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Extracted from a chapter of "The Concise History of Ulster County" ($8.50) written in 1946 by Zimm, Sherwood, Corning et al. and originally published as the 3 Vols "Southern New York"
- Ashokan Reservoir Communities -- Nine villages were either removed or obliterated forever. These included West Hurley, Ashton, Glenford, Brown's Station, Olive Bridge, Brodhead, Shokan, West Shokan and Boiceville. Eleven miles of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad tracks were taken up and relocated. Sixty-four miles of highway were discontinued, including a long stretch of the famous Plank Road, and forty new miles of boulevard built, mainly of macadam. Ten new bridges were constructed. A sensational feature was the removal from thirty-two cemeteries of two thousand eight hundred bodies or skeletons, including those of many soldiers of the Revolution, and their reinterment in new pine boxes in neighboring graveyards.
Three-quarters of the land needed for the project was obtained by condemnation proceedings.
By June, 1913, it was found that of the total population of 1,952 in the reservoir area in 1905, exclusive of those who had died, only seventeen percent had removed outside the Catskill region. A large number went to Kingston. Others erected four hundred new dwelling houses along the Ashokan Boulevard. Three new villages, West Hurley, Ashokan and Tongore, were being settled. The newspaper most opposed to the project in the beginning acknowledged, in February, 1913, that the residents of the county, in addition to the vast sums of money paid out through the condemnation proceedings and in the cost of the construction of the work, had profited handsomely. The engineering and general executive operations were admitted to be as efficiently conducted as those of the Panama Canal.
Finally, at noon of June 19, 1914, the blowing of all the steam whistles in the reservoir area for one solid hour announced the completion of the dikes and dams of the reservoir. The farms and villages were left to the rush of the oncoming waters, under which, to this day, the foundations of old houses and sites of well-remembered orchards and gardens are visible at low water.
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