Catskill Region

Sullivan County’s Diehl Homestead Farm:

The Southern Catskill region of New York State is well known for its dairy farms, often perched on steep, green slopes, overlooking lushly forested mountains, interleaved by the rushing creeks that feed the watershed of the upper Delaware River. A drive up Diehl Road in Western Sullivan County reveals one such landscape, defined by a single family, whose legacy dates back five generations on the same hillside, and overlooking the valley of the Callicoon Creek, where its patriarchal family established its original homestead more than a century and a half ago.


Our heartfelt congratulations to storyteller, author, poet, Abenaki elder, and Voices columnist, Joseph Bruchac, for being appointed as the first Poet Laureate of Saratoga Springs. The ceremony took place at City Hall on January 17, 2023. Bruchac was selected through a competitive nomination and interview process by members of the City’s Poet Laureate Committee. His two-year appointment will run through December 2024.

Remembering Karyl Denison Eaglefeathers

Karyl Eaglefeathers made significant contributions to the preservation of the folklore and culture of New York State, and the Catskill Mountains, in particular… Her research involved ethnomusicology,
folk heritage, and museum studies….Communities around the region still benefit
from her work documenting traditional dances and fiddling styles and facilitating the
mentoring of a new generation of dance
callers and musicians through the Catskills
Folk Connection, an organization she founded
along with fellow folklorist Virginia Scheer in


In January 1909, Max Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, brought his family to Livingston Manor. He opened a butcher shop on Main Street,and his family thus became Livingston Manor’s first Jewish residents. In April of that same year, my grandparents, Mottel and Manya Sorkin, along with their infant daughter Leya, also settled in the village and opened a tailor shop. Other families soon followed. Livingston Manor was now on the way to becoming a multiethnic community, but not without some bumps in the road.

The Holocaust, the Catskills, and the Creative Loss of Power

The American and immigrant Jews,
who had made the many hotels, bungalow
colonies, and farms of Ulster and Sullivan
counties their summer retreats year after
year, were always looking for family, for
landsmanshaftn (society of immigrants from the same town or region), for a home away
from home. As a second home to generations
of Jews, the Catskill Mountains became
a place where a Jewish family could
bond as a Jewish family—that is, they could practice the culture of Judaism without the
pressure to assimilate.

Hilt Kelly

Hilt and Stella Kelly and the Sidekicks were long central to Roxbury’s annual Fiddlers! programs, which started in 1994. Not only during these years but long before, Hilt and his music were important to old-time square dancing and music throughout the Catskills