MTHS Blog

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Color postcard of the original 1950s puppet show.

01/16 
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In the 1950s a tourist attraction known as Rip's Retreat occupied what is now the North-South Lake Campground's beach picnic area near North Lake. One memorable feature of the attraction was a puppet theater with a show retelling Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle. Thanks to postcards in our collection, photographs donated to the Society's archives, interviews with folks who remembered the puppet show, and the hard work of volunteers, the show has been revived and is now a popular feature at MTHS events.
GNH Lumber donated some of the materials and Platte Clove Community built the theater. Chris Cade designed the puppets, Linda Nichols directed the production and the original 12 minute recording used at Rip's Retreat, a children's record featuring Walter Huston as Rip, was used for our production. Each year since our first production, local youngsters recreate the show for the entertainment of attendees of our Open House.

August 19th, 2013 by Bob Gildersleeve

To someone interested in the history of the trails around North-South Lake State Campground, one of the oldest recreational trail systems in America, the long and varied history can be confusing.  In the heyday of the Mountain House, each trail led past many well-known and named locations. The trouble is that the names of the locations changed, and often the same name was used for different locations. It may be that different hotels or boarding houses assigned names to spots on their trails without regard for the names used by other resorts. Hence, there was a Sunset Rock near the Mountain House, and one near the Laurel House. There were two Prospect Rocks as well as two different locations one named Glen Mary and and the other Mary’s Glen.  There was also an elusive location north of the Mountain House named Artist’s Rock–elusive because there are no common images that clearly identify it and the trail descriptions are vague and somewhat inconsistent. 

Working on the Railroad

 "Where were the tracks?"  That is one of the more frequently asked questions by visitors to the  Society's Ulster and Delaware Station in Haines Falls.  You can see where the tracks were as outlined by string in the photo.Later this year the string will be replaced by actual tracks. TheCatskill Mountain Railroad (CMR) is donating 120 feet of rails to help recreate a portion of the railbed  in front of the U&D train station. In order to make this a reality,  MTHS needs to purchase railroad ties and ballast for the track AND we need the help of volunteers on track-laying day.  The cost of materials is estimated at about $3,000. Both donations and volunteers are needed.  You can donate here or fill out the downloadable Working on the Railroad Form. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like more information on the MTHS railroad project.