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Liberty Village

Liberty Village Hall is located at 167 North Main Street, Liberty NY 12754; phone: 845-292-2250.

Beginnings [1]

The Village of Liberty grew up as a service area for a mill village on the Middle Mongaup River. It was also a commercial center for the surrounding farmers. At the time of its incorporation in 1870, the village had a population of six hundred and boasted a post office and fire department, four churches, four hotels, ten stores, a flour mill, and a carriage manufactory. [2] However, Liberty's history changed significantly after the arrival of the O&W Railroad in the 1870s. The railroad, which connected New York City with the western Catskills, ran northwest through Sullivan County, with stops at Mamakating, Summitville, Mountaindale, Fallsburgh, Liberty, Parksville, Livingston Manor, and Roscoe, among others. The train offered easy transportation to the New York City metropolitan area and provided a catalyst for both the export of agricultural products and the import of tourists. Liberty, with some of the highest elevations in the county, became a popular destination for tuberculosis patients, particularly working-class sufferers who lacked the resources to travel to more renowned but distant locations, such as the Adirondacks. Among the largest and most famous was the Loomis Sanitarium built in 1896, in the nearby hamlet of Loomis. Spurred on by advertising for the Q&W, tubercular patients and other tourists began flocking to the Liberty area, both boosting and overwhelming the nascent resort industry.

  1. Kathleen LaFrank, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Town and Country Building, Liberty, Sullivan County, New York, nomination document, 2004, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
  2. Hamilton Child, Gazetteer and Business Directory of Sullivan County NY for 1872-3 (Syracuse: Hamilton Child, 1872), 158.
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