Local History in the Spotlight!

Headwaters History Days, June 7 and 8, 2014, is a celebration of the history, culture, folklife and landscape of the East Branch Delaware River towns of Middletown, Roxbury and Andes. For a map and schedule, visit www.headwatershistorydays.org.

Fifteen museums, landmark structures and historic sites will be open to the public at no charge for one or both days (consult the schedule). Docents will be on hand to explain the significance of their sites. A walking tour will be offered on Sunday in the hamlet of Roxbury, and two concerts of home-grown music will serve up history in song.

The Delaware & Ulster Rail Road will offer two-for-one rides on its round trip excursions from Arkville to Roxbury to anyone displaying a Headwaters History Days ‘passport.’

This collaboration involves non-profit organizations, community institutions and private property owners. They are all intensely proud of the heritage they represent and the landmarks they are charged with protecting, and welcome neighbors and visitors to learn more about our common local history.

This effort is funded by the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, participating organizations and area businesses.

Visitors will learn about the Anti-Rent War of the 1840s and the displacement of whole communities when the East Branch was dammed to create the Pepacton Reservoir a century later. . . Sit on a wooden bench in a Civil-War era one-room school . . . Climb the stairs of a church tower to hear a venerable clock chime the hour.

There will music, in the form of unaccompanied voices sharing the traditions of the Old School Baptists at Middletown Historical Society’s hall, and fiddle and guitar tunes played from the front porch of the farmhouse where famed naturalist John Burroughs once wrote in Roxbury.

Find out about Fleischmanns’ hotel heyday, and the family that gave the village its name. Visit the exquisite church, railroad station and public park built by the Goulds of Roxbury. Watch a complex network of belts and pulleys drive machinery in a 150-year-old barn in Kelly Corners.

For the ultimate in relaxation and reflection, enjoy the timeless rhythm of the rails as you ride along the East Branch on the DURR, following the thread of history that links all of these communities.

Participating Sites include Skene Memorial Library and the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories, both in Fleischmanns; the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown in Margaretville; the Old Stone Schoolhouse in Dunraven and the Smith Farm, now known as the Blue Deer Center, between Dunraven and New Kingston.

Hubbell Homestead and the Kelly Brothers Round Barn (Pakatakan Farmers Market) in Kelly Corners and Halcottsville will welcome visitors.

Ulster & Delaware Railroad Historical Society members will provide tours at the Roxbury Depot Museum and the Delaware & Ulster Rail Road yard in Arkville.