How to spend Valentine's Day in the Catskills

Above: Miss Kitty's Saloon, one of the suites at the Roxbury Motel. Image via the Roxbury Motel website. 

According to legend, Saint Valentine was a pretty wild character who was incarcerated and executed for performing illegal marriages back in the third century, so there’s more to celebrate this Sunday, Feb. 14 than the memory of excruciating grade school card swaps.

So reclaim Valentine’s day from the mass-market chocolatiers and minions of mediocrity and celebrate his legacy of radical love with dining, partying, music and fun in the Catskills. Make a weekend of it: we’ve listed a few local hotels and inns that are running lovefest specials.


Master magician Artie Martello at the Halcottsville Grange-

February 13, 2016 - 7:00pm

Join us for an adult themed evening magic show at the Wawaka Grange to benefit the "wawaka Hose #1" restoration show.  Admission includes beverages and delicious hors d'doeuvres. BYOB. single-$20,  Couple-$35.  Main Street Halcottsville. 


Man dies in Walton fire

Above: Police say the body of a Walton man was found in this burned-out apartment in Walton. Photo by Robert Cairns.

Police say a man died in an early morning fire on Monday, Feb. 8 at an apartment house at 22 Benton Avenue in the Delaware County village of Walton. Four other people escaped safely.

Phillip Kurt, 66, was identified in a Walton Police Department news release as the man who was found, deceased, in an upstairs apartment after firefighters extinguished the flames.

Walton Fire Chief Bob Brown said that his department was dispatched to the building shortly before 4 a.m. after another tenant reported the fire to 911.

“We had a lot of fire coming from the back corner of the house,” Brown said.

Brown said that there were four apartments in the building–two on the ground floor and two on the second–and that the fire was contained to the second floor and the attic above. He said that the downstairs apartments were badly damaged by water and that the building appeared to be a total loss.

Above: The house that burned in the village of Walton on Feb. 8. Photo by Robert Cairns.

Firefighters from Delhi and Trout Creek joined the Walton department at the scene. Brown estimated that about 40 firefighters extinguished the flames in less than an hour.

“We had it knocked down in pretty good shape, but it extended into the roof, he said.

No firefighters were injured during the assault on the fire.

Above: Walton firefighters and state investigators remained on the scene of a fatal fire on Monday afternoon. Photo by Robert Cairns.

Brown said that representatives of the American Red Cross had come to the scene and had made contact with those made homeless by the fire in an effort to assist them.

Delaware County Emergency Services Director Steve Hood said on Monday afternoon that the cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

Members of the county's “cause and origin” team, assisted by investigators from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, were sifting through rubble at the time.

Above: An investigator from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control searching for clues to the origin of the fire on Monday afternoon. Photo by Robert Cairns.

“Essentially, right now, we're determining the cause and origin,” Hood said. “Typically, when there's a fatality, we bring in the state.”

Hood said it will be up to police and a medial examiner to officially state the cause of Kurt's death.

At 5 p.m. on Monday, the Walton Police Department issued a statement saying that the cause of the fire was accidental. 

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A night full of love songs and rock ballads. Cash prizes for best song, best dance moves and best break-up story. Celebrate the upcoming Valentine’s day in a non-traditional way whether you’re a couple or in the lonely hearts club.

This weekend: Get your ice the old-fashioned way

Above: Lifting a block of ice with ice tongs at the 2015 Ice Harvest. Photo by Rebecca Andre of MGP&D.

Before freezers and refrigerators, harvested ice from local ponds, lakes, and rivers was essential to preserve food through the warmer months.

At its peak in the 19th century, the U.S. ice industry employed about 90,000 people and was a $28 million dollar business, according to Wikipedia.

Today, you can harvest ice the way they did 100 years ago at the Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith, which holds its annual Ice Harvest Festival this Saturday, Feb. 6.

Above: Harvesting ice at the 2015 festival. Photo by Rebecca Andre of MGP&D.  Read more

Looking for a Fabulous Valentine's Gift?

Lovers Tea Gift Box, with Je T'aime card.

Treat your sweetheart to something fabulous this Valentine's Day from Tay Tea.

Our Lovers Tea Box has it all:

  • Tin of Tay Tea Lovers Tea Artisanal Blend
  • Lovers Tea Brownie made by Heaven On Main Street Bakery
  • Sachet of "Let Love Bloom" green tea pods (2 count)
  • Sachet of Tea Filters (10 Count)
  • Sachet of Swizzle Sticks (2 Count)
  • Valentine's Card

Explore more Valentine's Gifts -- including our fantastically amorous hand-blended teas.

Lovers Tea Gift Box, with hand-stamped heart card.

Lovers Tea -- Loose leaf tea blend.

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Chair Caning Workshop @ DCHA

Saturday February 6, 12:30pm to 4:30pmCome learn the 7-step method of hand caning a seat. A wooden frame will be provided for practice. Students will complete the frame using rattan/cane. No experience necessary for this introductory workshop. Class taught by master weaver and caner, Martha Bremer. She has been teaching caning and weaving regionally for the past 30 years. All materials and tools are included.

Registration required by February 3rd. Cost: $55.00 per person, includes materials.

Call 607-746-3849 or e-mail [email protected] to register. DCHA is located 3 miles northeast of Delhi on State Rt. 10.

Seven arrested in Walton meth lab; three children rescued

Top row: Tammy Lewis, Amanda Bicknell and Emily Uhl. Middle row: Johnny Uhl, Brooklynn Alford and James M. Klinegardner. Bottom: James J. Nash. Photos via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Seven people were arrested in a raid on a meth lab operating in a home in the Delaware County village of Walton on Tuesday, Jan. 26, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. Three children were rescued from the scene and were placed into immediate foster care, police say.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division has been investigating the sale and manufacture of methamphetamine in Walton, and on Tuesday morning the division obtained a search warrant for a property located at 116 East St. in Walton.

Thirty-one-year-old Amanda Bicknell, 35-year-old James J. Nash and 38-year-old James M. Klinegardner were all living at the residence, police say. 

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Teachout to run for 19th district, putting political spotlight on Catskills

Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout ended weeks of speculation on Monday, Jan. 25 by announcing her candidacy for outgoing Republican Congressman Chris Gibson’s 19th congressional district seat, which represents the Catskills and the Hudson Valley in New York.

Left: Zephyr Teachout. Photo by Digital Media, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Teachout’s announcement puts the Catskills region, formerly a gerrymandered political backwater before a judicial redistricting effort in 2012, at the center of New York State politics.  Read more

Bald eagles move into Margaretville nest

A pair of bald eagles has set up house in a nest on Route 30 in the Delaware County town of Middletown near the village of Margaretville. Watershed Post correspondent Rebecca Andre took this shot of the pair on Sunday, Jan. 24. To see a larger version of the photo, click here. 

Bald eagles mate for life, and build huge nests that are used over many years and can grow up to six feet wide and eight feet deep. The best time to catch a glimpse of bald eagles is in the morning between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and in the early afternoon between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., according to the New York State Department of Conservation's eagle fact page.

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