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Office of the County Historian

Sullivan County Historian John Conway welcomes inquires about the general history of the County, especially about the evolution of the Catskills resort industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. He does not perform genealogical research or have possession of genealogy records. 


Upcoming Events

Here's where you can find the County Historian in the days ahead:

  • Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m. at the Sunshine Hall Library in Eldred: Ghost Stories from Sullivan County History, Part II.

  • Thursday, November 8, 6:30 p.m. at the Fallsburg Public Library, South Fallsburg: The Honeymoon Murder and Other Activities of Murder, Inc. in the Catskills.

  • Saturday, December 1, 2 p.m. Milk Train Trail, Hurleyville: Hurleyville History Hike...The Smith Hill Cut and Beyond.


History of the County Historian

The position of County Historian was created in 1933 by the NYS Legislature, by amending the Municipal Historians' Law of 1919, which established the positions of town, village, and city historian.

The N.Y. ARTS & CULT. AFF. LAW § 57.09 states: “It shall be the duty of the county historian to supervise the activities of the local historians in towns and villages within the county in performing the historical work recommended by the state historian, and also to prepare and to present to the board of supervisors a report of the important occurrences within the county for each calendar year.” The county historian performs essentially the same duties as the town historian but on a scale that includes all cities, townships, and villages within the county. Additionally, each county historian is a resource for city, town and village historians.

Sullivan County has had the following County Historians:

Adelbert M. Scriber, Monticello - 1933 – 1948
 
James W. Burbank, Narrowsburg - 1948 – 1952
 
Charles S. Hick, Jeffersonville – 1952 – 1959
 
Nathan Weiss, Fallsburg – 1959 - 1960
 
Manville B. Wakefield, Grahamsville – 1961- 1974
 
William G. Smith, Monticello – 1974 – 1992
 
John Conway, Barryville – 1993 - present