Lost Catskill Farm

An exciting new project:

Recreating a Lost Catskill Farm

on the hill behind the Museum

A typical 1930s family farm evoking the simplicity of life in the Catskills before the reservoirs


In the 1930s and 40s, five farming communities were lost when New York City came to the Catskills to build reservoirs and take our abundant water. People, animals and even cemeteries were moved, buildings destroyed and all evidence of human life eliminated……..until now.

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Recreating a farm lost to the building of the reservoirs will preserve the story of their loss and celebrate the simple farm family life.


Use of well designed stationary and mobile technology and hands-on activities will bring the farm family’s story to life for a wide variety of people.

Period buildings, artifacts, tools and equipment will be used to explore:


1. The different ways each family member was affected by having their farm taken from them and being forced to move.


2. Family life on a small Lost Catskill farm in the 1930s, including the function of different buildings and tools, and the importance of each family member in running the farm.

Help Us Recreate the Lost Catskill Farm

The Lost Catskill Farm will include full-size local period buildings with documented histories.


Buildings currently on site (l to r): shed, woodworking shop, outhouse and house


The house being moved up the hill to the farm in 2012.


Rose Farm Granary – acquired, waiting to be moved


Maple Syrup House – to be acquired and moved

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Historic Prenner barn being dismantled.

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Volunteer workers posing in front of the barn.

Barn boards were taken down, numbered and are in storage waiting to be reconstructed at the Lost Catskill Farm.

Preserving the Past and Looking to the Future

The Lost Catskill Farm will also give visitors a glimpse into the future of watershed protection. Other exhibits will be designed to increase understanding of how agriculture and forestry are preferred land uses to protect New York City watersheds.

Please consider adopting one of the Lost Catskill Farm buildings listed below.

A plaque with your name, your business name or names of a loved one will be placed by the building.
In kind donations are welcomed.

House ($60,000)
Barn ($50,000)
Machinery Shed ($15,000)
Woodworking Shop ($10,000)
Sap House ($7,000)
Granary ($3,000)
Hen House ($3,000)
Smoke House ($2,000)
Root Cellar ($2,000)

Hen House ($3,000)
Woodshed ($2,500)
Milk House ($2,000)
Root Cellar ($2,000)
Smoke House ($2,000)
Outhouse ($1,500)
Pig Pen ($1,500)
Shed – machinery  ($15,000)

Handicapped Transport ($40,000)
Apple Orchard ($4,000)
Pasture ($2,000)
Vegetable Garden ($1,500)
Split-rail fence/stone wall ($22,000)
Security System ($15,000)
Signage ($5,000)
Technology ($15,000)

You may use this form to make a donation or adopt a building:


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