Pond Eddy Bridge

The 1871 Pond Eddy Suspension Bridge across the Delaware River. Photo courtesy of Minisink Valley Historical Society.

East of Parkers Glen, the next hamlets on the way to Port Jervis were Pond Eddy (later Flagstaff), Pennsylvania, and Pond Eddy, New York. Pond Eddy’s suspension bridge, built in 1871 was near Lock 63. On the Pennsylvania side was an Erie Railway station.—Echo Hill and Mountain Grove, p. 12.

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The Wolffs’ New Home

Norman and Albert Wolff’s new home in Barryville. Ira Austin’s house not showing, was to the left. Photo courtesy of Ed W.

Albert and his brother Norman would soon buy the house near the old Ira Austin house where Ed and Mabel Austin Smith and their son Austin Smith lived. The Wolffs’ “new” home had been sold to Charles Frace in 1868.

Close to and adjoining the premises of Mrs. Frace is the house and premises of Ira M. Austin a wagon maker, blacksmith and general mechanic. The house was first erected by Abraham Russel…—Johnston, J.W., Reminiscences, p. 328.—March 1932.

Another view of Norman and Albert Wolff’s new home in Barryville. Photo courtesy of Ed W.

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Sixty Years Ago (1876)

Aida Austin’s information on the arrival of the James Eldred family—from her sister Maria.
Back of Aida Austin’s information on James Eldred’s arrival in what became Eldred.

To the left are two of the pages I referenced for “The Mill on Halfway Brook” regarding the arrival of the Eldreds in what would become Eldred, New York. The pages were copied by my great-aunt Aida Austin from what her sister Maria Austin had written January 1, 1876 about their grandfather James Eldred. Around 1939 (click on “continue reading” below) Aida Austin seems to have become interested in Eldred’s History.

Sixty years ago in December just closed, grandfather Eldred came to this neighborhood. At that time it was called Lumberland. Uncle C.C.P. Eldred was a little over seven years old. Came from Orange County, Wallkill Township, to Halfway Brook on the old Cochecton road. Here they found a saw mill and log house, no other building of any kind within a mile of this place now called Eldred.

They took possession of the house and sawmill and put up a temporary stable to shelter his horses. There was about two acres of cleared land. Grandfather walked to Monticello. Went to Port Jervis and Wurtsboro and so on to Monticello. Made the journey in three days.

The Johnston family were living near Handseom Eddy, Barton at Barryville, Carpenter and Wells on Beaverbrook, Hickok, Walker, Wiggins, and a black man lived between Beaver Brook and Halfway Brook.

Two miles above Barryville lived a man by the name of Beeves who kept a tavern in a double log house; two other families on Halfway Brook by the names of Watkins and Carmichael.

Continue reading

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Lumber Rafts on the Delaware, 1880

The Delaware River is lined with rafts on their way to Philadelphia. Although the winter was unfavorable for the lumber trade, and the high winds prevalent further up, the stream drove the rafts against rocks and sand-bars, causing many wrecks. Old citizens say they never saw the trade better.

It is estimated that there are now over 2,000 rafts between Lackawanna and Easton [in Pennsylvania]. Each raft contains about 60,000 feet of lumber, so that a total of 120,000,000 feet is on the way to Philadelphia. By the end of the week, if high water continues, there will be scarcely a raft left in the upper waters of the Delaware.

Lumber has advanced very materially since last year, causing the working men along the river to feel highly elated. One firm in this town has gone into the pine and hemlock region intending to purchase an extensive tract of first-class log timber, float it down here, and manufacture it in their steam saw-mill.—”The New York Times,” April 30, 1880.

Raft on the Delaware River near Port Jervis, New York, at the end of the 19th Century. Photo courtesy of Minisink Valley Historical Society.
This photograph, possibly taken during a spring freshet (notice the ice on rocks in the background), shows the enormous size of the rafts that traveled along the Delaware River.
The rowboat in the center of the raft and loose logs in the river may have been the result of a raft that broke up further upstream. Photo courtesy of Minsink Valley Historical Society.
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Shohola-Barryville Bridge and Comments

View of the Shohola-Barryville Bridge when newly completed. Photo courtesy of Ed W.

While continuing research mentioned in my last post, I have been trying to organize my many photos (still!) and found some more photos/postcards (a number in color or sepia-toned which were black and white in the books) I have permission to share with my Halfway Brook friends.

I am very appreciative to those whose photos/postcards I have shared, first in the Halfway Brook books, and also on this site.

I also have permission from the Minisink Valley Historical Society to share their photos (which will be credited to them) originally in the Halfway Brook Books. MVHS shared those super historical photos for my books at no charge, for which I am most appreciative.

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June Visit to the Library or Halfway Brook Update

Desert Broom Library warnings June 2015.
Library snake alert area, June 2015.

It has been three years since I posted photos of the library closest to me and the snake alert signs.

Along with online research—including very helpful people at Dodd Research Center and Connecticut State Library both with amazing resources—I have been visiting the Desert Broom Library quite a bit recently with the investigation I have been doing regarding my Hickok and Hinman (and Leavenworth) ancestors who lived in what became South Britain and Southbury, part of Woodbury, Connecticut, in 1676.

My inquiries into the past of my Connecticut ancestors made me curious as to when they arrived in the New World, travel in the 1600s and 1700s, the history of Connecticut towns, how and when slavery started in Connecticut, the part my ancestors played (or didn’t play) in the Revolutionary War, etc.

Many of the books I read about online, I could obtain from my library, as it is part of the Phoenix Library System. But there were a couple books not available and the librarians were extremely helpful tracking down a library which would share. So I have a book currently on early transportation from a New Mexico library. The other book was only available from Colleges—but I am most appreciative of the librarians help.

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