D And H Canal Park And Museum

2095 Hood Road
Cuddebackville, NY 12729

845-754-8870

About Us
Owned by the County of Orange and maintained by the Orange County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, the D&H Canal Park is a 300-acre park with a one mile section of the Delaware and Hudson Canal (1825-1898) and a number of historic canal-era buildings.

A National Historic Landmark, the D&H Canal Park is open every day from dawn to dusk.

History

The D&H Canal Museum features an outstanding example of a late 19th century gothic chapel, which was the first (and only) Episcopal church built in the historic hamlet of High Falls. St. John's parishioners included many employees of the D&H Canal, including local lock tenders. The first floor of the parish house featured a social hall with a stage where school plays and dances were held. As recorded in a 1946 history of the church, St. John's was "acclaimed to be architecturally and ecclesiastically a gem." The parish house currently houses a museum which interprets the unique history of the Delaware & Hudson Canal by collecting and preserving documents, printed materials, art and artifacts relating to the D&H Canal.

The property was originally owned by the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, which quarried Shawangunk Conglomerate from the property for use in building the canal. Drill marks can still be seen in the outcropping behind the parish house. In 1899, the deed for the sale of the property was recorded, noting that D&H Canal Company sold it to the Episcopal church for $200. Prior to the construction of the church, Episcopal services had been held in the old Saddler's Hall. The cornerstone of St. John's Church was placed in 1883. Over the next two years, the building was constructed by local trades people. During its construction, services were held under a tent on the property.

In 1975, the building was purchased by the Delaware & Hudson Canal Historical Society to be used for the D&H Canal Museum. The museum, which is a major area tourist attraction, currently receives 5,000 visitors each year, and hosts numerous educational programs, including Boy Scout programs and school group tours. The D&H Canal Museum is a focal point of the local community and is actively supported by the High Falls Civic Association and the Marbletown Business Association. The D&H Canal Museum is a Registered Ulster County Historical Landmark (1969), and received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition in 1997. It is part of the High Falls Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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