Hope Farm Press & Bookshop
Publisher of New York Regional History
Folklore, Nature, Military History and Genealogy Books
252 Main Street Saugerties NY 12477 845-246-3522
[Table of Contents] ** [NYS County Map.] ** [New Releases] ** [Comments?]
see also History of Sullivan County by James Quinlan
Readings in Sullivan County History
Preface ----- xi
1. An Overview of Sullivan County History by Manville B. Wakefield ----- 3
THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
2. How the Delawares Lived by C. A. Weslager ----- 17
3. The Great Hardenbergh Patent by Alf Evers ----- 41
4. The Battle of Minisink
The Indian-Tory Account by Joseph Brant ----- 57
The American Account by John Hathorn ----- 59
5. Life After the Revolution by James E. Quinlan ----- 66
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
6. The Creation of a County by James E. Quinlan ----- 81
7.The Delaware and Hudson Canal
Canal Engineering by John B. Jervis ----- 91
The Boatmen by Dorothea O. Benner ----- 103
The Boatmen A Personal View by Murray Posner ----- 418
Postscript ----- 436
Sources ----- 439
Map of Sullivan County, 1872 --- 9
Minisink Battlefield monuments --- 61
Dutch Reformed and Presbyterian churches --- 89
Delaware and Hudson Canal --- 111
James E. Quinlan, James C. Curtis, A. C. Niven --- 116
Map of Swamp Mills, 1875 --- 141
Map of Youngsville, 1875 --- 144
Fallsburg schools --- 148
Bark peelers --- 153
Gravestones of immigrants --- 160
Sales receipt, J. D. Sherwood --- 162
Civil War soldiers and veterans --- 166-67
Delaware River raft --- 181
Baseball --- 191
Sullivan County courthouses --- 195
Mansion House --- 202
Fly fishing --- 227
Monticello fire, 1909 --- 236
Loomis Sanatorium --- 253
Telephone operators --- 263
Boardinghouse advertisement --- 268
Minutes, South Fallsburg Hebrew Association --- 281
Monticello railroad station --- 287
Sullivan County churches --- 308-09
Early fire apparatus --- 311
Murder, Inc. headlines --- 319
Map of Eureka, 1875 --- 336
Sullivan County Community College trustees --- 364
Sullivan County Community College sites --- 371
Woodstock festivals --- 385
Flagler Hotel --- 408
Exit 107 on Route 17 --- 420
Gilbert Hotel and SYDA Foundation --- 436
Hotel Brickman ---
Not since James Eldridge Quinlan in 1873 has anyone published a comprehensive history of Sullivan County. Books and articles on various aspects of the county's past have been written in the last century and a quarter, some of them quite good, but none even purports to provide a complete history.
This book is a step toward filling that need. It includes a variety of primary and secondary materials on Sullivan County history from the time of the Delaware Indians to the recent vicissitudes of the resorts. There are, to be sure, significant gaps. Until someone is prepared to do original research and writing on local black history, for example, an anthology such as this will have to omit the story of Sullivan's African Americans. The same is true for most of Sullivan County's religious, environmental, and even political history. But while this volume is no substitute for a thorough narrative, it should give the reader insight into the major features of Sullivan's history and some sense of continuity between past and present.
The title■The River and the Mountains■reflects the impact of two prominent natural features on the county's life. The Delaware River valley was an early gateway to the region. The river sustained Sullivan's aboriginal inhabitants, attracted the first organized group of white settlers, opened the resources of the forests to entrepre- neurs, and played an indispensable part in the great canal enter- prise. The Delaware and its trout-laden tributaries also helped make Sullivan County a resort area long before the advent of Jewish immigrants, and they continue to play an important role in the economic life of the county. In the twentieth century, Sullivan County became famous as the center of the Catskill Mountains resort industry; it is not happenstance that one of the two most important books on Sullivan's history is called To the Mountains by Rail.
I had no difficulty selecting some of the items for this book. What better picture of the nineteenth-century common school could one find than Kate Brown's letter from Swamp Mills? And what, other than A. C. Nivens' article, has ever been written on the antirent controversy in Sullivan County? On the other hand, much has been published on the Delaware and Hudson Canal, the railroads, and the resorts; not all of it could or should have been reprinted here.
In choosing the readings I have sought chronological, topical, and geographical balance, but the result largely reflects the availability of material for republication. Local historians have been active in Livingston Manor, for example, and that community receives what some may consider an inordinate amount of space, while others get none at all. But much of what is said about life in the Manor■ about the farms, tanneries, and religion■holds true for other parts of the county as well.
Two particular temptations had to be resisted: overreliance on Quinlan and overemphasis on the resorts. Quinlan is the best source for many aspects of Sullivan's early history, but readers who want to peruse more of his work now have available to them both a reprint of the original and the revised edition published by Marielle Press in 1993. Therefore only two excerpts from the revised edition have been included here, each dealing with a topic of importance for which no other decent source seems to be available. The resorts, especially the Jewish resorts, have been the subject of several books, and one could easily get the wrong impression from them that they are the sum and substance of Sullivan County history in the twentieth century. I have tried to give the resorts their due without neglecting other features of Sullivan's last hundred years.
For the most part the items published here have been reprinted verbatim. A few have been subjected to very light editing, mostly through the correction of obvious typographical errors, although in several instances I left questionable grammar and language as I found them. In material reprinted directly from manuscript sources, additions and alterations made for the sake of easier reading are shown in brackets. In some cases material not directly relevant to Sullivan County history has been elided. Footnotes have been omitted except where they include matters of both substance and interest to the general reader.
Complete bibliographical information for the pieces published here, as well as the sources for the maps and photographs, may be found in the Sources section at the back of the book. Some of the holders of reprint rights were very generous in allowing me to include material in this volume. In this regard I am especially indebted to Barbara Wakefield Purcell, Tom Grace, Bob Spitz, Joey Adams, Betsy Blackmar, Ann Turkus, and Berte Feder. Others who gave of their time, material, or advice■some in large measure, others in small, but all in a spirit of generosity■include Rev. Mervin Armstead, Irving Avery, Leni Binder, Mary Clare, Bernie Cohen, John Conway, Mary Curtis, Bob Ernst, Bert Feldman, Shirley Fulton, Jack Halchak, Scott Hollenbeck, Michael Keiser, Susan Keiser, Bernita Kimble, Irene Kindrachuk, Bernie Kroop, Mark Kutsher, Cheryl Maxim, Marge Mussman, Barbara Newberg, Jack Niflot, Peter Osborne III, Bill Sarles, Judie Vinciguerra, and Chuck Young, and the Holyrood Seminary, the Orange County Clerk's Office, and the Sullivan County Historical Society. My apologies to anyone I may have forgotten.
David M. Gold
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Copyright ę 1997 by Richard Frisbie -- All rights reserved.