The Catskills: An Illustrated Historical Guide with Gazetteer

The Catskills: An Illustrated Historical Guide with Gazetteer

The Catskills: An Illustrated Historical Guide with Gazetteer

The Catskills: An Illustrated Historical Guide with Gazetteer


This scrupulously revised edition offers a comprehensive introduction to the beauty and wonder of the Catskill mountain region. Combining a wealth of information with abundant illustrations, the book falls into four main sections. The first section deals principally with the geography of the area. Part Two focuses on the region's history, with subsections on Railroad Fever, The Romantic Era, War and Revolution, and Famous Hotels. Part Three- devoted to the Catskill's legends, literature, and art-features descriptive passages from the work of such famous writers as James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving. The final section is an extensive gazetteer that provides succint descriptions of the mountains, ranges, rivers, brooks, kills, creeks, and other geographical features of the region.


The Catskill Mountain Region, situated near the nation's largest cities and within one hundred miles of the Eastern Megalopolis, has attracted many visitors since the early 19th century. Ever since James Kirke Paulding's New Mirror For Travellers was published in 1828, there has been no shortage of tourist guidebooks--until about thirty years ago when Eric Posselt 's The Rip Van Winkle Trail went out of publication. While some very fine books have been written about the area by Alf Evers, Arthur Mack and Roland Van Zandt, none of them have been comprehensive tourist guidebooks in the traditional sense. The present author has also collaborated in writing a book entitled Guide to the Catskills with Trail Guide and Maps, but this was designed to meet the special needs of the hiker and outdoorsman more than the requirements of the general tourist whose primary interests are scenic and historic.

From 1876 until about 1920 several excellent annual tourist guidebooks were written by Walton Van Loan,Wallace Bruce and Ernest Ingersoll. Van Loan published and distributed his own guides, working from Catskill, N. Y. Bruce's books were sponsored by the Hudson River Day Line and were published by various firms through the years. Ingersoll's book was published by Rand McNally Co. The various railroads serving the region also sponsored annual guidebooks. With the changeover from water and rail travel to auto touring these guidebooks gradually went out of print. Various publications of the State of New York, the AAA and the oil companies devote a limited amount of space to the region, but the area has not been treated in depth for a considerable time.

It is to fill this need that this book has been written. The reader win find that the book falls into four major sections. The first three deal, respectively, with the geography, the history, and the literature and art of the region. The fourth section is a descriptive listing of all towns, locations and geographical features of the region, including some descriptive passages from the works of famous writers such as Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper. The reader will find that this book contains fewer statistics, and more material of general interest, than the Guide to the Catskills. We hope that the format will prove both attractive for browsing and handy for use on the road. I have taken the occasion of this new edition to update the original 1975 material.

Arthur G. Adams

September 15, 1989 . . .

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