Neversink, NY history
Neversink, Sullivan County, New York, is a
| -- but it's still a real place.
Neversink, of course, is the name of one of the
townships that make up Sullivan County. And, there are several
hamlets that constitute present-day Neversink -- including a new hamlet
named Neversink that's located just a mile or two from where Old
Neversink (once called "Neversink Flats") was located.
Interestingly, Neversink Flats isn't the only
lost community in the Town of Neversink! Eureka, near Grahamsville,
is another one!
A little history of Neversink:
Here are the first few paragraphs of Hamilton Child's 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 Fallsburgh, March 9, 1826. (The original act shows that the town
of Neversink covered a portion of what is now Fallsburgh, 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
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 ,
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
historically oriented toward Neversink -- occasionally figure in this collection as
for information about how to obtain the "Old
Download Neversink History
(these downloads are NOT
included on the Neversink CD-ROM)
published the Old Neversink CD-ROM, we've acquired the very rare
1912 Souvenir Booklet for the
-- the "Little World's Fair" -- still an institution in the
Town of Neversink and Sullivan County. We've made this rarity
available as a download. 36+ pages, lots of ad and other
information from the period. Download it now, in PDF
format, for $3.75.
Also of great use to those
interested in Grahamsville families will be Gertrude Barber's 1929
transcription of the
Grahamsville Reformed Dutch Church's records. This
typescript of baptisms, marriages, funerals, and membership rolls, also including Mrs. Barber's index, is in PDF format, 38+ pages,
and is available for download for $3.75.
Gertrude Barber's transcription
(1934) of the Grahamsville
Reformed Dutch Cemetery is an important record of the Town of
Neversink. Those familiar with the history of the area will find
most of the familiar names represented; this is an important
accompaniment to the records of that church (see above). 34+
pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.25.
Barber's transcription of the
Methodist Episcopal Church
charges in Fallsburgh, South Fallsburgh, Neversink, and Hurleyville
is available as a download on our Fallsburgh page (it also appears on
our Fallsburgh CD-ROM). Please
to go directly to that page.
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.
The Descendants of Noah Cross
and Rachel Osterhout: Cross - New York State - 1775 - 1975
This genealogy of a family
that originated in Ulster County with many descendants in Neversink, originally published by the Cross Family
Association, is now available for download.
CLICK HERE for more information.
These cards are from several sources. Postcards today
represent much of what we have in color of Neversink -- regardless of the liberties
the retoucher may have taken in making the picture marketable.
Please click on the picture to see larger-sized
Old covered bridge between Aden and Neversink Flats
Village of Neversink, New York
Oldest house in Sullivan County, in Neversink, NY
(actually in Hasbrouck, but the postcard refers to it being in Neversink)
The photographs below on this page are from Mrs. Cross' general
collection of photographs and tintypes -- the ones appearing here are the items that were not pasted into the albums that contained most of
her photographs. The complete contents of the three photo albums that held the
bulk of her collection are available on the CD-ROM.
Old covered bridge at Neversink, NY,
View of Neversink from hill in center of village
Another view of Neversink from the same site
Rock cut on new route 55, bypassing
old Neversink Village
James Gorton Cross*, 1917
Neversink Dam core
View of Neversink before construction of the Neversink
Merriman Dam core (Eureka, NY) (for
car buffs, the auto pictured is a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr)
Neversink District School, circa 1917
Same Neversink District School, circa 1933
The Iron Bridge
View down the Neversink River from the "iron
bridge" circa 1933
Village of Neversink, 1930s
A view of Neversink, probably from the 1920s, 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
Renno Cross* house, Neversink (1)
Renno Cross* house, another view
* = genealogical material about this
individual is on the CD-ROM
The CD-ROM also includes
additional photographs from other sources, for a total of 210 photographs.
Want to know what names appear among the
souvenirs, ephemera, newspaper clippings, and photographs on the CD-ROM?
to see a list.
Religion in Neversink
Gazetteer contains some
statistics about the place of organized religion in Neversink of that time
which run counter to popular conceptions about the period. Child
identifies the following churches in the Town of Neversink, and shows the
number of members each claimed at that time:
Church of Grahamsville, 50 members
Society, 10 members
Episcopal Church at Neversink Flats (seen in the picture above), 12 members
Corner Baptist Church, 107 members
totals 179 total church members in the entire town of Neversink in
take the total population of the Township then of 2458, and subtract 1035
young people of school age (presumably few would have achieved
"membership" in church while still in school), and assume an
additional 500 children below school age. This leaves an estimated
adult population of 623.
the total number of church members, the percentage of adults in the Town of
Neversink sufficiently serious about their religion to join a church at a
time in history when religion was thought to have permeated American rural
life was a mere 29%.
Eugene Cross* was a Neversink native, born in 1872 (around the
time the Gazetteer quoted above was compiled), who followed several careers
over the course of his life (like many Neversinkers). After 1910,
he relocated with his family to
nearby Liberty. He was not unusual in that respect either.
We have his complete diary from 1910. Here are
four dates (January 22 - 25); the tasks he notes depict a slice of life then that
may not be what we would expect -- or perhaps we would!!
Saturday, Jan 22: Hired a household worker ($2 per week), and
stacked lumber at a sawmill
Sunday, Jan 23: Went to church, and was visited by W. Conklin
Monday, Jan 24: Went to Monticello (County seat) as a juror,
stayed at the Hotel Palm there, and roomed with one Norton White (evidently the old
country inn custom of rooming with unrelated people was still in effect).
Tuesday, Jan 25: Recorded a deed for one R. J. Cross*
(?), and a mortgage for Higby Everitt* (his maternal grandfather). (Not noted
is whether he was involved in either of the transactions as a principal.).
Paid sixty cents to have his shoes half-soled. Roomed again with Mr. White, and
finally, attended the County Board of Supervisors' meeting.
Images of every page of Eugene Cross' diary for 1910
the CD-ROM, along with an index of all proper names and other items the compiler
considers significant. The entries show a slice of life that reflects on many
aspects of history and culture in that time and place. An index of the
full diary is provided on this website.
to see the Diary index.
Neversink was one of the towns in
Sullivan County that the New York Ontario & Western Railroad bypassed.
It's noteworthy in this diary to see the frequency with which the railroad figures
in daily life when it didn't even run within the township of Neversink. You
could use the Diary to make a good case that the Cross family (and others) left Neversink
because the railroad was NOT there.
In 1872, Hamilton Child, of Syracuse, NY, published
the Sullivan County number of his series of New York State county
directories. His firm had already done many of the State's
counties, and the Sullivan County product reflected that experience. Along with Quinlan's History
of Sullivan County, Child's Gazetteer stands today as one of the essential
source books for Sullivan County history.
to read more about the Gazetteer and see a comprehensive index of the Neversink
Anyone who has looked at much Sullivan County
history has heard of "Quinlan's". Originally published in 1873, and
reprinted at least three times since, it is both a rare book and a definitive
source. We've taken the "Neversink" chapter for the Old Neversink
CD-ROM (it would scarcely be complete without it) and have indexed the
pages included in the extract.
to read more about Quinlan's History and see a comprehensive
index of the Neversink chapter.
Paper souvenirs filled many roles around the turn of
the 19th century, ranging from funeral mementos to an early version of a school
yearbook. Here are versions of both.
Other items, such as two programs
for plays performed in Neversink, and a variety of newspaper clippings, are found
on the CD-ROM.
A funeral card from the 1920s
Neversink Public School "souvenir" for 1904
(These preceded yearbooks)
1904 Souvenir (inside page one)
1904 Souvenir (inside page two, with list of students)
1905 Souvenir (obverse, with list of students)
newspaper clippings, and other paper memorabilia appear on the CD-ROM
|Want to know what names appear
among the souvenirs, ephemera, newspaper clippings, and photographs on the
to see a list.
Also included on the CD-ROM is a series of family
groups based on material available to the compiler. While these groups tend
to be concentrated in a few Neversink-area families, their connections through
marriage extend throughout the township and into many neighboring areas as
well. Many of the people pictured here also appear in these family
groups. Please note that this is not intended as genealogical "proof" but
will hopefully suggest avenues of research for those interested in Neversink.
Also included is are sections on where the families came from BEFORE Neversink.
Between the Lakes Group
acknowledges with gratitude our debt to the compilers of the material. An
index is available.
to view the index.
some biographical information about
May Cross, the collector of these items, and her husband,
Eugene Cross, the author of the 1910 diary.
The "Old Neversink" CD-ROM is now
Included on that CD-ROM are not only all the
contents of this site but also the entire Eugene Cross diary for 1910, and
scans of the Neversink pages from Child's Gazetteer and Quinlan's History
of Sullivan County, providing an interesting insight into rural life in America shortly after the turn
of the twentieth century. Also included are maps, additional photographs,
various Neversink miscellany. The price of the CD-ROM is $15.00 (CT orders please include 6.5% sales tax).
for more information about how to obtain the Old Neversink
to learn more about the Sullivan County project underway
at Between the Lakes Group. We offer the largest collection of reference
material about Sullivan County history for download available online.
if you would like to learn about our project on the Town of
Fallsburgh -- adjacent to the Town of Neversink, and with many of the same
family names present. We've got a CD ready on that locality, too!
to read about our republication of the complete Child's "Gazetteer
and Business Directory of Sullivan County for 1872-73" -- for the first
time with a comprehensive index. It's now
for information about Quinlan's History of Sullivan County
(1873) -- the authoritative history of Sullivan County's early years. Yup,
we've republished this one, too, in its entirety, and we've added a complete new
index for your convenience.
HERE to go to our Sullivan County page
CLICK HERE to go to our
New York State page