Fallsburg, NY history
Some material about the history of the Town of Fallsburgh, Sullivan County, NY,
and the villages that make it up:
Hurleyville (once Luzon)
South Fallsburgh (formerly Fallsburgh Station)
Fallsburgh (Old Falls)
Woodridge (formerly Centerville)
Mountaindale (formerly Sandburgh)
is now available!
for ordering information
to read more about it!
THANKS to our friends at
Institute for their great review of this CD in their
Here's Fallsburgh, extracted from the Sullivan County map in Child's Gazetteer
and Business Directory of Sullivan County for 1872-73
Note particularly the prominence of the then-new New
York, Oswego, and Midland RR (later the NY Ontario & Western
"O&W" RR). Its routing through the Town of Fallsburgh -- as
opposed to the Town of Thompson, where Monticello, the county seat, is located,
was an important factor in the development of Fallsburgh communities,
particularly in the early years of the 20th century.
Also note the old place names, such as Sandburgh instead of
Mountaindale, Fallsburg Station instead of South Fallsburg, Hurley Station
instead of Hurleyville, and Centerville
Station instead of Woodridge. A few place names are unchanged:
Hasbrouck (there's not much left of that once-thriving community), Divine Corners (never
very large, and not much has changed), Loch Sheldrake, Woodbourne, Glen Wild
(although it's made into a single word, Glenwild, on this map). Bradley,
shared by Liberty and Neversink, and located at the junction of the three
townships, does not appear on the 1872 map shown above.
|About the spelling of Fallsburg/Fallsburgh:
The traditional spelling was, of course, Fallsburgh, with
the "h" on the end. However, as early as 1872, on the map
above, note that the "h" has been dropped from Fallsburg and
Fallsburg Station, but has been retained in Sandburgh Creek -- and in the name of
the Township. The 1948 Fallsburg Central School
yearbook, the FoCuS, uses both spellings, employing the Fallsburgh
spelling 14 times versus the more modern Fallsburg spelling, which
appears 9 times. Today, one rarely sees the traditional Fallsburgh
spelling anymore. If pressed for when the change took place, we can
confidently say "over the past 125 years -- or so".
|When was the Town of Fallsburgh settled?
The question is still open. No Native American
settlements that could be considered permanent have been found in the
township. But, the area was traversed by at least two major trails and
was used in summer for hunting and probably for some gardening in the Neversink River flatlands. The Lenni-Lenape tribal group is generally
associated with much of Sullivan County, including the part that became the
Town of Fallsburgh.
to settlement by Europeans, Quinlan's History is somewhat guarded on the
point. Quinlan says that "The names of the original
settlers of Fallsburgh are unknown. It is believed they were Dutch,
and that they located near Denniston's Ford and on the ridge which divides
the Sheldrake stream from the Dutch pond and Pleasant Lake."
He notes that the latter settlement was abandoned during the French
and Indian war, and that the Denniston's Ford settlement was temporarily
vacated but never permanently abandoned.
years immediately following the American Revolution, the valley of the
Neversink was settled. Quinlan identifies the early settlers of whom
he was aware, but for
this summary a listing of surnames will provide a sense of who came:
Misner, VanBenschoten, Freer, Sheeley, Maraquat, Gillett, Sarr, Bush,
Coney, Larrabee, Depuy, Tappan, Gorton, Hill, Rawson, Turner, DeWitt,
Baker, Bordon, Grant, Kline, VanLeuven, and Rawson.
|What kinds of industry or business did the Town of
Fallsburgh have over the years? How did the economy change?
We've decided that the economic
history of the Town of Fallsburgh is sufficiently long and complex to
merit a section of its own. Want to read it?
|A project just
completed in our Sullivan County, New York series of
local history CD-ROMs
will interest many. This one is about the history of the Town of
Fallsburg, and, to convey both its subject and the era it covers, its name
is "Town of Fallsburgh".
on the CD-ROM:
|Some rare photographs and documents from Mountaindale High School in the
|| See some
samples and some additional information
about that section of the project. (For historians, Mountaindale used to be
|The applicable pages from Child's Gazetteer and Business Directory of
Sullivan County for 1872-73. We've supplied an index to those pages
online for you to check.
to see the Gazetteer index
|The 50 or so Fallsburgh pages from that standard of Sullivan County history, Quinlan's
History of Sullivan County. We've re-indexed those pages, and
we have that index online for you to check.
to see index to Quinlan's History
|The entire yearbook of Fallsburg High
School, the Focus, for 1948.
We've added a complete index, of course.
|| Want to see the index and some
more information about it?
|A large number of transcriptions of church and cemetery records from
various locations in the Town
of Fallsburgh were done in 1929 and 1930 by Gertrude A. Barber. We've extensively
updated our earlier transcriptions and Xerox copies of these
old typescripts and checked them for completeness. One
major improvement over the original Barber typescripts: our complete,
full name indexing is both more accurate and far more complete than the manual
surname indexes Barber supplied.
to see the index
| Old Fallsburgh
Cemetery, also known as Palen's
to see the index.
|Records of the Methodist
Episcopal Church's charges in Fallsburgh, South Fallsburgh,
Neversink, and Hurleyville.
to see the index. (We also offer this important compilation of
church records as a separate download)
|Records of the Reformed
Dutch Church of Woodbourne.
to see the index.
|Fay Brown Edwards' collection of newspaper
clippings, photographs, and other Fallsburgh ephemera
to view the index
of her collection.
| Of course you can always use our site search capability to
check all the indexes on the site
to go to the site search.
|Plus: historic maps of Fallsburg, photos
(including area stations on the New York Ontario & Western Railroad
from the collection of O&W expert George Shammas, and a collection of
photographs and postcards, some very rare, from the lifetime personal collection of
now retired Sullivan County antiques dealer Dawne Bullock Norris, some
great hotel postcards from Marilyn & Tom Forbes), and
more, including a slide show of 44 hotel postcards!
to see a catalog of the images
This CD-ROM is ready now.
for ordering information!
If you have an interest in the Town of Fallsburgh, you should
also check our pages on the Town of Neversink. Adjacent to the Town of
Fallsburgh, many of the same family names appear in both townships.
to go to the Neversink pages.
Please note: Records of the Bridgeville Circuit of the
Methodist Church (which included Glen Wild and occasionally
Mountaindale) are NOT included on this CD-ROM. For more information about
these records, please see our Monticello
page. Collected by Gertrude Barber in 1929.
You may also be interested in Our World --
the yearbook for 1977 for Sullivan County Community College, located in the
Town of Fallsburg. See our main
Sullivan County page for more information.
Visit our Sullivan County page
Visit our e-History page
Information about doing business with us
|We've also started a discussion group about the Town of
Fallsburgh on Yahoo! It's free. If you have an interest in any aspect of
the Town of Fallsburgh, any of the communities in it, or anybody who ever lived
there, please consider yourself invited. To join the e-group, simply send an
e-mail to Fallsburghfirstname.lastname@example.org.
No purchase is necessary!