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A little history:

Here are the first few paragraphs of Hamilton Child's Gazetteer and Business Directory of Sullivan County, NY for 1872-3's write-up about the Town of Neversink:

NEVERSINK was formed from Rochester, (Ulster Co.) March 16, 1798.  Rockland was taken off March 29, 1809, and a part of Fallsburg, March 9, 1826.  (The original act shows that the town of Neversink covered a portion of what is now Fallsburg, Liberty, Callicoon and Fremont.)  The whole town is elevated, and the surface is very much broken and to a considerable extent covered with forests.  The principal elevations are Denman Hill and Thunder Hill, the former having an altitude of about 2,000 feet above tide, and the latter a little more.  It is watered by the Neversink and its branches; Rondout Creek, which flows to the Hudson, and Chestnut  and Lackawack Creeks, tributary to these;  Willowemoc Creek; Red Brook, and several small streams tributary to these.  It is a fact worthy of note that this town is the only one in the County in which there is neither lake nor pond.  The soil is generally a gravelly loam and is best adapted to pasturage.  The people are chiefly engaged in lumbering, tanning and dairying, though the two former branches of industry are receiving less attention than formerly in consequence of the gradual exhaustion of the supply of bark.  The town was early settled by tenants who have since purchased the fee simple.

The town covers an area of 41,989 acres, of which, in 1865, according to the census of that year, 17,993 were improved and 23,996 , unimproved.

During the year ending Sept. 30, 1871, it contained twenty school districts, in which nineteen teachers were employed.  The number of children of school age was 1,035; the number attending school, 842; the average attendance, 381; and the value of school houses and sites, $5,343.

The population in 1870 was 2,458.

Child identifies the following villages and hamlets within Neversink Township:  Grahamsville, Neversink Flats (the lost village that's the main focus of this collection), Claryville, Eureka (another lost village), Willowemoc, Unionville, Low's Corners, and Dewittsville.  Aden, Hasbrouck and Bradley -- actually located in neighboring townships but historically oriented toward Neversink -- occasionally figure in this collection as well.  

The Old Neversink project  is based largely on the collection of Eugene Cross and his wife, May Bonnell Cross, both born in Neversink in 1872.  Significantly, they had permanently left Neversink by 1914. Thus, this collection is at a point in time, little colored by subsequent events.  Our objective is simply to provide a glimpse of Neversink as it was perhaps 100 years ago, give or take a few.   We hope you enjoy it.


Neversink Reservoir

The construction of the Neversink, begun March 18, 1941, led to the relocation of 1,500 people, forced to move from the villages of Bittersweet and Neversink. The village of Bittersweet was never relocated; it was lost forever. The village of Neversink, which was moved, is still on the map today in its new location. Seven cemeteries existed where the reservoir now lies, forcing the relocation of 1,622 graves. Several boarding houses, schools, churches, stores, a bowling alley, and a casino were located where the reservoir now lies. The 1,500-acre reservoir, finally completed on October 23, 1955, took over 14 years to build due to construction delays during World War II. The Neversink is New York City's benchmark reservoir, the standard to which others are compared. Due to the very undeveloped watershed area, this reservoir has the highest water quality of all New York City reservoirs.


View from a hill behind Rennos in 1931


A view of Neversink, probably from the 1920's, from the finger of land that today extends south into the reservoir.  The river at this point is flowing right to left, and the site of the future dam is intuitively obvious if one looks near the top of the picture, where the valley narrows.  Shown are the iron bridge, the Methodist Church, and many of the houses and store that made up old Neversink.


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Neversink, NY 12765


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