Glenbrook Park hosts Shandaken Day Saturday

By Jay Braman Jr.
Shandaken Day. It has been in the hamlets of Phoenicia and Pine Hill and was set up a couple years ago at the long-vacant Interpretive Center site in Mount Tremper. Last year it was celebrated in Big Indian, with a nod to nearby Oliverea, featuring the unveiling of not only a 14-foot tall sculpture of the Native American who gave Big Indian its name but with two nifty custom signs along Route 28 identifying the locale.

Now, according to Supervisor Robert Stanley, it is Shandaken’s turn.

A hamlet within the town bearing the same name, Shandaken will host festivities at Glenbrook Park, about a mile from where Stanley himself grew up. The fun starts on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 10 a.m..

Now a Pine Hill resident, Stanley says this year’s celebration is an opportunity to let his home hamlet shine.

Once a burgh with its own supermarket, called Heick’s after the butcher who owned it, and a lucrative sawmill, a baseball bat factory, and the legendary Log Cabin restaurant/bar, as well as the address for a number of hotels, Shandaken is no longer swirling with business activity save for Merrick Tackle, an online fishing gear enterprise located across the highway from the historic Methodist Church in the old consolidated laundry building, but Stanley hopes to change that.
In fact, he hopes to invigorate all the hamlets. That is why Shandaken day moves around the local map, giving each its chance to shine.

“The Town of Shandaken is comprised of 12 hamlets; neighborhoods that are unique in geography, economies and offerings,” Stanley said.

“ We as a town hope to help preserve and promote these quaint hamlets, mostly nestled in the valleys throughout the town. Most home and business owners are happy to tell you of the history of their building or the area. We have a rich history tied to American legends such as Babe Ruth, “Dutch” Schultz and others. Myths abound concerning everything from a Native American romantic tragedy to the first snowmobile to a secret stash of gold.”

Stanley says the Shandaken hamlet is located in the central portion of the township.  The word “Shandaken,” a Native American derivative meaning “rapid waters,” refers to the Esopus Creek, which flows through the town and supplies water to the Ashokan Reservoir.

“Shandaken Centre once housed a chair factory and several substantial hotels and was a thriving business center with wagon and blacksmith shops, grist mill, sawmill, grocery and general stores, Post Office (the first in Shandaken Township), railroad station and church,” he said.

The theme for this year’s Shandaken Day, appropriately, is “The Good Ole Days.”

This year vendor booths will be augmented by the live music of the Earl Pardini String Band and plenty of games and food. Look for Shandaken Day’s now traditional gamut of kids’ games including the ever-popular “Hay Bale Bonanza,” where the children can stack and re-stack the hay bales into whatever configuration they can dream up.

Awards will be presented to the kids that participated in the day’s events along with local notables that are late in worthy recognition for their contributions to the community, all to be presented by a slew of dignitaries.

Shandaken Day will be held rain or shine. For more information call 688-5645.