Welcome to the MTHS website
The Mountain Top Historical Society is dedicated to discovering and preserving the unique and rich history of the Catskill High Peaks. The Society is a not-for-profit organization and maintains a Visitor and Art Trail Center and the Ulster and Delaware train depot (shown above) on our campus in Haines Falls. We are located on scenic Route 23A at the gateway to the Mountain Top and are easily accessible from Exit 20 or 21 of the New York State Thruway.
The Town of Hunter, home to MTHS, has been designated a Preserve America Community.
To our hikers:
The 2017 hiking schedule can be found at: http://mths.org/hikes.html or by selecting the Hikes link under the Interpret section in the side menus. As always, hikes are subject to change. Please check this site just prior to the date of any scheduled hike.
Thanks to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Facebook Page for posting this notice.
Please everyone stay on the marked trail, do not cut across the private land to access the trail from MTHS. Please follow Trail up North Lake Road to Featherbed down to the rail trail.
The last section is in the process of being acquired by the Mountain Top Historical Society however it is still PRIVATE LAND, please respect the private land owners and their property.
The grand opening for the new final section connecting Kaaterskill Falls with the MTHS Campus will be opening on May 20th- more details to follow.
Thank you everyone for you help and cooperation in this matter.
From our Archives -
A 2006 article on the Clove Road by Justine Hommel
Setting the Record Straight
After the publication of the 4th 2016 edition of the Hemlock, MTHS president Cyndi LaPierre received a phone call from a granddaughter of Ferris Thompson, Claudia Lane. Claudia and her mother and aunts discussed the building of the swimming hole on the Batavia Kill that served guests at the Thompson House and the Osborn House that is mentioned in the article about Larry Tompkins. The Thompson sisters distinctly remember watching their father build the dam and dredge the stream. With the following revision that was submitted to us by Claudia Lane, we wish to set the record straight on that point. We are publishing this revision on our website, Facebook page, and will attach a printed copy to the archived copies of the Hemlock. We strive to publish and archive accurate information and welcome corrections from those with local knowledge.
The Thompson Brothers, owners of The Thompson House, asked permission from the owners of the Osborn House, next door if the could dredge the river and build a dam. They created a 10 feet deep swimming hole where there was a high diving board and guests could canoe. On Saturdays there was a water show. For the finale an employee would high dive through a ring of fire. Larry vividly remembers the shockingly ice cold........
MTHS News and links:
October 18, 2016
It is my unhappy task to share some very sad news with you. Nathan Hommel contacted a few members of the MTHS on Tuesday to share the news that Justine passed away yesterday, October 17, 2016. At this time, her family is not planning to have a memorial service until spring. We have lost a dear friend and a vital link to our past.
- Larry Tompkins -- Out Windham Way a wonderful new book from our former MTHS president.
Around Hunter --A great Gift for a friend or yourself-- is available at the Visitor's Center Click on the link or the book cover for more information.
- The Dodd House - An article from the archives of the Hemlock
- Our thanks to HT student volunteers
- News from our Annual meeting:
- The society wishes to thank Sidonia Palace who is retiring from the Board for her long service to the Mountain Top Historical Society.
- We welcome Brett Byrne to the Board of Directors.
- We also thank Richard Haines for his service as Vice President and are glad to have him remain as a valued Board member.
- In other changes, we are please that Adrienne Larys will serve as Vice President and that Nancy Allen will take over as Secretary.
- Thank you to the volunteers who staff the Visitors' Center (in addition to board members):
- Thanks to our business sponsors:
Bruce Feml General Contractor, Bank of Greene County, Brookside B&B, Cave Mountain Brewing Company, C&C Excavating, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Chateau Belleview, Claude W. Lutz of Hunter and Fromer Agency Insurance, Deer Mountain Inn, Dr. Elena Suditu, GNH Lumber, Inc., Hotel Vienna, Hunter Mountain, Kaaterskill Liquors, Last Chance Antiques & Cheese Cafe, Mama's Boy Pizza, Mountain Propane, Inc., Pancho Villas Mexican Restaurant, Rosehaven Inn, Snow Bird Ski Shop, Snowed Inn, Stewart's Shops, Tannersville Antique & Artisan Center, The Mountain Brook, The Thompson House, Thorpe's GMC, Inc., Traphagen’s Honey, Vanucchi Associates, Villa Vosilla, Willow Mixed Media, Williams Lumber and Home Centers
Buildings and Grounds Update
As we plan programs and hikes for the 2016 season, we are looking at a need for volunteers to help us keep our Haines Falls campus looking as pristine as it has looked for the past 20 year.
The Mountain Top Historical Society is looking for someone to serve as a co-chair of the building and grounds committee. This is a volunteer, working foreman position. One does not need to be an MTHS board member to fill this position. Board member, Nancy Allen, has already volunteered to be co-chair of this committee. She is interested in the groundskeeping tasks and is hoping to find someone to work with her as a regular inspector of our buildings and facilities with an eye toward maintaining the buildings and staying ahead of any problems.
Dick Haines, who has filled this position for many years, since we first acquired our Haines Falls home, has decided to hang up his lopping shears and turn over the keys to the John Deere. Dick has done an awesome job over the years, keeping the campus looking great and maintaining the buildings on a shoestring budget. He has offered to mentor the new chairpersons and help out as he is needed.
With Dick's help we have created a job description. There is a lot involved in keeping up the property, but we have been building a core group of volunteers who are available to help regularly. It is the job of the co-chairs to coordinate the volunteers and keep the board apprised of buildings and grounds needs.
In addition to looking for a co-chair to work with Nancy Allen, we are always looking for volunteers to help with the tasks of mowing, trimming, clearing sticks and branches.
If you can give a few hours a week or a few hours a month, we welcome the help.
To volunteer or if you'd like more information, please e-mail the director at from our contact page.
Thanks to History Day participants
August 25, 2015
The Mountain Top Historical Society owes thank yous to more people than we can possibly name in a single letter! Please accept these thanks by category and know that we are thanking each one of you as individuals. For a successful Local History Day on August 15th at the MTHS campus in Haines Falls, thank you to all of the dedicated volunteers from all of the local historical associations who spent the day sharing their expertise with the people who came by. Thank you to the vendors, the people who donated food, the Twilight Park Day Camp counselors, the members of the Board of the MTHS, the MTHS program committee, the Mt. Top Arboretum, the Patchworkers, the volunteers in our Visitors' Center, and the volunteers who cleaned up at the end of the day. Thank you to Larry Tompkins and to the trustees from Sheriff Seeley's program that provides help to not-for-profits. They are the ones who prepped the barn for the big day. Jay Fink and Patti Morrow anchored the WRIP broadcast from the train station,. Carver Blanchard stopped by to share some music with us. Mike Ryan did a great job ofdocumenting the proceedings. Thank you Jay, Patti, Carver, and Mike. Thanks to Todd Whitley and Draga Susanj for bringing the Calico Indian Showdown to the our place.Thank you to everyone who came by and listened to presentations, made donations, and purchased food and 50/50 raffle tickets. It was a true community event!
Thank you all!
Cyndi LaPierre President, MTHS
MTHS Needs You.
In order to keep all of these activities going we need YOU! We depend on two things to support our efforts: If you are a member of the MTHS but have not yet renewed for 2015, please take a few moments to bring your membership up to date. If you have not yet joined us, click on the link on this page to go to a secure webpage and join us there.
If you have been a volunteer with us in the past couple of years, thank you! If you have not yet volunteered, let us know what you can do and how much time you have to give. We need people to help maintain the buildings and grounds; people to staff the Visitors' Center; people to help with the archives; people to sell raffle tickets and food at our events; and more. Our schedule is flexible and we'll find a way to bring you in. Contact us using our contacts page or call 518 589-6657 and leave a message. We'd love to hear from you!