Here to return to
MIDSUMMER IN THE CATSKILLS
THE Mountains of the Sky, as the Indians called them, or the Wildcat Creek Mountains, as they would be called if the Dutch word Catskill was translated into English, include one height with an altitude of 4,200 feet, and there are numerous other heights in the group that are genuinely impressive in their upward soaring. Yet none of them are at all savage, and the region has a certain gentleness of aspect that is restful and charming. The mountains themselves, instead of rising in craggy steeps, nearly always lift their shaggy, wooded shoulders in mild undulations; and in the tangle of valleys you rarely fail to find either an occasional village or scattered farms.
Nevertheless, the region is one that can never be wholly tamed. A formal monotony of straight roads and right-angled corners, and fields of regular size and shape is forever impossible. The roadways almost of necessity adapt themselves to the lay of the land, and are full of graceful curves and piquant surprises.
Another charm of this Catskill country is its streams. Everywhere you go you hear the purl of brooks in their shadowed, rocky hollows, and not infrequently the melody of a waterfall; and the water is bright and pure, and continues as of yore to be the lurking-place of the speckled trout.
A summer afternoon
The section that has most appealed to me is not where the mountains soar highest, but more westerly where the country becomes distinctly pastoral and the farms creep far up the great billowy hills. Sometimes the cleared land sweeps right over the giant summits, but oftener the highest portion of the hill has a green cap of woodland. It is a pretty sight as you look from one hill across to others and see the tilled fields forming a sort of patchwork quilt of varying shapes and tints. The seams of the quilt are sturdy stone walls erected at an infinite expense of time and labor in gathering the stones from the land and piling them into barriers, and then year after year keeping these barriers in repair; for even the stoutest stone wall is not permanent. The frosts gradually, but surely, heave it into complete ruin if it is neglected.
One of my stopping-places was a sleepy little village around which the big hills rose on every side. At the close of a warm August day I sat after supper on the piazza of the rustic hotel with the landlord and his wife. Some of the neighbors who had been off berrying were plodding homeward on the adjacent walk, and the landlady asked them what luck they had had.
“There ain’t as many berries as usual,” one of the pickers responded, “and everybody is after ‘em. Why, up on Cold Hill, where we went, there was seven people to one huckleberry; and, by gracious! it’s a long walk there and back, I tell yer.”
“But you’ve got your pails full,” the landlady commented.
“Oh, we got our share, don’t cher know,” the picker said, “and now we must hurry along so as to have time tonight to look ‘em over. That’s quite a job.”
Meanwhile the landlord was talking with a small boy of the party. Their bantering conversation came to an end with the landlord’s saying: “Want to fight? But what’s the use? You could n’t lick a postage stamp.”
The next morning I went for a long walk and followed a winding highway that for mile after mile climbed a seemingly endless hill. It was a rather attractive road with little farms scattered along, and wooded heights rising on either side, and at last it brought me to where the land dipped into another valley, and I began to descend. The day was warm and pleasant, and mowing-machines were busy, and men with scythes were laying low the grass around the borders of the fields and on the slopes that were too steep for a machine. I was in no haste and occasionally stopped to chat with the roadside workers, or with persons I met on the highway. One of the latter was an old man who was hobbling along aided by a cane and pausing often in his slow progress to catch his breath.
“I was eighty-three my last birthday,” he said, “and I ain’t good for nawthin’ any more. That house you see down the road used to be my home, but I don’t live up here in the mountains now. My son has the old place, and I’m just visiting him this summer. I would n’t care to stay the year through. It’s cold here in winter — darnation cold, and the roads are blocked with snowdrifts.
“This used to be a great country for game. We had wild pigeons by the million. There was such flocks that they darkened the sky. They built their nests on the mountains along the highest ridges. Every tree, almost, would have nests in it. The nests was usually made out of coarse sticks, but I remember a season when the pigeons carried away most of a haystack I had and used it for nest-building. As a common thing they’d fly away every morning to their feeding-places at a distance, and come flying back at night, but once they got here before the snow was gone, and then I saw ‘em scratching for food wherever there was a bare spot.
“They never stayed here all summer, but went off when the young ones could fly, and returned when the buckwheat was ripening. We had to guard our fields or they’d have taken every kernel of the grain.
“We used to snare ‘em. We’d scatter buckwheat on some level place, and up above on a perch we’d have a captive pigeon with its eyes covered. When a flock was flying over we’d pull away the perch, and the bird would flutter to the ground as if it was going after the feed. That attracted the other pigeons to the spot.
We had a net ready attached to a pole, and by pulling a string could make it flop over the birds when enough had lit, and then we had ‘em.
“Once I was out layin’ behind a wall watchin’ for pigeons, and they come and lit in an old dead cherry tree just as thick as they could stick — hundreds on that one tree. I killed thirteen of ‘em at a single shot.
“They was mighty nice eating, and there was more meat on ‘em than you’d naturally expect, for they did n’t look as large as their bodies really were. That was because their feathers lay so snug; but when a bird was picked it was near as big as a dove.
“Lots of men went to the mountains after squabs in the spring, and when the old birds at the nesting-place were disturbed they’d fly up in such numbers their wings made a sound like thunder. The men would climb the trees after the squabs, or they’d cut the trees down. Sometimes they’d cut off acres and acres. The squabs were shipped to the cities, and I’ve known men to get a two hundred dollar check for a single shipment.
“There were great numbers of pigeons until about 1875. Then they suddenly disappeared. It is said that they all perished in a great storm at sea while migrating, and that vast quantities of their bodies washed up on the shores.”
Toward night I engaged lodging at a farmhouse that was well up on one of the vast slopes overlooking an impressive succession of vales and hills. There I stayed several days. The farm made a specialty of dairying, and every morning Jim and Ned, the young men of the household, together with Mrs. Ned and the hired man, were up early enough to milk the fifty cows by six o’clock. Then the cows went in a straggling line over the hill to the pasture, and the milkers came in to breakfast. One feature of the morning bill of fare was buckwheat cakes. The family had them for breakfast the year around, and ate them with pork fat, butter, or maple sugar.
During the day the men and boys were busy haying, but about four o’clock in the afternoon two of the youngsters and their dog went to the brushy pasture after the cows. At the boys’ bidding the dog ran about over the hills and through the clumps of trees and bushes gathering the scattered herd and barking at the lingerers until he brought them to the bars. There the boys counted them as they passed through and made sure they had them all.
The supper hour was five, and the milking immediately followed. Women help with the milking on nearly all the farms. “But they don’t like it very well,” Ned observed, “and they feel abused unless the men do the bulk of it.”
“Well,” Jim said, “I think the farmers would be better off if they’d lighten the job of milking by keeping fewer cows. As it is they pay out most of the money they get for their milk to buy feed. But I must say they’re generally prosperous. You take our next neighbor down the road, for instance. About a dozen years ago he bought that place for six thousand dollars. He’s got it all paid for, and he could sell it for twice that now. The family that owned it before he did all had the typhoid but one, and there were nine of ‘em. Seven died, and most everybody was afraid to live on the place. But this man was n’t, and he got it cheap. He went there with his wife and children, and not one of ‘em has had a sick day since.”
I came across this neighbor one day as he was ploughing. The- ground was surprisingly stony. Indeed, the soil of all the fields, outside of the alluvial deposits in the valleys, was like a vast plum-pudding in which there was about an equal proportion of stones and earth. The plough was continually scraping the stones or being jerked this way and that by them. Some of the biggest that were brought up to the surface would later be dragged off, but it was not the custom to trouble with any of less size than a man’s hat.
“It’s so stony we don’t plough any oftener than we can help,” the farmer said. “I’m turning this sod under on account of the hawkweed. There’s a snag of it on this lot.. I guess it’ll soon get all over the world if it keeps spreadin’ the way it has here. It’ll grow on any land that ain’t boggy. Where a spring dreans it won’t do nothin’, but back on the hills where the ground is perfectly dry it flourishes; and the dryer the weather the better it does. By cultivating a crop we can kill it out, but if we seed the land down, it gradually comes back. Yes, you got to fight it all the while, my friend.
The leaves and the blossom-stems are covered with a kind of fuzz, and when you are haying that there dry fuzz flies in the air and raises the dickens with you. It gets in your nose and throat, and it tickles and makes you sneeze. You might as well work in cayenne pepper. It makes your eyes smart, too. Some can’t handle the hay in the barn at all on account of the hawkweed dust. It knocks ‘em out. Even in winter it’ll bother you some when you’re getting hay from the mow to feed the stock. But hawkweed makes good pasturage. We turn in the cattle in the spring and they keep it browsed down. If they did n’t it would mat right over everything.”
The pest did not become troublesome until about twenty years ago. It has a gay blossom that is quite attractive, and no doubt it escaped to the fields from some woman’s posie pot.
Another foe that the farmer has to fight is the woodchuck. The creatures have their burrows along the roadsides and in the fields everywhere. They eat a great deal of grass, and destroy the vegetables in the gardens, and make inroads on various of the field crops if they are not strenuously opposed. “I tell you,” Jim said, “they’re an awful mean thing, tromping down the mowing; and they make holes, and heave up heaps of dirt that are a great nuisance in your fields. There’s millions of ‘em this year — more’n I’ve ever seen before.”
His assertion as to their numbers seemed rather sweeping; but they were certainly exceedingly plentiful. If I went for a walk, when they were out feeding toward evening, I had the brown, furry creatures constantly in view, sometimes low in the grass, sometimes with heads poked up watching me, but oftenest scurrying to the shelter of their holes.
Saturday evening the young people of the family drove to the village. It is the common habit of all the country round to resort thither on the final afternoon or evening of the week. They go partly to trade, partly for sociability. That is the merchants’ harvest time, and the stores are open and the clerks busy till about midnight. A good many of the men drift to the hotels to drink, and this fag end of the week is the only time, except rainy days, when a man is likely to be seen staggering on the street. The haying hands are usually the worst drinkers, and on a rainy day they are apt to want their pay that they may spend it at some hotel bar. Nor are they satisfied to stop drinking and return to work until their money is gone.
One of the midsummer attractions of Saturday night at the village is a dance, and people come to it from seven or eight miles around. About half the dancers are city vacation visitors, but they mix in a very friendly way with the country folk, and harmony and a lively enjoyment of the occasion are general.
“We’re supposed to quit at twelve o’clock,” Ned said to me, “but if we get a set on just before that hour we dance it out. Most of us stay till the last minute. Here’s Emmy, for instance,” and he indicated his wife — “she’d rather dance than eat. There’s always a good crowd, and the hall is full. The women dance free, but a man has to pay ten cents for each set he dances. Some dance every set, others only one or two, but I guess they’d average five.”
Coming from the hayfield
A misty rain was falling when Sunday dawned, and after breakfast the men sat in the kitchen and smoked, or lay down on the sofas to doze. Presently Sam, the hired man, pulled out his watch and remarked that it was just seven minutes past eight. Ned commented that Sam only had luck to thank if he had hit the correct time within half an hour.
“I bet a dollar that my watch is right,” Sam retorted. “I’ll take your bet,” Ned said.
“I set that watch by the town clock yesterday,” Sam explained.
“Oh!” said Ned, “you might as well look at the heel of your shoe as at your watch or the town clock either to get the true time. That clock hain’t been right sin’ I can remember.”
In the afternoon the sky brightened and the sun shone forth on the wet earth. When the roads and grass were dried somewhat two of the men went in search of raspberries along the stone walls, intending to get a mess for supper, and Jim took his gun and spent a leisurely hour or two exterminating woodchucks.
“I’d rather have gone fishing,” he said, as he entered the house later. “Yes, fishing would have suited me better than gunning, if I had n’t broke my pole the last time I went. I’d landed one nice big trout that weighed a pound and a half, but that one I lost, when the pole went back on me, was twice as big. By gol! it makes me cry to lose so many of them big trout.”
The last thing before bedtime Jim sat down by the stove with a stick in one hand and his jackknife in the other and began to whittle kindlings to start the morning fire. “I do this every night,” he said, “unless I forgit it. In that case I have to whittle the kindlings in the morning. This stick is hemlock. I like pine better, because it’s easier to whittle, but one’ll burn about as good as the other. I wish I had the big pine on the road to the village that the wind blowed over this spring. We had a storm then that was a storm. I was settin’ by the window lookin’ up toward the sap bush when it started, and I see the big maples bend over nearly to the ground. Some were uprooted, but most of ‘em would spring back. The clouds were so black I thought we was goin’ to have an awful shower, but it only rained a little spat.
“Well,” he said, as he shut up his knife, “I’d be saved considerable work whittling if we burned coal. Quite a good many families burn it in winter in the settin’ room, but the price is so cussed high they don’t use any more than they can help.”
One of my walks in the neighborhood was on what was known as the Hardscrabble Road. The portion of it, however, that I traversed was simply a pleasant, meandering country byway. Where it separated from the main road was a small, whitewashed stone building with the date 1813 cut into one of the stones, and I inquired the significance of this date from some people who were sitting on the piazza of a house near by. They seemed sociably inclined, and I entered the gate and joined them. The group included a middle-aged woman and her mother, and another gray-haired, elderly woman, whom her companions call Aunt Jane. On the grass in front of the piazza sat a little girl playing with a kitten. Two of the women were sewing, but Aunt Jane was a visitor and lived in the building with a date on it.
“That date shows when it was built,” she said. “It was a schoolhouse at first, and the schoolmaster lived in this house here. The children come from four or five miles around — yes, even from way over in Meeker Holler. It was such a back country then, and the roads were so poor that a good many come on horseback. They kept their horses in the schoolmaster’s barn.
“Later other schoolhouses was built more convenient, and this one was dropped. Not long ago I happened to be out in the yard when a man who was drivin’ along the road stopped and spoke to me, and he says, ‘I’m goin’ to be bold enough to tell you that I went to school in that building.’
“Then he said he wished he could live in this region, and asked if I knew of any places for sale. I told him I did n’t, and he looked around and said, ‘Well, you’ve got God’s own country here.’
‘They say that all the stones in the walls of our house was took off from that one acre yonder that the building stands on, but there were so many left that we had to work awful hard to get the land cleared so we could raise anything on it.
“When they quit keepin’ school in the buildin’ it was fixed up for a church, and there was a pulpit made at one end of the old schoolroom, but for the last thirty or forty years it’s been a house. Several families had lived into it before we got it, and it was all run down and was a horrid-lookin’ thing. The lower part had been divided into rooms, but there wa’n’t a yard of paper on the walls, and there wa’n’t no chamber floor upstairs. The downstairs floor is still in there with its wide, old-fashioned boards, the same that was put in when the house was built; and there’s the same padlock on the door that was on it when we moved in.
“It’s quite a comfortable house for a small family. The only fault I got to find with it is that we don’t have anything better than crick water on the place. That’s the reason I’m over here now. I came to get a pail of spring water and a little buttermilk.”
“Well,” grandma said, “that house of yours certain was a snug little church when I was young. I’ve went there to meetin’ many a Sunday.”
Just then a young turkey boldly joined the group on the piazza. “Now you go back,” the housewife said. “Your company’s not wanted.”
“One of them young turkeys picks its own ma,” the little girl observed. “It picked its ma under the throat.”
“We’ve had very good luck raisin’ turkeys late years,” the housewife said. “I s’pose we’ve got forty at present, and we’ve lost hardly any since they begun hatching in the spring. But Mrs. Brock says hers are dyin’ off to beat all. There! I seen one fly up from among the cabbages down in the garden. Ruth, go and drive ‘em out.”
“I don’t want to,” Ruth responded. “It’s too far.”
“You’ll walk farther’n that if your mama starts after you,” the mother declared. “Besides, if you leave the turkeys in there they’ll eat the cabbages all up and then you won’t have none to eat yourself. They do like those cabbages, and they’ve got some of ‘em just skinned.”
The little girl rose reluctantly and went to chase the turkeys. A team was approaching on the road. “Ain’t that Haskins ag’in?” Grandma said.
“Don’t look like his team to me,” Aunt Jane commented.
“I think ‘tis yet,” Grandma said. “Yes, that’s Haskins drivin’. Must be he’s got boarders and is givin’ ‘em a ride.”
“There’s another team comin’ up the hill,” the housewife remarked.
“That’s Henry Bligh and his adopted daughter,” Aunt Jane announced after observing them a few moments.
“Henry married Nora Dean, you remember. Her and I was close friends.”
“Where does he live?” Grandma inquired. And they went on discussing him and his family and his abode in detail. It was the same with every vehicle that passed — they always interrupted whatever conversation they were engaged in to comment on the occupants.
I wanted to hear more about the church, and in response to my questions Aunt Jane said: “They did n’t have meetin’s there regularly, but every once in a while word would be given out that there was to be a meetin’ in the Hardscrabble schoolhouse. I lived in the village then, and I used to see the people on a Sunday go stringin’ along up the street, and if I had n’t heard of any notice I’d wonder where they was goin’. You know they do go a good deal up to the burying-ground Sundays to look around. But when I’d see the whole lot comin’ back after two or three hours I’d understand they’d been to Hardscrabble. It was Old School Baptist meetin’s they had here, and the sermons was so long indeed that Doc. Atkins, who was our village dentist then, said he’d get tired sometimes and would go out and lay on the grass and eat caraway.”
“Land! it was just like Doc. Atkins to do that way,” Grandma observed. “He’s moved out of town now.”
“He must be gettin’ toward eighty,” the housewife mused. “He’s been an old man a long time. Doc. was a good dentist in his day. Folks all said he made grand false teeth. But he never looked neat enough to suit me. I remember tellin’ some one in the post office one day that I did n’t want his fingers round my face; and I turned, and there he was right behind me. But he just haw-hawed and took it in good part.”
Ploughing one of the stony fields
“He made my teeth,” Grandma said, “and I’ve had ‘em forty-six years.”
“Oh, Doc. could make teeth all right,” the housewife agreed. “Yes, sir, he could. He made some for George — that’s my husband. One day George was bringin’ home a load of hay, and he was drivin’ along a side road with the hired man follerin’ behind when the horses took fright at some boarders who’d climbed up in a tree. The horses shied, and load and all went tumbling down a kind of dugway eighty or ninety feet. They turned a complete summersault, and the load of hay landed on George bottom side up. The hired man thought George was killed, but when he got down there he heard him sayin’ he was smotherin’, and he dug a hole in the hay as quick as he could to give him air.”
“I s’pose them boarders helped,” Aunt Jane remarked.
“No, no, help nothin’!” the wife exclaimed. “The hired man got him out alone. For a wonder George did n’t have any bones broken, but he was bruised up like the mischief, and his teeth was smashed all to pieces. So he had Doc. Atkins make him a set of false ones.”
Grandma’s thoughts now turned back to the subject we had been discussing previously. “There’s still a Hardshell Baptist Church in the village,” she said, “but they seldom have services nowadays. Once in a while, though, Dominie Lawson comes from down the valley and preaches. They say he’s smart, and I’ve always been anxious to hear him, but it ain’t been convenient. Did you know that they never have no musical instruments in the Hardshell churches?”
“David Buxton who died last spring was a good Baptist,” Aunt Jane said. “He’d been sick a long time, and toward the end he was nothin’ in the world but a skeleton. For quite a while before he died he was so afraid he’d say or do something wrong that he did n’t dare read anything but his religious paper, Signs of the Times. He’s taken that paper ever since he was a young man. It’s full of sermons and old-fashioned religious experiences, and most people would find it dull, but it was a great comfort to David. I went to his funeral, and Dominie Lawson preached the funeral sermon. It must have been an hour long. There was no direct application to the occasion, but it was some predestination stuff that rambled round and round gettin’ nowhere, I thought. The pall bearers sat there and slept, but I kept wide awake to see what the sermon was goin’ to amount to. The words, ‘He knows my sheep, he knows my voice,’ come into it pretty often, and every time the dominie repeated ‘em he looked right over at me.”
“He knew you was a lost sinner, Aunt Jane,” the housewife remarked.
“Way back when David Buxton’s father was alive,” Grandma said, “the Hardshell church used to be crowded, and at the time of the yearly meetin’ people would come from all around and have family picnics and stay three or four days. There’d be singin’ and sermons then from morning till along late in the afternoon when folks had to go home to do the chores. At night every Baptist hereabouts had his house full of visitors. Oh, they had great times! Listening to the sermons all day put me in a fidget, but those old-time Baptists would have sat there a month, I guess, and enjoyed it.”
“I was at the Baptist Church once on a communion Sunday,” Aunt Jane said, “but they did n’t pass me the bread and the wine.”
“They would,” Grandma said, “if only you’d been baptized by bein’ immersed in a brook or bathtub or something. They used to have their batizin’s in the crick. Do you recollect when they baptized Curtis Taylor? They’d just dipped him when Doc. Atkins called out, ‘That’s right — chuck him in ag’in.’ I was there, and I heard him. He meant that considerable reformin’ was necessary in Curt’s case; and he didn’t make any mistake about it either. Curt is quite a drinkin’ feller, and he don’t go to church nowhere now.”
“That same day Jennie Todd was baptized,” the housewife observed, “and if I’d had anything to do about it they’d ‘a’ left her in till this time.”
“The last batizin’ I went to,” Aunt Jane said, “was in winter. They cut a hole in the ice, commencin’ at the bank and makin’ a channel perhaps fifteen feet long out to the middle of the stream. There was snow on the ground, and it was an awful cold day, but considerable of a crowd come to look on. Just one young woman was baptized. The dominie walked out in the water with her and soused her right down under out of sight. Then they went to the nearest house to change their duds. It’s claimed that a person who’s baptized in winter is miraculously protected from feelin’ the cold, but I noticed that the girl wanted to get in the house as quick as she could, and the dominie was in about as big a hurry. Their clothes froze on ‘em, and it’s my opinion that if she’d known as much before as she did afterwards she’d have waited till warm weather.”
Aunt Jane now declared that she must go home, and a few minutes later she walked out of the yard carrying a pail full 6f spring water and a lesser receptacle full of buttermilk. About this time the farmer came to the piazza and announced that he had finished building a chicken house, but had neglected to provide it with any way to get in or out. So the housewife had to go with him to consider the problem, and I resumed my rambling.
NOTES. — The Catskills are attractive in their legendary lore, their picturesque scenery, their cool and healthful atmosphere, and their accessibility. Good hotels and boarding-places are found scattered all over the region, both on the heights and in the valleys, and it is not difficult to satisfy one’s wishes in the matter of expense as well as in surroundings.
The chief gateways to this outlying group of the Appalachian system are Kingston and Catskill, both situated on the west bank of the Hudson. The mountains themselves begin to rise only a few miles from the river. A narrow-gauge railroad connects Catskill with the base of Catskill Mountain. You can make a quick ascent to the top of the mountain by an elevating railroad, but a more interesting way to go up is by a winding wagon road through the woods. Half way to the summit on this road is the scene of Rip Van Winkle’s famous 20 years’ sleep. Catskill Mountain has many wild cliffs, and on its eastern side is almost a sheer precipice. The view from its upper ledges over the plains between it and the Hudson is of unique beauty. Ten miles off, the river itself can be glimpsed, and on the far horizon are the blue ranges of the Berkshire Hills. The vicinity of the mountain abounds in pleasant walks and drives. Perhaps the most delightful of these excursions is the one through the narrow wooded ravine known as Kaaterskill Clove, with its limpid creek and dainty waterfalls.
Persons having an ambition to scale Slide Mountain, the loftiest of the Catskill heights, can do so most readily by journeying on the railway that crosses the mountains from Kingston, and leaving the train at Big Indian. It is 11 miles from there to the summit.
West of Kingston, 16 miles, the Ashokan Reservoir is nearing completion. This is to be a chief source of water-supply for New York City, 86 miles distant. The water will flow through a concrete acqueduct, 17 feet in diameter, which will pass under the Hudson at Storm King. The reservoir will convert a portion of the fair Esopus valley into a lake, 12 miles long and from 1 to 3 miles broad. About 64 miles of highway must be discontinued, 7 villages abandoned, and the bodies moved from 32 cemeteries. The main dam rests on a foundation sunk 200 feet below the level of Esopus Creek and the dam rises 200 feet above the creek. A macadam boulevard is to encircle the lake. It will be lined with shade trees, and lighted by electricity at night. The total cost of the undertaking will be $250,000,000.
Automobile routes go westward into the Catskills from Kingston, Saugerties, and Catskill. Good dirt roads are the rule, but they are often narrow, winding, and steep.
In literature the individuality of the mountains is best set forth in the writings of John Burroughs, who was born at Roxbury in the westerly portion. Roxbury was also the birthplace of Jay Gould.
West of the mountains, on Otsego Lake, is Cooperstown, famous as the home and burial-place of J. Fennimore Cooper. The site of the old Cooper mansion is marked by a statue of an Indian hunter.
South of the Catskills, 6 miles west of New Paltz, is the famous resort of Lake Mohonk, near the summit of Sky Top, 1,550 feet high, one of the Shawangunk Mountains. Here are held notable annual conferences concerning the World’s Peace and the welfare of the Indians. Lake Mohonk can be easily reached from Newburg or Kingston over good dirt and macadam roads. The great hotel at Lake Mohonk, and the hotels at Lake Minnewaska, 6 miles south, are managed on “a strictly temperate plan,” and “visitors are not expected to arrive or depart on the Sabbath.” The charm of the scenery in the region consists largely in the attractive mixture of the wild and gentle.