The reservoir that never was

Proposed dam would have inundated Neversink Gorge

Posted 7/21/22

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The Neversink-Hackledam project is a long-forgotten proposal to build a hydroelectric dam on the Neversink River in Forestburgh.

A new exhibit, opening at 2 p.m. on Sunday, …

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The reservoir that never was

Proposed dam would have inundated Neversink Gorge

Posted

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The Neversink-Hackledam project is a long-forgotten proposal to build a hydroelectric dam on the Neversink River in Forestburgh.

A new exhibit, opening at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 24 at the Sullivan County Cultural Center, will shed light on a little-known part of county history.

Proposed in 1913, the dam would have changed the face of Sullivan County, with a nine-mile-long reservoir stretching upstream from Forestburgh across the Town of Thompson into the Town of Fallsburg, with a 60-foot depth at Bridgeville.

Building this massive project would have included a 2.5-mile train line, a 5.5-mile tunnel through the Shawangunk Mountains, and would have meant relocating the hamlet of Bridgeville and three cemeteries.

The project was abandoned when funding was diverted to the World War I effort, but the survey for this reservoir, which included property belonging to major landowner Benjamin Wechsler, would snarl the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in a protracted and expensive lawsuit in 1986 as they acquired land for the current Neversink Gorge Unique Area.

The display will also include the completed Town of Thompson project on one-room schoolhouses in the area. A display case, featuring an 1835 lease between Elijah Clark and the still-standing Columbia Hill School #17 of the Monticello School District, is currently being renovated.

The Sullivan County Cultural Center is located at 265 Main Street in Hurleyville. For more information, call 845/434-8044. The July 24 opening is free, and light refreshments will be served.

Neversink-Hackledam project, reservoir, Neversink Gorge Unique Area

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