|Often advertised as
"The Only All-Rail Route to the
Catskill Mountains," the Ulster and
Delaware was originally established in
1866 as the Rondout and Oswego. It
traveled through four counties--Ulster,
Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego--and
connected with five other railroads, but
was primarily known for bringing tourists
to the elegant hotels in the Catskills.
Although the Ulster
and Delaware ran one hundred and eight
miles through the scenic mountains,
because of its steep grades, some as much
as 4.4%, it would take the train almost
four hours to travel get from Kingston
Point to Oneonta, running at an average
speed of only 30-40 mph.
the route began at Kingston Point, went
through Rondout, and then--after numerous
stops--reached the end of the line at
Bloomville. There the engine was turned
on the turntable, ready to return to its
point of origin. Mr. Wilber Haynes,
Kortright Town Historian, took descendant
Carolyn McPherson and her husband Mike on
a trek on the old U & D railroad
grade to see the foundation of the
railroad ran above the village of
Bloomville. Carolyn's grandfather,
William Hendry Hickok, was a conductor on
the U & D for his entire adult life.
At the end of the day he walked down the
hill into Bloomville and stayed in the
residence of William Blakely Peters.
Eventually Hickok married Peters'
daughter Sarah. When the U & D line
was extended beyond Bloomville to its
ultimate terminus in Oneonta, NY, Hickok,
his wife Sarah, and their child Hannah
Rosella Hickok moved to Oneonta.