Published twice-weekly FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019 $1.25


This panoramic photo shows the last steam locomotive to go through Callicoon. On Saturday, May 30, 1970 steam railroad buffs from around the county and beyond descended on Callicoon as the famed Nickel Plate Berkshire 759 made its run from Hoboken, New Jersey to Binghamton. The train stopped

in Callicoon to take on water and let off passengers and then returned to Hoboken via Scranton, PA. The #759 is part of the Steamtown USA Collection.

Town of Delaware celebrates its Sesquicentennial, 1869-2019 Sesquicentennial Celebration set for Saturday, July 27 The Town of Delaware will celebrate its 150th Anniversary on Saturday, July 27 to coincide with its Annual Country Fair. The 150th Anniversary events will include an historic talk by Sullivan County Historian John Conway plus tours of downtown Callicoon and many of its historic buildings. The events will talk place starting in the morning and continue throughout the day to celebrate the Town’s rich history. BY MARY E. CURTIS TOWN OF DELAWARE HISTORIAN, 1977-2009


ractically all of the land now within the boundaries of the Town of Delaware was a part of the tract of the Hardenbergh patent purchased in London about 1750. The buyer was a New York distiller named Joseph Griswold, who had traveled to England in search of a second wife. In 1755 or 1756, Griswold hired Joseph Ross of Bound Brook, New Jersey, to settle at the confluence of Callicoon Creek and the Delaware River. Acting as Griswold's land agent, he built a house near what is now Upper Delaware Campgrounds. When Ross came to what came to be known as the hamlet of Callicoon, there were few settlers in the area, none within a mile of his new home. Many years before, hunters from the Hudson Valley had ventured into the valley of the Callicoon Creek, finding abundant wild turkey and naming the waterway "Kolikoonkill" (Turkey River). Not long after Ross's first settlement, the lumber rafting industry came into being. It began in 1764, when Daniel Skinner put his first small raft of logs into the Delaware just below Callicoon, and floated it to market in Philadelphia. This grew into a business, which took millions of board feet of timber from the forests of the Upper

Delaware to the fast growing cities of Philadelphia, Trenton, and Easton. By 1922, when the last raft came into Martin Hermann's mill at Callicoon, the industry had dominated the area for more than 150 years. It drained the region of its native timber, and in the process changed it from a forested wilderness into a relatively civilized world of dairy farms and small communities. As the forests were cleared, other communities began to appear. Hortonville was settled by Charles Layton – a friend of Joseph Ross's – in 1790. About 1849, Charles Horton built a tannery there. Still later, Henry Gardner established a paper mill. Callicoon Depot, as it was first known, did not exist until the building of the Erie Railroad, America's first long line railroad. During construction of the Erie's Delaware Division, completed in 1848, the settlement served as one of the staging areas and was formally named in recognition of its railroad depot. In 1906, the U.S. Postal Service dropped the "Depot" from its name and renamed the smaller upstream village of Callicoon with the new name of Callicoon Center. The coming of the railroad had a huge impact on the area, bringing German immigrant farmers to populate the Beechwoods and vacationers from the New York metropolitan area to summer at local boarding houses and hotels.

The Callicoon Train Station was a busy place when a passenger train arrived. Note the taxis parked along Academy St. ERIE RAILROAD - SUMMER HOMES - 1888 Program Callicoon, Sullivan County, N.Y. 136 miles from New York 7 trains from New York week days. 3 trains from New York Sundays Fare one way, $4.15; Limited $3.78 Round trip, $5.75 Family Commutation, 50 trips, $103.75 In the midst of surroundings of a wild and rugged character. Callicoon has a population of 1200, an excellent graded public school, numerous churches, and good stores and shops, which are always well stocked. It is the center of one of the famous trout regions of the Delaware Valley. The Callicoon Creek, which enters the Delaware a short distance from the station, threads the back wilderness and a splendid farming section. Along its entire course, from the hills Although it too became a favorite spot for vacationers, Kenoza Lake (Pike Pond) had begun to develop before the advent of the railroad. The first settler there was a man named Woodruff, who came in from Poughkeepsie in 1812. Other early settlers included Stephen PLEASE SEE CELEBRATION, 3D

Numerous lakes cluster in the hills on both sides of the river, the famous Bethel township lakes in Sullivan County, being within easy reach. In Wayne County, Galilee Lake, Duck Harbor, Swago Lake and others are near and convenient of access. Bass, pickerel and perch fishing are attractions of these waters. No malaria or mosquitos.

Town of Delaware Timeline 1749 1760 1764 1779 1790 1794 1812 1835 1848 1850 1869 1888 1899 1901 1908 1909 1939 1946 1969 1978 1979 1996 2005


One of the most recognizable buildings in the hamlet of Callicoon is the former St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, which has stood guard over the hamlet for 120 years. Built in 1901, the Franciscan priests of The Holy Name Province called it home until 1979, when it was sold to the federal government and became the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center. Today the Center employs 100 people who educate 200 students, helping them to earn their high school diplomas and become certified in a variety of trades.

on either side, tributary streams flow into it at short intervals. The main stream and its feeders are natural trout creeks, and all the season long they afford royal sport to the angler. All these brooks are within five miles of the station. On the Pennsylvania side of the river is Hollister Creek. For two miles from the river this creek flows through a wild and narrow gorge, and seeks the level of the river by a series of wonderful waterfalls. The borders of the creek are thickly grown with rhododendrons, and the early summer fills the glen with bands of pink-tinted bloom.

2006 2019

Hardenbergh Patent Divided Joseph Ross settles at Callicoon flats Joseph Ross settles at Callicoon flats Daniel Skinner floats first log raft Colonel Brant and Indians stop at Callicoon after Battle of Minisink Charles Layton settles at what is now Hortonville Sackett Road completed to Cochecton, with Wild Turnpike extension on Big Island Woodruff settles at Pike Pond (Kenoza Lake) Ground broken for Delaware Division of Erie Railroad First train over Delaware Division of the Erie Charles Horton opens tannery at Hortonville Town of Cochecton divided to create new Town of Delaware February 28 - Fire destroys Main Street, Callicoon March 12 - Great Blizzard Bridge opened across the Delaware at Callicoon St. Joseph’s Seminary founded Dr. Cook of Hortonville attains North Pole Knapp Brothers Bank fails First full class graduates from Callicoon High School Route 97 opens Delaware Youth Center formed Ground broken for Grover Hermann Hospital in Callicoon Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River created St. Joseph’s Seminary sold to Federal Government to operate as Job Corps Center January 19 flood, rain and snow melt helps crest river at 16.31 feet April 3 flood crests at 17.98 feet in Delaware, second worst ever June 28 flood runs through hamlet, river crests at 20.38 feet, worst ever Delaware opens largest community solar project in the state




FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019


Town of Delaware: A look back and a look forward for its government

Historical population

Census 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Est. 2016

Pop. 1,998 1,830 1,734 1,541 1,842 1,740 1,777 1,934 2,089 2,141 2,260 2,783 2,633 2,720 2,670 2,557

%± — −8.4% −5.2% −11.1% 19.5% −5.5% 2.1% 8.8% 8.0% 2.5% 5.6% 23.1% −5.4% 3.3% −1.8% –4.2%

SUPERVISORS OF THE TOWN OF DELAWARE 1869-1870 1870-1872 1873-1875 1876-1878 1879-1880 1881-1882 1883-1884 1885 1886-1892 1893-1903 1904-1907 1908-1927 1928-1931 1932-1934 1935 1936-1949 1950-1959 1960-1975 1976-1979 1980-1985 1986-1991 1992-1993 1994-1996 1997-2005 2006-2011 2012-2019

Town of Delaware Town Board Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7 p.m. 104 Main Street, P.O. Box 129 Hortonville, New York 12745 Officials of the Town Supervisor Edward T. Sykes 887-5250, ext. 1 Town Clerk/Town Collector Tess McBeath 887-5250, Ext. 5 Councilmen John Gain Cindy Herbert Christopher Hermann Alfred Steppich 887-5250 Justices Eric Nystrom Charles A. Nystrom 887-5250, ext. 8 Highway Superintendent William Eschenberg 887-4660 Town Attorney Kenneth C. Klein, 482-5000

Isaac R. Clements William H. Curtis John F. Anderson Robert N. Maben Valentine Schmidt Charles F. Stark Valentine Schmidt Charles F. Stark John F. Anderson James I. Curtis Sidney E. Wenzel James H. Curtis Karl E. Molusky George R. Raum John F. Boehmer Lawrence R. Milk Michael J. Reddy John H. Eschenberg William H. Dirie Craig A. Stewart William H. Dirie Lloyd E. Heller Eric C. Nystrom William Moran James H. Scheutzow Edward T. Sykes


The Town of Delaware is the smallest township – and youngest – in Sullivan County.

The town was formed in March, 1869 from the Town of Cochecton.

square miles of which, 34.7 square miles is land and 0.6 square miles of it (1.67%) is water.


U.S. Decennial Census


The west town line, delineated by the Delaware River, is the border of Wayne County, Pennsylvania. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.3

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,670 people, 956 households, and 657 families residing in the town. The population density was 78.3 people per square mile. There were 1,337 housing

units at an average density of 38.5 per square mile (14.9/ km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.31% White, 9.71% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.81% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.33% of the population. There were 956 households out of which 28.3% had chil-

Assessor Deborah S. Shea 887-5250, ext. 4


The current Town Board of the Town of Delaware is, front row, from the left, Councilmen Cindy Herbert, Christopher Hermann and Alfred Steppich. Standing, from the left, are Supervisor Ed Sykes, Town Clerk Tess McBeath, Councilman John Gain and Assessor Deborah S. Shea.

Registrar of Vital Statistics Lillian Bauernfeind 887-5250, ext. 6 Dog Control Officer Tamara DePaolo, 216-2892 Town Historian Cindy Herbert, 887-5250 Building Inspector James McElroy 887-5250, ext. 2 Planning Board Chairman Terry Zieres, 887-5250, ext. 6


Zoning Board Chairman Brad Walrod, 887-5250, ext. 6

The Delaware Town Hall is located at 104 Main Street in Hortonville and houses the government offices as well as Justice Court and Town Meeting Room. The building was originally the Hortonville Firehouse and now the new firehouse sits next door to the Town Hall.

dren under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.93. In the town, the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 12.7% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older.

The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.6 males. The median income for a household in the town was $40,145, and the median income for a family was $45,875. Males had a median income of $37,700 versus $22,885 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,884. About 6.2% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

Upper Delaware Country Properties PO Box 335 21 Lower Main Street, Callicoon, N.Y. 12723 Business: (845) 887-5640 E-Mail: WEB:


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FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019



This old photograph is compliments of the Town of Delaware Town Historian Cindy Herbert and is of the Hotel Iroquois. Boarding houses like this dotted the landscape in the Town of Delaware and provided income for farm families as well as families who had extra rooms to spare. The Erie Railroad would actually sell tickets directly to many boarding houses, which included train ride and the price of the taxi from the train station in Callicoon to your destination. On June 4, 1914 the Hotel Iroquois, owned by Elizabeth Bischoff, burned down. It was the first call ever responded to by the Hortonville Fire Dept.

The Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center in Callicoon is the largest employer in the Town of Delaware and also boasts an 18-hole golf course.

CELEBRATION: Delaware is 150 years young PLEASE SEE CELEBRATION, 8B

Gidney, who arrived from New Paltz about 1820, and Captain Nathan Moulthrop, a War of 1812 veteran, in 1828. In 1833, Eli Beach, William Bonestel, John Bied, and Robert Burger built a tannery, which was later operated by Gideon Wales for many years. As the area developed, the government also changed. Prior to the Revolutionary War, much of the territory that is now Sullivan County was the Town of Mamakating. The Town of Lumberland – including today's Towns of Bethel, Highland, Cochecton, Liberty, and Tusten – was formed in 1798. In 1869, the Town of Delaware was taken from the Town of Cochecton. The first supervisors of the Town were Isaac R. Clements (1869), a tanner from Pike Pond (Kenoza Lake), William H. Curtis (1870), a businessman from Callicoon Depot,

and John F. Anderson (1873), an attorney also from Callicoon Depot. William H. Curtis has the distinction of being the only man to serve as supervisor for two Sullivan County towns, having been supervisor of the Town of Cochecton 1850.53, 1857, and 1859 and Delaware 1870-72. Callicoon grew into a busy and prosperous community, with the railroad station as the center of the community. At one time, it boasted five hotels, as well as a harness maker, livery stables, a dry goods store, two grocery stores, a milliner, a large sawmill, two newspapers, a pharmacy, a jewelry store, and at least two saloons. One of the latter had a special "ladies entrance." Another was the site of a notorious axe murder. Each of the communities had its churches, established in the 19th century: Lutheran in Kohlertown; Methodist in Kenoza Lake; Reformed/Presbyterian in Hortonville;

Methodist, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic in Callicoon. Catholic priests, who came to the area ministering to the 19th century German and Irish immigrants, paved the way for establishment of St. Joseph's Seraphic Seminary. In 1901. The Order of Friars Minor, Franciscans based in Patterson, New Jersey, bought a large boarding house property overlooking Callicoon Depot. There they built an imposing seminary, the largest native bluestone building in the area. From that time until 1979 virtually every Franciscan in the Province passed through St. Joseph's Seraphic Seminary, either as student, as teacher, or both. Finally closing due to a drop in student enrollment, the complex was sold to the U.S. Department of Labor, which operates it as a very successful Delaware Valley Job Corps Training Center. The communities who came to life nourished by the railroad found their econ-


omies badly damaged as railroad travel gave way to the automobile. Building of New York State Route 97 in the 1930s as a scenic highway did not immediately lead to an influx of new visitors. By the 1950s, the boarding house and hotel business was fading from the scene. Hillsides that had provided the timber for development of Philadelphia, Trenton, and Easton, and hemlock bark to tan leather for Civil War soldiers' boots and belts to run the machinery of the Industrial Revolution had given up the last of the virgin forest's bounty. Beginning in the late 1960s, a new kind of tourism found its way to the town. Campgrounds and canoes, followed


Jim & Barbara Kayton


to the Great Town of Delaware and its Dedicated Movers and Shakers

Delaware Valley Farm & Garden wants to send out a Congratulations to the Town of Delaware for their 150 Year Anniversary. We have been here for 30 years and feel honored to be a part of this wonderful town. We want to thank all our customers for supporting us and the town. Congratulations goes out to all. We are looking forward to the next 150 Years!





30 Viaduct Road, Callicoon, NY • 845-887-5100 ALL SALES ARE IN STOCK ITEMS ONLY! Open 7 Days M-Sat 8am-6pm • Sun 8am-5pm

by bed and breakfast inns, drew a new generation of vacationers. As the forests grew back and the river valley remained remarkably pristine, increasing number of visitors were drawn to the area. The Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center, once a boarding home owned by the Kohler family, was bought by Ernesto Vindigne, who operated it for many years. Marty Passante purchased the resort in 1970 and today the Villa Roma is the Town of Delaware’s largest employer, boasting a 5-star hotel, 18hole championship golf course, hundreds of timeshare units, five outdoor pools and a ski hill. Federal legislation in 1978

created the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Encompassing the western section of the town, this unusual unit of the National Park System was established as a partnership park, relying upon local zoning to protect the land of the river valley, with the National Park Service as a partner primarily focusing on management of the river itself - monitoring water quality, enforcing law on the river, and encouraging environmental sensitivity. Callicoon, with its many and varied restaurants, justifiably claims to be the primary dining spot of the area. Second homeowners, from the rich and famous to the less exalted folk, are to be found, year round, in homes along virtually every street and roadway of the town. And so the Town of Delaware celebrates its Sesquicentennial and looks forward to a revitalized future, amid some of the most beautiful scenery to be found anywhere on the planet.




FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Hortonville: Built along the brook and still a ‘tidy place to live’


ortonville virtually sprung up into being with the opening of a tannery in 1850. Charles Horton of Liberty, with a succession of business partners, ran a successful tanning business there, showing excellent profits during the Civil War period. Towns like Hortonville and Callicoon Depot grew from two or three families to several hundred souls in less than 50 years. Published in 1892, Graham’s Callicoon Historian includes a picturesque contemporary view of Hortonville: “This hamlet is situated on both sides of the

“From Rail Road up to Geo. P. Gerhart’s land is about one mile… at mouth of North Branch [creek]. It is a fine place for a village.” From 1855 map, notes by William H. Curtis creek and the visitor is impressed by the neatness of everything he sees about him. The houses are pretty in design and the lawns are kept neatly mown. Everything indicates German tidiness, for the families are most exclusively German. The large grist mill which stands on the left bank of the stream is oper-

The Prospect House was owned by Mrs. E. Buddenhagen of Hortonville.


Vincent Alukonis recognizes the individuals, businesses and elected officials who have made the Town of Delaware a great place to live, work and play.

ated by N. Kurz & Co… A little farther up is the large carriage and wagon shop of Mr. Fromm. Here are manufactured all kinds of light and heavy vehicles, suitable for the farm, for teaming and for pleasure. “Henry Gardner & Co. are the owners of the large paper mill in the village (this stood on the former tannery site). This enterprise turns out an immense quantity of the best straw paper, which is shipped to the city by the carload. “The road winds through the village past pleasant homes, and on the left, perched upon the hill, is the church where the Rev. Mury Branch is pastor. Leaving this place the road continues along the North Branch Creek, under the shadow of the mighty pines. Just beyond them, and on the other side of the stream is Laurel Park, where are gathered together every year a great concourse of people, sometimes numbering 5,000 persons. The attraction is the Odd Fellows’ picnic, which is annually held on the second Monday in August in this place.” Hortonville Today Town Government is centered in Hortonville, where the Town Hall and Town Highway Barn are located. Hortonville also has a post office, a convenience store, two excavation firms – Earl Kinney Excavating and R & H Gorr – a major automobile agency, Buddenhagen’s Ford, and John H. Eschenberg small engine shop. Much of the community activity centers around the Presbyterian Church and the Hortonville Fire Department. Along about the end of August each year, the fire company sponsors a field day, a major homecoming event in the area.

The Hortonville Fire Dept., founded in 1914, continues to be an integral part of the community. This photo, which appeared in the March 28, 1946 issue of the Democrat, shows the members of the Hortonville Fire Dept. who served our country during WWII. The original caption reads, in part: “While the boys were away [serving in WWII] the Department did its best to keep up the morale by sending gifts and greetings at various times during the year. In January a “Welcome Home,” dinner was held for those who had returned. Recently the above group gathered at the Hortonville Fire House in their service uniforms for a photo ... Because of various reasons some were unable to attend. Shown in the photo are, top row, left to right: Francis Fink, Charles Fisher, Herman Robisch, Donald Tate, William Fink, Edward Hessinger, Herman Buddenhagen; lower row, Gerald [Perk] Robisch, Harry Lutz, William Wood, Joseph Boyle, Julius Freyberger and Howard Fink.” Dave Buddenhagen tells us that the fire truck behind the men is a 1942 Chevy, purchased at Bennedum’s Garage (now Gorr’s).

This postcard dates back to the late 1800s, when the Hortonville Presbyterian Church was called the German Reformed Church. The church was organized on July 20, 1860. The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.

CONGRATULATIONS TOWN OF DELAWARE! We are proud to be your community newspaper for the past 128 years and look forward to writing your history for the next 150 years.

From all of your friends at the

‘Serving Sullivan County since 1891’


With offices in Callicoon and Monticello Call 845-887-5200 to advertise or subscribe today.



FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019



Callicoon is the center of commerce for the Town of Delaware and was recently named “#1 small town in American by Country Living magazine.

‘A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet’


his title to Callicoon songwriter Harry Woods’ famous song seems to say it all about Callicoon. ‘A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet’ was one of Woods’ more popular tunes and is believed to have been inspired by Callicoon. Dutch settlers who hunted here gave the local stream its name – Kollikoonkill. Some say the word meant wild turkey in Dutch while others claim it was derived from hunters’ bird call, from the two words meaning “to call” and “hen.” Whatever the history, Callicoon had found its name. In 1801, a new road was built under the name Newburgh and Cochecton Turnpike, connecting the Delaware and Hudson rivers, a distance of 60 miles. This major thoroughfare almost spelled doom for Callicoon as there was little reason to travel north of the turnpike and only three houses were yet built there. However, the coming of the railroad changed all that. Luckily, political strength from Port Jervis and Sullivan County convinced lawmakers to shift the route of the Erie tracks to go along the river – which meant all the communities along the line would benefit. No community probably benefitted more than Callicoon Depot. In fact, residents were so happy to see the first train go through town in 1848 that they handed the brakeman a

sign for the year platform, “The Iron Horse from the Hudson is Welcome to Drink of the Waters of Callicoon.” Following the opening of full fledged passenger and freight service in 1851, Callicoon Depot flourished. It wasn’t until the winter of 1888 that Callicoon Depot took a downturn. On March 12, the Great Blizzard brought icy winds and deep snow. But that was almost anti-climatic, as on March 2, a fire destroyed almost all the stores on Main Street. None of the local communities had fire companies at that time but the terror of the night was not easily ignored and fire protection was soon implemented in Callicoon and surrounding communities. Despite the setbacks, the 1880s and 1890s were boom times for Callicoon. There was a new interstate bridge built across the Delaware at Callicoon Depot (1899) and a creamery built in 1892 that processed and shipped out milk from local farmers to New York City consumers. Published in 1892, Graham’s Callicoon Historian described Callicoon Depot thus, “It is the principal business depot upon the line of the Erie Railway between Port Jervis and Susquehanna. A number of stage routes connect it with the large inland villages, and the amount of produce shipped from the station is immense.” Callicoon’s busy tourist trade grew so rapidly that special trains were added to ac-

commodate all the travelers. The year 1906 proved exiting times for the Delaware River hamlet, too, as it adopted its new name, Callicoon, by dropping the Depot. Callicoon also built a school in 1908, a hospital in 1932 that was owned by Dr. George R. Mills, a community pool and community center thanks to the generosity of Grover M. Hermann and a new hospital named after Mr. Hermann in 1971. While Callicoon’s physical size was limited by the Callicoon Creek on one side, the Delaware River on the other and hillsides to the north, it has steadily gained in popularity. Callicoon Today Last April, Callicoon was named the No. 1 small town in America by Country Living magazine. “This art-imitates life Main Street reads more country western than east coast – especially with the 1852 innand-supper club, the Western Hotel,” its bio reads. “The imposing mountains and vivid green landscapes that border the Delaware River is one more feature of Callicoon that makes it such a unique place.” Callicoon boasts the oldest movie theater in Sullivan County, an art deco building now owned by Krissy Smith. The remodeling of the Olympia Hotel into the Callicoon Brewery will be an exciting development for residents and tourists alike and nearly every storefront is open for business.

The full-service supermarket, Peck’s, is an anchor of lower Main St. as is Sullivan County’s oldest newspaper, the Sullivan County Democrat, which started in Callicoon in 1891. There is also several excellent eating establishments in the hamlet, including Matthew’s on Main, Peppino’s, Callicoon Caffee, the aforementioned Western and Brewery and Rafter’s Tavern. Shops, whether on Main Street, or in alley ways or on Audley Dorrer Drive facing the Delaware, offer an eclectic mix of home goods, antiques, clothing, and dry goods. Delaware Valley Farm & Garden can be found on Aqueduct Rd., and is the go-to for almost any gardening, clothing, pet or home need. Roche’s Garage offers car repair. A full service hardware store, Callicoon Supply, is also in Callicoon along with a car wash and self storage company. There are also many professional offices scattered throughout the hamlet, including healthcare offices, three banks, insurance companies, real estate offices and attorneys. A newly-constructed firehouse overlooks the hamlet as well as the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center, which employs 100 people who educate 200 students towards their GED and trade school diplomas. A canoe livery compliments the tourist industry, as well as a Sunday Farmer’s Market at the Callicoon Creek Park.




Tavern on Main in Kohlertown is actually split down the middle by the Town Line between the Towns of Callicoon and Delaware. If you are having a drink, like Tavern on Main Manager Jessica LaTourette, left, you are in the Town of Callicoon. And if you are pouring the drink, like bartender Michelle Dresch, right, you are in the Town of Delaware. Fun fact next time you’re out on the town. 1. The Town of Delaware is the smallest of all 15 Sullivan County townships, at only 35.3 square miles. 2. The Town of Delaware is also the youngest township in the county – and you guessed it – is 150 years old. 3. The United States Post Office changed the name of Callicoon Depot to Callicoon in about 1906. Callicoon then added Center to become Callicoon Center. 4. Callicoon Center is in the Town of Callicoon and Callicoon is in the Town of Delaware. Often confused. 5. Harry Fisher was a larger than life figure in the town who had stories about everything and nicknames for everyone. His exploits in the field of hunting, fishing, storytelling and practical jokes are legendary, and all one needs to do is find a local and ask them for their funniest Harry Fisher story… and get

ready to laugh. 6. On Memorial Day, 1949, the Callicoon Pool was opened and “the first dip in the pool was made by Miss Helen Manouse. Diving from the springboard, she swam the full length of the pool in spite of the temperature which was too cold for swimming.”

Credits The Sullivan County Democrat would like to thank Delaware Town Historian Cindy Herbert and Delaware Town Clerk Tess McBeath for all their help with this project. We also would like to credit past authors of Town of Delaware History for their assistance with this project.




FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Kohlertown founded by the Swiss cial stamp on the location still known as Swiss Hill. The Kohlers were among those early Swiss families. Melchoir Kohler, his wife and several children came to America from Switzerland over 150 years ago. They bought the farm once owned by Winklesterns, later moving to the Beechwoods property now known as the Villa Roma. Of their twelve children, four – Andrew, Edward, Michael and William – eventually settled just west of Jeffersonville, in the community that became known as Kohlertown. Kohlertown Today Kohlertown retains much of its early tradition, with Kohler descendents still in the greater Kohlertown area. Though governmentally a part of the Town of Delaware, residents draw heavily

upon Jeffersonville and the Town of Callicoon for social and commercial services. Stretched out along Route 52, west of Jeffersonville, Kohlertown is a small, primarily residential community. Kohler Lumber, founded by William Kohler and now owned by the Kubenik family, remains an important economic force, with a full compliment of other businesses, including Sal’s Pizzeria, Stewart-Murphy Funeral Home, Sullivan Overhead, Siggy’s Auto Body, Keller Glass, a dollar store, Justus Auto, Dick’s Auto, MDB Welding, Jeff Sanitation, J. Hughson Excavating, Crossroads Insurance, the newly re-opened Tavern on Main, and a liquor store, to name but a few.

A wide thoroughfare and stately homes distinguished the road through Kohlertown. This old postcard looks west from Beechwoods Rd. along what is now Route 52. Although in the Township of Delaware, Kohlertown aligns itself with Jeffersonville both economically and socially.


ot all German speaking immigrants came to this country from

Deutschland. A number of Swiss brought their families and traditions to Kenoza

Lake, Beechwoods and Kohlertown section of the township, leaving their spe-



Our Beloved Home 845-887-4400


Here to help make it your home, too!

Thank you to the Town of Delaware. Especially Tess! Your friends at

Kohler Lumber & Building Materials, Inc. Established 1907 71333

(845) 482-5290 • 482-5117 • Fax 482-4270

The Kubenik Family • Rte. 52, Jeffersonville, NY 12748

The mill & houses of William Kohler BY PATRICK WELSH


he graceful lines and· rounded eaves that are evident on numerous area homes are a result of ideas and visions of William Kohler, the founder of Kohler Lumber. A pleasant interview with Fred Schwartz gave insight into the original mill and the building of these unique houses. Fred began working as a carpenter when he was nineteen years old in the early 1920's. He worked with a crew headed by Louis Dietrich building houses for Mr. Kohler. William had no formal training as an architect, but had particular ideas that he wanted included in all Kohler built homes. Under William's leadership, the mill grew and Fred told me that at one time Kohlertown

flats were covered with logs, first with local lumber, then as local resources were exhausted, western lumber was brought east by train to Callicoon and then on to the mill by teams of horses. By the time the present Davitt house in Youngsville was built, young Fred had moved into the mill doing custom work in the large shop on the premises. In the winter he would cut the rounded ends of the rafters with the bandsaw. For a time it was the only bandsaw in the area.

The distinctive rounded rafters you'll find on the Kohler Built Homes. William Kohler built several styles and types of houses during those years, but it was the rounded roof lines that established the easily recognizable Kohler trademark that separated them from all others. The mill is still in operation today, run by the Kubenik family. They offer a full line of building supplies and lumber while continuing the fine tradition established by the Kohler family.





Happy 150th Anniversary!

Many homes in the greater Kohlertown area have the influence of “Kohler built.” This old photo shows the present day Stewart Murphy Funeral Home in Kohlertown in all its glory during the early 1900s. William’s two sons, Percy and Mark, ran Kohler Lumber for many years and Percy sold the company to the Kubenik family in 1975.

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FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019


earlier times B





G A. Knapp Bros. Bank, Callicoon Branch, was a mainstay along Main Street, Callicoon until 1909 – when it failed. According to newspaper accounts, “Local organizations, businesses and individuals lost nearly $350,000, the result of the private bank’s management siphoning assets into the insatiable maw of the Outing Publishing Company.” Charles P. Kautz and Charles Thorwelle quickly charted the National Bank of Callicoon. B. Always a little ahead of its time, Callicoon offered plenty of places for families to camp before it became popular. This photo was taken in 1898. C. The Callicoon School was the center of the community in many ways, and served the community for nearly 50 years. Today it houses an acrobatic performance studio. D. The Log Mill in Callicoon was a growing concern during the late 1800s-early 1900s, as this picture attests. E. Starck’s Bazaar was located on Main Street, Callicoon and sold jewelry, among other items.


F. Fisher’s Crystal Shower in Hortonville was a great place to go. A large and ornate pave glass ball hung from the ceiling of this popular restaurant and the sparkles on the wall were responsible for its name. G. The Armbrust House was located in Kenoza Lake. H. Another Kenoza Lake staple was Raum’s store, a busy place to shop.




FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

earlier times B





G A. St. James Episcopal Church in Callicoon was first named the Free Church of St. James at Callicoon Depot, est. 1874. The congregation dedicated a permanent building in 1874, which was replaced by the present church, same site, in 1929. B. The Waterfalls Hotel, Casino & Bowling Alley was owned by F.J. Mason in Kenoza Lake. Oh, the fun that must have been had in the heyday of this resort. C. As the first Erie Railroad train came to town in 1848, all of Callicoon Depot came out to watch. This view of Lower Main St., shows the wagon tracks as well as the “new” railroad tracks. Callicoon was on its way to becoming busy. D. The former Hortonville Post Office still stands today. Note the two plowshares on the front porch. E. Nearly every community had its one-room schoolhouse and this one in Hortonville still stands at the corner of North Branch Rd. and County Route 131 and is owned by Florence Leewe, former Callicoon Postmaster. F. The Postman’s Motto is, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The Kenoza Lake P.O. certainly meant business with this team of oxen in the yoke.


G. Still a beautiful setting, the Kenoza Lake Stone Arch Bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places as well as being a County-owned park. Although canoeing is frowned on, the scene looks much the same as it did 100 years ago. H. This old Democrat advertisement was for the Falls Mill Lumberyard, which offered everything from sawn boards to dry goods, shoes & groceries.



FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019


The Kenoza Lake Fire Dept. has been proudly serving the community of Kenoza Lake since 1937 and each year hosts several fundraisers, including a delicious Roast Beef dinner.

Fair Day on Kenoza Lake was a dressy affair complete with a Regatta on the beautiful lake.

Bark was big business for Pike Pond |

A salute to Delaware istory matters. History surrounds us every day and shapes who we are and where we’re going. And we are writing new chapters of it every day. German, Irish, Swiss, Polish, Italian and many other Eastern European settlers found the beauty of the Town of Delaware appealing and put their roots down here 150 years ago. They were remarkable in their fortitude to build a better tomorrow for the children by starting businesses, farming the land, working on the railroad, and in the woods and quarries which surround us. Our township became connected to the outside world in 1848 when the first train moved over the tracks of the Delaware Division of the Erie Railroad, forever changing the character of our township. With it came travelers and the ability to receive freight for businesses to ply their trade. And in 1939, Route 97 was completed, another major artery which helped change our town and open up easy access from the north and south. Our township is now filled with a cross-section of fulland-part-time residents who continue to have a passion to see our region prosper. Our hamlets are flush with new, energetic shop owners who are eager to continue the legacy our forebears have built. Now is our time to write the next chapters of our Township’s remarkable history and make it one worth reading in the annals of history. Happy Sesquicentennial Delaware


50th appy 1




- Sporting Goods and Accessories • Hunting & Fishing Supplies • Guns & Ammo • Live Bait • Reloading Services • Firearms Instructional Services • Archery • Gun Broker Service

The Kenoza Lake Methodist Church is also a central figure in the community.


The Kenoza Lake Stone Arch Bridge is a testament to the German settlers of the late 1800s, who needed a reliable way to cross the Callicoon Creek. Today the bridge is not only an historic site but also part of a county-owned park.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TOWN OF DELAWARE 150 Years of Commitment to the Community.

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Congrats on 150 years!

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added much to its population, and immensely to its resources. For many years there was more sole-leather made in Sullivan County than in any other territory of equal extent in the world.” Capt. E. Beach, William Bonesteel and Robert Berger were among the Greene County tanners who came into the area. They built a tannery at Pike Pond (Kenoza Lake) in 1833, which was later owned by the Wales family. Kenoza Lake was described as “the resort” of fishermen from miles around. “Near its edge is being erected the splendid hotel of W.P. Coventry, which will be called the Coventry House. It will open for the season of ’93 and every precaution will be taken to make it one of the desirable summer homes of this section.” Kenoza Lake Today With the tanneries, saw mills and boarding houses gone, Kenoza Lake is now mostly a quiet residential community. There is a beautiful secondhome development, Kenoza Lake Estates, which boasts nearly a dozen homes overlooking the lake. New developers are reinvigorating the boarding homes of the past, which will soon open as a great place for travelers to enjoy the scenic beauty and serenity of the community.




y 1800, lumbering was the most important business along the Upper Delaware and new villages began to crop up with lumber as their basis for commerce. Kenoza Lake – then known as Pike Pond – was one of those communities. A man named Woodruff came to the area from Poughkeepsie about 1812 and built a sawmill on what is now known as Bauer’s Pond. He was followed by Stephen Godney of New Paltz, who bought land on the west side of Pike Pond. But it was Capt. Nathan Moulthrop who gave impetus to a full-fledged community. A sea captain and War of 1812 privateer, Moulthrop came from New Paltz about 1825 and in 1831, built a dam at Pike Pond. A year later, he added a sawmill. In the History of Sullivan County, written by James Quinlan, it was written, “Our population was also augmented by the tanners, who came from Greene County. Colonel Edwards, and other great manufacturers of leather, had discovered that it was better to take hides to the localities that produced bark than to cart the more bulky bark a distance to the hides. “The tanneries of Greene had nearly exhausted the bark in their vicinity, when the tanners came to Sullivan, and




FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Town of Delaware had many famous faces

Here is a brief list of Town of Delaware residents who helped make history.

Grover Martin Hermann (1890-1979) – Raised in Callicoon, where both the hospital and community center bear his name. In 1913, at the age of 23, he used an investment of $5,000 to establish the American Asphalt Paint Company. Over Grover Hermann the years he expanded that small business into a large, diversified corporation dealing in paint, cement, metals, printers ink, processing machinery, stone, electrical equipment and many other products. His business, renamed American Marietta Corporation with an acquisition in the early 1930s, ultimately merged with The Martin Company in 1961 to form Martin Marietta Corporation. In 1995 the company would merge again to become Lockheed Martin. Grover’s father, Martin, owned Martin Hermann Lumber Co. in Callicoon, whose lumber mill helped drive the timber industry in the region. Grover also donated large sums to SUNY Sullivan and the college’s library is named in his honor.

Guernsey Cross stands behind then NYS Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom he served as press secretary.

Pauline M. and Charles P. Kautz – Charlie, known as C.P., and his brother John, started the Callicoon Coal Company. They built the coal silos to offload the coal from the railroad . C.P. was also President of the First National Bank of Callicoon. A former bookkeeper with the Great New York and Erie Railway Co. in Pauline M. Kautz the 1840s, C.P. invested wisely and even took his investments out of the stock market in the late 1920s, before the big crash. The Kautzes donated a substantial amount of money to the construction of the Grover Hermann Hospital, where Pauline’s portrait hangs ‘til this day. After C.P. and Pauline died, a large portion of their vast fortune was left to the Charles P. and Pauline M. Kautz Foundation, which each year distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars to graduates of the former Delaware Valley School District to go to college, certainly a lasting legacy from one of Callicoon’s more endearing couples. Principal Charles E. Lewis, better known as ‘Prof. Lewis,’ was the head of the Callicoon School for nearly four decades. His reputation as a stern disciplinarian and taskmaster is legend among “the older generation” of students who attended the 1908 school on Academy Street, Callicoon. He lived above the Olympia Hotel in Callicoon for many years. Major Johannes Hardenbergh – The original land grant patent that included the bulk of Sullivan County (as well as Ulster and Delaware) was purchased by Hardenbergh in 1716 for 60 pounds. Many of today’s political boundaries are based on the patent, including the boundary between Ulster and Sullivan.

Dr. Frederick A. Cook – Born in Hortonville in 1865, Cook is the explorer credited with first reaching the North Pole on April 21, 1908. Back home, his family is said to have started the first electric company in Hortonville. His brother, Theodore, made the sledges in Hortonville that Frederick used to make the expedition to the North Pole. Dr. George R. Mills, native of Sullivan County, lately of the Binghamton City Hospital, arrived in Callicoon at the age of 34 in March, 1929 and purchased the supplies and office equipment of the late Dr. A. Mayer. Callicoon’s new physician is especially well qualified to take care of health officer’s work and general health welfare work since the Albany College is the only one in the state that prepares its graduates in that branch of medicine. Because of his excellent recommendations, he was encouraged by the Callicoon Chamber of Commerce to set up practice here. Dr. Mills built the original Callicoon Hospital in 1932 and was also instrumental, along with Dr. Edmund Rumble, with building the community pool in Callicoon, to help teach our young to swim, in response to several drownings of swimmers in the Delaware River. Dr. Mills’ son, Charles “Charlie” E. Mills, was also a community stalwart, serving on the Callicoon Fire Dept. for 60 years, serving as a trustee of Grover Hermann and Community General Hospital for many years, and volunteering his time with the Callicoon Kiwanis and many other local organizations. He still resides in Callicoon with his wife, Grace.

Audley Dorrer, for whom a street in Callicoon is named, was born June 11, 1907. Upon graduation from Callicoon High School he went into the plumbing and fuel Audley I. Dorrer oil business as co-owner of the Callicoon Coal Co. along with Charles Kautz. Audley was Superintendent of the Callicoon Water Co. for 50 years. Audley’s commitment to the community was legendary: a 65-year member of the Callicoon Fire Dept.

Howard Stewart and his wife Harriet purchased the Kelly Funeral Home from Harriet’s uncle, Ed Kelly. He expanded the funeral home from its Callicoon location to add Kohlertown and Roscoe and operated it for many years, taking in several partners in 1971. But moreover, Howard was a dedicated community leader, running an ambulance service for the community before Upper Delaware Ambulance Corps started in 1969. Stewart also served on the Grover Hermann Hospital Board of Directors as well as the Delaware Valley School Board. He was also a reserve member of the Callicoon Fire Dept., member of the Delaware Lodge #561 Free and Accepted Masons, charter member of the Kiwanis Club and strongly involved in fundraising for the Delaware

Community Center. His son, Craig A. Stewart, served as Supervisor of the Town of Delaware from 1980-1985.

Leota Deighton Hermann was a Callicoon icon who was involved in many organizations. The list includes State President of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, member of Callicoon United Methodist Church and 45-year organist, charter member of the Russell H. Kenyon Post No. 5808 Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, member of the Grover M. Hermann Ladies Auxiliary, life member of the NYS Parent Teachers Congress, past president and member of the DVCS PTA, member of the St. Tammany Chapter of Order of Eastern Star and member of the Town of Delaware Bicentennial Committee.

There are so, so many more names of people who had a lasting impact on the Town of Delaware. We thank them for their efforts and fortitude in making our communities the great places they are today.

Town of Delaware Congratulations on Your

150th Anniversary!

Congratulations to the

Harry M. Woods, who lived a number of years on River Road, Callicoon, achieved Hall of Fame stature as a songwriter, having provided the music for over 360 songs. His song, “A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet” is believed to have been inspired by Callicoon. Other famous tunes included, “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain,” “I’m Lookin Over a Four-Leaf Clover,” and “Side by Side.” John F. Anderson, a Civil War Capt. who served as a member of Co. E 143rd N.Y. Infantry, returned home to Callicoon Depot in the late 1880s, where he bought a house on the corner of Church St. (near the corner of the current blinking light.) Among his accomplishments were installing a sewer system along Church St., founding the Anderson Hook

(which he helped found), a 62-year member of the Delaware Lodge Free & Accepted Masons, and a charter member of the Callicoon Kiwanis Club. Audley passed away on March 4, 1991.

on their 150 th Anniversary!! From your friends at

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Joseph B. White – A graduate of Delaware Valley Central School in Callicoon, White won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for beat report- Joseph B. White

Dr. Frederick A. Cook

& Ladder Co. No. 1 (a precursor to the Callicoon Vol. Fire Dept.), serving as Supervisor of the Town of Delaware from 1873-1875, founding the Sullivan County Democrat newspaper in June, 1891, and donating the bell which sits atop the historic Callicoon United Methodist Church on December 25, 1891. He is buried in the Callicoon Cemetery on Creamery Rd.


The Curtis family dates back to the earliest founding of the Town of Delaware. Before the township was officially founded, William H. Curtis drew a map detailing where the then-unsettled community of Hortonville should be. William would later serve as supervisor from 1870-1872. James I. Curtis would serve as supervisor from 1891-1903. James C. Curtis was a state senator and a judge. And Charles T. Curtis was prominent in the Masons and was Master and a charter member of Delaware Lodge #561, F & AM. In later years, Valleau

Daniel Skinner – Although he lived just across the river from Callicoon in Pennsylvania, Skinner was the man responsible for lashing trees together and floating them down the Delaware River to sell in Philadelphia. The year was 1764 and was the start of a multi-million dollar timber industry which lasted for more than 125 years.

ing for his coverage of management turmoil at General Motors. During his college years, he wrote a music column for the Sullivan County Democrat. He has been a longtime staff member of the Wall Street Journal.


Guernsey Cross – Born in 1899 in the Town of Neversink, Cross was a resident of Callicoon. In 1929, Sullivan County was singly honored by the appointment of Assemblyman Guernsey T. Cross of Callicoon to the important position of secretary and assistant to the new governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is one of the most important political appointments that has ever come to the county. The salary is $12,000 a year. Mr. Cross has been elected to the Assembly six times in the face of strong Republican opposition. Mr. Cross was also instrumental in the establishment of Route 97.

Curtis was a prominent business owner of Curtis Nurseries and also Chairman of the Board of United National Bank in Callicoon. His children, Edward, Robert and Mary, lived in Callicoon for many years and the boys were active in the family business while Mary became the Town of Delaware Historian (1977-2009) and worked for the National Park Service.



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Town of Delaware celebrates its Sesquicentennial, 1869-2019  

The Town of Delaware will celebrate its 150th Anniversary on Saturday, July 27. Check out our special issue celebrating the anniversary.

Town of Delaware celebrates its Sesquicentennial, 1869-2019  

The Town of Delaware will celebrate its 150th Anniversary on Saturday, July 27. Check out our special issue celebrating the anniversary.