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Preface

From "Illustration Of The Catskill Mountains" (1881)
By H. Schile

IF there is any resort which can afford the much needed rest and recreation to one who is worn out with the cares and troubles of a city life, surely it is the Catskill Mountains. How delightful a pastime to roam in the free, balmy, spring-like air of a mountainous country! A luxury to all, but especially to those who constantly breathe the salt air from the ocean. In this respect the Catskill Mountains are unequaled.


Deservedly do the Americans call their treasure the "American Switzerland." And above all, this perfect gem of Nature's beauty is situated in the immediate neighborhood of the great metropolis. It seems as if the gods, in their inscrutable wisdom, had or- dained that this great city should grow up in the vicinity of the Catskills, that it might have within easy reach, a place of recreation unsurpassed in the splendor of its scenery. The Mountains are not only a source of pleasure to the city inhabitants, but of something far more valuable, which money cannot buy, and that is a sound and healthy condition of mind and body. We shall not dwell upon the beneficial effects of a mountainous climate upon the constitution. Our judgment is of but little value, compared with the professional opinion of such renowned physicians as Doctors Hammond, Loomis, Sayre, etc., who have repeatedly borne testimony to the indisputable fact that a season spent in the mountainous regions, in the midst of all that is beautiful. splendid and invigorating, cannot be otherwise than beneficial. On all sides our eyes behold divine and awe-inspiring beauty; and we turn with a grateful heart to Him, the Supreme Architect of the Universe.


In submitting this work to the public, we believe we are rendering them a service which ought to secure us their good-will. We furnish the reader a safe guide-book upon which he can implicitly rely. It is not published solely for the purpose of advertising. but, on the contrary, to give the public an idea of the beautiful and romantic country so near at hand. The illustrations furnished are faithful pictures from Nature, taken on the spot.


This is not a mere picture-book containing illustrations, without regard to the true appearance of the objects they claim to represent. On the contrary, they are exact, bona fide pictures of the respective scenery, just as Nature displays them. I have traveled nearly all over the Catskill Mountain region, and all I have related in this work is the honest statement of one who is prompted by no other motive than that of serving his fellow-men, by calling attention to this lovely place, which is so easily reached and at such a trifling expense; and which affords the visitor pleasures of such magnitude and variety, and benefits of such an eminent order and degree as are equaled by no other resort.


If the perusal of this work is attended with the same amount of pleasure us the preparation afforded the author, he will feel himself amply remunerated for t he labor he has bestowed upon it.


H. Schile

NEW YORK. May 1st, 1881.


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