The MTHS Hiking Program
by Adrienne Larys
The MTHS Hiking Program emerged as a natural and logical outgrowth of the founding of the MTHS. Linked forever to the natural beauty of the Catskill high peaks, the history of the discovery and exploration of the Catskills natural wonders became the focus of mostly seasonal hikes led initially by Catskill artist Barry Hopkins and a year or so later by, Larry Tompkins and Bob Gildersleeve. Primarily from April to October, with occasional snowshoe excursions, the MTHS Hiking Program has roamed the Catskills, the Taconics, the Shawangunks, and the Hudson River Valley following in the footsteps of Thomas Cole, Frederick Church, Sanford Gifford, and Asher Durand. While not mountain hikes, there were forays to various Hudson Valley historic sites. The Mills Mansion in Staatsburgh was a regular excursion, mixing hiking with history.
As with every hiking group, while destination is important, it is the fun and fellowship and unexpected bonding experiences along the way that make so many MTHS hikes memorable. There was the time Bob and Larry had to go back into the woods after dark to ferret out slow moving hikers on an Indian Head hike (they found them!), and the shocking moment when a hiker slipped over a ledge on Giant Ledge to hang upside down (she survived without a scratch), and the terrifying moment when a hiker had a close encounter with a rattlesnake in the Taconics while blueberry picking (the snake continued to rattle for at least 10 minutes while the astonishment and adrenaline slowly subsided!).
Natural and Historical Landscapes at the MTHS
Natural and Historical Landscapes are Nancy de Flon's passion. Whether the grand landscape or an intimate forest close-up, a colorful old barn or an abandoned ruin, Nancy devotes her photographic talents to capturing the beauty, drama and poignancy of these scenes. She searches for just the right place and time in the Catskills, in the Hudson Valley and in New England. The co-author of a recently published book, Historic Hudson Valley: A Photographic Tour, Nancy will be exhibiting her work at the MTHS Visitors'; Center at the Mountain Top Historical Society's Visitors'; Center on Route 23A in Haines Falls from August 3, 2014 through Labor Day. An opening reception will be held at the Visitors'; Center on Sunday, August 3 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Come in and meet Nancy, chat with her about her work and enjoy her photographs. Her artwork and books will be available for sale during regular hours: Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
MTHS Birthday Party
The Mountain Top Historical Society celebrated its 40th anniversary Sunday, August 10th with a ceremony honoring the Society's volunteers, music by the band Rhythm and Blues, and a presentation by Larry Tompkins. Larry, a former board member and past president of the MTHS, presented Out Windham Way, a preview of his upcoming Black Dome Press book. The presentation featured a photographic tour of much of the Town of Windham as it appeared in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Larry has been collecting images of the Windham area for 35 years and has a vast knowledge of the people, homes, and lifestyles of the era. His profusely illustrated book is scheduled to be released soon. Larry poses here with Society board member and former editor of The Windham Journal, Sidonia Palace.
Road Less Traveled
On Friday, July 11, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. the MTHS will present Chuck D'Imperio, radio broadcaster, newspaper columnist and writer of books about Upstate New York. Chuck's motto is: “The road less traveled is the road best traveled!” He has been travelling those roads and writing about famous people who are buried in Upstate New York, folk heroes who walked our pathways, historic communities big and small, legendary New Yorkers and life in general in this beautiful area we call home. He enjoys sharing what he has learned about his beloved Upstate New York in lively and fun talks. This is your chance to share with him.
Chuck D'Imperio will be appearing at the historic Ulster & Delaware Train Station on the Mountain Top Historical Society's Haines Falls campus on rt.23A. The 7:30 p.m. talk will be followed by a reception. Chuck will have Upstate New York books for sale and will be available to answer questions and chat informally. Mark your calendar now so you don't miss out on this entertaining night out. A $3.00 donation is requested.
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