Bob Wyer – New Photographs

August 28, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

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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