History talk about local tannery industry

 Tannery in the Catskills, attributed to William Hart, Tannery, early 1850s, oil on canvas, shows Snyder’s tannery, which was built in 1850 in Shandaken, and at its peak employed over two hundred workers. (Courtesy Hood Museum)

The Friends of Historic Saugerties will present “The Catskill Tanneries: An Environmental Disaster with a Happy Ending” on Saturday, May 5 at 2 p.m. in the community room of the Saugerties Public Library, 91 Washington Ave.

At one time, almost every valley in the Catskills was home to a tannery, an industry that demanded huge supplies of Hemlock bark. This led to the near clear-cutting of most of our mountainsides. Guest speaker Paul Misko will offer a multimedia presentation about the tanneries, how they operated, the men that worked them and how it all affected the Catskill forests.


Misko has been hiking in the Catskills since childhood. In 2009, he founded the Catskill 4000 Club, a small hiking group that focuses on history-themed hikes and events. He has written articles for Kaatskill Life and the Catskill Mountain Region Guide and regularly gives talks on Catskill history, American history and John Burroughs. He shares his research on WIOX radio’s “From the Forest” and conducts Catskill trivia quiz shows as well. All Friends of Historic Saugerties talks are free of charge to attend and open to anyone interested in history. Seating is limited.