Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bishop Falls

I've been spending a lot of time on these frigid days looking through my collection of vintage Olive postcards.  I get lost in time with a magnifying glass trying to identify things I see and try to picture what it was like living in West Shokan over 100 years ago.  The only evidence we have are these old postcards.  Thinking about what Elwyn Davis wrote in his diaries and the stories my grandfather told my uncle Bud is like being a detective.  I want to know where the various roads were located, where the bridges crossed the Esopus, where did the buildings sit. 
I read from my local history books looking for more clues.  I find it fascinating!  This is not new stuff to me.  I've heard about and seen with my own eyes the remnants of those lost hamlets under the Ashokan Reservoir. Yet, I become more and more obsessed with it and I don't know why! 
Here's a set of four "postals" as they called them showing the famous Bishop Falls.  Most of us know that it sat exactly where the main dam is today. 

I am currently trying to paint this scene.  I also have another in the works showing the old Dugway road. I have no idea if my paintings will bring these places back to life, but that's what I'm attempting to do!


  1. Beautiful postcards indeed! Thanks for the comment on taking in the little dog...he has been such a joy!! One of our most memorable vacations was to Niagara Falls, then down to Chataucqua to a friends camp house there. Such a beautiful State!! LOVE your paintings!! God Bless you too.....

  2. Also I see there is a DVD film called DEEP WATER on this area and the building and damming of the reservoir...interesting!

    1. Yes, it's a very good documentary. There's a clip of my uncle in it. He has a great mind for remembering all the old stories my grandfather told him. It was sad what NYC did to our town, but it has created a beautiful body of water surrounded by mountains!

  3. j, you should definitely take a photo of the view I have that was Calvin's.