Guided tours of Margaretville to be offered June 21
Summer officially begins June 21 and the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown will welcome the season by leading three guided tours of the historic Village of Margaretville. The tours will begin at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Binnekill Square Park on Main Street, across from NBT Bank. The easy walk covers about a mile of village streets. It is free for members of the Historical Society. The cost to non-members is $2. Pre-registration is not required.
Knowledgable walk leaders will explain the histories of many local landmarks, and “guest guides” will join each tour group to add personal stories about the Margaretville they remember from the 1920s, ’ 30s and ’40s.
Highlights include the beautiful 1850 Bussy Building; the Commons Building, constructed around 1850 as two separate structures, the 1901 People’s Bank whose sturdy vault remains at the center of what is now a children’s clothing store, and an 1871 structure that houses what may be the oldest continuously operated independent pharmacy in New York State.
The firehall (once a school), the theater whose opening in 1922 featured a performance by opera star Amelita Galli-Curci, stately churches and some grand old homes will also be on the tour.
Tour goers will learn about homes and businesses that no longer exist, the floods and fires that have claimed them, and the civic leaders and community characters that have added color to life in Margaretville since the village grew up around a couple of water-powered mills in the early 1800s.
The last tour of the day will end at the community’s newest structure, the pavilion in the village park, where a celebration will commence at 5 p.m. June 21. Tickets are required for that event. For more information, go to www.catskillcics.org.
The guided tour of Margaretville is the second in a series of specially produced tour events encouraging exploration of living history in five local communities. Upcoming events include tours of New Kingston (July 5), Andes (August 9) and Roxbury (Labor Day Weekend). Guided tours of Fleischmanns were offered Memorial Day Weekend.