New York and the Civil War | Chords of Memory

This episode of Chords of Memory highlights photographs of New York State soldiers who fought during the Civil War. Brian Hyland provides the music and plays “An Mhaighdean Mhara” on his concertina. Photographs courtesy of the Chemung County Historical Society, the Delaware County Historical Association, and the Library of Congress. https://youtu.be/L6nVm-26Pxw

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives.

Small Town Life | Chords of Memory

In our second installment of  Chords of Memory, we highlight photos that illustrate small town life in the early 19th century while Robert Perez plays his song “Summer” on guitar. Photographs courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. https://youtu.be/E8RfuLNEeCc

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives. Each piece is intimate and performed acoustically, and many of the photographs shown are preserved at historical societies across our region.

Downsville

New Englanders began to settler along the banks of the East Branch of the Delaware River in Delaware County at the time of the American Revolution and the river has played an essential role in the development of the region. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rXBnDGIda0

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Walton

In 1785, Dr. Platt Townsend, Robert and Gabriel North, William Furman, Joshua Pine and their families, left their homes in Long Island to settle a wilderness area along the West Branch of the Delaware River. The land was part of a large patent granted fifteen years earlier to New York businessman William Walton by King George III. Led by Dr. Townsend, the five families arrived, built log cabins and became the first settlers of what would later be known as “Walton.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Bovina Center

In 1792, settlers from New England started a new community in the rolling hills of Delaware County, and were later joined by a group of Scots in 1800. In 1820, this community became the town of Bovina. General Erastus Root suggested the name Bovina because the area was good for the raising of cattle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o52Wv4Ty3d8

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Deposit

Taking its name from that lumbering process, in 1811 the Village of “Deposit” was formed in Delaware County. Years later the village absorbed neighboring Deansville, of Broome County. As a result, Deposit has the rare distinction of being located within two counties. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjssUVWm3sg

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Hancock

The drifting waters of the East and the West Branch of the Delaware River meet in the in heart of the village of Hancock in Delaware County. The community was settled shortly before the American Revolution and was founded on the strength of lumbering and rafting along the river. In the mid-19th century, French and German settlers also joined the early transplanted New Englanders who helped to create the town. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKjM-1011Hk

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Delhi

In 1785, Abel Kidder and his brother John traveled from western Massachusetts and settled in an area on the west branch of the Delaware River. Others soon followed, including Gideon Frisbee and Thomas Farrington. Frisbee converted his log house into a tavern to serve the growing settlement as well as travelers through the area. The community continued to grow and in 1798, the Town of Delhi was formed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6ynM-7FB8I

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Roxbury

In 1789, a party of twenty families traveled from Connecticut to the Catskill Mountains in Delaware County – in search of a new home. Along the east branch of the Delaware River they found the log cabin of Israel Inman, who had settled in the area just one year earlier. With Inman’s assistance, the group located a suitable spot, and started the settlement that would become Roxbury. https://youtu.be/N9v0F4b1aYw

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Sidney

In 1770, Rev. William Johnston and an Indian guide set out by canoe from Otsego Lake to explore the Susquehanna River valley, and arrived at the site of an old Indian fort near a confluence with the Unadilla River. Two years later, Johnston returned with his son, cleared land, and with the arrival of additional families, established what would be called “Johnston Settlement.” From Johnston’s Settlement, the Town of Sidney was formed, named in honor of British naval officer and Revolutionary War hero, Sir Sidney Smith. https://youtu.be/RXZx_GQZ-yo

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

 

Lewis W. Hine

At the turn of the 20th century, the use of child labor was reaching epidemic proportions in the Untied States. Children often endured horrible working conditions that were hidden form the public view. Lewis W. Hine, a sociologist and photographer, used his camera as an instrument of social change often risking his own life to expose these conditions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfzPlfXWRQs

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Delaware County Historical Association

Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association
Publicdomainarchive.com

Deposit, New York | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photo shows Front Street in Deposit, NY, on August 10, 1948. The image was taken by Bob Wyer, a reporter turned professional photographer from Delaware County. The first settler arrived in the area in 1789. Logging was an important early industry for the community, and felled tress were often “deposited” by the riverbank before being floated downstream. In 1811, the settlement was incorporated as the village of Deposit.

Margaretville, New York | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph captures Main Street in Margaretville, New York, on June 5, 1947. The village of Margaretville is located in Delaware County and is situated inside the town of Middletown and on the border of Catskill Park. Today’s photo was taken by Bob Wyer, a reporter turned professional photographer from Delaware County. Over a career that spanned nearly 40 years, Boy Wyer and his wife Billie helped document the history of Delaware County. Wyer’s extensive collection of over 150,000 negatives is preserved by the Delaware County Historical Association in Delhi, NY.

The Grand Army of the Republic | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) members in Delaware County, New York, pose for the camera. The GAR was a fraternal organization that offered support to northern veterans of the Civil War. Benjamin F. Stephenson founded the GAR on April 6, 1866, in Decatur, Illinois. Members were required to be Union veterans who had served between April 12, 1861, and April 9, 1865, and had received an honorable discharge. By 1890, the organization had over 400,000 members in community Posts across the country.

Jay Gould

During the late 19th century, industrial robber barons dominated the political and economic landscape of America. These wealthy businessmen used shrewd and sometimes exploitive practices to put their competition out of business, create monopolies, and influence politicians all while amassing huge fortunes. Jay Gould, an upstate New York native, would become one of the greatest robber barons of his day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdn4v8tt0LI

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Delaware County Historical Association

Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

Amelita Galli-Curci

In 1916, Amelita Galli-Curci, an Italian born opera singer, arrived in the United States as a virtual unknown. Galli-Curci had made a small name for herself singing and traveling in Europe and now looked to tackle the American stage. Very quickly Galli-Curci met with great acclaim and rose through the ranks performing at renowned theatres around the country. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FruX_F4Z7g

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Delaware County Historical Association

Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

Bob Wyer

The field of photojournalism experienced a revolution in the 1920s thanks to the invention of the 35mm camera. Cameramen, no longer waited down by bulky equipment, were free to capture more candid moments. Bob Wyer of Delaware County, New York epitomized this new movement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzDhTrZeG1s

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Delaware County Historical Association

Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association

Delhi, NY | Town Spotlight | Harvest

Nestled among the steep rocky hills of the Catskill Mountain range, Delhi, New York sits at the base of a deep valley along the West Branch of the Delaware River. Situated near the center of Delaware County, the Town of Delhi was formed in 1798 out of land ceded from the towns of Middletown, Kortright, and Walton. Prior to the American Revolution, the Mohawk Indians were the main inhabitants of the region. The Mohawk, who called themselves the Kanienkehaka, were one of the original member tribes of the Iroquois Confederation, or Haudenosaunee. The first European settlers arrived in the area around the 1740s, and after the Revolution a new wave of Scotch-Irish and German immigrants pushed into the region.

Civil War Reenactment | Delhi, NY

On November 30th, 1864, Union and Confederate soldiers clashed at the Battle of Honey Hill in South Carolina. This July the battle was recreated for a group of onlookers at the Delaware County Historical Association in Dehli, NY. https://youtu.be/DXOMw6NzbDc

This was the second annual Civil War Reenactment held at the DCHA. In addition to the reenactment of Honey Hill, the weekend event included living history exhibits, a Civil War wedding, kids drills, scavenger hunts, and period photography and film demonstrations. One highlight for visitors was meeting the history horses “Big Red” and “Rebel Yell.”

The Battle of Honey hill was chosen because of the important role the 144th NY infantry regiment played in the battle.

The Frisbee House

The 1797 Frisbee House stands as the cornerstone of the Delaware County Historical Association in Delhi, NY. The grounds surrounding the historical association also include the original barns, a one-room schoolhouse, and the Frisbee family cemetery. Built by Gideon Frisbee (1758-1828), the Frisbee House has served as an inn and tavern, a courthouse, and the meeting place for the first Delaware County board of supervisors meeting in 1797. Over its two hundred year existence, the building has bore witness to many important historical events. However, it has also experienced its fair share of heartbreak.

The History of Tourism in the Catskills

by Miranda Materazzo

When most people think of tourism in New York, they likely imagine the thousands of people who visit New York City every year. Famous sites like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Central Park all very well may come to mind. But there was a time, not so long ago, when people flocked to visit Upstate New York as well. For decades in the mid 20th century, huge numbers of tourists came to visit the Catskill Mountain area of the state, which generally includes the area between New York City and Albany, the state capital. While people still visit the mountains today, the small towns nestled within them are no longer the economic centers that they were all those years ago.

Burroughs Memorial Field State Historic Site

John Burroughs walked this path many times over his lifetime. Located on the side of “Old Clump” mountain in the rural Catskills town of Roxbury, the path leads to a large stone landmark. “Boyhood Rock” as he later referred to it, was Burroughs private sanctuary where he could escape from farm chores and sit quietly studying his natural surroundings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08B_J4lf_B4

Burroughs would later write of his observations, and through his essays, poetry and lectures, gained fame as one of America’s leading literary naturalists. He traveled widely throughout his life, but frequently returned to his beloved boyhood home in the Catskills.

Hanford Mills Museum

The old water-powered mill on Kortright Creek in East Meredith has been in operation since 1846. Named after David Josiah Hanford, who purchased the mill in 1860, Hanford Mills quickly expanded into a complex that included a sawmill, gristmill, feed-mill, woodworking shop and hardware store. Eventually, the mill also provided electric power to the surrounding community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGE1UUtWAZw

Shortly after the mill business closed in 1967, the site reopened as a museum, and in 1973 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since then Hanford Mills Museum has provided visitors a rare opportunity to see an authentic mill in operation and learn about the important role mills played in rural New York communities.

The Delaware and Ulster Railroad

The picturesque Delaware and Ulster Railroad tour through the Catskill Region has been called “the most scenic rail line in the east.” Starting at the station in the hamlet of Arkville, the two-hour excursion follows the rails north to the town of Roxbury and back. Built in1872, the Roxbury station includes a museum of local history, and as part of the depot complex, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 24-mile round trip follows the same path that once moved coal and commercial goods throughout the area, and guided vacationers to the grand lodges of the Catskills until the train was replaced by the automobile. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJXtEnrecYw

Today, as in the past, passengers might enjoy a gourmet meal in an Art Deco dining car, or ride in one of the open-air or glass-covered observation cars, all the while taking in the incomparable views of the Catskill Mountains and the picturesque East Branch of the Delaware River.

Woodchuck Lodge

In the town of Roxbury, located high on a hill in the Catskills, is a rustic cabin known as Woodchuck Lodge, summer home of John Burroughs, one of America’s leading literary naturalists. Just over the hill stands the farmhouse where Burroughs grew up. Here Burroughs explored and studied his world, and developed his deep appreciation for nature that shaped the rest of his life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woyEuXBMBo0

Burroughs published his first book in 1871, and went on to write 25 volumes of essays, quickly establishing himself as the most popular writer of nature essays of his time. Over his lifetime, Burroughs became close friends with Walt Whitman and John Muir.

Fitches Covered Bridge

In 1870, James Frazier and James Warren built a covered bridge at Kingston Street in Delhi, spanning the West Branch Delaware River. Fifteen years later the bridge was moved three miles upstream to its current location in East Delhi, and “Kingston Bridge” became known as “Fitches Bridge”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtC3damrfqI

With an overall length of 106 feet, the one-lane covered bridge is constructed with a lattice truss design, incorporating diagonally placed planks held together with large wooden pegs, or treenails. Today, it is one of only ten covered bridges in the state utilizing this type of construction. In 1999, the bridge was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and has been extensively restored and rehabilitated twice, most recently in 2001.

Kirkside Park

Beginning in the late 1890’s, and for the next 40 years, Kirkside Park was part of the estate of one of Roxbury’s most famous residents, philanthropist Helen Gould Shepherd. The 11-acre park encompasses both banks of the East Branch of the Delaware River, includes Adirondack style bridges, gazebos, a waterfall and stone terraces. Unfortunately, following Mrs. Shepherd’s death in 1938, the park fell into disrepair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5qg-73zPYs

In 1999, the Town of Roxbury launched a park revitalization project, and today, Kirkside Park, with its rustic bridges, riverside paths, flower gardens and ball fields has been restored to its former grandeur. Once again Kirkside Park stands as a center of activity and natural beauty on New York’s Path Through History.

Delaware County Historical Association

The Delaware County Historical Association collects, preserves and shares the history and traditions of Delaware County and the surrounding region. Buildings located on its historic site in Delhi include a fully restored late 18th century federal-style house, original barns and outbuildings, a gun-shop, one-room schoolhouse, and blacksmith shop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzcmej4hFvc

Within the main building are two exhibit galleries, a research library with a vast collection of genealogical information, and a gift shop. The old Christian Church, also owned by the Historical Association, is located just up the street next to Fitches Covered Bridge. The church also hosts exhibits, concerts and plays.