Hopple Bush Flower

Shinhopple's Name

Local lore says that Shinhopple's name came from the native American name for this area  An abundance of hobblebush  grew and still grows in local forests.  The name hobble-bush is attributed to the habit of the stem to bend over and take root; catching on a persons shin and causing them to hop around or to hobble the passers-by.  The hobblebush is an unusual flowering bush which grows from five to six feet, with two kinds of flowers: an inner circle of small flowers surrounded by larger flowers, which blooms here from May to July. The hobblebush is often referred to as Delaware County Dogwood but really  is a member of the Honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae. Other common names for the shrub are Hopplebush, Dog Hobble, Witch Hobble, Sweetbells Leucothoe,and Fetter Bush.

HopplebusForest Hobblebush2  



According to the Jay Gould map the Shinhopple valley was not inhabited before 1865. During that time there were three roads connecting the valley to the outside communities.  One went to Shinhopple, the second to Walton and the third was the Tub Mill Road which lead to Downsville.

During the late 1800's to early 1900's dairy farming was the main occupation of the Shinhopple area.  Butter production provided the major income for these families.  Butter was put in tubs, purchased at the local John Lockwood mill. The Lockwood Mill produced two sizes of tubs, a thirty pound, which sold for $.25 and the fifty pound which sold for $.35, covers for the tubs were sold for $.04 each.  , Butter was also made into pound prints which were also produced by the Lockwood Mill.  These tubs were sold by the Holmes Milling Company in Downsville until manufacturing ceased in 1915 when farmers began direct sales to the local creameries instead of packing butter at each local farm.  The Holmes Milling Company in Downsville and some of the Walton stores had been the local markets for this butter.  After the D & E. line was opened in 1906, farmers were able to ship their milk in cans to local creameries from the Shinhopple Station.  These creameries were able to process and ship large quantities of dairy products directly to the New York City markets.

Shinhopple Station
D & N Shinhopple Station

Shinhoopple Stone dock
1908 Shinhopple Stone Dock-Station roof on right behind train

Many farmers did little milking in the winter and spent their time working in the woods.  Four foot wood was cut for the acid factory in Shinhopple.  The Finch and Ross Company built an acid factory on the opposite side of Trout Brook, about one mile from the railway station.  The company was later sold to L.B. Corbett, a nephew of Julius Corbett of  the Corbett and Stuart Acid Factory.  In  February of 1904 the Downsville News reported that "The lumber industry of Shinhopple vicinity is flourishing.  There is over a million feet of hemlock and hardwood lumber to get to market the coming spring.  Over two hundred tons of bark have been shipped from Shinhopple since last April."  Hemlock bark was sold to the Downsville and Walton tanneries.  Bigger logs were taken to the local saw mills and some were drawn to the East Branch of the Delaware River.  These larger logs were made into rafts and floated down to Philadelphia when the ice went out in the spring.  Two local raftsmen living in East Trout Brook were James and Henry Russell.  After reaching Philadelphia, the brothers would walk or hitch-hike back to Shinhopple. Ebenezer Niles, Charles Langster and Abe Kristman were all steersman and were also raftsmen from Shinhopple.

Log raft on Delaware River     Raft2
Shinhopple rafts on the East Branch of the Delaware

Stone quarries also provided an income for Shinhopple residents in the early1900's.  The Mills family operated a large stone quarry and their bluestone was shipped to New York for use in sidewalks and building construction.

Ingram Teamsters Mills Quarry Shinhopple 1908
Ingram Family Teamsters hauling stone from the Mills Quarry July 1908

School Districts

 No.28-Trout Creek School

A quarter mile from the Lockwood Mill the schoolhouse stood on the right hand side of the road.  The only playground was the brook flat on the James Vail property.  The children took their turns getting water from a spring in the pasture below the brook bridge.  The unpainted building had a hall where coats were hung and a supply of wood was piled at either end of the coat hall.  A bench with the water pail and wash basin were also in the hall.  Each child was required to have their own drinking cup.  The main school room had a teacher's desk which was raised on a platform in the front of the room.  A long low stove for burning chunks of wood was located in the center of the room.  A bench was along the side of the room nearest the road and children sat on this bench nearest to the teacher's desk to recite their lessons.  The student desks were handmade with double seats.  The larger desks were in the back of the room.  The long rows were next to the walls and the shorter ones in back of the stove.  The only storage cabinet was under the chimney. There was a small library of books and in 1911 a Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia was added to the library.  There were Fall and Spring terms often with different teachers for the different terms. Male teachers were hired for the Fall terms as older boys freed from the their harvesting and farm chores attended at that time and it was felt that male teacher would have more control over the older male students. Male teachers earned more than female teachers but were also expected to cut and pile firewood, clean the school and maintain the fires during the winter months.  Some years as many as twenty children attended the Trout Creek School.  Many of the teachers roomed and boarded at the James Vail farm that was located closest to the school.  During the 1908-09 School Term $125.00 was raised in school taxes; Lucien Rodgers was paid $104 teacher's salary, $13.50 was paid to the American Book Company for text books, and wood cost $3.00 for the term.
Church services were also held at the school when Rev. Amos Peck from Downsville could get to the school.  He often had to walk over the Tub Mill Road to reach the school.  Rev. Alverson also preached evangelistic services there and baptisms took place in the brook below the bridge.  Neighbors would construct a temporary dam below the bridge a few days before the baptisms in order to have enough water depth for the baptisms.

      East Trout Brook 1913        East Trout Brook School2
                                                          East Trout Brook School 1913

                            The All Saints Chapel-Shinhopple Memorial Center

In 1932 community members felt that they needed a permanent place to worship.  Property was donated and church construction funding was provided by philanthropist Angelica L. Gerry who also funded the building of the Episcopal church in Lake Delaware.   In December a foundation of local bluestone was laid and in January of 1933 the construction of the rustic log church was begun and finished in time to hold services on Easter Sunday of that year.  The building was in use as an Episcopal church until 1950 when age and declining membership forced its abandonment.  The chapel was then incorporated on May 30, 1951 and turned into a community center.  The Shinhopple Memorial Center was dedicated on July 4, 1951.  The center was dedicated to four local veterans who were killed in action: Richard O. McCarthy, Leonard I. Tompkins, Williams D. Francisco and William R. McKune. On November 3, 1952 the land and building payments were completed and turned over to the community.  The center has been used for a variety of family, recreational and educational purposes through the years. The current focus has been on providing programs for elderly, children and single parents as well as promoting the history of the Shinhopple area.
All Saints Chapel         Shinhopple Memorial Center
                             All Saints Chapel 1933                          now Shinhopple Memorial Center  2011

2018 Shinhopple Memorial Center Newsletter
Shinhopple Memorial Center Membership Drive information

                                            Shinhopple Post Office

Shinhopple Post Office operated from April 17, 1882 until it was discontinued on April 6, 1990.  The post office building was also home to a store and gathering place for local news of the community and surrounding area.  The postmasters were:

4/17/1882        John F. Pierson
8/11/1887        Elmira J. Fuller
12/10/1891    Marcus B. Champlin
10/10/1900              Grant Plank
3/10/1915      Amos D. Gregory
2/1/1940     Jesse G. Wakeman
12/3/1940         Cora E. Downer
6/8/1950     Margaret A. Murray
1/9/1959         Shirley M. Terry
8/2/1960        Julius E. Pinner
1978                Thomas Kelly
1989                 Owen Kelly
4/6/1990    Discontinued service.

Shinhopple PO 1900  Shinhopple PO 1990
Shinhopple Post Office in 1891                         and at its closing in 1990