Upper Delaware Magazine

Main Street, USA

The heart of rural America

By Jonathan Charles Fox
Posted 7/29/20

The Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River includes parts of five counties: Sullivan, Delaware and Orange in New York, and Pike and Wayne in Pennsylvania, and occupies more than 50,000 acres. …

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Upper Delaware Magazine

Main Street, USA

The heart of rural America

Posted

The Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River includes parts of five counties: Sullivan, Delaware and Orange in New York, and Pike and Wayne in Pennsylvania, and occupies more than 50,000 acres. Eagles soar over the river which snakes its way from Milford on one side to Hancock far upstream on the other. Dotting the landscape is a slice of rural America, where people farm the land, kids go to school and families live, work and play. Charming hamlets, villages and communities still evoke the romantic notion of small-town life that hangs in the rarefied air and exemplifies life in the country.

Often in the center of town, there is, indeed, a Main Street, one that is still lined with “Mom-and-Pop” shops: usually small, family-owned or independent businesses that have found it difficult to keep up with more substantial establishments like the big-box boys. However, they are still making a go of it, supported by residents and the visitors who are drawn to the picturesque architecture, quaint shops and vast array of goods and services that towns along the Delaware provide.

“In a large sense, Main Street is the American story,” author Leslie Le Mon writes in “The Disneyland Book of Secrets.” “It’s an evocation of the American creation tale, and [it is] a never-ending one, a perpetual tale of creation and re-creation; an eternal now.”

Although the “Main Street of America” branding was originally used to promote US Route 66 in its heyday, it has come to be a generic phrase used to denote any primary retail street, but specifically in relation to rural life, and no region illustrates that more than the Upper Delaware.

Callicoon, NY

RR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

The Callicoon Business Association is extremely active, dedicated and involved with the community. Business is booming in this charming riverside town.

Callicoon, NY is rich in history. The town was formed in 1842 and the original spelling of the name was “Collikoon” said to signify the word “turkey” in Dutch.

One of the larger towns along the Delaware, Callicoon, NY (population 3,057) has an Upper and Lower Main Street, and is a popular destination with visitors from both PA and NY.

Eldred, NY

RR photo by Jonathan Charles Fox

Patriotism and community-driven beautification projects exemplify small-town life and can often be found in the center of town, as seen here in Eldred, NY (population 700).

Hawley, PA

RR photos by Owen Walsh

If you’re in Hawley, PA (population 1,162), you’ll probably see a few colorful bucks along the way. These decked-out deer will be auctioned off at the end of the summer to support the Downtown Hawley Partnership.

During the summer months, these signs on Main Avenue in Hawley, PA welcome a mix of year-round locals, summer-dwellers and tourists.

Hawley, PA’s Main Avenue is short in length but dense with little shops, restaurants, art, music and small-town culture.

Honesdale, PA 

RR photos by Owen Walsh

Main Street in Honesdale, PA (population 4,277) grows lush with plant life in the summer, like this little garden near the borough’s city hall.

This mural by local artist Jeff George memorializes some of Honesdale’s most famous exports.

Many Honesdale natives name the town’s “walkable Main Street” as one of its most charming features.

Jeffersonville, NY

RR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Visitors are drawn to Main Streets throughout the Upper Delaware River region for the picturesque architecture, quaint shops and vast array of goods and services that towns along the Delaware provide.

Business owners and community volunteers combined their efforts making Main Street in Jeffersonville, NY (population 359) a shining example of what small-town life in rural America can look like with hard work, dedication and creativity.

Picture-postcard scenery abounds on both sides of Main Street in Jeffersonville, NY, which hugs Callicoon Creek, which in turn feeds into the Delaware River further downstream.

Original settlers arrived around 1830 and called the village Winkelried, later incorporated as Jeffersonville, NY in 1924.

Livingston Manor, NY

RR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Main Street, USA: Livingston Manor, NY (population 1,221).

You’ll find unique shops and art galleries—like the Catskill Art Society on Main Street in Livingston Manor, NY—all throughout the Main Streets of the Upper Delaware River Region.

The Livingston Manor Central School, which opened on February 20, 1939, is one of the most beautiful educational structures in the State of New York. Situated on a peninsula of land known as the Island, facing the Willowemoc River and the village of Livingston Manor, the imposing building of Georgian colonial architecture commands the attention and admiration of all.

Milford, PA 

RR photos by Christine Trifari

All along the streets of Milford, PA (population 1,021) are artistic sculptures, fountains and gardens. In front of the Artisan Exchange is a small community rock garden, complete with a chainsaw-carved black bear donning a proper face covering.

One of Milford’s main streets is named Broad Street. Aptly named, the broad, tree-lined street is flanked by quaint sitting areas and parks as well as specialty food stores and art galleries.

The world-renowned boutique hotel getaway, Hotel Fauchere welcomes visitors to its grand porch, sumptuous restaurants and eclectic bars inside.

Milford is a frequent stop for out-of-towners with its many unique merchants, restaurants and bars. Many of the government buildings, stores and residences harken from the 1800s.

Narrowsburg, NY

RR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Restaurants, art galleries, bookstores and specialty shops beckon residents and visitors along Main Street in Narrowsburg, NY (population 431).

Main Street, USA—in this case, beautiful Narrowsburg, NY—has businesses, eateries and quaint shops overlooking the Delaware River, making the Town of Tusten a destination for visitors all year ‘round.

Residents and visitors feel right at home while perusing the “Mom-and-Pop” shops lining Main Street in Narrowsburg, NY.

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