Fleischmanns tours this weekend
You can “go wild” with hikes into history this summer as five of the Catskills’ most fabled villages and hamlets offer historic walking tours starting with Fleischmanns on Memorial Day weekend, then Margaretville, New Kingston, Andes and concluding in Roxbury on Labor Day weekend.
You’ll hear tales of natives and settlers, Anti-Rent Calico Indians, the baseball dreams of a yeast fortune heir, the village that weathered several 100-year floods, a beautiful valley first settled by a trailblazing surveyor, and the robber baron’s daughter who became her hamlet’s kindest benefactor.
“Most of our villages have dedicated historians who have been developing these tours independently for years,” said Peg Ellsworth, who is coordinating promotion for the tours. “With some funding from O’Connor and Preserve America, we thought it was time to showcase all this hard work into our history,” she added.
“Our visitors are fascinated with this aspect of the Catskills and are constantly asking about this building or that character, and every village has folks who have studied every stone and shingle and the stories they have to tell,” said Historical Society of Middletown President Diane Galusha, who will lead the Margaretville tours. “These tours are also a great chance for our local residents to learn the history behind the landmarks they live with every day,” she added.
The Fleischmanns historic walking tours will be led by Skene Library and Museum of Memories Trustee John Duda and will depart from the Skene Memorial Library on Main Street at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 24 and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 25. Both tours conclude appropriately enough at the historic Wagner Avenue ballpark, just in time for vintage baseball games hosted by the newly revived Mountain Athletic Club, playing by the rules of the 1890s.
Duda has been working on the tour for several years for the library, inspired by the creation of similar walking tours in Margaretville and Roxbury. The tours were timed to coincide with the vastly enhanced plans for a big Memorial Day Weekend in Fleischmanns. After Fleischmanns, the walking tours will trek onward through Margaretville on Saturday, June 21, New Kingston on July 5, Andes on August 9, and Roxbury on August 30 and 31.
Every walking tour has been scheduled to coincide with other village festivities so visitors can really get a taste of each hamlet’s personality:
Call 607.326.3722 for more information or visit www.margaretville.org for updates on each tour.