Delaware & Hudson Canal: 19th Century Engine of Prosperity Presented by Cragsmoor Historical Society

The building of the Delaware and Hudson Canal and its impact on the region will be the subject of a presentation on May 5 at the Cragsmoor Historical Society by Bill Merchant, Historian, Curator and Deputy Director of the D & H Canal Museum and Historical Society in High Falls. Merchant will describe the many challenges in accomplishing this engineering fete, from building the Gravity Railroad that brought the coal from the mines to Honesdale, to the construction of 108 locks, to locating and directing water into the canal itself. Another fascinating theme of this presentation will be how the canal contributed to the growth of communities from Port Jervis to Kingston. Along its route, small clusters of homes developed into thriving villages as industries grew around lumber, leather, glass, bluestone and other products. Esopus, for example, expanded from a few hundred residents to a town of thousands.

This presentation will begin at 4 pm on May 5 at the Cragsmoor Historical Society, 349 Cragsmoor Road next to the library. The historic art colony is located two miles off Route 52 on top of the Shawangunk Ridge between Pine Bush and Ellenville. It is surrounded by thousands of acres of protected land with expansive views of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley. A springtime stroll along its scenic paths would be a delightful prelude to this event.

Refreshments will be served and donations gratefully accepted. Additional information at 845-647-2362 and



Saturday, May 5, 2018 -
4 pm to 5:30pm
Cragsmoor Historical Society
349 Cragsmoor Road