A Catskill Catalog by Bill Birns

Bill Birns presents a weekly essay on history, geography, day-trips, arts and culture in the Catskill Mountain region.

A Catskill Catalog: Oct. 27, 2010

Cider season is October 7 to November 7. Bob Hubbell told me that. I never realized cider-making time had such particular boundaries, a generally agreed-upon beginning and end: not the 6th but the 7th. We learn.


A Catskill Catalog: Oct. 20, 2010

Back in 1763, the first European settlers along the upper east branch of the Delaware River walked west from Hurley, the thriving stone-house colonial town on the Esopus, west of Kingston.


A Catskill Catalog: Oct. 13, 2010

When I was in college, the American writer Stephen Crane was something of a cult hero. It was the ’60s, the burgeoning of a new youth culture that was hungry for stories of rebellious individuality among other young people of other times. Stephen Crane, a 19th-century writer who lived fast and died young, filled the bill.


A Catskill Catalog: Oct. 6, 2010

In March 1937, the Catskill Mountain News reported that, “the last vestige of the Pocantico fire” was removed, when an old maple that once shaded the hotel was finally cut down.


A Catskill Catalog: Sept. 29, 2010

“Nothing helps the life of a town more than a good hotel,” Clarke Sanford wrote in the pages of the Catskill Mountain News, after a prosperous 1908 summer tourist season. For the first quarter of the 20th century, that good hotel, the Pocantico Inn, and the Village of Margaretville, were, in the minds of many, practically one and the same.