WOODSTOCK WATERFALL ™ PARK
Overlooking the beautiful Tannery Brook Waterfall in the heart of Woodstock, NY

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Woodstock Waterfall ™ Park



Gateway Install, Highway Crew & Norman Bacon
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Crew Having Just Installed The Gateway


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View of Waterfall From Balcony
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Leveling Dirt

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Excavating Trees

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Excavator

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View of Waterfall From Balcony

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Laying Drain Pipe

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Placing Concrete Slabs

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Preparing For Concrete Slabs

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Fastening Steel iBeams

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Setting Steel iBeams

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Unloading Bluestone

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Placing Bluestone Retaining Wall

AN ECOLOGICAL HISTORY

Old Barn on the Tannery Brook
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Very photo of old barn on the
Tannery Brook, since gone.

The Tannery Brook
by our Town Historian, Richard Heppner

For much of Woodstock's early history, Tannery Brook literally powered essential elements of Woodstock's economy. By the late 1700s, a sawmill constructed by Robert Livingston operated here. In 1790, a gristmill was added. The earliest known tannery was in operation by 1816. Owned by John Ring and members of the Culver family, the tannery converted hides purchased from local settlers and sold the finished leather to area shoemakers and harness-makers.

The process of tanning in the 19th century was a particularly devastating industry both to the ecology of the waterway and the neighboring forests. Streams became heavily polluted as tannic acid and other solutions were discharged directly into their waters. The local landscape saw its hemlock trees cut and stripped bare as hemlock bark served as the primary source for tannic acid. Despite the impact on the environment, tanning in Woodstock became a major source of much needed employment. During the Civil War, Orson Vandevoort's tannery employed 30 to 40 workers on this site. Vandevoort, whose home is now the site of the Byrdcliffe Guild, saw profits rise significantly as a result of supplying leather to the war effort. At its peak, Vandevoort's tannery produced 16,000 "sides" of leather a year, requiring1,800 cords of hemlock bark. As the tanning process was refined, with chemical acids replacing the need for hemlock bark, electricity replacing hydropower, rural tanneries began to fade from the landscape. Today, only remnants of the last tannery's foundation remain as a reminder of the time when Tannery Brook was sacrificed for economic gain. Eventually, as Woodstock turned its attention away from what could be taken from the land and toward what others saw in the land, new life and energies found their way to the banks of Tannery Brook. Operating out of the Bovee House further downstream, the Woodstock Library began service to the community in 1913. In a nearby barn once used by the tannery, the Art Students League offered summer classes. Across the stream, where the Center for Photograph now resides (previously, home to the Espresso and Tinker Street cafes and where Bob Dylan once found lodging on the second floor), Clarence and Louise Bolton converted an old barn into a popular eatery known as The Nook.

As Woodstock grew and development upstream lessened the power of Tannery Brook's waters (at one time, two ponds along the stream were deep enough to freeze, permitting ice skating during the winter) that same development presented a new environmental challenge to the stream. Pollution resulted from inadequate sanitation and the Tannery Brook found itself under assault once again. Over the years, trout began to slowly disappear and summer stagnation of the stream presented passersby with a "distinct" odor. In the late 1970s, the Town of Woodstock undertook planning that would, ultimately, bring a sewer system to the village. While system complexity and debate prolonged its implementation, Woodstock's sewer system went on line in 1985.

Today, as it flows through the heart of Woodstock, Tannery Brook remains at the center of Woodstock's commitment towards enhancing our environment. The Woodstock Waterfall ™ Park stands as a symbol of that commitment. It is a living reminder that past indiscretions towards our environment can be overcome.

Woodstock Beautification Task Force
Origin of the Park Concept
Presented by Ben Schachter

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Let the Construction Begin

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Tree & Brush Removal

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View of Waterfall From Below

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Discussing Fence Options

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Preparing Ground For Steel iBeams

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Concrete Slabs For iBeam Support

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Preparing Steel iBeams

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Fastening Steel iBeams

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Installing Bluestone Retaining Wall

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Cutting Bluestone

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Placing Bluestone Retaining Wall


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THIS WEBSITE IS SPONSORED BY "A WOODSTOCK WATERFALL ™ HIDEAWAY"
...a luxury vacation rental right in Woodstock!
Visit us at
Woodstock NY Vacation Rental

Woodstock New York Vacation Rental

Decorated with works from Sweetheart Gallery

A Woodstock Waterfall ™ Hideaway is your own private vacation getaway with a covered viewing balcony
overlooking the beautiful Tannery Brook waterfall, on a quiet side street in the heart of the quaint and artsy village
of Woodstock, NY "Colony of the Arts" since 1902. 
Phone: 845-810-2732
Take a bus and leave your car and cares behind! 


Visit our vacation rental website: WOODSTOCKNYVACATIONRENTAL.COM

Copyright 2013, ... All Rights Reserved. Use of pictures, content, and logo without permission is strictly prohibited.
Woodstock Waterfall ™ Registered Trademark Pending, Norman Bacon