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Callicoon... A Vacation Destination
With the Erie Railroad promoting this area, Callicoon became a vacation destination. They advertised fresh air, clean water, breathtaking scenery, the best fresh water fishing around and a cure for tuberculosis, "breathing the pines" to help with people suffering from this illness. It was welcoming, especially for people trying to escape the summer heat of the city.

> First Settlers

> Lumber Industry

> Erie Railroad

> Vacation Destination

During the summer months Erie trains were loaded with passengers bound for area resorts.. Extra cars had to be added to the trains for the influx of Callicoon tourists. The "Callicoon Special" line was added on Saturdays arriving in Callicoon at 6pm. This was a great convenience for businessmen who wanted to spend weekends with their families in the country. Summer visitors arrived aboard the Erie until the 1960s.

In 1888, the Erie Railroad published a book of Summer Homes that listed available boarding homes and hotels along the railways route. Callicoon Station was advertised as the following:

In the midst of surroundings of a wild and rugged character. Callicoon has a population of 1200, an excellent graded public school, numerous churches, and good stores and shops, which are always well stocked. It is the center of one of the famous trout regions of the Delaware Valley. The Callicoon Creek, which enters the Delaware a short distance from the station, threads the back wilderness and a splendid farming section. Along its entire course, from the hills on either side, tributary streams flow into it at short intervals. The main stream and its feeders are natural trout creeks, and all the season long they afford royal sport to the angler. All these brooks are within five miles of the station. On the Pennsylvania side of the rivers is Hollister Creek. For two miles from the river this creek flows through a wild and narrow gorge, and seeks the level of the river by a series of wonderful waterfalls. The borders of the creek are thickly grown with rhododendrons, and the early summer fills the glen with bands of pink-tinted bloom.

Numerous lakes cluster in the hills on both sides of the river, the famous Bethel township lakes, in Sullivan County, being within easy reach. In Wayne County, Galilee Lake, Duck Harbor, Swago Lake and others are near and convenient of access. Bass, pickerel, and perch fishing are attractions of these waters. No malaria or mosquitos.

There were several Hotels in Callicoon: Western Hotel, Mrs. L. Thorwelle, Proprietress; Globe Hotel - C. Jardin, Proprietor, T.L. Sutliff; Callicoon Hotel - John Ludwig, Proprietor and Olympia Hotel. With such an influx of visitors, families would open up their homes to summer boarders for extra income. Many families would camp along the Delaware River.

The communities that came to life nourished by the railroad found their economies badly damaged as railroad travel gave way to the automobile. The building of New York State Route 97 in 1939 as a scenic highway did not immediately lead to an influx of new visitors. By the 1950s, the boarding house and hotel business was fading from the scene. Beginning in the late 1960s, a new kind of tourism found its way to the town. Campgrounds and canoe liveries, followed by bed and breakfast inns, drew a new generation of vacationers. As the forests grew back and the river valley remained remarkably pristine, increasing number of visitors were drawn to the area.

This website was assisted by a grant made from the Upper Delaware Council, Narrowsburg, New York.

History of the Delaware River hamlet of Callicoon. Located in the Town of Delaware, Sullivan County, New York.

Town of Delaware Historian
PO Box 129
Hortonville, NY 12745