Colchester Historical Society

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Downsville, New York 13755


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Sunday, August 26, 2018 at 2 PM

Delaware reservoirs topic of August 26 talk at Downsville


“Claiming the Delaware,” will be the topic when Diane Galusha, author of Liquid Assets: A History of New York City’s Water System, speaks Sunday, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Colchester Town Hall, Tannery Rd., Downsville.

The program is sponsored by the Colchester Historical Society. Admission is free; donations in support of the historical society’s activities are most welcome.

The illustrated talk will cover the development of the Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs which were created by damming the East and West Branches of the Delaware River. The reservoirs were constructed between 1947 and 1965.

The talk will also cover the construction of the East and West Delaware Tunnels that carry water from these reservoirs to the Rondout Reservoir in Ulster County. The combined waters then flow through the 84-mile-long Delaware Aqueduct, the longest continuous tunnel in the world, to reach consumers in New York City and its northern suburbs.

Thousands of men were employed blasting and digging below ground, while other workers cleared structures and built the dams that would create the reservoirs that changed the face of Delaware County and forever altered the lives of its residents.

Some 2,000 people were displaced by the Pepacton and Cannonsville projects. The August 26 program will include photos of nine communities condemned to make way for the reservoirs, including the Colchester hamlet of Pepacton.

The expanded edition of Liquid Assets, published in 2016, adds to this history by recounting new city water projects and watershed protection programs that have been initiated over the past 20 years. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the Downsville program. FMI:

Diane Galusha is the author of several books of local and regional history, and is President of the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown. She is communications director and education coordinator for the Catskill Watershed Corporation.


Shavertown Bridge construction



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Hill Gravestone  Marianne Greenfield Old Covered Bridge Cemetery
Robert Hill Gravestone 1796-Covered Bridge Cemetery      Marianne taking photographs before cleaning gravestones