Village and Town of Delhi
- Created: Monday, 11 August 2008 02:00
- Last Updated: Monday, 11 April 2011 11:59
- Written by Gerry Pilgrim
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Village and Town
As The Story Is Told
“Delaware County was created by an Act of the Legislature of New York State,, March 10, 1797 from the counties of Ulster and Otsego. The Act stipulated that a Gaol and Courthouse be erected within a distance of two miles of the confluence of the Little Delaware River and the West Branch of the Delaware River. The County was organized May 30, 1797 at the house of Gideon Frisbee in the Town of Kortright. Participating In the organizational meeting of the new county were representatives of the towns of Colchester, Franklin, Middletown, Stamford, and Walton.
In November 1979 the Board of Supervisors bought the land now called Courthouse Square in what was then the Town of Walton. Before the courthouse could be erected, another town by the name of Delhi was formed on March 23, 1798 and inherited the county seat.
There was no Village of Delhi when the contruction of the county’s courthouse and jail was authorized, but it was inevitable that a village would grow up around them. The 1800 census shows that eight families had formed the nucleus of that village situated in the Town of Delhi. The Village was incorporated by an Act of Legislature, March 16, 1821 and bears the name of the Town from which it was born.”
Adapted from the writings of Fletcher Davidson
The above somewhat stylized description of the birth of the Village of Delhi defines the beginnings of the village that the local residents know and love. Many current villagers are 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th generations of Delhi residents, whereas others are relative “newcomers” whose families have been her “only” 40 or 50 years. Whatever our ancestral circumstances, all of us love our Village of Delhi … located on the West Branch of the Delaware River … in the foothills of the Beautiful Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York.
Due to the majestic presence of the Catskill Mountains, the intriguing presence of babbling brooks that flow through the mystical valleys created by these mountains and the delightful presence of flora and fauna indigenous to the topography of this rural area, Delaware County exudes a sense of peaceful and tranquil beauty unsurpassed by other areas of our country. So sensuous is the magnificence of this area, an early postcard producer developed a series of postcards photographically depicting the local area as “Delhi – The Garden Spot of the Catskills.”
At one time, Delaware County was the largest producer of dairy products of any county in the United States. Following the country byways in the county that follow the creek and stream paths that feed the West Branch up the Delaware River, a traveler will see the remains of the magnificent farms and pastures that fueled the dairy industry. In each small village and hamlet the traveler encounters along the journey, remnants of the plants and factories that supported the dairy industry are evident. In 1955 there were 2,306 dairy farms in Delaware County. By 1985 that number had dropped to 503. In 1991, only 321 remained. Today, the number is well less than 100. At one time there were no less that 14 dairy receiving and processing plants in Delaware County. Today there are two. Although many of the farms and processing facilities are long gone, the verdant valleys and pastures that fueled this industry still exist and provide a visual experience that overwhelms the senses.
The current Village of Delhi visualizes the area as a tourist destination for those who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the more congested areas of the Eastern Seaboard. Although Delhi does not over tourist accommodations more amenable to the asual vacationer, many folks from the New York City area are seeing Delhi and Delaware County as the ideal location for a second home. Some of the newcomers only visit during the vacation season while others migrate to the Delhi area on a weekly basis. Likewise, the advent of modern day telecommunications technology makes Delhi an ideal getaway location for those who are employed in a position amenable to telecommuting.