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Fallsburg, NY history

Town of Fallsburgh, Sullivan County, New York

Fallsburg, Sullivan County, NY

Some material about the history of the Town of Fallsburgh, Sullivan County, NY, and the villages that make it up:

  • Hasbrouck
  • Divine's Corners
  • Loch Sheldrake
  • Woodbourne
  • Hurleyville (once Luzon)
  • South Fallsburgh (formerly Fallsburgh Station)
  • Fallsburgh (Old Falls)
  • Woodridge (formerly Centerville)
  • Mountaindale (formerly Sandburgh)
  • Glen Wild
  • Bradley
Town of Fallsburgh CD-ROM is available

History of Fallsburgh

Town of Fallsburgh, Sullivan County, NY

is now available!

Ordering information about the Fallsburgh CD-ROM

Order the Fallsburgh CD-ROM for ordering information

or Fallsburg CD-ROM -- read about it to read more about it

THANKS to our friends at The Catskills Institute for their great review of this CD in their newsletter!!


Here's Fallsburgh, extracted from the Sullivan County map in Child's Gazetteer and Business Directory of Sullivan County for 1872-73  

Fallsburgh Township in 1872

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.Hurleyville, Town of Fallsburgh, Sullivan County, NY

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. 

With regard 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.  

In the 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?   Economic history of the Town of Fallsburgh 

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". 

  Information about ordering the Fallsburgh CD-ROM

Here's what's on the CD-ROM:
Some rare photographs and documents from Mountaindale High School in the 1930s   See some samples and some additional information about that section of the project. (For historians, Mountaindale used to be called Sandburgh)
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 the index for Childs 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 the Quinlan's History of Sullivan County index 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?  Just Fallsburg Central School - 1948 FoCuS Yearbook!
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.  Woodbourne Cemetery Woodbourne Cemetery index to see the index 
Old Fallsburgh Cemetery, also known as Palen's Cemetery To the Old Fallsburgh Cemetery, also known as Palen's Cemetery to see the index.
Records of the Methodist Episcopal Church's charges in Fallsburgh, South Fallsburgh, Neversink, and Hurleyville.  To the Methodist records to see the index.
Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Woodbourne Reformed Dutch Church of Woodbourne to see the index.
Fay Brown Edwards' collection of newspaper clippings, photographs, and other Fallsburgh ephemera To the index of Fay Brown Edwards' 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  just Search our website 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! Many more pictures are on the Fallsburgh CD-ROM

 Catalog of images on the CD-ROM to see a catalog of the images

This CD-ROM is ready now.

How to order the Fallsburgh CD-ROM

  Fallsburgh CD:  ordering information 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. CLICK HERE 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 Fallsburgh-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

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