Monday, October 5, 2015

Some Woodland Valley History From Rolf Reiss

WCA member and valley historian, Rolf Reiss sent me some awesome Woodland Valley photos along with some history to match. Here is Rolf's message to me. 

All the photos are at least 100 years old (excluding the brochure from 1927). Almost all of the them can be attributed to long time summer resident and Woodland Valley Park Association member Charles Newman. 

The first photo of the well dressed young men preparing for an overnight adventure includes three Newman family members, Ben Longyear, Joe McGrath, George Foster and Dave Hilson. They seem to have all of the essentials of the day including blankets, canteens, axes, six shooters and a coronet.

The inscription on the photo of the lady in the wicker rocker (second photo) being carried by two gents reads " Woodland Valley Taxi 1907"

I especially love the third photo of the two daredevils perched on the log over the Woodland Valley stream. 

On the back of the photo showing the two beleaguered hikers, Charles Newman signed his name and wrote " I am so tired of hiking the Whittenberg Mt." Many of us who have visited that peak surely know how he felt.

The post card showing campers somewhere in the valley was postmarked at the Woodland Post Office on Aug 6, 1913 and reads " This is what we are doing. We are crazy about the place. Will Archer is here with us but we didn't see much of him. Will stay three weeks. Best, Love Mary."

The next photo is of a summer outing somewhere in the Woodland Valley Park Association.

The last photo is a post card from the Beech Knoll Club. Included with the swimming hole post card is a brochure from the 1927 season. The drawing on the cover depicts the beautiful home built by the artist Thomas Craig now owned by Ed Twerdak. Evelyn Craig (Thomas's daughter) was still alive in 1978 when I moved here and mentioned to me that John Burroughs had told her that "the most beautiful view in all of the Catskills was from the porch of her home".

- Rolf

PS - Here is an update I just received from Rolf.

"I was recently told that the home where Ed Twerdak lives was NOT built by Thomas Craig although he did live there. I think that it was perhaps one of the Beech family who had it constructed but I have to do more research on that." 
- Rolf