Academic journal article Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore

Sullivan County's Diehl Homestead Farm: A Living Testament to the Heritage and Dedication of Six Generations on the Land

Academic journal article Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore

Sullivan County's Diehl Homestead Farm: A Living Testament to the Heritage and Dedication of Six Generations on the Land

Article excerpt

The Southern Catskill region of New York State is well known for its dairy farms, often perched on steep, green slopes, overlooking lushly forested mountains, interleaved by the rushing creeks that feed the watershed of the upper Delaware River. A drive up Diehl Road in Western Sullivan County reveals one such landscape, defined by a single family, whose legacy dates back five generations on the same hillside, and overlooking the valley of the Callicoon Creek, where its patriarchal family established its original homestead more than a century and a half ago.

The Diehl Homestead Farm, located in the lush rolling hills of the Upper Delaware region of New York State, dates from 1853, and has been home to six consecutive generations of farmers. Homesteaders John Simon and Catherine Bernhardt Diehl came to Sullivan County from Darmstadt, Germany, via New York City. They cultivated a farm and raised their children on land in the valley and eventually moved their farm to the hillside overlooking the original location. Their son, John Simon, Jr., built the Diehl homestead, which still stands, in 1906, while brother Adam operated the farm. Adam's grandson, Peter, and his wife, Alice, now occupy the site where Peter, and their son, Adam, operate a hundred-cow dairy farm. Their desire to remain on this land has driven them to pursue numerous activities to remain solvent and continue farming, even in times of increasing uncertainty brought about by rising costs of production and the erratic nature of milk pricing. …

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