceasing music.

It was a wild and strange retreat,
As e’er was trod by outlaw’s feet,
The dell, upon the mountain crest,
Yawned like a gash on warrior’s breast.

Suspended cliffs, with hideous sway,
Seemed nodding o’er the cavern gray,
From such a den the wolf had sprung,
In such the wild cat leaves her young.”–Scott.

Source: England, William, photographer. Split Rock, Catskill Mountains. [London? or New York?: London Stereoscopic Company, Publisher] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017660498/>.

“The scenery around this spot stands almost unrivalled. It carries with it a charm peculiar to itself. Bold and striking in some respects, simple and beauteous in others, it fails not to delight the lover of all that is grand and beautiful in nature. Through the gaping chasms and openings in the tall stupendous rocks we behold the wild and rugged scenery beyond; the tall aspiring mountains, from the steep sides of which the slender pines spring up as it were ambitious of topping the mountains themselves, while at their feet the gushing waters of no “babbling brook,” but some foaming cataract add to the charms of the scene by their rough unceasing music.

 

It was a wild and strange retreat,

As e’er was trod by outlaw’s feet,

The dell, upon the mountain crest,

Yawned like a gash on warrior’s breast.

 

Suspended cliffs, with hideous sway,

Seemed nodding o’er the cavern gray,

From such a den the wolf had sprung,

In such the wild cat leaves her young.”–Scott.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Split Rock, Catskill Mountains. [London? or New York?: London Stereoscopic Company, Publisher] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017660498/>.

 

 

#67 View on the Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #62.)

 

 

#68 Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#68 Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains.#68
Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains.
“FENNIMORE COOPER in his story of “The Pioneer” thus describes these cascades: “The water comes croaking and winding among the rocks, first so slow that a trout might swim in it, then starting and running like any creature that wanted to make a fair spring, till it gets to where the mountain divides like the cleft foot of deer, leaving a deep hollow for the brook to tumble into. The first falls is night 200 feet, and the water looks like flakes of snow before it touches the bottom, and then gathers itself together again for a new start, and maybe flutters over 50 feet of that rock before it falls for another 100 feet, when it jumps from shelf to shelf, first running this way, and then that way, striving to get out of the hollow, till it finally gets to the plain.”

“Midst greens and shades the Kauterskill leaps,
From cliffs there the wood flower clings;
All summer he moistens his verdant steeps,
With the sweet light spray of the mountain springs;
And he shakes the woods on the mountain side,
When they drip with the rains of autumn tide.

“But when in the forest bare and old,
The blast of December calls,
He builds, in the starlight clear and cold,
A palace of light where his torrent falls,
With turret, and arch, and fretwork fair,
And pillars blue as the summer air.”–Bryant.

Source: England, William, photographer. Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a57a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“FENNIMORE COOPER in his story of “The Pioneer” thus describes these cascades: “The water comes croaking and winding among the rocks, first so slow that a trout might swim in it, then starting and running like any creature that wanted to make a fair spring, till it gets to where the mountain divides like the cleft foot of deer, leaving a deep hollow for the brook to tumble into. The first falls is night 200 feet, and the water looks like flakes of snow before it touches the bottom, and then gathers itself together again for a new start, and maybe flutters over 50 feet of that rock before it falls for another 100 feet, when it jumps from shelf to shelf, first running this way, and then that way, striving to get out of the hollow, till it finally gets to the plain.”

 

“Midst greens and shades the Kauterskill leaps,

               From cliffs there the wood flower clings;

All summer he moistens his verdant steeps,

               With the sweet light spray of the mountain springs;

And he shakes the woods on the mountain side,

               When they drip with the rains of autumn tide.

 

“But when in the forest bare and old,

               The blast of December calls,

He builds, in the starlight clear and cold,

               A palace of light where his torrent falls,

With turret, and arch, and fretwork fair,

               And pillars blue as the summer air.”–Bryant.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Falls of the Kauterskill, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a57a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#69 View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#69 View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.#69
View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.
“In old times, say the Indian traditions, there was a kind of Manitou or Spirit, who kept about the wildest recesses of the Catskill mountains, and took a mischievous pleasure in wreaking all kinds of even and vexations upon the red men. Sometimes he would assume the form of a bear, a panther, or a deer, lead the bewildered hunter a weary chase through tangled forests and among ragged rocks, and then spring off with a loud ho! ho! leaving him aghast on the brink of a beetling precipice or raging torrent.”– Notes to “The Sketch Book,” by Washington Irving.

“The pent up flood, impatient of control,
In ages past here broke its granite bound,
Then to the sea in broad meanders stole,
While the ponderous ruins strew’d the broken ground
And these gigantic hills for over closed around.”

Source: England, William, photographer. View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a586-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“In old times, say the Indian traditions, there was a kind of Manitou or Spirit, who kept about the wildest recesses of the Catskill mountains, and took a mischievous pleasure in wreaking all kinds of even and vexations upon the red men. Sometimes he would assume the form of a bear, a panther, or a deer, lead the bewildered hunter a weary chase through tangled forests and among ragged rocks, and then spring off with a loud ho! ho! leaving him aghast on the brink of a beetling precipice or raging torrent.”– Notes to “The Sketch Book,” by Washington Irving.

 

“The pent up flood, impatient of control,

               In ages past here broke its granite bound,

Then to the sea in broad meanders stole,

               While the ponderous ruins strew’d the broken ground

And these gigantic hills for over closed around.”

 

Source: England, William, photographer. View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a586-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#70 View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains. OR View near the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains.

#70  View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.#70 View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains.#70
View in the Kauterskill Glen, Catskill Mountains. OR
View near the Kauterskill River, Catskill Mountains.

 

#71 View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #54.)

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#71 View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #54.)#71
View in the Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. (Same name as #54.)
“The scenery around this spot is grand and varied in the extreme – unflagging in its influence, and unwearying to the gaze. At every turn fresh beauties meet the eye; and, although they be of the same wild and rugged character, their dissimilarity in form and outline, and the many changing hues of their aspect, make each one rise up before us as something new, and to be admired afresh. The rough uneven lines of rock, crowned with dark masses of foliage; the tangled woods stretching out as far as they eye can reach; and as we look down upon them from some neighboring height, appearing like a troubled sea, heaving and swelling, as each pliant branch bends in obedience to the passing winds; the gushing water of the mountain stream dashing onward o’er its rocky bed; the bright blue heavens, and the solitary quietude which reigns around:–

Make up a scene so melting to the soul,
That o’er the hear there steals a sudden joy,
But that so sweet and tranquil on the whole,
That e’en a whisper would the spell destroy.”

Source: England, William, photographer. View in the Kauterskill Glove, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a582-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“The scenery around this spot is grand and varied in the extreme – unflagging in its influence, and unwearying to the gaze. At every turn fresh beauties meet the eye; and, although they be of the same wild and rugged character, their dissimilarity in form and outline, and the many changing hues of their aspect, make each one rise up before us as something new, and to be admired afresh. The rough uneven lines of rock, crowned with dark masses of foliage; the tangled woods stretching out as far as they eye can reach; and as we look down upon them from some neighboring height, appearing like a troubled sea, heaving and swelling, as each pliant branch bends in obedience to the passing winds; the gushing water of the mountain stream dashing onward o’er its rocky bed; the bright blue heavens, and the solitary quietude which reigns around:–

 

Make up a scene so melting to the soul,

               That o’er the hear there steals a sudden joy,

But that so sweet and tranquil on the whole,

               That e’en a whisper would the spell destroy.”

 

Source: England, William, photographer. View in the Kauterskill Glove, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a582-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#72 A Rocky Scene in the Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#72 A Rocky Scene in the Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.#72
A Rocky Scene in the Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.
“THE PLAUTERKILL CLOVE, a mountain pass in the Catskills, abounds with wild and rocky scenes, At every turn fresh ones present themselves, each one appearing more beautiful than the last. On the one hand a tall, bare cliff rises like an aspiring giant, ambitious of reaching the heavens themselves; while, on the other, the heaving plain is strewn with the crumbling fragments of former stalwart rocks. Here a dark and dismal cavern, hewn by the hand of Time, in the solid rock; there the dark chasm, ridge and abyss, formed by the rushing water of former mighty torrents. Here, too, the babbling waters of the mountain stream flow happily and contentedly on, till, reaching the overhanging ledge of some steep precipice, they lash themselves into anger, and dash unhesitatingly over, and in a sheet of whitened foam fall into the rugged basin beneath, where they boil and bubble in smothered wrath; but, growing calmer as they reach the outer edge, they again travel on, singing and murmuring in their course, to the Hudson River.

“Rock upon rocks incumbent hung,
And torrents down the gullies flung,
Joined the rude river and brawled on,
Recoiling now from crag and stone,
Now diving deep from human ken
And raving down its darksome glen.”
The Bridal of Trierman.

Source: England, William, photographer. A Rocky Scene in the Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

“THE PLAUTERKILL CLOVE, a mountain pass in the Catskills, abounds with wild and rocky scenes, At every turn fresh ones present themselves, each one appearing more beautiful than the last. On the one hand a tall, bare cliff rises like an aspiring giant, ambitious of reaching the heavens themselves; while, on the other, the heaving plain is strewn with the crumbling fragments of former stalwart rocks. Here a dark and dismal cavern, hewn by the hand of Time, in the solid rock; there the dark chasm, ridge and abyss, formed by the rushing water of former mighty torrents. Here, too, the babbling waters of the mountain stream flow happily and contentedly on, till, reaching the overhanging ledge of some steep precipice, they lash themselves into anger, and dash unhesitatingly over, and in a sheet of whitened foam fall into the rugged basin beneath, where they boil and bubble in smothered wrath; but, growing calmer as they reach the outer edge, they again travel on, singing and murmuring in their course, to the Hudson River.

 

“Rock upon rocks incumbent hung,

And torrents down the gullies flung,

Joined the rude river and brawled on,

Recoiling now from crag and stone,

Now diving deep from human ken

And raving down its darksome glen.”

               The Bridal of Trierman.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. A Rocky Scene in the Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

 

#73 Scene in the Catskill Mountains, After a Flood.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#73 Scene in the Catskill Mountains, After a Flood.#73
Scene in the Catskill Mountains, After a Flood.
“At certain seasons the floods and torrents in this extensive range of mountains are terrific in the extreme, especially during the spring freshets, when the snows and ice of winter begin to dissolve from the mountainsides. The water gathering strength as they descent, at last becoming so mighty and unyielding in their nature that huge giants of forest-trees that have braved the tempests of centuries, are swept away, ponderous rocks and mounds of reft asunder, the raging torrents sweeping and dashing the immense fragments aside or bearing them onwards with a thundering roll, to deposit them, at last, in rude heaps, which may subsequently form the rough bed of a brook – a scion, perhaps, of the once mighty torrent.

“The brooklet raved, for on the hills
The upland showers had swollen the rills,
And down the torrents came.”–Scott.

Source: England, William, photographer. Scene in the Catskill Mountains, after a flood. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a590-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“At certain seasons the floods and torrents in this extensive range of mountains are terrific in the extreme, especially during the spring freshets, when the snows and ice of winter begin to dissolve from the mountainsides. The water gathering strength as they descent, at last becoming so mighty and unyielding in their nature that huge giants of forest-trees that have braved the tempests of centuries, are swept away, ponderous rocks and mounds of reft asunder, the raging torrents sweeping and dashing the immense fragments aside or bearing them onwards with a thundering roll, to deposit them, at last, in rude heaps, which may subsequently form the rough bed of a brook – a scion, perhaps, of the once mighty torrent.

 

“The brooklet raved, for on the hills

The upland showers had swollen the rills,

               And down the torrents came.”–Scott.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Scene in the Catskill Mountains, after a flood. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a590-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#74 The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#74 The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.#74
The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains.
“At one period these mountain ranges and thick tangled forests, were the homes of the red deer, and from a circumstance which transpired some years since, the spot, which the accompanying photograph represents, was named; and from which it would appear, that a fawn, pursued by the angry dog of one of the settlers, and just as escape seemed hopeless, suddenly espied this wide and gaping chasm. Goaded by desperation, the fawn attempted the leap, and succeeded in reaching the opposite side in safety. The dog, less nimble that his expected prey, in attempting to follow, missed his footing, and was dashed down the yawning abyss, his mangled body being carried away by the current.

Fresh vigour with the hope returned,
With flying foot the heath he spurned,
Held westward with unwearied race,
And left behind the panting chase.–LADY OF THE LAKE.”

Source: London Stereoscopic Company. The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

“At one period these mountain ranges and thick tangled forests, were the homes of the red deer, and from a circumstance which transpired some years since, the spot, which the accompanying photograph represents, was named; and from which it would appear, that a fawn, pursued by the angry dog of one of the settlers, and just as escape seemed hopeless, suddenly espied this wide and gaping chasm. Goaded by desperation, the fawn attempted the leap, and succeeded in reaching the opposite side in safety. The dog, less nimble that his expected prey, in attempting to follow, missed his footing, and was dashed down the yawning abyss, his mangled body being carried away by the current.

 

Fresh vigour with the hope returned,

With flying foot the heath he spurned,

Held westward with unwearied race,

And left behind the panting chase.–LADY OF THE LAKE.”

 

Source: London Stereoscopic Company. The Fawn’s Leap, Kauterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains. 1859. J. Paul Getty Museum, Open Content Program.

 

 

#75 Scene in the Plauterkill Gorge, Catskill Mountains. OR View in the Plauterkill Gorge, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#75 Scene in the Plauterkill Gorge, Catskill Mountains.#75
Scene in the Plauterkill Gorge, Catskill Mountains. OR
View in the Plauterkill Gorge, Catskill Mountains.
“The gorge is a grand pass in the Catskill Mountains, five miles below the Kauterskill passage. ‘Tis a wild and beautiful spot, rich in scenes of glen and rock, the mountain torrent which runs through it forming several silvery cascades as it jets over the cliffs, and winds its way between the fragments of rock, which have been washed down by the floods in ages past, and where the hemlock and

“Grouped their dark hues with every stain,
The weather beaten crags retain;
With boughs that quaked at every breath,
Grey birch and aspen wept beneath;
Aloft the ash and warrior oak,
Cast anchor in the rutted rock;
And higher yet the pine tree hung
His shattered trunk, and frequent flung,

Where seemed the cliffs to meet on high,
His bows athwart the narrowed sky,
Highest of all where when peaks glanced,
Where glistening streamers waved and danced,
The wanderer’s eye could barely view
The summer heaven’s delicious blue,
So wondrous wild, the whole might seem
The scenery of a fairy dream.”–Scott.

Source: England, William, photographer. Scene in the Plauterkill Gorge, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a580-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“The gorge is a grand pass in the Catskill Mountains, five miles below the Kauterskill passage. ‘Tis a wild and beautiful spot, rich in scenes of glen and rock, the mountain torrent which runs through it forming several silvery cascades as it jets over the cliffs, and winds its way between the fragments of rock, which have been washed down by the floods in ages past, and where the hemlock and

 

“Grouped their dark hues with every stain,

The weather beaten crags retain;

With boughs that quaked at every breath,

Grey birch and aspen wept beneath;

Aloft the ash and warrior oak,

Cast anchor in the rutted rock;

And higher yet the pine tree hung

His shattered trunk, and frequent flung,

 

Where seemed the cliffs to meet on high,

His bows athwart the narrowed sky,

Highest of all where when peaks glanced,

Where glistening streamers waved and danced,

The wanderer’s eye could barely view

The summer heaven’s delicious blue,

So wondrous wild, the whole might seem

The scenery of a fairy dream.”–Scott.

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Scene in the Plauterkill Gorge, Catskill Mountains. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a580-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#76 Sylvan Cascade, Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#76 Sylvan Cascade, Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.#76
Sylvan Cascade, Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains.
“This cascade is justly considered the finest of the Kauterskill Falls, and may literally be said to take its course through a rock grove, for on either side the perpendicular cliffs rise to a height of many hundred feet, sheltering the sparkling stream from summer sun, and casting a subdued and mellow light on the scene. From the rough sides of these towering cliffs stunted trees and shrubs stretch out their verdant arms, the green foliage presenting a pleasing contrast to the dark ledges of rock, and offering a charming relief to the otherwise nakedness of the view. From ledge to ledge the beautiful waters descend and in a succession of silvery cascades unceasingly tumble and flow, the waters of each fall as they reach the deep and rugged basin beneath, boiling and bubbling as through impatient of delay, then bursting their momentary bonds, again hurry on, winding their way between the fallen fragments, till they reach the brink of the next precipice, over which they again descend in a white and foamy stream. There is a quiet and secluded beauty about this spot which is only equalled by that of the Alhambra Cascade, Trenton.

Bright scenes of mountain and of lake,
With rugged glens where torrents break,
In floods of silver white;

Mid cliffs, and crags, and stone peaks,
Green woods, and isles of flowing creeks,
In chequered shade and light.”

Source: England, William, photographer. Sylvan Cascade, Plautterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains. [London? or New York?: London Stereoscopic Company, Publisher] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017660500/>.

“This cascade is justly considered the finest of the Kauterskill Falls, and may literally be said to take its course through a rock grove, for on either side the perpendicular cliffs rise to a height of many hundred feet, sheltering the sparkling stream from summer sun, and casting a subdued and mellow light on the scene. From the rough sides of these towering cliffs stunted trees and shrubs stretch out their verdant arms, the green foliage presenting a pleasing contrast to the dark ledges of rock, and offering a charming relief to the otherwise nakedness of the view. From ledge to ledge the beautiful waters descend and in a succession of silvery cascades unceasingly tumble and flow, the waters of each fall as they reach the deep and rugged basin beneath, boiling and bubbling as through impatient of delay, then bursting their momentary bonds, again hurry on, winding their way between the fallen fragments, till they reach the brink of the next precipice, over which they again descend in a white and foamy stream. There is a quiet and secluded beauty about this spot which is only equalled by that of the Alhambra Cascade, Trenton.

 

Bright scenes of mountain and of lake,

With rugged glens where torrents break,

               In floods of silver white;

 

Mid cliffs, and crags, and stone peaks,

Green woods, and isles of flowing creeks,

               In chequered shade and light.”

 

Source: England, William, photographer. Sylvan Cascade, Plauterkill Clove, Catskill Mountains. [London? or New York?: London Stereoscopic Company, Publisher] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017660500/>.

 

 

#77 Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#77 Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains.#77
Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains.
“Prone down the rocks the whitening sheet descends,
And viewless Echo’s ear astonished lends;
Dim seen thro’ rising mists and ceaseless showers,
The hoary cavern wide, surrounding lowers.
Still through the gap the struggling river toils,
And still below the horrid cauldron boils.”

Source: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a576-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“Prone down the rocks the whitening sheet descends,

And viewless Echo’s ear astonished lends;

Dim seen thro’ rising mists and ceaseless showers,

The hoary cavern wide, surrounding lowers.

Still through the gap the struggling river toils,

And still below the horrid cauldron boils.”

 

Source: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Crystal Cascade, Catskill Mountains." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a576-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

#78 Silver Cascade, Catskill Mountains.

Historic Catskills stereoview by William England taken during his 1859 tour of the United States.#78 Silver Cascade, Catskill Mountains.#78
Silver Cascade, Catskill Mountains.

“The sunny land, the sunny land where nature has displayed,
Her fairest works with lavish hand, in hill and vale and glade;
Her streams flow on in melody, thro’ fair and fruitful plains,
And from the mountain to the sea, Beauty and Plenty reigns.”

Source: Author’s Collection.

“The sunny land, the sunny land where nature has displayed,

Her fairest works with lavish hand, in hill and vale and glade;

Her streams flow on in melody, thro’ fair and fruitful plains,

And from the mountain to the sea, Beauty and Plenty reigns.”

 

Source: Author’s Collection.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 1859 alpine America in the Stereoscope Blondin Britain Catskills England exhibit Fawn's Leap International Exhibition Ireland Italy Kaaterskill Clove Kaaterskill Falls Kauterskill Falls landscape Laurel House London Stereoscopic Company mountains Niagara Falls North American Series North Lake photographer photographs photography Plattekill Clove Plauterkill Clove Rhine scenery statuary stereoscope stereoscopic stereoviews Switzerland waterfalls William England https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/3/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-3 Sat, 19 Mar 2022 12:15:00 GMT
William England and His 1859 Tour of the Catskills (Part 2) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2022/3/william-england-and-his-1859-tour-of-the-catskills-part-2 Introduction

 

William England (1830-1896) was a 19th century British photographer who was widely known for his travel images. He was an early adopter of photography, operating a studio in the late 1840s, less than ten years after the daguerreotype was created by French inventor Louis Daguerre. England’s 1859 trip through the United States, including a visit to the Catskills, and Canada gained widespread praise. His image of Charles Blondin tightrope walking across the Niagara Gorge is among the top selling stereoviews of all time. Although largely forgotten today, William England was considered one of the great photographers of his era.

 

 

 

Continued from Part 1 (March 12)

 

Tour of the United States of America

 

“William England’s composite picture – his American journey of 1859 recorded in stereo photography – ought to be seen as both the first large-scale photographic record of the country and the last glimpse of it as Utopia on a manageable scale.” – Ian Jeffrey. (p. 7.)

 

“Yet as a representation of Utopia this picture of America ought to be honored, for it may be the only unselfconsciously realized vision of paradise on earth that we have.” – Ian Jeffrey. (p. 32.)

 

 

Circa 1858/59 England traveled to the United States and Canada on behalf of the LSC and thoroughly documented his trip. Within the United States stops along the way included New York City; Paterson, New Jersey; the Hudson Valley including places such as Peekskill, West Point, Sleepy Hollow, and Tarry Town; Trenton Falls, New York; Niagara Falls, New York; White Mountains, New Hampshire; Boston, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Natural Bridge, Virginia; Mount Vernon, Virginia; and Washington DC.

 

The series of photographs, titled “America in the Stereoscope,” or alternatively the “North American Series,” was very popular, being considered among the first views of the United States available for sale in Britain. The stereoscopic views were mounted on a yellow card, which was then enameled on both sides. The reverse side of each stereoview from the United States included a picture of a bald eagle, the national bird, and each stereoview from Canada included the British coat of arms. The reverse side of each card also included the title, description and various quotations or poems. The written descriptions were imprinted with brown ink.

 

In November 1858, Ballou’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion mentioned the work of the LSC in America. “An agent of the London Stereoscopic co. is now in this country, and he has artists employed taking views of scenes and noted places throughout the United States, which will be sent to London and there multiplied, not only for our own use, but for sale on the continent.”[1] Although not definitive, this little anecdote seems to imply that England may have been in the United States earlier than suspected, i.e., 1858. Also, given the use of the term “artists,” plural, William England may not have been the only photographer working on behalf the LSC in the United States, although he is widely attributed as being the “lead” photographer.

 

If there were additional LSC photographers other than William England in the United States at that time it is possible that one of them could have been Thomas Richard Williams (1824-1871), another famed photographer of the LSC. The following advertisement from Edward Anthony, the largest 19th-century manufacturer and distributor of cameras and photographic supplies in the United States, was published in newspapers across the country.

 

“MR. BROADWAY PINNED TO THE WALL.