Wolf Lake and the Other Canal Reservoirs

Posted On 03 Jul 2018
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Thursday, July 19  6:30 p.m.

The Mamakating Library welcomes local author and historian S. David Phraner, who will speak about the Delaware and Hudson Canal summit-level reservoirs. These five contemporary lakes kept canal boats afloat during the 19th century operation of the “D&H.”

Today the watered canal is gone except as a towpath trail, but the reservoirs live on as largely seasonal communities. Wolf Lake will be featured as an historical example of the transition from canal operation to present-day lifestyles. The four other canal reservoirs will be covered briefly to explain why the five lakes appear so different from one another today.

The canal reservoir feeder system is one of the least understood features of early towpath canals. This talk is a good introduction to a more comprehensive D&H Canal history presentation by Sullivan County Historian John Conway on Thursday, July 26 at the library.


Presenter David Phraner and family have been summer residents of Wolf Lake for 38 years and his wife’s family goes back nearly 100 years as seasonal dwellers at Yankee Lake. Dave Phraner is the author of the 200-page book Wolf Tales, a 75th Anniversary Commemorative. The book summarizes land development of Mamakating and the eastern Sullivan County region back to pre-colonial times. A limited number of autographed copies of the book will be available to purchase. David Phraner is a retired urban planner, transportation specialist and historian.