The Town of Lumberland was formed in 1798. Early occupations included farming, lumbering and quarrying. Much of the land was left rough until the 1860s when Singer Machine Vice President George Ross Mackenzie established his country estate. Over the years Mr. Mackenzie enhanced his 3,000 acre estate to include a school, now the Lumberland Town Hall, a church, orphanage and cemetery. By the 1880s the Mckenzie estate was know on the map as "Glen Spey" and included many elaborate summer mansions, some of which still stand today. A informal driving tour throughout Glen Spey highlights many of these fine structures and other architectural look-backs. The two hamlets that rest along the UDSB, Pond Eddy and Mongaup showcase several original canal houses, but the town's other main arteries, county roads 31, 32, 41 and 42 reveal additional fine specimens such as two picturesque Ukrainian churches.
The Town's history is celebrated in its Museum Room that features photographs, memorabilia of days gone by. and artifacts representing every hamlet in the Town of Lumberland, and which details the history of the D&H Canal in Pond Eddy.
Town of Lumberland Museum Room
Lumberland Town Hall
1054 Proctor Road, Glen Spey, NY 12737
Year round: Wed. 9-11 or by appointment.
The Town of Lumberland Cultural Series in the Town Hall, abetted by the presence of a restored 1894 Steinway grand piano, presents folk, jazz and classical concerts.
Since the early 1920s the Town has played home to numerous summer camps both for families and separately the youth. Many of these camps have survived today and employ both local residents and young-adults both nationally and internationally.
Named after the Mongaup River, which means "a branch with three feathers," this hamlet contained a Methodist church, a store, a school and about eight homes. Bordered by two rivers, Monguap consists of Lower Mongaup and Upper Mongaup. Upper Monguap contains a dam owned by Orange and Rockland Power Company which created reservoirs to provide electricity for its customers.
One of the oldest cemeteries in the Town of Lumberland. Located at Route 31 near the intersection of Route 97, the road is a rough dirt trail. It contains almost 200 graves in a very natural setting among old hemlock trees.
Homes built along the canal were simple, small and had no insulations. Every house had a barn, which was usually located across the road from the home. Cattle roamed freely. The families lived off the earth, gardening and raising chickens for meat and eggs. Once a month families would hitch up the horses and take the wagon to Sparrowbush or Port Jarvis for the month's provisions. The Delaware River provided plenty of fish and eel.
Working the canal or lumbering were among most of the jobs available. Other occupations were to work the land as a farmer or quarryman, or supporting jobs as a blacksmith, shoemaker or boarding house proprietor.
When Pond Eddy originated around the D&H Canal, its population was less than 100. There was a Methodist Church, a school, a hotel, a telegraph office and about 18 homes. Growth of the hamlet came as the Erie Railroad brought wealthy families from New York City. The railroad located on the Pennsylvania side of the River, still operates today as a freight railway. The original link from the train depot in Pond Eddy, PA to Pond Eddy, NY was the 1807 Decker's Bridge. This bridge was washed away in 1904 and replaced in 1905 by the Oswego Bridge Company for $28,900. The Pond Eddy Bridge is listed on the National Historic Register and remains functional today. The bridge is in need of repair which leaves some question to how and when it will be fixed.
Pond Eddy continues to attract a variety of visitors to experience the natural beauty of the area and its historic sites. There are dozens of historical markers throughout the Town of Lumberland, many of which identified with plaques near or on Berme Church Road.
Starting with the Pond Eddy Bridge located on Route 97, stretching across the Delaware River, a single-lane, steel and wooden plank structure. In 1983 a ceremony consecrated the bridge as "The All Veterans Memorial Bridge."
Across the street from the Bridge is the Millbrook Inn, constructed in the late 1820s.
Leaving the inn's parking lot, turn onto Hallow Road, proceed about 1/10 of a mile to the corner of Berme Church Road and turn left. This is the site of the former Pond Eddy School, a one-room structure which housed eight grades form 1867 until 1949. The grounds now serves as a town park.
From this point there are additional sites and architectural examples spanning several eras. Historical plaques graces many of these sites. You are welcome to stroll or drive pass these sites, but we ask that you respect the rights of private properties and their owners. The sites are all visible from the road side.
Continue down Berme Church Road to perhaps one of the oldest burial sites in the Town of Lumberland. Established in the very early 1800s, the Berme Church Cemetery includes flagstone marked graves.
Another 1/10 mile beyond the cemetery is Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, constructed around 1915. This simple but elegant church is a wonderful example of form and function put to use.
The Pond Eddy United Methodist Church, built circa 1882 by George W. Maney, is located 2/10 mile from the Sacred Heart Church. It includes unusually beautiful stained glass windows, a sanctuary, hall parsonage and an educational wing that houses the church Thrift Shop.
Following this road are fine examples of residences and boarding houses stemming from the 1840s through the 1930s. Several historical plaques outline their significance.
Some content provided by documentation from the Town of Lumberland Museum Room and the Town of Lumberland Historian, Frank V. Schwarz.
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