RAILS TO THE CATSKILLS
Release Date set for Spring 2014
Rails to the Catskills, the feature-length documentary film of railroading in the Northern and Southern Catskills, is now in production. Among the railroads that had a connection to the Catskills are the Catskill & Canajoharie, the Catskill Mountain/Otis Elevating, the Ulster & Delaware, Wallkill Valley, New York West Shore & Buffalo, New York Ontario & Western, and Delaware & Northern. In addition, Rails to the Catskills covers the Delaware & Hudson Canal and electric trolleys.
Rails to the Catskills presents interviews with noted railroad historians and photographers, including John M. Ham, William Helmer, Ph.D., Robert Mohowski, Bob Haines, Gene Dauner, Evan Jennings, and Dale Flansburg. Images, animated maps and vintage films come from historical societies, museums, libraries, private collections and additional sources.
Rails to the Catskills begins with the early canals and railroads in the 1820’s and 1830’s and winds its way through the Gilded Age and into the 20th century. During this time many lines were consolidated, abandoned or went bankrupt. Today what remain in the Catskills are heritage railroads in Kingston and the Phoenicia area and from Arkville to Roxbury. These railroads are a vital part of the Rails to the Catskills story.
As recently as 2006, Ulster County placed a high value on its historic rail line. However, there has been a change of heart. The County Executive now proposes to scrap the Kingston operation and rip up rails west to Boiceville, as well as rails from Phoenicia to Highmount. The Executive's plan is to build a “Rail Trail” in the Ulster & Delaware rail corridor. To date no details as to cost or engineering details have been released.
Ulster County has rejected the “Rails Plus Trails” study and the approach offered by the Catskill Mountain Railroad. The county's attempt to revoke the CMRR's current lease, which runs until 2016, remains in court. Trails-only advocates and railroad volunteers remain at odds on how to proceed.
Check out this clip for “Rails to the Catskills – The Catskill Mountain Railroad:”
And “Rails to the Catskills – The Delaware and Ulster Railroad."
Willow Mixed Media is a not-for-profit arts organization whose documentaries include films about Catskills/Hudson Valley history and issues of social concern.
Sweet Violets is a documentary about the commercial violet industry in Rhinebeck, NY when it was the Violet Capital of the World. At its peak in 1912, growers shipped more than five million blooms for Easter by train from Rhinecliff Station.
By the roaring 20's violets began to be replaced by other corsage flowers. In 1927, "The Captive” was a scandal on Broadway involving violets and lesbians. Violets became politically incorrect and the flower fell further out of popular fashion.
The last of the Violet Kings gave up in 1979. Now, one remaining strip of cultivated violets grows in an anemone greenhouse outside Rhinebeck. In the late winter and early spring deep purple Frey's Fragrant violets are picked for culinary purposes and bunched for the occasional Valentine's Day bouquet.
Willow Mixed Media is a not-for-profit arts group that specializes in
documentary production on topics of social interest. Since 1970, Willow Mixed Media
has produced films
that are available online here at www.documentaryworld.com.
Film topics include:
Sweet Violets is a documentary about commercial violet growing and Rhinebeck, New York, when it was the Violet Capital of the World. In the Victorian era and beyond, violets were the corsage and bouquet flower of choice. At its peak in 1912,
more than 5 million blooms for Easter by train from Rhinecliff Station.
By the late 20's fashions changed and violets
became politically incorrect to wear and the flower fell further out
of popular fashion. Now, one remaining strip of cultivated violets grows in an anemone greenhouse outside Rhinebeck and Frey's Fragrant violets are picked for culinary purposes and bunched for the occasional Valentine's Day bouquet.
The Catskill Mountain House and The World Around is the fascinating
story of America's first great
Deep Water: Building the Catskill Water System
romantic tourism, and cut-throat competition in New York's Northern Catskills.
For 140 years, from 1823 to 1963, The Catskill Mountain House stood atop the
Catskill High Peaks as a
symbol of the
Gilded Age. Beginning in the 1850's, The Laurel House, The Hotel Kaaterskill,
Mountain House and The Grand Hotel also became world
spots that attracted
business tycoons, artists and
The definitive film history of the Catskill water system - the Ashokan and Schoharie Reservoirs and the Catskill
Aqueduct. Woodstock Film Festival selection hailed as a gem. An award winning production. Our most popular DVD.
Not the Music, Just the Scene
An independent documentary of the 25 year Woodstock Anniversary Music Festival in 1994. The film exhibits the site before, during and
after the event, buying and selling of hundreds of thousands of T-shirts, festival action on the Woodstock Town Green, mudstock and mud-people.
Visit the people in their tents, follow the gate crashers, pay per view hippies, site clean up, and more!
A powerful documentary of the June 1982 march and rally for Peace and Disarmament in NY City. Nearly 1 million people joined in the protest for nuclear disarmament. The
film is edited from the most extensive television coverage of the day's events. The program features Dick Gregory, Joan Baez,
Theodore Bikel, Holly Near, Abbie Hoffman and many others.
A pioneering video documentary of a home birth. Shot in the Yucatan, Mexico, where a child is delivered Mayan style, in a
hammock, by a Mayan midwife.
"...The result is graphic as planned, and hilarious as not planned." - NY TIMES.
The documentary story of an experimental plutonium plant near Pawling, NY. The film takes a tour of the closed plant and talks with two former
workers about the plutonium spill that finally closed the facility.
From the archives of the late 1960's and early 1970's comes this period documentary.
A combination of two experimental films,"The
True Light Beaver Film: After The Revolution", and
"Family Astrology". This program provides an intimate glimpse
into communal ways at the height of the Hippie culture.
Cameo appearances by Abbie and Anita Hoffman and Paul Krassner.