Historical Facts about Delaware County

Delaware County is home to the two largest reservoirs in NYC’s West-of-Hudson Catskill Watershed  the Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs. (It is also home to a portion of the Schoharie Reservoir.) The Pepacton is the largest in volume of all NYC’s reservoirs, contributing more than 25% of the city’s needs on an average day.

One of the earliest “improved” roads running from the Hudson River to the Susquehanna River, the Susquehanna Turnpike (Catskill Turnpike), was opened in 1806. A lengthy portion of the turnpike traverses the northern half of Delaware County.

One of the earliest automobile races anywhere in the world passed through Delaware County in October, 1903. 34 vehicles traveled in dreadful conditions from Pine Hill through Delhi and Franklin en-route to Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

The Town of Bovina was nationally famous in the 19th century for the quality of its butter.

Bovina is the site of the former Gerry Estate, the summer retreat of the Gerry family after whose patriarch, Commodore Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814), the term “gerrymandering” derives. He served as the 5th Vice President of the United States.

Meredith was internationally renowned in the 20th century for its Meridale Farms dairy production.

Sidney was the home of Scintilla-Magneto (now Amphenol Corp.), a nationally important aviation manufacturing plant during WWII, employing thousands of people from throughout the region.

The construction of America’s first long distance railroad, the “New York and Erie,” began in Hancock, when workers broke ground for the track in 1835. The line finally opened through Delaware County in 1848.

Featured photo: Pepacton Reservoir by Lisa Wisely