A little history:
Here are the first few paragraphs of
Gazetteer and Business Directory of Sullivan County, NY for 1872-3's
write-up about the Town of 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.
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.
Visit the Town of Neversink website at:
To contribute to the NFD site or for
contact the Site Administrator by
here) or you may send correspondences
Attention: Web Site
PO Box 627
Neversink, NY 12765