Nature Calls
Inexpensive homes and country bliss

  • By TINA TRASTER, New York Post
  • Posted: 10:50 PM, June 19, 2013

Unless you stumble upon Livingston Manor in mid-June during its annual Trout Parade, it’s hard to grasp what this otherwise sleepy town in northern Sullivan County is all about. But a Main Street sign “SMALL TOWN — BIG BACKYARD” best explains why this little spot, two hours northwest of Manhattan, is a big draw for nature-loving second-home owners.

Livingston Manor, or “the Manor,” as locals call it, is the birthplace of American fly-fishing. The hamlet in the Town of Rockland, population 1,200, has two world-class fishing spots — the Beaverkill River and the Willowemoc Creek. And it’s next door to Roscoe, known as Trout Town, USA.

MIND YOUR MANOR: Livingston Manor, two hours away from NYC in Sullivan County, is where you’ll find the covered Van Tran Flat Bridge and serious trout fishing.

MIND YOUR MANOR: Livingston Manor, two hours away from NYC in Sullivan County,
is where you’ll find the covered Van Tran Flat Bridge and serious trout fishing.

MIND YOUR MANOR: Livingston Manor, two hours away from NYC in Sullivan County, is where you’ll find the covered Van Tran Flat Bridge and serious trout fishing.

A second-home seeker can net a Livingston Manor fixer-upper for less than $100,000. Ten miles north in Lew Beach, a private enclave of more than 70 homes developed by Larry Rockefeller, $1 million buys a multi-acre spread, private fishing access to the Beaverkill River and clubhouse amenities.

Jennifer Grossman, an environmentalist from the West Village, recently purchased a 4,000-square-foot, three-story, 1910 former fishing lodge with eight bedrooms for under $100,000 in Livingston Manor.

“There’s nothing like standing in the river, early in the morning, feeling the pressure of the water, listening and smelling the river, being present,” says Grossman, who fly-fishes. “And if you get that tug on the end of the line and you feel connected to that wild creature, it’s an incredible way to start the day.”

The Manor, situated at the doorstep of Catskill Park, off Route 17, is the kind of town where you can find gun ammo and bait and tackle at the Fur, Fin and Feather Sport Shop on DeBruce Road. And local, organic produce, milk, eggs, American farmstead cheese, fresh-baked goods, meadow-raised meats, fresh Beaverkill trout, and honey and maple syrup at the Main Street Farm Market & Cafe.

The story of the Manor is the story of many of Catskill towns. Early white settlers destroyed first-growth hemlock trees and polluted rivers with tanning in the 19th century. The railroad brought a crop of inns and hotels that catered to wilting urbanites in search of a big backyard. By the mid-20th century, the Borscht Belt area fell into decline. For a couple of decades, it relied on a long-gone chicken-plucking factory as its main economic engine.

Since the 1980s, artists and members of the gay and lesbian community have flocked to Livingston Manor for unbeatable real estate deals, places to work and play and a spirit of inclusion. Over the past decade, the hamlet has rallied and suffered. Some gentrification has stuck; many stores, including an independent bookstore, didn’t survive. An investor who had grandiose plans to build a luxury hotel and spa went belly up in the crash. The Manor’s Main Street retailers have been hit by epic flooding in recent years, which the town is working to mitigate, and last November, a fire claimed the historic Hoos building, which housed the popular Lazy Beagle Cafe and three other businesses.

Local broker Judy Van Put says demand for second homes is robust and prices are still 25 percent off the 2007 peak. You can buy a three-bedroom cottage with one bathroom on 1.3 acres of land for $110,000, or a four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bathroom Ranch, near the historic Van Tran Flat Bridge, with access to good trout fishing on the Willowemoc Creek, for $199,000. The more privileged can reel in a three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bathroom, post-and-beam on 20 acres, with 6 miles of private fishing access and membership in the Beaverkill Stream and Mountain Club, for $895,000.

The Manor and surrounding small towns are devoid of chains and fast-food joints. Main Street sticks to what small towns do best: There’s the Robin Hood Diner, Pronto Pizza, Cafe 43 and Peck’s Market. Morgan Outdoors is a big lure for sportsmen. There are a smattering of mom-and-pops like Willow and Brown, Mountain Bear Crafts and other galleries and gift shops for those who appreciate local offerings. Will Hardware is a mainstay, and Manor Pharmacy is opening this summer. Big-box stores and major supermarkets can be found 15 minutes north on Route 17, in Liberty.

The Catskill Arts Society, which occupies a 4,000-square-foot building on Main Street, has a gallery, event space, a digital arts lab, and it offers classes. Every August, the Shandelee Music Festival’s Summer Sunset Concert Series draws big names in chamber music, and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is 25 minutes away.

Ramsay Adams, director of Catskill Mountainkeeper and a Lew Beach resident, is one of three developers behind the soon-to-open Catskill Brewery on Old Route 17, which will manufacture high-end craft beer and have a tasting room.

Adams says the Manor has had its ups and downs, but “the resilience of this community is deep-rooted because this is where fly-fishing began, and it’s as important to the American psyche as baseball and hot dogs.”

Audubon Craft Festival June 15th 10-4pm

Food made available from noon – 2pm by the Livingston Manor Rotary

Art Raffle to benefit both Sullivan County Audubon
and Catskill Fly Fishing Center takes place
at 3:30pm in Wulff Gallery on 6/15

Gene Weinstein – Local Bald Eagle prints
Pat Houston – Wildlife/bird cards and crafts
Debbie Fabyanski – Wildlife and fish jewelry
Linda Hare – Small watercolors and calligraphic sayings
Kathie Fitzgerald – Lampshades
Andrea Brown – Feed bag Barnyard Bibs
Teresa Bortree – Wildlife incense bottles, children’s capes, wildlife necklaces
Caroline Harrow – Watercolor prints and photos
Melaine Stracko – Teacup bird feeders
Nancie/Stephen Davis – Photo prints
Brian Harnett – Chainsaw sculptures
Mia Koerner – Terrariums/ quilts
Scott Cesar – Butterfly Creations
Gloria Wagenknecht – Photo prints, cards, small wildlife photo items
Lisa O’Gorman-Hofsommer – Natural Gourd and Ceramic Birdhouse and Feeders
Lindsay Barret George – Children’s wildlife books

Willow and Brown Re-opening

Willow and Brown is re-opening on Thursday, June 6, at their new location:
47 Main Street in downtown Livingston Manor.  The new location is across from the Catskill Art Society.  Store hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday 11-6, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 11-3.

Quilts Celebrating Nature Closing with Trunk Show

“Waya” by Katharina Litchman focuses on the plight of the wolf in the US.
“Waya” by Katharina Litchman focuses on the plight of the wolf
in the US.

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY —   The Seventh Annual “ Great Outdoors – Quilts
Celebrating Nature” show is on exhibit through May 5th at Morgan Outdoors,
46 Main Street, Livingston Manor, NY.

On the closing day of the show, Sunday, May 5th, at 12:30pm, participating
quilter, Katharina Litchman, will present a Trunk Show that demonstrates
the breadth of her work in fiber art wall hangings and larger quilts.
Katharina is an inductee into the Catskill Quilters Hall of Fame and
member of the Fiber Revolution. She lives in White Sulphur Springs. NY.

The exhibition was curated by talented quilter Sally Abrams and includes a
child-friendly “Eye Spy” game to keep the younger set engaged.

Also closing on May 5th at the CAS Arts Center is the annual CAS Sullivan
County High School Art Show. Featuring three hundred artworks by high
school students from all eight of the county’s districts (Eldred,
Fallsburg, Liberty, Livingston Manor, Monticello, Roscoe, Sullivan West
and Tri-Valley) and SC BOCES, this annual exhibition celebrates the
creativity and expression of our region’s youth.

The CAS Arts Center is next door to Morgan Outdoors at 48 Main street in
Livingston Manor, NY

Morgan Outdoors is located at 46 Main Street, Livingston Manor. For more
information, call 845/439 5507. Hours are 10am – 6pm , Mon, Thur, Fri,
Sat. and 10-4 Sunday.

Spring 2013 Passport to Main Street Livingston Manor


• You must spend $10 or more during a single visit (except CAS Arts Center – Visiting exhibiton earns sticker.)
• Passports with four or more stickers qualify for the Grand Prize Drawing
• Turn in Passport to Morgan Outdoors or Main Street Farm by Monday, May 28th at 5:00 PM to enter.
• Drawing takes place Monday, May 28th at 5:30 PM.

We look forward to seeing you!

Computer Skills Workshops at the LM Library

Consider stepping up your computer skills at the library!

The Livingston Manor Library will host Photoshop Basics, Social Media for Businesses and Introduction to Online Advertising for business people and others wishing to learn the basics of working with digital images, social media and online promotional tools. Each class is limited in size, so register early. Photoshop Basics is a free class. There is a $35.00 fee for each of the other two classes.

1. Photoshop Basics, Thursday, March 7, 6:30 to 8:30, no cost: Learn to create posters and manipulate photos using Adobe Photoshop CS6 or a similar application. Use your own laptop or one of ours. Optional: Bring photos (portraits, action shots, nature scenes) or an unfinished project on a flash drive. Instructor: Claire Coleman, The Plunk Shop.
2. Social Media for Businesses, Thursday, March 28, 6:30 to 8:30, $35.00 fee: An introduction to the major social media sites. Learn about what they do, how to use them and whether they’re worth the effort for your business. Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, MeetUp and MySpace will all be discussed. Laptops will be provided. Instructor: Julia Reischel, Watershed Post.
3. Introduction to Online Advertising, Monday, April 1, 6:30 to 8:30, $35.00 fee: Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, LinkedIn and more: Online advertising is a billion-dollar-a-year business. But most people are mystified by how online ads work. Here’s the beginner’s guide to setting up an ad on three different sites and making sure you don’t pay too much. Laptops will be provided. Instructor: Julia Reischel, Watershed Post.
Please call 439-5440 to register and information on payment. The library is located at 92 Main Street, Livingston Manor, across from the firehouse.

Our Hearts Go Out to Everyone…

As you may know, the Hoos Building, located at Pearl and Main streets in Livingston Manor was destroyed by fire on Tuesday,  November 20. It is believed that an explosion started the fire approximately 3:30 p.m. No one was in the building at the time or injured by the explosion.

The building housed four businesses: Hot Corner Sports Collectibles, The Lazy Beagle Pub & Grill, Moose-Be-Morning Coffee Co., and Willow and Brown. Firefighters from Livingston Manor, Liberty and Roscoe responded, as well as Mobilemedic and
Livingston Manor EMS. Callicoon Center, White Sulphur Springs and Youngsville
were also on standby.

It took about two hours to bring the fire under control. No other buildings or businesses were significantly damaged.

Our hearts go out to everyone with ties to the Hoos building and we are all very thankful that everyone is safe.

Manor Ink’s Sept. 29 Benefit Will Also Help Flood Fund

The staff at Manor Ink, Livingston Manor’s library-based, youth-led newspaper has voted to give 75% of the proceeds from this Saturday’s I-Ching fundraiser to the Rockland Relief Fund, aka The Flood Fund. The benefit happens from 5 to 7 p.m. at Morgan Outdoors, 46 Main Street, Livingston Manor.

Students of the I-Ching will be giving personal readings from the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, the I-Ching which gives some pretty great advice about life. Donations of any size will be welcome and coffee, tea and homemade cookies (and fudge) will be served! Of the donations, 75% will now go to the flood fund; 25% will go toward Manor Ink’s printing and equipment expenses.

Copies of the latest issue will be available as a bonus to all participants. Morgan Outdoors is located at 46 Main Street in Livingston Manor, just up the block from Catskill Art Society.

For more information, contact Lisa Lyons, your host at Morgan Outdoors, at 845-439-5507, or Barbara Gref, a Manor Ink mentor, at 845-482-3458.