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Historic Barns of Delaware County (slideshow)

Photos from the Driving Tour of Delaware County barns brochure. 

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Livestock Suited to the Catskills

Most folks say the Scotch, Irish and British were attracted to the Western Catskills because it reminded them of home. Windy hills and rocky pastures wouldn’t intimidate their souls, nor those of their livestock. The roads of Delaware County pay tribute to their ancestors and heritage – Glen Burnie, Irish Hill, Scotch Mountain, Dingle Hill, Thomson Hollow, MacGibbon Hollow, McNaught Hill, and so forth. And while the Catskills were settled by many nationalities, it is the Scotch-Irish influence that holds the most sway over our understanding of our 18th century past in Delaware County.

Tamworths

Stone and Thistle Farm, East Meredith

Here are some breeds of livestock that when seen in our landscape today, give clues to the heritage of our area and give us a way to understand the make up of a farm of yesteryear.

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Covered Bridges

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Anti-Rent War:  Rebellion In The Catskills

We never know when we may be caught up in a vortex of circumstances and events large than our own small world. One day may swallow up the rest of our lives. This was the fate of small quiet farming communities in eastern Delaware County in 1845. The steady, reassuring ritual cycle of plowing, planting, mowing, and harvesting took a back seat to Anti-Rent protest.The Anti-Rent conflict began in 1839 in the Helderbergs in Albany County. Tenant farmers rebelled against oppressive leases under which they labored as little more than serfs of wealthy landlords, without opportunity to ever own the land. They had also begun to question the legality of the landlords’ titles to the land. The outbreak was triggered by the demand of Stephen Van Rensselaer IV for back rents which his father had not collected during economic hard times. 

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Barns For Beginners

They are so common that they become invisible. Motorists pass by, paying little attention. But consider this an invitation. Drive down almost any Delaware County road and focus on the barns. At first glance they may seem similar, but observe more carefully. Straight roofs and rounded roofs. White, red, yellow and often unpainted. Notice locations – next to the road, across a pastured field, in a valley rather than on a hilltop. Surrounded by black and white Holstein cows. Modernized as an office or battered by time and failing. This is an invitation to travel the back roads and look again at one of the most omnipresent, and threatened, symbols of Delaware County’s rural heritage.

The Beautiful Bones of a Barn

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Cauliflower How Agriculture Worked

Crate farming was ubiquitous in the 40s and 50s on Catskills farms.  No one vegetable symbolizes this more that the cauliflower.  We think pictures speak a thousands words so read through these pages on recommended ceilings on cauliflower production and the association slide show.  We'll post another series of scans of a document on cauliflower marketing  by the Delaware County Farm Bureau.  

Cauliflower in New Kingston

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In The Fields

Slideshow

Threshing Buckwheat

The Delaware County HistoricalAssociation keeps a wonderful archive of photos, documents, diaries, publications and artifacts. This is a sampling of photos from the agricultural collection having to do with working in the fields with a variety of crops using a variety of farm animals to assist in the labor.

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Delaware County Fair Magic at 120

Animals, barns, home arts, auctions, grandstand attractions, sweets and treats to eat, rides to thrill, things to learn, people to meet, and always something never seen before…guaranteed! Are these events and entertainment for the Great Walton Fair of 1887 or for the Delaware County Fair of today? The answer is both: the attractions were , and are, all at the fair!  READ more about the fair is this reprint of an article from Kaatskill Life Magazine from 2006.

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Forestry Resources

 

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Maple Syrup Tapping and Cooking

Slideshow

Sap Bucket and a Clear Sky

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