Hope Farm Press 252 Main Street Saugerties NY 12477
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Picturesque Catskills - c1923
by F A Gallt (not to be confused with the DeLisser book of the same title)
There are three routes outside of New York, for the traveler who chooses the automobile, there are two great railroads, and not least the expansive river and the steamers of the Day Line. Many choose the delightful sail, others speed away on the New York Central or West Shore, and others go as they like, stop where they wish and see everything by means of the auto.
The most desirable auto route is the main state highway. Cross on the ferry to Weehawken. Take either the Tuxedo or Storm King road. It is best to choose the Storm King for this is one of the most sightly roads in the state and is literally suspended in the air for many miles along the rugged sides of the Highlands of the Hudson, and most of the way about 400 feet above the river's brink. It furnishes a wonderful Panorama of the Hudson.
Going this route the traveler passes through the places indicated on the maps which we show.
Several places of historical interest will be found. The greatest of these is West Point, where Benedict Arnold consummated his treachery in an attempt to give that fortification into the hands of the British, and which resulted only in the capture and death of his chief traitor who paid the penalty with his life. The military grounds at West Point are worth inspecting.
Newburgh is another place of interest, with its headquarters of General Washington and well kept historical plot, overlooking the Hudson.
Next is Kingston, once capital of the state and a chief point of early Dutch settlers. Formerly called Wyltwick. The scene of Indian inscursions. There is a great suspension bridge on the main highway. This structure was opened to travel only last summer. It is a long and very high span, with wonderful view. Next in the line comes Saugerties, and some idea may be had of the main thoroughfare through this up-to-date village from the view which we show. One of the oldest houses in the state is to be seen at the entrance to the town. Saugerties is one of the oldest towns in New York State. Some thirty years after Peter Minuit and his company of Dutch settlers bought Manhattan from the Indians, another group of Dutchmen made their way along the waters of the Hudson and built a settlement not far from the shore in a seguestered spot among the adjacent hills. Saugerties was a part of this old settlement of Wiltwick, now Kingston.
Associated with the many decades of the town's development are historic events and quaint legends which should make the residents conscious of their heritage and more interested in their community of today, and reveal to the stranger the charm and history of this old town.
Passing West Camp, Alsen the home of Portland Cement, with three of the greatest plants in the United States, passing the cataract in the ledge and the lakelet across the highway, and still on the tourist is in Catskill. Then for the most wonderful mountain trip in the world.
The map above is of greet historical interest. It shows the original white land owners, dates of construction of the first houses in the section, Maquas Hook and Femen Hook, Indian villages.
Maquas Hook was the landing place of Hendrick Hudson.
This is part of the lands sold by Peswack, an Indian squaw, in 1642, to Killian Van Rensselaer, first patroon of New York State. Also Old Catskill, now Leeds.
The descendants of all families represented on the map are still living in Catskill, prosperous and contented.
Catskill enjoys the distinction of being the point of entry and open door to the great range of everlasting hills known as the Catskill Mountains, the summer Land of Paradise. This is the land of the Mohican Indians, and the starting point of the great mountain climb known as the Mohican trail, which winds its way to the westward, through Leeds, South Cairo, Cairo, Acra, South Durham, East Windham, Brook-Linn, Windham, Ashland, Prattsville, Stamford and to Oneonta and Cooperstown.
It is also the starting point of the Rip Van Winkle trail, which reaches the mountain summit through the Kaaterskill Clove passing through Kiskatom, Palenville, Haines Falls, Tannersville, Hunter, Hensonville, Brook-Linn and East Windham and thence to Catskill, giving the tourist the two greatest view, in the state.
The Mohican Indians, first settlers, regarded the Catskills as the Hills of God. So indeed it must appear to civilization today.
Here is a marvelous panorama, the towering blue mountains, the forests, streams, waterfalls and lakes, a marvelous panorama that not only thrills and enchants, but extends its healthful ozone to hundreds of thousands every year. Here, away from the city's confining tasks and summer heat, men from everywhere get back to nature and nature's God. Rest, health, recuperation, and sport are all to be found here. The stream for the rod, the forest for the gun, the lake for the boat or plunge.
Turn your car in this direction, or take boat or train to Catskill and you can make no mistake.
Prophetic words, indeed! This is FILLED with maps, drawings, vintage ads and b&w photos of the journey as it continues on the above routes. 6"x 9", 100 pages P $9.95
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Copyright © 1996 by Richard Frisbie -- All rights reserved.