THE ONLY ALL-RAIL ROUTE; BEGINNING AT KINGSTON POINT, that famous old Hudson river landing of former years, which has now been restored and greatly improved, this mountain track of The Ulster & Delaware line never ends until the entire Catskill range has been crossed, and the village of Oneonta, in Otsego, county, 108 miles from this eastern terminus, is reached. Here at the Point, passengers from the elegant and popular Day Line steamers, "New York" and "Albany," may board The Ulster & Delaware trains for any point in the range, stepping directly from their palatial decks to the cars. The transfer of baggage is quickly effected, and there is no change of cars between the river and the hills. After the delightful sail up the river one is ready to enjoy the speedy whirl by train inland and among the mountains to the fullest extent.
The start is made over the river shoal and up the Rondout creek for two miles, when
RONDOUT Sta. is reached. Rondout was formerly a village, and in 1614 the Dutch established a settlement here. It is the river port of the city of Kingston, which was incorporated in 1872. It has extensive manufacturing interests, and has long enjoyed the largest river commerce of any point on the Hudson, except Albany. Several steamboat lines are operated here. The fleet and famous "Mary Powell," makes daily trips between this port and New York during the summer and early autumn. The large and commodious steamers of the Central-Hudson Steamboat Co.'s Night Line, and the New York Central trains (by way of the Rhinecliff Ferry) all contribute to the increasing traffic of The Ulster & Delaware trains.
Leaving Rondout Station, the train winds gracefully up the grade from tide level and intersects with the West Shore Railroad near the center of the city.
KINGSTON (Union Depot), This is an important station of the West Shore, Wallkill Valley and Ulster & Delaware Railroads, and during the regular season of summer Catskill Mountain traffic, there are over fifty trains stopping here daily, it being the great diverging point for the mountain region. The fast Catskill Mountain special trains on the West Shore line, are here transferred to The Ulster & Delaware track, where powerful engines stand hissing and throbbing, impatiently waiting for the mountain run. These are among the fastest summer trains scheduled upon any road in the country.
From this station, looking directly north, an imposing view of the mountains is presented. The peaks in sight are the famous Overlook, on the left, with Plattekill, High Peak, or Mount Lincoln, the Kaaterskill and South Mountain crags on toward the right. The highest of these is Mount Lincoln, 3,664 feet, and the next in height is the Overlook, 3,150 feet above tide. The large house near the sky is the Overlook Mountain House. The next toward the right is Hotel Kaaterskill, and the last is the old Catskill Mountain House.
But there is barely time to inspect this view when your train pulls out for the mountains and is whirling rapidly over the lovely fringe of fertile lowland in the northern bounds of the city. You pass within a few rods of the famous old " Senate House," where New York State was born, which is in sight on the left, soon after you pass under the second street bridge. It was built in 1676, partially burned by the British in 1777, and is now owned and kept by the State, having a large and interesting collection of ancient relics and curiosities. The Esopus creek is next crossed, and the train plunges boldly up the southern slope of the picturesque and beautiful Ulster and Delaware valley, which affords a charming panorama of mountain scenery through its entire length. The ascent here is gradual but continuous, all the way to
WEST HURLEY, ten miles from Kingston Point and 530 feet above the river. This is a small hamlet a few rods to the left, mainly devoted to the quarrying and shipping of blue stone, which is found in great abundance all through this region. There are two or three churches, two hotels, and several stores and shops.
Woodstock is a much larger hamlet, at the base of Overlook Mountain, five miles north, and stages are waiting to convey passengers to that region, which is very pretty and popular with summer visitors, having a large hotel, numerous boarding houses, three fine churches, and many stores. The Overlook is a very imposing crag as seen from West Hurley station, and those who set out to make the ascent will find a fairly good carriage road most of the way, and one of the most charming and extended views from the crest to be found in the entire range.
OLIVE BRANCH is the next station on this level stretch (Ashton Post Office). The aspect is now pastoral and peaceful. The wayside marsh is thickly dotted with wild plants and flowers, especially iris and lilies, which bloom in succession during the summer, presenting an attractive variety of floral beauty, tempting plant lovers from the train at times. The region here is supplied with many modest boarding houses where one may revel in the air of the foothills with great informality and at low rates. Temple Pond is an aquatic attraction, lying at the foot of Big Toinje Mountain, about one hundred feet above the station. It covers about one hundred acres normally and affords boating and fishing facilities.
BROWN'S STATION, three miles beyond, is another quiet boarding section with numerous houses for summer entertainment, and a few summer cottages now creeping in here and there. High Point and the Wittenberg range are now looming up in the distance ahead. A mile-and-a-half south is Winchell's Falls on the Esopus, and just below, the stream flows through a picturesque, rocky gorge.
Soon after leaving Brown's, the train rounds a graceful curve to the right for two miles, and the Esopus creek is again encountered, for the first time since leaving Kingston. The stream here divides above the bridge, forming a pretty little wooded island. Hereafter the track and this wayward current of mountain water maintain companionship for twenty miles and more, bending in and out, and crossing and re-crossing the waters as the topography of the valley demands, though not implicitly following its every freak and whim. Between this point and Kingston, it winds its weary way over precipitous rocks, through wild ravines and alluvial and fertile meadows for many a mile far to the south. Crossing now the iron bridge, the train pulls up at
BRODHEAD'S BRIDGE Station. Many are attracted here by the surrounding landscape, with its diversity of broad meadows towering mountain peaks, and shimmering trout streams. The little hamlet is scattered along the wooded banks of the creek near the base of High Point. Pine Island, which here parts the waters of the Esopus, is a favorite spot for a hammock and a dream, with the rythmic swirl and gurgle of the rushing waters on either side, and the symphonic whispers of spreading hemlocks overhead. Four gamey streams wend their way through forest and field in different directions. One of these leaps over the ledge not far distant in a sparkling cascade known as "Bridal Veil Falls." A more extended water fall, however, is Bishop Falls, two miles down the Esopus, a favorite afternoon ramble with many.
SHOKAN, originally spelled "Ashokan,'' is the next stop after a mile run. It is one of the old Indian names that have been retained in the geographical nomenclature of this region. The place is divided into two parts; about the station is known as West Shokan, the older settlement which antedates the railroad, being a mile toward the east. It is a pleasant hamlet with churches, schools, stores and many boarding houses where hundreds of city people pass the summer delightfully and at moderate cost. The famous "High Point" peak, 3,098 feet toward the sky, looms up grandly now on the left, in a south-westerly direction. This is the most southerly peak of the Catskills, and the view from its summit is very extended. The ascent is no longer difficult, there being a well marked road over half the way. Fairly good carriage roads lead out from Shokan in different directions to interesting points. Among those well worth visiting are the celebrated Peakamoose Lake and the "Gulf.'' The former is a beautiful strip of mountain water where the Rondout creek flows through one of the most charming glens in the world. Speaking of this spot, a recent writer and artist says: "Nothing else in the Catskills approaches it in its peculiar type." For a mile it is a succession of impressive pictures, with cascades and waterfalls innumerable, living pictures of living water.
Looking west from Shokan station a crescent of lofty mountain peaks will be seen. That on the right is the "Wittenberg," 3,778 feet, the next is Mount Cornell, 3,681 feet high. Some two miles beyond this chain is the famous Slide Mountain, the king of the range, 4,205 feet in the air. In the same locality are Peakamoose, 3,875 feet, Table Mountain, 3,865 feet high, and several others. It is the wildest and most interesting group in the entire range, and it can only be reached by way of The Ulster& Delaware Railroad. Leaving Shokan now, the train winds up the valley for three miles, re-crossing the Esopus at a broad bend, and halting briefly at
BOICEVILLE, a way station with many undeveloped attractions for summer boarders. There is here an "Excelsior Mill," with its shredders running day and night. The mountains are now encroaching more and more upon the narrow valley.
COLD BROOK is another way station, a mile beyond, if your train happens to stop there. The Esopus rushes madly by under a new iron bridge on the right, bordered by a tangled mass of wild flowering vines which send up their fragrance to greet the traveler in the car window while he listens to the chattering roar of the stream. Following the Esopus now for a mile along the base of Mount Pleasant, with Mount Tobias and Mount Tremper in the eastern background, across the meadows and orchards which intervene, the stream suddenly bends away and out of sight for a time, and the train soon afterwards stops at
MOUNT PLEASANT. This is in the midst of a most attractive and very popular summer boarding region, with numerous hotels and resting places scattered here and there throughout the charming valley. Roads lead away among the romantic foot-hills of towering mountains to quiet little houses nestling in placid nooks among the brooks and bridges which dominate the locality. Of these there are some forty which receive their guests at this station.
One is here surrounded by high mountains that rise abruptly and aggressively, although the ascents are not difficult. The view from Mount Tremper, especially its western spur, is interesting and the trail is comparatively easy. The Esopus creek winds in and out, and lingers lovingly among the little patches of mountain meadow; and visitors are always delighted with this bit of the Ulster and Delaware valley.
But the train now speeds on this northerly course for about three miles, barely finding room between the assertive old creek and the wagon road for its track, so aggressive are the mountains on either side.
PHOENICIA. This is one of the most important stations on the line. You are now twenty-eight miles from the river and 794 feet above it, with lofty mountain peaks on every hand. It is the entrance of the famous Stony Clove Canyon, and the southern terminus of the Stony Clove and Kaaterskill Branch of the Ulster & Delaware system. You are now well into the mountains and the scenery is wild and picturesque. It is late in the day when the sun peers over the eastern skyline on Mount Tremper, and comparatively early in the afternoon when the western shadows begin to envelop the little hamlet. Meanwhile your engine, having taken afresh drink of mountain water, gets the signal and skips off up the valley with a business-like snort, winding now closely along the left bank of the Esopus, which lessens in volume as the region of its source is approached. But the little valley grows in wildness and beauty with every mile, and the Mountains become higher and grander.
Ever and anon you wonder how the rocky wall ahead is to be avoided, but the engine finds the way onward. A mile up the track is "Woodland Valley, " opening on the left. It is about nine miles long and reaches to the base of the Wittenberg, Mount Cornell and Slide Mountain. Not in all the Catskills is there a more picturesque and charming wildwood pass than this. Nature has here been largely and admirably left to herself, and here sublime simplicity is truly enchanting. It was formerly known as "Snyder Hollow," and of course there is a pretty stream, with cascades, little rustic bridges and trout, and poetry all the way. Mounts Sheridan, Sherrill and North Dome now soar grandly toward the sky on the right, with other peaks of various local names coming into view in succession as the train proceeds. You soon reach the pretty Shandaken Valley where the mountains begin to recede in the distant background, giving place to the more pastoral features of broader meadows, bending orchards and sloping foothills, with little farm buildings here and there. The big Westkill Mountain, 3,900 feet high, at length appears in the distance on the right and the valley again grows narrow.
SHANDAKEN at an altitude of 1,068 feet is 33 miles, from theHudson. This pretty and most appropriate Indian name means "rapid water." Shandaken has long been one of the most popular summer regions in the Catskills, and it is no small boast for city visitors to speak proudly of having surnmered here, as many hundreds do year after year. The scenery is varied and beautiful, the streams numerous and gamey, and the air excellent. There are two large hotels within a few rods of the station and many smaller ones scattered all about. There is room for hundreds in and about the hamlet itself, and there are stages in waiting to convey many others miles away to popular resorts in Bushnellville, Westkill, Lexington, Spruceton and other tributary regions, through charming canyons and cloves, and over fair mountain roads. Up the clove to Bushnellville and on a pretty lake in Echo Notch is a lovely six-mile ride, with the swift flowing Bushkill stream babbling and tumbling along the way-side, and ever and anon disputing with you regarding the roadway, which is here treated with scant courtesy by the towering old crags.
This portion of the valley is invested with interest because of its designation, as the scene of buried treasure of great value, which once belonged to noted British military officers. The succeeding miles are now more crooked than ever, and three of them brings the train to a halt at
BIG INDIAN, 1,212 feet above the river. The ascent to this point has been very gradual most of the way, but now you look ahead and realize that the radical climb is about to begin. You seem walled in by mountain crags on every side and you may well wonder how the train will manage to reach the summit, nearly 700 feet above, and take only three miles to do it. The deep valley comes to an end a short distance ahead and the rails can no longer evade the steep mountain slope.
While you have been wrestling with these little details of further progress, that you will find so nicely solved by the constructing engineers of The Ulster & Delaware line a few minutes hence, tourists for Slide Mountain and that charming region, had been climbing into the stages with their traps and luggage for that eleven-mile ride, or less, depending upon the destination. This is the station for the Slide and the Big Indian Valley, that most entrancing and delightful canyon which cannot be extolled too highly nor painted in too glowing colors. Nature has here wrought with marvelous skill and design, and there is beauty in every line. The entire valley is an ideal place for summer cottage life amid the placid charms of wild-wood and forest. No visitor of the Catskills should fail to ride, or wheel, or walk through this lovely valley. One of the sources of the Esopus sends its crystal water winding through this meadow bottom at its own sweet will, regardless of roads and all other artificial structures. In this the "speckled beauties'' disport in goodly numbers, as they do even more abundantly in the famous Neversink region, which is also reached from this valley, and lies beyond the Slide.
An extra engine is usually added to the heavier trains here for the hills, and while these powerful motors are gathering forces for the climb a romantic bit of Indian tradition may be of interest.
"Big Indian '' was a stalwart red man of this locality, seven feet in height. His tribal name was " Winnisook." Like all bad Indians who got the chance, he fell in love with a pretty white maiden of the adjacent plains, named Gertrude Molyneaux. But she finally married Joe Bundy, a rival suitor of her own race. The alliance proved unhappy, however, and the young wife was tenderly reminded of what might have been had she married the gallant and dusky warrior of the woods. This feeling finally culminated in a transfer of her affections and person to him. But the climax of Joe Bundy's revenge soon came. While with a company of marauders on a foray of cattle-stealing from the Dutch farmers, Winnisook was seen by the outraged husband, who promptly drew his trusty bead and inflicted a fatal wound, remarking to his comrades, "I think the best way to civilize the yellow serpent is to let daylight into his black heart." The dusky giant was afterward found dead standing upright in the hollow of a big pine near the spot. His faithful widow, upon learning of the tragedy, hastened to the scene, where she fell upon the body in frantic grief, and spent the rest of her life near Winnisook's grave. The stump of the old pine is said to have been covered by the railway embankment.
But the train is already curving out from the station, you look skyward and see a great hotel with towers near the summit and you know at once by the conclusive snorts and groans proceeding from the engines, that you are going up-hill, for the grade is about 150 feet per mile. The best place to watch the receding valley is the back platform of the rear car. The charming Pine Hill valley, with its stream, its road and an occasional house far down below, make a fascinating picture. There are numerous visitors for Pine Hill village, which you have just passed and admired so much down in the valley.
PINE HILL Station is here perched on the steep slope of Belle Ayre Mountain. Hundreds take the stages which are assembled in great array for the short ride down the hill for the charming little village, one of the most picturesque in the range.
The place presents a most attractive appearance from the train, accounting in some measure for its continued popularity with a very large class who have made it their regular summer abode for years. Nearly every house has summer visitors, and there is a degree of informality about the atmosphere not always so prevalent at other resorts, which is satisfactory and enjoyable to the average guest there. The northerly source of the Esopus is here, up Birch creek valley, and with that stream we must now part company, as the drainage from this section of the range will hereafter flow from the summit westward, to the Delaware instead of the Hudson river. This is also a favorite cottage region.
But the clatter and chatter incident to the greeting of newcomers, and the transfer of their baggage, now fades away as the brakes are released and the hissing locomotives plunge boldly into the final climb. The air-line distance to the summit is not over half-a-mile but there are 226 feet to climb and the track curves sharply around the arcs of a double horseshoe for three times that distance. You see the engines laboring heavily as they almost double up on the train, and the front end of the coach is visibly higher than the rear. But while watching these novel features of modern engineering, don't forget to look backward down the valley, for the view from this mountain breastwork is charming indeed. At length you will note that the motors are breathing more freely and steadily as the Summit is approached. While the whistle sounds, there will be time to admire the handsome cottages in Highmount Park on the right, and perhaps some of the hotels and summer homes on the Belle Ayre slope to the left. But you have now reached the summit of The Ulster & Delaware track, 1,889 feet above tide.
GRAND HOTEL STATION is now the stop, and a most important summer station it is. The second largest hotel in the Catskills, known as the New Grand, is less than half a mile up the hill and in plain sight. It stands on a commanding terrace of Monka Hill Mountain, and on the dividing line between Ulster and Delaware counties. From it the view of mountain and valley is superb, rivaled only by the crest of the mountain itself in the rear, to which the ascent is short and easy, bringing the eye 2,489 feet in the air and free from obstruction on every side. Toward the south is Slide Mountain, barely overtopping its aspiring neighbors, with the lovely valley, through which you came, in the foreground; toward the west are farms and hamlets of Delaware, and far below the shelving rocks on which you stand is the green valley of virgin forest; and toward the north and east are mountains piled on mountains. The Belle Ayre slope, here known as "Highmount,'' is dotted here and there with pretty cottages in a park or 1,500 mountain acres, with an average elevation of over 2,000 feet. The region also abounds in interesting drives and finny brooks which greatly enhance the normal pleasures of mountain summer life.
Gently now the train begins to move down the hill, and soon the brakes are firmly set and all steam is shut off for the great slide. You see an occasional cottage in the ravine on the right and anon a trim and pretty hamlet in the valley, with many elaborate and costly cottages surrounded by well kept lawns and handsome grounds, some of which have been carved out of the mountain side itself, so little room is there in the valley basin. The station is
FLEISCHMANN'S (Griffin's Corners). Many men of wealth and station have beautiful cottages and grounds here, especially the well known Fleischmann family, which has had so large a share in the development of the place. Many of these handsome homes are on the bluffs, south of the track.
There is now a change of landscape the wild and mountainous aspect peculiar to the Ulster section giving place to the pastoral and placid features of cleared land and agricultural life. You are now entering a dairyland, with its thoroughbred cows, its rich milk and gilt edged butter, the home of the sugar-maple and the luscious products of the sap-bush. The trickling stream on the right is the Fast Branch of the Delaware, which soon gathers volume and force as we proceed. The mountain slopes are now more gentle and sparsely wooded. Though yet set with stumps and stones, with an occasional protrusion of rock, they yield more readily to cultivation.
ARKVILLE is the next station, four miles further down the valley and 1,372 feet above tide, the lowest point reached by the rails in Delaware county. It is an important station because of the several tributary regions converging here. Margaretville, one and one-half miles distant on the left is a charming little hamlet at the base of Mount Pakatakan, one mile below the confluence of Dry Brook and the East Branch and partly covering the ancient site of the Tuscarora Indian headquarters. The rural setting is marvelously attractive, and many artists of note have built summer studios here and in the environment of Arkville. There are churches, stores, waterworks, a weekly newspaper, a fair ground and race-track, and several hotels. Stages connect with leading trains at Arkville for Andes, twelve miles, Shavertown fifteen, and Downsville twenty-six miles away. Furlough Lake, the mountain home of George J. Gould, is only seven miles distant. This entire region has long been a famous trouting section. Dry Brook is a favorite stream with fishermen, having ample water to shield the wary game. Near Arkville is an artificial cave with strange hieroglyphics rudely carved upon its inner walls, which attracts many visitors.
On leaving this station the train curves sharply toward the right at an obtuse angle, abandoning its southwesterly course, upon which it lately entered and pursuing nearly the opposite direction for several miles, Arkville being in the vertex of the angle. You are now entering a charming glade known as the valley of the East Branch; a fine dairy section, with succulent grasses, milk cows, milk, milk cans and milk stations in full supply. The little stream loiters lazily and winds in and out with wondrous beauty through the level vale, evidently on grace and pleasure bent, for there seems no other reason for avoiding a straight course, unless it was to increase the charms of the landscape and annoy the sturdy farmers who till the marginal meadows. To some, the water may seem to run the wrong way; but it don't.
KELLY'S CORNERS is the first stop on this new course. It is mainly a milk depot, having a dairy in sight across the meadow. Some city boarders are entertained at the pleasant farm houses in the vicinity, and they thrive wondrously upon the rich and pure products of the dairy so abundant there.
HALCOTTVILLE is the next way stop amid these quiet surroundings. It has several houses for summer entertainment in and about the hamlet, all of which find guests when the season comes around. A bit of a lake will be seen on the right as the train moves onward, where sundry aquatic sports are enjoyed. There are good roads for driving and cycling leading up and down the valley.
ROXBURY, that quaint and familiar old town near the source of the East Branch, now over a hundred years old, is then reached. The altitude is 1,495 feet and the station is one of the important stops in the Delaware section. Many a family vacation is quietly and delightfully spent in and about this little village every summer finding entertainment in the numerous dwellings of the residents. The elaborate and imposing granite structure seen at the upper end of the village soon after the train leaves the station, is the Gould Memorial Church. The grounds and stream intervening have been handsomely treated under the direction of Miss Helen Gould, who spends part of her summer at Roxbury, where her father was born and spent his early life.
The mountains are no longer conspicuous by their height in this locality, but seem like hills in comparison to those you have been accustomed to on this route. For three or four miles the wayside aspect changes mainly in detail. But then you pass Irish Mountain on the right and soon afterward Bald Mountain on the left, where the train curves almost at right angles into a deep gorge, running now four or five miles in a northwesterly direction. There is a return of rugged grandeur for a time, especially in the high, shelving rocks that jut out almost over the track as you approach the station of
GRAND GORGE, 1,563 feet above tide. The hamlet itself nestles serenely down in the valley on the left less than a mile from the station, and will be seen from the car window soon after the train pulls out. It was formerly known as "Moresville," being named for John More, the first white settler, who came there in 1786, and who afterward became the founder of a numerous and influential family in that region. Stages are here taken for Gilboa, three miles, and Prattsville, five miles distant, over good roads and through a lovely section. Both places are on the Schoharie creek, which here flows within about three miles of The Ulster & Delaware road. They are popular summer regions for which visitors here leave the train in large numbers.
Prattsville is a delightful old village with an historic aroma, its formation dating back nearly two hundred years. But the mediaeval customs of its ancestors have been supplanted by the modern features of mountain village life, and there are very good reasons for its claim as an ideal, quiet interior village resort. The little streets are thickly shaded and well kept, and there are many rare natural attractions. Devasego Falls, just below the village, is a famous bit of scenery which merits all the admiration bestowed upon it. Pratt's Rocks, so named from Col. Pratt, the noted tanner, and founder of the place, are also near at hand. They are visited by hundreds annually because of the artistic carving in bas-relief, of the old Pratt Tannery, a bust of Col. Pratt, and other figures emblematic of his pursuits and possessions. Upon these high, precipitous rocks the marks of the antediluvian currents are plainly visible.
The wayside now grows picturesque with stumps, stump-fences, rocks and stones, and the train speeds quickly over the six miles intervening between Grand Gorge and
SOUTH GILBOA. Here the summit of the Delaware county track is reached, 1,747 feet above tide, which you have approached so gradually through the glade that you can scarcely realize it is within about one hundred feet of the Pine Hill summit. There are a few quiet boarding places in the vicinity and boating facilities upon Mayham's Lake near the station. The hamlet is two miles toward the northeast. The train now turns into a westerly course, skipping over the level three miles at a lively rate when the whistle sounds and you see many passengers preparing to alight, having reached the end of their journey.
STAMFORD is the station and one of the most charming and popular summer villages in all the Catskills, for which there is ample reason. No visitor will regret the long seventy-five mile ride from the Hudson, or seventy-two from Kingston, even though he may have failed to fully admire and appreciate the wayside scenery. The elevation is 1,790 feet, and the grand and massive crag of Mount Utsayantha rises directly from the village streets over 1,500 feet higher. The place is distinctly modern in all its features, having fully outgrown every ancient aspect and custom years ago, although possessing a history replete with interest. The town was settled by people from Stamford, Conn., hence its name. Utsayantha, which might well have been retained, but for the patriotic spirit of its New England founders, was a beautiful Indian maiden, concerning whom, her white husband and their little babe, forest tradition hands down a tragic story. Near the village site was also the scene of a desperate battle between the patriots, the Tories and the Indians over a century ago. Its history as a summer resort, however, does not extend much over fifteen years; for even in 1884 there was but one summer hotel. But its growth and development since then has been simply marvelous. There are now a score of large hotels and other scores of smaller houses, and nearly two thousand guests may find accommodations within the village limits, where the normal population is less than one thousand.
While Nature has indeed been exceptionally lavish in her gifts, the thrift and enterprise of the Stamford residents, so clearly visible at every step, have had a large share in the development and success of the place. They seem to have vied with each other in their improvements of their individual property, whilst the public affairs of the village have been managed with jealous care on progressive lines. The buildings are especially attractive in design and careful preservation. The streets are bordered with handsome lawns unobstructed by fences, and overarched by rows of majestic maples. There are miles of bluestone sidewalks, a fine water and sewer system, electric and gas illumination, good telephonic facilities, five thriving churches, a Union Free School and Seminary, a Public Library, National Bank and two sprightly weekly newspapers. The crest of Utsayantha Mountain, 3,365 feet above tide, is easily reached by a good carriage road. It has an observatory from which twenty thousand square miles of mountain territory, including thirty prominent peaks, and portions of four states may be seen, with the cities of Albany and Schenectady in the distance. The village site, overlooking the broad valley entrance where the headwaters of the Delaware are received, is charming. The region forms the watershed between three river basins. One mile east is Bear Creek, which empties into the Schoharie, and within fifteen minutes' walk west, is the source of streams which are tributary to the Susquehanna. Thus within the radius of a single mile one may drink from the headwaters of three great rivers. The roads all about are excellent and there is every inducement and much enjoyment in driving and cycling along these rippling streams, and through the pretty wooded glens.
HOBART, four miles beyond, is the next station. It is a pretty little village with a history antedating the Revolution. There is a fine falls, and water power, which gave it the old name of "Waterville," which was afterwards changed at the suggestion of Rev. Philander Chase, the old church rector, who became a bishop in Ohio, in later years. There are several churches and various hotels and boarding-houses where visitors come in increasing numbers each season, delighting to live in this smiling dell in the Southwestern margin of the Catskills, seventy-eight miles from the Hudson, and about 1,637 feet above it.
SOUTH KORTRIGHT is at the end of the next four miles down the Delaware. It is the center of a rich dairy section with a large creamery to which some twelve or fifteen hundred cows pay lacteal tribute daily. The town was settled by sturdy Scotch and Irish people, to which nations so many of the Delaware farmers are largely indebted for their rugged and honored ancestry. They came in at an early period and had their full share of the Indian depredations so prevalent at that time. The South Kortright Inn is one of the pleasing new features of this locality, and is an up-to-date and first class place for the entertainment of summer Visitors.
BLOOMVILLE is reached after a spin of five miles, and you are now eighty-seven miles from the Hudson river, and about eight miles from the village of Delhi, which is reached by stage after a most interesting drive through this beautiful valley. This is mother of the older Delaware towns, which but lately reached by the railway, has not yet developed its summer attractions for city visitors.
The extension of The Ulster & Delaware system beyond Bloomville was completed during the year 1900.
KORTRIGHT STATION is the first stop after leaving Bloomville. This is ninety-two miles from the Hudson river, and the elevation above tide water is 1,868 feet. From the top of this mountain you get an extended view of this beautiful dairy land, and of both Delaware and Otsego counties.
EAST MEREDITH, ninety-nine miles from the Hudson river, and 1,353 feet above it, is the next station. This is one of the desirable country towns, where city people may find a quiet spot for rest and recreation.
DAVENPORT CENTER is one hundred and one miles from the river and the elevation is 1,222 feet. This is another one of those charming country places where you will find the best air, the best water, and plenty of pure milk, butter and eggs for which this country is noted. There are a few desirable small boarding houses, where one may find comfortable quarters during the vacation term.
WEST DAVENPORT is now reached and you are one hundred and four miles from the Hudson. The elevation is 1,178 feet. This is a small hamlet pleasantly located and within four miles of the western terminus of the line. There are a few comfortable boarding houses located in the village.
ONEONTA, the western terminus, is one hundred and eight miles from Kingston Point and 1,094 feet above tide water. It is the center of a very wide stretch of farming country, situated in a broad valley and protected from violent winds by high hills. The streets are broad and heavily shaded, level and kept in good order. It is also one of the most progressive and charming villages in the State. Its population is from 8,000 to 10,000 It has all modern improvements, including a first-class system of water works, an up-to-date electric light plant, a complete system of sewers, a trolley road connecting the eastern and western ends of the town, and many handsome and attractive residences. The business portion of the town is well equipped with fine business houses, stores and markets. It also has a modern and well-fitted theatre, first-class hotels, a normal school which has some 500 students. The place also has two fine clubs, banks, a very handsome Y. M. C. A. building, several beautiful churches, one of the largest fair grounds in the State, and many other attractions. At Oneonta The Ulster & Delaware connects with the Susquehanna Division of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad. Also with the Cooperstown Branch of the D & H system and with the trolley line running to Cooperstown and Richfield Springs.
This is now the popular route for tourists bound for Cooperstown and Richfield Springs. The variety of scenery through the "Haunts of Rip Van Winkle'' after a trip along the famous Hudson river, either by rail or boat, thence through the Charlotte Valley will make this a charming trip and the favorite route to these popular resorts.
Cooperstown is a village of handsome residences, pleasant homes, and the hand of elegant culture is everywhere to be seen. The village has an excellent system of water works, the supply being taken from Otsego Lake. The water is as pure and wholesome as can be secured in the state.
It has many charming walks and drives, and is a good center for excursions. The lake supplies good boating and fishing.