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A Brief History of Arkville
Arkville had some of the first European settlers in Delaware County. Four Dutch families moved into the area in 1763, but after learning of an imminent attack by natives, escaped back to the safety of Kingston in Ulster County.
In 1887, artist J. Francis Murphy started the Pakatakan Artists colony. It was the first Artists Colony in New York State. Houses similar in style were established in this enclave, many standing to this day and all privately owned.
In the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s the Treyz and later Luzerne Chemical companies operated a large wood acid factory. The U&D hauled charcoal, wood alcohol, and the acid, which was used to make explosives.
The Rondout & Oswego Railroad arrived in Dean’s Corners, as Arkville was known, in 1871. Some historians say the station was built on the site of the Tuscarora Indian headquarters. The need to add an extra locomotive to climb Highmount made Arkville into an important stop along what was to become the Ulster & Delaware Railroad.
In 1905, Arkville became even more of a railroad hub when the Delaware and Eastern, later the Delaware and Northern provided a west bound connection to Margaretville, Andes, The Reservoir Towns, Downsville and East Branch.
Today Arkville is in the midst of a rebirth, with the Delaware and Ulster excursion rail ride, The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development and The Erpf Gallery, the Catskill Forest Association, the Catskill regional office of The Nature Conservatory all within walking distance of each other along Route 28 in the center of Arkville.
Arkville is also the home of The Catskill Mountain News, first published in 1904, in Margaretville, by then Editor/Publisher Clarke A. Sanford. Roswell R. Sanford ran the business from 1964-1985 and the paper is currently owned and operated by Catskill Mountain Publishing Corporation with Richard D. Sanford the Editor/Publisher of record.
And tomorrow looks even better with plans having been announced for a community swimming pool and the multi-million dollar Water Discovery Center – an interdisciplinary educational and exhibition center, sited next to each other along County Route 38, known as the Arkville cutoff.