MTHS Blog

May 10-11 (Saturday-Sunday) Joint Field Meeting of the Torrey Botanical Society, the Philadelphia Botanical Club, the Olive Natural Heritage Society and the Catskill Native Plant Society

This meeting will try to commemorate the collecting trips to the Catskills in the 1740’s-50’s of John and William Bartram, two of America’s first botanists of note. Our first venue (Saturday) will be Diamond Notch in Hunter-West Kill Wilderness Area, Greene County, to visit a rare first growth Fir-Spruce Forest to see the “Balm of Gilead” (Abies balsamea) that the Bartrams collected on their journeys. Hopefully we will also sight Bartram’s serviceberry (Amelanchier bartramiana). Our second venue (Sunday) will be a hike at North-South Lake in Greene County, to follow in the footsteps of the Bartrams as they visited the lakes and Kaaterskill Falls on their 1753 trip. The spring ephemerals including: spring beauties, giant blue cohosh, hepatica, trout lilies, baneberries, Dutchman’s breeches, bloodroot, trilliums, and other ephemerals should be very much in evidence. Joel Fry, Curator of Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia, will be in attendance and giving a talk titled “Flowers on the Frontier”. The lecture will detail the Bartram’s travels in the Catskills and elsewhere and will take place at the Mountain Top Historical Society’s campus in Haines Falls, in the restored Haines Falls Train Station at 7:00PM Saturday evening.

 

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.