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, 22 Sep 2021 02:20:00 GMT Wed, 22 Sep 2021 02:20:00 GMT https://www.americancatskills.com/img/s/v-12/u126062438-o922362058-50.jpg American Catskills: Blog https://www.americancatskills.com/blog 120 80 Birchall Falls: A Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/10/birchall-falls-a-study Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance.

 

Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance. Birchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York.Birchall FallsBirchall Falls is a scenic waterfall located on the West Branch of the Beer Kill in the hamlet of Greenfield Park in southern Ulster County, New York. The headwaters of the West Branch of the Beer Kill originate at an unnamed lake in the eastern portion of Sullivan County just east of Woodbourne. The West Branch, measuring approximately 10 miles in length, then flows into Sandburg Creek at Ellenville, which in turn flows northwards to its confluence with the Rondout Creek at Napanoch, which in turn flows northwards to join the Hudson River at Kingston. The West Branch is stocked by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation annually with 1,500 brown trout. Some brook trout may also be found in the headwaters. The east-flowing Beer Kill is named for the yellowish water color that comes from sediments and minerals, giving it a beer-like appearance.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) beer Birchall Falls Birchall Road Falls Catskill Mountains Catskills color DEC Department of Environmental Conservation Ellenville fish fishing Greenfield Park Hudson River Kingston Matthew Jarnich Napanoch New York photographer photographs photography photos pictures Rondout Creek Sandburg Creek sightseeing tourism tourist travel trout Ulster County water waterfall West Branch Beer Kill Woodbourne https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/10/birchall-falls-a-study Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Schalk’s Falls: A Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/10/schalk-s-falls-a-study The scenic 17-foot Schalk’s Falls sits on the Plattekill Creek near the base of Platte Clove in West Saugerties. Although the property on both sides of the falls is posted good views can still be had from roadside on the bridge just downstream from the falls.

 

Schalk’s Falls is a scenic waterfall located at the base of Plattekill Cllove at West Saugerties, Ulster County, New York.Schalk’s FallsWest Saugerties, Ulster County

The scenic 17-foot Schalk’s Falls sits on the Plattekill Creek near the base of Platte Clove in West Saugerties. Although the property on both sides of the falls is posted good views can still be had from roadside on the bridge just downstream from the falls.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 of the clove in 1844: “Plauterkill Clove is an eddy of the great and tumultuous world, and in itself a world of unwritten poetry, whose primitive loneliness 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. (1)

Platte Clove is home to, depending on who’s counting, over 18 waterfalls, many of which are only reachable with extreme caution. The exact names of the waterfalls are often in debate, as many of the names have changed over the years or are referred to differently in various historical guidebooks, but include fanciful names such as Old Mill, Platte Kill, Bridal Veil, Pomeroy, Rainbow, Lower Rainbow, Devil’s Kitchen (Devil’s Chamber), Green (The Ghost), Evergreen, Rocky Rapids, Gray Chasm (Gray Rock), Black Chasm, Upper Red Falls, Lower Red Falls, Red Rock, Honolulu, Double Leap or Blue Bell.

Plattekill Creek forms on the northern slope of Indian Head Mountain and flows south towards Plattekill Falls to begin its rapid descent through the clove. After Schalk’s Falls Plattekill Creek flows into the Esopus Creek for a short remaining journey to feed the Hudson River. Given its precipitous climb and extremely narrow turns, the seasonal Platte Clove Road, heading west from Schalk’s Falls, is closed from November to April each year.

1. Landman, Charles. Letters From a Landscape Painter. Boston, James Munroe and Company, 1844. Page 50.

 

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 of the clove in 1844: “Plauterkill Clove is an eddy of the great and tumultuous world, and in itself a world of unwritten poetry, whose primitive loneliness 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. (1)

 

Platte Clove is home to, depending on who’s counting, over 18 waterfalls, many of which are only reachable with extreme caution. The exact names of the waterfalls are often in debate, as many of the names have changed over the years or are referred to differently in various historical guidebooks, but include fanciful names such as Old Mill, Platte Kill, Bridal Veil, Pomeroy, Rainbow, Lower Rainbow, Devil’s Kitchen (Devil’s Chamber), Green (The Ghost), Evergreen, Rocky Rapids, Gray Chasm (Gray Rock), Black Chasm, Upper Red Falls, Lower Red Falls, Red Rock, Honolulu, Double Leap or Blue Bell.

 

Plattekill Creek forms on the northern slope of Indian Head Mountain and flows south towards Plattekill Falls to begin its rapid descent through the clove. After Schalk’s Falls Plattekill Creek flows into the Esopus Creek for a short remaining journey to feed the Hudson River. Given its precipitous climb and extremely narrow turns, the seasonal Platte Clove Road, heading west and upwards from Schalk’s Falls, is closed from November to April each year.

 

Schalk’s Falls is a scenic waterfall located at the base of Plattekill Cllove at West Saugerties, Ulster County, New York.Schalk's FallsWest Saugerties, Ulster County

The scenic 17-foot Schalk’s Falls sits on the Plattekill Creek near the base of Platte Clove in West Saugerties. Although the property on both sides of the falls is posted good views can still be had from roadside on the bridge just downstream from the falls.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 of the clove in 1844: “Plauterkill Clove is an eddy of the great and tumultuous world, and in itself a world of unwritten poetry, whose primitive loneliness 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. (1)

Platte Clove is home to, depending on who’s counting, over 18 waterfalls, many of which are only reachable with extreme caution. The exact names of the waterfalls are often in debate, as many of the names have changed over the years or are referred to differently in various historical guidebooks, but include fanciful names such as Old Mill, Platte Kill, Bridal Veil, Pomeroy, Rainbow, Lower Rainbow, Devil’s Kitchen (Devil’s Chamber), Green (The Ghost), Evergreen, Rocky Rapids, Gray Chasm (Gray Rock), Black Chasm, Upper Red Falls, Lower Red Falls, Red Rock, Honolulu, Double Leap or Blue Bell.

Plattekill Creek forms on the northern slope of Indian Head Mountain and flows south towards Plattekill Falls to begin its rapid descent through the clove. After Schalk’s Falls Plattekill Creek flows into the Esopus Creek for a short remaining journey to feed the Hudson River. Given its precipitous climb and extremely narrow turns, the seasonal Platte Clove Road, heading west from Schalk’s Falls, is closed from November to April each year.

1. Landman, Charles. Letters From a Landscape Painter. Boston, James Munroe and Company, 1844. Page 50.

 

Schalk’s Falls is a scenic waterfall located at the base of Plattekill Cllove at West Saugerties, Ulster County, New York.Schalk's FallsWest Saugerties, Ulster County

The scenic 17-foot Schalk’s Falls sits on the Plattekill Creek near the base of Platte Clove in West Saugerties. Although the property on both sides of the falls is posted good views can still be had from roadside on the bridge just downstream from the falls.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 of the clove in 1844: “Plauterkill Clove is an eddy of the great and tumultuous world, and in itself a world of unwritten poetry, whose primitive loneliness 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. (1)

Platte Clove is home to, depending on who’s counting, over 18 waterfalls, many of which are only reachable with extreme caution. The exact names of the waterfalls are often in debate, as many of the names have changed over the years or are referred to differently in various historical guidebooks, but include fanciful names such as Old Mill, Platte Kill, Bridal Veil, Pomeroy, Rainbow, Lower Rainbow, Devil’s Kitchen (Devil’s Chamber), Green (The Ghost), Evergreen, Rocky Rapids, Gray Chasm (Gray Rock), Black Chasm, Upper Red Falls, Lower Red Falls, Red Rock, Honolulu, Double Leap or Blue Bell.

Plattekill Creek forms on the northern slope of Indian Head Mountain and flows south towards Plattekill Falls to begin its rapid descent through the clove. After Schalk’s Falls Plattekill Creek flows into the Esopus Creek for a short remaining journey to feed the Hudson River. Given its precipitous climb and extremely narrow turns, the seasonal Platte Clove Road, heading west from Schalk’s Falls, is closed from November to April each year.

1. Landman, Charles. Letters From a Landscape Painter. Boston, James Munroe and Company, 1844. Page 50.

Sources:

Landman, Charles. Letters From a Landscape Painter. Boston, James Munroe and Company, 1844. Page 50.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) brook canyon Catskill Mountains Catskills climb clove creek hike hiking Matthew Jarnich New York photographer photographs photography photos pictures Platte Clove Platte Clove Road Plattekill Creek river roadside Schalk's Falls sightseeing tourism tourist trail travel Ulster County water waterfall West Saugerties https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/10/schalk-s-falls-a-study Sat, 09 Oct 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Fantinekill Falls: A Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/10/fantinekill-falls-a-study Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County. The Fantinekill name comes from the small, 18th-century settlement that was once located in the area, then about one mile north of the village of Ellenville.

 

Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County.Fantinekill Falls 3Ellenville, Ulster County

Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County. The Fantinekill name comes from the small, 18th-century settlement that was once located in the area, then about one mile north of the village of Ellenville.

The name “Fantinekill” is probably best known in history for the massacre that occurred on May 4, 1779 during the American Revolution when British Loyalists and Native Americans brutally killed nine people from the Bevier and Sax families at the Fantinekill settlement. That tragic event is today known as the Fantinekill Massacre. Those killed included Elizabeth Bevier (age 62) and her sons Solomon Bevier (29) and Josiah Bevier (23); Johannah Sax (59) and her children Mariah Sax (29), Peter Sax (23), Hester Sax (18), Dorothy Sax (16) and Jacob Sax (14). There is a memorial located along Route 209 in Ellenville that marks the graves of those killed.

 

Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County.Fantinekill Falls 1Ellenville, Ulster County

Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County. The Fantinekill name comes from the small, 18th-century settlement that was once located in the area, then about one mile north of the village of Ellenville.

The name “Fantinekill” is probably best known in history for the massacre that occurred on May 4, 1779 during the American Revolution when British Loyalists and Native Americans brutally killed nine people from the Bevier and Sax families at the Fantinekill settlement. That tragic event is today known as the Fantinekill Massacre. Those killed included Elizabeth Bevier (age 62) and her sons Solomon Bevier (29) and Josiah Bevier (23); Johannah Sax (59) and her children Mariah Sax (29), Peter Sax (23), Hester Sax (18), Dorothy Sax (16) and Jacob Sax (14). There is a memorial located along Route 209 in Ellenville that marks the graves of those killed.

The name “Fantinekill” is probably best known in history for the massacre that occurred on May 4, 1779 during the American Revolution when British Loyalists and Native Americans brutally killed nine people from the Bevier and Sax families at the Fantinekill settlement. That tragic event is today known as the Fantinekill Massacre. Those killed included Elizabeth Bevier (age 62) and her sons Solomon Bevier (29) and Josiah Bevier (23); Johannah Sax (59) and her children Mariah Sax (29), Peter Sax (23), Hester Sax (18), Dorothy Sax (16) and Jacob Sax (14).

 

There is a memorial located along Route 209 in Ellenville that marks the graves of those killed at the Fantinekill Massacre. The monument was unveiled on Memorial Day, May 30, 1903 with a large public ceremony that included a parade, the singing of patriotic songs and a number of well-received speeches from distinguished guests. The monument was constructed from a massive boulder of Shawangunk grit that weighed several tons and bears a bronze tablet containing the names of the nine victims and the date of the massacre. The monument, costing about $400, was largely funded by the “public-spirited citizens of the neighborhood.”

 

Upon the unveiling of the monument, the Honorable Thomas E. Benedict spoke that “After one hundred and twenty-four years we have erected this monument as a shrine to our ancestors who lived and died like heroes. They were the men and women who built up the republic in which we live, and they died that the republic might live. These mothers were the first Daughters of the American Revolution, and they are entitled to the first honors of the day. The coming daughters should be led to possess all the virtues which their ancestors had. Let the Fantinekill be a monument to which the younger generations shall go, and may they express the sentiment which is in bronze on the monument we have erected today.” (‘Impressive Ceremonies.” Kingston Daily Freeman. June 1, 1903.)

 

The History of Ulster County, New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester provides some background on the Fantinekill Cemetery, where the falls are located. “This [Fantine Kill Cemetery Association] organization was effected at a meeting held May 27, 1871, at the First National Bank of Ellenville. A. S. Schoonmaker was chairman, and C. A. Van Wagener secretary. The trustees chosen were Uriah C. Enderly, Gilbert Du Bois, C. A. Van Wagener, Alfred Neafie, Isaac Corbin, Andrew S. Schoonmaker, Hiram H. Gale, John McElhone, Newton Le Fever. The proceedings were verified before John Lyon, notary public, and recorded May 31, 1871. The grounds of this association bear an appropriate name, not only from the Fantine Kill itself, but in memory of the “Fantine Kill massacre” elsewhere mentioned.” (Page 268.)

 

Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County.Fantinekill Falls 6Ellenville, Ulster County

Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County. The Fantinekill name comes from the small, 18th-century settlement that was once located in the area, then about one mile north of the village of Ellenville.

The name “Fantinekill” is probably best known in history for the massacre that occurred on May 4, 1779 during the American Revolution when British Loyalists and Native Americans brutally killed nine people from the Bevier and Sax families at the Fantinekill settlement. That tragic event is today known as the Fantinekill Massacre. Those killed included Elizabeth Bevier (age 62) and her sons Solomon Bevier (29) and Josiah Bevier (23); Johannah Sax (59) and her children Mariah Sax (29), Peter Sax (23), Hester Sax (18), Dorothy Sax (16) and Jacob Sax (14). There is a memorial located along Route 209 in Ellenville that marks the graves of those killed.

Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County.Fantinekill Falls 7Ellenville, Ulster County

Fantinekill Falls is a small, yet beautiful waterfall located at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville, Ulster County. The Fantinekill name comes from the small, 18th-century settlement that was once located in the area, then about one mile north of the village of Ellenville.

The name “Fantinekill” is probably best known in history for the massacre that occurred on May 4, 1779 during the American Revolution when British Loyalists and Native Americans brutally killed nine people from the Bevier and Sax families at the Fantinekill settlement. That tragic event is today known as the Fantinekill Massacre. Those killed included Elizabeth Bevier (age 62) and her sons Solomon Bevier (29) and Josiah Bevier (23); Johannah Sax (59) and her children Mariah Sax (29), Peter Sax (23), Hester Sax (18), Dorothy Sax (16) and Jacob Sax (14). There is a memorial located along Route 209 in Ellenville that marks the graves of those killed.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) American Revolution Bevier Catskill Mountains Catskills cemetery creek Ellenville Fantinekill Fantinekill Cemetery Fantinekill Falls Fantinekill Massacre photographer photographs photography photos pictures river Sax sightseeing tourism tourist travel Ulster County water waterfall https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/10/fantinekill-falls-a-study Sat, 02 Oct 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Mohyla https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/9/mohyla Located across the road from St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church in the hamlet of Glen Spey, there is a symbolic mohyla (mound) with a large Christian cross on top. The mound was created in honor of those that served and fought for the freedom of Ukraine. The marble base includes the words, in Ukrainian, “In Eternal Memory of the Ukrainian Revolutionary.” For many years religious services were held here, with a large number of attendees, including veterans and youth. The mound is located on the former grounds of the Ukrainian Fraternal Association.

 

The symbolic mohyla (mound), located across the road from St. Volodymyr Church in Glen Spey, honors those who fought from the freedom of Ukraine.MohylaGlen Spey, Sullivan County

Located across the road from St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church in the hamlet of Glen Spey, there is a symbolic mohyla (mound) with a large Christian cross on top. The mound was created in honor of those that served and fought for the freedom of Ukraine.

In the 1940s the Glen Spey area became a popular destination for second home owners of Ukrainian descent, eventually becoming known as “Little Ukraine.” The area is said to have reminded the homeowners of their native homeland, and allowed them to celebrate their faith and heritage without the fear of persecution.

 

The popular Ukrainian Youth Festival, hosted at the former 160-acre Verkhovyna Resort, and with its county fair atmosphere, for many years attracted thousands of visitors to the small Glen Spey hamlet in Sullivan County. Beginning in 1976 during the summer of America’s bicentennial, the festival celebrated Ukrainian culture with dance, music, crafts and cuisine. In 1988 it was estimated that 20,000 people would attend the festival. Verkhovyna, the Ukrainian Fraternal Association’s resort center, also hosted summer camps, cultural workshops and annual art festivals. Verkhovyna, translated from Ukrainian, means “highlands.”

 

Two beautiful Ukrainian churches, St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church, constructed in 1967, and Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, constructed in 1971, can also be found at Glen Spey.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Verkhovyna Catholic Catskill Mountains Catskills church cross Glen Spey Little memorial Mohyla mound New York Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church soldier St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church Sullivan County Ukraine Ukraine" Ukrainian Fraternal Association Ukrainian Youth Festival https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/9/mohyla Sat, 25 Sep 2021 12:00:00 GMT
St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church: A Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/9/st-volodymyr-ukrainian-catholic-church-a-study The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.St. Volodymyr ChurchGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.Country ChurchGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The Ukrainian Daily newspaper described the official events of that first day in the new life of the Glen Spey church. “The Church bell rang loud and clear last Sunday, morning, as the faithful gathered around St. Volodymyr's to greet His Excellency, the Bishop. He walked along Таras Shevchenko Blvd. in a procession of priests, veterans of the Ukrainian National Army, and little children dressed in colorful Ukrainian costumes. At the gates, under the bright summer sun, the procession halted. With the traditional Ukrainian welcome of bread, salt and warm words, Rev. Stephan Кіерагchuk, pastor of the newly built Church, and Dr. Hrabarchuk, chairman of the Church building committee, met the Bishop.

 

A cool breeze stirred the leaves of the mighty oaks. The bell of St. Volodymyr’s carried its wakening message over the hills toward the rippling waters of the Delaware. A blue and yellow flag gently came to life along side the Stars and Stripes. Around the Church made of wood, stood many, many people.

 

Following the consecration, a High Mass was held in the Church, during which the choir of the Holy Ghost Church of Brooklyn, N.Y., sang . . .

 

At the conclusion of religious ceremonies, the public enjoyed a picnic on the sprawling grounds of Verchovyna resort. Under towering oaks and stately pines guests sampled varieties of home baked goods and typically Ukrainian foods such аs ругоhy, holubel, etc., prepared by proud hosts of the day, local Ukrainian citizens. The lively music of Mr. Hirniak, kept the picnickers on their toes.

 

Highlighting the picnic was a short program of Ukrainian dance, song and recital, presented by children from the Verchovyna Youth camp, and prepared by Mrs. Bulba. His Excellency, Bishop Schmondiuk, in a brief speech afterwards, said that he was very impressed by the children, and by the fact that here in Glen Spey they are given the opportunity to absorb Ukrainian culture.” (Baczynsky, Marta. “Ukrainian Church Consecrated in Glen Spey, N.Y.” Ukrainian Daily. August 5, 1967.)

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.1966Glen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.Door to GodGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

Apollinaire Osadca, the church architect, was born what is now the Ukraine and emigrated to the United States in 1949. Other noted works by Osadca include the Sacred Heart Convent in Astoria, New York (1962), the Ukrainian National Home in Hartford, Connecticut (1965), the Holy Cross Ukrainian Cathedral Church in Astoria, New York (1966), the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Cathedral Church in Passaic, New Jersey (1969) and St. George's Ukrainian Catholic Church in New York City (1977).

 

George (Jurij) Kostiw, the church master builder, was trained by experienced carpenters in his native Bojko mountain region of Ukraine. Kostiw also constructed St. John the Baptist Church (1962) at Hunter, New York and the Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church (1977) at Johnson City, New York.

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.CrossGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The hamlet of Glen Spey, where the church is located, takes its name from the Scottish word “glen” for valley, and “spey” for the clear water springs found throughout the area. In the 1940s the area became a popular destination for second home owners of Ukrainian descent, eventually becoming known as “Little Ukraine.” The area is said to have reminded the homeowners of their native homeland, and allowed them to celebrate their faith and heritage without the fear of persecution. The popular Ukrainian Youth Festival for many years attracted thousands of visitors to the small Glen Spey hamlet in Sullivan County. The equally beautiful Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, founded in 1971, can also be found at Glen Spey.

 

The church takes its name from Saint Volodymyr, who is perhaps better known as Vladimir the Great. Although originally a devout pagan known for his barbarism and immorality, he later converted to Christianity, thereafter having himself and his country baptized into the Orthodox Christian Church. With his conversion, Volodymyr destroyed all the pagan statues that were located within the Kievan Rus, would go on to build a large number of schools, libraries and churches throughout the country and lived in relative peace with his national neighbors. Volodymyr was canonized in the mid-13th century. Both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate his feastday on July 15th.

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.The Work of OsadcaGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.The Church at Glen SpeyGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.God's HandGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.1,000 YearsGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.In FaithGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

 

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York.Afternoon Light at St. Volodymyr’sGlen Spey, Sullivan County

The St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church is located only a few miles from the Delaware River at the hamlet of Glen Spey in Sullivan County, New York. The church was consecrated on July 30, 1967 by His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Schmondiuk, Bishop of Stamford, in order to meet the religious needs of the growing population of Ukrainians living in the area. The first pastor at the church was Rev. Stephan Kieparchuk.

St. Volodymyr Church was designed by architect Apollinaire Osadca (1916-1997) and constructed by master builder George Kostiw. At its consecration, Osadca said the church was “built in the tradition of the wooden church architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains . . . [and] even though it has the style features of the wooden Carpathian churches . . . it is not a copy of any one there.” Osadca, despite having designed many other buildings, described the construction of St. Volodymyr as a “labor of love.” Some of St. Volodymyr’s early congregants described the building as “the most beautiful Ukrainian wooden church in the free world.”

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Apollinaire Osadca architect architecture building Catholic Catskill Mountains Catskills church George Kostiw Glen Spey hamlet Joseph Schmondiuk Matthew Jarnich New York pastor photographer photographs photography photos pictures religion reverend Saint Vladimir Saint Volodymyr Saint Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church sightseeing Stephan Kieparchuk Sullivan County tourism tourist travel Ukraine Ukrainian wood wooden https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/9/st-volodymyr-ukrainian-catholic-church-a-study Sat, 18 Sep 2021 13:19:43 GMT
John Jacob Loeffler – New Catskills Photographs https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/9/john-jacob-loeffler-new-catskills-photographs John Jacob Loeffler is one of the great Catskills photographers of all time. He made hundreds of stereoviews of the Catskills throughout the 1870s and 1880s. The photographs, part of the series titled Catskill Mountain Scenery, demonstrate his skill and vision as well as the timeless beauty of the Catskills, being equally compelling today at they were 150 years ago.

 

I have recently acquired a number of new Catskills photographs by John Jacob Loeffler. They have all been added to the Loeffler gallery, which now contains over 130 of his photographs.

 

Vintage John Jacob Loeffler stereoview titled “Steps leading down to Ravine, as seen from the Spray House” from the “Catskill Mountain Scenery” series; second series, # 237.Steps leading down to Ravine, as seen from the Spray House. (2nd Series, # 237)Photographer: John Jacob Loeffler
Series name: Catskill Mountain Scenery
Catalog #: 2nd Series, # 237
Title: Steps leading down to Ravine, as seen from the Spray House.
Steps leading down to Ravine, as seen from the Spray House. (2nd Series, # 237)

 

Vintage John Jacob Loeffler stereoview titled “The Lower Fall, from above” from the “Catskill Mountain Scenery” series; second series, number 252.The Lower Fall, from above. (2nd Series, # 252)Photographer: John Jacob Loeffler
Series name: Catskill Mountain Scenery
Catalog #: 2nd Series, # 252
Title: The Lower Fall, from above.
The Lower Fall, from above. (2nd Series, # 252)

 

Vintage John Jacob Loeffler stereoview titled “Ledge of Rocks, in front of Mountain House” from the “Catskill Mountain Scenery” series; third series, # 276.Ledge of Rocks, in front of Mountain House. (3rd Series, # 276)Photographer: John Jacob Loeffler
Series name: Catskill Mountain Scenery
Catalog #: 3rd Series, # 276.
Title: Ledge of Rocks, in front of Mountain House.
Ledge of Rocks, in front of Mountain House. (3rd Series, # 276)

 

Vintage John Jacob Loeffler stereoview titled “Overlook Mountain House” from the “Catskill Mountain Scenery” series; no series listed, #355.Overlook Mountain House. (No series listed, # 355)Photographer: John Jacob Loeffler
Series name: Catskill Mountain Scenery
Catalog #: No series, # 355.
Title: Overlook Mountain House.
Overlook Mountain House. (No series listed, # 355)

 

Vintage John Jacob Loeffler stereoview titled “View from the Overlook” from the “Catskill Mountain Scenery” series; no series listed, # 363.View from the Overlook. (No series listed, # 363)Photographer: John Jacob Loeffler
Series name: Catskill Mountain Scenery
Catalog #: No series listed, No. 363
Title: View from the Overlook.

John Jacob Loeffler is one of the great Catskills photographers of all time. He made hundreds of stereoviews of the Catskills throughout the 1870s and 1880s. The photographs, part of the series titled Catskill Mountain Scenery, demonstrate his skill and vision as well as the timeless beauty of the Catskills, being equally compelling today at they were 150 years ago.
View from the Overlook. (No series listed, # 363)

 

Vintage John Jacob Loeffler stereoview titled “Bear’s Den” from the “Catskill Mountain Scenery” series; no series listed, # 369.Bear’s Den. (No series listed, # 369)Photographer: John Jacob Loeffler
Series name: Catskill Mountain Scenery
Catalog #: No Series, # 369
Title: Bear’s Den.
Bear’s Den. (No series listed, # 369)

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Bear's Den Catskill Mountain House Catskill Mountain Scenery Catskill Mountains Catskills J. Loeffler John Jacob Loeffler Kaaterskill Falls Laurel House Loeffler New York Overlook Mountain Overlook Mountain House photographer photographs photography photos pictures Staten Island stereo view stereograph stereoscopic stereoscopic view stereoview Tompkinsville https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/9/john-jacob-loeffler-new-catskills-photographs Sat, 11 Sep 2021 12:00:00 GMT
W. F. Spencer - Jeweler, Watch Maker and Photographer https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/9/w-f-spencer---jeweler-watch-maker-and-photographer W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

W. F. Spencer, Stamford photographerW. F. Spencer, Stamford photographerW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

 

Ambrotypes at W. F. Spencer'sAmbrotypes at W. F. Spencer'sBloomville Mirror, April 29, 1862

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
Bloomville Mirror advertisement, April 29, 1862.

 

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William F. Spencer was born in Delaware County, New York. The 1900 United States census shows his birth as January 1830, although other census reports show his birth year as circa 1828 or 1829. Throughout his life, many records, such as newspaper accounts, show William using the nickname “W. F.,” while some official records, such as census reports, use the first name “Whedon.”

According to census records, William and his mother Eliza were living at the village of Windham from circa 1831. Sometime in the 1850s at the village of Windham, New York, Spencer, while in his mid-20s, established a jewelry and watch business, a trade he would continue for the remainder of his life.

On the 1855 New York state census Spencer, age 28, was residing at the village of Windham in Greene County, New York. He was living with his wife Caroline M., age 25; his mother Eliza Spencer, age 48; and a boarder by the name of Mary Fink, age 18. Spencer was listed with an occupation of Watch Maker. His mother Eliza was listed as widowed. Eliza and the boarder Mary were both listed with an occupation of Milliner. The family was living in a framed house valued at $500. The census shows that Spencer and his mother had been residing at Windham for 24 years while his wife Caroline had been residing there for 4 years. Caroline was shown as having been born in Albany County, New York.

In 1857 Spencer was advertising his jewelry business at Windham, New York. “The Metropolitan Police War has kicked up quite a dust in Gotham. Everyone knows that, but everyone does not know that Watches, Jewelry, & c., can be purchased of Mr. W. F. Spencer as economically as elsewhere in the county. Economy consists in purchasing where you can get the best article for the smallest amount of money. Never send to strangers, therefore, for an article which may be as cheaply and suitably purchased at home. Read Mr. Spencer’s advertisement, in another column, and give him a call.” (Windham Journal. August 6, 1857.)

A March 1857 advertisement in the Windham Journal highlighted the many offerings of Spencer’s business.

 

“Opposition to Imposition. W. F. Spencer keeps constantly on hand a complete assortment of Clocks, Watches, Jewelry, And Fancy Goods, which he will sell as cheap as can be bought outside of New York city. Among his stock may be found Gold and Silver Watches, Gold Pens and Pencils, Gold Chains, Gold, Cameo and Mosaic Pins, Ear Drops and Knobs, Gold and Cornelian Finger Rings, Gold Sleeve Buttons and Studs, Silver and German Silver Thimbles, Silver and Silver Plated Table, Tea, Cream, Sugar, Salt and Mustard Spoons; Butter and Fruit Knives, Spectacles, & c. Shears, scissors, port-moneys and wallets, pen, pocket and table cutlery, and all articles usually found at such a store.

Clocks, Watches and Musical Instruments repaired and warranted. Old Gold and silver taken in exchange for work or goods.

Windham, March 21st, 1857.”

 

               In 1857 Spencer, in addition to his jewelry business, can also be found at Windham operating his photograph gallery. He advertised in the Windham Journal for “SPANISH QUARTERS taken for twenty-two cents at W. F. SPENCER’S.”

After running his “Opposition to Imposition” advertisement in the local newspapers for a long time, and now finding the advertisement “stale,” in 1858 Spencer advertised under a heading of “New Arrangement.”

 

“New Arrangement. W. F. Spencer, Finding that the quick six-pence is better than a slow shilling, will offer his stock of goods, for CASH, fifteen per cent cheaper than can be bought outside of New York city. His goods consist of Gold and Silver Watches, Gold Pens and Pencils, Gold Chains, Gold, Cameo, Mosaic & Florentine Pins, Ear Drops and Knobs, Gold and Cornelian Finger Rings, Gold Sleeve Buttons and Studs, Silver and German Silver Thimbles, Silver, plated & Steel-bowed Spectacles, Plated Goods of all kinds, Pen and Pocket Cutlery, Sheers, Scissors, Razors, & c. Harrison’s J. D. Edrek’s and Lubin’s Extracts for the handkerchief. Minor’s Extracts for flavoring. Hair Oils, Restoratives, Colognes, Toilet Soaps, and Depilatory, Stationary, Port Monies, Wallets, Pass Books, & c. A great variety of Clocks, eight day and thirty hour, with and without Alarms, and all goods usually kept in such Stores, Cheap for Cash.

 

Clocks, Watches and Musical Instruments repaired and warranted. Old Silver taken in exchange for work or goods. Windham Center, April 21, 1858.” (Windham Journal. 1858.)

 

By late 1858 Spencer seemed to be preparing to leave the village of Windham. He placed the following notice in the Windham Journal, the local newspaper. “Notice. ALL PERSONS INDEBTED TO W. F. Spencer, either by note or account, are requested to call and make immediate payment, in order that he may do the same by his creditors.”

In 1859 Spencer entered into partnership with Henry L. Lemily, of Windham, with Spencer focusing on the selling and repairing of watches and jewelry and Lemily focusing on producing photographs, ambrotypes and melainotypes “in the best styles and at the lowest prices.” Their business was located within a Daguerrean Car at Bloomville, New York near the hotel of James W. Lyon. Lemily was well regarded locally, having placed second for “best ambrotypes” at the 1859 Delaware County Fair. First place was awarded to Jones & Ferguson of Kortright; and third place was awarded to O’Connor & Atkins.

In September 1859 Spencer was operating his photography business at the village of Bloomville, New York. “Mr. W. F. Spencer, Ambrotypist, requests to say that he will be here [Bloomville] on the 1st of Sept. with his Car, and attend to the wants of the people in the Picture line, and also in the repairing of Jewelry, clocks, Watches, & c.” (Bloomville Mirror. August 23, 1859.) In October 1859 Spencer sold his house and property at Windham to C. A. Mattoon, with ownership to take effect on November 10, 1859.

That same year, 1859, saw a small conflict between competing photographers, when L. D. Jones publicly challenged Spencer to compare their work at the upcoming county fair. “Andes, Aug. 20th, 1859. Mr. W. F. Spencer – As you make opposition to me in making Ambrotypes, I will give you another chance. Carry some of your pictures to the Fair and I will make opposition to you. L. D. JONES.” (Bloomville Mirror. 1859.) Jones briefly operated out of the villages of Andes, Bloomville, Delhi (at Churchill’s old gallery) and Hobart. L. D. Jones, in addition to being a photographer, was also a watch-maker and jeweler at the village of Andes, adding even further intrigue to the competition.

On the 1860 United States census, W. F. Spencer, age 32, was residing at Jefferson in Schoharie County, New York. He was living with his wife Caroline, age 30; his daughter Frances, age 4; and his daughter Augusta, age 11 months. Also living in the household was Elizabeth Washburn, age 11, who was listed as an adopted daughter on the 1865 New York State census. No occupation was listed was listed for W.F. His real estate was valued at $2,500 and his personal estate was valued at $1,000.

Augusta Spencer, W. F.’s daughter, was born in August 1859 and married Horace E. Stoddard in January 1881 at a ceremony in her hometown of Stamford. Augusta, affectionately known as “Gussie,” was a graduate of the Stamford Seminary and was considered to have “extraordinary musical ability.” (The Roxbury Times. August 28, 1915.) Horace Elijah Stoddard (1847-1937), the son of Chester (1812-1893) and Charity Stoddard (1810-1881), first worked as a farmer with his father and then worked for the Ulster and Delaware Rail Road (UDRR) company for many years as a conductor, laborer, baggage-man and expressman. The 1900 United States census reported that Horace and Augusta had seven children, six of them living at the time. Their children included Joseph (b. November, 1877), Frank (b. January, 1882), Harry (b. November, 1884), Charity (b. September, 1887), Helen (b. July, 1890), William (b. November, 1892) and Louise (b. September, 1895). Augusta passed away on May 20, 1929 at 70 years of age in New York City and was interred at Wiltwyck Cemetery in Kingston, New York. Horace passed away on April 4, 1937 in Bronx, New York and was also interred at Wiltwyck Cemetery.

 

W. F. SpencerW. F. SpencerW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker. Stamford Seminary, Stamford, N.Y. 1869.

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Res. of Wm. Youmans Jr. Delhi N.Y. ; Christ Church & Parsonage, Walton N.Y. ; Presbyterian Church, Downsville N.Y. ; Stamford Seminary, Stamford N.Y. S.E. Churchhill, Principal & Proptr."" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1869. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-67c9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a9

 

Frances Spencer, W. F.’s daughter, was born in 1855 at Greene County, New York. Like her father, she would engage in the jewelry business, partnering with him in their business at Kingston, New York. The 1900 United States census listed her marital status as single. Frances passed away at the age of 73 in New York City on October 29, 1928.

In 1860 Spencer, formerly of Windham, purchased the hotel owned by George W. Childs, a local merchant, at the hamlet of Jefferson in Schoharie County, New York. The property was purchased on March 6, 1860. According to the current owners of the building the Jefferson Hotel, as it was first called, got its start in 1833 and doubled as a stage coach stop. By the time of Spencer’s ownership, the hotel operated under the name of Jefferson House. The hotel was located in the heart of the Jefferson hamlet near the post office, stores, churches and across the road from the village square. At the suggestion of Revolutionary War veteran and local resident Colonel Stephen Judd the hamlet of Jefferson, and thus the Jefferson House, were named for founding father Thomas Jefferson. Spencer’s Windham jewelry business was taken over by Truman Johnson.

 

W. F. SpencerW. F. SpencerBloomville Mirror, October 30, 1860.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.


In 1860 W. F. Spencer owned and operated the Jefferson House, located in the hamlet of Jefferson in Schoharie County.
Jefferson House advertisement. Bloomville Mirror, October 30, 1860.

 

W. F. Spencer, Map of the Jefferson hamlet, Schoharie CountyW. F. Spencer, Map of the Jefferson hamlet, Schoharie CountyW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

In 1860 W. F. Spencer owned and operated the Jefferson House, located in the hamlet of Jefferson in Schoharie County.

Wenig, E, Wm Lorey, and Robert Pearsall Smith. Map of Schoharie Co., New York. Philadelphia: Published by R.P. Smith, 1856. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2008620859/>.
1856 map of the hamlet of Jefferson, Schoharie County, New York, including the Jefferson House.

Wenig, E, Wm Lorey, and Robert Pearsall Smith. Map of Schoharie Co., New York. Philadelphia: Published by R.P. Smith, 1856. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2008620859/>.

 

W. F. Spencer, Jefferson HouseW. F. Spencer, Jefferson HouseW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

In 1860 W. F. Spencer owned and operated the Jefferson House, located in the hamlet of Jefferson in Schoharie County.
Jefferson House. Courtesy of Jefferson Historical Society. www.thejeffersonhistoricalsociety.com.

 

Spencer’s ownership of the Jefferson House did not last long, for land records show that on December 26, 1860 Spencer sold the property to James Childs. On a side note, the Jefferson House, now with the name Heartbreak Hotel, continues to operate to this day as a popular local restaurant. It is located at 149 Main Street in Jefferson, New York. For more information about their history and delicious pub offerings visit their website at www.heartbreakhotelny.com.

By February 1861 Spencer was again operating in the jewelry business, but was now located at the village of Stamford in Delaware County, New York. “W. F. SPENCER, Dealer in Watches and Clocks. WATCHES, Clocks, Jewelry and Musical instruments repaired, and warranted at short notice and reasonable prices. Old silver taken in Exchange. Stamford, Del. Co.” (Bloomville Mirror. February 5, 1861.)

 

W. F. Spencer, 1861 advertisementW. F. Spencer, 1861 advertisementBloomville Mirror, March 5, 1861.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
W. F. Spencer advertisement. Bloomville Mirror, March 5, 1861.

 

Interestingly some of Spencer’s watches are today sold for higher prices, by multiples, than they ever would have sold for in the 19th century. As just one example, in 2016 the New Hampshire based horological specialty firm of Jones & Horan auctioned off a watch by W. F. Spencer for $1,700. According the condition report, the watch was created by the United States Watch Co. under a private label for Spencer. As can be seen in their photographs the Spencer watch was beautiful, and the fact that it is still working over approximately 1 1/2 centuries later is a testament to his craftsmanship.

 

W. F. Spencer, watchW. F. Spencer, watchW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

W. F. Spencer, watchW. F. Spencer, watchW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

W. F. Spencer, watchW. F. Spencer, watchW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

 

In 1862 Spencer announced his photography business in a simple newspaper advertisement in the Bloomville Mirror: “Ambrotypes, at W. F. Spencer’s, Stamford, N.Y.”

The invention of the Ambrotype photographic process is often credited to James A. Cutting (1814-1867), an American photographer and inventor. Cutting patented his improvements on the ambrotype process in 1854, and thus attached his name to the process. Ambrotypes would reach their height of popularity in the mid-1850s to the mid-1860s. Ambrotypes were eventually replaced with Cartes de visite and other paper print photographs, both of which were easily available in multiple copies.

As per the Library of Congress “An ambrotype is comprised of an underexposed glass negative placed against a dark background. The dark backing material creates a positive image . . . The invention of wet collodion photography processes in the 1850s allowed the development of two new kinds of photographs--ambrotypes and tintypes. These new formats shared many characteristics with the earlier daguerreotypes but were quicker and cheaper to produce. Primarily used for portraiture, each photo is a unique camera-exposed image and was available in the following standard-sizes. The most common size was the sixth plate.

  • Imperial or Mammoth Plate - Larger than 6.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Whole Plate - 6.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Half Plate - 4.25 x 5.5 inches
  • Quarter Plate - 3.25 x 4.25 inches
  • Sixth Plate - 2.75 x 3.25 inches
  • Ninth Plate - 2 x 2.5 inches
  • Sixteenth Plate - 1.5 x 1.75 inches.”

In 1863, the Stamford business directory, as published in The Bloomville Mirror issue on March 3, 1863, listed W. F. Spencer with the occupations of both Postmaster and Photographic Artist. Spencer was appointed Stamford postmaster on January 28, 1863, following Jeffrey H. Champlin who had served in that role since 1858. The Stamford post office had been established on September 8, 1801, with Spencer serving as Stamford’s 10th postmaster. Spencer held the postmaster position for less than two months, being succeeded by Ambrose Stevenson on March 5, 1863.

According to an anonymous letter written to the Bloomville Mirror, published on March 31, 1863, there may have been some local intrigue around Spencer’s appointment as postmaster. “STAMFORD, March 28, 1863. Mr. Mirror – A correspondent of yours, few weeks since, stated that W. F. Spencer had been appointed Post Master at this place. I think Mr. Spencer received notice that he would be made a P. M., and probably the old P. M. though so, too, for the post-office was hustled off to Spencer’s, where it remained until yesterday, when Ambrose Stevenson, Esq., the newly commissioned Postmaster at this place, mover the office back to its old locality opposite the Delaware house. This fact may not be very pleasing to the Harpersfield man, who simply wrote a letter to procure Spencer’s appointment, and then made a journey to Washington to prevent the appointment of Stevenson. PATRON.”

In 1864 The New York State Business Directory listed W. F. Spencer as a photographer at Stamford. Spencer was the only photographer then operating at Stamford. Other Delaware County photographers listed in the 1864 directory included James D. Ferguson at Andes, Myres Hill at Downsville, Jacob Churchill and Benjamin F. Gilbert at Delhi, Willson H. Stewart at Hamden, Wm. H. Barber at Margaretville and Norman Taylor at Walton.

On the 1865 New York State census Spencer, age 38, was residing at Harpersfield in Delaware County, New York. He was residing with his wife Caroline, age 32; his daughter Frances, age 9; his daughter Augusta, age 5; and his adopted daughter Elizabeth Washburn, age 16. Caroline was born in Albany County, New York while both Frances and Augusta were born in Greene County, New York, likely at Windham where Spencer was residing at the time of their births. Spencer was listed with an occupation of Merchant. The family was living in a framed house valued at $600.

In 1866 Spencer announced the reopening of his photography business in a newspaper advertisement in the Bloomville Mirror. “NOTICE. W. F. SPENCER Has again opened his Picture Rooms in Stamford, where he will be pleased to see his former customers, and all others who may favor him with a call. November 3, 1866.”

 

W. F. Spencer, 1867 advertisementW. F. Spencer, 1867 advertisementBloomville Mirror, January 1, 1867.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
W. F. Spencer advertisement. Bloomville Mirror, January 1, 1867.

 

In March 1868 Spencer announced his return to the jewelry business at Stamford, although it’s unclear where he was in preceding year. “IMPORTANT! – W. F. SPENCER would respectfully notify the people of Stamford and adjoining towns that he has returned to this village, and will, as heretofore, pursue the business of Repairing Watches, Clocks, Jewelry of all kinds, Melodeons, Accordions, Music Boxes, Sewing Machines, & c. Jewelry of solid Gold or Silver manufactures. Engraving done to order. Agent for Sewing Machines. Stamford, March 15, 1868.)

In September 1869 Spencer “bought Gilbert & Maynard’s old office, and carries on the Jewelry and Drug business, besides dealing in papers, books and music. He is putting up an addition to the building.” (Bloomville Mirror. September 7, 1869.) That same year he became the exclusive agent at Stamford for the Davis Lock Stitch Sewing Machine, “a late invention – decided improvement over all the old shuttle machines – great simplicity, and great case of management.”

On the 1870 United States census Spencer, age 41, was residing at the village of Stamford in Delaware County, New York. He was living with his wife Caroline, age 39, who was listed with an occupation of “Keeping House”; his daughter, “Franklin,” (Frances) age 15; his daughter “Susie,” (Augusta) age 11; and his adopted daughter Elizabeth Washburn, age 20. Both Franklin and Susie were listed as having attended school within the past year. Spencer’s occupation was listed as “Jewelry.” His real estate was valued at $2,000 and his personal estate was valued at $600. In 1871 Libbie Washburn advertised that she was available at W. F. Spencer’s “to make coats, pants and vests, promptly.” (Bloomville Mirror. 1871.)

In 1870 Spencer advertised the sale of a wide assortment of goods including watches, clocks, musical instruments, sheet music, music books, and even drugs and medicines. (Bloomville Mirror. June 7, 1870.)

 

W. F. Spencer, 1870 advertisementW. F. Spencer, 1870 advertisementBloomville Mirror, December 13, 1870.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
W. F. Spencer advertisement. Bloomville Mirror, December 13, 1870.

 

W. F. Spencer, 1871 advertisementW. F. Spencer, 1871 advertisementBloomville Mirror, February 7, 1871.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
W. F. Spencer advertisement. Bloomville Mirror, February 7, 1871.

 

In 1870 The New York State Business Directory listed W. F. Spencer at Stamford under the profession of “Watches Jewelry Dealers.” Photographer E. O. Covill was listed as operating at the village of Stamford. Other photographers listed as operating in Delaware County included B. F. Gilbert and M. Johnson at Delhi, and Burton Hine at Franklin.  (Sampson, Davenport, & Co. The New York State Business Directory. Boston, MA: Charles Van Benthuysen & Sons, 1870. p. 1024.)

In 1872 Spencer moved his business to a new location. “Mr. W. F. Spencer has moved his Jewelry establishment to the Mirror office building. This together with the Printing works, Book Store, Post-office and Railroad Engineers office, make it one of the most lively establishments in Stamford.” (The Jeffersonian. May 15, 1872.)

In 1872 Boyd’s New York State Directory listed W. F. as operating at Stamford with the profession of “jeweler and music dealer.” A photographer by the name of R. M. Gibbs was listed as working at Stamford. (Boyd, Andrew. Boyd’s New York State Directory, 1872. 1873. 1874. Syracuse, N.Y.: Truair, Smith & Co., 1872.)

That same year, in 1872, Spencer visited his old home at the village of Windham. The Windham Journal in their March 7, 1872 issue wrote an extremely positive announcement about his return, including his contributions the establishment of that newspaper.

 

“We had a very pleasant call yesterday, from Mr. W. F. Spencer, of Stamford, who has a jewelry store there. He deals largely in gold and silver watches, pianos, organs, melodeons, & c. Mr. Spencer will be remembered as a resident of Windham Centre about a dozen years ago. He was one of a number who kindly furnished means to buy a press to print the JOURNAL on, while our paper was in its infancy. – We were shown by Mr. Spencer, a large variety of solid gold and silver watches, some of which contained the celebrated Spencer movement. Also, shown some very unique ladies, and gentlemen’s sold gold chains and rings, not easily excelled. Parties from New York and Albany have purchased goods of him, knowing they could obtain a superior article, at reasonable rates. – Reader, if you ever meet Mr. Spencer, and he has anything you want, - just one word from us, - you will find his goods as he represents them. Can we say as much of the jewelry peddlers traveling the country?”

 

Spencer’s business seemed to move frequently around the village of Stamford. Having just moved the Mirror office building in 1872, he was again on the move late that year, moving to rooms over Hubbard & Van Dusen’s Store in December 1872. In the spring of 1873, he again moved, this time “permanently located at No. 1 Delaware St.” In June 1875 he moved again to the Sturgess Store, two doors down from the offices of the Stamford Mirror, the local newspaper.

In 1873, the Stamford business directory, as published in The Stamford/Bloomville Mirror issue of February 11, 1873, listed Spencer with an occupation of Jeweler. The 1874 Stamford business directory, as published in The Stamford/Bloomville Mirror issue on March 23, 1874, also listed Spencer with an occupation of Jeweler.

In 1874 Spencer became the sole agent of “Crescent Spectacles” within the village of Stamford. The glasses were manufactured by the firm of Fellows, Holmes & Clapp of New York City. It was claimed that the spectacles were “guaranteed superior to all others in the market. For clearness and distinctness of vision they are unrivaled, the total absence of prismatic colors and refractory rays always found in Pebbles render them especially desirable. Being ground with [Trade Mark] great care, they are free from all imperfections and impurities. They are mounted in Gold, Silver, shell, Rubber and Steel frames and will last many years without change.” (Stamford and Bloomville Mirror. January 27, 1874.)

 

W. F. Spencer, 1874 advertisementW. F. Spencer, 1874 advertisementStamford and Bloomville Mirror, January 27, 1874.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
W. F. Spencer advertisement. Stamford and Bloomville Mirror, January 27, 1874.

 

In 1874 Spencer was listed in The New York State Business Directory published by Sampson, Davenport, & Co. under the category “Watches and Jewelry Dealers.” The guide incorrectly published his name as M. T. Spencer. There was another watch and jewelry dealer operating at Stamford by the name of Warner. There were no photographers listed as operating at Stamford that year. Other photographers operating in Delaware County included Wm. H. Crawford at Andes, Mrs. E. K. Taft at Ashland, M. L. Farrington and B. F. Gilbert at Delhi, Francis Allen at Franklin and Burton Hines at Walton.

On the 1875 New York State census Spencer, age 53 (incorrectly stated), was residing at the village of Stamford in Delaware County, New York. He was living with his wife Caroline, age 45; his daughter Frank (Frances), age 19; with Augusta Spencer, age 15, listed as a niece, although previous census information listed her as a daughter; his niece Mary E. Washburn, age 25; and a servant, Francis Hildreth, age 18, born in Schoharie County, who listed with an occupation of “Apprentice.” Spencer’s occupation was listed as “Jeweler.” The family resided in a framed house valued at $1,900.

In 1875, Spencer, in addition to his photography and jewelry businesses, became the sole agent for the sale of the Secor Lock-Stitch, Shuttle Sewing Machine. His exclusive rights to sell the Secor sewing machine extended to “all of the mountain towns in Greene County, and a portion of Delaware and Schoharie [Counties.]” The machine, created by Jerome Burgess Secor (1839-1923), was advertised as the “Most Practical and Most Desirable Machine ever presented to the Public.”

 

And Always Remember Square Meals Make Round PeopleW. F. Spencer, 1876 advertisementThe Windham Journal, October 12, 1876.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
W. F. Spencer advertisement. The Windham Journal, October 12, 1876.

 

W. F. Spencer, 1881 advertisementW. F. Spencer, 1881 advertisementThe Gilboa Monitor, October 27, 1881.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
W. F. Spencer advertisement. The Gilboa Monitor, October 27, 1881.

 

In 1876 W. F. Spencer photographed extensively in the area in and around the village of Stamford, New York. He produced approximately 100 unique stereoscopic views, all of which were available for purchase at his shop. Spencer’s photographic work was frequently highlighted in the local newspapers.

 

The Jeffersonian, July 26, 1876. “W. F. Spencer, of Stamford, is prepared to take pictures of all styles and sizes. Special attention given to copying and enlarging. All work warranted. Prices cheap.”

 

Stamford Mirror, 1877. “PICTURES. – Our readers should not forget that Mr. W. F. Spencer, in this village, is engaged in the picture making business. His specimens, exhibited to us a few days since, will compare favorably with those made by parties from abroad, and at as low prices. Mr. Spencer is an industrious mechanic, and our home people should patronize him.”

 

Stamford Mirror, 1877. “Mr. Spencer, of this village, takes the best Photographs nowadays that have ever been made in Stamford. If you don’t believe us, call at his shop and see specimens.”

 

Stamford Mirror, 1876 and 1877. “NOTICE. THE UNDERSIGNED takes this method to inform the inhabitants of Stamford and the surrounding towns that I am still to be found a all times at my shop, (notwithstanding all reports to the contrary,) where I have every facility, and am ready and willing to give my attention to the repairing of all WATCHES, CLOCKS, JEWELRY, & c., that may be intrusted to me. ALL WORK WARRANTED, and at prices as low as good work will admit.

Also, in connection, I have a PHOTOGRAPH GALLERY, Where all sizes and styles of PORTRAITS, STEREOGRAPHS and LANDSCAPE WORK can be obtained. Having made arrangements with first-class Artists in New York, I am prepared to furnish ENLARGED COPIES, FROM OLD PICTURES, EITHER IN INDIA INK, WATER COLORS, OIL PAINTING, OR CRAYON WORK. Give me a call. W. F. SPENCER.”

 

Stamford Mirror, March 19, 1878. “H. H. Bailey has sold his Photograph Car to W. F. Spencer, of Stamford.”

 

Stamford Mirror, May 20, 1879. “W. F. Spencer is building a photograph car near his residence on Delaware street.”

 

Windham Journal, July 17, 1879. “Mr. W. F. Spencer of Stamford, photographist, is in town for a few days, taking portraits, views, & c. Call soon.”

 

Stereoview by photographer W. F. Spencer of Stamford, New York.Lake SceneW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

Stereoview by photographer W. F. Spencer of Stamford, New York.Village HomeW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

Stereoview by photographer W. F. Spencer of Stamford, New York.Three WomenW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

Stereoview by photographer W. F. Spencer of Stamford, New York.Village StreetW. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.

 

On the 1880 United States census Spencer, age 51, was residing at the village of Stamford in Delaware County, New York. He was living with his wife Caroline, age 50, listed with an occupation of “Keeping House”; his daughter Frances, age 24; and his daughter Augusta, age 20. Spencer was listed with an occupation of “Jeweler.”

 

Spencer’s photography business continued to be highlighted in the local newspapers throughout 1881 and 1882.

 

Windham Journal, January 13, 1881. “W. F. Spencer of Stamford, has opened a photograph gallery at Gilboa.”

 

The Gilboa Monitor, January 27, 1881. “Photographing in all its branches at the gallery opposite post office, Gilboa. Copying a specialty. W. F. Spencer.”

 

The Gilboa Monitor, June 2, 1881. “W. F. Spencer has moved his photograph car to the Devasego House, between here and Prattsville.”

 

Stamford Mirror, June 7, 1881. “W. F. Spencer, of this village, has opened a photograph gallery at Devasego Falls.”

 

Windham Journal, June 9, 1881. “W. F. Spencer has moved his photograph car to the Devasego House, near Prattsville.”

 

The Gilboa Monitor, May 25, 1882. “W. F. Spencer, of this village, has gone over to Devasego Falls to take photographs of city people who visit the Falls during the summer season.”

 

The Gilboa Monitor, August 9, 1883. “W. F. Spencer, practical watch-maker and jeweler, has located at Devasego Falls.”

 

Devasego Falls, where Spencer operated his seasonal photography business, was a popular waterfall along the Schoharie Creek near the villages of Prattsville and Gilboa. The falls were approximately 50 feet high and 125 feet wide, and were a popular location for church picnics and as a day trip for summer tourists in the surrounding villages. According to the History of Greene County, New York, originally published in 1884, the falls “were named after a French Indian who resided in this vicinity. In a deed, executed in 1765, these falls were termed Owlfleck, a name generally unknown to the residents of this place.” (Page 384.) An 1847 newspaper article in The Evening Post beautifully described the attraction of the falls.

 

“Devasego Falls. -  Three miles north-west of Prattsville are the Falls of Devasego. The Schoharie Kill at Devasego is about eighty yards wide. The water plunges seventy or eighty feet nearly perpendicularly, over three stair-like rocks, and then rushes furiously several hundred yards along a deep and rocky channel. These falls have, like Niagara, gradually receded, so wearing away the rocks as to form high and perpendicular walls of sold rock on each side of the river below the falls. The most favorable place from which to view these falls is from a rock overhanging the stream below the falls. The spectator, in this position, takes in at a single glance a view of the entire sheet of water as it plunges over the rocks, and of the deep and rocky channel below the falls. Just as the falls on the left stands an old mill. Above them the placid surface of the river may be traced in is meanderings till it is lost in a beautiful grove which encircles the delightful and romantic residence of the S--- family. Excepting the objects now described, nothing else is seen but the wild and craggy mountains and the valleys that intervene. These falls, of course, do not compare with Niagara, but their beauty and the wildness and ruggedness of the surrounding scenery will not fail to please and interest one who loves to contemplate the grander works of nature. C. G.”

 

The falls were also home to the ever-popular Devasego House, which later changed names to the Devasego Inn. In 1878, just a few years before Spencer began photographing there, the Devasego House was described to be a very charming destination by a local visitor from Stamford.

 

“Resuming our journey, our next stopping place was Devasego Falls, situated about one mile below Prattsville, which are the most beautiful falls among the Catskills. Situated about 200 yards from the falls in the Devasego House, which is kept by Peckham and Rappelyea. This house is open this Summer for the first. It is large, (having accommodation for about sixty guests,) convenient, well furnished, and a more beautiful location could not be found. For city people desiring a cool, pleasant, country home, it is just the place, and for all who wish a place to go for a ride or picnic it cannot be beat. The proprietors and employees are all that can be desired in gentlemanly, accommodating people.” (“A Trip From Stamford to Pratt’s Rocks and Devasego Falls.” Stamford Mirror. July 9, 1878.)

 

For many years the popular hotel, famed for its “real country hospitality,” was owned and managed by the “fine hotel man” Starr D. Mase (1877-1935), who later operated the Cold Spring Farm Inn at Stamford. At its peak the Devasego Inn accommodated 200 people. Unfortunately, the inn was razed on January 13, 1925 and Devasego Falls is no longer possible to view the waterfall as it was submerged with the construction of the Schoharie Reservoir during the 1920s.

 

W. F. Spencer, Devasego InnW. F. Spencer, Devasego InnBrooklyn Daily Eagle, June 4, 1916.

W. F. Spencer was a popular photographer in Delaware County, New York from circa 1859 to 1886. He operated at several locations in the area including Stamford, Gilboa and Prattsville. Despite his photographic success he was perhaps more popularly known locally as a jeweler and watchmaker.
Devasego Inn advertisement. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 4, 1916.

 

In 1885, as published in the Stamford Mirror issue of February 3, 1885, William F. Spencer was listed in the Stamford Business Directory as both a Jeweler and as a Photographer. The second photographer listed in the business directory at Stamford was S. S. Cornell. Schuyler S. Cornell (1843-1927) was a popular photographer who operated out of the village of Stamford in Delaware County, New York for nearly 50 years. He operated a portrait studio on Main Street in the village and was also well known for his landscapes of the surrounding western Catskills.

Throughout his time at Stamford Spencer was active in local community organizations, perhaps most notably in the local Masonic lodge. For the year 1863 he was elected as an officer in the St. Andrew’s Lodge No. 289. In 1870 he was elected as officer for the Delta Chapter, No. 185, Royal Arch Masons, of Stamford, New York. In 1871 he was elected Secretary of the Delta Chapter. For 1883 and 1885 he was again elected as an officer of the Stamford chapter.

In 1886, after living for approximately 25 years in the village of Stamford, W. F. Spencer left the northern Catskills and moved to the city of Kingston, New York along the Hudson River. With his daughter Frances he opened a jewelry store there, which he operated until his passing. The shop was located at 535 Union Avenue, which is now Broadway, which takes you from the edge of the historic Stockade District, through business-focused midtown, and to the charming Rondout district on the Rondout Creek.

In an 1892 trade publication about prominent businessmen in Kingston and Rondout the entry for Spencer makes it clear that he was highly regarded throughout the community.

 

“W. F. Spencer, Practical Watchmaker and Jeweler, No. 535 Union Avenue, Kingston, N.Y. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that everybody carries a watch nowadays and hence everybody is interested in knowing where watchmaking and repairing is done in a skillful and durable manner at moderate rates, and we can supply that information by calling attention to the establishment of Mr. W. F. Spencer, located at No. 535 Union Avenue, for he is a well-known and reliable watchmaker and jeweler, and although he does strictly first-class work, and handles only the best lines of goods, he charges no fancy prices, but on the contrary quotes rates which can hardly fail to prove satisfactory to even the most economically disposed. Watches, clocks, jewelry, etc., are extensively dealt in. We would therefore advise our readers to examine his stock and prices before buying elsewhere. Mr. Spencer, being a practical watchmaker and jeweler, is prepared to do all kinds of watch, clock and jewelry repairing, filling orders at short notice and doing the work strongly and durably, as well as neatly. He is a native of New York State and is well known and highly respected throughout Kingston and vicinity, having opened his establishment in this city in 1886, where he has built up quite an extensive patronage which is still steadily increasing.” (Bacon, Geo. F. Kingston and Rondout. Their Representative Business Men and Points of Interest. Newark, N.J.: Mercantile Publishing Company, 1892. Page 36.)

 

Spencer’s jewelry store was the subject of several newspaper articles in 1899 after it was robbed by Thomas “Dykie” Miller, a well-known Poughkeepsie criminal.

 

“THIS ROBBER WAS BOLD. The Kingston Jeweler Comes to Poughkeepsie and Identifies the Watches Stolen from His Store by “Dikey” Miller.

 

Sergeant Cahill, of the Kingston police force accompanied by Mr. W. F. Spencer and his daughter, arrived in Poughkeepsie early Friday morning for the purpose of trying to identify the eight watches found on Thomas, alias “Dikey” Miller, the man arrested by Officer Scanlon Thursday. Mr. Spencer was accompanied by his daughter, and as soon as they saw the eight watches Miss Spencer identified them immediately. Miller was brought before Recorder Morschauser, and the young woman said, “Oh, that’s the man beyond doubt.”

 

In telling of the robbery she said to an Eagle representative, “I was in the back room of our store about half-past six o’clock Wednesday evening. I heard a noise in the front store, and looking around the partition I saw the man reaching over the counter to a shelf after the watches. He had a handful. I screamed, as a woman will when she sees a burglar, and ran into the store behind the counter. As I grabbed at his arm he pulled it back and started for the door which leads to the hall. I ran after him and when he slammed the door the lamp went out. I grabbed him by the coat, but he got away from me and ran down the street.” Miller and the Kingston party returned to Kington Friday morning, and as the Ulster County grand jury convenes next week, Miller’s freedom is very much limited.” (Poughkeepsie Eagle-News. February 18, 1899.)

 

Thomas “Dykie” Miller had previously been sent to jail for burglary and several petty offences. One newspaper article described him as “one of the best known crooks that Pokeepsie ever produced.” (The Evening Enterprise. Pokeepsie, NY. February 24, 1899.) “Miller is a criminal by choice, by nature and by profession. For years he has cared only for living without doing any work, and it has been his pride and he has made his boasts that his livelihood was gained by crime . . . Housebreaking and thieving were his specialties, and no specialist ever applied himself with greater energy than did Miller. He was what the police of New York would term a “degenerate.” He preferred a life among the low, criminal classes, to a life among the more intelligent criminals, and among them he squandered ill-gotten gains. For years before he was convicted in this city, he made annual trips from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific slope, leaving at all places along the line the marks of his violence and criminal propensities. Wherever he went he committed crime, and in nearly every state in the United States the police and detectives are still looking for the perpetrator of some crime committed by Miller.” (Pokeepsie Evening Enterprise. February 25, 1899.) For his burglary of Spencer’s jewelry store Miller was sentenced to 10 years in Dannemora prison.

On the 1900 United States census Spencer, age 70, was residing in Ward 9 at the city of Kingston, New York. He was living with his daughter Frances, age 38. His occupation was listed as “Watch Maker” and he rented his home. His birthday was listed as January 1830 and Frances’ birthday was listed as May 1862. He was also listed as “widowed.”

William F. Spencer died suddenly at the age of 74 on January 4, 1902 in a chair at his home in Kingston, New York.

 

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If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about photographer William F. Spencer 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.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) ambrotype ambrotypist Augusta Spencer Bloomville Caroline Spencer Catskill Mountains Catskills Delaware County Devasego Falls Devasego Inn Eliza Spencer Frances Spencer gallery Gilboa Greene County Heartbreak Hotel Henry Lemily Jefferson Jefferson House jeweler Kingston L. D. Jones landscapes photographer photography portraits Prattsville scenery Stamford stereoviews studio watchmaker Whedon Spencer William F. Spencer Windham https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/9/w-f-spencer---jeweler-watch-maker-and-photographer Sat, 04 Sep 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Bob Wyer – New Photographs https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/8/bob-wyer-new-photographs Bob Wyer is one of the most prolific photographers in the history of the Catskills. His photographic career included shooting just about everything, such as passport photos, chauffer licenses, hunting licenses, high school yearbooks, formal portraits, special occasions such as birthdays and weddings, young babies, local stores, hotels and businesses, accidents, insurance claims, crime scenes, landscapes, parades and local news events. There was nothing that Bob couldn’t and wouldn’t photograph. Upon his retirement, Bob donated his extensive collection of over 150,000 photos to the Delaware County Historical Association. The collection is a virtual time capsule of the region from the late 1930s to the 1970s.

 

For a more detailed biography about this notable Catskills photographer please see my blog post titled “Bob Wyer: The Delhi Lensman” from February 22, 2020.

 

I have recently acquired a number of new photographs by Bob Wyer, all from the Catskills region. They have all been added to the Bob Wyer gallery, which now contains over 100 of his Catskills works.

 

Vintage postcard by photographer Bob Wyer depicting several fishermen on the Esopus Creek near the small hamlet of Phoenicia, New York.Greetings from Phoenicia, N.Y.This vintage postcard by photographer Bob Wyer depicts several fishermen on the Esopus Creek near the small hamlet of Phoenicia, New York. The inscription on the reverse side reads: “Dry fly, wet fly, the Catskills are a fisherman’s paradise. Famous trout streams include the Esopus, the Beaverkill, the Willowemoc, the two branches of the Delaware, and Schoharie Creek.” The postcard was never mailed. Greetings from Phoenicia, N.Y. 

 

Vintage photograph by Bob Wyer of the hamlet of Phoenicia in Ulster County, New York.Phoenicia, New YorkThis vintage postcard depicts the business district of the small hamlet of Phoenicia in Ulster County, New York. The photograph was taken by famed photographer Bob Wyer of Delhi, New York. The postcard was never mailed. Phoenicia, New York

 

Vintage postcard by Bob Wyer depicting the Stamford Country Club in Delaware County, New York.Stamford Country ClubThis vintage postcard by photographer Bob Wyer depicts the Stamford Country Club in the northern Catskills of Delaware County, New York. The inscription on the reverse side of the postcard reads “Golf in a beautiful mountain setting draws sportsmen from miles around to the Stamford Country Club course at Stamford, Delaware County, N.Y.” The postcard was mailed in 1965. Stamford Country Club

 

Vintage postcard by photographer Bob Wyer of a farm scene along Route 28 in the Catskills.Catskill Mountain VacationlandsPhotographer Bob Wyer published this beautiful postcard titled Catskill Mountain Vacationlands depicting “one of the many picturesque farms on scenic route 28, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.” The postcard was never mailed. Catskill Mountain Vacationlands

 

Vintage postcard by photographer Bob Wyer depicted a peaceful river scene along the Sawkill at Woodstock, New York.Down by the Old MillstreamTwo people enjoying the beautiful scenery along the Sawkill at Woodstock, New York are depicted in this Bob Wyer postcard. Titled “Down by the Old Millstream,” the inscription on the reverse side of the postcard notes that this location is popular for artists and, in season, with swimmers. Down by the Old Millstream

 

Vintage Bob Wyer photograph from his popular Catskill Mountain Vacationlands series depicting the beautiful view from top of Pine Hill.Top of Pine HillFrom his popular Catskill Mountain Vacationlands series, this Bob Wyer photograph depicts the beautiful view from top of Pine Hill, a view that “is typical of the colorful scenery of this year round resort area.” The postcard was mailed from Shandaken in 1968. Top of Pine Hill

 

Vintage postcard with a view of the Leeds Bridge, an historic stone arch bridge in the Catskills that spans the Catskill Creek of Leeds in Greene County, New York.Historic Leeds BridgeThe Leeds Bridge spans the Catskill Creek at the village of Leeds in Greene County, New York. The original bridge at the site was made of wood, but “the spring rains made a mighty river of the stream and it was partly swept away. About 1760 the missing part or the eastern part was replaced by two arches of stone. In 1785 the wooden part was burned and the western arches added in 1792 at a cost of £300. Just below the bridge was the old fording place used by both Indians and white men.” (“Old Stone Bridge.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1940.) The bridge was a key crossing point along the Susquehanna Turnpike as it traveled from the village of Catskill west to Unadilla on the Susquehanna River. By the 1920s plans were being designed to replace the bridge with a modern steel structure with a view that “there is no question as to the strength or solidity of the bridge, but is narrow and has a “hump” in the middle, making a menace for traffic.” (“Leeds Bridge Doomed.” Brooklyn Times Union. Brooklyn, New York. December 26, 1926.) Through community efforts a more historic approach was taken and the bridge rehabilitated in 1937, as a “reinforced concrete structure whose facing is original stone in exact duplicate of design of old bridge. Span lengths, 28, 63, 42 and 40 ft. as well as rise and shape of arches are duplicated.” (Highways. V. 17. No. 9. Washington, D.C. March 2, 1938.) The bridge is approximately 239 feet long and 30 feet wide.

The photograph was taken by Bob Wyer of Delhi, New York. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed from Tannersville, but the postmark date is illegible.
Historic Leeds Bridge

 

Vintage postcard published by Bob Wyer showing Meridale Farms at Meridale, New York.Farm Scene on Route 28The barn on the left of this photograph has “Meridale” on its side, a popular farm that was known far and wide. Meridale Farms was founded in 1888 by Francis Ayer (1848-1923) and Henry McKinney (1849-1918). Operating under the name Ayer and McKinney, they imported livestock form the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel, and began to improve upon the Jersey breed. At its peak the farm employed over 50 men and women. The farms remained active until 1945, changed hands, and ultimately closed in 1985.

A 1909 advertisement for the farm read: “Meridale Farms are located in the natural grass lands of the foothills of the Catskills, where pure air and spring water combine to create ideal conditions for the making of butter, the ultimate product of Meridale Jerseys, and as well for the development of rugged health of the animals. The value of a cow in the Meridale Herd is measured by the amount of butter she will produce year by year, and only the cows which “make good” are retained in the herd. Calves born to such cows, by any Meridale sire, should be peculiarly desirable animals for herd building. Visitors always welcome. Correspondence invited. Ayers & McKinney.”

The obituary for Francis Ayer contained some great details into his life: “Francis Wayland Ayer, aged 75 years, died on Monday, March 5. 1923, at his country home, "Ayermont," Merridale Farms, Meredith, N. Y. He lived in Camden, N. J. He was a son of Nathan Wheeler Ayer, who conducted a private school in Penn Yan prior to 1860. F. W. Ayer, with his father, founded the advertising agency of N. W. Ayer & Son, in Philadelphia, in 1869. This agency became one of the largest institutions of its kind in the country. Mr. Ayer joined the North Baptist Church when he moved to Camden in 1869 and soon after became Superintendent of the Sunday School, a position he held to the time of his death. He was for many years President of the New Jersey State Convention of the Baptist church, which under his leadership first employed a paid executive. Later Mr. Ayer was elected President of the Northern Baptist Convention, and remained until his death active in its national plans and activities. He leaves his second wife and a daughter by his first wife.”

For more information about the farm and the region, check out Frank M. Waterman’s book titled Meridale Farms, available through the Meredith Historical Society.

The postcard was published by Bob Wyer of Delhi, New York. the postcard was never mailed.
Farm Scene on Route 28

 

Vintage postcard by Bob Wyer of the fields and farms around Hobart, New York.Greetings from Hobart, N.Y.Famed photographer Bob Wyer took this beautiful photograph titled “Greetings from Hobart, N.Y.” The inscription on the reverse side reads “Land of the Leatherstocking. View from Franklin Mountain shows the rich and fertile Susquehanna River Valley. Overlooking Oneonta, New York. City of the Hills.” Greetings from Hobart, N.Y.

 

Vintage photograph by Bob Wyer of a snow-covered scene at the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center at Highmount, New York.Belleayre Mountain Ski CenterThis Bob Wyer photograph depicts a snow-covered mountain scene at the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, including two well-dressed skiers about ready to begin their descent. The caption on the reverse side of the postcard states “Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, featuring N.Y. State’s only chairlift. One of the principal tourist attractions in central N.Y. At Highmount between Pine Hill and Fleischmanns, N.Y.” The postcard was never mailed. Belleayre Mountain Ski Center

 

Titled “A Beautiful Falls,” this Bob Wyer postcard beautifully depicts a flowing waterfall in the Delhi, New York area.A Beautiful FallsTitled “A Beautiful Falls,” this Bob Wyer postcard beautifully depicts a flowing waterfall in the Delhi, New York area. The postcard was never mailed.

A Beautiful Falls

 

Vintage postcard from photographer Bob Wyer depicting the Second Presbyterian Church at Delhi, New York.Second Presbyterian Church of DelhiThis vintage postcard from photographer Bob Wyer depicts the Second Presbyterian Church at Delhi, New York. The postcard was never mailed. The church was founded in 1831.

Second Presbyterian Church of Delhi

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Bob Wyer Bob Wyer Photo Cards Catskill Mountains Catskills Delaware County Delhi New York photographer photographs photography photos pictures postcards https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/8/bob-wyer-new-photographs Sat, 28 Aug 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Battle of Minisink Ford: A Photographic Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/8/battle-of-minisink-ford-a-photographic-study The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

 

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

 

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1879. The battle monument was dedicated in 1879 on the centennial of the battle.In Defense of American LibertyThe Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

The battle monument, made of native bluestone and capped with a rounded glacier boulder, was dedicated in 1879 on the centennial of the battle. The monument measures 11 feet high and 5 feet wide at its base. Over 1,000 people attended the 1879 centennial dedication ceremony that included music, prayers and speeches from local dignitaries and descendants of those who were killed in the battle. Over 12,000 people attended similar cemeteries at Goshen, N.Y., where many of the remains of soldiers killed in the battle are buried. The Minisink monument is located on the site of the militia’s “last stand” of the battle.

The battle monument, made of native bluestone and capped with a rounded glacier boulder, was dedicated in 1879 on the centennial of the battle. The monument measures 11 feet high and 5 feet wide at its base. Over 1,000 people attended the 1879 centennial dedication ceremony that included music, prayers and speeches from local dignitaries and descendants of those who were killed in the battle. Over 12,000 people attended similar cemeteries at Goshen, N.Y., where many of the remains of soldiers killed in the battle are buried. The Minisink monument is located on the site of the militia’s “last stand” of the battle.

 

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779. Sentinel Rock is where British troops launched their final attack on the American militia.Last Stand On The Rocky HillThe Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

Sentinel Rock, or the Last Stand on the Rock Hill. “After the initial contact at the river, Col. Hathorn’s remaining force, about forty five men, conducted a fighting retreat until they reached high ground. Here they took up a position about two acres in size. Sentinel Rock, where you are now, marked the approximate southwest corner of the militia “square.” The battle field monument marks the southeastern part of the American defensive square.

Capt. Brant’s men encircled them at a distance of 100 yards of less. Tradition has long held that this is the location where Brant made his push into the heart of the militia’s defensive square. More recent research indicates that Brant’s final assault began from the northeast, not far from Hospital Rock. The militia men were now in the fight of their lives, and few would survive.”

Sentinel Rock, or the Last Stand on the Rocky Hill: “After the initial contact at the river, Col. Hathorn’s remaining force, about forty five men, conducted a fighting retreat until they reached high ground. Here they took up a position about two acres in size. Sentinel Rock, where you are now, marked the approximate southwest corner of the militia “square.” The battle field monument marks the southeastern part of the American defensive square.

 

Capt. Brant’s men encircled them at a distance of 100 yards of less. Tradition has long held that this is the location where Brant made his push into the heart of the militia’s defensive square. More recent research indicates that Brant’s final assault began from the northeast, not far from Hospital Rock. The militia men were now in the fight of their lives, and few would survive.”

 

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779. Hospital Rock is where the American wounded were being cared for, and eventually killed after British forces broHospital RockThe Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

Hospital Rock: “Hospital Rock is the most historically significant location on the battleground. Once the enemy broke the American’s defensive square late in the afternoon, it was here in the shadow of this rock that Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Tusten, a physician, and seventeen wounded militiamen under his care were trapped and killed by Brant’s raiders. Probably fewer than a dozen of the forty-five men who made a protracted “last stand” on the hilltop escaped.” (Source: Minisink Valley Historical Society.)

Hospital Rock. “Hospital Rock is the most historically significant location on the battleground. Once the enemy broke the American’s defensive square late in the afternoon, it was here in the shadow of this rock that Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Tusten, a physician, and seventeen wounded militiamen under his care were trapped and killed by Brant’s raiders. Probably fewer than a dozen of the forty-five men who made a protracted “last stand” on the hilltop escaped.” (Source: Minisink Valley Historical Society.)

 

Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania is the burial spot for an unknown soldier who died during the Battle of Minisink Ford, which took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779.Not ForgottenLackawaxen, Pennsylvania

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

Located at Saint Mark’s Church in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, directly across the Delaware River from Minisink Ford, is the burial site for an Unknown Soldier that died in the Battle of Minisink Ford on July 22, 1779. Because of the battle’s location, being in rough country and far removed from any roads, the bodies of the soldiers killed that fateful day remained there for over 40 years. Later still, in 1847, yet another body of an American soldier was discovered under a rock ledge by a farmer looking for his cow. The remains, identified by remnants of his uniform, were removed to Lackawaxen and buried on the shores of the Delaware River. Today the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars takes care of the gravesite and conducts an annual memorial service to commemorate the Battle of Minisink Ford.
Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania is the burial spot for an unknown soldier who died during the Battle of Minisink Ford, which took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779.Unknown SoldierLackawaxen, Pennsylvania

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

Located at Saint Mark’s Church in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, directly across the Delaware River from Minisink Ford, is the burial site for an Unknown Soldier that died in the Battle of Minisink Ford on July 22, 1779. Because of the battle’s location, being in rough country and far removed from any roads, the bodies of the soldiers killed that fateful day remained there for over 40 years. Later still, in 1847, yet another body of an American soldier was discovered under a rock ledge by a farmer looking for his cow. The remains, identified by remnants of his uniform, were removed to Lackawaxen and buried on the shores of the Delaware River. Today the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars takes care of the gravesite and conducts an annual memorial service to commemorate the Battle of Minisink Ford.
Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania is the burial spot for an unknown soldier who died during the Battle of Minisink Ford, which took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779.All the FallenLackawaxen, Pennsylvania

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

Located at Saint Mark’s Church in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, directly across the Delaware River from Minisink Ford, is the burial site for an Unknown Soldier that died in the Battle of Minisink Ford on July 22, 1779. Because of the battle’s location, being in rough country and far removed from any roads, the bodies of the soldiers killed that fateful day remained there for over 40 years. Later still, in 1847, yet another body of an American soldier was discovered under a rock ledge by a farmer looking for his cow. The remains, identified by remnants of his uniform, were removed to Lackawaxen and buried on the shores of the Delaware River. Today the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars takes care of the gravesite and conducts an annual memorial service to commemorate the Battle of Minisink Ford.

Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania is the burial spot for an unknown soldier who died during the Battle of Minisink Ford, which took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779.13 StarsLackawaxen, Pennsylvania

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

Located at Saint Mark’s Church in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, directly across the Delaware River from Minisink Ford, is the burial site for an Unknown Soldier that died in the Battle of Minisink Ford on July 22, 1779. Because of the battle’s location, being in rough country and far removed from any roads, the bodies of the soldiers killed that fateful day remained there for over 40 years. Later still, in 1847, yet another body of an American soldier was discovered under a rock ledge by a farmer looking for his cow. The remains, identified by remnants of his uniform, were removed to Lackawaxen and buried on the shores of the Delaware River. Today the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars takes care of the gravesite and conducts an annual memorial service to commemorate the Battle of Minisink Ford.

Unknown Soldier. Located at Saint Mark’s Church in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, directly across the Delaware River from Minisink Ford, is the burial site for an Unknown Soldier that died in the Battle of Minisink Ford on July 22, 1779. Because of the battle’s location, being in rough country and far removed from any roads, the bodies of the soldiers killed that fateful day remained there for over 40 years. Later still, in 1847, yet another body of an American soldier was discovered under a rock ledge by a farmer looking for his cow. The remains, identified by remnants of his uniform, were removed to Lackawaxen and buried on the shores of the Delaware River. Today the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars takes care of the gravesite and conducts an annual memorial service to commemorate the Battle of Minisink Ford.

 

Saint Mark’s Church, located along the Delaware River in Lackawaxen, was constructed in 1848 on grounds donated by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.Saint Mark's ChurchLackawaxen, Pennsylvania

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.

Saint Mark’s Church, located along the Delaware River in Lackawaxen, was constructed in 1848 on grounds donated by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. At its founding it was a Union church, open to Christians of all denominations including Baptists, Methodists, Christadelphians, and Lutherans. In 1873 the church denomination changed officially to Lutheran. St. Mark’s is currently part of the three-church Good News Parish, which also includes sister churches St. Luke’s in Greeley and St. Jacobi in Shohola.

St. Mark’s Union Cemetery, located adjacent to the church, is the burial site for an Unknown Soldier that died in the Battle of Minisink Ford on July 22, 1779. Because of the battle’s location, being in rough country and far removed from any roads, the bodies of the soldiers killed that fateful day remained there for over 40 years. Later still, in 1847, yet another body of an American soldier was discovered under a rock ledge by a farmer looking for his cow. The remains, identified by remnants of his uniform, were removed to Lackawaxen and buried on the shores of the Delaware River. Today the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars takes care of the gravesite and conducts an annual memorial service to commemorate the Battle of Minisink Ford.

St. Mark’s Union Cemetery, located adjacent to Saint Mark’s Church, is the burial site for an Unknown Soldier that died in the Battle of Minisink Ford on July 22, 1779. Saint Mark’s, located along the Delaware River in Lackawaxen, was constructed in 1848 on grounds donated by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. At its founding it was a Union church, open to Christians of all denominations including Baptists, Methodists, Christadelphians, and Lutherans. In 1873 the church denomination changed officially to Lutheran. St. Mark’s is currently part of the three-church Good News Parish, which also includes sister churches St. Luke’s in Greeley and St. Jacobi in Shohola.

 

The Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779. A commemorative tablet presents the names of those soldiers who died at the battle.PatriotsThe Battle of Minisink Ford took place during the American Revolution on July 22, 1779 between British Loyalists and their Native American supporters, led by Mohawk Chieftain Joseph Brant, versus approximately 120 American militiamen from New York and New Jersey, led by Colonel John Hathorn. In response to Brant’s attack two days prior at the frontier settlement at Peenpack (Point Jervis), American militia sought to intercept Brant’s escape up the Delaware Valley, catching up with him and his forces at Minisink Ford.

With the American militia preparing to ambush Brant as he prepared to cross the Delaware River into Lackawaxen, and with Colonel Hathorn having split his forces into a group of skirmishers and two main units, an accidental rifle discharge from a militiamen unfortunately alerted Brant. Upon his discovery, Brant responded quickly and forcefully, attacking the American militia before they were able to fully deploy, splitting the American forces. One group of the Americans retreated to the top of the hill overlooking the river to regroup and regain their strategic advantage. Unfortunately, only about 50 of the original group of 120 American militiamen were left, the separated forces having dispersed or having been killed or wounded. Brant outflanked the Americans and broke through the new small defensive square of the Americans. The Americans were routed, with 47 militiamen killed. Brant lost approximately seven men. It was a decisive British victory.


A commemorative tablet attached to a large boulder, with the names of those soldiers who died at the battle of Minisink Ford was dedicated by The Delaware Company on July 22, 2007. With the citation, “Honoring these patriots who sacrificed their tomorrows for America’s tomorrows”, those soldiers who died at Minisink Ford include:
Lt. Colonel Benjamin Tusten, M.D.
Captain Bezaleel Tyler
Ensign Ephraim Masten
Adjutant Nathaniel Fitch
Captain John Duncan
Captain Samuel Jones
Captain John Little
Ensign Ephraim Middaugh
Gabriel Wisner, Esquire
Stephen Mead
Captain Benjamin Vail
Lieutenant John Wood
Mattias Terwilliger
Joshua Lockwood
Joseph Rider
Ephraim Forguson
Robert Townsend
James Knapp
Benjamin Bennett
William Barker
Jacob Dunning
Jonathan Pierce
James Little
Joseph Norris
Gilbert S. Vail
Joel Decker
Abram Shepherd
Nathan Wade
Nathan Wade
Simon Wait
Daniel Talmadge
John Carpenter
David Barney
Jonathan Haskell
Abram Williams
James Mosher
Isaac Ward
Baltus Niepos
Gamaliel Bailey
Moses Thomas II
Eleazer Owens
Adam Embler
Samuel Little
Benjamin Dunning
Daniel Reed
Samuel Knapp
Timothy Barber

 

Patriots: A commemorative tablet attached to a large boulder, with the names of those soldiers who died at the battle of Minisink Ford was dedicated by The Delaware Company on July 22, 2007. With the citation, “Honoring these patriots who sacrificed their tomorrows for America’s tomorrows”, those soldiers who died at Minisink Ford include:

Lt. Colonel Benjamin Tusten, M.D.

Captain Bezaleel Tyler

Ensign Ephraim Masten

Adjutant Nathaniel Fitch

Captain John Duncan

Captain Samuel Jones

Captain John Little

Ensign Ephraim Middaugh

Gabriel Wisner, Esquire

Stephen Mead

Captain Benjamin Vail

Lieutenant John Wood

Mattias Terwilliger

Joshua Lockwood

Joseph Rider

Ephraim Forguson

Robert Townsend

James Knapp

Benjamin Bennett

William Barker

Jacob Dunning

Jonathan Pierce

James Little

Joseph Norris

Gilbert S. Vail

Joel Decker

Abram Shepherd

Nathan Wade

Nathan Wade

Simon Wait

Daniel Talmadge

John Carpenter

David Barney

Jonathan Haskell

Abram Williams

James Mosher

Isaac Ward

Baltus Niepos

Gamaliel Bailey

Moses Thomas II

Eleazer Owens

Adam Embler

Samuel Little

Benjamin Dunning

Daniel Reed

Samuel Knapp

Timothy Barber

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) American Revolution battle Battle of Minisink Ford Benjamin Tusten dead Delaware River ford Hospital Rock John Hathorn Joseph Brant killed Lackawaxen loyalist memorial militia Minisink Ford monument park patriots Peenpack Port Jervis raid Revolutionary War Sentinel Rock soldiers Sullivan County war https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/8/battle-of-minisink-ford-a-photographic-study Sat, 21 Aug 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Henry S. Fifield – The Flume Photographer (Part 2) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/8/henry-s-fifield-the-flume-photographer-part-2 Henry S. Fifield – The Flume Photographer (Part 2)

See August 7, 2021 blog entry for Part 1.

 

 

Introduction

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. In addition, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Flume No. 182. 1870.H. S. Fifield business imprint. Flume No. 182. 1870.

J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

H. S. Fifield business imprint. Flume No. 182. 1870. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

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Family Trade: Albert G. Fifield and Moses Fifield

 

Although rare, there are also views of people at the Flume that were taken by a photographer with the name A. G. Fifield. This is likely Henry’s nephew, Albert G. Fifield, i.e., son of Henry’s brother, also named Albert G. Fifield (1811-1874). The 1870 United States census lists Albert, the nephew, with an occupation of “Photograph Artist” while working at the town of Franklin, in Merrimack County, New Hampshire.

 

Albert was born in 1844 at New Hampton, New Hampshire. He honorably served with the Company C, 12th Regiment of the New Hampshire Volunteers in the Union Army during the Civil War. Albert enlisted as a Private on August 15, 1862 and mustered into service on September 5, 1862. He was severely wounded on May 3, 1863 during the bloody battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, a wound that caused Albert to lose much use of his right arm. He was honorably discharged on November 17, 1863 at Concord, New Hampshire.

 

The Chancellorsville battle of May 3rd where Albert was wounded is considered amongst the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The 12th New Hampshire Regiment “suffered 317 casualties out of roughly 580 combat effectives (a casualty rate of 54.7 percent), the highest number of any regiments, Union or Confederate. During the few hours of fighting around Fairview on the morning of 3 May, a staggering seventy-two men and officers were killed or mortally wounded. The high number of casualties is indicative of the 12th’s position during the battle. In its first major engagement, the regiment became separated from the rest of its brigade and stubbornly held its ground for nearly two hours before finally retreating in the face of an overwhelming Confederate advance.” (Marzoli, Nathan A. “‘Their Loss Was Necessarily Severe”: The 12th New Hampshire at Chancellorsville.” Army History, Fall 2016, No. 101 (Fall 2016), pp. 6-29.) For a deeper understanding of the 12th NH Regiment fight at the Chancellorsville, see Nathan A. Marzoli’s “‘Their Loss Was Necessarily Severe”: The 12th New Hampshire at Chancellorsville.”

 

After his distinguished service in the Civil War Albert G. Fifield married Nancy Jane Farnham on November 4, 1866. Together Albert and Nancy had three children, but it may not have been the happiest of marriages as they would divorce after 30 years of marriage in 1897. Albert would remarry that same year to Alice B. Milmore. Albert passed away in 1903 and is buried at Hilldale Cemetery at Haverhill, Massachusetts. Although Albert’s photographic legacy is difficult to establish, his contributions to his country as a soldier are not, and are worthy of recognition in itself.

 

In 1875, The New Hampshire Business Directory listed, unsurprisingly, Henry S. Fifield as working as a photographer at New Hampton. However, that year the directory also included a photographer by the name Moses Fifield also working at New Hampton. This is Henry’s nephew (1845-1930), i.e., son of Henry’s brother Albert G. Fifield (1811-1874).

 

Moses Fifield was born on August 10, 1845. On the 1870 United States census, at nearly age 25, Moses was listed with the occupation of photographer while residing in New Hampton. At the time he was living with his parents Albert and Eliza. He was married twice, first to Eva M. (Wells) Fifield (1853-1898) at New Hampton on December 24, 1872. The marriage ceremony was performed by E. H. Prescott. Eva died of breast cancer at Haverhill, Massachusetts on July 7, 1898. His second marriage was to Louisa M. (Hamp) Fifield (1862-1927) at Peabody, Massachusetts on July 3, 1902. The ceremony was performed by L. J. Thomas, “minister of the gospel.” Louisa immigrated to the United States from England in 1891. Perhaps Moses and Louisa met at work as the 1900 United States census lists her occupation as “shoe stitcher.” She died at the age of 64 of chronic myocarditis on September 20, 1927. Both Eva and Louisa are buried at the New Hampton Village Cemetery.

 

By 1880 Moses had moved on from his photographic career. On the 1880 United States census Moses was listed with an occupation of “Works in Shoe Shop.” This would be his profession for the rest of his life. At the time he was living at the town of Natick in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. In 1900, the United States census listed Moses, while living at New Hampton, with an occupation of Cobbler. In 1920, the United States census listed Moses with an occupation of shoemaker, again while living at New Hampton.

 

Moses passed away at 84 years of age at the New Hampshire State Hospital at Concord on January 3, 1930. The cause of death was chronic myocarditis, which had been an ongoing health issue for several years. Contributing causes were listed as arteriosclerosis and chronic nephritis. He is buried at the New Hampton Village Cemetery.

 

The 1870s

 

The 1870 United States census listed Henry Fifield, age 40, as living with his wife Annie, age 35, at the town of New Hampton. The value of Henry’s real estate was $1,000 while the value of his personal estate was a very prosperous $5,000. The 1860s decade was a successful one for Fifield as his personal estate had increased by $4,900, since the value of his personal estate on the 1860 census had been valued at only $100. Annie was listed as having been born in Ireland, and both her father and mother were listed as having been of “foreign birth.” Henry’s occupation, despite a near decade of work at the Flume as a photographer, was listed as “Carpenter.” Annie’s occupation was listed as Milliner.

 

In 1871 Fifield branched out from his photography business to publish a new edition Map of the White Mountains, New Hampshire. This highly regarded historical map was first published in 1858 by Harvey Boardman (1833-1863), a surveyor and engineer from Griswold, Connecticut. The Boardman map proved popular, being reissued in 1859, 1860 and 1864. The map, designed for the tourist market, contained details around topography such as major peaks, rivers, and lakes, locations of local hotels and inns, locations of sawmills and churches, and details of the roads, footpaths and bridle paths. The Boardman map also contained a table of travel distances between key locations in the White Mountains and nine superb engravings of various hotels and scenic locations.

 

In 1874, in addition to his work in New Hampshire, Fifield also worked in New York City, presumably during the off-tourist season. The Brooklyn City and Business City Directory for 1874 listed Hy. S. Fifield as a “photographer.” His home was located at 50 Nostrand Avenue, which is located in the South Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

 

On the 1875 New York State census Fifield, age 45, was recorded as living in the 6th Election District in the city of Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. He was living with his wife Anna. They resided at 54 Taylor Street, a brick house valued at $5,000, which is located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Fifield was listed with an occupation of “Landscape Artist.” Although rare, Fifield published a variety of New York City stereoviews of buildings, markets, boats in the harbor and more.

 

In 1877, The Brooklyn City and Business Directory listed Henry Fifield as an “Artist.” He was located at 54 Taylor. In March, 1877 Henry and his wife Annie were divorced through her abandonment.

 

Inventor

 

In addition to his prodigious work in the photography industry Fifield can also be credited as an inventor and owner of several United States patents. On March 30, 1877 Fifield filed with the United States Patent Office for the “Improvement in Lamp-Chimneys.” With patent number 199,815 being granted on January 28, 1878, Fifield claimed that “the object of my invention is the construction of a lamp-chimney in such a way that small cooking-vessels may be safely placed upon it, and cooking performed in such vessels; and the novelty in the chimney lies in the form, configuration, and arrangement of the top of the same, to adapt it to the purposes before mentioned.”

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.H. S. Fifield. Lamp-Chimney. Patent 199,815. Patented Jan. 29, 1878.Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

H. S. Fifield. Lamp-Chimney. Patent 199,815. Patented Jan. 29, 1878.

 

On May 21, 1877 Fifield filed for a new patent regarding a “Lamp for cooking.” Patent number 204,144 was granted on May 28, 1878. In the patent application Fifield wrote of his invention. “The advantages of my construction for use in the sick-room, or in the summer season when it is not desirable to use cooking-stoves, are apparent upon observation. I am aware that lamps for cooking were well known before my invention hereinbefore described, and also lamps with separate and removable cooking attachments; and also cooking-lamps wherein base and supporting plates were used; and I am not aware that there is novelty in any of the elements employed by me; but I do not know that the same elements as constructed by me have ever been used in the same combination.”

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Henry S. Fifield signature.Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

Henry S. Fifield signature.

 

On June 21, 1879 Fifield filed for another patent with the United States Patent Office, this one being for the “Improvement in Heating Attachments for Lamps.” Patent number 218,950 was granted on August 26, 1879. “The object I have in view is to produce a cheap and simple attachment for lamps to convert them into lamp-heaters for heating water, and for the numerous other uses to which such devices are put, which can be applied to the ordinary kerosene-lamps now upon the market and will be safe and effective in use. My device is a chimney attachment, to be placed upon the lamp when the ordinary chimney is removed; and I propose to make it of a number of sizes, corresponding with the different sizes of chimneys. These attachments can be sold alone, to be applied to lamps already owned by the purchaser, or can be sold with the lamps of proper sizes, either with or without an ordinary lightning chimney.”

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.H. S. Fifield. Heating Attachment for Lamps. Patent 218,950. Patented Aug. 26, 1879.Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

H. S. Fifield. Heating Attachment for Lamps. Patent 218,950. Patented Aug. 26, 1879.

 

Tragedy

 

In 1880 Fifield, age 55, was living in the town of New Hampton, as per the United States census. He was boarding with the widowed, 69-year-old Betsy C. Swan, who listed with an occupation off “House Keeper.” Fifield was listed with a marital status of “single” and with an occupation of “Artist.”

 

In March, 1880 Fifield suffered a severe setback due to a devastating fire at the village of New Hampton. A set of buildings owned by Fifield were both destroyed, including his photography rooms and a residence rented out to Professor F. W. Preston. Two adjacent homes, that of Charles Dickerman and J. C. Fox, were both badly damaged as well. Fifield’s losses were estimated at $3,000, with insurance covering about $1,500 of the loss. The suspected cause of the fire was “the careless disposition of ashes.” (“Losses By Fire.” Boston Post. March 30, 1880.)

 

As earlier mentioned, it has been estimated that Fifield took over 1,000 negatives a year at the Flume and in the White Mountains. Fifield’s own advertising from 1873 to 1879 stated that he maintained past negatives for 10 years. Using these two pieces of information it can be assumed that the March 1880 fire destroyed well over 10,000 negatives. Also destroyed would have been Fifield’s negatives from his work in New York City and in the Catskills. The financial loss may have been $3,000, but it was an even greater loss for photographers and for historians.

 

The Catskills

 

In addition to his photographic work in New Hampshire Fifield also photographed and published a wide range of Catskills stereoviews. Among the sites photographed include the Rip Van Winkle House, the Laurel House, Fawn’s Leap, Moore’s Bridge Falls and Kaaterskill Falls.

 

The Catskills of the 19th century were then considered one of the premier travel destinations in the country, if not the world. They had long attracted prominent artists including painters, writers and photographers. Of all the localities in the Catskills none attracted more attention that the northern, Greene County region of Kaaterskill Clove and the picturesque scenery around the famed Catskill Mountain House.

 

Other photographers of the era who figured prominently in Catskills history, to whom Fifield can be fairly compared, included the E. & H. T. Anthony Company and John Jacob Loeffler. The E. & H. T. Anthony company was the largest 19th-century manufacturer and distributor of cameras and photographic supplies in the United States. The company was founded by Edward Anthony (1818-1888) and his brother Henry T. Anthony (1814-1884). Regionally, the company produced many of the greatest Catskills views of the 19th century. The Catskills stereoviews were incorporated into several series including “The Artistic Series,” “The Glens of the Catskills,” and “Winter in the Catskills.”

 

John Jacob Loeffler, one of the great Catskills photographers of all time, made hundreds of stereoviews of the Catskills throughout the 1870s and 1880s. The photographs were part of the series titled Catskill Mountain Scenery. Besides his Catskills work Loeffler also operated a successful studio on Staten Island and published a number of different series from around New York and the Hudson Valley including Scenery of Lake Mohonk and Vicinity, West Point and Vicinity, and Sailor’s Snug Harbor, Staten Island, N.Y.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 18. The Falls below the Bridge, Cauterskill Clove. Catskill Mts. N.Y.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). The Falls below the [B]ridge, Cauterskill Clove, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a342-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 18. The Falls below the Bridge, Cauterskill Clove. Catskill Mts. N.Y.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). The Falls below the [B]ridge, Cauterskill Clove, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a342-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 22. Fawn’s Leap, Cauterskill Clove. Catskill Mts. N.Y.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). Fawn's Leap, Cauterskill Clove, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a344-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 22. Fawn’s Leap, Cauterskill Clove. Catskill Mts. N.Y.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). Fawn's Leap, Cauterskill Clove, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a344-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 34. Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow. Catskill Mts. N.Y.Massachusetts Collection Online.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 34. Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow. Catskill Mts. N.Y. Massachusetts Collection Online.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 34. Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow. Catskill Mts. N.Y.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5ed0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 34. Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow. Catskill Mts. N.Y.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5ed0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 69. Mountain Home. Catskill Mts. N.Y.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). Mountain Home, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a346-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 69. Mountain Home. Catskill Mts. N.Y.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). Mountain Home, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a346-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 70. View of the Grove at the Front of the Laurel House. Catskill Mts. N.Y.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). View of the Grove at the front of the Laurel House, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a348-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 70. View of the Grove at the Front of the Laurel House. Catskill Mts. N.Y.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). View of the Grove at the front of the Laurel House, Catskill Mts. N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a348-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 71. Cauterskill Falls and Laurel House, from Prospect Rock. Catskill Mts. N.Y.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1870). Catskill Falls and Laurel House, from Prospect Rock, Catskill Mt. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a34a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 71. Cauterskill Falls and Laurel House, from Prospect Rock. Catskill Mts. N.Y.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1870). Catskill Falls and Laurel House, from Prospect Rock, Catskill Mt. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a34a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 73. View from the top of Cauterskill Falls. Catskill Mts. N.Y.J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 73. View from the top of Cauterskill Falls. Catskill Mts. N.Y. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 75. Cauterskill Falls From below the second Fall. Catskill Mts. N.Y.J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 75. Cauterskill Falls From below the second Fall. Catskill Mts. N.Y. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 201. Laurel House. Catskill Mts. N.Y.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). Laurel House, Catskill Mts., N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a34c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 201. Laurel House. Catskill Mts. N.Y.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1865). Laurel House, Catskill Mts., N.Y. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-a34c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Legacy

 

Fifield’s photographs are contained within several collections throughout the United States. Select examples include the New York Public Library, the Massachusetts Collections Online, the Eastman Museum, the New Hampshire Historical Society, the Library of Congress and the J. Paul Getty Museum at Los Angeles, California.

 

There is no doubt that Fifield’s photographic legacy is secure. He produced thousands of photographs of visitors at the wildly rugged Flume Gorge, which was and still is one of the most popular natural sites in the state of New Hampshire. He photographed the natural beauty throughout the White Mountains, and also captured compelling photographs of the legendary Professor John Merrill at his famous Pool. Outside of his home state of New Hampshire Fifield published a significant number of scenic stereoviews of the historic Catskills region as well as publishing many unique, and today rare, photos of New York City.

 

Henry S. Fifield passed away on May 2, 1881 from “acute nephritis,” or inflammation of the kidneys. His death was reported by Doctor Fowler and Doctor Calley. The death certificate from the state registrar of vital statistics reported Fifield as having died at Bristol, at 50 years of age, that he born at New Hampton, that he was single and had an occupation of photographer. Fifield is buried on Shingle Camp Hill Road at the New Hampton Village Cemetery.

 

Comments and Corrections

 

If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer Henry S. Fifield 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.

 

Selected References and Bibliography

 

“Alleged Conspiracy.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 11, 1874.

 

“Among the Mountains.” New England Farmer. August 26, 1871.

 

“The Avalanche in Franconia Notch.” Argus and Patriot. Montpelier, Vermont. July 18, 1883.

 

Bartlett, Capt. A. W. “Chapter V. Chancellorsville.” History of the Twelfth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion. Concord, N.H.: Ira C. Evans, 1897.

 

“Breezes from the Flume.” Boston Post. October 2, 1878.

 

(The) Brooklyn City Directory. Lain & Company. 1878.

 

(The) Brooklyn City and Business Directory. Geo. T. Lain. 1873.

 

(The) Brooklyn City and Business Directory. Lain & Company. 1874, 1876, 1877.

 

Burgess, G. A., Ward, J. T. Free Baptist Cyclopaedia. Free Baptist Cyclopaedia Co., 1889.

 

Cathcart, William. The Baptist Encyclopaedia. Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881.

 

Chamberlin, Gary N. “Franklin White, Pioneer Photographer. Stereo World. Vol. 2, No. 4. September-October 1975.

 

“The Changed Flume.” Bangor Daily Whig and Courier. Bangor, Maine. July 10, 1883.

 

Child, Hamilton. Gazetteer of Grafton County, N. H. 1709-1886. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Journal Company, 1886.

 

“City News in Brief.” Brooklyn Times Union. July 3, 1875.

 

Clough and Kimball. [Amos Franklin Clough (1833-1872), Howard Algernon Kimball (1845-1929).] Views taken on the Summit of Mt. Washington during the winter of 1870-71. Concord, NH: Clough & Kimball, 1871.

 

Coke, Van Deren. One Hundred Years of Photographic History. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1975.

 

“County Court, Kings County.” Brooklyn Times Union. January 7, 1878.

 

“The Courts.” Brooklyn Daily Union. August 2, 1875.

 

Darrah, William C. “American Sentimental Stereographs.” Stereo World. Vol. 1, No. 3. July-August 1974.

 

Darrah, William C. The World of Stereographs. Gettysburg, PA: W. C. Darrah, 1977.

 

Davis, Melody. Sentiment and Irony: Weller’s Stereoscopic Treasures. https://scalar.usc.edu/works/fg-weller-/index. Accessed February 19, 2021.

 

Fairbanks, Edward T. The Town of St Johnsbury VT. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Cowles Press, 1914.

 

Fifield, Henry Edward. “Fifield Family Records.” Collections of The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA.

 

Fifield, H. S. Map of the White Mountains, New Hampshire. From original surveys by Harvey Boardman. 1858. Revised by H. S Fifield, 1871. Boston: J. H. Bufford, 1871.

 

Fifield, H. S. “Lamp-Chimney.” U.S. Patent 199,815, issued January 29, 1878.

 

Fifield, H. S. “Lamp for Cooking.” U.S. Patent 204,144, issued May 28, 1878.

 

Fifield, H. S. “Heating Attachment for Lamps.” U.S. Patent 218,950, issued August 26, 1879. 

 

“(The) Franconian County.” The New York Times. August 15, 1880.

 

“From the White Mountains.” Vermont Chronicle. July 27, 1872.)

 

Kelly, Frank H. Reminiscences of New Hampton, N.H. Worcester, MA: Charles Hamilton, 1889.

 

Griscom, Andrew. “John Merrill. Philosopher of the Pool.” Stereo World. Volume 8, No. 4. September/October 1881. pp. 12-14.

 

Hitchcock, Charles H. Mount Washington in Winter or The Experiences of a Scientific Expedition Upon the Highest Mountain in New England. Boston: Chick and Andrews, 1871.

 

Hurd, D. Hamilton. “History of New Hampton.” History of Merrimack and Belknap counties, New Hampshire. Philadelphia, PA: J. W. Lewis & co., 1885.

 

Jackson, James R. History of Littleton, New Hampshire. Cambridge, MA: The University Press, 1905.

 

Kilbourne, Frederick W. Chronicles of the White Mountains. Boston: Houghton Miflin Company, 1916.

King, Thomas Starr. The White Hills; Their Legends, Landscape, and Poetry. Boston: Woolworth, Ainsworth and Company, 1869.

 

Kilbourne, Frederick W. “A Closed Chapter of White Mountain History, The Franconia Notch as a Summer Resort.” Appalachia. Volume 16. Boston: The Appalachian Mountain Club, 1924-1926.

 

“Losses by Fire.” Boston Post. March 30, 1880.

 

Marzoli, Nathan A. “‘Their Loss Was Necessarily Severe’: The 12th New Hampshire at Chancellorsville.” Army History, Fall 2016, No. 101 (Fall 2016), pp. 6-29.

 

McShane, Linda. “The Littleton View Company.” Stereo World. Vol. 19, No. 6. January-February 1993.

 

Merrill, John. Cosmogony or Thoughts on Philosophy. Madison, WI: “The Independent,” Book and Job Print, 1879.

 

Merrill, John. Lecture Delivered at the Flume House Parlor, before a Company of Editors, on the System of the Earth’s being Hollow. Gloucester, MA: John S.E. Rogers, 1858.

 

Musgrove, Richard W. History of the Town of Bristol, Grafton County, New Hampshire. Bristol, N.H.: R. W. Musgrove, 1904.

 

(The) New England Business Directory. 1860, 1865, 1868, 1877.

 

(The) New Hampshire Business Directory. 1870, 1872, 1874.

 

(The) New Hampshire Register and Farmer’s Almanac. 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1878, 1880, 1881.

 

“(A) New Toning Process.” The Photographic News. Vol. 4, No. 116. November 23, 1860.

 

Passing Through: The Allure of the White Mountains. Inaugural Exhibition February 23, 2013 – February 16, 2014. Museum of the White Mountains, Plymouth State University. 2013.

 

“Policeman Maloy Exonerated.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 19, 1874.

 

“(The) President of the Photographers’ Association of America.” The Photographic Times. Vol. 21, No. 512. July 10, 1891.

 

(The) Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide. December 22, 1877; February 9, 1878.

 

Reverend Ollapod. “Vacation Rambles – No. 11.” Lawrence Daily Journal. August 18, 1869.

 

“Sent to the Inebriates’ Home.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 14, 1874.

 

Sheppard, Walter Lee, Jr. The Descendants of William Fifield. New Haven, CT: Tuttle, Morehouse, and Taylor Co., 1940.

 

Southall, Thomas W. The Kilburn Brothers Stereoscopic View Company. 1977.

 

Sweetser, M. F. The White Mountains: A Handbook for Travellers. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1881.

 

“A Terrific Storm.” The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. July 8, 1883.

 

“That Fallen Boulder.” Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. August 2, 1883.

 

Thwing. “Franconia Mountains.” The Berkshire County Eagle. September 5, 1867.

 

Thwing, Rev. E. P. “White Mountain Memories.” Oliver Optic’s Magazine. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1867.

 

Treadwell, T. K., William C. Darrah, and Wolfgang Sell. Photographers of the United States of America.

National Stereoscopic Association (1994, updated, 2003). Accessed February 19, 2021. Available at: www.stereoworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/USPHOTOGRAPHERS.pdf.

 

“A Trip to the White Mountains.” Buffalo Morning Express. August 26, 1862.

 

“A Trip to the White Mountains on Foot.” Green-Mountain Freeman. September 19, 1865.

 

Walker, Ray. “N. W. Pease. Granite State Photographer.” Stereo World. Volume 1, No. 5. November-December 1974.

 

“Walks in the White Mountains.” Evening Star. September 11, 1876.

 

“The White Mountains. –No. 2.” Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. August 6, 1883.

 

“White Mountain Letters.” Monmouth Democrat. September 18, 1884.

 

The White Mountains: A Handbook for Travellers. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1881.

 

Woodford, E. M, and Smith & Peavey. Map of Belknap County, New Hampshire. Philadelphia: Smith & Peavey, 1859. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2012587751/>.

 

The Yale Literary Magazine. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1862.

 

Websites:

Ancestry. www.ancestry.com.

Family Search. www.familysearch.org.

Find A Grave. www.findagrave.com.

Hathitrust Digital Library. www.hathitrust.org.

Internet Archive. www.archive.org.

J. Paul Getty Museum. www.getty.edu.

Library of Congress. www.loc.gov/collections.

Massachusetts Collections Online. www.digitalcommonwealth.org.

New Hampshire State Parks. www.nhstateparks.org.

Newspapers.com. www.newspapers.com.

New York Public Library, Digital Collections. www.digitalcollections.nypl.org.

Old Fulton New York Post Cards. www.fultonhistory.com.

Wikipedia. www.wikipedia.org.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Annie Fifield art artist Basin Brooklyn Catskill Mountains Catskills Flume Gorge Flume House Franconia Notch H. S. Fifield Henry S. Fifield John Merrill Lincoln New Hampshire New Hampton New York photographer photographs photography Profile House stereo views stereoviews The Flume The Pool tourism tourist White Mountains https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/8/henry-s-fifield-the-flume-photographer-part-2 Sat, 14 Aug 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Henry S. Fifield – The Flume Photographer (Part 1) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/8/henry-s-fifield-the-flume-photographer Henry S. Fifield – The Flume Photographer (Part 1)

 

Introduction

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. In addition, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Flume No. 182. 1870.H. S. Fifield business imprint. Flume No. 182. 1870.

J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

H. S. Fifield business imprint. Flume No. 182. 1870. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Beginning with the Hercules

 

With humble beginnings future photographer Henry S. Fifield was born at the rural New Hampshire village of New Hampton to parents William Fifield (1784-1828) and Elizabeth “Eliza” (Webster) Fifield (1786-1843). William, of Salisbury, and Elizabeth, of Plymouth, were married on November 17, 1808 in a ceremony officiated by Reverend Fairbank. William and Elizabeth had five children together. Henry’s siblings included Daniel Eastman Fifield (1809-1883); Albert G. Fifield (1811-1874); Hannah Fifield (1820-1841); John G. Fifield (1821-1860). Both William and Elizabeth are buried at the New Hampton Village Cemetery in New Hampton, New Hampshire.

 

Fifield’s birth year is shrouded in mystery amongst a range of historical documents. His headstone inscription at New Hampton Village Cemetery states that he died in 1881 at age 59, meaning he was born circa 1822. The 1880 United States census shows his age as 55, meaning he was born circa 1825. The 1850 United States census shows his age as 24, meaning he was born circa 1826. Fifield’s Civil War registration in 1863 reported his age as 36, meaning he was born circa 1827. The 1870 United States census show his age as 40, meaning he was born circa 1830. His New Hampshire state death certificate in 1881 reported his age as 50, meaning he was born circa 1831.

 

Henry was a direct descendent of William Fifield, who arrived from London, England aboard the ship Hercules in April, 1634. William first lived at Ipswich and then Newbury in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638 he moved again, being among the first setters at the town of Hampton, New Hampshire (then known as Winnicomet, now Winnacunnet). He became a freeman on June 2, 1641 and would quickly become a prominent land owner and farmer. At times, he also served as town Constable, as town Selectman (a member of the local government) and as an attorney for others. He married “Mary” between 1640 and 1644, and together they had nine children. William Fifield, founder of the Fifield family in America, died at 85 years of age on December 18, 1700.

 

The seven ancestral generations of the Fifield family in America, traced over 250 years from William Fifield to Henry S. Fifield, include:

  • First generation, Great-great-great-great-grandparents: William Fifield (~1615-1700) and Mary Fifield (1620-1711).
  • Second generation, Great-great-great-grandparents: Benjamin Fifield (1648-1706) and Mary (Colcord) Fifield (1649-1741). Benjamin was killed by Indians in 1706 when his farm was attacked. It is believed that his son was taken by the Indians, and that the son later served under the French.
  • Third generation, Great-great-grandparents: John Fifield (1671-1750) and Mary (Webster) Fifield (1696-1735). John was sometimes referred to with the title of “Ensign.” Mary was John’s third wife.
  • Fourth generation, Great-grandparents: Benjamin Fifield (1721-1794) and Hannah Peters (1727-1808).
  • Fifth generation, Grandparents: William Fifield (1751-1822) and Dorothy Eastman (1756-1809). William served at the Battle of Bunker Hill in Captain Osgood’s company and was a miller by trade.
  • Sixth generation, Parents: William Fifield (1784-1828) and Elizabeth “Eliza” (Webster) Fifield (1786-1843).
  • Seventh generation: Henry S. Fifield.

 

For more information about early Fifield family genealogy see The Descendants of William Fifield by Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. and “Fifield Family Records” by Henry Edward Fifield as published in Collections of The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.

 

The Early Years

 

Although little is known of Henry’s early education some insight can be gained from Frank H. Keeley in his Reminiscences of New Hampton, N.H. in which he describes the early schools of New Hampton.

 

“The school-houses in the olden times were made for comfort rather than for elegance. The seats were built on raised or inclined planes looking toward the centre, one side for the boys, and the other for the girls. Each desk accommodated two pupils, and had lids opening on the top to make places for books, slates, and writing materials. The master’s desk was in the centre, and was furnished with ferules, both flat and round, and a bundle of tough withes for castigating dull and unruly pupils. There was a chimney at either end of the house, with a huge fireplace fed with half a cord of green wood at a time; and, in the coldest days of winter, the fire was kept roaring that the house might be comfortable.

 

Reading, writing, ciphering and grammar were the studies. There were spelling-schools in the evening, when all the scholars chose sides for the championship; and, when a word was missed, the unlucky scholar must be seated. In every school a few natural spellers were found, who could stand up all the evening on the hardest words.

 

The old district schools were little democracies, where the people met to make choice of one of their number to hire the teachers, and to raise money to pay the expenses. They discussed all question pertaining to the schools, and every one had a lively interest in the discipline and advancement of the children. They felt at liberty to criticize and make suggestions, and the talk was generally good natured and interesting, although, at times, from private grievance and pique, it became acrimonious and bitter.

 

It was a common custom, especially in the winter schools, for boys to test the grit and stuff of the teacher by trying to throw him out into the snow. If they succeeded, it added to the prowess of the boys, and was far more to their advantage, as they thought, than hard study. The first week of the school was devoted to settling the question who should rule,– the teacher, or the big boys. If in favor of the teacher, the school went on smoothly, and was successful; but often a timid and feeble man was obliged to surrender the school to one of more muscular ability.

 

Notwithstanding these peculiarities of the district schools, they were the nurseries of the future men and women of the country. Some went out from them to the academies, and became the business men and teachers; a few found their way into the colleges, and became the ministers, lawyers, and physicians. They were sound substantial men and good citizens. These schools are still to be found in the country towns through New Hampshire and the other New England states, and are fostered and encouraged as far as the financial condition of the people permit. In the large cities a different system must be adopted. Yet the pupils of these country schools will compare favorably with those of the cities, if we consider the amount of money expended for them. To be sure, they have many natural advantages for sound health and good training, which the children of large cities cannot or do not enjoy.”

 

On the 1850 United States census, Fifield, age 24, was living at New Hampton, New Hampshire with his brother Albert, his sister-in-law Eliza, and their children. Henry’s occupation was listed at “Carpenter.” Albert’s occupation was not listed. Two of Henry’s older brothers, Daniel and Albert, both worked as carpenters.

 

Abandonment

 

Henry Fifield, according to Fifield genealogy references, married Ann Willard on April 6, 1856 at New Hampton, New Hampshire. They divorced in March, 1877 with the cause being Ann’s “abandonment.” In a discrepancy regarding marriage dates, the Record of Divorce, issued by the Belknap Superior Court in the State of New Hampshire, showed the marriage date for Henry and Annie as October 1, 1864 and the marriage location as New York, New York. The 1864 marriage date is supported by the fact that the 1860 United States census showed Henry was living alone. Annie was born in Ireland, as per the 1870 United States census. For a time, she worked as a Milliner, including during the years from 1870 to 1874, when she was listed in business directories for the state of New Hampshire.

 

With circumstantial evidence it seems that Annie Fifield may have been a habitual drunkard who frequently ran afoul of the law while living in New York City. First, to make the connection from the Annie Fifield mentioned in several newspaper articles to our Henry S. Fifield, in the Brooklyn Times Union issue of January 7, 1878 both Henry S. Fifield and Annie Fifield are named in a public notice as defendants in a case brought by A. C. Hockemeyer. This relates to The Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide issue of December 22, 1877 showing a “lis pendens,” or pending legal action, of August C. Hockemeyer against Annie Fifield. Second, the 1875 New York State census shows Henry S. Fifield and Anna Fifield living on Taylor Street in Brooklyn. This relates to an article in the Brooklyn Times Union issue of July 3, 1875 that mentions Annie Fifield as living on Taylor Street. Lastly, the same Brooklyn Times Union issue of July 3, 1875 states that Annie Fifield owns a house on Nostrand Avenue, near Park; while the Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide issue of February 9, 1878 provides notice of a real estate transfer of a property on Nostrand Avenue being transferred from Henry S. Fifield to John U. Shorter for $1,000.

 

Therefore, assuming this is in fact the same Annie Fifield, wife of photographer Henry S. Fifield, then the following newspaper articles were published about her behavior and encounters with the law.

 

June 11, 1874: “Alleged Conspiracy. Annie Fifield’s Charges Against John Maloy. Mrs. Annie Fifield, a woman who has very frequently been before Justice Riley and by him committed to jail for intoxication or disorderly conduct, went to Police Headquarters this morning and filed a complaint of a rather serious character against Policeman John Maloy, of the Sixth sub-Precinct. He has the reputation of being one of the most efficient officers on the force, and has made quite a number of good arrests in the precinct to which he is attached. Mrs. Fifield lives on Nostrand avenue, near Myrtle, which is in the officer’s district, and she has always been arrested by him. She charges Maloy with being in a conspiracy against her, that he used conduct unbecoming an officer when arresting her, and, worst of all, that he is on intimate terms with a female living in the vicinity, who is opposed to her, Mrs. Fifield, on whose instigation she has frequently been arrested without cause. The case will be examined by the Commissioners this week.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle.)

 

June 19, 1874: “Policeman Maloy Exonerated. Mention was made in the Eagle a few days since, of the fact that a woman named Annie Fifield had preferred charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and conspiracy with one Mrs. Burns, against Officer Maloy, of the Sixth sub-Precinct, in consequence of which she, Fifield, was arrested without cause, to gratify a malice on the part of the other woman. The case was investigated before the Police Board, yesterday, and the charge against Officer Maloy dismissed, abundant evidence having been produced to show that the accusation had no foundation on fact. Mrs. Fifield is now an inmate of Raymond street Jail, awaiting trial for felonious assault on a Mrs. Bell.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle.)

 

November 14, 1874: “Sent to the Inebriates’ Home. Annie Fifield, well known to the criminal courts, was committed to the Inebriates’ Home this morning, by Justice Walsh, for habitual drunkenness. The complainant was the Rev. J. G. Bass. When in the cells she amused herself with alternately singing and then howling most dismally.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle.)

 

July 3, 1875: “Annie Fifield, of 84 Taylor Street, owns a house on Nostrand avenue, near Park, but for all her wealth, she persists in the unrefined habit of getting drunk. Yesterday she imbibed more than was good for her, and stood upon the sidewalk of Nostrand avenue, stoning every one who passed. She will be locked up in the Penitentiary for the next two months.” (Brooklyn Times Union.)

 

August 2, 1875. Judge Moore, of the Court of Sessions, decreed a long list of “nolle prosequi” against a long list of defendants. Nolle prosequi translates to “a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor of all or part of a suit or action.” Anna Fifield had been charged with assault. (“The Courts.” Brooklyn Daily Union. August 2, 1875.)

 

January 7, 1878: “County Court, Kings County. August C. Hockemeyer, plaintiff, against Annie Fifield and Henry S. Fifield, defendant. – Summons. To the above-named defendants You are hereby summoned to answer for the complaint in this action, and to serve a copy of your answer on the plaintiff’s attorney within twenty days after the service of this summons, exclusive of the day of service; and in case of your failure to appear or answer, judgment will be taken against you by default, for the relief demanded in the complaint. Dated November 5, 1877. A. C. HOCKEMEYER, Plaintiff in person.

 

Post-office address and office, No. 89 Broadway, Brooklyn, N.Y. To Henry S. Fifield and Annie Fifield: The foregoing summons is served upon you by publication, pursuant to an order of Hon. Henry A. Moore, County Judge of Kings county, dated the 15th day of December, 1877, and filed with the complaint in the office of the clerk of the county of Kings, at the Court House, in the city of Brooklyn, N.Y. – Dated December 15, 1877. A. C. HOCKEMEYER, Plaintiff in person.” (Brooklyn Times Union.)

 

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Record of Divorce. Henry S. Fifield and Annie Fifield.Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

Record of Divorce. Henry S. Fifield and Annie Fifield.

 

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In 1859 the partnership of Smith Peavey published a detailed map of Belknap County, New Hampshire which included an inset of the village of New Hampton. On that map H. S. Fifield’s home was located prominently in the center of the country village. Other Fifield’s listed on the map included D. E. Fifield, located across the street from Henry, and A. G. Fifield (inset map shows A. C. Fifield), located on the western edge of the village. Daniel Eastman Fifield and Albert G. Fifield were Henry’s brothers.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Map of Belknap County, New Hampshire.Woodford, E. M, and Smith & Peavey. Map of Belknap County, New Hampshire. Philadelphia: Smith & Peavey, 1859. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2012587751/>.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

Woodford, E. M, and Smith & Peavey. Map of Belknap County, New Hampshire. Philadelphia: Smith & Peavey, 1859. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2012587751/>.

 

New Hampton of the year 1859 appears to have been a prosperous New England village. It was situated on the Pemigewasset River in the northern section of what is now Belknap County, about 37 miles from the Flume in Franconia Notch where Fifield would make his fame. Among the businesses located there were a carpentry shop, a turning shop, four stores, a woolen mill, a sawmill, a tailor shop, a post office, a cabinet shop, a paint shop, a grist mill, a livery stable, a Seraphine and Melodeon manufacturer, the Fountain House hotel, the Free Will Baptist Church and a common school. It was home, perhaps most notably, to the prestigious New Hampton Academy, a highly regarded academic school that was founded two centuries ago in 1821 and continues to operate today. In 1859 the school was comprised of six buildings including Center House, the Female Seminary, Chapel Hall, Boarding Hall, Randall Hall and the chapel.

 

With the religious New Hampton Academy, the village was home to quite a few pastors, more than what would normally be associated with a village of its size, many of them influential within the Free-Will Baptist denomination. Reverend Ebenezer Fisk, himself a student at the New Hampton Institution as a youth, would become a trustee and president of the school. Reverend John J. Butler, Fifield’s neighbor, was a professor of the biblical school and of systematic theology, remaining at the adjacent New Hampton Academy for 16 years. Reverend Isaac D. Stewart, a mathematics professor at the school, authored in 1862 the History of the Free-Will Baptists for the First Half-Century and represented the town of New Hampton for two years in the state legislature. Other pastors shown on the 1859 map as residing in New Hampton include Reverends John Fullonton, Otis Robinson Bacheler, Roscoe G. Smith and Levi Hersey. For more information about each of these pastors, and thus the village of New Hampton in the mid-19th century, see the Free Baptist Cyclopaedia, published in 1889 by Rev. G. A. Burress and Rev. J. T. Ward.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.New Hampton Literary Institution and Commercial College.Kelly, Frank H. Reminiscences of New Hampton, N.H. Worcester, MA: Charles Hamilton, 1889. p. 78.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

New Hampton Literary Institution and Commercial College.

Kelly, Frank H. Reminiscences of New Hampton, N.H. Worcester, MA: Charles Hamilton, 1889. p. 78.

 

The town of New Hampton was incorporated on November 27, 1777, only circa 50 years prior to Henry’s birth. The region first took the name Moultonborough in 1765 in honor of General Jonathan Moulton, who would later serve honorably during the American Revolution. The Moultonborough name was later changed when the town was formed, this being at the request of General Moulton in order to honor his native town. (Hurd, Duane Hamilton. “History of New Hampton.” History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire. pp. 870-875.) Colonel Rufus G. Lewis (1800-1869), a prosperous businessman and officer in the New Hampshire state militia, resided at New Hampton, being considered among its most distinguished citizens.

 

The Flume: Photographic Beginnings

 

On the 1860 United States census, Fifield, age 35, was living at the town of New Hampton. There was no one else listed as living in the household. Fifield’s personal estate was valued at $100 and his real estate was valued at $800. Fifield was listed with an occupation of “Carpenter.” Interestingly, also in 1860, The New England Business Directory listed Henry S. Fifield at New Hampton as working in the “Confectionery” occupation. (The New England Business Directory. Boston: Adams, Sampson, & Co., 1860. p. 204.) That same 1860 directory listed one photographer, Oliver B. Fisk, working at the village of New Hampton.

 

By the early 1860s Fifield had transitioned away from his carpenter trade to set up a photographic operation at the popular tourist destination known as The Flume, located near Lincoln, New Hampshire. His photographic start was likely circa 1861, based on information on the reverse side of an 1867 stereoview. The business imprint advertised that negatives of his work at the Flume were available for six years prior, or back to 1861. On the 1863, 1864, 1865 and 1866 New Hampshire tax assessment lists Fifield’s occupation was listed as “Photographer.” In 1865, The New England Business Directory, published by Adams, Sampson, & Co., listed Fifield as the only photographer working at New Hampton.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 1. View of the Flume, looking up. Franconia Mts. N.H.J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.
No. 1. View of the Flume, looking up. Franconia Mts. N.H. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

The Flume, as per the state park website, “is a natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. The walls of Conway granite rise to a height of 70 to 90 feet and are 12 to 20 feet apart.” The Flume was supposedly discovered by accident in 1808 by 93-year-old “Aunt” Jessie Guernsey while fishing along the brook. Jessie, the wife of David Guernsey, the pioneer settler in that area, had moved to the region the prior year in 1807. Today the Flume Gorge, over two centuries after its initial discovery, and located within today’s New Hampshire Franconia Notch State Park, continues to be one of the most visited attraction in the state of New Hampshire. As in yesteryear, there is a trail and boardwalk that leads visitors through the gorge.

 

At the time of Fifield’s photographs at the Flume there was a massive boulder that was suspended between the walls of the gorge. The rock, approximately 10 feet high and 12 feet long, was left from the ice age. It was this section of the gorge, with the suspended boulder in the background, that Fifield used for many of his photographs.

 

In August 1876 a correspondent with the initials C. S. N. of the Evening Star, a Washington DC newspaper, chronicled his trip through the White Mountains, providing his impressions of all the classic sites, including the Flume.

 

“We stopped at the Flume House over night; accommodations very fair, and charges $2 only for supper, lodging and breakfast. In the morning we visited the great natural curiosity of this neighborhood, “The Flume,” a remarkable fissure in the side of Mt. Flume, and which affords a passage for a limpid little stream called Flume Brook. The Flume is seven hundred feet long, and its walls, seventy feet high and from ten to twenty feet apart, are almost perpendicular and parallel as if built by hand. The flume itself is curious and interesting, but it has a graphic feature in a huge oval boulder suspended between the walls by a hold so slight that the spectator underneath involuntarily shrinks away with the idea that even the jar of a foot-tread may serve to detach it. The look down the Flume is a pleasing one on account of the graceful, feathery beauty and delicate green of the ferns and other forms of vegetation lining the walls of the singular fissure.” (“Walks in the White Mountains.” Evening Star. September 11, 1876.)

 

In 1880 a traveler with the initials G. E. M. wrote of his impressions of the White Mountains, including a trip to the Flume.

 

“The Flume, however, is the popular attraction of this region, and at the base of the rocky hill that leads up to this point one is sure to find at almost any hour of the day a score of carriages and stages waiting for tourists. The hill of which I speak is at first a steep slide of rock, down which a small mountain stream flows in narrow rivulets. After making my way up this slide, not without slipping occasionally and stopping to taste more than once the fresh water of the stream, I reached the slope of a hill, now climbing a narrow road, now crossing shaky wooden bridges, and at last finding myself in front of a huge pass between the stone walls of two great heights, and looking up a picturesque fissure not unlike a portion of the Au Sable Chasm. This was the Flume, and all that I had read of this marvel of nature was fully corroborated by a first view. Once ascends the Flume over rocks and plank walks, and after a short cool stroll, arrives beneath the enormous boulder that lies wedged between the walls of the ravine at its narrowest point. This boulder, which weighs several tons, fell from the mountain above in times gone by, and was stopped in its descent down the ravine, over which it hangs menacingly. In passing under it the tourist can barely help shivering, for he feels instinctively that the boulder may fall at some unexpected moment, and no one is anxious to be hard by when it does fall. Overhead the two ends of the ravine are connected by a bridge, from which a superb view of the boulder and the Flume may be had.” (“The Franconian Country.” The New York Times. August 15, 1880.)

 

The famous boulder, the backdrop for so many of Fifield’s photographs, was hastily swept away on June 20, 1883, two years after Fifield’s passing, due to heavy rains, lightning strikes and a massive landslide. So beloved was the suspended Flume boulder, that its demise made for big news throughout the region. This same storm deepened the gorge and formed the 45-foot Avalanche Falls.

 

For more details of the storm, the boulder’s fate and the effects upon the Flume there are several newspaper articles with great details. Please see

  • “A Terrific Storm.” The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. July 8, 1883.
  • “The Changed Flume.” Bangor Daily Whig and Courier. Bangor, Maine. July 10, 1883.
  • “The Avalanche in Franconia Notch.” Argus and Patriot. Montpelier, Vermont. July 18, 1883.
  • “That Fallen Boulder.” Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. August 2, 1883.
  • “The White Mountains. –No. 2.” Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. August 6, 1883.

 

During the summer tourist season from July 1st through October 5th Fifield was based out of the Flume House as the resident photographer. He worked from a basic “shanty” in the Flume just below the famous suspended boulder. With that single background he photographed travelers who sought a personalized souvenir of their visit. According to some reports Fifield averaged more than 1,000 negatives per year during his time working at the Flume. In fact, one Fifield stereoview from 1877, located in the New York Public Library digital collection, was labeled as Flume No. 1174.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Flume No. 182. 1870.J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

Flume No. 182. 1870. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Flume No. 79. 1878.J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

Flume, No. 79. 1878. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

Meticulous in his work, Fifield labeled each stereoview on the reverse side with his business imprint and numbered the photographs each year consecutively beginning with “Flume, No. 1” followed by the year. In 1865 the price for a personalized group stereoview at the Flume cost $1. In addition to the personalized photographs, Fifield also sold ready-made stereoviews of the Flume and of other famous sites in the White Mountains. Ready-made stereoviews were not individually numbered and were scenic in nature, without people. Out of tourist season, from October to June, Fifield was located at his hometown of New Hampton in Belknap County, New Hampshire.

 

Based on the business imprint on the reverse side of his stereoviews it seems clear that Fifield must have maintained well organized records and negatives of his work at the Flume. An 1867 stereoview advertised that negatives were available from the previous six years, or back to 1861. Many of Fifield’s stereoviews continued to have this same business imprint in the years following. The business imprint stated that “Stereoscopic or Album Views can be had by any person who have had Negatives taken in the Flume within the last six years, by sending to H. S. Fifield, New Hampton, N. H., any time excepting in July, August and September.”

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Flume No. 79. 1878.H. S. Fifield business imprint. Flume, No. 79. 1878.

J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

H. S. Fifield business imprint. Flume, No. 79. 1878. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

Beginning in the year 1873 Fifield extended the availability of his past negatives to ten years, or back to 1863. The advertising of this ten-year storage availability continued every year through 1879. Given the estimated over 1,000 photographs taken by Fifield each year at the Flume, he would have maintained an inventory of over 10,000 photographs at his New Hampton studio. An 1880 stereoview, which would have been taken during the summer, did not advertise that negatives from prior years were available, likely because of a March 1880 fire that destroyed Fifield’s photography rooms at New Hampton.

 

The Flume House, where Fifield was based, was a large summer hotel located in close proximity to the Flume Gorge. The first hotel by that name was constructed in 1848, and acquired by Richard Taft in 1849. After the original house was destroyed by fire in January 1871, a new house Flume House was constructed the following year. The Flume House soon gained a reputation as one of the finest summer hotels in the White Mountains. Upon its reopening in 1872 under the ownership of Taft and Greenleaf, the Vermont Chronicle described the house. “They have made it a gem of an edifice, most admirably suited to summer boarders who would be more quiet than they can be in such a house as this, and, at the same time, would have the luxury of a dwelling in the midst of most magnificent mountain scenery. At the Flume House, whether one looks up the heights of Mt. Lafayette, or out upon the vast expanse of the valley, stretching away toward Plymouth, it is scarcely possible that he should tire of the view.” (“From the White Mountains.” Vermont Chronicle. July 27, 1872.)

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.The Flume House, Franconia Notch, N.H.

The Flume House, Franconia Notch, N.H. Author’s collection.

 

The popular hotel was located near a number of popular sites, including a 1/2 mile from the Pool, 3/4 mile from the Flume, 1 1/2 miles from the Basin, 3 miles from Georgianna Falls and 4 1/2 miles from Profile Lake. The hotel offered sweeping views from the south verandah of the Pemigewasset valley. Views to the front and north of the hotel included “the noble line of the Franconia Mts., breaking down to the deep pass on the N., and clothed with forests to their tops. These peaks form the profile called Washington Lying in State, with Mt. Liberty for his upturned face, the highest ledge being the nose, and the ridges running to the N. forming the body and limbs.” (Sweetser, M. F. The White Mountains: A Handbook for Travellers. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1881. p. 270.)

 

The owners of the Flume House also owned and operated the nearby Profile House. In 1883, the Flume House, in order to accommodate the growing number of visitors, was enlarged, doubling its size. The house accommodated 150 guests. The historic Flume House burned down on June 27, 1918. It was never rebuilt.

 

Newspapers of the 1860s and 1870s often published articles from the traveling public as they visited popular tourist regions. Given the popularity of the White Mountains region, the Flume and the surrounding sites such as the Basin, the Pool and the Old Man on the Mountain were all frequently mentioned in these mini-travelogues. Occasionally the writer would reference photographer Fifield and his work at the Flume.

 

An 1862 traveler, writing of his trip to the White Mountains, described the scene at The Flume, and mentions the “photographist” operating there.

 

“Nearly in the centre of the Pass and fully thirty feet above the bottom is the often described boulder or fallen rock in the pass, and so nicely fitted as to form a grand natural platform in this ravine. It seems as if a slight effort would throw it down, and yet it has remained in the same position, ever since its first discovery, and seems likely to remain so as long as the rock exists. The scene from the lower part of the Flume looking up, with the pass filled with tourists, standing about on the various rocks and boulders, in every variety of costume, is strikingly picturesque. An enterprising photographist on the spot avails himself of the opportunity when there are a large number of visitors, to take photographs, for which he finds a ready market for future delivery at remunerative prices.” (“A Trip to the White Mountains.” Buffalo Morning Express. August 26, 1862.)

 

In 1865 a visitor by the name N. W. G. wrote of his travels through the White Mountains on foot, which included a brief description of the boulder and of Fifield’s business.

 

“Many trees have fallen into the cleft, where they still remain as they fell, adding wildness to the scene, while others have fallen over it, affording convenient foot bridges for those who have enough of the Blondin disposition to enable them to cross,– and also another and different view of the yawning chasm beneath. Altogether this is a scene which for wild grandeur and sublimity, nature seldom surpasses. There is a picture gallery here, though the gallery is mostly out of doors, the little shanty at which my letter is dated being used as a sort of laboratory or workshop by the Artist, who furnishes a good stereoscopic view of the Flume with the purchaser in it, for the moderate sum of one dollar. I had a mind to have one taken, but South thought that a view of the scenery with us left out would be preferable, and as they had them ready made we concluded not to stop for new ones.” (“A Trip to the White Mountains on Foot.” Green-Mountain Freeman. September 19, 1865.)

 

In September 1867 a traveler by the name of “Thwing” wrote in The Berkshire County Eagle of his trip to the Franconia Mountains.

 

“Further on is the Basin, a bath fit for a goddess, and further still, the grand old Flume, with its dark, damp, massive walls, covered with moss and shutting in a brawling stream that foams and rushes over the slippery rocks till it finds a smooth, granite bed and spreads out into silvery sheets. You must enter the gorge over the platform of the photographer Fifield, who is “always at home” and ready to “negative” your party.” (“Franconia Mountains.” The Berkshire County Eagle. September 5, 1867.)

 

In August 1869 Reverend Ollapod wrote of his visit in the White Mountains including stops at the Old Man of the Mountain, The Basin, The Flume and the Profile House. While at the Flume Ollapod described Fifield’s photographic operation.

 

“We follow up the stream several hundred feet further; it is one continual succession of tumbling falls over little precipices for a long way up the mountain side. We leave it with regret, but our presence is needed for the foreground of a picture of “Dame Nature in Her Wildest Moods.” An enterprising photographer has set up his “gallery,” in the shape of a little board shanty right over the stream where it escapes from its narrow rocky walls, and is taking photos of the wonder almost any hour in the day, including the visitors scattered on every rock within the chasm. By inclosing “the small sum of one dollar” to the “presiding genius” of the place, for “No. 216,” you will be able to obtain as good a representation of “The Flume” as can be put in a stereoscope, together with a striking likeness of the allapod, perched on the most dangerous pinnacle of rock therein.” (“Vacation Rambles – No 11.” Lawrence Daily Journal. August 18, 1869.)

 

In September 1878 the Earl of Dunraven and his party visited the Franconia Notch area. On the itinerary was a stop at the Flume, where they were photographed by Fifield.

 

“Among the notables who have recently created a flutter in the society of the Profile House by their visit to the Notch was the Earl of Dunraven, his wife and three daughters and members of his suite. They were perfectly charmed with the beauties of this wild and romantic Notch. Several discharges of the cannon at Echo Lake were ordered in their honor, and the party expressed their amazement at the echo, which bounded and rebounded from Lafayette to Cannon Mountain and crashed down through the Notch with startling distinctness. While at the Flume, the old hermit, Mr. H. S. Fifield, who is a good photographer by the way, took pictures of the party.” (“Breezes from the Flume.” Boston Post. October 2, 1878.)

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 156. Profile Lake from the Boat House. Franconia Mts. N.H.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1870). Profile Lake from the Boat House. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-82bc-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 156. Profile Lake from the Boat House. Franconia Mts. N.H.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1870). Profile Lake from the Boat House. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-82bc-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Eagle Cliff from Echo Lake. Franconia Mts., N.H.J. Paul Getty Museum.

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.

No. 145. Eagle Cliff from Echo Lake. Franconia Mts. N.H. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

Philosopher of the Pool

 

Among his well-known subjects Fifield took a number of photographs of the legendary John Merrill (1802-1892), better known as the “Arctic Philosopher,” the “Mountain Philosopher,” “Director of the Pool” or the “Philosopher of the Pool.” From 1853 to around 1887, Merrill held court at “The Pool,” a deep basin set among towering cliffs along the Pemigewasset River, where he entertained tourists with his philosophical and geological musings.

 

In 1858 Merrill, based on his supposed study of geology, published the unique pamphlet titled “Lecture Delivered at the Flume House Parlor, before a Company of Editors, on the System of the Earth’s being Hollow: by John Merrill, Director of the Pool, Natural and Practical Philosopher, and Geologist to the Franconia Mountains.” This pamphlet was expanded several years later into a book.

 

Among Merrill’s beliefs, as written in 1860 in his Cosmogony; Or Thoughts on Philosophy, were that “the evidence is abundant and clear that this earth is not a solid sphere, but a hollow world, more flattened at the extremes than is usually admitted; that it is open at the northern and southern extremities admitting heat, light, air and space inside; and that there are continents and oceans within as habitable and navigable as those on the outside.”

 

As for how Merrill’s time at the Pool began, “in the course of his wanderings, he came to the Pool in 1853, and on this first visit he happened to meet a party of forty sight-seers who wished to get near the fall. To accommodate them he set to work and constructed a rude boat, which he lowered down to the river by means of a rope. Thus, by chance he found what was to be his summer vocation for many years, as he was induced to return annually . . .” (Kilbourne, Frederick, W. Chronicles of the White Mountains. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916. p. 261-262.)

 

Whether or not visitors found the talkative and eccentric Merrill to be believable, it was generally accepted that he provided entertainment, and was generally sought out by the traveling public. Reverend E. P. Thwing wrote of Merrill: “as to whether the old man’s story is a shrewd money-making scheme, or whether he really believes it, and is deranged, or not properly ar-ranged, mountain travellers do not agree; but all affirm that an hour at the Pool is a delightful episode in a visit to the Franconia Notch.” (Thwing, Rev. E. P. “White Mountain Memories.” Oliver Optic’s Magazine. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1867. p. 431.)

 

At the Pool, Merrill would calmly paddle his paying customers across the water in his skiff as he elaborated on his peculiar ideas. Quite the showman he was said to have made a good living offering his philosophies while selling photographs and copies of his book. Five visitors, the first in 1865, the next in 1867, one in 1871, one in 1876 and the other in 1884, wrote of their always memorable encounters with Merrill at the Pool.

 

1865: “. . . and the Pool, also, in the Pemigewasset, not far from the entrance of the stream on which are situated the Cascade and Flume. Both are small basins in the rocks, worn out apparently by the eddying motion of the water, which whirls within them still, but a huge pile of rock yet remains to be worn away. Perhaps the greatest natural curiosities at the Pool are the old man and his wife who gain a living – and I should judge a good one – by rowing visitors across it, and by selling pictures and books, though I think the only book they have for sale, is a small, crazy work on “The Philosophy of Creation,” written by the old man himself, and which is a curious specimen of literature, although I guess it sells well, as they say they have sold over six thousand copies at their stand. On the side of the rock opposite the boats, he has drawn some diagrams which are enveloped in mysterious letters and figures, a la the Plantation Bitters; and if you ask him what they mean, he will propose to row you over for a quarter of a dollar, and explain to you the whole thing, and when he has done so you know just as much about it as you did before, and probably just as much as he does. He also has several letters which he supposes were written by royal hands in Europe in appreciation of his “Philosophy” – including one from Louis Napoleon, and one from Victoria and Prince Albert, which last was “signed in the Grand Culinary Department with a Royal Goose quill.” The truth is they were “signed” and written by some cute gentlemen who were stopping at the Flume House several years ago, and who played it on the old man so cleverly that he thought they were genuine documents, and that he was really being courted by royalty. So he had the letters printed, and keeps them open at his stand to prove to visitors that he is a man of consequence in the world of letters and science. He thinks he is playing the lion, and that he has roared so as to make the Duke say “Let him roar again; let him roar again.” The old man has been here for many years, and is familiar with all this region, and is not altogether unacquainted with the world, being a man of more than ordinary intelligence, but he made the mistake – though he is not alone in it – of trying to tell a little more than he really knew.” (“A Trip to the White Mountains on Foot.” Green-Mountain Freeman. September 19, 1865.)

 

1867: “In the Valley of the Pemigewasset, three quarters of a mile from the Flume House, is the Pool, for many years the summer haunt of the famous John Merrill, whose amusing oddities, no less than the natural beauties of the place, attract thousands of visitors. A company of lively New Yorkers and Bostonians, on this occasion, pushed their way through the woods to pay the old philosopher a visit. We found him and his ark of a boat just where they long have been, at the foot of the steep, winding, and somewhat perilous path which leads to the Pool. This deep excavation seems hewn from the granite of the mountain to hold the waters of a beautiful cascade. The width of the Pool is a hundred and fifty feet, and its depth forty feet . . .

 

Having enjoyed a sail on the water, and a taste of a so-called “mineral spring,” we all begged the boatman to give us one of his scientific lectures. He accordingly arose in the boat, bared his head, and begun elucidating his wonderful theory of creation. Notwithstanding frequent interruptions and ludicrous questions, he kept his temper admirably. “I say, old man,” inquired one, “what’s the difference between hemisphere and atmosphere?” “Please talk louder, for we’re very deaf,” chimes in another. “How can John Franklin’s men see on the inside of the glove, so deep in the hole you speak of?” asks a third. With an answer for every questioner, the lecturer provided with great gravity, and concluded by offering for our inspection a copy of a royal dispatch, supposed by him to have been received from England several years ago through Lord Napier.” (Thwing, Rev. E. P. “White Mountain Memories.” Oliver Optic’s Magazine. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1867. p. 431.)

 

1871: “Rode up about four miles, when we came to the Flume-house stable, – put the good steeds in and started to find “The Pool.” A wild, rugged path led to it. It is beautiful, hidden as it is far away from the haunts of man, but not wasting “itself upon the desert air.” Pictures of it give but a poor idea of the grandeur of its high walls and cool depths. Coming out we came across a man who styled himself “Professor Merrill.” He had stereoscopic pictures of White Mountain scenery to sell. Believes this world is a huge hollow ball, with a large opening at each end, wherein the air rushes to keep alive a race of human beings not unlike ourselves; thinks the time is not far distant when his theory will be proved and believed; the Arctic explorer, Hall, will find the opening this time, and let the world know the truth.” (“Among the Mountains.” New England Farmer. August 26, 1871.)

 

1876: “. . . a visit to the Pool, where the Pemigewasset river falls into a basin 100 feet in diameter and 40 feet deep, surrounded by cliffs 150 feet high. It is said to look Stygian, and all that by daylight, and was certainly a somber looking hole in the dusk of evening. An odd sort of genius haunts the Pool, and takes passengers out over its depths on a rude float. Then he talks philosophy to them and expounds theories of his own upon the cosmogony of the world, and altogether gives the impression of a dreamy visionary, too unpractical to make his way amongst his fellow men in the rude jostle of life. But he is no fool. He comes here from the West, has summered here twelve years, and in that time has saved enough from acting as cicerone at the Pool to buy two large farms in Minnesota [Wisconsin].” (“Walks in the White Mountains.” Evening Star. September 11, 1876.)

 

1884: “Old Charon. But this unsocial being is to these mountains born, and here he domiciles the whole year round. At the Poole, not far from the Flume House, is an aged man of mare than the average intelligence. He comes yearly from Wisconsin, and actually poses on a grand pseudo scientific hypothesis. This old man of the Pool is in his 84th year. He has a farm of his own, West, and is really well-do-do. With his boat on the cold troubled waters of this natural basin in the Pemigewasset, with his uncouth aspect he is suggestive of Charon of the Styx. As a scientific theorist he discourses learned gabble as a cosmogonist, having a doctrine about the hollow of the world which would delight JULES VERNE. He also plays the role of genealogist, and it is surprising to see how many ladies leave the hoary deceiver impressed with the knowledge that they are descended from noble and imperial lines on the other side. For nineteen years has this old fellow in this way played the sponge. For a seat in his boat or a dose of his gabble, he charges twelve and a half cents, by which he secures thirteen cents, and if fifteen are offered, he is too much occupied with “the hole in the earth” to make change. One leaves the old theorist with a new conviction that the world is hollow. But sponges may become too dry to suck and cranks too weak to turn – so it is said this year is his last, and it looks as if his namesake may soon call to ferry him over.” (“White Mountain Letters.” Monmouth Democrat. September 18, 1884.)

 

Merrill was born at Bristol, New Hampshire on April 10, 1802. He married Rhoda Cilley (1803-1885) on September 13, 1824, and together they had six children, including Abby R. Merrill (1825-1906), Charles C. Merrill (1831-1863), Willard C. Merrill (b. 1833), William C. Merrill (b. 1833), John Samuel Merrill, Jr. (1837-1919) and Peter Hatchett Merrill (1841-1918). John and Rhoda lived on Periwig mountain, then at Andover, followed by Dorchester and lastly in Wisconsin.

 

For many years Merrill lived on his Pardeeville, Wisconsin farm during the offseason, while returning to New Hampshire during the summer season. In all his years residing at the Pool, which included the company of his pet hedgehog and pet raccoon, it was claimed that “he has never known a sick day.”

 

“From the Pool he carried away annually enough money to provide a comfortable living for the rest of the year. Indeed, it is said that the gratuities given him by tourists for paddling them over the Pool and for expounding to them his cosmogony were in the aggregate far from inconsiderable. While he was undoubtedly an oddity, it is hinted that there was method in his peculiarity, some of his notions and characteristics being assumed for their value in extracting money from visitors to this beauty spot.” (Kilbourne, Frederick, W. Chronicles of the White Mountains. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916. p. 261-262.)

 

Rhoda Merrill passed away on January 10, 1885. John Merrill passed away on September 20, 1892. They are both buried at Pardeeville Cemetery in Wisconsin.

 

Fifield’s well-known photograph of Merrill titled “Arctic Philosopher in the Pool” shows him sitting alongside his wife Rhoda in his “rude” skiff at The Pool. In the background one sees a waterfall as the river drops into the calm waters of the basin, while offering just a hint of the surrounding cliffs.

 

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.No. 149. Arctic Philosopher in the Pool. Franconia Mts. N.H.The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. (1870). Arctic Philosopher in the Pool, Franconia Mts., N.H. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-82ae-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Henry S. Fifield was a well-known photographer most associated with his work at The Flume in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the 1860s and 1870s. However, he also photographed and published a number of quality views from throughout the northern Catskills.
No. 149. Arctic Philosopher in the Pool. Franconia Mts., N.H.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Arctic Philosopher and Wife in the Pool, Franconia Mts., N.H." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1870. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-82ae-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

According to Andrew Griscom, Fifield took a number of pictures of the Pool, some of which included John Merrill. Fifield stereo view numbers 90, 148, 149 and 501 included Merrill in the picture. Griscom noted that several different images were used by Fifield for numbers 148 and 149; and that stereoview number 501 was the same as 149. Other photographs of the Pool by Fifield included numbers 150, 365 and 500, although numbers 365 and 500 were like number 150. (Griscom, Andrew. “John Merrill. Philosopher of the Pool.” Stereo World. Volume 8, No. 4. September/October 1881. pp. 12-14.)

 

Griscom noted that “Merrill is preserved historically as one of the most widely photographed individuals in American stereo-photography.” Other photographers who published stereoviews of Merrill include S. F. Adams, G. H. Aldrich, Charles Bierstadt, Kilburn Brothers, Littleton View Company, J. W. and J. S. Moulton, J. P. Soule, F. G. Weller, F. White, O. R. Wilkinson and G. W. Woodward.

 

Competition

 

Although Fifield’s photographic monopoly at the Flume largely remained intact through his passing in 1881, he was far from the only photographer whose attentions were charmed by the White Mountains. The market for scenic views from throughout the region, driven by the growing tourist audience, seemed to grow every year, and that growing demand, in turn, attracted even more photographers. It was estimated that “by 1870 nearly every sizeable New Hampshire town had its own stereo photographer.” (Southall, Thomas W. The Kilburn Brothers Stereoscopic View Company. 1977. p. 17.) Below are brief descriptions of just a few historic White Mountains photographers as well as some of Fifield’s regional competitors.

 

The Kilburn Brothers Stereoscopic View Company was founded in 1865 in the rural town of Littleton, New Hampshire. The company was comprised of brothers Benjamin Kilburn (1827-1909) and Edward Kilburn (1830-1884). The company was perhaps most noted for their work in the White Mountains, but also published stereoviews from throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Kilburn Brothers would become the world’s largest producer of stereoscopic views, reaching annual peak production of over five million stereoviews in the first decade of the 20th century. The company operated until 1910. For an interesting read about the history of the company see The Kilburn Brothers Stereoscopic View Company, written by Thomas W. Southall and published in 1977.

 

Nathan W. Pease (1836-1918), born at Cornish, Maine, was a popular photographer based at North Conway, New Hampshire. He published a wide range of landscape stereoviews from the local area of the surrounding White Mountains, “becoming one of the leading producers of stereo views, portraits and landscapes in the area.” (Walker, Ray. “N. W. Pease. Granite State Photographer.” Stereo World. Vol. 1, No. 5. November-December 1974. p. 4.) “Though operating on a smaller scale than the famed Kilburn Brothers of Littleton, fifty miles north, it is apparent that he was well able to hold his own in competition not only with the Kilburns but with a score of other photographers who “worked” the area.” (Walker, Ray. Ibid.) Pease operated his photography business at North Conway continuously from 1858 to 1913, the only break being his honorable service during the Civil War in 1861-1862. During the Civil War he served with the 11th Maine Volunteers. He later served as a member of the New Hampshire state legislature. Nathan W. Pease passed away at 82 years of age on September 29, 1918.

 

Franklin G. Weller (1833-1877) was born on December 3, 1833 at Hanover, New Hampshire. Weller, a former coach and wagon painter, established his stereograph business at Littleton, New Hampshire in 1861. He was mentored by photographer Franklin White of Lancaster, New Hampshire, and later purchased a half interest in White’s stereoview business. His original focus was stereoviews for the tourist trade, notably landscapes and architecture of the White Mountains region. When the Kilburn Brothers operation “surpassed Weller’s landscape efforts, Weller began to emphasize the comic and allegorical stereographs for which he became famous.” (Southall, Thomas W. The Kilburn Brothers Stereoscopic View Company. 1977. p. 20.) He was perhaps most well-known for his “Stereoscopic Treasures,” “a series of subject pictures representing American life, both sentimental and comic, taken from living subjects in appropriate costumes and positions to represent the natural scene, and tell the story in the most effective manner.” Beginning in 1871 Weller issued over 400 of these “treasures.” Weller passed away of tuberculosis on December 8, 1877 and is buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Littleton. With Weller’s passing his business was succeeded by photographer George H. Aldrich (1842-1889).

 

The Littleton View Company was established in 1883 by William H. Bellows, George S. Bellows and artist John Ready with the purchase of the George H. Aldrich stereoview business. Ready, a Civil War veteran, left the business three years later in 1886 to open his own photograph studio at Boonville, New York. The company operated out of the village of Littleton, New Hampshire, continuing operations for 17 years, before going out of business in 1900.  

 

John P. Soule (1828-1904), of Boston, took up photography in 1858, apprenticed under J. W. Black, worked briefly for the Bierstadt brothers, and then established his own business two years later in 1860. Although well-known for his photography in the White Mountains he also sold stereoscopic views of Niagara Falls, Boston, Washington, Harper’s Ferry, “Scenes of the Great Rebellion” and the Hudson Valley. In 1882 Soule sold his business to W. B. Everett and his younger brother William Stinson Soule (1836-1908), also a renowned photographer, which after operated as the Soule Photograph Company. Soule then traveled to the west, photographing in Colorado and Utah. In 1888 he moved to Seattle where he continued working as a photographer, being noted for his photographs of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire and its aftermath. John P. Soule died of apoplectic stroke at age 76 in Seattle on November 27, 1904.

 

Franklin White (1813-1870), operating out of Lancaster, New Hampshire, began his career as a landscape painter before transitioning to becoming a daguerreotypist in the mid-1850s. Originally focused on portrait photography he then moved his attentions to the landscapes of the White Mountains, eventually being credited as “the most significant influence on the early development of the stereoscopic industry of the White Mountains.” (Chamberlin, Gary N. “Franklin White. Pioneer Photographer.” Stereo World. Vol. 2, No. 4. September-October 1975.) White mentored Franklin G. Weller, who later purchased a half interest in White’s business in 1867. He published several viewbooks which captured the beauties of the region. A frequent subject was Mount Washington and several of the well-known resorts such as the Glen House at Gorham, N.H. and the Profile House in Franconia Notch. Franklin, at various times in his career, partnered with his brother Luther White, a photographer at Montpelier, Vermont, sometimes operating under the name White Bros.

 

Franklin B. Gage (1824-1874) began his photographic career in 1851 with the opening of his St. Johnsbury Portrait Gallery at St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Gage, who often referred to himself as “the man with the long flowing beard,” is considered the pioneer photographer at St. Johnsbury. By 1856 Gage advertised that his gallery was the largest photographic establishment in Vermont and by 1860 it was written that Gage was “one of the most experienced of American photographers.” (“A New Toning Process.” The Photographic News. Vol. 4, No. 116. November 23, 1860.) Gage was a man of many talents, being an inventor, patent holder, a poet, a prolific author and publisher of many stereoviews of both Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Gage continuously operated his St. Johnsbury gallery for 24 years until his passing. Gage passed away from “blood poison” on August 23, 1874 and is buried at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery at St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Upon Gage’s passing in 1874 his gallery was purchased by George H. Hastings, a then young up-and-coming photographer who would become the President of the Photographers’ Association of America.

 

Ora C. Bolton was an ambrotype artist from Littleton, New Hampshire. He was the first resident photographer at that village, having established his studio in 1859 in the attic of the Gile’s Main Street building. Bolton mentored several photographers in the trade, including Franklin G. Weller, Edward Kilburn, of Kilburn Brothers, and John Smillie of Barnet, Vermont. Bolton’s business was purchased by his student Edward Kilburn, who operated it until 1868. Kilburn, in turn, sold the business to J. Smillie, another student of Bolton’s, who then operated the studio for another 15 years.

 

Clough and Kimball was a brief, but productive, photographic partnership between Amos Franklin Clough (1833-1872) and Howard Algernon Kimball (1845-1929). The business, located at Concord, New Hampshire, published hundreds of stereoviews, but was perhaps most noted for their series titled “Views taken on the Summit of Mt. Washington during the winter of 1870-71.” Clough and Kimball were part of a six-member scientific team that spent the winter of 1870-71 at the top of Mountain Washington. Photographs included the Tip Top House, the Summit House, the Lizzie Bourne Monument, winter closeups of frost, snow and ice, views from Mount Washington and many more. For more information about Clough, see In Search of Amos Clough, written by Robert W. Averill and published in 2019. For interesting details about the winter scientific mission upon Mount Washington, one in which Kimball almost died, see the Clough and Kimball 1871 writeup that was included as part of Mount Washington in Winter or The Experiences of a Scientific Expedition Upon the Highest Mountain in New England.

 

“George H. Hastings was born in Irasburg, Vt., January 3, 1852 . . . Early in life young Hastings evinced a taste for artistic pursuits, beginning the study of photography at Lyndonville, Vt., when only seventeen years old. The following year he succeeded his employer, O. C. Bolton, in the photographic business. In 1872 Mr. Hastings removed to St. Johnsbury, Vt., and there he bought out the old poet-photographer, F. B. Gage, remaining in St. Johnsbury until 1876. He then sold out this establishment, and, after working in different cities for some time, settled in Newton, Mass., in 1878. Here he conducted a very successful business for two years. Mr. Hastings then commenced his Boston career, establishing the partnership of Ritz & Hastings, at Temple Place. At the end of four years he bought Mr. Ritz’s interest in the partnership, and since that time has conducted this large establishment alone. In addition to his Boston establishment, Mr. Hastings owns a half interest in the summer studio of E. C. Dana, at Newport, R.I. Mr. Hastings’ reputation as an artistic photographer has steadily increased until now he enjoys as fine a patronage as any photographer in the city, and is classed in the very first rank of photographers, both in photographic circles and by the public generally.” (“The President of the Photographers’ Association of America.” The Photographic Times. Volume 21. No. 512. July 10, 1891.) Hastings would later become one of the youngest men to serve as President of the Photographers’ Association of America.

 

To be continued next week . . .

 

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If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer Henry S. Fifield 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.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Annie Fifield art artist Basin Brooklyn Catskill Mountains Catskills Flume Gorge Flume House Franconia Notch H. S. Fifield Henry S. Fifield John Merrill Lincoln New Hampshire New Hampton New York photographer photographs photography Profile House stereo views stereoviews The Flume The Pool tourism tourist White Mountains https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/8/henry-s-fifield-the-flume-photographer Sat, 07 Aug 2021 12:00:00 GMT
The Legend of Add Condon: The Halcott Directory https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/the-legend-of-add-condon-the-halcott-directory Richard Lionel De Lisser is one of the greatest photographers in Catskills history. He authored two photographic surveys of the Catskills, one of Greene County and one of Ulster County. Combined they contain over 1,800 photographs, which when combined with the author’s writings, highlighted his rambles in search of the picturesque. Part travelogue, part photo-documentary, both publications vividly capture the essence of late 19th century life in the Catskills.

 

Beginning in the summer and fall of 1893, after completing Picturesque Berkshire, De Lisser moved his travels across the Massachusetts border as he tramped the countryside of the Catskills of Greene County, New York in search of the picturesque. He traveled extensively on his buggy pulled by his faithful companion, his horse known as Cherry-Tree. The culmination of these ramblings was the first of his two photographic Catskills surveys, Picturesque Catskills: Greene County. It was published in 1894 by the aptly named Picturesque Publishing Company. The work contains over 800 black-and-white photographs and illustrations of the people and places of the county.

 

Vintage postcard titled “A Catskill Mountain Directory” that was published by T. H. Sachs of Catskill, New York.A Catskill Mountain DirectoryThis vintage postcard titled “A Catskill Mountain Directory” was published by T. H. Sachs of Catskill, New York. The photograph depicts a young boy by the name of Add Condon and was originally featured in the book Picturesque Catskills: Greene County by Richard Lionel De Lisser. The original caption was the “The Halcott Directory.” In the book Add Condon assisted De Lisser in finding the road to Halcott, the last remaining town to be photographed for the travelogue throughout Greene County.

Add Condon: The Halcott Directory. Author’s collection.

 

While nearing the completion of his photographic tramp through the Catskills of Greene County De Lisser faced an improbable challenge. No one that he met along his journey seemed to know how to get to the geographically isolated town of Halcott, and his comprehensive photographic study of Greene County would not be complete if an entire town was missed. From Lexington, where he was then located, there was an imposing mountain branch that ranged from the north at Lexington to the south near Bushnellsville that blocked easy access to the town of Halcott. This range included 3,530-foot Vly Mountain, Vinegar Hill, Beech Ridge, 3,520-foot Halcott Mountain and 3,090-foot Rose Mountain.

 

In the History of Greene County, New York published by J. B. Beers & Co. in 1884 the isolation of the town of Halcott was described. “The valley of the east branch of the Delaware River includes one township of Greene county, which is isolated from the other towns of that county by a branch from the main ridge of the Catskill Mountains. This branch, which forms the water-shed between the Delaware River and the Schoharie Creek, rises to a height of from ten hundred to eleven hundred feet, and is crossed only by difficult and unfrequented roads. There are no gaps or passages in the hill range, and the isolation is so complete that the principal routes of communication are by the way of Middletown, in Delaware County.” (Page 318.)

 

The History of Greene County, New York also contained the details of the many changes to the control of the Halcott township. “The township was included in Ulster county at the time that county was erected, on the first of November 1683. When Woodstock was formed, in 1787, it included this territory, and on the erection of Windham, March 23d 1798, it became a party of that town, and with it became a party of the new county of Greene on the 25th of March, two years later. In 1813 Windham was divided, and this part was called New Goshen; that was subsequently changed to Lexington, and from Lexington Halcott was taken on the 19th of November 1851.” (Page 318.)

 

The 1856 map by Samuel E. Geil shows the town of Halcott isolated geographically from the rest of Greene County by a range of mountains to the east. The residence of D. Condon is shown on the map on the Lexington side of the mountains, at Condon Hollow, where De Lisser likely began his journey to Halcott. (Geil, Samuel, E. A Balch, Robert Pearsall Smith, and Jones & Hitchcock. Map of Greene County, N.Y.: from actual surveys. [Philad. Philadelphia: E.A. Balch, publisher, 1856] Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/2013593222/.)

 

Phoenicia, NY, 1:62,500 quad, 1900, USGSPhoenicia, NY, 1:62,500 quad, 1900, USGSHistorical Topographic Map Collection

The 1900 regional map from the U.S. Geological Survey provides some further insight as to the challenge of De Lisser’s likely route. Condon Hollow, located to the northwest from West Kill, was the site of a rough road over Beech Ridge. The road traveled through the pass between a 3,120-foot mountain to the north and a 3,240-foot mountain to the south. On the other side of the ridge a traveler such as De Lisser would have picked up a road in Turk Hollow, and then headed southwest along Vly Creek to reach the hamlet of Halcott Center. This route would have been even more challenging with De Lisser’s horse and cart.

 

Today this route is the location of the Condon Hollow Road Trail, a 2.3 mile, yellow-blazed trail managed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that extends between Condon Hollow Road and Turk Hollow Road. There is a public lean-to located on the Turk Hollow end of the trail.

 

As for why, given its isolation, Halcott was originally included within Greene County, it was written that “when the Greene county line was drawn at its founding, it was laid out in straight lines and 90 degree angles to take in Halcott, regardless of the fact that the town is hemmed in from the balance of the county by mountains.” (“New Halcott-Westkill Road Being Pushed.” Catskill Mountain News. March 14, 1963.)

 

In the 1960s there were plans to construct a state road through Condon Hollow to Route 42. The “proposed road would run easterly along the present Condon (or Turk) hollow Halcott town road, from the main Halcott valley road at the Methodist church. It would cross the mountain and connect with a town of Lexington road into Westkill, covering a distance of 6 1/2 miles.” (“New Halcott-Westkill Road Being Pushed.” Catskill Mountain News. March 14, 1963.) However, these plans were abandoned “because of the difficulty of securing a right of way through the forest preserve.” (“Survey Begun for New Road Into Halcott.” Catskill Mountain News. December 9, 1965.)

 

Even today the town of Halcott remains relatively isolated from the rest of Greene County. To reach the rest of Greene County from Halcott via paved road one must first drive through a section of either Ulster County or Delaware County. Alternatively, for a route completely within Greene County, there is only the unimproved Halcott Mountain Road, which traverses the pass between Bearpen Mountain and Vly Mountain, thus connecting county Route 3 in the south and county Route 2 in the north. The town of Halcott is most often accessed from the south via the village of Fleischmanns in Delaware County.

 

Fortunately, for Catskills’ photography history, during his travels De Lisser came upon a young Add Condon who was able to direct him over the mountain to the town of Halcott. This fortuitous meeting allowed De Lisser to fully complete his photographic survey of Greene County. And fortunately for us, De Lisser recorded Condon’s name, and immortalized the young boy by including his photograph within Picturesque Catskills: Greene County. De Lisser affectionately described Condon as “the only man in Greene county who knew the road to Halcott.”

 

The postcard was published by T. H. Sachs of Catskill, New York. The postcard was printed in Germany, as was common for the era. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed from East Windham in April 1912, which was five years after the passing of the original photographer Richard Lionel De Lisser. While the postcard shown above is titled “The Catskill Directory,” De Lisser within his book titled the picture “The Halcott Directory.”

 

Although it is not definitive that it is the same person, there was a young Addison Ivan Condon who was born at the town of Lexington on February 5, 1888. This birthdate would make Addison 6-years-old at the time De Lisser arrived at Lexington, which seems to coincide with the apparent age of the boy in the photograph. The 1892 New York State census and the 1900 United States census show the youthful Addison residing at the town of Lexington with his parents, Richard and Martha Condon. The residence of D. Condon, a likely ancestor (possibly grandfather) of Addison, is shown at Condon Hollow in the town of Lexington on an 1856 map of Greene County, New York. This is the only residence on the map in the town of Lexington attributed to a person with the surname of Condon.

 

If this is the same person then we can offer a brief biography. As stated above he was the son of Richard Condon, who worked as a farmer, and Martha (Benjamin) Condon. After he grew up Addison worked as a farmer (1905 New York state census), a laborer in the household of George Van Loan (1910 US census), a farmhand in the household of George Hobbie (1915 US census), a farmer employed by C. S. Whipple (1917 World War 1 registration), as a farm laborer on a dairy farm (1920 US census), a carpenter and private contractor (1940 US census) and later as an employee at the Delaware Farm Cooperative Creamery at Delhi, New York (1942 World War 2 registration).

 

Addison Condon was a veteran of the World War I era, having honorably served as a private from July 1918 to December 1918 with the US Army 335th Guard and Fire Company. Five years later, in 1923, at the age of 35, Addison enlisted with New York National Guard, serving with Company F, 10th Infantry. With his service he was active in the local veteran community, being a member of both the American Legion and the Delaware County Barracks of Veterans of World War One.

 

As for his physical appearance Addison’s World War I draft registration card described him as tall in height and stout in build. He had light brown eyes and dark brown hair. He first married Florence May Divet at the town of Bovina in 1919 and later married Nellie M. Knowles in 1934.

 

Our once young and charming Addison lived until the age of 70, passing away on February 16, 1958. It was believed that Condon’s car skidded off Route 10, about five miles south of Delhi, during a winter snow storm, and he then fell asleep with the car running, ultimately dying of carbon monoxide poisoning. He was survived by his wife and four sons, Clayton (1934-1971), George (who later resided at Plattsburgh), Andrew (who later resided in Florida), all who were serving in the armed forces, and Robert, a student at the Delaware Academy, who later resided at Waverly. Addison Condon (1888-1958) is buried at Woodland Cemetery in Delhi, New York.

 

Halcott photographs by De Lisser, only taken through the helpful assistance of our hero Add Condon, that were featured in Picturesque Catskills: Greene County included:

 

  • Over Beach Ridge to Halcott
  • Near the Schoolhouse – Beach Ridge
  • “The” Road to Halcott
  • The Halcott Directory
  • A Winter Scene in Halcott
  • A Halcott Farmhouse
  • On the Stream
  • The First Snow – Halcott
  • Van’s Bridge – Halcott
  • Winter at Van Valkenburgh Dam
  • “On (Halcott) when the sun was low, All spotless lay the untrodden snow.”
  • “Beneath the gray December clouds”

 

From De Lisser’s Picturesque Catskills: Greene County:

 

“HALCOTT.–From Lexington, after many attempts, I succeeded in finding Halcott. The town is so situated, topographically, that it is a difficult matter to obtain access to it from Greene County. I was unable, after months of constant inquiry, to find a man who had been to Halcott, or who could tell me how to get there. A branch of the Catskill mountain range, some 1,100 feet in height, running north and south, between it and the township of Lexington, forms an almost impassable barrier, over which no good road is practicable, the only one being no more than a wood road, unfrequented and hard to find. The natural outlet of the town is by way of Delaware county, a good road running through the Halcott valley to Griffin’s Corners, and thence to Middletown.

 

Halcott was organized in 1851, being taken from Lexington. The population is about three hundred, and it is in area the smallest town in Greene county, with but little of the land under cultivation, and that principally in the valley of the Bush Kill. The name was given to it by George W. Halcott. For this isolated place I started late in the fall, from Lexington, determined to find it. No one whom I met seemed able to direct me in any manner, knowledge of the locality being shown by a jerk of the thumb over the shoulder, and the words, “Over there!” muttered solemnly; or else announcement of the fact there was such a place, and that I would have to cross Beach Ridge, if I went there, except I went by way of Griffin’s Corners, and as that necessitated a very long drive I pointed Cherry for the mountains, depending upon finding a passage in some way. By dint of numerous inquiries and persistent effort, and after retracing my steps many times, I at last found myself driving along what would be mistaken from a cow-path or lane, leading to some one’s barnyard. Seeing a small boy leaning on the bars of a pasture entrance, I inquired, as I had done of everyone I had met through the day,

 

“Do you know of a place called Halcott?”

 

“Yep!” said my little friend.

 

“Do you know how to get there?” I inquired.

 

“Yep!” said he again.

 

I was so surprised and overjoyed at his answer, that I could not question further, for a few minutes, then, in response to my request, he pointed out the road:

 

“Wa-al, you see that barn over there?”

 

“Yes,” said I.

 

“Wa-al, drive ‘round behind it, and you will see a place that looks like the dry bed of a creek. That’s the road. After you git up a piece it will be better going.”

 

I rewarded him and asked his name.

 

“Add Condon,” he responded.

 

“And what do you do for a living?”

 

“I am a farmer,” said my little hero.

 

I think his name should go on record as that of the only man in Greene county who knew the road to Halcott.

 

I found the road, as he had directed. It proved not a very bad one, after the first half mile had been passed, but I was obliged to walk every step of the way, and lead Cherry, who, I could plainly see, was extremely nervous, a weakness I had never known him guilty of before. This, no doubt, was due to the fact that he had never traveled this road before. If so, it was the only one that he was unacquainted with, I think, in this wide world. I had never seen the poor follow so distressed, so completely “rattled.” He did not know where to find a spring by the wayside, for a drink, nor just where to stop for a rest, or what was ahead of him – things that he had never failed to known on any road over which I had ever driven him before. He followed me with a sad, reproachful look, as if he thought I was taking him out of the world, and the upward course we were taking and the prospect of meeting George Washington again gave him no pleasure. We arrived at the top of the mountain, pretty well tired out, both of us, and after a short rest we traveled through the woods, over the Ridge and down the mountain, on the other side, into the valley, arriving at the centre, near the post-office, at sunset. Like matrimony, wealth, heaven and other desirable things and places, Halcott, is very nice when you get there. I found quarters for myself and faithful old Cherry (who since he had stopped going up and started downward again, had been quite himself). I retired early, for the little I had seen of the valley promised a beautiful harvest of pictures, and I wanted to be up early, to have a full day in which to reap them.

 

On awakening at daybreak, the following morning, I found that five or six inches of snow had fallen during the night, with more still coming, and that all the beautiful bits of landscape and other subjects that I had planned to picture, lay hidden under the white mantle of selfish old Winter, who was so disagreeable about it that I was kept within doors until the following noon, when I managed to secure a few pictures between squalls, and made haste to escape, before I should be snow-bound for the season.”

 

If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the young Add Condon, who lived near Lexington, New York 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. 

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Add Condon Addison Condon Beach Ridge Beech Ridge Catskill Mountains Catskills Condon Hollow De Lisser Delaware County Greene County Halcott Halcott Center Halcott Mountain Lexington Martha Condon New York photograph photographer photography Picturesque Catskills: Greene County Picturesque Ulster portrait postcard Richard Condon Richard Lionel De Lisser Turk Hollow Ulster County Vly Creek Westkill https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/the-legend-of-add-condon-the-halcott-directory Sat, 31 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Lake Minnewaska: A Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/lake-minnewaska-a-study The pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

 

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.

 

Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.Lake Minnewaska, Last LightThe pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.
Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.Minnewaska MirrorThe pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.
Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.Cliff HouseThe pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.
Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.CliffsideThe pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.
Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.Minnewaska Cliffs, Last LightThe pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.
Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.Waiting for SunsetThe pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.
Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.Minnewaska ReflectionThe pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.
Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.Lake MinnewaskaThe pristine, beautiful Lake Minnewaska is located high upon the Shawangunk Ridge at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Once known as Coxing Pond, the 36-acre lake was created during the last ice age by glacial movements that carved small basins in the bedrock. The lake is a ½ mile long and reaches depths up to 72 feet. Recreational activities abound with seasonal swimming, non-motorized boating (with permits), picnicking in open fields and a relaxing 2-mile hiking trail that circles the lake, offering fabulous views of the water, foliage and sheer rock cliffs.

The area around Lake Minnewaska was once home to two prominent mountain hotels, the Cliff House and the Wildmere. Both were owned and operated the Smiley family, the same family that operated the still existing Mohonk Mountain House. The Cliff House opened for business in 1879 and remained in operation until 1972 when it was abandoned. It burned down in 1978. The Wildmere opened for business in 1887 and remained in operation until 1979. It burned down in 1986. While the hotels may no longer exist, their legacy lives on with much of their land now belonging to either the Mohonk Preserve or the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserves, certainly two gems of the state park system, offers thousands of natural wonderland acres for hikers, rock climbers, photographers, skiers and more.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) autumn bedrock boat boating Catskills Cliff House cliffs Coxing Pond fall foliage glacier hike hiker hiking hotels Hudson Valley ice age lake Lake Minnewaska Lake Minnewaska State Park Preserve Mohonk Mountain House Mohonk Preserve photograph photographer photography picnic picnicking rock climbers rock climbing rocks Shawangunk Ridge Smiley family state park swim swimming Ulster County water Wildmere https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/lake-minnewaska-a-study Sat, 24 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Hell Hole Falls: A Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/hell-hole-falls-a-study Hell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove of the northern Catskills. The falls are located on Hell Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The devilishly named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an ominous, arched stone wall bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in a section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

 

Hell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove in the northern Catskills.Hell Hole FallsHell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove of the northern Catskills. The falls are located on Hell Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The devilishly named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an ominous, arched stone wall bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in a section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

Hell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove in the northern Catskills.Devil's KitchenHell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove of the northern Catskills. The falls are located on Hell Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The devilishly named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an ominous, arched stone wall bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in a section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

Hell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove in the northern Catskills.Where the Devil Once RoamedHell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove of the northern Catskills. The falls are located on Hell Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The devilishly named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an ominous, arched stone wall bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in a section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

Hell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove in the northern Catskills.Where the Devil Once RoamedHell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove of the northern Catskills. The falls are located on Hell Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The devilishly named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an ominous, arched stone wall bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in a section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

Hell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove in the northern Catskills.Hell Hole CreekHell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove of the northern Catskills. The falls are located on Hell Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The devilishly named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an ominous, arched stone wall bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in a section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

Hell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove in the northern Catskills.Hell HoleHell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove of the northern Catskills. The falls are located on Hell Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The devilishly named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an ominous, arched stone wall bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in a section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

Hell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove in the northern Catskills.The Road to HellHell Hole Falls is a scenic waterfall located within the dramatic Plattekill Clove of the northern Catskills. The falls are located on Hell Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The devilishly named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an ominous, arched stone wall bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in a section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) arch bridge brook Catskill Mountains Catskills cliffs creek devil Devil's Kitchen Greene County Haines Falls Hell Hole Hell Hole Creek Hell Hole Falls Huckleberry Point Hudson River Hunter Hunter Mountain Kaaterskill High Peak Matthew Jarnich New York Old Mill Falls photographer photographs photography photos pictures pioneer Plattekill Plattekill Clove Plattekill Creek ravines river Route 16 sightseeing stone Tannersville tourism tourist travel water waterfall https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/hell-hole-falls-a-study Sat, 17 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Lexington House https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/lexington-house The historic Lexington House is pleasantly located on the banks of the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County. The 3-story Lexington House was constructed by Jerome Campbell, a master carpenter, in 1883 and opened to the public on July 4th of that year. It had 30 rooms that accommodated 50 to 60 guests. The hotel was first owned by John P. Van Valkenburgh and his partner Edward Clough. The Van Valkenburgh family were among the earliest settlers in the Lexington township and remained among its most prominent citizens throughout the 19th century. The Lexington House was considered “one of the finest, most popular resorts of the period.”

The long-neglected Lexington House is located on the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County, New York.Lexington HouseThe historic Lexington House is pleasantly located on the banks of the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County. The 3-story Lexington House was constructed by Jerome Campbell, a master carpenter, in 1883 and opened to the public on July 4th of that year. It had 30 rooms that accommodated 50 to 60 guests. The hotel was first owned by John P. Van Valkenburgh and his partner Edward Clough. The Van Valkenburgh family were among the earliest settlers in the Lexington township and remained among its most prominent citizens throughout the 19th century. The Lexington House was considered “one of the finest, most popular resorts of the period.”

In order to provide additional amusements to its patrons the adjacent Schoharie Creek was impounded to create Crystal Lake within the center of the Lexington hamlet, offering fishing, boating, swimming and ice skating to area visitors. The dam was broken by the mid-1960s. Three years after its opening an 1886 advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle highlighted the benefits of staying at the Lexington House: “Beautifully located on a picturesque eminence overlooking the lake. Table abundantly supplied with fresh vegetables, eggs, butter, pure cream, milk, etc. Boating, bathing, fishing and hunting. Spacious piazza, dancing hall, piano, organ, pool and billiard parlors, etc.; music every day; large roller skating rink on premises. New York mail twice daily. Livery, telegraph office, etc.; easy access; terms very moderate.”

There were five support buildings on the property including the former ice house (c. 1900), the wagon house (c. 1883), the theater/skating rink (c. 1887) and two sheds (c. 1900). The River Theater included a bowling alley and a ballroom while it hosted a variety of performances including opera, melodrama and vaudeville and being home to the Lexington Dramatic Society. In its heyday, the hotel was one of many in the Lexington area that catered to summer tourists, others including the Lexington Hotel, O’Hara House, Morse Inn, Carpathia House, The Mackey, Shady Lawn, The Barnard, Crystal Lake House, Kipp House and others.

The Lexington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “an architecturally and historically significant example of late-nineteenth century resort architecture in the Catskill Mountain region.” After the decline of the Catskills tourist business ownership of the Lexington House changed hands several times, being used as a music and arts camp and later as home to a non-profit performing arts program. Although the property seems to be suffering from years of neglect, you can, even with just the exterior views, still gain a small appreciation for the grand boarding houses that once dotted the Lexington landscape.

In order to provide additional amusements to its patrons the adjacent Schoharie Creek was impounded to create Crystal Lake within the center of the Lexington hamlet, offering fishing, boating, swimming and ice skating to area visitors. The dam was broken by the mid-1960s. Three years after its opening an 1886 advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle highlighted the benefits of staying at the Lexington House: “Beautifully located on a picturesque eminence overlooking the lake. Table abundantly supplied with fresh vegetables, eggs, butter, pure cream, milk, etc. Boating, bathing, fishing and hunting. Spacious piazza, dancing hall, piano, organ, pool and billiard parlors, etc.; music every day; large roller skating rink on premises. New York mail twice daily. Livery, telegraph office, etc.; easy access; terms very moderate.”

The long-neglected Lexington House is located on the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County, New York.Lexington HouseThe historic Lexington House is pleasantly located on the banks of the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County. The 3-story Lexington House was constructed by Jerome Campbell, a master carpenter, in 1883 and opened to the public on July 4th of that year. It had 30 rooms that accommodated 50 to 60 guests. The hotel was first owned by John P. Van Valkenburgh and his partner Edward Clough. The Van Valkenburgh family were among the earliest settlers in the Lexington township and remained among its most prominent citizens throughout the 19th century. The Lexington House was considered “one of the finest, most popular resorts of the period.”

In order to provide additional amusements to its patrons the adjacent Schoharie Creek was impounded to create Crystal Lake within the center of the Lexington hamlet, offering fishing, boating, swimming and ice skating to area visitors. The dam was broken by the mid-1960s. Three years after its opening an 1886 advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle highlighted the benefits of staying at the Lexington House: “Beautifully located on a picturesque eminence overlooking the lake. Table abundantly supplied with fresh vegetables, eggs, butter, pure cream, milk, etc. Boating, bathing, fishing and hunting. Spacious piazza, dancing hall, piano, organ, pool and billiard parlors, etc.; music every day; large roller skating rink on premises. New York mail twice daily. Livery, telegraph office, etc.; easy access; terms very moderate.”

There were five support buildings on the property including the former ice house (c. 1900), the wagon house (c. 1883), the theater/skating rink (c. 1887) and two sheds (c. 1900). The River Theater included a bowling alley and a ballroom while it hosted a variety of performances including opera, melodrama and vaudeville and being home to the Lexington Dramatic Society. In its heyday, the hotel was one of many in the Lexington area that catered to summer tourists, others including the Lexington Hotel, O’Hara House, Morse Inn, Carpathia House, The Mackey, Shady Lawn, The Barnard, Crystal Lake House, Kipp House and others.

The Lexington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “an architecturally and historically significant example of late-nineteenth century resort architecture in the Catskill Mountain region.” After the decline of the Catskills tourist business ownership of the Lexington House changed hands several times, being used as a music and arts camp and later as home to a non-profit performing arts program. Although the property seems to be suffering from years of neglect, you can, even with just the exterior views, still gain a small appreciation for the grand boarding houses that once dotted the Lexington landscape.

There were five support buildings on the property including the former ice house (c. 1900), the wagon house (c. 1883), the theater/skating rink (c. 1887) and two sheds (c. 1900). The River Theater included a bowling alley and a ballroom while it hosted a variety of performances including opera, melodrama and vaudeville and being home to the Lexington Dramatic Society. In its heyday, the hotel was one of many in the Lexington area that catered to summer tourists, others including the Lexington Hotel, O’Hara House, Morse Inn, Carpathia House, The Mackey, Shady Lawn, The Barnard, Crystal Lake House, Kipp House and others.

The long-neglected Lexington House is located on the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County, New York.Lexington HouseThe historic Lexington House is pleasantly located on the banks of the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County. The 3-story Lexington House was constructed by Jerome Campbell, a master carpenter, in 1883 and opened to the public on July 4th of that year. It had 30 rooms that accommodated 50 to 60 guests. The hotel was first owned by John P. Van Valkenburgh and his partner Edward Clough. The Van Valkenburgh family were among the earliest settlers in the Lexington township and remained among its most prominent citizens throughout the 19th century. The Lexington House was considered “one of the finest, most popular resorts of the period.”

In order to provide additional amusements to its patrons the adjacent Schoharie Creek was impounded to create Crystal Lake within the center of the Lexington hamlet, offering fishing, boating, swimming and ice skating to area visitors. The dam was broken by the mid-1960s. Three years after its opening an 1886 advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle highlighted the benefits of staying at the Lexington House: “Beautifully located on a picturesque eminence overlooking the lake. Table abundantly supplied with fresh vegetables, eggs, butter, pure cream, milk, etc. Boating, bathing, fishing and hunting. Spacious piazza, dancing hall, piano, organ, pool and billiard parlors, etc.; music every day; large roller skating rink on premises. New York mail twice daily. Livery, telegraph office, etc.; easy access; terms very moderate.”

There were five support buildings on the property including the former ice house (c. 1900), the wagon house (c. 1883), the theater/skating rink (c. 1887) and two sheds (c. 1900). The River Theater included a bowling alley and a ballroom while it hosted a variety of performances including opera, melodrama and vaudeville and being home to the Lexington Dramatic Society. In its heyday, the hotel was one of many in the Lexington area that catered to summer tourists, others including the Lexington Hotel, O’Hara House, Morse Inn, Carpathia House, The Mackey, Shady Lawn, The Barnard, Crystal Lake House, Kipp House and others.

The Lexington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “an architecturally and historically significant example of late-nineteenth century resort architecture in the Catskill Mountain region.” After the decline of the Catskills tourist business ownership of the Lexington House changed hands several times, being used as a music and arts camp and later as home to a non-profit performing arts program. Although the property seems to be suffering from years of neglect, you can, even with just the exterior views, still gain a small appreciation for the grand boarding houses that once dotted the Lexington landscape.

The Lexington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “an architecturally and historically significant example of late-nineteenth century resort architecture in the Catskill Mountain region.” After the decline of the Catskills tourist business ownership of the Lexington House changed hands several times, being used as a music and arts camp and later as home to a non-profit performing arts program. Although the property seems to be suffering from years of neglect, you can, even with just the exterior views, still gain a small appreciation for the grand boarding houses that once dotted the Lexington landscape.

The long-neglected Lexington House is located on the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County, New York.Lexington HouseThe historic Lexington House is pleasantly located on the banks of the Schoharie Creek in the small hamlet of Lexington in Greene County. The 3-story Lexington House was constructed by Jerome Campbell, a master carpenter, in 1883 and opened to the public on July 4th of that year. It had 30 rooms that accommodated 50 to 60 guests. The hotel was first owned by John P. Van Valkenburgh and his partner Edward Clough. The Van Valkenburgh family were among the earliest settlers in the Lexington township and remained among its most prominent citizens throughout the 19th century. The Lexington House was considered “one of the finest, most popular resorts of the period.”

In order to provide additional amusements to its patrons the adjacent Schoharie Creek was impounded to create Crystal Lake within the center of the Lexington hamlet, offering fishing, boating, swimming and ice skating to area visitors. The dam was broken by the mid-1960s. Three years after its opening an 1886 advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle highlighted the benefits of staying at the Lexington House: “Beautifully located on a picturesque eminence overlooking the lake. Table abundantly supplied with fresh vegetables, eggs, butter, pure cream, milk, etc. Boating, bathing, fishing and hunting. Spacious piazza, dancing hall, piano, organ, pool and billiard parlors, etc.; music every day; large roller skating rink on premises. New York mail twice daily. Livery, telegraph office, etc.; easy access; terms very moderate.”

There were five support buildings on the property including the former ice house (c. 1900), the wagon house (c. 1883), the theater/skating rink (c. 1887) and two sheds (c. 1900). The River Theater included a bowling alley and a ballroom while it hosted a variety of performances including opera, melodrama and vaudeville and being home to the Lexington Dramatic Society. In its heyday, the hotel was one of many in the Lexington area that catered to summer tourists, others including the Lexington Hotel, O’Hara House, Morse Inn, Carpathia House, The Mackey, Shady Lawn, The Barnard, Crystal Lake House, Kipp House and others.

The Lexington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “an architecturally and historically significant example of late-nineteenth century resort architecture in the Catskill Mountain region.” After the decline of the Catskills tourist business ownership of the Lexington House changed hands several times, being used as a music and arts camp and later as home to a non-profit performing arts program. Although the property seems to be suffering from years of neglect, you can, even with just the exterior views, still gain a small appreciation for the grand boarding houses that once dotted the Lexington landscape.

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) boarding house building camp Camp Lexington Carpathia House Catskill Mountains Catskills Crystal Lake House Edward Clough Greene County hotel house inn J. P. Van Valkenburgh Jerome Campbell Kipp House lake Lexington Lexington Dramatic Society Lexington Hotel Lexington House Matthew Jarnich Morse Inn National Register of Historic Places New York O'Hara House photographer photographs photography photos pictures river River Theater Schoharie Creek Shady Lawn sightseeing The Barnard The Mackey tourism tourist travel https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/lexington-house Sat, 10 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
George S. Young – Photographer of Platte Clove and the Devil’s Kitchen https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/george-s-young-photographer-of-platte-clove-and-the-devil-s-kitchen George S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills. He and his family operated the popular Grand Canyon House and the Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction for many years.

 

Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the former Grand Canyon House at wild Platte Clove in Greene County, New York.Indian Head from back of Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y.The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.



Below is a chronological listing of various advertisements and newspaper articles that have described the once famous Grand Canyon House.

1900 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Heart of Catskills; PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., New York; altitude 2,500 feet; excellent table; large, airy rooms; terms moderate. GEO. S. YOUNG, Propietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1900.)

1901 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Open from June 1 to October 30; no Hebrews; fine location; altitude 2,000 feet; rates $7 to $10 per week. GEO. S. YOUNG, Prop. PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 12, 1901.)

1906 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House – Elevation 2,000 feet; capacity 40, excellent cuisine. For particulars, apply to GEO. S. YOUNG.” (The Brooklyn Citizen. June 15, 1906.)

1907 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House has been having an unusually prosperous season and is catering to a crowd that includes a large number of Brooklynites.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 18, 1907.)

1908 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House is situated on a commanding height, 2,000 feet above the tidewater at Platte Clove. The surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The rooms are all light and comfortable and the table is strictly first class in every respect. For amusements, tennis, croquet, and driving, are at the convenience of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

1914 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, located so that it overlooks the Hudson Valley and the surrounding country, is the leading house here, and one of the most attractive hotels in the Catskills. The house has been open during the entire month of June and has been busier than usual because it is a favorite place with June guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1914.)

1915 newspaper article: “Platte Clove, N. Y. June 19. This charming section of the Catskills, at the head of the beautiful Plaaterkill Clove or Grand Canyon, is the most delightful section of the interior Catskills and its pretty summer homes and comfortable boarding houses are well patronized during July and August.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1915.)

1917 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet; unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks; GRAND CANYON AND DEVIL’S KITCHEN WITHIN 500 FEET; amusements, tennis, croquet, etc. Rooms are all light and comfortable; sanitary plumbing; gas throughout; splendid cuisine; abundance milk, butter, cream, eggs and vegetables from own farm; sprint water on every floor. Terms $10 to $15 per week. Write for Illustrated booklet; references. GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 3, 1917.)

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet. Unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural paths, fine drives. Grand Canyon and Devil’s Kitchen within 500 feet. Sanitary plumbing; splendid cuisine; fresh dairy and farm products. Booklet. Mrs. E. E. Baker.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 18, 1919.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Greene, Co., N.Y. Under old management. Spacious verandas. Amusements. Large, airy rooms, all conveniences and an abundance of good things to eat. Apply for terms.” (The Chat. May 26, 1923.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Located 2,000 feet above tide water, Grand Canyon House at Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. offers an ideal place for those who have used up all their vitality during the winter months. E. E. Baker is the proprietor and he saw to it that the house was placed in the center of beautiful surroundings that offer new life to the work out man or woman who much leave the city to recuperate. There are spacious verandas. From the windows the long mountain chain and valley can be observed. There is a large supply of vegetables. Those who want quick action and desire to engage a room without loss of time can telephone to 35-Y-4 Tannersville. The terms are reasonable. The house is easily reached and the finest class of people always spend their summers here. Greene County, it is agreed, is one of the most picturesque spots in New York State and Mr. Baker fixed up his house to harmonize with the surrounding country. Full particulars can be obtained by writing for them. – Adv.” (The Chat. June 9, 1923.)

1924 advertisement: “2500 Ft. Elevation – “Always Cool.” Grand Canyon House. Elka Park, Greene County, New York. The most beautiful spot in the Catskills has been selected for Mrs. Ida J. Young’s attractive “Grand Canyon House.” True, it takes five hours to come up from New York, but isn’t it worthwhile to really spend your vacation in Nature’s Own Country, accessible as it is to Haines Falls and Tannersville for fine amusements and stores? Excellent table and rooms; baths and modern improvements; ideal drives and walks; bathing and fishing; accommodates 50; rates $18 and up; Gentiles. MRS. IDA J. YOUNG Proprietor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 25, 1924.)

1929 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Elka Park P. O. Near Devil’s Kitchen, wildest view in the Catskills. German cooking. H. W. Buschen.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1929.)

1932 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE. A Mountain Paradise. All Sports. All Improvements. German Kitchen. $15-$18. H. Buschen. Elka Park. N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 25, 1932.)
Indian Head from back of Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

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George Summerfield Young was born in July 1855 to Samuel Benson Young (1813-1875) and Susan Catharine (Dibbell) Young (1814-1890). His father Samuel was a farmer and also did quarry work. George was one of ten children. His nine siblings included John W. Young (1832-1912); Amos D. Young (b. 1834); William H. Young (1836-1864); Joseph B. Young (1839-1861); Frances E. Young (b. 1841); Sarah R. Young (b. 1845); Sylvia U. Young (1847-1911); Susan C. Young (b. 1852); and Lissa S. Young (1858-1862).

 

Amos Dibbell (1781-1867), George’s grandfather via his mother Susan, was a native from Holland and was a pioneer in Delaware County, New York. The Dibble family were among the early settlers in the town of Kortright. Amos moved to the Platte Clove area circa the year 1834 and was a millwright by trade. He married Charlotte Williams, of Colchester, on February 12, 1809 at Kortright, New York. Charlotte was born on October 25, 1790 at Kortright. Together Amos and Charlotte had nine children (possibly 10, as per 1865 New York State census). As Amos and Charlotte got older, they lived with their daughter Susan and their son-in-law Samuel Young. Amos likely died at Platte Clove, although his burial site is unknown. Upon the passing of Amos and Charlotte the family property at Platte Clove passed to Susan and Samuel.

 

On the 1860 United States census George Young was living in the town of Hunter. The household included his father Samuel, age 48; his mother Susan age 45; and his siblings William, age 24; Benson, age 21; Frances E., age 19; Sarah, age 16; Sylvia, age 13; Susan, age 8; and Lizzie, age 2. His father Samuel was listed with an occupation of “Farmer,” while William and Benson were listed as “Farm laborer,” and Frances and Sarah were listed as “Domestic.” The family real estate was valued at $1,000, and the personal estate was valued at $350.

 

On the 1865 New York State census George Young was living in the town of Hunter. The household included his father Samuel, age 52; his mother Susan, age 50; his sister Sarah, age 21; his sister Sylvia, age 18; his sister Susan, age 13; his grandfather Amos Dibble, age 84; and his grandmother Charlotte, age 74. Samuel was listed with an occupation of “Farmer,” while Amos, even at the age 84, still had his occupation listed as “Millwright.” The family was living in a “framed” house.

 

On the 1870 United State census George S. Young was living in the town of Hunter. The household included his father Samuel, age 56; his mother Susan, age 55; his grandmother, “Sally,” age 80; his sister Sylvia, age 23; and his sister Susan, age 18. Samuel was listed with an occupation of “Farmer & Quarry.” His mother was listed as “Keeping house,” while Sally, Sylvia and Susan were listed with an occupation of “House labor.” The value of the family’s real estate was $500, and the value of the personal estate was $620.

 

On the 1875 New York State census George S. Young, age 19, was living in the First Election District in the town of Hunter. George was living with his mother Susan C. Young, age 60, now widowed, and his grandmother Charlotte Dibbell, age 85. George was reported as single and had no occupation listed. Susan was listed as “Keeping House.”

 

On the 1880 United States census George S. Young, age 24, was reported as living in the town of Hunter. He was living with only his mother Susan C. Young, age 65. George was reported as single and with an occupation of “Farmer.”

 

George S. Young married Ida Jane (Cole) Young around the year 1882 or 1883. Ida was born at Saugerties in May 1866. They had three children together including Willis Harry Young, born December 1883, died 1974; Edna Emily Young, born October 1886, died 1927; and Marion Alice Young, born May 11, 1897, died 1983.

 

In various business and town directories George S. Young is listed with an occupation of farmer. On the 1880 United States Census Young’s occupation was listed as “Farmer.” In the 1890 Hunter town directory and the 1896 Greene County Directory George S. Young was listed as a farmer with 50 acres of land in Platte Clove. On the 1900 United States census Young was again listed with an occupation of “Farmer.” Young later managed a prominent boarding house, worked as a bluestone dealer and as a stone cutter, operated a popular tourist attraction and became a photographer.

 

In 1891 George Young was present at the organization of the Catskill Mountain Road Improvement Society. The first meeting was organized by F. B. Thurber of Onteora Park and was held on October 24, 1891 at Roggen’s Hotel in Tannersville. Thurber addressed “the leading citizens of the town of Hunter and vicinity” saying that “we have undoubtedly improved our roads during the past few years; the new system of working them is better than the old, but the new also has some defects which must be remedied . . . The most competent men should be selected to work the roads, with the assurance that if they do their duty they shall have them year after year. A man cannot afford to put on a road good, permanent work (which would be cheapest in the end), if he is only sure of having that piece of road one year; and perhaps the present system can be further improved upon by contracting out the entire roads of the town to a competent person, who could then afford to procure the necessary machinery, tools and plant to properly work the.” (The Windham Journal. January 21, 1892.)

 

The Young family resided at Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill Clove, which is a deep, 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 early impressions of the clove in 1844, which was about ten years after Amos Dibbell first arrived there.

 

“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.” (Lanman, Charles. Letters from a Landscape Painter. Boston: James Munroe and Company, 1845. p. 50.)

 

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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.

 

This vintage Catskills postcard published by G. S. Young depicts the fearsome Devil’s Kitchen in Platte Clove.Devil's Kitchen in Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the fearsome Devil’s Kitchen in Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
Devil's Kitchen in Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage postcard depicts the towering Bridal Veil Falls at Platte Clove in the northern Catskills.Bridal Veil Falls in Devil's Kitchen, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage postcard depicts the towering Bridal Veil Falls at Platte Clove in the northern Catskills. The postcard was published by Ida J. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
Bridal Veil Falls in the Devil's Kitchen, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage Catskills postcard published by I. J. Young and W. H. Young depicts Ghost Falls located within Platte Clove.Ghost Falls, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts Ghost Falls located within Platte Clove. The postcard was published by I. J. & W. H. Young, proprietors of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.


Below is a chronological listing of various advertisements and newspaper articles that have described the once famous Grand Canyon House.

1900 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Heart of Catskills; PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., New York; altitude 2,500 feet; excellent table; large, airy rooms; terms moderate. GEO. S. YOUNG, Propietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1900.)

1901 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Open from June 1 to October 30; no Hebrews; fine location; altitude 2,000 feet; rates $7 to $10 per week. GEO. S. YOUNG, Prop. PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 12, 1901.)

1906 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House – Elevation 2,000 feet; capacity 40, excellent cuisine. For particulars, apply to GEO. S. YOUNG.” (The Brooklyn Citizen. June 15, 1906.)

1907 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House has been having an unusually prosperous season and is catering to a crowd that includes a large number of Brooklynites.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 18, 1907.)

1908 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House is situated on a commanding height, 2,000 feet above the tidewater at Platte Clove. The surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The rooms are all light and comfortable and the table is strictly first class in every respect. For amusements, tennis, croquet, and driving, are at the convenience of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

1914 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, located so that it overlooks the Hudson Valley and the surrounding country, is the leading house here, and one of the most attractive hotels in the Catskills. The house has been open during the entire month of June and has been busier than usual because it is a favorite place with June guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1914.)

1915 newspaper article: “Platte Clove, N. Y. June 19. This charming section of the Catskills, at the head of the beautiful Plaaterkill Clove or Grand Canyon, is the most delightful section of the interior Catskills and its pretty summer homes and comfortable boarding houses are well patronized during July and August.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1915.)

1917 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet; unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks; GRAND CANYON AND DEVIL’S KITCHEN WITHIN 500 FEET; amusements, tennis, croquet, etc. Rooms are all light and comfortable; sanitary plumbing; gas throughout; splendid cuisine; abundance milk, butter, cream, eggs and vegetables from own farm; sprint water on every floor. Terms $10 to $15 per week. Write for Illustrated booklet; references. GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 3, 1917.)

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet. Unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural paths, fine drives. Grand Canyon and Devil’s Kitchen within 500 feet. Sanitary plumbing; splendid cuisine; fresh dairy and farm products. Booklet. Mrs. E. E. Baker.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 18, 1919.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Greene, Co., N.Y. Under old management. Spacious verandas. Amusements. Large, airy rooms, all conveniences and an abundance of good things to eat. Apply for terms.” (The Chat. May 26, 1923.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Located 2,000 feet above tide water, Grand Canyon House at Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. offers an ideal place for those who have used up all their vitality during the winter months. E. E. Baker is the proprietor and he saw to it that the house was placed in the center of beautiful surroundings that offer new life to the work out man or woman who much leave the city to recuperate. There are spacious verandas. From the windows the long mountain chain and valley can be observed. There is a large supply of vegetables. Those who want quick action and desire to engage a room without loss of time can telephone to 35-Y-4 Tannersville. The terms are reasonable. The house is easily reached and the finest class of people always spend their summers here. Greene County, it is agreed, is one of the most picturesque spots in New York State and Mr. Baker fixed up his house to harmonize with the surrounding country. Full particulars can be obtained by writing for them. – Adv.” (The Chat. June 9, 1923.)

1924 advertisement: “2500 Ft. Elevation – “Always Cool.” Grand Canyon House. Elka Park, Greene County, New York. The most beautiful spot in the Catskills has been selected for Mrs. Ida J. Young’s attractive “Grand Canyon House.” True, it takes five hours to come up from New York, but isn’t it worthwhile to really spend your vacation in Nature’s Own Country, accessible as it is to Haines Falls and Tannersville for fine amusements and stores? Excellent table and rooms; baths and modern improvements; ideal drives and walks; bathing and fishing; accommodates 50; rates $18 and up; Gentiles. MRS. IDA J. YOUNG Proprietor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 25, 1924.)

1929 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Elka Park P. O. Near Devil’s Kitchen, wildest view in the Catskills. German cooking. H. W. Buschen.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1929.)

1932 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE. A Mountain Paradise. All Sports. All Improvements. German Kitchen. $15-$18. H. Buschen. Elka Park. N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 25, 1932.)
Ghost Falls, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage Catskills postcard depicting that aptly named Ghost Falls in Platte Clove was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House.Top of Ghost Falls, Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N. Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts that aptly named Ghost Falls in Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
Top of Ghost Falls, Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage postcard by George S. Young depicts the aptly named Ghost Falls in what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove.Head of Ghost Falls, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts that aptly named Ghost Falls in Platte Clove. The postcard was published by George S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
Head of Ghost Falls, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

At the head of the dramatic Plattekill Clove is Hell Hole Falls, a scenic waterfall. The falls are located on Hell’s Hole Creek which forms on the southeast ridge of Kaaterskill High Peak and flows into the Plattekill Creek for its run to the Hudson River. The diabolically named waterfall begins benignly enough with a series of small cascades but then, upon passing underneath an historic stone arch bridge, begins its hellish fall through the aptly named Devil’s Kitchen in to what seems to be the never-ending abyss below. Stark cliffs, precipitous drops, narrow ravines are all engulfed in this section of the Catskills where regional lore claims the Devil once roamed and early pioneers dared not tread.

 

This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the historic stone arch bridge that marks the entrance to the Hell Hole at Platte Clove.Stone Arch, At Entrance to Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the historic stone arch bridge that marks the entrance to the Hell Hole at Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
Stone Arch at Entrance to Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

Stone Arch at Head of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.Stone Arch at Head of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the historic stone arch bridge that marks the entrance to the Hell Hole at Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
Stone Arch at Head of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

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.” (De Lisser, Richard Lionel. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. p. 76-77.)

 

 

This vintage postcard published by Ida J. Young depicts the beautiful Japanese Falls within Platte Clove.Japanese Falls, Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N. Y.This vintage postcard depicts the beautiful Japanese Falls within Platte Clove. The postcard was published by Ida J. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.


Below is a chronological listing of various advertisements and newspaper articles that have described the once famous Grand Canyon House.

1900 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Heart of Catskills; PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., New York; altitude 2,500 feet; excellent table; large, airy rooms; terms moderate. GEO. S. YOUNG, Propietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1900.)

1901 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Open from June 1 to October 30; no Hebrews; fine location; altitude 2,000 feet; rates $7 to $10 per week. GEO. S. YOUNG, Prop. PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 12, 1901.)

1906 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House – Elevation 2,000 feet; capacity 40, excellent cuisine. For particulars, apply to GEO. S. YOUNG.” (The Brooklyn Citizen. June 15, 1906.)

1907 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House has been having an unusually prosperous season and is catering to a crowd that includes a large number of Brooklynites.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 18, 1907.)

1908 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House is situated on a commanding height, 2,000 feet above the tidewater at Platte Clove. The surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The rooms are all light and comfortable and the table is strictly first class in every respect. For amusements, tennis, croquet, and driving, are at the convenience of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

1914 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, located so that it overlooks the Hudson Valley and the surrounding country, is the leading house here, and one of the most attractive hotels in the Catskills. The house has been open during the entire month of June and has been busier than usual because it is a favorite place with June guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1914.)

1915 newspaper article: “Platte Clove, N. Y. June 19. This charming section of the Catskills, at the head of the beautiful Plaaterkill Clove or Grand Canyon, is the most delightful section of the interior Catskills and its pretty summer homes and comfortable boarding houses are well patronized during July and August.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1915.)

1917 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet; unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks; GRAND CANYON AND DEVIL’S KITCHEN WITHIN 500 FEET; amusements, tennis, croquet, etc. Rooms are all light and comfortable; sanitary plumbing; gas throughout; splendid cuisine; abundance milk, butter, cream, eggs and vegetables from own farm; sprint water on every floor. Terms $10 to $15 per week. Write for Illustrated booklet; references. GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 3, 1917.)

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet. Unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural paths, fine drives. Grand Canyon and Devil’s Kitchen within 500 feet. Sanitary plumbing; splendid cuisine; fresh dairy and farm products. Booklet. Mrs. E. E. Baker.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 18, 1919.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Greene, Co., N.Y. Under old management. Spacious verandas. Amusements. Large, airy rooms, all conveniences and an abundance of good things to eat. Apply for terms.” (The Chat. May 26, 1923.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Located 2,000 feet above tide water, Grand Canyon House at Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. offers an ideal place for those who have used up all their vitality during the winter months. E. E. Baker is the proprietor and he saw to it that the house was placed in the center of beautiful surroundings that offer new life to the work out man or woman who much leave the city to recuperate. There are spacious verandas. From the windows the long mountain chain and valley can be observed. There is a large supply of vegetables. Those who want quick action and desire to engage a room without loss of time can telephone to 35-Y-4 Tannersville. The terms are reasonable. The house is easily reached and the finest class of people always spend their summers here. Greene County, it is agreed, is one of the most picturesque spots in New York State and Mr. Baker fixed up his house to harmonize with the surrounding country. Full particulars can be obtained by writing for them. – Adv.” (The Chat. June 9, 1923.)

1924 advertisement: “2500 Ft. Elevation – “Always Cool.” Grand Canyon House. Elka Park, Greene County, New York. The most beautiful spot in the Catskills has been selected for Mrs. Ida J. Young’s attractive “Grand Canyon House.” True, it takes five hours to come up from New York, but isn’t it worthwhile to really spend your vacation in Nature’s Own Country, accessible as it is to Haines Falls and Tannersville for fine amusements and stores? Excellent table and rooms; baths and modern improvements; ideal drives and walks; bathing and fishing; accommodates 50; rates $18 and up; Gentiles. MRS. IDA J. YOUNG Proprietor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 25, 1924.)

1929 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Elka Park P. O. Near Devil’s Kitchen, wildest view in the Catskills. German cooking. H. W. Buschen.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1929.)

1932 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE. A Mountain Paradise. All Sports. All Improvements. German Kitchen. $15-$18. H. Buschen. Elka Park. N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 25, 1932.)
Japanese Falls, Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

Vintage postcard by George S. Young depicting Rainbow Falls in what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove.Rainbow Falls, Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage postcard depicts a beautifully flowing waterfall known as Rainbow Falls located within what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
Rainbow Falls, Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage postcard by George S. Young depicts Rainbow Falls in what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove.The Rainbow, Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage postcard depicts Rainbow Falls in what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
The Rainbow, Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection. 

 

The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, realizing opportunity from the growing number of vacationers to the northern Catskills, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House in the year 1900. The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at the head of Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

 

This vintage Catskills postcard by George S. Young depicts the extremely rugged cliffs of what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove.Mossy Brook, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage postcard depicts a peaceful section of creek in what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
Mossy Brook, Platte Cove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage Catskills postcard by George S. Young depicts a peaceful section of creek known as Mossy Brook in what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as PlMossy Brook, at Head of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage postcard depicts a peaceful section of creek known as Mossy Brook in what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
Massy Brook, At Head of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage postcard depicts the extremely rugged rocks and cliffs of what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove.Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage postcard depicts the extremely rugged rocks and cliffs of what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove. The postcard was published by George S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
Grand Canyon. Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

The Grand Canyon House was located only 500 feet from the Devil’s Kitchen, which the Young family would make a focal point for their lodgers and for day visitors as well. It would become a very popular tourist destination, attracting travelers from throughout the region.

 

The Young family constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor.

 

“Several generations ago a vacationer among the romantic Catskills had only to pay his dime to be admitted to the Devil’s Kitchen located at the head of Plattekill Clove. There a guide would show him great boulders deep in a gorge draped with ferns and alive with the tinkle and murmur of water. These boulders were the Devil’s saucepans, his tea kettle, and other pieces of kitchenware. Ladders and stairways of wood led from one level to another. The guide would give details of the Devil’s methods of cooking and point out his many ingenious household gadgets. In this way a generation of men and women who had been molded by nineteenth-century romantic thinking and feeling turned the old Devil-beliefs and Devil-fears of their ancestors into pleasant amusement. Vacationers were happy to pay their dimes to spend a half hour of mock horror among the Devil’s pots and pans and to feel superior to the old-timers who had taken such things seriously. Today the Devil’s Kitchen is deserted. Its ladders and stairways have rotted away, and the kitchen utensils have long ago reverted to being simple boulders deposited by glacial power.” (Evers, Alf. The Catskills From Wilderness to Woodstock. Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press, 1982. p. 233.)

 

Dr. John Dwyer, son of Marion Young and Charles Dwyer, grandson of George S. Young and Ida J. Young, wrote in 1994 of his memories of Platte Clove, the Grand Canyon House and the Devil’s Kitchen.

 

“My grandfather built several flights of steps and walkways down into this canyon and this trail led eventually to a rock which thrusts itself out into space just above the point where two streams meet. This rocky promontory is called Bridal Veil Point, because of the splendid view which it offers of those falls, where the waters of the small stream drop about eighty feet over the moss and fern-covered rock.

 

At the start of the trail into the Devil’s Kitchen there was a small house, where soft-drinks, souvenirs and postcards were sold and where those who were not guests at the boarding house paid a ten-cent admission charge to see the canyon. In time, inflation took its toll and in the early thirties the admission charge was upped to twenty cents, provoking howls of dismay from Albany to New York City.

 

Over the years the walkways were broadened, the configuration of the steps was changed and a new little house was built at the head of the Canyon (in the early twenties), but the path to Bridal Veil Point remained essentially the same over the years.” (Dwyer, Dr. John. “The Grand Canyon House of Platte Clove.” The Hemlock. Mountain Top Historical Society. 1994.)

 

This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the historic stone arch bridge that marks the entrance to the Hell Hole at Platte Clove.Under the Arch at the Head of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the historic stone arch bridge that marks the entrance to the Hell Hole at the top of what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but today is known as Platte Clove. The wooden walkway in the foreground would have taken walkers over the chasm to begin the descent into the clove. The postcard was published by George S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.



Below is a chronological listing of various advertisements and newspaper articles that have described the once famous Grand Canyon House.

1900 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Heart of Catskills; PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., New York; altitude 2,500 feet; excellent table; large, airy rooms; terms moderate. GEO. S. YOUNG, Propietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1900.)

1901 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Open from June 1 to October 30; no Hebrews; fine location; altitude 2,000 feet; rates $7 to $10 per week. GEO. S. YOUNG, Prop. PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 12, 1901.)

1906 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House – Elevation 2,000 feet; capacity 40, excellent cuisine. For particulars, apply to GEO. S. YOUNG.” (The Brooklyn Citizen. June 15, 1906.)

1907 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House has been having an unusually prosperous season and is catering to a crowd that includes a large number of Brooklynites.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 18, 1907.)

1908 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House is situated on a commanding height, 2,000 feet above the tidewater at Platte Clove. The surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The rooms are all light and comfortable and the table is strictly first class in every respect. For amusements, tennis, croquet, and driving, are at the convenience of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

1914 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, located so that it overlooks the Hudson Valley and the surrounding country, is the leading house here, and one of the most attractive hotels in the Catskills. The house has been open during the entire month of June and has been busier than usual because it is a favorite place with June guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1914.)

1915 newspaper article: “Platte Clove, N. Y. June 19. This charming section of the Catskills, at the head of the beautiful Plaaterkill Clove or Grand Canyon, is the most delightful section of the interior Catskills and its pretty summer homes and comfortable boarding houses are well patronized during July and August.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1915.)

1917 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet; unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks; GRAND CANYON AND DEVIL’S KITCHEN WITHIN 500 FEET; amusements, tennis, croquet, etc. Rooms are all light and comfortable; sanitary plumbing; gas throughout; splendid cuisine; abundance milk, butter, cream, eggs and vegetables from own farm; sprint water on every floor. Terms $10 to $15 per week. Write for Illustrated booklet; references. GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 3, 1917.)

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet. Unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural paths, fine drives. Grand Canyon and Devil’s Kitchen within 500 feet. Sanitary plumbing; splendid cuisine; fresh dairy and farm products. Booklet. Mrs. E. E. Baker.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 18, 1919.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Greene, Co., N.Y. Under old management. Spacious verandas. Amusements. Large, airy rooms, all conveniences and an abundance of good things to eat. Apply for terms.” (The Chat. May 26, 1923.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Located 2,000 feet above tide water, Grand Canyon House at Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. offers an ideal place for those who have used up all their vitality during the winter months. E. E. Baker is the proprietor and he saw to it that the house was placed in the center of beautiful surroundings that offer new life to the work out man or woman who much leave the city to recuperate. There are spacious verandas. From the windows the long mountain chain and valley can be observed. There is a large supply of vegetables. Those who want quick action and desire to engage a room without loss of time can telephone to 35-Y-4 Tannersville. The terms are reasonable. The house is easily reached and the finest class of people always spend their summers here. Greene County, it is agreed, is one of the most picturesque spots in New York State and Mr. Baker fixed up his house to harmonize with the surrounding country. Full particulars can be obtained by writing for them. – Adv.” (The Chat. June 9, 1923.)

1924 advertisement: “2500 Ft. Elevation – “Always Cool.” Grand Canyon House. Elka Park, Greene County, New York. The most beautiful spot in the Catskills has been selected for Mrs. Ida J. Young’s attractive “Grand Canyon House.” True, it takes five hours to come up from New York, but isn’t it worthwhile to really spend your vacation in Nature’s Own Country, accessible as it is to Haines Falls and Tannersville for fine amusements and stores? Excellent table and rooms; baths and modern improvements; ideal drives and walks; bathing and fishing; accommodates 50; rates $18 and up; Gentiles. MRS. IDA J. YOUNG Proprietor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 25, 1924.)

1929 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Elka Park P. O. Near Devil’s Kitchen, wildest view in the Catskills. German cooking. H. W. Buschen.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1929.)

1932 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE. A Mountain Paradise. All Sports. All Improvements. German Kitchen. $15-$18. H. Buschen. Elka Park. N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 25, 1932.)
Under the Arch at the Head of Grand Canyon. Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

Vintage postcard published by the Grand Canyon House depicting a rustic wood bridge crossing over the Hell Hole in Platte Clove (formerly known as the Grand Canyon.)Looking Down Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage postcard shows the rustic wood bridge that crossed over the chasm at the Hell Hole in what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove. The postcard was published by the nearby Grand Canyon House and its proprietors, I. J. & W. H. Young. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed in 1933.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
Looking Down Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage Catskills postcard published by G. S. Young depicts the wooden pathway leading through the Devil’s Kitchen section of Platte Clove.The Bridge and Trail in Devil's Kitchen, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the wooden pathway leading through the Devil’s Kitchen section of Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
The Bridge and Trail in Devil's Kitchen. Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage postcard depicting a rugged scene within Platte Clove was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House.Scene in Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, NYThis vintage postcard depicts a rugged scene within Platte Clove. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.


Below is a chronological listing of various advertisements and newspaper articles that have described the once famous Grand Canyon House.

1900 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Heart of Catskills; PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., New York; altitude 2,500 feet; excellent table; large, airy rooms; terms moderate. GEO. S. YOUNG, Propietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1900.)

1901 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Open from June 1 to October 30; no Hebrews; fine location; altitude 2,000 feet; rates $7 to $10 per week. GEO. S. YOUNG, Prop. PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 12, 1901.)

1906 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House – Elevation 2,000 feet; capacity 40, excellent cuisine. For particulars, apply to GEO. S. YOUNG.” (The Brooklyn Citizen. June 15, 1906.)

1907 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House has been having an unusually prosperous season and is catering to a crowd that includes a large number of Brooklynites.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 18, 1907.)

1908 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House is situated on a commanding height, 2,000 feet above the tidewater at Platte Clove. The surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The rooms are all light and comfortable and the table is strictly first class in every respect. For amusements, tennis, croquet, and driving, are at the convenience of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

1914 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, located so that it overlooks the Hudson Valley and the surrounding country, is the leading house here, and one of the most attractive hotels in the Catskills. The house has been open during the entire month of June and has been busier than usual because it is a favorite place with June guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1914.)

1915 newspaper article: “Platte Clove, N. Y. June 19. This charming section of the Catskills, at the head of the beautiful Plaaterkill Clove or Grand Canyon, is the most delightful section of the interior Catskills and its pretty summer homes and comfortable boarding houses are well patronized during July and August.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1915.)

1917 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet; unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks; GRAND CANYON AND DEVIL’S KITCHEN WITHIN 500 FEET; amusements, tennis, croquet, etc. Rooms are all light and comfortable; sanitary plumbing; gas throughout; splendid cuisine; abundance milk, butter, cream, eggs and vegetables from own farm; sprint water on every floor. Terms $10 to $15 per week. Write for Illustrated booklet; references. GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 3, 1917.)

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet. Unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural paths, fine drives. Grand Canyon and Devil’s Kitchen within 500 feet. Sanitary plumbing; splendid cuisine; fresh dairy and farm products. Booklet. Mrs. E. E. Baker.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 18, 1919.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Greene, Co., N.Y. Under old management. Spacious verandas. Amusements. Large, airy rooms, all conveniences and an abundance of good things to eat. Apply for terms.” (The Chat. May 26, 1923.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Located 2,000 feet above tide water, Grand Canyon House at Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. offers an ideal place for those who have used up all their vitality during the winter months. E. E. Baker is the proprietor and he saw to it that the house was placed in the center of beautiful surroundings that offer new life to the work out man or woman who much leave the city to recuperate. There are spacious verandas. From the windows the long mountain chain and valley can be observed. There is a large supply of vegetables. Those who want quick action and desire to engage a room without loss of time can telephone to 35-Y-4 Tannersville. The terms are reasonable. The house is easily reached and the finest class of people always spend their summers here. Greene County, it is agreed, is one of the most picturesque spots in New York State and Mr. Baker fixed up his house to harmonize with the surrounding country. Full particulars can be obtained by writing for them. – Adv.” (The Chat. June 9, 1923.)

1924 advertisement: “2500 Ft. Elevation – “Always Cool.” Grand Canyon House. Elka Park, Greene County, New York. The most beautiful spot in the Catskills has been selected for Mrs. Ida J. Young’s attractive “Grand Canyon House.” True, it takes five hours to come up from New York, but isn’t it worthwhile to really spend your vacation in Nature’s Own Country, accessible as it is to Haines Falls and Tannersville for fine amusements and stores? Excellent table and rooms; baths and modern improvements; ideal drives and walks; bathing and fishing; accommodates 50; rates $18 and up; Gentiles. MRS. IDA J. YOUNG Proprietor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 25, 1924.)

1929 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Elka Park P. O. Near Devil’s Kitchen, wildest view in the Catskills. German cooking. H. W. Buschen.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1929.)

1932 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE. A Mountain Paradise. All Sports. All Improvements. German Kitchen. $15-$18. H. Buschen. Elka Park. N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 25, 1932.)
Scene in Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

Devil’s Kitchen “remained popular well into the twentieth century, as motorized vehicles replaced the horse-drawn carriages of the earlier decades as the preferred method of accessing the area. Tour groups from Albany and points south made the journey in buses that traversed the narrow, and at times precipitous grades of Platte Clove Road.” (Krattinger, William E. “Old Platte Clove Post Office.” National Register of Historic Places.)

 

The Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction operated until 1944. The bridges, ladders and walkways of the Devil’s Kitchen were destroyed in 1947 by a mudslide. They were never replaced.

 

George Young’s photographs of Platte Clove and the Devil’s Kitchen remain to this day as some of the best ever taken of that region. His photographs included scenic spots such as Mossy Brook, the stone arch bridge at Hell Hole Falls, Japanese Falls, Ghost Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Rainbow Falls. Young’s photos show the beauty of idyllic waterfalls, but also the rugged wildness that brought the Devil to mind over a century ago. They offer a glimpse into a section of the Catskills that today is one of the most inaccessible to hikers, and provide lasting images of sites that would likely never be seen otherwise.

 

On the 1900 United States census, around the time that the Grand Canyon House opened, George S. Young, age 45, was living in the First Election District of the town of Hunter. He was living with his wife Ida and their three children Willis, Edna and Marion. The household also included George Rix, a 21-year-old boarder who was working as a farm laborer. George was listed with an occupation of “Farmer.”

 

The Grand Canyon House, as operated by the Young family, was a popular boarding house for several decades. Although the Young family informally hosted boarders prior, the Grand Canyon House officially opened in 1900. The boarding house originally accommodated about 25 people, but was expanded over the years, reaching accommodations for 50 people by 1908. Operating season was typically from June 1st to October 30th. The Grand Canyon House was known for its delicious and plentiful food, including pure spring water and fresh produce and dairy products, and of course its magnificent views of the Hudson Valley and its proximity to the Devil’s Kitchen section of Platte Clove.

 

Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the former Grand Canyon House at wild Platte Clove in Greene County, New York.Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N. Y.The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.

Below is a chronological listing of various advertisements and newspaper articles that have described the once famous Grand Canyon House.

1900 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Heart of Catskills; PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., New York; altitude 2,500 feet; excellent table; large, airy rooms; terms moderate. GEO. S. YOUNG, Propietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1900.)

1901 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Open from June 1 to October 30; no Hebrews; fine location; altitude 2,000 feet; rates $7 to $10 per week. GEO. S. YOUNG, Prop. PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 12, 1901.)

1906 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House – Elevation 2,000 feet; capacity 40, excellent cuisine. For particulars, apply to GEO. S. YOUNG.” (The Brooklyn Citizen. June 15, 1906.)

1907 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House has been having an unusually prosperous season and is catering to a crowd that includes a large number of Brooklynites.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 18, 1907.)

1908 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House is situated on a commanding height, 2,000 feet above the tidewater at Platte Clove. The surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The rooms are all light and comfortable and the table is strictly first class in every respect. For amusements, tennis, croquet, and driving, are at the convenience of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

1914 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, located so that it overlooks the Hudson Valley and the surrounding country, is the leading house here, and one of the most attractive hotels in the Catskills. The house has been open during the entire month of June and has been busier than usual because it is a favorite place with June guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1914.)

1915 newspaper article: “Platte Clove, N. Y. June 19. This charming section of the Catskills, at the head of the beautiful Plaaterkill Clove or Grand Canyon, is the most delightful section of the interior Catskills and its pretty summer homes and comfortable boarding houses are well patronized during July and August.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1915.)

1917 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet; unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks; GRAND CANYON AND DEVIL’S KITCHEN WITHIN 500 FEET; amusements, tennis, croquet, etc. Rooms are all light and comfortable; sanitary plumbing; gas throughout; splendid cuisine; abundance milk, butter, cream, eggs and vegetables from own farm; sprint water on every floor. Terms $10 to $15 per week. Write for Illustrated booklet; references. GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 3, 1917.)

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet. Unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural paths, fine drives. Grand Canyon and Devil’s Kitchen within 500 feet. Sanitary plumbing; splendid cuisine; fresh dairy and farm products. Booklet. Mrs. E. E. Baker.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 18, 1919.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Greene, Co., N.Y. Under old management. Spacious verandas. Amusements. Large, airy rooms, all conveniences and an abundance of good things to eat. Apply for terms.” (The Chat. May 26, 1923.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Located 2,000 feet above tide water, Grand Canyon House at Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. offers an ideal place for those who have used up all their vitality during the winter months. E. E. Baker is the proprietor and he saw to it that the house was placed in the center of beautiful surroundings that offer new life to the work out man or woman who much leave the city to recuperate. There are spacious verandas. From the windows the long mountain chain and valley can be observed. There is a large supply of vegetables. Those who want quick action and desire to engage a room without loss of time can telephone to 35-Y-4 Tannersville. The terms are reasonable. The house is easily reached and the finest class of people always spend their summers here. Greene County, it is agreed, is one of the most picturesque spots in New York State and Mr. Baker fixed up his house to harmonize with the surrounding country. Full particulars can be obtained by writing for them. – Adv.” (The Chat. June 9, 1923.)

1924 advertisement: “2500 Ft. Elevation – “Always Cool.” Grand Canyon House. Elka Park, Greene County, New York. The most beautiful spot in the Catskills has been selected for Mrs. Ida J. Young’s attractive “Grand Canyon House.” True, it takes five hours to come up from New York, but isn’t it worthwhile to really spend your vacation in Nature’s Own Country, accessible as it is to Haines Falls and Tannersville for fine amusements and stores? Excellent table and rooms; baths and modern improvements; ideal drives and walks; bathing and fishing; accommodates 50; rates $18 and up; Gentiles. MRS. IDA J. YOUNG Proprietor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 25, 1924.)

1929 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Elka Park P. O. Near Devil’s Kitchen, wildest view in the Catskills. German cooking. H. W. Buschen.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1929.)

1932 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE. A Mountain Paradise. All Sports. All Improvements. German Kitchen. $15-$18. H. Buschen. Elka Park. N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 25, 1932.)
Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection

 

 

Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the former Grand Canyon House at wild Platte Clove in Greene County, New York.Grand Canyon House on Round Top Mountain, Platte Clove, N. Y.The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.

Below is a chronological listing of various advertisements and newspaper articles that have described the once famous Grand Canyon House.

1900 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Heart of Catskills; PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., New York; altitude 2,500 feet; excellent table; large, airy rooms; terms moderate. GEO. S. YOUNG, Propietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1900.)

1901 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Open from June 1 to October 30; no Hebrews; fine location; altitude 2,000 feet; rates $7 to $10 per week. GEO. S. YOUNG, Prop. PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 12, 1901.)

1906 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House – Elevation 2,000 feet; capacity 40, excellent cuisine. For particulars, apply to GEO. S. YOUNG.” (The Brooklyn Citizen. June 15, 1906.)

1907 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House has been having an unusually prosperous season and is catering to a crowd that includes a large number of Brooklynites.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 18, 1907.)

1908 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House is situated on a commanding height, 2,000 feet above the tidewater at Platte Clove. The surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The rooms are all light and comfortable and the table is strictly first class in every respect. For amusements, tennis, croquet, and driving, are at the convenience of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

1914 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, located so that it overlooks the Hudson Valley and the surrounding country, is the leading house here, and one of the most attractive hotels in the Catskills. The house has been open during the entire month of June and has been busier than usual because it is a favorite place with June guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1914.)

1915 newspaper article: “Platte Clove, N. Y. June 19. This charming section of the Catskills, at the head of the beautiful Plaaterkill Clove or Grand Canyon, is the most delightful section of the interior Catskills and its pretty summer homes and comfortable boarding houses are well patronized during July and August.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1915.)

1917 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet; unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks; GRAND CANYON AND DEVIL’S KITCHEN WITHIN 500 FEET; amusements, tennis, croquet, etc. Rooms are all light and comfortable; sanitary plumbing; gas throughout; splendid cuisine; abundance milk, butter, cream, eggs and vegetables from own farm; sprint water on every floor. Terms $10 to $15 per week. Write for Illustrated booklet; references. GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 3, 1917.)

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet. Unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural paths, fine drives. Grand Canyon and Devil’s Kitchen within 500 feet. Sanitary plumbing; splendid cuisine; fresh dairy and farm products. Booklet. Mrs. E. E. Baker.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 18, 1919.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Greene, Co., N.Y. Under old management. Spacious verandas. Amusements. Large, airy rooms, all conveniences and an abundance of good things to eat. Apply for terms.” (The Chat. May 26, 1923.)

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Located 2,000 feet above tide water, Grand Canyon House at Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. offers an ideal place for those who have used up all their vitality during the winter months. E. E. Baker is the proprietor and he saw to it that the house was placed in the center of beautiful surroundings that offer new life to the work out man or woman who much leave the city to recuperate. There are spacious verandas. From the windows the long mountain chain and valley can be observed. There is a large supply of vegetables. Those who want quick action and desire to engage a room without loss of time can telephone to 35-Y-4 Tannersville. The terms are reasonable. The house is easily reached and the finest class of people always spend their summers here. Greene County, it is agreed, is one of the most picturesque spots in New York State and Mr. Baker fixed up his house to harmonize with the surrounding country. Full particulars can be obtained by writing for them. – Adv.” (The Chat. June 9, 1923.)

1924 advertisement: “2500 Ft. Elevation – “Always Cool.” Grand Canyon House. Elka Park, Greene County, New York. The most beautiful spot in the Catskills has been selected for Mrs. Ida J. Young’s attractive “Grand Canyon House.” True, it takes five hours to come up from New York, but isn’t it worthwhile to really spend your vacation in Nature’s Own Country, accessible as it is to Haines Falls and Tannersville for fine amusements and stores? Excellent table and rooms; baths and modern improvements; ideal drives and walks; bathing and fishing; accommodates 50; rates $18 and up; Gentiles. MRS. IDA J. YOUNG Proprietor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 25, 1924.)

1929 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Elka Park P. O. Near Devil’s Kitchen, wildest view in the Catskills. German cooking. H. W. Buschen.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1929.)

1932 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE. A Mountain Paradise. All Sports. All Improvements. German Kitchen. $15-$18. H. Buschen. Elka Park. N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 25, 1932.)

Grand Canyon House on Round Top Mountain. Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

Dr. John Dwyer, grandson of George S. Young, wrote of his memories of the early beginnings of the Grand Canyon House.

 

“When my great-grandparents acquired the Devil’s Kitchen property, there was already a house there, set back just a few feet northeast of where the Platte Clove Mountain Road now runs. It has served sporadically as an inn, and this practice seems to have continued in an informal sort of way, after my grandparents married. This was the period when boarding houses were multiplying in the Catskills and my grandfather [George Young] decided to try his hand at the promising new business. He has always wanted a house some distance above the road, with fine views of the whole range from Indian Head to Hunter Mountain, as well as down into the Hudson Valley, and he found the ideal location just about a hundred yards up the hill behind the house. The need to expand the capacity of the boarding house gave him the excuse to do what he had always wanted.

 

During the late spring and early summer of 1899 he prepared the house for moving and then brought it up the hill in two sections. The family lived in the house during the moving operations and my mother (who was born in 1897) told me that one of earliest memories was that of her mother cooking huckleberry pies in the kitchen stove and telling her husband in no uncertain terms what she though of the whole enterprise, when the house tilted and the contents of the pies spilled all over the inside of the oven.

 

The house was moved up the hill by rolling it over logs. It was hauled by teams of horses and, as each log was “left behind” on the lower side of the house, it was carried around to the upper end, and the process was repeated until the house reached its final resting place. The house was positioned so that the smaller of the two dining rooms was connected by a bluestone stairway to a room-sized cold cellar, with four bluestone dry walls and a marvelous three tiered “lazy susan” in the middle, made of circular slabs of bluestone, six feet in diameter, each with a square hole in the middle for the five by five wood stake which supported the round slabs. (The whole structure was so perfectly balanced that it could be turned at the touch of a finger.)

 

During the summer following the move, my grandfather built a tower at the west end of the house, the ground floor of which served as an office, while the second floor provided a small room which was connected to the larger room on the same floor where the children often slept.

 

After this work had been completed, the house had nine regular bedrooms and a tower bedroom available for guests, as well as two large dining rooms and a huge living room with a bluestone fireplace. It was probably about this time that the house began to be called “Grand Canyon House,” a reference to the magnificent Canyon described above. However, as the boarding business prospered, there were more potential vacationers than rooms to house them and so my grandfather came on the idea of building a third story on the house, which would provide twelve additional rooms. This work was completed toward the end of the first decade of the new century and the house then took on the form it was to have for as long as it remained standing.” (Dwyer, Dr. John. “The Grand Canyon House of Platte Clove.” The Hemlock. Mountain Top Historical Society. 1994.)

 

In 1901, only a year or two after opening, George S. Young placed a large advertisement for the Grand Canyon House in the Ulster & Delaware Railroad publication titled The Catskills Mountains. The most picturesque Mountain region on the Globe. The Ulster & Delaware provided one of the most comfortable and convenient methods of reaching the northern Catskills. That early advertisement was one of the largest ever placed by the Grand Canyon House, and provided great details on why the resort would become so popular.

 

“Grand Canyon House. Heart of the Catskills. Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y.

 

Open from June 1 to October 30. Altitude, 2,500 feet. House enlarged.

 

TERMS – July and August, $7 to $12 a week. Special terms to families or clubs. Guests will be given a reduction in rate during June, Sept, and Oct.

 

LOCATION – Grand Canyon House is on a commanding height, 2,500 feet above the tide water, and from nearly every room there are magnificent valley, mountain and river views. Seven miles from Tannersville Station on the Kaaterskill R. R.

 

The house is on the same altitude of Hotel Kaaterskill, Beach Catskill Mountain House and the Overlook Mountain House. Its surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The house is of a quiet genteel character.

 

Fiver hundred feet from the Grand Canyon where bold and savage features are combined with the gentle and picturesque in inexhaustible variety, huge masses of rock tumbled in wild confusion and the rushing waters of the Plattekill, contrasted with rich forests, distant views of mountain ranges and the smiling Hudson form an impressive and delightful scene.

 

THE ROOMS – Are all light and comfortable, the owner having rebuilt the house and refurbished rooms. Large easy chairs and rockers for guests in abundance.

 

THE TABLE is strictly first-class in every respect. Abundance of milk, eggs, butter and vegetables from the farm.

 

APPROACHED FROM NEW YORK – West Shore R. R., foot of Franklin St., or West 42nd St., North River, to Kingston; thence via Ulster & Delaware to Tannersville. Take Albany Day Boat to Kingston Point, thence via train to Tannersville. We meet our guests at depot with our own conveyances, if requested, at a trifling charge. No Hebrews need apply. Through parlor car service direct to Tannersville.

 

GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.”

 

George S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Devil’s Kitchen and Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills.Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, CatskillsGeorge S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills. He and his family operated the popular Grand Canyon House and the Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction for many years.

Below is a chronological listing of various additional advertisements and newspaper articles that have described the once famous Grand Canyon House.

 

1900 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Heart of Catskills; PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., New York; altitude 2,500 feet; excellent table; large, airy rooms; terms moderate. GEO. S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1900.)

 

1901 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Open from June 1 to October 30; no Hebrews; fine location; altitude 2,000 feet; rates $7 to $10 per week. GEO. S. YOUNG, Prop. PLATTE CLOVE, Greene Co., N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 12, 1901.)

 

1904 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, with its beautiful canyon and magnificent river view, is under the management of George S. Young.” (The New York Times. June 12, 1904.)

 

1904 newspaper article: “Nature in forming the Grand Canyon here produced one of the most wonderful rock formations in the state and not content with this she produced the cross clove. Both of these places are annually visited by thousands of tourists, who are surprised at the many points of interest in the neighborhood . . . The Grand Canyon House, with its unsurpassed river view and pleasant location, has a number of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 10, 1904.)

 

1906 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House – Elevation 2,000 feet; capacity 40, excellent cuisine. For particulars, apply to GEO. S. YOUNG.” (The Brooklyn Citizen. June 15, 1906.)

 

1907 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House has been having an unusually prosperous season and is catering to a crowd that includes a large number of Brooklynites.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 18, 1907.)

 

1908 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House is situated on a commanding height, 2,000 feet above the tidewater at Platte Clove. The surroundings cannot be surpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks. The rooms are all light and comfortable and the table is strictly first class in every respect. For amusements, tennis, croquet, and driving, are at the convenience of guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

 

1908 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE, Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. Altitude 2,000 feet. Extensive views of mountain peaks, the Hudson River. Artistic nature is on all sides, with rugged mountains, natural chasms, beautiful waterfalls and delightful scenery. Accommodates 50. All modern improvements. Rates, $8-15. Opens June 15. G. S. Young.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1908.)

 

George S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Devil’s Kitchen and Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills.Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, CatskillsGeorge S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills. He and his family operated the popular Grand Canyon House and the Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction for many years.

1908 newspaper article: “Picturesque Platt Clove. Platte Clove, N.Y., June 27 – At the head of the Platterkill Clove, a short distance from High Peak, Platte Clove is one of the most picturesque of the smaller hamlets in the Catskills. A small cottage settlement and several hotels cater to a crowd during July and August that taxes their capacity to the utmost . . . The most attractive of the houses here, the Grand Canyon House, is located on the side of the mountain, overlooking the canyon.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 28, 1908.)

 

1908 newspaper article: “The tourist looking for an outing that he will remember for years will find in the ascent of this Clove, on a cool September or October day some of the most wonderful scenic beauty to be found in America. The ascent can be made through a well known, defined path with little hardship. The writer has, on several occasions, conducted a party of women through this Clove, although it is rough work for the gentler sex, yet he has never seen a party that was not well pleased with the labor they had expended in making the trip. In this section there are a few houses that are noted as autumn resorts: The Mountain Stream Cottage at West Saugerties, the Grand Canyon House, the Platterkill Falls Mountain House and the Twin Mountain House are located here in the heart of the mountains. They are comfortable, and the autumn evenings spent around their open fireplaces are among the most pleasant experiences that a traveler can have.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 14, 1908.)

 

1908 newspaper article: “The Platterkill Clove is, without exception, the most beautiful bit of scenery throughout the Catskill Mountains. There is not one of the Cloves that compares with it in wild, rugged, picturesque beauty, and node of them has the wonderful rock formations or beautiful falls found in this section. Boarding houses around Platte Clove this year are enjoying a prosperous season. The Grand Canyon, the most marvelous of the formations throughout the Catskills, is growing in popularity each week. Visitors from a radius of twenty miles are coming in crowds each day to see this beautiful section. The Grand Canyon House is the coziest and most attractive house at Platte Clove, and its season has been an exceedingly prosperous one.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 26, 1908.)

 

1914 newspaper article: “The Grand Canyon House, located so that it overlooks the Hudson Valley and the surrounding country, is the leading house here, and one of the most attractive hotels in the Catskills. The house has been open during the entire month of June and has been busier than usual because it is a favorite place with June guests.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 14, 1914.)

 

1914 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Elevation 2,000 Feet. Exquisite scenery, all amusements, sanitary plumbing. Splendid cuisine. Gas, pure spring water. George S. Young. Platte Clove, N.Y.” (New York Tribune. June 7, 1914.)

 

1915 newspaper article: “Platte Clove, N. Y. June 19. This charming section of the Catskills, at the head of the beautiful Plaaterkill Clove or Grand Canyon, is the most delightful section of the interior Catskills and its pretty summer homes and comfortable boarding houses are well patronized during July and August.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 20, 1915.)

 

1917 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet; unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural falls, chasms, fine drives and pretty walks; GRAND CANYON AND DEVIL’S KITCHEN WITHIN 500 FEET; amusements, tennis, croquet, etc. Rooms are all light and comfortable; sanitary plumbing; gas throughout; splendid cuisine; abundance milk, butter, cream, eggs and vegetables from own farm; spring water on every floor. Terms $10 to $15 per week. Write for Illustrated booklet; references. GEORGE S. YOUNG, Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 3, 1917.)

 

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, N.Y. Elevation 2,000 feet. Unsurpassed for health, scenery, natural paths, fine drives. Grand Canyon and Devil’s Kitchen within 500 feet. Sanitary plumbing; splendid cuisine; fresh dairy and farm products. Booklet. Mrs. E. E. Baker.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 18, 1919.)

 

1919 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, New York. Where high-class people can enjoy a vacation which is not surpassed in the Catskill Mts., because the house is situated at an altitude of 2,000 feet, overlooking the Hudson Valley and Grand Canyon. The walk through the famous Devil’s Kitchen is one that should not be missed. All conveniences. Large, airy rooms; own vegetables. Sports and amusements. Running spring water on every floor. Rates, $14 up. Booklet. E. H. Baker, Prop.” (The Chat. June 14, 1919.)

 

1920 advertisement: “Your Country Home. Built on the mountain tops. Picturesquely romantic region, charmingly secluded. Conducted to satisfy your desire for a better vacation. Tennis, croquet, billiards, etc. Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Elka Park, Greene Co., New York. Tannersville Station on West Shore R. R.” (The Nation. Volume 110, No. 2865. May 29, 1920. p. 729.)

 

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Platte Clove, Greene, Co., N.Y. Under old management. Spacious verandas. Amusements. Large, airy rooms, all conveniences and an abundance of good things to eat. Apply for terms.” (The Chat. May 26, 1923.)

 

1923 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House. Located 2,000 feet above tide water, Grand Canyon House at Platte Clove, Greene County, N.Y. offers an ideal place for those who have used up all their vitality during the winter months. E. E. Baker is the proprietor and he saw to it that the house was placed in the center of beautiful surroundings that offer new life to the work out man or woman who much leave the city to recuperate. There are spacious verandas. From the windows the long mountain chain and valley can be observed. There is a large supply of vegetables. Those who want quick action and desire to engage a room without loss of time can telephone to 35-Y-4 Tannersville. The terms are reasonable. The house is easily reached and the finest class of people always spend their summers here. Greene County, it is agreed, is one of the most picturesque spots in New York State and Mr. Baker fixed up his house to harmonize with the surrounding country. Full particulars can be obtained by writing for them. – Adv.” (The Chat. June 9, 1923.)

 

1924 advertisement: “2500 Ft. Elevation – “Always Cool.” Grand Canyon House. Elka Park, Greene County, New York. The most beautiful spot in the Catskills has been selected for Mrs. Ida J. Young’s attractive “Grand Canyon House.” True, it takes five hours to come up from New York, but isn’t it worthwhile to really spend your vacation in Nature’s Own Country, accessible as it is to Haines Falls and Tannersville for fine amusements and stores? Excellent table and rooms; baths and modern improvements; ideal drives and walks; bathing and fishing; accommodates 50; rates $18 and up; Gentiles. MRS. IDA J. YOUNG Proprietor” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 25, 1924.)

 

1929 advertisement: “Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, N.Y. Elka Park P. O. Near Devil’s Kitchen, wildest view in the Catskills. German cooking. H. W. Buschen.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 30, 1929.)

 

1932 advertisement: “GRAND CANYON HOUSE. A Mountain Paradise. All Sports. All Improvements. German Kitchen. $15-$18. H. Buschen. Elka Park. N. Y.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 25, 1932.)

 

George S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Devil’s Kitchen and Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills.Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, CatskillsGeorge S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills. He and his family operated the popular Grand Canyon House and the Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction for many years.

George S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Devil’s Kitchen and Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills.Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, CatskillsGeorge S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills. He and his family operated the popular Grand Canyon House and the Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction for many years.

George S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Devil’s Kitchen and Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills.Grand Canyon House, Platte Clove, CatskillsGeorge S. Young was a talented photographer and boarding house owner in the rugged Platte Clove section of the northern Catskills. He and his family operated the popular Grand Canyon House and the Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction for many years.

On the 1910 United States census George S. Young, age 54, is residing at the town of Hunter. He was living with two of their three children, Edna and Marion. The family must have been doing quite well as the household also contained two servants, Jessie Deda Mater and Fred Hummel, both of whom worked as laborers at a saw mill. Interestingly, George, despite operating the Grand Canyon House and the Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction, was listed with an occupation of “Stone Cutter.” He perhaps learned the trade from his father Samuel, who also did quarry work. George’s daughter Edna was working as a music teacher.

 

In 1918 author T. Morris Longstreth (1886-1975) wrote The Catskills, one of the best books ever written about that famous region. The travelogue follows the author as he journeys through the Catskill Mountains in the spring and early summer of 1917. Longstreth takes you to Overlook Mountain, Stony Clove, Phoenicia, Hunter, Slide Mountain, Kaaterskill Falls, the Ashokan Reservoir, Mount Utsayantha and many more places. Along the way Longstreth fishes the mountain streams, sleeps under the stars, lodges at local boarding houses and dairy farms, tramps the backroads, talks to the people and witnesses the many majesties of nature.

 

Along his 1917 journey Longstreth wrote of his visit to the Platte Clove, his stay at a local inn and the region’s magnificent scenery. Based on his description of the location and of the stairways down to the Devil’s Kitchen, Longstreth likely spent the night and enjoyed his meals at the Grand Canyon House, and perhaps the innkeeper was even Ida J. Young.

 

“Breakfast was no betrayer of the expectations raised by supper. The Good Dame of Plattekill Clove, (as our hostess is registered in heaven,) brought in buckwheat cakes that had to have a cover on them to keep them down, and there was nothing at all inconspicuous about their size . . .

 

There is at the top of the Clove a gorge called by the ambitious inhabitants the Grand Canyon. We visited this, and found that to loiter down it, to really digest the formation and appreciate the trees, is a matter of many hours. At the very top, in the Devil’s Kitchen, as their fancy names it, there is a scene that distresses all artists who have not brought along the means of reproducing it. The road passes over the gorge by a small arch so beautifully rounded and bastioned with rock that it is a little sermon on the value of doing the ordinary well and with an eye to beauty. The brook sings a little lament as it goes through this arch; it is leaving lovely fields and is about to be lost in a series of mad plunges. When we saw it first it had whitened the entire cavern with frost. In the spring it riots down those great stone steps. Our guide, she who keeps the charming Inn near by, said that in great freshets it was master of the gorge, filling it with foam and noise and demolishing the stairways, which they annually rebuild . . .

 

But my memory tells me this: that gorge, unadvertised and not very famous, is the finest miniature of wilderness in the Catskills, and the beauty of its trees, lichened rocks, cascades, and glimpses of the plain will repay a lengthy visit at any season. If one does not go to be awed, he will remain to be charmed. The enjoyment of the Catskills depends on the same point of view. If one visits them as one may visit the Canadian Rockies, in the expectation of having all of one’s big emotions drawn out and played upon, there will be hideous disappointment. There is nothing big about the Catskills. They are as comfortable as home. They were created, not for observation-cars, but for bungalow porches. Yet they are not so little. Indeed, while Brute and I sat that night in the kitchen of the Good Dame’s, listening to her husband tell of the wildcats he had trapped, they seemed very wild and very extensive.” (Longstreth, T. Morris. The Catskills. New York: The Century Co., 1918. Reprinted by Black Dome Press Corp., Hensonville, NY, 2003. p. 40-43.)

 

This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the sheer rock walls of the chasm that has previously been known as the Grand Canyon, today referred by its geographical name of Platte Clove.A Portion of East Wall of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the sheer rock walls of the chasm that has previously been known as the Grand Canyon, today referred by its geographical name of Platte Clove. The postcard was published by Ida J. Young and W. H. Young, proprietors of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

The Grand Canyon House was located in the northern Catskills at Platte Clove, a beautiful 2-mile chasm that has historically been referenced as the Grand Canyon. The Young family, long-time Platte Clove land owners and farmers, turned to the tourist trade with the opening of their Grand Canyon House around 1899 or 1900. They constructed a series of paths with bridges and stairways into the rugged clove for their patrons to enjoy the natural splendor. The name “Grand Canyon” is no longer used in reference to Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
A Portion of East Wall of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection.

 

This vintage postcard by George S. Young depicts the extremely rugged cliffs of what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove.Section of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y.This vintage postcard depicts the extremely rugged cliffs of what was historically known as the Grand Canyon, but is today generally referred to as Platte Clove. Looking carefully at the middle of the picture you can see two people resting on an outcropping. The postcard was published by G. S. Young, proprietor of the nearby Grand Canyon House. The postcard was never mailed.

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 mad 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 Hello 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.” (Richard Lionel De Lisser. Picturesque Catskills. Greene County. Northampton, Mass.: Picturesque Publishing Company, 1894. Reprinted – Cornwallville, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1983. Pages 76-77.)
Section of Grand Canyon, Platte Clove, N.Y. Author's Collection. 

 

Little remains of the famed Grand Canyon House that catered to so many Catskills tourists. Little else remains of the stairs, ladders and walkways of the once famous Devil’s Kitchen tourist attraction that drew thousands of visitors. However, Young’s legacy lives on with his photographs of Platte Clove and of the Devil’s Kitchen, pictures that beautifully portray what was and is some of the most spectacular scenery in the Catskills region.

 

George Summerfield Young passed away in 1918. His wife Ida Jane (Cole) Young continued to operate the Grand Canyon House for many years after her husband’s death. Ida passed away at Riverdale, New Jersey in 1952.

 

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If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer George S. Young 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.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) arch bridge brook Catskill Mountains Catskills cliffs clove creek devil Devil's Chamber Devil's Kitchen George S. Young Grand Canyon House Greene County Hell Hole Hell Hole Creek Hell Hole Falls Huckleberry Point Hudson River Ida J. Young Kaaterskill High Peak Old Mill Falls photographer photographs photography pioneer Platte Clove Plattekill Plattekill Clove Plattekill Creek Plattekill Falls postcards ravines river souvenirs stone tourism tourist tours water waterfall https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/7/george-s-young-photographer-of-platte-clove-and-the-devil-s-kitchen Sat, 03 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Old Mill Falls, Platte Clove https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/6/old-mill-falls-platte-clove Old Mill Falls is a charming 15-foot waterfall located on the Plattekill Creek just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls.

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek within the 280-acre Platte Clove Preserve, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls.Old Mill FallsOld Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls. The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way south to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.

The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way west to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond. The creek is spanned at this point by a replica king-post bridge along what was once known as the Overlook Road. This former carriage road carried travelers from the mountain top area to Codfish Point, over Plattekill Mountain, past Echo Lake, to the spur trail that would take you to the former Overlook Mountain House and the summit of Overlook Mountain and then on to the hamlet of Meads, which was located north of the village of Woodstock.

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek within the 280-acre Platte Clove Preserve, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls.Autumn Leaves at Old Mill FallsOld Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls. The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way south to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

 

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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.”

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek within the 280-acre Platte Clove Preserve, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls.Autumn Leaves at Old Mill FallsOld Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls. The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way south to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.

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 Platte Kill 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 it is closed in the winter from November 15th to April 15th as the town provides no maintenance.

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek within the 280-acre Platte Clove Preserve, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls.Old Mill FallsPlattekill Clove, Greene County

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls. The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way south to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.

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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) bridge brook Catskill Center for Conservation and Development Catskill Mountains Catskills CCCD Charles Lanman cliff clove creek education educational geological Greene County Griswold Hell Hole Falls hike hiker hiking history Huckleberry Point Kaaterskill Falls Kaaterskill High Peak Long Path Matthew Jarnich mill New York Old Mill Falls Overlook Bridge path photographer photographs photography photos pictures Platte Clove Platte Clove Preserve Platte Kill Platte Kill Clove Plattekill Creek Plattekill Falls Plattekill Mountain retreat river Route 16 sightseeing sign stone Tannersville tourism tourist trail travel trees water waterfall West Saugerties https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/6/old-mill-falls-platte-clove Sat, 26 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Otto Hillig – New Photographs https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/6/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 new photographs by Otto Hillig. They have all been added to the Otto Hillig gallery, which now contains nearly 100 of his works.

 

Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the Halls Mills Covered Bridge at Claryville in Sullivan County, New York.Claryville, N.Y.Halls Mills Covered Bridge, located near Claryville in Sullivan County, was built in 1912 by David Benton and John Knight. It is 130 feet long and crosses the Neversink River. The bridge is one lane, 18 feet wide and weighs 90 tons. Although the bridge once accommodated vehicular traffic, it has been limited to pedestrian traffic since 1962 when Route 19 was moved. It is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places unlike many of the other covered bridges in the Catskills.

The postcard was published by The New Hillig Studios, located at Liberty, New York. The postcards was manufactured in the genuine Curt Teich style. It was never mailed.
Claryville, N.Y. (Halls Mills Covered Bridge)

 

Vintage postcard from photographer Otto Hillig depicting a well-dressed couple out for a ride in their cow-pulled carriage.On the Speedway in Sullivan Co., N.Y.This vintage postcard shows a well-dressed couple out for a ride in their cow-pulled carriage. The postcard was published by Otto Hillig located at Liberty, New York. The postcard was manufactured in Germany. The postmark on the reverse side appears to show that it was mailed in 1910.

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.
On the Speedway in Sullivan Co., N.Y.

 

Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the historic Campbell Inn at Roscoe in Sullivan County, New York.Campbell Inn, Roscoe, N.Y.Vintage Catskills postcard depicting the historic Campbell Inn at Roscoe in Sullivan County, New York. The postcard was published by Otto Hillig who operated out of Liberty, New York. The postcard was never mailed. Campbell Inn, Roscoe, N.Y.

 

This vintage Catskills postcard taken by well-known photographer Otto Hillig depicts the oldest house in Sullivan County, New York.Oldest House in Sullivan County, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the oldest house in Sullivan County, New York. The postcard was published by photographer Otto Hillig located at Liberty, New York. The postcard was mailed in 1950 from Parksville, New York.

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.
Oldest House in Sullivan County, N.Y.

 

Vintage postcard from photographer Otto Hillis of St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary at Callicoon in Sullivan County, New York.St. Joseph's Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y.St. Joseph’s Seminary is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On the application for its inclusion on the National Register St. Joseph’s was described as “a historical educational complex, with significant Romanesque style buildings and early twentieth century landscape elements. On a hill overlooking the Delaware River and the hamlet of Callicoon, it includes the largest native bluestone buildings in the river valley, and visually dominates the immediate geographic area.”

Construction on the main building at St. Joseph’s began in 1901 and was completed in 1910. The The four-story, timber-framed, clapboard-sided seminary barn was constructed in 1906. Holy Cross Chapel, also located on the property, was constructed in 1927. The chapel was described as a “two-story, bluestone, Romanesque style church. The gymnasium was constructed in 1930.

“Architecturally, spiritually and socially, St. Joseph’s had a profound impact on the river valley. Franciscans from the Seminary served as parish priests not only for the Callicoon congregation, but also for churches in the surrounding communities of Cochecton, Lake Huntington, Narrowsburg, Yulan, Pond Eddy, North Branch, Jeffersonville, Youngsville, Hankins, and Long Eddy. The Seminary’s architecture, particularly that of the chapel and the main building, is recognized as distinctive within the valley. Despite the fact that bluestone quarrying was a major industry in the area, these are the only large native stone buildings in the river valley. The Romanesque styling of the chapel is more elaborate and sophisticated than other local church architecture. Given its dominant location on the hillside, with the bell tower visible for several miles, both up and downstream, the Seminary has had an extraordinary visual impact on the valley.”

The seminary closed in the 1970s. In 1979, the Seminary property was sold to the United States Department of Labor and became the Delaware Valley Job Corps Training Center. At the center students between the ages of 16 and 24 received additional education in both academic and technical fields.
St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y.

 

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

The postcard was published by photographer Otto Hillig located at Liberty, New York. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed in 1934.
Hankins, N.Y. (Hankins Stone Arch Bridge)

 

Vintage postcard of Summit Lake in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York.Summit Lake, Liberty, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts Summit Lake in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York. The scene includes a family of four in a boat, as the young child paddles the vessel across the lake.

The postcard was published by photographer Otto Hillig located at Liberty, New York. It was manufactured in the United States. It was never mailed.
Summit Lake, Liberty, N.Y.

 

Vintage postcard from photographer Otto Hillig showing the business district in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York.Part of Liberty’s Business Section, Liberty, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts the business district in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York. The scene includes a number of businesses, including the Green Building, and an old-fashioned car. The Green Building, originally constructed in 1890, continues to serve as the central point in Liberty village.

The postcard was published by photographer Otto Hillig located at Liberty, New York. It was manufactured in the United States. It was never mailed.
Part of Liberty’s Business Section, Liberty, N.Y.

 

Vintage postcard from photographer Otto Hillig showing North Main Street in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York.North Main Street, Liberty, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts North Main Street in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York. The scene includes a number of businesses, including Nichol’s Garage and a variety store, several old-fashioned cars, a group of well-dressed men in suits and a policeman riding a horse in the middle of the street.

The postcard was published by photographer Otto Hillig located at Liberty, New York. It was manufactured in the United States. It was never mailed.
North Main Street, Liberty, N.Y.

 

Vintage postcard from photographer Otto Hillig showing North Main Street in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York.North Main Street at Liberty House, Liberty, N.Y.This vintage Catskills postcard depicts North Main Street in the village of Liberty in Sullivan County, New York. The scene includes a number of businesses, including a barber shop and a hotel, as well as several old-fashioned cars.

The postcard was published by photographer Otto Hillig located at Liberty, New York. It was manufactured in the United States. It was never mailed.
North Main Street at Liberty House, Liberty, N.Y.

 

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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/2021/6/otto-hillig-new-photographs Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Three Rare Stereoviews from the E. & H. T. Anthony Company https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/6/three-rare-stereoviews-from-the-e-h-t-anthony-company The E. & H. T. Anthony company was the largest 19th-century manufacturer and distributor of cameras and photographic supplies in the United States. The company was founded by Edward Anthony (1818-1888) and his brother Henry T. Anthony (1814-1884). Regionally, the company produced many of the greatest Catskills views of the 19th century. The Catskills stereoviews were incorporated into several series including “The Artistic Series,” “The Glens of the Catskills,” and “Winter in the Catskills.” Each of the photographs demonstrates the enduring beauty of the Catskills, being as equally compelling today as they were 150 years ago.

 

I have recently acquired a number of new Catskills stereoviews by the E. & H. T. Anthony Company. They have all been added to the Anthony gallery, which now contains over 100 of the company’s Catskills works.

 

Vintage E. & H. T. Anthony stereoview # 159 titled “The Kauterskill Fall, 180 ft. High.–Catskill Mountains” in “The Artistic Series.”The Kauterskill Fall, 180 ft. High.–Catskill Mountains. (# 159)Publisher: E. & H. T. Anthony & Co.
Series name: The Artistic Series
Stereoview #: 159
Title: The Kauterskill Fall, 180 ft. High.–Catskill Mountains.

The E. & H. T. Anthony company was the largest 19th-century manufacturer and distributor of cameras and photographic supplies in the United States. The company was founded by Edward Anthony (1818-1888) and his brother Henry T. Anthony (1814-1884). Regionally, the company produced many of the greatest Catskills views of the 19th century. The Catskills stereoviews were incorporated into several series including “The Artistic Series,” “The Glens of the Catskills,” and “Winter in the Catskills.” Each of the photographs demonstrates the enduring beauty of the Catskills, being as equally compelling today as they were 150 years ago.

The Kauterskill Fall, 180 ft. High.–Catskill Mountains. (# 159)

Vintage E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. stereoview # 8548 titled “The Boulder on South Mountain” in the “Glens of the Catskills” series.The Boulder on South Mountain. (# 8548)Publisher: E. & H. T. Anthony & Co.
Series name: Glens of the Catskills
Stereoview #: 8548
Title: The Boulder on South Mountain.

The E. & H. T. Anthony company was the largest 19th-century manufacturer and distributor of cameras and photographic supplies in the United States. The company was founded by Edward Anthony (1818-1888) and his brother Henry T. Anthony (1814-1884). Regionally, the company produced many of the greatest Catskills views of the 19th century. The Catskills stereoviews were incorporated into several series including “The Artistic Series,” “The Glens of the Catskills,” and “Winter in the Catskills.” Each of the photographs demonstrates the enduring beauty of the Catskills, being as equally compelling today as they were 150 years ago.

The Boulder on South Mountain. (# 8548)

 

Vintage E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. stereoview # 9047 titled “The Laurel House at Kauterskill Falls” from “The Glens of the Catskills” series.The Laurel House at Kauterskill Falls. (# 9047)Publisher: E. & H. T. Anthony & Co.
Series name: The Glens of the Catskills
Stereoview #: 9047
Title: The Laurel House at Kauterskill Falls.

The E. & H. T. Anthony company was the largest 19th-century manufacturer and distributor of cameras and photographic supplies in the United States. The company was founded by Edward Anthony (1818-1888) and his brother Henry T. Anthony (1814-1884). Regionally, the company produced many of the greatest Catskills views of the 19th century. The Catskills stereoviews were incorporated into several series including “The Artistic Series,” “The Glens of the Catskills,” and “Winter in the Catskills.” Each of the photographs demonstrates the enduring beauty of the Catskills, being as equally compelling today as they were 150 years ago.

The Laurel House at Kauterskill Falls. (# 9047)

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Catskill Mountains Catskills E. & H. T. Anthony Edward Anthony Gems of American Scenery Glens of the Catskills Henry T. Anthony New York photographer photographs photography photos pictures stereo view stereograph stereoscopic stereoviews The Artistic Series Winter in the Catskills https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/6/three-rare-stereoviews-from-the-e-h-t-anthony-company Sat, 12 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Burton Hine – Civil War Veteran and Photographer https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/6/burton-hine-civil-war-veteran-and-photographer Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

 

Burton Hine, Photographer.Burton Hine, Photographer.Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

 

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Burton Hine was born on October 9, 1842 in Meredith, New York. He was the son of Miles David Hine (1801-1876) and Julia F. (Rich) Hine (1808-1856). Miles and Julia, both born in Connecticut, married at Meredith on December 11, 1826 in a ceremony officiated by Rev. Mr. Fisher, pastor of the Congregational Society of Meredith.

Reverend William Fisher (1775-1840) served at the Meredith church for about 20 years (a different source says 16 years) from 1819 to 1839, presumably presiding over the early spiritual life of Miles and Julia Hine. Rev. Fisher’s father, Lieutenant Jonathan Fisher, died at Morristown, New Jersey while serving during the American Revolution. William was only 1 1/2 years old at the time of his father’s passing. He struggled, “prevented by a want of means,” but “by the labor of his own hands,” succeeded in gaining an education, graduating from Williams College in 1805. “As a preacher, he was warm and animated. He preached the doctrines of grace plainly and pointedly, and yet with much simplicity.” Due to poor health Rev. Fisher left Meredith in the late 1830s to reside with his oldest son at Indiana, where he farmed and continued to preach when his health allowed. Rev. William Fisher passed away on April 19, 1840, leaving behind his wife Rhoda and six children. The Congregational church at Meredith, having been established in 1815, was a long-standing member of the community, eventually becoming associated with the United Presbyterian denomination. For more information on the life and genealogy of Reverend William Fisher reference The Fisher Genealogy by Philip A. Fisher. (Fisher, Philip A. The Fisher Genealogy. Everett, Mass.: Massachusetts Publishing Company, 1898. p. 114, 195-196.)

Miles and Julia had five children including one daughter and four sons, namely Henrietta Rich Hine (1828-1897), Franklin Tracy Hine (1830-1864), Miles Hine jr. (1836-1899), our subject Burton Hine (1842-1905) and James Wilson Hine (1845-1903). Miles Hine, the father, passed away on January 5, 1876 and his wife Julia F. (Rich) Hine passed away on June 4, 1856.

Silas Hine (1764-1841), Burton’s grandfather, “was one of the early settlers of West Meredith, settling there in 1810, and rearing a family of twelve children.” (History of Delaware County, N.Y. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 1880. p. 255.) Silas was born in Connecticut on January 8, 1764 and married Betsey Terrell (1767-1834). Silas passed away at Meredith on March 13, 1841. Betsey passed away at Meredith on February 26, 1834.

Ambrose Hine, Burton’s great-grandfather, was born at Milford, Connecticut, and was baptized on June 26, 1726. He first married Sarah Terrill of Anity, Connecticut, and second married Betsey Ford. Ambrose notably served in the American Revolution, answering the call in 1776 when he joined as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1st Company, 5th Battalion, Wadsworth’s Brigade under Colonel William Douglas. 1st Company was under the leadership of Captain Nathaniel Johnson of Derby, Connecticut. “This battalion was raised June, 1776, to re-inforce [sic] Washington’s Army at New York. It served in the city and on the Brooklyn front. It was at the battle of Long Island Aug. 27th, 1776. Retreated from New York Aug. 29-30th, 1776, was with the militia at Kips Bay, 34th St., East River, at the attack on New York Sept. 15th, 1776, and retreated at the battle of White Plains Oct. 28th, 1776. Time out Dec. 25th, 1776.” (Beach, Joseph Perkins. History of Cheshire, Connecticut from 1694 to 1840. Cheshire, CT: Lady Fenwick Chapter, D. A. R., 1912. p. 189.)

Captain Ambrose Hine then served as a company commander in Lieutenant Colonel Jeduthan Baldwin’s (1732-1788) Regiment at some point in 1777 and 1778. The unit “had been ordered to march to aid the Continental Army on the North River.” (Johnston, Henry P. The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution 1775-1783. Hartford, Ct., 1889.) The unit has also “served with the Main Army at and near Peekskill in the State of New York.” (Collection of the Connecticut Historical Society. Volume 8. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1901.) Captain Hine also served in the 10th Militia Regiment in 1777, acting as the “Captain of the alarm list south company in the parish of New Cheshire in the 10th regiment in this State.” (Hoadly, Charles, J. The Public Records of the State of Connecticut, From October, 1776, to February, 1778, inclusive. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, 1894.)

The historic Ambrose Hine House is located at what is now 118 Cook Road in Prospect, Connecticut. The adjoining lands of the Highland Greens Golf Course were once owned and farmed by Hine. This is where he raised his nine children. Ambrose Hine passed away in 1794.

Looking even further back, the Hine family can trace its American roots to Thomas Hine (1621-1698), who lived at Milford, Connecticut by the year 1646. For more information about Hine family history and genealogy please reference Descendants of Thomas Hine, Milford, Conn. 1640 as written by Hon. Robert C. Hine.

On the 1855 New York State census Burton, age 12, was living at Meredith with his parents. They lived in a frame house valued at $200. His father, who was originally from Connecticut and had resided at Meredith for 38 years, was listed with an occupation of Farmer. Julia was shown as having lived at Meredith for 47 years, or her entire life.

 

Map of the Miles Hine, father of Burton Hine, homestead at Meredith in 1856.Map of the Miles Hine, father of Burton Hine, homestead at Meredith in 1856.Gould, Jay. Map of Delaware Co., New York. Philadelphia: Published by Collins G. Keeney, 1856. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2012593655/>. Map of the Miles Hine, father of Burton Hine, homestead at Meredith in 1856.

Gould, Jay. Map of Delaware Co., New York. Philadelphia: Published by Collins G. Keeney, 1856. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2012593655/>.

 

As for the family farm of Burton’s youth, the 1856 map of Delaware County by Jay Gould (1836-1892) provides some valuable insight as to the top agricultural products of the region and the era. Some leading agricultural products included butter, 4,025,575 lbs.; maple sugar, 313,302 pounds; apples, 239,210 bushels; oats, 416,659 bushels; hay, 103,895 tons; and wool, 136,659 pounds. There were many other products being produced as well including corn, potatoes, buckwheat, barley, turnips, cider, wine, cheese, hemp, hops and honey.

 

Residence of Miles Hine, Town of Meredith, Delaware Co., N. Y.Residence of Miles Hine, Town of Meredith, Delaware Co., N. Y.History of Delaware County, N.Y. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 1880. p. 249. "Residence of Miles Hine, Town of Meredith, Delaware Co., N. Y."

History of Delaware County, N.Y. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 1880. p. 249.

 

For their early education Burton and his siblings would have likely attended the Meredith District School No. 5, which had been founded in 1816. According to an 1855 report on the condition of the district schools, No. 5 was rated as “bad.” District trustees in 1855 included Miles Hine, Elias Warner and David Kemp, all of whom owned nearby farms. The Hine family farm and district school no. 5 were located near present day Route 14 near the intersection with Sunderland Road.

On the 1860 New York State census, Burton, age 17, was living at Meredith. He was listed with an occupation of Farm Laborer while living in the household of the Lewis and Burroughs (Burrows) families. As was customary for the time, with most schooling completed by 16 and sometimes earlier, the census reported that Burton had not attended school in the prior year.

Burton was a distinguished veteran of the Civil War having served for over three years with the famed 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted at the age of 18 for three years in Company I on September 16, 1861 at Delhi, New York and mustered into service as a Private on October 21, 1861. Company I, known as the “Delaware Rifles,” was recruited primarily from the towns of Sidney, Kortright, Davenport, Meredith and Delhi in Delaware County, New York. Captain Theophilus L. England commanded Company I, while Colonel Harrison S. Fairchild commanded the 89th Regiment, New York (Foot) Volunteers.

 

Advertisement for the Delaware Riflemen, 89th Regiment, New York InfantryDelaware Riflemen!Captain England, Burton Hine’s company commander, was well respected for his leadership and bravery throughout his service. Theophilus was born on October 2, 1834, the son of Henry England (1807-1902), a dry goods store owner at Delhi. After the Civil War began, in 1861 “Theophilus became inspired by a patriotic zeal and loyalty. He began recruiting volunteers and soon a company of nearly one hundred men was raised.” (Raitt, John E. “Bi-Centennial Corner. In Memory of a Gallant Soldier.” Delaware Republican Express. February 12, 1976.) On February 17, 1863 Theophilus was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

England died on June 18, 1864 while leading “a gallant charge of the Regiment” at the Battle of Petersburg in Virginia. Colonel Fairchild, Regimental Commander, wrote to LTC England’s father upon his death, stating “I much regret his loss, as he has always sustained me in the command of the Regiment, and was a brave and gallant officer.” (“Funeral of Lieut. Col. England.” Delaware and Visitor. July 2, 1864.) England’s body was returned to Delhi, New York to a hero’s welcome, complete with a full honor guard. The funeral ceremony was held at Courthouse Square in the heart of Delhi village, “as none of the churches could have begun to hold the large concourse of people who had assembled to do honor to the gallant dead.” (“Funeral of Lieut. Col. England.” Delaware and Visitor. July 2, 1864.) England is buried at Woodland Cemetery at Delhi, New York. When the Grand Army of the Republic (G. A. R.) chapter was established at Delhi on March 11, 1884, it was named in his honor, being known as the England Post, No. 142, G. A. R.

Delaware Gazette, October 30, 1861.
Delaware Riflemen! Advertisement by Captain T. L. England to recruit Delaware County men into the 89th Regiment. Delaware Gazette, October 30, 1861.

 

Captain England, Burton’s company commander, was well respected for his leadership and bravery throughout his service. Theophilus was born on October 2, 1834, the son of Henry England (1807-1902), a dry goods store owner at Delhi. After the Civil War began, in 1861 “Theophilus became inspired by a patriotic zeal and loyalty. He began recruiting volunteers and soon a company of nearly one hundred men was raised.” (Raitt, John E. “Bi-Centennial Corner. In Memory of a Gallant Soldier.” Delaware Republican Express. February 12, 1976.) On February 17, 1863 Theophilus was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

England died on June 18, 1864 while leading “a gallant charge of the Regiment” at the Battle of Petersburg in Virginia. Colonel Fairchild, Regimental Commander, wrote to LTC England’s father upon his death, stating “I much regret his loss, as he has always sustained me in the command of the Regiment, and was a brave and gallant officer.” (“Funeral of Lieut. Col. England.” Delaware and Visitor. July 2, 1864.) England’s body was returned to Delhi, New York to a hero’s welcome, complete with a full honor guard. The funeral ceremony was held at Courthouse Square in the heart of Delhi village, “as none of the churches could have begun to hold the large concourse of people who had assembled to do honor to the gallant dead.” (“Funeral of Lieut. Col. England.” Delaware and Visitor. July 2, 1864.) England is buried at Woodland Cemetery at Delhi, New York. When the Grand Army of the Republic (G. A. R.) chapter was established at Delhi on March 11, 1884, it was named in his honor, being known as the England Post, No. 142, G. A. R.

Colonel Harrison Stiles Fairchild (1820-1901), Burton’s regimental commander, mustered into service as commander of the 89th Regiment on December 4, 1861. He brought significant prior military experience to his unit having previously served as Captain in the Rochester Light Guard for ten years from 1844 to 1854, as Colonel of the 54th Regiment of New York Militia from 1854 until the start of the Civil War and was a member of the Board of Military Examiners of the state of New York. For his leadership and bravery Fairchild was promoted to brevet Brigadier General on March 13, 1865. He was present at the surrender of General Lee in northern Virginia. He mustered out of the unit on August 3, 1865 at Richmond, Virginia. After the war he worked in Rochester, New York as a stockbroker, realtor and pension claims agent. Over the years he attended a number of the reunions of the 89th Regiment, where he was always well received. “He was considered a brave and gallant soldier. Although a severe disciplinarian, he was beloved by his men . . . He was described by his friends as dignified and courteous in manner, refined in his feelings and tastes, friendly and kind in disposition, and a staunch Republican.” (Brown. Richard G. “A Civil War Remembrance of Breveted Brigadier General Harrison Stiles Fairchild.” The Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery. Volume 12, No. 4. Fall 1992.) Fairchild passed away on January 25, 1901 and is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

Local newspapers of the time often published the personal letters written by soldiers in the field and sent to their home families and friends. Around June 15, 1864 Burton wrote home to his brother about his experiences, a letter which was published in the Republican & Visitor of Delhi, N.Y. in their July 2, 1864 issue. Two of Burton’s brothers, 19-year-old James W. Hine and Miles jr. Hine, would enlist in August 1864, only two months after this letter.

 

“BEFORE PETERSBURG, June 15, 1864.

Dear Brother:– Having a few leisure moments at present, I will improve them by writing you a few lines, as I presume you are anxious to hear the news. Sunday night of the 19th inst., we left the army of the Potomac and marched to the White House, which our corps took transports and sailed to City Point, then up the Appomattox and landed at Point of Rocks. Early yesterday morning, having drawn our rations, we started towards Petersburg – our regiment taking the advance, and skirmishing all the way – driving the rebels slowly until nearly noon when we came in sight of Petersburg and the fortifications around it. Slowly and cautiously we crept toward them until nearly sundown, when our artillery opened on one of their main forts, and the 3d brigade of Burnham’s division, charged and took the fort, several prisoners and all its guns. This ended yesterday’s fighting with us. The loss on our side was not heavy. Our regiment lost in killed and wounded, two captains and about privates; the majority being wounded. Our company was fortunate and did not lose a man. I, however, was suddenly notified of the arrival of an unwelcome messenger – a musket ball striking the barrel of my gun with a few inches of the lock. No more to-day.

 

Saturday June 18th:– You will see by this date that I have passed over the two preceding days. I will merely state that on Thursday the 16th, our regiment was relieved from the front and sent to the rear for rest; the General acknowledging that the 89th had a hard day yesterday (15th). On the same day we were reinforced by the 2d and 9th army corps. At about midnight we were ordered out on picket again. Loss of the regiment – one killed, five wounded.

 

On the 17th we were relieved from picket by the 5th Ohio Colored Regiment, and marched back to where our division lay. Firing heavy at night. To-day I have sad news to communicate. Our division started on in the advance, early – driving the enemy slowly all the forenoon; our regiment supporting a battalion of heavy artillery. At about 4 o’clock P. M. we charged the rebels, and drove them, but with heavy loss. Our Lieutenant Colonel fell, at the head of his regiment, shot through the head. In losing him we have lost one whose bravery none can dispute. I was within six feet of him, and as he fell, I asked him if he was shot, but no answer – he was dead. We cared for him as well as we could until night, when four others with myself, carried him a mile, to the rear. Of our company, four were wounded, viz: Orderly Dixon, Sergeant Fiebig, John Thompson and William Stott.– How seriously wounded, do not as yet know. We are nearly worn out – having had nothing to eat during the whole day.

 

Truly your brother,

BURTON HINE

Co. I, 89th N. Y. V.”

 

Burton was promoted to Corporal on February 25, 1863. He valiantly fought in many fierce battles including South Mountain (September 14, 1862), Antietam (September 17, 1862), Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862), Suffolk (April 11 to May 4, 1863), siege of Charleston (July 18, 1863 to September 7, 1863) and Cold Harbor (May 31 to June 12, 1864). Burton Hine was honorably discharged on October 20, 1864 after having served for 3 years, 1 month and 4 days.

All three of Burton’s brothers also honorably served during the Civil War, including Franklin Tracy Hine, James W. Hine and Miles Hine, Jr. While Burton had served in the 89th Regiment, his three brothers all served in the 144th Regiment.

Franklin Tracy Hine, Burton’s older brother, was born at Meredith on July 27, 1830. He was married to Betsey Ann Maxfield, with whom he had two children, Willis Tracy (b. 1854) and Albert Fulford Hine (b. 1857). He was working as a wagon maker in 1855 and then as a farmer in 1860.

At the age of 32 Franklin enlisted for three years in Company C, 144th Regiment on August 13, 1862 at Meredith and mustered into service on September 27, 1862. The company was led by Captain James Lewis, and the 144th Regiment was led by Colonel Robert S. Hughston. Enlisting as a Sergeant, he was promoted to 1st Sergeant on March 23, 1863, to 2nd Lieutenant on August 30, 1863 and to 1st Lieutenant on November 25, 1864. Franklin was mortally wounded at the Battle of Honey Hill in today’s Beaufort County, South Carolina. The Battle of Honey Hill took place on November 30, 1864 and was the third battle during Sherman’s famous March to the Sea. “This was when we were advancing to the battle of Honey Hill. Soon after we became engaged, 1st Lieut. Frank T. Hine, commanding Co. I, color company, was severely wounded in the knee joint by a musket ball, (afterward died of wound.)” (McKee, James Harvey. Back “In War Times.” History of The 144th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry.” Lieut. Horace E. Bailey, 1903. p. 262.) First Lieutenant Franklin’s leg was amputated and he died of his wounds on December 20, 1864 at the hospital in Beaufort, South Carolina. The Grand Army of the Republic (G. A. R.) post at Franklin, New York (post No. 132) was named in his honor. Franklin Tracy Hine is buried at the Croton Union Cemetery at Treadwell, New York.

James W. Hine, Burton’s younger brother, was born on April 23, 1845. He married Emma E. Barnum in 1869, with whom he had four children, including James Edward (b. 1870), Ruby Elizabeth (b. 1873), Katherine Genevieve (b. 1878) and a daughter with name unknown (b. 1889). At the tender age of 19 he enlisted as a Private in Company C, 144th New York Infantry on August 11, 1864 at Norwich, New York. The unit mustered into service on August 11, 1864. During his service “he was appointed Corresponding Clerk at the headquarters of the Southern Department under Gens. Foster and Gilmore, a position he held until he mustered out in June, 1865.” He was discharged on June 25, 1865 at Hilton Head, South Carolina upon the expiration of his service commitment.

After the war, in 1867 James Hine moved west to Kent County, Michigan. He first worked as a druggist for three years, and then became the owner of the Lowell Journal, a local newspaper. He was a frequent newspaper contributor “under the peculiarly comical title of Jimcrax.” He also served as the Lowell postmaster for about seven years and held several positions in state politics, including being elected representative to the Michigan state senate. He later worked as an editorial writer for the Detroit Journal; and then owned and edited the Tecumseh News for three years.

 

James W. HineJames W. Hine, brother of photographer Burton Hine.James W. Hine was born on April 23, 1845. He married Emma E. Barnum in 1869, with whom he had four children, including James Edward (b. 1870), Ruby Elizabeth (b. 1873), Katherine Genevieve (b. 1878) and a daughter with name unknown (b. 1889). At the tender age of 19 he enlisted as a Private in Company C, 144th New York Infantry on August 11, 1864 at Norwich, New York. The unit mustered into service on August 11, 1864. During his service “he was appointed Corresponding Clerk at the headquarters of the Southern Department under Gens. Foster and Gilmore, a position he held until he mustered out in June, 1865.” He was discharged on June 25, 1865 at Hilton Head, South Carolina upon the expiration of his service commitment.

After the war, in 1867 James Hine moved west to Kent County, Michigan. He first worked as a druggist for three years, and then became the owner of the Lowell Journal, a local newspaper. He was a frequent newspaper contributor “under the peculiarly comical title of Jimcrax.” He also served as the Lowell postmaster for about seven years and held several positions in state politics, including being elected representative to the Michigan state senate. He later worked as an editorial writer for the Detroit Journal; and then owned and edited the Tecumseh News for three years.

In the 1881 publication History of Kent County, Michigan, James W. Hine was positively profiled. “In this brief review, just sufficient notice has been given to convey an idea of what may be accomplished by a man still young. Here we learn how, as a youth, he served in the war for the Union, a little later entered commercial life in a Western village, and more recently conducted a political journal with so much decent ability as to win for himself a substantial recognition at the hands of the political party to which his political faith attaches itself. His continued observance of refined and liberal social principles, and a high standard of journalistic ability, will still bring him great honors in his private and public life.” (History of Kent County, Michigan. Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881. p. 434-435.)

James W. Hine passed away after a second attack of paralysis on April 4, 1903 at Detroit, Michigan. He left behind his widow and three daughters: Ruby Hine Booth, of Spearfish, South Dakota; Katherine, a teacher of mathematics at Western Reserve college in Ohio; and Helen R., “now at school and living with her sister at Spearfish, South Dakota.” (“Col. Hine Died at Harper.” Detroit Free Press. April 5, 1903.)
Portrait of James W. Hine, brother of photographer Burton Hine. Detroit Free Press, April 5, 1903.

 

In the 1881 publication History of Kent County, Michigan, James W. Hine was positively profiled. “In this brief review, just sufficient notice has been given to convey an idea of what may be accomplished by a man still young. Here we learn how, as a youth, he served in the war for the Union, a little later entered commercial life in a Western village, and more recently conducted a political journal with so much decent ability as to win for himself a substantial recognition at the hands of the political party to which his political faith attaches itself. His continued observance of refined and liberal social principles, and a high standard of journalistic ability, will still bring him great honors in his private and public life.” (History of Kent County, Michigan. Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881. p. 434-435.)

James W. Hine passed away after a second attack of paralysis on April 4, 1903 at Detroit, Michigan. He left behind his widow and three daughters: Ruby Hine Booth, of Spearfish, South Dakota; Katherine, a teacher of mathematics at Western Reserve college in Ohio; and Helen R., “now at school and living with her sister at Spearfish, South Dakota.” (“Col. Hine Died at Harper.” Detroit Free Press. April 5, 1903.)

Miles Hine, Jr. (1836-1899), Burton’s older brother, was born in Meredith on April 13, 1836. His occupation prior to the war was as a peddler and later manufactured whips. At age 28, Miles Jr., enlisted in Company U, 144th New York Infantry on August 27, 1864 at Meredith and mustered into service on September 3, 1864. Miles was later transferred to Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st New York Engineers on October 6, 1864. Miles mustered out of service on June 25, 1865 at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Prior to the war Miles married Mary Ellen Stilson on November 17, 1857. They had one child, Julia Alida, who was born in 1859 but passed away at the three years of age on February 10, 1863. Miles was “a prominent citizen of Treadwell . . . Mr. Hine was a veteran of the war for the Union and was held in very high respect. He was successful in business having accumulated a good property as a dealer in whips and used it generously in advancing the interests of his town and of the Baptist church of which he was a devoted member.” (Delaware Gazette. August 30, 1899.) Miles died at the age of 63 on August 25, 1899 at the hamlet of Croton (now Treadwell) in the town of Franklin, Delaware County, New York. He is buried at the Croton Union Cemetery at Treadwell, New York.

Henrietta Rich (Hine) Bush, Burton’s sister, was born in the town of Meredith on April 8, 1828. She married Abram Bush (1823-1902) at age 20 on October 4, 1848. Abram worked as a merchant and tailor. They first lived at Croton, New York but moved to the village of Franklin in 1858. Henrietta passed away at 68 years of age on February 21, 1897. She was a prominent member of the Methodist church. She is buried at Ouleout Cemetery in Franklin, New York.

On the 1865 New York State census Burton, age 22, was residing at Meredith in the household of Isaac and Jenett Brownwell. He was listed an occupation of “Hired Man.”

Within a couple of years after the end of the war, in 1867, Burton opened his own photography gallery at the village of Franklin. “The new photograph rooms of Burton Hine are fitted up neatly, in good style, and have an air of thrift and enterprise about them that means business and success.” (Oneonta Herald. May 29, 1867.) The Delaware Republican wrote that “A new Photograph Gallery has just been opened by Mr. Burton Hine, and judging from his specimens, he is a capital artist.” (Delaware Republican. June 8, 1867.)

The Oneonta Herald wrote on August 21, 1867 that at the village of Franklin “Burton Hine is selling some fine photographs of Rev. Dr. Kerr at 25 cts each. He will send them by mail-prepaid to any address on receipt of price.”

Rev. Dr. George Kerr was the long time and much esteemed principal of the Delaware Literary Institute, a popular secondary school at Franklin that operated from 1835 to 1902. The Institute, located in the heart of the village of Franklin, was for many years considered “one of the most prominent educational institutions of New York State, sending graduates to Harvard, Yale, Mr. Holyoke and Smith.” Dr. Kerr ably led the Institute from 1846 to 1860. In addition to being the principal Kerr was also the instructor for Greek Language and Metaphysics. Newspaper articles with praise for the teaching and leadership of Dr. Kerr were frequent. After leaving the Delaware Literary Institute Dr. Kerr later served as Chair of Philosophy, Mathematics and Astronomy at the State Agricultural College at Ovid in Seneca County and then as principal of the Cooperstown Seminary. When Dr. Kerr decided to leave the Institute after his long service there were several public pronouncements of his impact on the school and the broader community.

 

“Dr. Kerr has been for fifteen years the distinguished and successful Principal of the Delaware Literary Institute at Franklin, and the news of his resignation of that position will be received by the thousands that love him, and have known him as we have, with unmingled regret. No educator in the State has done a nobler work and none will leave more ineffaceable marks of his labors to perpetuate his name. Combining great industry with a dauntless will, and the enthusiasm of the scholar with the very highest conceptions of Learning as a power in the world, he has toiled on there through the years, in that dear sweet village of Franklin, until legions of pupils start with joy at the very sound of his name. His influence for good upon that army of students, human estimates will never measure. It is felt and seen in the high purposes and noble lives of those students as wave after wave has carried them out upon the stormy ocean of real life, and as they do their work in every State of the Union – in the new Territories and on the far-off islands of the sea.” (The Ovid Bee. November 14, 1860.)

 

Delaware Literary Institute in 1869.Delaware Literary Institute in 1869.The Delaware Literary Institute was a popular secondary school at Franklin that operated from 1835 to 1902. The Institute, located in the heart of the village of Franklin, was for many years considered “one of the most prominent educational institutions of New York State, sending graduates to Harvard, Yale, Mr. Holyoke and Smith.”

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Atlas of Delaware co., New York : from actual surveys by and under the direction of F. W. Beers assisted by A. B. Prindle & others" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1869. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/63eb0760-c5f7-012f-9bb5-58d385a7bc34

Delaware Literary Institute in 1869.

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Atlas of Delaware co., New York : from actual surveys by and under the direction of F. W. Beers assisted by A. B. Prindle & others" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1869. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/63eb0760-c5f7-012f-9bb5-58d385a7bc34.

 

In 1868 Hine advertised his gallery in the April 29, 1868 issue of the Oneonta Herald. “Just Look at This! I HAVE purchased the entire large stock of negatives taken by N. A. Beers, and am prepared to furnish copies from the same at $2.00 PER DOZEN. All orders by mail or otherwise will receive prompt attention. BURTON HINE. Photographer, Franklin, N.Y. Feb. 9th 1868.”

 

Burton Hine, Photograph Gallery, Franklin, NYBurton Hine, Photograph Gallery, Franklin, NYBurton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

Oneonta Herald, April 29, 1868.
Just Look at This! Burton Hine advertisement. Oneonta Herald, April 29, 1868.

 

N. A. Beers, an “accomplished photograph artist,” operated his Franklin gallery as the “Beers’ Gallery of Art” since at least 1864, working out of the village post office building. Beers advertised that he had “been connected with some of the best rooms in New York City, and in the country” and that his services included photographs, ambrotypes, ferotypes and “all other sun pictures.”

 

N. A. Beers, photographer advertisementN. A. Beers, photographer advertisementN. A. Beers, an “accomplished photograph artist,” operated his Franklin gallery as the “Beers’ Gallery of Art” since at least 1864, working out of the village post office building. Beers advertised that he had “been connected with some of the best rooms in New York City, and in the country” and that his services included photographs, ambrotypes, ferotypes and “all other sun pictures.”

Bloomville Mirror, December 27, 1864.
N. A. Beers advertisement, “New Photograph Institute!” Bloomville Mirror, December 27, 1864.

 

Interestingly, J. W. Hine, Burton’s brother, was also likely a photographer, perhaps for a relatively brief time, and was possibly was a partner of N. A. Beers. The following advertisement was placed in the Oneonta Herald in their July 3, 1867 issue, which was only three months before J. W. (James) would leave New York for his new home in Michigan.

 

“AVERY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEWS OF FRANKLIN! LARGE (11 by 14) Views of the Village of Franklin; also Stereoscopic and Card or Album Size of the Episcopal Church, Boarding Hall Institute, Chapel and Presbyterian Church, made to order and sent by mail on receipt of price.

Large View . . . $1.00 each.

Stereoscopic Views . . . 40c each.

Card Views . . . 25c each.

Address N. A. Beers, J. W. Hine, Franklin; A. S. Avery, Morris, N.Y.”

 

Avery's Photographic ViewsAvery's Photographic ViewsBurton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

J. W. Hine, as included in the advertisement, was the brother of photographer Burton Hine.

Oneonta Herald, July 3, 1867.
Avery’s Photographer Views. Oneonta Herald, July 3, 1867.

 

A devastating fire in the village of Franklin destroyed an entire block of buildings and offices in February 1869. The fire originated from the stove pipe on the upper floor of the Bush Bros’ clothing store located in the center of the block and quickly spread. Photographer Burton Hine lost $600 worth of equipment during the fire, but was fortunately insured for $500. Temporarily after the fire Burton operated in the Kneeland Bros. building.

 

Map of the Franklin business district in 1869.Map of the Franklin business district in 1869.Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Atlas of Delaware co., New York: from actual surveys by and under the direction of F. W. Beers assisted by A. B. Prindle & others" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1869. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/63eb0760-c5f7-012f-9bb5-58d385a7bc34 Map of the Franklin business district in 1869.

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Atlas of Delaware co., New York: from actual surveys by and under the direction of F. W. Beers assisted by A. B. Prindle & others" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1869. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/63eb0760-c5f7-012f-9bb5-58d385a7bc34

 

Burton, of Franklin, married Harriet Adelia Strong, of Meredith, on September 14, 1869 in a ceremony performed by Rev. J. J. Hough. The ceremony took place at Meredith. The officiant, Reverend Joel Jackson Hough (1835-1897), an 1859 graduate of Yale University, served at the First Congregational Church at Franklin from 1867 to 1873. After leaving Franklin Hough served at churches in Danbury, Connecticut; Antwerp, New York; and Berkshire, New York. He received a Doctor of Divinity honorary degree from Whitman College in 1897. Reverend Hough passed away at 62 years of age from diabetes in Berkshire, New York on September 24, 1897.

Burton’s wife Harriet, born July 24, 1846, was the daughter of Lemuel and Harriet M. Strong. The History of Delaware County, N.Y., published in 1880, contained a brief summary about Lemuel Strong, Harriet’s father. “Lemuel Strong, a native of Meredith Square, removed in infancy to the farm where his life was passed, and where his death occurred October 1st, 1879. He held several public offices, but of late years declined every offer of political preferment, choosing rather the round of domestic pleasures and duties, which the care of his large farm brought to him. He married January 6th, 1841, Harriet, daughter of Pearse Mitchell. They have had six children:- Homer, who died in 1850, aged eight years; Hattie B., Sarah A. and Lemuel, jr., who died of diphtheria in 1863, within a few days of each other, aged six, fourteen and eleven years; Chauncey, born April 4th, 1844, and Adelia, born July 24th, 1846, married to Burton Hine, of Walton. Mrs. Strong survives her husband, and resides with her son on the old homestead.” (History of Delaware County, N.Y. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 1880. p. 255.)

Harriet’s mother and Burton’s mother-in-law, Harriet M. Strong, passed away in 1911. “Mrs. Harriet M. Strong died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Burton Hine, in Walton, Dec. 3, aged 94 years. She was the daughter of Pearce [Pierce, 1781-1854] and [Abigail] Nabby Mitchell [1789-1888], who were early settlers on Elk Creek. Her husband, Lemuel Strong of Meredith, died about 20 years ago. She is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Hine of Walton and one son, Chauncey Strong of Oneonta. Two brothers, Hudson Mitchell of California, and Marshall Mitchell of Delhi and a sister, Mrs. Sarah M. Griswold also of Delhi survive her. Mrs. Strong was in many ways a most remarkable woman and most highly respected. The funeral was held in Walton Wednesday and burial Thursday at Meredith Square.” (Delaware Gazette. December 13, 1911.)

Burton and Harriet Hine had one son Lemuel Strong Hine and one daughter, Hattie Julia (Hine) Lewis. Lemuel Strong Hine was born on December 28, 1874. Lemuel enlisted in the military during the Spanish-American War. He served from May 1, 1898 to February 25, 1899 as a Corporal with Company F, 1st NY Infantry. He was first stationed at the Presidio in California and then in Honolulu, Hawaii. For his civilian career Lemuel worked as a successful plumber. According to his World War I draft card, Lemuel was of medium height, medium build and had light brown hair. In 1901 Lemuel married Lillian Gilbert (1879-1964), daughter of William and Catherine White Gilbert. Lemuel passed away from a heart attack at 65 years of age on January 14, 1940 and is buried at Walton Cemetery.

Hattie Julia (Hine) Lewis was born in 1870. She married Harry Knowles Lewis (1872-1925). Harry worked as a farmer, as superintendent with the Borden Milk Company and as an instructor at the State School of Agriculture at Delhi. He was well liked at the school, “where his faithful and efficient services were highly prized.” (Stamford Mirror-Recorder. July 29, 1925.) Harry passed away in 1925 following a nervous breakdown and an attempted suicide by slashing his throat. In 1928, three years after his passing, at the graduation ceremony for the state school at Delhi, alumni presented a bronze tablet to his memory. Hattie Lewis passed away in 1948 is buried at Walton Cemetery.

In 1870 Burton worked together with several other photographers to advertise their copying and retouching services. The following advertisement was featured in an 1870 issue of the Bloomville Mirror. “FOR THE HOLIDAYS. IF You want the finest retouched photograph of yourself, or one copied from the smallest or poorest picture possible, into a splendid portrait of any size, in oil or water colors, or India Ink, don’t ask [sp?], but inquire particulars of B. Fitch & Co. Delhi; S. B. Champion, Bloomville; E. Gage, Photographer, Walton; E. O. Covill, Stamford; W. S. Foote, Hobart, B. Hine, Franklin; O Friot [sp?], Oneonta; Wheeler, Unadilla; C. C. Williams, Margaretville. They will take orders and give all information required, or you can send orders direct by mail or express to Geo. H. Johnson, 1288 Broadway, New York. The beautiful porcelain pictures of all styles, frames and fittings furnished at New York prices.”

In addition to his photography business in 1870 Burton became the sole agent for the sale of the Weed Sewing Machine at the village of Franklin. Other local agents included McMurdy & Bro. at Hobart, N. O. Flint at Delhi, Dr. Geo. Parsons at Walton and J. I. Strong at Meredith. The machine was marketed in Delaware County as a “F. F., or Family Favorite!” Local advertisements highlighted the many prizes won by the Weed sewing machine, which was first patented by Theodore E. Weed in 1854. The Weed Sewing Machine Company operated from 1863 to 1891.

On the 1870 United States census Burton, age 27, was residing in the town of Franklin with his wife Harriet, age 23. Burton was listed with an occupation of “Photographer.” Their personal estate was valued at $1,500.

 

Burton Hine, 1870 United States CensusBurton Hine, Photographer, 1870 United States CensusBurton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer. Burton Hine, 1870 United States Census.

 

Burton and Harriet moved from Franklin to Walton several years after their marriage in 1871.

The 31st Annual Fair of the Delaware County Agricultural Society took place at Walton on September 26-28, 1871. In Class No. 20, Burton Hine was awarded a premium for “best exhibition photographs.”

 

Map of the Walton business district in 1869.Map of the Walton business district in 1869.Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Atlas of Delaware co., New York: from actual surveys by and under the direction of F. W. Beers assisted by A. B. Prindle & others" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1869. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/63eb0760-c5f7-012f-9bb5-58d385a7bc34 Map of the Walton business district in 1869.

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. "Atlas of Delaware co., New York: from actual surveys by and under the direction of F. W. Beers assisted by A. B. Prindle & others" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1869. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/63eb0760-c5f7-012f-9bb5-58d385a7bc34

 

Burton placed the following advertisement in the Delaware Republican, a local newspaper, in 1872. “Hine’s Photograph Gallery! Walton, N.Y., IS turning out Pictures equal to any Gallery in the State – All of the Latest New York styles of pictures at the Lowest Prices. He has also a large Stock of Oval, Black Walnut Rosewood and Rustic Frames, Stereoscopes, Picture Cord and Picture Nails. Pictures of all kinds framed to order from a well-selected stock of Black Walnut, Rosewood, Gilt and Rustic Mouldings. At Prices which Defy Competition. Walton, August 19, 1872. 640m3 BURTON HINE.”

 

Hine's Photograph Gallery, Walton, NYHine's Photograph Gallery, Walton, NYBurton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

Delaware Republican, 1872.
“Hine's Photograph Gallery!” advertisement. Delaware Republican, 1872.

 

Hine was widely known for publishing his popular series of stereoviews titled “Views in and about Walton.” A number of these stereoviews are viewable as part of the digital collections of the New York Public Library.

 

Delaware Street, looking west."Delaware Street, looking west." Burton Hine, Photographer.This Burton Hine stereoview titled "Delaware Street, looking west" is from his "Views In and About Walton" series.

Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Delaware Street, looking west." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddc0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
"Delaware Street, looking west."

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Delaware Street, looking west." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddc0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

"East Brook and Pine Hill." Burton Hine, photographer"East Brook and Pine Hill." Burton Hine, photographerThis Burton Hine stereoview titled "East Brook and Pine Hill" is from his popular "Views In and About Walton" series.

Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "East Brook and Pine Hill." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddc4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
"East Brook and Pine Hill."

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "East Brook and Pine Hill." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddc4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

"Group portrait of women sitting on the grass in front of a house." Burton Hine, photographer."Group portrait of women sitting on the grass in front of a house." Burton Hine, photographer.This Burton Hine stereoview titled "Group portrait of women sitting on grass in front of a house" was from his popular "Views In and About Walton" series.

Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Group portrait of women sitting on the grass in front of a house." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddb8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
"Group portrait of women sitting on the grass in front of a house."

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Group portrait of women sitting on the grass in front of a house." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddb8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

North Street, looking south from Fitch Street. Burton Hine, photographer.North Street, looking south from Fitch Street. Burton Hine, photographer.This Burton Hine stereoview titled "“North Street, looking south from Fitch Street" is from his popular "Views In and About Walton" series.

Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "North Street, looking south from Fitch Street." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddbe-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
“North Street, looking south from Fitch Street.”

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "North Street, looking south from Fitch Street." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddbe-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

On the 1875 New York State census Burton, age 33, was residing at the village of Walton. The household included his wife Addie, age 27, their daughter Hattie, age 3 1/2 and their son Lemuel S., age 5 months. Burton’s occupation was listed as “Photographer.”

 

Burton Hine, 1875 New York State CensusBurton Hine, Photographer, 1875 New York State CensusBurton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer. Burton Hine, 1875 New York State Census.

 

Sometime between 1875, at the time of the New York census, and circa 1877 Burton gave up his photography business. In 1877-79 Burton Hine was serving as a constable and deputy sheriff for Delaware County. In executing his official enforcement responsibilities, Hine faced numerous challenges, as seen in the following newspaper articles.

 

“Deputy Sheriff Hine commenced selling at auction the goods in the Empire Store, lately occupied by Simpson and Russell, last Thursday. The goods sold low, as a general thing less than the appraisal, but the sales last week amounted to more than $3,000. No sale Monday and Tuesday, but it began again Wednesday forenoon.– Walton Chronicle.” (Delaware Gazette. May 23, 1877.)

 

“On Monday, Deputy-Sheriff Hine attempted to levy on the goods and chattels of J. Wilbur, at the steam mill. Wilbur objected, claiming the property belonged to his wife, and held on to a belt which Hine had hold of. Hine struck Wilbur with the belt. Wilbur swore out a warrant against the sheriff, and had him arrested from assault and battery. Hine waived an examination, and gave bail to appear before the Grand Jury. G. O. Mead and N. G. Eells, were his bondsmen.-Walton Chronicle Jan. 2” (“Delaware County.” Stamford Mirror. January 7, 1879.)

 

In 1879 Burton again changed careers, this time becoming a farmer. “Burton Hine has bought the Duffie farm, late Wm. Weissmer’s; possession to be had Dec. 15th. This farm lies on the river, about three miles below this village, and contains thirty acres of land with good buildings. Consideration $2,250 for the farm, and $350 for personal property on the farm. Mr. Duffie moves into the house which Mr. Hine leaves in this village.” (The Herald. Hancock, NY. December 11, 1879.)

On the 1880 United States census Burton, age 37, was residing in the town of Walton. The household included his wife H. Adelia, age 34; their daughter Hattie J., age 10; and their son Lemuel S., age 5. Burton was listed with an occupation of “Farmer.”

In addition to his business impact on the Walton village Burton Hine was also a prominent and influential civic-minded member of the community. After the Civil War a society of veterans was established with the organization of The Grand Army of the Republic (G. A. R.). In Delaware County the group operated as the England Post, No. 142, G. A. R. The veterans group conducted a number of reunions around Delaware County beginning in 1880 and taking place annually over the succeeding years. In 1881 Burton was chosen Chairman “for the purpose of initiating a general reunion of Delaware County soldiers during the coming summer.” (Delaware Gazette. March 30, 1881.) The 1883 reunion was held at Windsor, Broome County; the 1884 reunion was held at Unadilla, Otsego County; the 1885 reunion was held at Delhi, Delaware County; and the 1886 reunion was held at Guilford, Chenango County. In 1888 Burton was appointed as Aid-de-camp on the staff of General N. M. Curtiss, Department Commander of the G. A. R.

In 1882 Burton, along with Lewis Marvin, both of Walton, were delegates to the Republican County convention held at Kiff’s Hotel on September 12. They met “for the purpose of electing State and Congressional delegations.” (The Delaware Republican. 1882.) In 1883 Burton served as an Inspector of Election for the town of Walton. As a Walton farmer Burton was active in the Delaware County Milk Producers’ Association, and had served as Secretary. He was elected vice-president of the Walton Farmers’ and Dairymen’s Association at the time of the group’s founding.

In 1883 Burton expanded his land holdings with the purchase of another farm. “Burton Hine has bought of Mrs. John Andrews, her farm of forty-two acres, on Bob’s Brook, town of Walton, for $550. Immediate possession given of the farm, but Mrs. Andrews retains possession of the house and garden until fall.” (Stamford Mirror. May 1, 1883.) Bob’s Brook Road is located off of Route 10, southwest from the village of Walton.

 

"Mead Street, Walton, looking west from North Street.""Mead Street, Walton, looking west from North Street." Burton Hine, Photographer.This Burton Hine stereoview titled "Mead Street, Walton, looking west from North Street" is from his popular "Views In and About Walton" series.

Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Mead? Street, Walton, looking west from North Street." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddc2-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
"Mead Street, Walton, looking west from North Street."

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Mead? Street, Walton, looking west from North Street." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddc2-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

North Street, looking north from Fitch Street. Burton Hine, photographerNorth Street, looking north from Fitch Street. Burton Hine, photographerThis Burton Hine stereoview titled "North Street, looking north from Fitch Street" is from his popular "Views In and About Walton" series.

Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "North Street, looking north from Fitch Street." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddbc-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
"North Street, looking north from Fitch Street."

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "North Street, looking north from Fitch Street." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddbc-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

"Townsend Street, looking north." Burton Hine, photographer"Townsend Street, looking north." Burton Hine, photographerThis Burton Hine stereoview titled "Townsend Street, looking north" is from his popular "Views In and About Walton" series.

Burton Hine (1842-1905) was a popular photographer during the late 1860s and 1870s in Delaware County, New York. He served honorably during the Civil War with the 89th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. After leaving the photography business Burton became a sheriff and farmer.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Townsend Street, looking north." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddba-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
"Townsend Street, looking north."

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Townsend Street, looking north." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1850 - 1930. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ddba-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

On the 1892 New York State census Burton, age 50, was residing in the town of Walton. The household included his wife Adelia H, their daughter Hattie, age 22, and their son Lemuel, age 18. Burton was listed with an occupation of “Farmer.”

On the 1900 United States census Burton, age 58, was residing in the won of Walton. The household included his wife H. Adelia, age 54. The census shows that Burton was born in October 1842 and that Harriet was born in July 1846. The census also shows that H. Adelia had two children, both then living. Burton was listed with an occupation of “Farmer.”

Burton Hine passed away at the age of 62 on April 13, 1905. He had been in poor health for several months before his passing. He was the last of his family of four brothers and one sister to pass away. Upon his passing he left behind his wife Harriet and two children, Lemuel S. Hine of Hamden, New York and Mrs. Harry K. Lewis of Hamden, New York. Harriet Adelia Hine passed away on October 16, 1928. Both Burton and Harriet are buried at Walton Cemetery.

 

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If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer Burton Hine 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. 

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) 89th Regiment A. S. Avery Ambrose Hine Burton Hine Civil War constable Delaware County farmer Franklin T. Hine gallery George Kerr Harriet Adelia Hine Harrison S. Fairchild Hattie Julia (Hine) Lewis James W. Hine Lemuel Strong Hine Meredith Miles Hine N. A. Beers New York photographer photography sheriff Silas Hine soldier Theophilus L. England Views in and about Walton Walton https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/6/burton-hine-civil-war-veteran-and-photographer Sat, 05 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT
On the Road Again: Ultimate Road Trip # 9 https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/5/on-the-road-again-ultimate-road-trip-9 The latest iteration of the Ultimate Road Trip music mix series was made live in the fall of 2020. In October of that year, I took a fantastic 4-day weekend to the Catskills, lodging in the Tannersville area. The autumn colors that season were the best that they had been in many years. Coupled with near perfect weather, I had an extremely productive trip with photography shoots at Sunset Rock, Notch Lake, Pratt Rock, Dolan Lake, Old Mill Falls, Platte Clove and Hunter Mountain, as well as other random locations along the way.

 

Although I am still working my way through the photographs from that trip, I have included a few that have been processed thus far.

 

 

1.  Guaranteed – Eddie Vedder

2.  Society – Eddie Vedder

3.  Sedona – Houndmouth

4.  Downbound Train – The Smithereens

5.  Something Big – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

6.  Into the Black – Chromatics

7.  Daylight – Mandolin Orange

8.  And It’s Still Alright – Nathaniel Rateliff

9.  Tecumseh Valley – Jason Isbell & Elizabeth Cook

10. Pancho and Lefty – Jason Isbell & Elizabeth Cook

11. Life’s for the Living – Passenger

12. By and By – Caamp

13. Mad World – Michael Andrews

14. Bright Beginnings – Joe Pug

15. Amarillo by Morning – Josiah and the Bonnevilles

 

 

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek within the 280-acre Platte Clove Preserve, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls.Old Mill FallsOld Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls. The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way south to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
Old Mill Falls

 

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek within the 280-acre Platte Clove Preserve, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls.Autumn Leaves at Old Mill FallsOld Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls. The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way south to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill 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 it 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. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
Old Mill Falls

 

Rich fall colors of the autumn season can be seen throughout Kaaterskill Clove in the northern Catskills.Kaaterskill Clove, Fall ColorsKaaterskill 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 also 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.

The splendid colors of autumn can be seen throughout the clove with its numerous hiking trails that 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 Clove

 

The private residential community of Twilight Park at Haines Falls in the northern Catskills are set at the head of Kaaterskill Clove amidst brilliant autumn colors.Twilight Park, Fall ColorsTwilight Park is a private residential community located at the head of Kaaterskill Clove near the village of Haines Falls in the northern Catskills. It offers dramatic views of Kaaterskill Clove, Haines Falls and the Hudson River. Charles Wingate, a journalist and civil/sanitary engineer, founded the park on land purchased from Charles Haines, owner of the Haines Falls House, in August 1887, with construction beginning soon thereafter. By 1888 there were 5 cottages; by 1889 there were 15 cottages; by 1890 there were 26 cottages; and by 1892 there were 49 cottages, 3 inns and 300 residents. In 1935 the adjacent Santa Cruz Park was incorporated into Twilight Park. Haines Falls, a beautiful 150-foot waterfall, is located on the west end of the property. Today Twilight Park is one of three remaining private communities in the area, the other two being Onteora Park and Elka Park. The Twilight Park Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In this photograph the homes at Twilight Park can be seen sitting on their lofty perch amidst a wall of autumn colors. You can visit the community’s website at www.twilightpark.com for more information about its history, the annual art show or the occasional real estate that becomes available for purchase.
Twilight Park, Fall Colors

 

Gloria Dei Church located in Palenville, New York at the entrance to Kaaterskill Clove in the northern Catskills.Gloria Dei Church at Entrance to Kaaterskill CloveThe Gloria Dei Church located in Palenville at the entrance to Kaaterskill Clove had its cornerstone laid on July 30, 1879. Bishop William Croswell Doane wrote on that date: “I laid the Corner Stone of the Gloria Dei Church, Palenville. I am glad the march of the Church’s empire is taking its way into the Catskills, as it has into the Adirondacks. It was a glorious afternoon; the drive both ways was a delight every second of the time, and every inch of the way. A goodly company had gathered. The Boy Choir of St. Luke’s Church, Brooklyn, added great beauty and fervor to the scene and the service, by their presence in the surpliced procession, and their very sweet singing. There were present the Rev. Mr. Young, the Missionary, and Messrs. Stewart, Weeks and Grubbe of the Diocese, Abercrombie of New Jersey (to whom we owed the presence of the choir). I made the address, and desire here again to recall my sense of the power of lay influence and interest to advance the Church. In the Catskills, as in the Adirondacks, it is a “beloved physician” who has done the work; and much as Mr. Weeks has done, by constant active interest and service, Dr. Chubb is the founder of the work here. After the corner stone laying we went, such of us as could get it, into a little building beautiful with laurel and evergreen and field daisies, where the congregation have worshipped through the summer. I commend the ingenious economy of this idea, which combines cheapness with beauty and convenience; for nothing was used in its construction, but the timbers and boards, which are to go into the future Church. I confirmed five persons, and one afterward in private. (“The Bishop’s Address.” Journal of the Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Albany . . . Albany, NY: Van Benthuysen Printing House, 1878.)

Despite the cornerstone being laid six years prior, due to the lack of funds, construction was not fully completed until 1885. In the intervening years the church building was used in its unfinished condition. The completed church building was consecrated on September 16, 1885. At the first service, “a large congregation, composed of residents, summer visitors, and friends from neighboring parishes, filled the church to its utmost capacity. The opening Psalm xxiv, was chanted antiphonally by the bishop, clergy and choir. The instrument of donation was read by the warden, Dr. C. H. Chubb, and the sentence of consecrations by the rector. After Morning Prayer, the bishop proceeded to the celebration of the Holy Communion, preaching from Genesis xxviii, 18, 19. The indications of real growth in the knowledge of Church principles, and an increasing appreciation of her services among the residents of this neighborhood, are very encouraging.” (“Albany.” The Churchman. October 10. 1885.)

The building was designed by architect W. H. Day. The church was built of Catskill mountain bluestone and was designed at 28’ by 50’ outside, with walls 13 feet high and 2 feet thick. The church had a capacity of 135 people. The building and its grounds were a gift to the community. The Gloria Dei Church, with the Episcopal denomination, continues to serve the public today.
Gloria Dei Church, Palenville

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Pratt RockThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.
Pratt Rock

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Tools of the TradeThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

The sculptures pictured here honor of the working man with a “sinewy, vigorous arm, grasping a hammer and a beam-knife, used by tanners in their work.” (Biography of Zadock Pratt. p. 111.) Adjacent is a hand holding a scroll that reads “Bureau of Statistics 1844.” While serving in the House of Representatives Zadock Pratt introduced legislation that established the Bureau of Statistics.
Rock Carvings at Pratt Rock

 

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Pratt Rock: A Study https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/5/pratt-rock-a-study The 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer. The carvings were created by itinerant stone cutters from circa 1843 to circa 1871. The carvings and inscriptions have historically, and continue to be, routinely whitewashed in order to make them more visible from the trail below.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Pratt RockThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

 

As for the early beginnings of the carvings, there are several different versions of local legends. In a common version of the story an itinerant traveler was walking home when he encountered Zadock Pratt. The traveler inquired about a meal and lodging for the night. Pratt, of the belief that one should earn their keep, asked of the traveler’s skills and what he could offer in return. Upon learning that he was a stonecutter Pratt asked the gentleman to carve a horse on the nearby cliff side. The horse thus became the first image to be carved on the rocks.

 

An 1887 newspaper article tells a tale close to the popular understanding, although with a few additional interesting details.

 

“One day a sort of tramp called on him and asked for half a dollar to help him on his journey to his home on the other side of the Hudson River. He was asked his business. He said he was a sculptor. Pratt asked if he could cut a profile on a rock. He said he could and Pratt set him at work on a ‘big rock’ on the spot where one road leads to Windham and the other to Lexington. After he had cut off the outer part to get a solid place for Pratt’s bust, John Brandow came along and said the rock was on his land and he did not want Pratt’s face on it to haunt him as he passed. Brandow did not like Pratt. The sculptor quit work and reported to Pratt. He had not anticipated any objection, as the rock stood on a corner of the road, and I think, near his own land. Pratt felt rather taken aback by the rebuff but said he had rocks enough nearer home and now he’d have some sculpture work done, if the man could do it. He started the tramp at it, at first more for fun than anything else, to see what the fellow could do. Then the work commenced where the legend, or history of his life is recorded . . . the man chiseled a long time to do the work, got well paid for it and went on his journey. I am not sure that this one man did all the work.” (“Editor Relates Pratt’s Rock History in Issue of 1887.” Stamford Mirror-Recorder. July 16, 1958.)  

 

A second version of the story tells that Zadock Pratt sought out the most skilled sculptor he could find, in order to make his sculpture ideas a reality.

 

Regardless of the carving’s origins, it is doubtful that the sculptures were the work of one man, but were instead the off-and-on work of several stonecutters over the 28 years from 1843, when the park was established, to 1871, when Zadock Pratt passed away. One newspaper account records that several of the stone seats along the path were carved by Pat Furey (or Fuhrer), a Hobart man. (“Sculptures On Cliff Above Prattsville Village Reveal Most Interesting History.” Stamford Mirror-Recorder. March 27, 1930.) The Zadock Pratt Museum states that other possible itinerant stonecutters that worked on Pratt Rock could include Andrew Pearse, John Fair, Charles Kissock (who had a stone cutting business in Windham), E. Brevier, and I. H. Vermilyea.

 

Pratt Rock Park was established as a public park in 1843 with Zadock Pratt’s donation of 20 acres of land. “Pratt Rock Park is typical of parks or “pleasure grounds,” which were established throughout the country during the mid and late Nineteenth century. In general, pleasure grounds like Pratt’s park, were established or sponsored by the local social and/or economic elite who fostered a concern for the general population. This type of park was generally intended to serve the whole population of a community. The emphasis of the park was focused on passive activity such as walking, picnicking and most notably the enjoyment of the views and vistas either planned or natural.”

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Pratt RockThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

In the comprehensive Biography of Zadock Pratt there was a detailed description of Pratt Rock and its sculptures.

 

“There is one feature in connection with Prattsville which is truly unique, and deserves to be dwelt upon with some care and particularity; and that is, the sculptured rocks, on a lofty eminence just at the eastern section of the village. As the traveller enters the valley and nears the village, he is struck with beholding on his right hand, some three hundred feet or more above the level of the road, a colossal bust of Colonel Pratt, and other sculptures, well meriting the attention as historic records. He is impelled by the novelty of the occurrence, in such a place, to make an early visit to this locality; so, passing by the many other attractive spots in the vicinity, he retraces his steps from the hotel, and seeks the place which he has just passed. He finds the hill-side steep, and rather toilsome to ascend; but a meandering walk leads him gradually upward till he reaches the base of the overhanging, nearly perpendicular argillaceous rock on which the sculpture is carved. As he approaches, the objects stand out more and more distinctly. The artist has cut the bust in profile, about twenty feet above the base of the rocks, and a shelving canopy both protects it from the trickling water from above and also adds to its general effect. Underneath, in deep-cut letters, is the inscription, ‘ZADOCK PRATT, BORN OCT. 30TH, 1790.’ Near to this, but not quite so high up, is a massive scroll, pointing out an illustrious act of Colonel Pratt’s public life; it is a scroll neatly cut, partly unrolled, containing the words, ‘BUREAU OF STATISTICS, 1844.’ A sinewy, vigorous arm, grasping a hammer and a beam-knife, used by tanners in their work, form neat appendages underneath and at the side of this remarkable sculpture. A little to the side of this last sculpture, the artist has carved upon the rocks a representation – very well done, by the way – of the Prattsville tannery, which is the largest in the world; and he has put on record the noteworthy fact that Colonel Pratt, within twenty years, has tanned here, with hemlock bark, one million sides of sole leather. One other tablet, containing the names of Colonel Pratt’s son and daughter, completes these interesting sculptures.” (Biography of Zadock Pratt. pp. 110-111.)

 

As for the geology of Pratt Rock the informational kiosk at the beginning of the trails offers some insightful details.

 

“The carvings are cut into gray sandstone which was formed about 360 million years ago, when the Catskill Mountains as we know them today did not exist. The sandstones are now high above sea level because of uplift of the region. The rock layering is essentially horizontal and the rocks are undeformed – the same altitude as when they were deposited. Streams have been able to erode deep valleys and it is to this erosion process that the Catskill Mountains owe their existence. Since their formation, the Catskills have been modified by both continental and valley glaciers which covered the region from 2 million to 10 thousand years ago. As well as leaving behind distinctive deposits, the continental glaciers, hundreds or thousands of feet thick, contained boulders and pebble which scratched the underlying rock as they moved along. Some of these scratches, or glacial striations, can be seen on top of the ledges at Pratt’s Rocks, and they show the direction of glacier ice movement from north to south.”

 

Zadock Pratt (1790-1871), the namesake of Prattsville and Pratt Rock Park, was a man of many talents. The son of a tanner who had moved to Greene County in 1802, Pratt began his career as a humble saddler and harness maker but went on to found one of the largest and most prosperous leather tanneries in the world in the Catskills, thereby founding the hamlet of Prattsville. In 1814 Pratt enlisted in the US Army and served during the war of 1812 as a cavalry sergeant under Captain Stone. Pratt also served in the New York State Militia for many years, eventually rising to Captain in the 5th Regiment of New York state artillery and was then promoted to the rank of Colonel, leading the 116th Infantry Regiment. Pratt held “numerous local, state and national elected offices, including Justice of the Peace (Town of Windham, 1824), member of the New York State Senate (1830), and Presidential Elector (1836 and 1852).” In 1843 he founded the Prattsville Bank, which operated until 1852, and in 1848 he received an honorary degree from Union College. Being well regarded in the community Zadock was elected twice to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, first in 1836 and then again in 1842. Pratt died at 80 years of age in 1871 and is buried at the Benham Cemetery in Prattsville.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Mount Rushmore of the EastThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.
A landscape view of the carvings at Pratt Rock. Although perhaps a bit overstated the carvings at Pratt Rock have been termed “Mount Rushmore of the East.”

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Zadock PrattThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.


The sculpture seen in this photograph represents Zadock Pratt (1790-1871), the namesake of Prattsville and Pratt Rock Park, and a man of many talents. The son of a tanner who had moved to Greene County in 1802, Pratt began his career as a humble saddler and harness maker but went on to found one of the largest and most prosperous leather tanneries in the world in the Catskills, thereby founding the hamlet of Prattsville. In 1814 Pratt enlisted in the US Army and served during the war of 1812 as a cavalry sergeant under Captain Stone. Pratt also served in the New York State Militia for many years, eventually rising to Captain in the 5th Regiment of New York state artillery and was then promoted to the rank of Colonel, leading the 116th Infantry Regiment. Pratt held “numerous local, state and national elected offices, including Justice of the Peace (Town of Windham, 1824), member of the New York State Senate (1830), and Presidential Elector (1836 and 1852).” In 1843 he founded the Prattsville Bank, which operated until 1852, and in 1848 he received an honorary degree from Union College. Being well regarded in the community Zadock was elected twice to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, first in 1836 and then again in 1842. Pratt died at 80 years of age in 1871 and is buried at the Benham Cemetery in Prattsville.
Zadock Pratt, a prominent tannery owner and founder of Prattsville.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Honorable G. W. PrattThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

The sculpture seen in this photograph depicts Colonel George W. Pratt, son of Zadock Pratt. George Watson Pratt (1830-1862) was born in 1830 at Prattsville. Pratt was first educated at Prattsville, but completed his education in Germany, where he received a degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Upon graduation he traveled extensively in Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Russia. He returned to the United States in 1855, when he married Anna Tibbits and worked as a leather manufacturer in Kingston, New York. Pratt was elected to the New York State Senate in 1858 and 1859. Pratt served as Colonel of the 20th New York State Militia, also known as the Ulster Guard, during the Civil War. At the second battle of Manassas in Virginia on August 30, 1862 he was shot in the left shoulder and the spine. He died nearly two weeks later at the age of 32 on September 11, 1862 at Albany, New York. He is buried at Albany Rural Cemetery.

The carvings dedicated to George W. Pratt at Pratt Rock were one of the earliest Civil War monuments. The inscription reads:

Hon G. W. Pratt, Ph.D
Col XX Regt., N.Y.S.M., Ulster Co., Born Apr. 18, 1830
Wounded Aug. 30, In the 2nd Battle of
Manassas, Va. Died at Albany, N.Y. Sep. 11th.
Good Brave Honorable 1862.
George Watson Pratt (1830-1862), son of Zadock Pratt was born in 1830 at Prattsville. Pratt was first educated at Prattsville, but completed his education in Germany, where he received a degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Upon graduation he traveled extensively in Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Russia. He returned to the United States in 1855, when he married Anna Tibbits and worked as a leather manufacturer in Kingston, New York. Pratt was elected to the New York State Senate in 1858 and 1859. Pratt served as Colonel of the 20th New York State Militia, also known as the Ulster Guard, during the Civil War. At the second battle of Manassas in Virginia on August 30, 1862 he was shot in the left shoulder and the spine. He died nearly two weeks later at the age of 32 on September 11, 1862 at Albany, New York. He is buried at Albany Rural Cemetery.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Colonel George W. PrattThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

The sculpture seen in this photograph depicts Colonel George W. Pratt, son of Zadock Pratt. George Watson Pratt (1830-1862) was born in 1830 at Prattsville. Pratt was first educated at Prattsville, but completed his education in Germany, where he received a degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Upon graduation he traveled extensively in Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Russia. He returned to the United States in 1855, when he married Anna Tibbits and worked as a leather manufacturer in Kingston, New York. Pratt was elected to the New York State Senate in 1858 and 1859. Pratt served as Colonel of the 20th New York State Militia, also known as the Ulster Guard, during the Civil War. At the second battle of Manassas in Virginia on August 30, 1862 he was shot in the left shoulder and the spine. He died nearly two weeks later at the age of 32 on September 11, 1862 at Albany, New York. He is buried at Albany Rural Cemetery.

The carvings dedicated to George W. Pratt at Pratt Rock were one of the earliest Civil War monuments. The inscription reads:

Hon G. W. Pratt, Ph.D
Col XX Regt., N.Y.S.M., Ulster Co., Born Apr. 18, 1830
Wounded Aug. 30, In the 2nd Battle of
Manassas, Va. Died at Albany, N.Y. Sep. 11th.
Good Brave Honorable 1862.
The carvings dedicated to George W. Pratt at Pratt Rock were one of the earliest Civil War monuments. The inscription reads:

 

Hon G. W. Pratt, Ph.D

Col XX Regt., N.Y.S.M., Ulster Co., Born Apr. 18, 1830

Wounded Aug. 30, In the 2nd Battle of

Manassas, Va. Died at Albany, N.Y. Sep. 11th.

Good Brave Honorable 1862.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.BobThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.


The horse represents Zadock Pratt’s loved of equines. It is reported that Pratt owned over a thousand horses in his lifetime. The horse depicted here was named Bob, and was ridden by Zadock Pratt while serving as a cavalry sergeant under the command of Captain Stone in 1814. The carving “stands out against the side of the cliff in bold relief. The image is 12 feet from head to tail, and more than six feet from flowing mane to front hoof. The left hind foot and the right front foot are lifted, as though the charger were about to swing into action. Gracefully arched neck and flowing mane and tail emphasize the beauty of the image.” (“Catskill Memorial to Hero of Revolution.” The Binghamton Press. July 8, 1830.)

At the beginning of the hike to Pratt Rock there is a stone monument that was erected in memory of Zadock Pratt’s horses and dogs, including his beloved horse Bob from the War of 1812. The monument inscription reads “Of over one thousand horses owned and worn out in service of Z. Pratt, the following were favorites . . . Bob, a sorrel, aged twenty-four years; Bogue, a bay, aged eighteen years; Prince, a gray, aged thirty years . . . Carlo, a scotch terrier and Newfoundland, aged twelve years; Rough, an Irish Canadian mastiff, aged eleven years; Mingo, a half English terrier, aged ten years.”
The horse represents Zadock Pratt’s loved of equines. It is reported that Pratt owned over a thousand horses in his lifetime. The horse depicted here was named Bob, and was ridden by Zadock Pratt while serving as a cavalry sergeant under the command of Captain Stone in 1814. The carving “stands out against the side of the cliff in bold relief. The image is 12 feet from head to tail, and more than six feet from flowing mane to front hoof. The left hind foot and the right front foot are lifted, as though the charger were about to swing into action. Gracefully arched neck and flowing mane and tail emphasize the beauty of the image.” (“Catskill Memorial to Hero of Revolution.” The Binghamton Press. July 8, 1830.)

 

At the beginning of the hike to Pratt Rock there is a stone monument that was erected in memory of Zadock Pratt’s horses and dogs, including his beloved horse Bob from the War of 1812. The monument inscription reads “Of over one thousand horses owned and worn out in service of Z. Pratt, the following were favorites . . . Bob, a sorrel, aged twenty-four years; Bogue, a bay, aged eighteen years; Prince, a gray, aged thirty years . . . Carlo, a scotch terrier and Newfoundland, aged twelve years; Rough, an Irish Canadian mastiff, aged eleven years; Mingo, a half English terrier, aged ten years.”  

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.HemlockThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

The hemlock tree represents the source of Zadock Pratt’s wealth, as it provided the tannic acid required in the leather tanning process.

The hemlock tree represents the source of Zadock Pratt’s wealth, as it provided the tannic acid required in the leather tanning process.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.In MemoryThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.


The wreath contains the names of Zadock Pratt’s children, George W. Pratt and Julia H. Pratt. Although no longer visible this carving once contained the following verse: “Let virtue be your greatest care, and study your delight, So will your days be ever fair, and peacefully your nights.” The verse was removed sometime after the death of George Pratt.
The wreath contains the names of Zadock Pratt’s children, George W. Pratt and Julia H. Pratt. Although no longer visible this carving once contained the following verse: “Let virtue be your greatest care, and study your delight, So will your days be ever fair, and peacefully your nights.” The verse was removed sometime after the death of George Pratt.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Coat of ArmsThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.


The Pratt family coat of arms, which includes a hemlock tree and the saying: “Do well and doubt not.” The date inscribed under the coat of arms indicates that this carving was likely created in 1857.

The Pratt family coat of arms, which includes a hemlock tree and the saying: “Do well and doubt not.” The date inscribed under the coat of arms indicates that this carving was likely created in 1857.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Tools of the TradeThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

The sculptures pictured here honor of the working man with a “sinewy, vigorous arm, grasping a hammer and a beam-knife, used by tanners in their work.” (Biography of Zadock Pratt. p. 111.) Adjacent is a hand holding a scroll that reads “Bureau of Statistics 1844.” While serving in the House of Representatives Zadock Pratt introduced legislation that established the Bureau of Statistics.
In honor of the working man there is a “sinewy, vigorous arm, grasping a hammer and a beam-knife, used by tanners in their work.” (Biography of Zadock Pratt. p. 111.) Adjacent is a hand holding a scroll that reads “Bureau of Statistics 1844.” While serving in the House of Representatives Zadock Pratt introduced legislation that established the Bureau of Statistics.

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Pratt RockThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.
In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

 

In 1858 an early visitor to Pratt Rock described the scene from the viewpoint. “The scenery around Prattsville is surprisingly beautiful. I would like to give you a pen sketch of the glorious panorama that was spread before me as I stood on the summit of “Pratt’s Rock,” and saw the mighty wall of mountains that circled us on every side, and the Schoharie winding along the valley like a silver thread, sparkling in the sunlight, and throwing its joyous murmurs in the air . . .” (“Letters from Wm. H. Burleigh.” Franklin Visitor. September 29, 1858.)

 

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

 

For more information about Zadock Pratt and the local region be sure to visit the Zadock Pratt Museum in the nearby hamlet of Prattsville. The museum is located in the Zadock Pratt House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum website can be found at www.zadockprattmuseum.org.

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) Andrew Pearse art Catskill Mountains Catskills Charles Kissock cliff George W. Pratt Greene County hemlock hike hiking John Fair leather park photographer photographs photography photos picnic Pratt Rock Pratt Rock Park Pratt's Rock Prattsville road trip sculpture tannery tourism tourist trail Zadock Pratt https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/5/pratt-rock-a-study Sat, 22 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/5/mountain-echoes-through-the-catskills Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills is a beautiful pictorial depiction of the Catskills region. It contains 12 different color illustrations from throughout the northern Catskills in and around the former Catskill Mountain House.

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Mountain Echoes Through the CatskillsThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

Illustrations included within Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills show locations such as Leeds Bridge, Sleepy Hollow and the Rip van Winkle House, Sunset Rock, North Mountain, Stony Clove, South Lake and Kaaterskill Falls.

 

Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There is no published date but is likely from the late 1800s.

 

An identically titled book was first published by the Obpacher Brothers around the year 1888. The cover was different than the Wolf and Company book, but several of the illustrations were the same. The Obpacher book is noted for having six illustrations. In addition to the illustrations the Obpacher book contained poems by Washington Irving, Tennyson, Byron and others. An advertisement in the August 1, 1888 issue of The American Bookseller advertised the line of books published by the Obpacher Brothers. There were two version of Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills available in the Obpacher “70 cent series.” They were described as “Each containing 16 pages. Color. Size 6 3/4 x 5 inches. Upright and oblong.”

 

The Obpacher Brothers company was founded in 1867 by brothers Johann and Joseph Obpacher. They published a range of products including books, postcards, art prints and greeting cards for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, etc. Printing operations were based in Munich, Germany, but the company also operated offices at Berlin, Paris, London, New York and Chicago. They continued operations for over a century until they closed their doors in 1988.

 

In addition to the Catskills, other Obpacher Brothers location publications included “The Seabound Isle, Mount Desert,” “Nature’s Haunts in the White and Franconia Mountains,” “Along the Banks of the St. Lawrence River,” and “On the Borders of the Ocean, Newport.” Each of these were also part of the 1888 “70 cent series.”

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Leed's BridgeThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Leeds Bridge

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Rip Van Winkle StaircaseThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rip Van Winkle's Staircase

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Rip van Winkle HouseThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rip Van Winkle House

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Sunset RockThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sunset Rock

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.North MountainThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

North Mountain

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Mountain HouseThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Mountain House

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Stony CloveThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Stony Clove

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Round Top Mountain and South LakeThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Round Top Mountain and South Lake

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Catskill FallsThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Catskill Falls

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Through Sleepy HollowThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Through Sleepy Hollow

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Old MillThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Old Mill

 

The beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Stony Clove BrookThe beautiful pictorial book titled Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills was published by Wolf and Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Stony Clove Brook

 

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dalencon99@gmail.com (American Catskills) art artist book Catskill Mountains Catskills illustrations Johann Obpacher Joseph Obpacher Kaaterskill Falls Leeds Bridge Mountain Echoes Through the Catskills North Mountain Obpacher Brothers paintings pictures Rip van Winkle House Round Top Sleepy Hollow South Lake Stony Clove Sunset Rock tourism tourist Wolf and Company https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/5/mountain-echoes-through-the-catskills Sat, 15 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Lorenzo Short – Rondout’s “Boss” Photographer (Part 2) https://www.americancatskills.com/blog/2021/5/lorenzo-short-rondout-s-boss-photographer-part-2 Introduction

 

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

 

Continued from last week . . .

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Lorenzo Short logo.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Lorenzo Short logo.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

 

Photography

 

By 1873 Lorenzo had switched professions from farming to photography, a career which he would continue for the remainder of his life. That year Lorenzo opened a gallery in the Rondout section of Kingston.

 

Rondout, previously known as the Strand, Kingston Landing and Bolton, is located near the mouth of the Rondout Creek as it completes its journey to the Hudson River. Its prime geographic location helped establish Rondout as a thriving industrial and trading transportation center. With the opening of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Rondout in 1828 Rondout developed as primary shipping point for coal from northeastern Pennsylvania, timber, agricultural products and bluestone from the Catskill Mountains, cement from Rosendale and bricks manufactured at local factories. Rondout quickly gained a reputation as one of the busiest places on the Hudson River between New York and Albany. With its rapid growth Rondout was incorporated as a village in 1849, and for several decades remained distinct for the neighboring village of Kingston. In 1872 the two villages merged to form the city that we know today.

 

Although much of the industry is long gone, Rondout of the 21st century retains a certain charm and is a popular destination for visitors to the city of Kingston. It is home to two popular museums, the Trolley Museum of New York and the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Visitors can take a trolley ride, embark on a Hudson River boat cruise, dock their boats at the riverfront marina, visit the nearby Rondout Lighthouse, stroll along the waterfront park, or stop in any number of restaurants of boutique shops. Maintaining its industrial and architectural legacy The Rondout – West Strand Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

It is possible that in establishing his operation Short had either previously been associated with or acquired the interest of photographer W. T. Ostrander. The Kingston City Directory for 1872-3 listed Ostrander as a photographer working at “Division, opp Mill.” The following year, the Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-74 then listed photographer Lorenzo Short as working at the same “Division, opp Mill” address.

 

In those early years, circa 1873, as a way of introduction, Short placed an advertisement in the Kingston city directory announcing his arrival. “New City Gallery! No. 33 Division Street, opposite Mill, Rondout, N.Y. Lorenzo Short, Photography, in all its branches, From the Bon Ton Tintype to the various sizes of Carte De Visite, the Rembrant Shadow Pictures, & c. Special attention given to out-door work. Views of Buildings, Steamboats, Landscapes, etc. etc.,– size from 8x10 to 18x22. Large assortment of FRAMES in stock. Frames made to order. Photographs colored in Oil, Ink, Crayon or Water Colors.” (Lant, J. H. Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-4. Kingston, N.Y.: J. H. Lant, 1873.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Advertisement for Lorenzo Short.Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-4.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Advertisement for Lorenzo Short. Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-4.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Advertisement for L. Short.Kingston City Directory for the Years 1877-8.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Advertisement for L. Short. Kingston City Directory for the Years 1877-8.

 

In April 1878 Lorenzo Short went to work for another Kingston photographer, D. J. Auchmoody. The reasons are unclear as to why Short would have closed his own studio, only to go to work for a competing photographer. Short must have had a positive reputation however since Auchmoody placed an advertisement in the local newspaper announcing Short’s arrival at the Auchmoody studio. “Notice to the Public. I have secured the services of Mr. Lorenzo Short in my Photographic department. Those wishing Mr. Short or myself to photography them can be served by calling at 29 Union avenue. I would state that I am taking photographs at a low price, and of as good quality, as can be obtained in the city. D. J. AUCHMOODY.” (“Notice to the Public.” The Daily Freeman. April 29, 1878.)

 

David J. Auchmoody was born in New Paltz in 1848. He began his career as a teacher in the town of Esopus before moving into the photographic field. He operated a gallery at Kingston for many years. After leaving the photography business he worked in the insurance busines and became a prominent member of a number of fraternal organizations. He passed away in 1907 at his home in Kingston after a short illness.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Advertisement for D. J. Auchmoody.Kingston and Rondout Village Directory and Ulster County Business Directory for 1869-70.

David J. Auchmoody was born in New Paltz in 1848. He began his career as a teacher in the town of Esopus before moving into the photographic field. He operated a gallery at Kingston for many years. After leaving the photography business he worked in the insurance busines and became a prominent member of a number of fraternal organizations. He passed away in 1907 at his home in Kingston after a short illness.

Advertisement for D. J. Auchmoody. Kingston and Rondout Village Directory and Ulster County Business Directory for 1869-70.

 

By the early 1880s Short had again opened his own studio. In 1881 he placed a number of advertisements in the Kingston Daily Freeman, the local newspaper.

 

June 28, 1881. “The Place to Get Your “Phiz” Indelibly Stamped. The place to get your photographs is at the establishment of L. Short, on The Strand. The building is situated near Crosby, Sahler & Co’s corner and is easy of access. The climbing of one pair of stairs brings the visitor into a neat and cozy parlor or waiting room which is adorned by some of the artist’s best work. Another ascent brings the visitor into a specially appointed operating skylight room where river, lake, ocean, field, landscape or parlor scenes can be supplied. Short is a very gentlemanly operator and thoroughly understands his business, as is attested by the myriad of specimens broadcast about this county.”

 

July 16, 1881. “An Innovation in Photography. L. Short, the photographer on The Strand, has made an innovation in the style of taking photographs, tin types, etc., by introducing the ever-popular hammock into his skylight room. To have pictures taken while sitting in a hammock is a very good mode for lovers, for the reason that being raised at each end, the weight in the center naturally concentrates or draws together, and the subjects can get just as close together as possible.”

 

October 18, 1881. “A Fine Crayon Picture. L. Short, the photographer on The Strand, has on exhibition in the jewelry window of D. A. Ainley, on Union avenue, a well-executed and large crayon picture of Mr. E. B. Newkirk. The portrait reflects credit upon the artist, and is a perfect likeness of its original.”

 

December 22, 1881. “THE HOLIDAY SEASON. Is specially devoted to reunions of families and friends, and what presents can be more appropriate than a good picture? I have a large assortment of frames and cases, and am fully prepared to do the finest work, either singly or in families or groups. Call and examine my work. L. SHORT, Photographer, The Strand.”

 

In 1884 Lorenzo Short was listed as plaintiff in a court case versus the defendant Frank Pidgeon, Jr. Short claimed non-payment for photographic services rendered to Pidgeon.

 

“Friday, Feb. 15. – This morning in court the case of Lorenzo Short vs. Frank Pidgeon, Jr., was moved as a short cause. Affidavits were read regarding the points in the case, G. R. Adams appearing for the plaintiff and John W. Searing for the defendant. As appeared from the affidavits, the action was brought by plaintiff, a photographer in Kingston city, for taking 60 photographic views of the trestle work on the West Shore Railroad, which the defendant Pidgeon as contractor had ordered, and which were worth, as claimed, $120, the defense being that some of the work was unskillfully done. That the whole work was not worth more than $90. The defense objected to 12 views at Blue Point, while the photographer claimed that trestle was a low trestle, and the views therefore could not be taken well without going into the river, which he claimed he was not authorized to do. The defendant also claimed that the plaintiff had agreed to settle for $100, and that he sent him a check for that amount but the plaintiff returned the check. Upon the check being returned Pidgeon wrote a letter to Short which was read in court. The following is the main portion of it:

 

DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your letter returning my check which in view of your bargain, and the fact that you agreed to take $100 in settlement of your account, on account of the poor quality of a portion of your work, surprised me very much. I do not understand it except on the ground that some shyster lawyer may have gotten your claim on spec. At all events, either settle this tomorrow or you can sue and be damned. I shall have ample time to take care of it this winter, though we prefer to pay you what is reasonable, etc., etc.

 

No settlement was made, the plaintiff claiming he had never agreed to take $100, and that he had already commenced the action when the letter was written by Mr. Pidgeon. The case was set down for next week Friday for trial.” (“Court Proceedings.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 15, 1884.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Advertisement for Lorenzo Short.Breed Publishing Co.’s Fourth Annual Directory of the City of Kingston for the Years 1890-91.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Advertisement for Lorenzo Short. Breed Publishing Co.’s Fourth Annual Directory of the City of Kingston for the Years 1890-91.

 

In 1892 George F. Bacon published the wonderfully detailed Kingston and Rondout: Their Representative Business Men, and Points of Interest. The publication contained a detailed overview of the Lorenzo Short business.

 

“L. SHORT. Instantaneous Photographic Artist. No. 161 Strand, Rondout, N.Y. – Photography is a beautifully simple act in theory, but like many other things that look simple enough “on paper,” as the saying is, its practice calls for long experience and a high degree of expertness, that is if really good work is to be done. There are but few intelligent people who cannot tell a really good photographic portrait when they see it, and therefore when we advise our readers to call at the studio of Mr. L. Short, which is located on the third floor of No. 161 Strand, and inspect the large collection of specimens of his work there exhibited, we feel that those who do so will need no argument to convince them, that the gentleman referred to, is one of the most artistic photographers in this section. He is a native of Woodstock, Ulster County, and is well known throughout this town. The undertaking of which he is the proprietor was established in 1874 by himself, and the rooms occupied by Short cove an area of some 2,000 square feet, and are appropriately fitted up for the particular purpose for which they are intended to be used; the convenience and comfort of patrons, and the production of uniformly first-class work, being the governing consideration. Mr. Short is prepared to furnish instantaneous photographs of all sizes and styles in a faithful and artistic manner. A specialty is made of crayon work. He employs one competent assistant, and uses the most improved apparatus obtainable, leaving nothing to chance but putting himself in a position to guarantee complete satisfaction by neglecting no means to attain results beyond reasonable criticism. His prices are moderate and every caller is assured prompt and courteous attention.” (Bacon, Geo. F. Kingston and Rondout: Their Representative Business Men, and Points of Interest. Newark, N. J.: Mercantile Publishing Company, 1892. p. 69.)

 

In addition to his portrait gallery Short was also manager for the Empire View Company, which took beautiful views from throughout the region. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Snyder were tenants of Belle Short’s home for over 15 years, as well as being close friends. In a 1953 article they offered some details of the Short operation. As part of the business Lorenzo “used to have men completely equipped with photographic equipment, horse and buggy etc., who used to go all over taking pictures for the post card people. At one time they had eight such teams on the road.” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 4, 1953.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Country Road.[Country Road]; Empire View Co. (active about 1890); Kingston, New York, United States; about 1860–1870; Albumen silver print; 19 × 24.1 cm (7 1/2 × 9 1/2 in.); 84.XP.715.35; No Copyright - United States (https://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/)

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Country Road. Empire View Company. Kingston, New York. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

The Empire View Company operated with branches at Rondout and Elmira, New York and at Cochranton, Pennsylvania. Short managed the Rondout branch. Various newspaper articles and sources reported the Empire View Company of Rondout as operating in New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Specific locations included Carmel, NY; Shokan, NY; Greendale; NY; Buskirks Bridge, NY; Wilton, CT; Cold River, VT; Bethel, VT; Red Hook, NY; Conway, MA; Honesdale, PA; and Lee, MA, among many other places.

 

Other competing firms of itinerant photographers included the Keystone View Company of Allentown, Pennsylvania and the Northern Survey Company of Albany, New York. Walter Richard Wheeler, architectural historian, wrote about the background and methods of the Northern Survey Company, much of which was likely equally applicable to the Empire View Company.

 

“. . . crews of field technicians transporting equipment and portable laboratories throughout the countryside in search of clients . . . They provided views of buildings – frequently with people assembled in front of them – pasted to cabinet cards . . . Teams of field representatives canvassed targeted regions during the warm weather months. Subjects were selected on specific requests from clients, but a large amount of speculative work was undertaken as well . . . It was the job of salesmen, not necessarily the same individuals who had executed the field photography, to close the deal once prints were made . . . No public advertising, except word of mouth and the distribution of handbills, was undertaken . . . Although the principal subjects were houses, usually with family members posed in front of them, other types of photographs were taken. Public buildings, particularly schools and students and prominent businesses and institutions were also documented . . . Itinerant field photography came to an abrupt end in 190, when introduction of the Brownie camera put photography into the hands of the masses for the first time. Coupled with an economic downturn in the late 1890s, these two factors spelled the end of itinerant view companies.” (Wheeler, Walter Richard. “Itinerant Farm Survey Photographs – The Northern Survey Company.” The Society of Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture. Vol. 20, No. 4-6. April-June 2017. pp. 9-15.)

 

As part of this operation of the Empire View Company, in 1896, Short placed a help wanted advertisement in The World, a New York City based newspaper. “PHOTOGRAPHER, professional or amateur; single preferred; salary; horses & wagon; references required; one who can ride a bicycle preferred. L. Short. Rondout, N.Y.” (The World. August 9, 1896.) One year later, in 1897, Short was looking for a manager. “WANTED – Immediately, photographic operator; one who can take charge of a gallery; send samples and reference with application. L. Short, Station R, Kingston, N.Y.” (New York Journal and Advertiser. October 10, 1897.) In 1898, Short was continuing to look for help, this time for a “view photographer.” “VIEW PHOTOGRAPHER WANTED: salary, horse & wagon; single preferred; references required. Address L. Short, 9 East Strand, Rondout, N.Y.” (The World. March 20, 1898.)

 

One of the people who responded to Short’s advertisements was R. M. Adkins, a photographer whose “artistic work has placed him in the front rank of photographers in northern New York.” (“Local Notes.” Ticonderoga Sentinel. April 25, 1895.). In 1894 Adkins could be found at Bolton Landing, New York where he had purchased the studio of Julius Thatcher, which was located near the Sagamore bridge. Adkins then worked for several months for Short and the Empire View Company in 1895. After his time on the Rondout Adkins became associated with Gilman’s studio at Ticonderoga. While working for Short he could be found at Red Hook, New York, where his photographic work was described in the local newspaper.

 

“Mr. R. M. Adkins, representing the Empire View Co., of Rondout, returned to this village Wednesday evening after having spent 4 days at the N.Y. M. E. Conference. While there he photographed the Bishop and members of the conference for one of the secretaries for the purpose of making a copyrighted reproduction. While here Mr. Adkins photographed our school and did some other photograph work, samples of which have been delivered and speak for themselves. He left Thursday morning for a trip north, but will return in the near future, notice of which will appear in our columns.” (“Home and Vicinity.” Red Hook Journal. April 12, 1895.)

 

The Snyder’s also recollected that the Short “photo studio was open seven days a week and Sunday was their busiest, for the folks would stop in after church to “have pictures taken in their best ‘bib and tucker.’” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 4, 1953.)

 

Lorenzo placed an advertisement in the local newspaper in 1897. “Boss Photograph Gallery, Lorenzo Short, photographer. Union avenue. One door above Mansion House, Rondout, N.Y. All kinds of pictures taken in the latest style. Stereopticon views and picture frames.” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 20, 1952.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Portrait of young man. Lorenzo Short, photographer.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Portrait of young man. Lorenzo Short, photographer. Author’s collection.

 

On December 16, 1899 Lorenzo Short acquired the uptown gallery of George D. Jopson (1866-1935), “one of the best known photographers in Kingston in the Gay Nineties.” (Van Deusen, H. L. “At Century’s Turn.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 5, 1943.) The gallery was located on North Front Street in the Stockade District of Kingston. With this acquisition Short was then operating two studios, the other being located in the Rondout section of Kingston. Upon leaving the photography business Jopson returned to “his old business of conducting dramatic biblical cantatas during the winter seasons, and conducting a first-class studio in the Catskills during the summer season.” (The St. Louis & Canadian Photographer. Vol. 24, no. 9. September 1900.) Jopson later worked as a photographer at Saugerties.

 

Alf Evers in his encyclopedic Woodstock: History of an American Town wrote of Short and his work in the hamlet of Wittenberg, near Woodstock. “In Wittenberg in the 1890s Lorenzo Short set up as a photographer. He left town from time to work as in itinerant [photographer] and opened a studio in Rondout. Short took photographs of school children posed against their schoolhouse each June . . . Such photographs by the 1890s were an indispensable part of the annual school ritual. Crayon enlargements of family photographs hung in most Woodstock parlors.” (Evers, Alf. Woodstock: History of an American Town. New York: The Overlook Press, 1987. p. 365.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Portrait of young man, standing, in suit. Lorenzo Short, photographer.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Portrait of young man, standing, in suit. Lorenzo Short, photographer. Author’s collection.

 

In 1905 Lorenzo was arrested “on the charge of taking photographs on Sunday.” He refused to plead guilty, and instead “demanded a jury trial and the case was set down for trial on Friday, January 5. Andrew Cook represented the defendant.” (“Photographer Short to Have a Jury Trial January 5.” Kingston Daily Freeman. December 2, 1905.)

 

Tragedy struck the Short family in 1906 when the family home was totally destroyed by fire. “About 8 o’clock Saturday night a fire broke out in the house of Lorenzo Short in Sleightsburgh, and the house was totally destroyed, with all its contents, consisting of the furniture of Mrs. M. F. Kenney and library of her husband, supposed to be worth $2,000, and also the furniture of Richard H. Kuehn, who occupied the upper part. The building was a large two-story brick house, with an English basement, on Third avenue. The Port Ewen fire department was notified by telephone, and within fifteen minutes was on the ground with its apparatus. The fire had obtained considerable headway, and the smoke was so dense in the building that it was impossible to check the blaze. An adjoining house belonging to Mrs. George DuBois, and a barn, both within twenty feet of the burning building, were saved by the efforts of the firemen. There was no insurance on Mrs. Kenney’s property. Her loss is about $3,000, including the library. The house was valued at $2,500, on which there was an insurance of $1,500. Mr. Kuehn had a loss of $1,500 and an insurance of $600. The fire originated on the second floor, and is supposed to have started from a stove. The persons who occupied the house were not in the house at the time the fire broke out.” (“House of Lorenzo Short Totally Destroyed.” Kingston Daily Freeman. October 29, 1906.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Portrait of two women. Lorenzo Short, photographer, 9 East Strand.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Portrait of two women. Lorenzo Short, photographer, 9 East Strand. Author’s collection.

 

For over a decade, so popular was Short, he operated two galleries, one at Rondout and the other in the historic Stockade District of “uptown” Kingston. In 1913 Short sought to exit his Stockade District gallery. “For Sale: Old established business at Kingston, N.Y. Located in the heart of the business section. Very low rent. Write for further particulars. The price will suit. Address L. Short, 329 Wall Street, Kingston, N.Y.” (Snap-Shots. Vol. 24, No. 6. June 1913.) By the next year Short was operating at a single location, his familiar studio at 9 East Strand in the Rondout section of Kingston.

 

Although his studio would continue to be listed in the Kingston city directories until his passing in 1928, the 1920 United States census and the 1925 New York State census both reported Lorenzo’s occupation as “retired.” Beginning in 1900 his daughter Belle’s occupation was listed in various census reports as “photographer.”

 

Upon Lorenzo’s retirement the studio was taken over by Belle Short, his daughter. Belle “had grown up in the business and had worked with her father for some time before his death.” (“One of the Oldest Area Firms To Close Soon; Began 1873.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 20, 1952.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York."Every Member of the Family.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Rhinebeck Gazette. July 30, 1921.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“Every Member of the Family.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Rhinebeck Gazette. July 30, 1921.