Historical Society launches new website

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown has launched a new website (www.mtownhistory.org).

Designed by Joanie Merwin of Fleischmanns and constructed by CMS Internet Solutions, Inc. of Bovina, the site was funded by member contributions. It not only contains information about the Society, and its programs and activities, but also serves as an online source for those seeking historical background and photos of Middletown and its hamlets.

“This is the only website devoted to the town as a whole and its history,” explained HSM President Diane Galusha. “Nowhere else online can you read about the great tannery that once dominated Dunraven (Clark’s Factory), or the Pakatakan Art Colony in Arkville; or the Kelly family “empire” in Halcottsville. We’ve included capsule histories and photographs of nine communities, and a Features page where you can read about the Blind Poet of Arena, for example, or the Elliott Brothers of New Kingston who died in the Civil War.”

There is an 1890 directory of businesses and homeowners along the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, a list of sites in the Town that are on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and a link to the searchable Catskill Mountain News 1902-1937, (a recent project of HSM).

There is also a page of links to other sites where researchers can find cemetery listings, photographs and more specific information (like Skene Library’s “Digital Quilt,” a repository of Fleischmanns history.)

Find out about coming events, and see photos from events of the past two years. Learn about ongoing HSM projects, including cemetery restorations and inventories, oral histories, and farm and barn documentation efforts. Read excerpts from The Bridge, the newsletter that is a benefit of membership in HSM, or download the Margaretville Walking Tour.

Press releases, a quick listing of events, and The Tin Horn, a blog containing observations, discoveries and announcements, are posted on the Home Page. Submissions to the Tin Horn from readers who’d like to share their history finds or questions are most welcome and can be offered through the Contact Us feature on the site.

“We want this to be a living site that evolves and grows, so reader contributions are encouraged,” Galusha said. “Middletown’s history is important and fascinating. We hope this website helps people appreciate it a bit more.”