CALLICOON, NY — The Callicoon Depot’s loading dock is well known as a stage for community events held by the Callicoon Business Association (CBA). Currently undergoing extensive repairs, …
CALLICOON, NY — The Callicoon Depot’s loading dock is well known as a stage for community events held by the Callicoon Business Association (CBA). Currently undergoing extensive repairs, the dock is expected to reopen in time for ArtWalk on the second weekend in October.
With the help of volunteer labor from the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center, the stage is being dismantled and rebuilt under the auspices of the project partners, the CBA, Callicoon Depot Inc. and the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway.
The loading dock is key for a number of events, such as the Callicoon Country Fair, Artwalk, Dickens on the Delaware and the annual holiday tree lighting.
Earlier this summer, the CBA—plus volunteers working on the building’s rehabilitation—engaged a structural engineer to examine the weathering that the wooden dock has sustained over time.
The structure needs to be safe and to fit the building’s historic character. The partners consulted with architectural designers and a historic preservation specialist, and the decision was made to reconstruct the dock.
The restoration will also be in keeping with the larger project’s State Historic Preservation Commission’s Impact and Conditions agreement. The depot is an important part of the Callicoon Downtown Historic District.
The structural engineer, architect and the experienced Job Corps faculty will evaluate the underlying structure. They’ll assess and number materials as they dismantle portions, with an eye to reusing as many of the original historic components as possible. Some of those components are still structurally sound after 100-plus years.
“Funds for project materials come from an existing Sullivan Renaissance Grant awarded to the Town of Delaware and Callicoon Business Association following their 2019 Municipal Partnership Grant project, and a partnership with the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center is yielding the labor free of charge,” said Wendee Greene, president of Callicoon Depot, Inc. “We are very grateful for their support.”
The local Job Corps provides free career training and education for students aged 16 to 24, and this project allows them hands-on experience. There is appropriate direction and supervision.
The depot project and the hamlet of Callicoon have already benefited from the students’ work. The carpentry team, with instructor Tom Hillriegel, has been working on a detailed list of required repairs.
Job Corps has also assisted with a Sullivan 180-funded planting effort, a fence installation that was required by the railroad, and they’ve worked with this year’s CBA beautification team to build beautiful new planters for Lower Main Street to replace the previous planters, which were built for the community over 15 years ago.
Richard Lowe III, chair of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, pointed out that Job Corps center director Matthew Bliefernich has been proactive about this type of community engagement. “Matthew’s team has been a pleasure to work with. We’ve met a number of the staff, and they clearly care deeply about the mission of Job Corps.”
“The Callicoon Business Association has enjoyed a close relationship with Job Corps for many years, with students participating in CBA events and town-wide beautification initiatives,” said Nicole Vallance, president of the CBA.
The stage/dock will be ready for ArtWalk, which will be held in Callicoon Friday through Sunday, October 6 to 8. The annual event highlights the local art and music scene in unexpected places around town.
The stage will be dedicated to the late Brian Sykes, a man who loved Callicoon, art and music.
Sykes had offered to help repair it shortly before his passing.
The Callicoon Depot, Inc. has collaborated with the nonprofit Standing People Together to distribute 1,000 postcards throughout the area, which can be deposited in the on-site depot mail drop or into any traditional mailbox. The program, titled “Tell Me Your Secret,” invites residents and visitors to the region to anonymously share their innermost secrets—their joys, their sorrows, their deceptions, their hopes, their despair and their pride. It culminates with a playful and public dramatic reading with musical accompaniment at the Callicoon Depot during ArtWalk.
During the reconstruction of the stage, the depot’s outdoor public seating and free wifi will continue to be available to the public.
For more information, to get involved or to make a donation, email email@example.com or call 845/428-9212.
Story contributed by the Callicoon Business Association.
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