Otto Hillig – New Photographs

June 19, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

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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