The history of the Hudson Valley is tied up with the D&H Canal. The canal carried anthracite coal from Pennsylvania to the Hudson River at Kingston. This coal fueled industries in the Hudson Valley and New York City. There are remnants of the canal scattered all along its path from Port Jervis to Kingston at the foot of the western slope of the Shawangunk Ridge. Some places, like High Falls in Ulster County, Phillipsport in Sullivan County and Cuddebackville in Orange County hold canal structures that have been preserved. These sites also host museums dedicated to the canal. The site in Cuddebackville is the only part of the canal in Orange County that is a National Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
The D&H sites are great for tourism. However, the canal site in Cuddebackville has fallen into disrepair. To get a sense of the history of this place and why it is important go to the Neversink Valley Museum of History and Innovation Web site link below. The canal there is high and dry today. These problems have been getting worse for the last few years. To see what's wrong with the historic landmark go to the Times Herald-Record Web site link below. Recently, large sinkholes have opened in the canal feeder that is supposed to carry water from the Neversink River to the canal. (See an example, above).
We are looking for ideas on how to restore and maintain the site. The Orange County Parks Department owns the site, but, like most other government entities today, is strapped for cash. The money to fix the canal site so that its mile long section of canal can hold water once again just isn’t there today. They're mowing the grass growing in the canal, and that just can't be good.