Between 1936 and 1952, a massive engineering project took place in order to provide New York City and surrounding localities with additional drinking water. Part of this included constructing a reservoir in the Rondout Valley—the “Rondout Reservoir”. Creating the reservoir displaced over 250 families in the communities of Eureka, Montela and Lackawack, including some who had resided in the valley for generations. Property owners were required to put in claims for the value of their lands, and were usually paid less than half of the asking price. An attempt by the Village of Ellenville to stop the reservoir on the grounds that it would hinder "the future public health, welfare, and development" of the village did not succeed.
Scope of Collection
This collection is comprised of postcards, images, and documents related to the creation of the Rondout Reservoir. It includes images of homes, businesses, and landscapes that were later flooded to make way for the reservoir. It also includes newspaper clippings relating to the displacement of community members and images of the Delaware Aqueduct construction.
For more information, visit the online exhibition Lost Hamlets of the Rondout Reservoir.