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.
Our Next Events:
June 14 (Fri) 7:00 p.m. Dan Peck on Thomas Cole.
“From Catskill Creek to the Catskill Mountain Tops: Tracking Thomas Cole”
Join the Mountain Top Historical Society on Friday, June 14th at 7:00 p.m. for a presentation in the U&D Train Station by Dan Peck, John Guy Vassar, Jr., Professor Emeritus of English at Vassar College. Dan will describe the scholarly and on-the-ground research that lead to his new book, “Thomas Cole’s Refrain: The Paintings of Catskill Creek”. Dr. Peck is also curator of the current exhibit, with the same name, at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site which runs from May 4 to Nov. 3. Reception and book signing to follow. A $ 5.00 donation is suggested.
June 29 (Sat) 10 a.m. In the Footsteps of John Bartram: Native Plant Tour of the Catskills.
The Heximer Survey courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
See details of these events and our Full Schedule: 2019 Event and Hike Schedule.
MTHS News and links:
- Rip's Back
- KRT is Open
- Clove Road by Justine Hommel -A 2006 article by Justine Hommel.
- The Dodd House - Also by Justine an article from the archives of the Hemlock
- 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.
- Larry Tompkins -- Out Windham Way a wonderful new book from our former MTHS president.
From our Archives -
Follow the "From Our Archives" link in the "Preserve" menu on the right to see information about some of the items in our Justine Hommel Archive Room.
Included are posts on:
one of several letters from Civil War soldier William Young. Donated by Odile Dwyer.
A collection of glass plate negatives. The gift of Shirley and Gerald Dunn See details here.
2019 Hike Preview
Tentatively set for June 8th, we will take the historic Direct Path to South Mountain. The path was the main way to climb from the Catskill Mountain House to sites such as Puddingstone Hall, Druid Rocks, and the Second Ledge seen in this illustration from Van Loan's Catskill Mountain Guide and called the Lemon Squeezer by some photographers.
By 1891 a new path approximately the current state trail was established and eventually the "Direct Path" was abandoned. Check back for more details which will be announced when they are complete.
Volunteers always needed
We also ask for your support in the form of membership dollars and your donations to our upcoming capital campaign. Our annual membership drive will begin in May. Watch for the information in the mail and please respond generously.
Working together, we can continue to discover, interpret, share, and preserve the history of the Mountain Top for ourselves and our children.
The 2019 hiking and events schedule will be available in February--please check back.
Here is another view of the Second Ledge on South Mountain--this one a Loeffler stereograph which names the site The Lemon Squeezer. Loeffler's choice of the name caused us a great deal of confusion because it was also the name of a crevice near the top of South Mountain and differed from the name given by Van Loan in his trail description. Note Loeffler's use of a young boy in the center of the photo, perhaps to make the site look larger than it actually is.
Thanks to our business sponsors:
2019 Business Sponsors:
Boardwalk Builders, Inc., Brookside B&B, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Chateau Belleview, Haines Falls Auto/Hunter Towing, Hotel Vienna, Kaaterskill Liquors, Karen’s County Kitchen, Last Chance Antiques & Cheese Cafe, Maggie’s Krooked Café, The Mansion House At Alfie’s, Mountain Propane, Inc., Pancho Villas Mexican Restaurant, Pure Mountain Yoga, Rosehaven Inn, Scribner's Catskill Lodge, Snow Bird Ski Shop, Snowed Inn B&B, Thorpes GMC, Inc., Town Tinker Tube Rental, Traphagen's Honey, The Thompson House, Vesuvio Restaurant, Villa Vosilla, Willow Mixed Media, Windham Pharmacy