June will bring two event-packed weekends to the Great Western Catskills. To promote the Path Through History, a heritage tourism initiative established to highlight New York’s unparalleled network of museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions, several Delaware County attractions will host free programs and celebrations. So set aside some time June 7 and 8 and June 14 to enjoy the historic and cultural heritage of the area.
On June 7 and 8, the towns of Roxbury, Middletown and Andes will celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the East Branch of the Delaware River during their Headwaters History Days. A mix of non-profit organizations, community institutions and private property owners will work together to make sixteen museums, landmark structures and historic sites accessible to the public, free of charge.
History experts and novices alike will find a wide range of topics and time periods highlighted at different venues throughout the weekend. Explore the Anti-Rent War of the 1840s at the Hunting Tavern Museum in Andes and at the old Moses Earl farm on Dingle Hill. See an exhibit on the hotels of the Catskills’ getaway heyday at the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories. Take a ride through beautiful scenery on the Delaware & Ulster Railroad (DURR). These are just a few of the options to be enjoyed. For a full listing of events, please visit www.headwatershistorydays.org.
Headwaters History Days will also feature three special events. On Saturday, June 7, at 1 p.m., the John Burroughs Memorial Locust and Wild Honey Mountain Orchestra will preform a set of original songs inspired by the writings of John Burroughs on the porch of John Burroughs’ Woodchuck Lodge in Roxbury. All are welcome to find a spot on the lawn and enjoy this free event.
On Sunday, June 8, at noon, join in a free walking tour of the hamlet of Roxbury. The tour should run about 40 minutes and will include parts of the Main Street Historic District, including the Gould Church and beautiful Kirkside Park, the DURR station and museum, and Bridge Street. The walk is timed so visitors can catch the DURR from Arkville at 11 a.m., tour Roxbury and catch the return train at 3 p.m.
At 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 8, a short history presentation and concert will celebrate the Old School Baptist Church at the Historical Society of Middletown Hall in Margaretville. "The Good Old Way: Music and Memories of the Old School Baptist Church” will feature a choir singing the hymns of the Baptist sect that thrived in the Catskills in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
On Saturday, June 14, join in the Community Celebration at the Hanford Mills Museum. The museum’s first event of the season will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature cultural opportunities, heritage and community organizations of the area. Sponsored by The Community Bank, the event will be free to all.
Step back in time on a horse-drawn wagon ride and stay for a work horse harnessing demo. Enjoy the music of Phil Zenir and The Fieldstone Pickers while participating in hands on activities, browsing local community organization booths and experiencing the operations of the mill.
Delaware County has a rich history that invites exploration. Enjoy the sites and events of the Path Through History weekends, and keep in mind that many of the sites, plus others, can be experienced throughout the season. Visit www.paththroughhistory.ny.gov to plan vacations, stay-cations and excursions that allow you to explore the history of the Great Western Catskills.