Port Jervis, the gateway to the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, offers the convenience of city life combined with small town living.It is a city steeped in history.
In 1853, it was incorporated as a village taking its name from John B. Jervis, chief engineer of the Delaware and Hudson Canal.The canal, built in the 1800’s, was the major source of transportation in the area.Port Jervis was one of the most important stops on the canal, which was responsible for a surge of development and population.
Stores, hotels, theaters and homes were built to accommodate the expanding population and the scores of travelers who came pouring into town.
The canal became obsolete with the coming of the New York and Erie Railroad to the valley, which became the major employer of residents of the city and surrounding towns. But the town declined in the late 1940’s when railroad shops and yards were consolidated at other points along the rail line and moved from Port Jervis.
New York’s 46th city is again on the upswing with storefronts being renewed and empty buildings being filled with new business and new life.
The restoration of the Erie Depot Complex as a health care center with physicians and shops, and the refurbishing of the Erie Hotel, a fine eatery next door, are two of the bright spots in Port Jervis’s business district on Front Street. Many fine antique stores have opened in recent years.
The city offers dining to satisfy a variety of tastes:From Italian cuisine at Gino’s and Len & Jo’s; German specialties at the Cornucopia Restaurant; down home cooking at Homer’s, Arlene & Tom’s, and The New Muller’s Port Jervis Diner; to donuts and coffee at Dunkin Donuts and fast food at Burger King and KFC.The renovated 104-room Comfort Inn ensures that guests have a relaxing stay.
Port Jervis spans an area of 2.5 square miles with 36 miles of roads and highways.The 8,860 residents dwell in a variety of homes from affordable apartments to single family houses.Port Jervis real estate is the least expensive in all of Orange County.
There are several major employers in Port Jervis, including Bon Secours Community Hospital, a full service institution with a nursing home; Kolmar Laboratories, a cosmetics firm; and OAS Swimwear.The city is known for its light industry and is home to companies such as A & W Products Co., Inc., Future Home Technology, Inc. and HGI Skydyne.
Gillinder Glass, one of the oldest glass companies in the United States, opened its factory to tours and has a gift shop on the premises.During the tour you will see glass made by the same technique used for more than a century.
Port Jervis has a large public school system with over 3,500 students.There are three elementary schools, (one of which is located in the city), a middle school and high school.Many of the seniors graduating with a Regent’s diploma go on to higher education.
There is great community spirit in the city displayed by various service organizations and fraternal groups who provide funds for the needy, scholarships and assistance, as well as, an opportunity to make new friends through social functions.There is also an active youth sports program including Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football.A youth and community center is located in the former Elks’ building on Pike Street, of which the city is very proud.
Residents of the town can often be found fishing the waters of the Delaware River from the bridge connecting Port Jervis to Pennsylvania.
Many residents are employed locally, but commuter trains from Port Jervis arrive in New York City in 2-1/2 hours and driving takes approximately 90 minutes.
As a gateway city, over 200,000 visitors pass through Port Jervis.It is poised to bloom and should be eagerly sought out by small businesses wanting to cash in on the tourist trade.
Deerpark is a rural town, one of two in Orange County to be classified as such, giving the area a completely different flavor than the rest of the busy county.The 69 square miles of the town are divided into four hamlets: Huguenot, Sparrow Bush, Cuddebackville and Godeffroy, whose boundaries blend so they are barely distinguishable from each other.Deerpark is rich in history.It is the site of the first white settlement in the area, at Peenpack, and was also the site of an aqueduct on the Delaware and Hudson Canal, a 108 mile waterway that ran from the Pennsylvania coal mines to Rondout, near the Hudson River.A section of the canal has been preserved by the Neversink Valley Area Museum at the D&H Canal Park, where the museum of canal artifacts is located and towpath walks are conducted.
Deerpark history is kept alive through local museums and descendants of the town’s founders who still live here.These ancestors not only settled the town, but also fought in the Revolution, and the French & Indian War.Deerpark children attend Port Jervis schools, one of which, the Hamilton Bicentennial Elementary School, is located in Cuddebackville.
Deerpark consists of forests, trout streams and dairy farms, with no downtown or busy streets, yet residents have easy access to all the modern conveniences with their proximity to the cities of Port Jervis, Middletown and even New York City.
Residents range in age from retirees to young families, and interest is strong in keeping the community, land and water clean and free of polluters.If they seem overprotective, they have good reason.Below the pristine forests lies the Neversink Aquifer, an underground body of water that could provide an endless supply of fresh drinking water for the entire town.Although water is primarily taken from wells, diligent patrolling ensures a clean water supply in the future.
If there is a hub of Deerpark, Huguenot is it.Here residents gather twice monthly at the town hall where not a meeting goes by without interesting discussions.This is where court takes place and senior citizens hold their meetings.It is the center of much community activity.
There is a variety of single family housing in Deerpark, including those built in subdivisions near wetlands where residents can look out their windows and watch great blue herons fishing in brackish waters.
The two largest employers are Summit Research Labs, which makes aluminum chlorohydrate, the active ingredient in deodorants that is also used in water purification; and C&D Technologies.
As in all of Deerpark, there is room for growth.Small business and clean industry are welcome and encouraged.The planning board will go out of its way to help get your business off the ground as they did for one resident intent on opening an ice cream stand on his property.It is now up and running and doing well.
Recreational facilities include a large YMCA/YWCA camp providing educational activities and a day camp for youths, as well as, courses for adults.There is a baseball field and playground behind town building Number 2 where every sunny day finds children engaged in their important work of play.
Next door is the fire department whose many dedicated volunteers will say, without a doubt, they are the best around.
Despite the wide-open spaces, forests and wetlands that lie between secluded homes, this is a tight community, where everyone knows your name.
Ask a resident of Godeffroy what is important in life and you might get answers like talking to friends over hot tea, spotting coyotes in backyards or watching a bald eagle fly over the Neversink River.
The features that lured many people into building summer cottages in Godeffroy are the same that encouraged others to call it home.
An auto repair shop is the only business in town.Houses are spread out on fairly large tracts of land.There used to be a post office here, but it moved to Cuddebackville.
There is some development planned, however.The Nature Conservancy owns land along the Neversink River to protect the Dwarf Wedge Mussel, an endangered species whose population numbers are greater here than anywhere else in the world.Since it also happens to be a fabulous fishing spot, the conservancy is developing an old house on the property into a rest area for fishermen and visitors.Its miles of trails are open to the public who must obey posted signs for no flower picking and no dumping since the area is also used for research by members of the conservancy.
Sparrow Bush offers the only feeling of a “downtown” in Deerpark.Among farms, fields and forests that stretch to the horizon is a little main street with a church and a few shops.
As one of the gateways to the Upper Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, nearby locations have been the site of television commercials.The winding road of Hawks Nest is famous for its use in automobile advertisements and provides one of the most panoramic views of the Delaware River winding below.
The acres of forested land surrounding Sparrow Bush are popular with hunters and fishermen and there are several sporting goods shops ready to accommodate them.
Residents feel safe in this rural setting and have chosen Sparrow Bush as the ideal place to raise a family.
The old Delaware and Hudson Canal bed, which runs through Cuddebackville, was the reason for most of the development in Deerpark as portions of the area served as ports along the canal.
Cuddebackville was also chosen by early silent filmmaker D.W. Griffith as a site for many of his movies. It was here in 1909 that Griffith first used a “fade-out” in a motion. The town blacksmith made the first iris for a movie camera. Silent movie greats like the Gish sisters and Mary Pickford were frequent visitors.The area is still used today as a backdrop for filming.In 1994, one of the general stores was used as a scene for a film starring Shelly Winters, with many local people acting as extras.
Cuddebackville has the only traffic light in Deerpark and it is a blinking one.There is a feeling here of stepping back in time to a simpler way of life and residents would not have it any other way.There is one church, a few general stores, a post office, an ice cream stand and an auto repair shop.The one large industry is a blacktop plant, which makes asphalt and stone.
The Delaware and Hudson Canal Park, run by Orange County, is located here along with the Neversink Valley Area Museum, an interesting place to spend an afternoon learning about area history and viewing a vast array of canal artifacts.
Living here means quiet and seclusion; there are no subdivisions, but a mix of old stone farmhouses, cabins and neat and orderly mobile homes parks.Residents like solitude, but the space between houses does not diminish community spirit.Church dinners and flea markets are popular and every two weeks, the Red Barn Auction is filled to capacity.
Races at a go-cart track are taken seriously but the impromptu softball games held behind the elementary school are much more relaxed.
Opportunities for relaxation are endless here as the town lies along the Neversink River, one of the premier trout streams sustaining stocked, as well as wild trout.There are also miles of trails for hikers, bikers or horseback riding enthusiasts.
Eldred is one of the hamlets in the town of Highland, whose resident population of 2,147 swells to over 10,000 on summer weekends.The rural setting that vacationers seek out is what residents enjoy all year long.
Single-family homes dominate the landscape and most residents commute to jobs, as most industries are tourist-based.
Eldred has a senior citizen center, which has a variety of activities including dancing, card games, nutritious lunches and Saturday night dances.
The Eldred Central School district is small and reminiscent of the close-knit neighborhood schools of another era.There is a new elementary school in Glen Spey, named after Town of Highland citizen George Ross Mackenzie, of Singer sewing machine fame.
One of Eldred’s special treasures is the Eldred Preserve.With 600 acres of hunting land, four stocked trout ponds, two bass lakes, boat rentals, nature trails, motel accommodations and a restaurant, the preserve is a sportsman’s paradise.That is exactly what Robert H. Abplanalp’s dream was when he bought the land.He wanted a place where anglers could fish in pristine waters without being lined up elbow to elbow with other fishermen.
Pine trees and hemlocks loom above the cabins and cabin-like motel.The four-star restaurant awaits guests with fresh trout from its own hatchery served in a variety of styles, from crabmeat-stuffed to blackened Cajun-style.
The preserve is home to the New York Audubon Society, which provides a host of outdoor activities and special programs for children during the summer.
There is something for every sportsman, from hunting and fishing to hiking and shooting at the rifle range.
Yulan hosts hundreds of visitors every year with accommodations such as the Lake View Farms Bed & Breakfast and the Maple Crest.Residents and tourists can relax at the beach clubs at Washington Lake, but when the vacation season ends, the wooded groves once again belong to those who call Yulan home.
Each March, residents spend weeks building floats for the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, an event well attended by people from far and wide.
The early settlers of this area were of German descent; thus, every September brings the VonSteuben Day Parade, in celebration of the man who helped George Washington in the training of Revolutionary War troops.
Barryville is a popular vacation spot lined with canoe liveries and restaurants.You can visit the famous Oelker’s General Store, a gift shop, fishing store, and luncheonettes.For those who find themselves wishing they could make the Barryville area their new home, there are several real estate offices ready to show you what is available.
Young people are never at a loss for summer jobs, as the canoe liveries and restaurants are alive with activity all summer long and need lots of seasonal help.
Located nearby at Minisink Ford is the Minisink Battleground where one of the last battles of the American Revolution was fought by half-breed Joseph Brant and his Indian raiders against the militia from Orange County.The battleground and interpretive display is maintained by the National Park Service.
Despite the fact that residents must travel several miles to shop at a mall or supermarket, they love living here.Set in the Catskill Mountains, the view is always beautiful.Outdoor recreation is abundant, and Town of Highland taxes remain stable.
Glen Spey still retains much of the charm, which attracted George Ross Mackenzie, of Singer sewing machine fame, to build mansions here for himself and each of his children, and to name the spot after the area he came from in Scotland.
The majority of area residents are retired, but the number of young families is on the rise.One of the draws to this area is the spacious landscape and the opportunity to buy and build homes on as much or as little land as one desires.
Nearby Mohican Lake provides an opportunity for lake community living, and a short distance away is Highland Lake with Sand Beach and the Catskill Actors’ Theater.
Living here offers residents the option of keeping to oneself or mixing with neighbors at a variety of church and firehouse functions, as well as the men’s league Sunday morning softball games.The fire department’s ladies’ auxiliary is an active organization sponsoring, among other things, line dancing and chicken dinners.
Glen Spey has a large Ukrainian population and the annual Ukrainian Festival draws over 10,000 people to the town for three days of fun, music, ethnic foods, dance and art.It is home to two architecturally significant Ukrainian churches.Glen Spey is also a fabulous place to watch bald eagles fish during the winter on area reservoirs.New York State bought several acres of land as an eagle habitat preserve for the wintering birds.
The Mongaup River flows through the town.This is a wonderful fishing spot, used for kayaking as well.
A river-oriented town, Pond Eddy is especially suited to tourists.Residents not employed in the vacation business commute to jobs out of town.
Shad fishing, canoeing and rafting are the popular warm weather activities here, and the Millbrook Inn and Nolan’s Riverview Inn are favorite stopping places for river users and motorists alike.
Although children in Pond Eddy attend the Eldred Central School, there is also the option of sending them to the Homestead Montessori School.This school is highly respected in the community and reservations are frequently made for children who are not yet born.
*1990 Census Figure