I like to describe myself as a scholar of the historically bizarre. If there’s a weird story out there, I want to know it. That’s why I could barely contain my nerdy glee when I discovered an unanalyzed literary legacy of the Catskills: pulp horror fiction.
The front page of the September 1, 1898 Sullivan County Record bore a troubling headline, “Poisoned By Ice-Cream.” By the time the paper went to print, three people in the Sullivan County village of Mountain Dale were dead and at least 20 others were seriously ill.
Railway mail clerk F.A. Peck watched two strangers enter his car just outside of Grand Gorge. Unusual? Perhaps, but the clerk found no cause for alarm. “Got a letter for me?” Peck called out, as he continued to sort and bundle mail.
To Genevieve Hyde’s great frustration, people regularly pilfered fruit and vegetables from her farm in Bushnellsville. So she devised a novel solution; she became the first woman deputy in all of Ulster County.