Saturday, February 13, 2010

One of Our Catskill Drives in February

The tiny, tidy college town of Delhi is the sweetest little settlement, bustling in the gentle rural way one sees in the western Catskills.   It’s also the only village near us that has a large supermarket with a pharmacy, and how lucky we are to get to make a drive there even if it is to pick up medication.

The wonder of this locale is you can pass Victorian homes packed on a street porch against porch, cross a creek, wind up a hairpin turn, chug up a long wooded road with a steep gorge on one side, round a bend, and pass a farm like this surrounded by hundreds of acres of pastures backed by tall mountains covered in trees and snow. As if there were no campus, no two traffic lights, no Price Chopper, no 21st century.

This abandoned farm is unusual because the year the barn was built isn’t writ large across the gable like most barns in the area; it should have ‘1871’ or some year from the late 19th century upon it.   From what I’ve read, a barn complex this big went in as the railroads came to the Catskills.   With a reliable way to get milk from barn to creamery to New York in the same day, huge dairy operations sprung up over the region. Before that era, barns were built for family subsistence and tended to be much smaller.

The farm doesn’t have a real estate sign--perhaps the owners are in a nursing home or Florida.   I hope someone eventually will buy this pretty place and keep it wonderful.

I’m glad you came on the drive with us.   Until next time, stay shabby! Pin It

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