The Neversink Valley Area Museum is a private, non-profit organization, the Museum occupies historic canal-era buildings in the D&H Canal Park right on the Neversink River. In addition to exhibitions, the museum provides various educational activities for children and adults throughout the year.
The mission of the Neversink Valley Area Museum is to preserve and document the history of the peoples and industry of the Neversink and Shawangunk valleys of New York’s Catskill region and to interpret that history as it relates to the world at large. The museum has a special focus on the commerce and technologies of the area and their effect on the transformation of our society from an agrarian to an industrial one, predominantly in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
There are, of course, many fascinating objects and artifacts at Neversink Valley Area Museum. Our collections bring alive the history of the Neversink Valley, the building of the D&H Canal and how life was lived by those who travelled it. But we also have a research library and a collection of silent films made in the area.
The second floor library in the Leura Murray Center is open to all scholars, students and visitors, and has research material including books, magazines, newsletters, maps, photographs and other source material on the D&H Canal and other local history topics. The library is open during Museum hours and other times by appointment.
Thirty percent of the total collection consists of artifacts relating directly to the D&H Canal. This well-rounded collection of artifacts emphasizes the section of the canal in the Town of Deerpark and includes a large collection of photographs specifically of the section of canal in the D&H Canal Park, other original canal photographs, postcards produced at the turn of the century. Also on display are artifacts from actual canal boats, such as rudders, tillers, a canal boat tool box and bilge pumps. There are numerous canal boat models. Hardware from canal locks and eight foot granite snubbing posts are some of the artifacts from the canal itself. Tools used in building the canal and its boats, such as hammers, picks, digging scoops and caulking hammers tell the story of how the canal was built in only three years, without the use of modern equipment.
The Museum also includes artifacts and information related to Neversink Valley History, local trades, farming, furnishings, and the history of the early film industry that flourished in the area.
The D&H Canal Park and the Neversink Valley Area Museum are located along the banks of the beautiful Neversink River. Plan to take a day trip or plan a weekend to explore the natural beauty and fascinating history of Orange County. Make Neversink Valley Area Museum a part of your destination.