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Office of the County Historian

Sullivan County Historian John Conway welcomes inquires about the general history of the County, especially about the evolution of the Catskills resort industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. He does not perform genealogical research or have possession of genealogy records. 

History of the County Historian

The position of County Historian was created in 1933 by the NYS Legislature, by amending the Municipal Historians' Law of 1919, which established the positions of town, village, and city historian.

The N.Y. ARTS & CULT. AFF. LAW § 57.09 states: “It shall be the duty of the county historian to supervise the activities of the local historians in towns and villages within the county in performing the historical work recommended by the state historian, and also to prepare and to present to the board of supervisors a report of the important occurrences within the county for each calendar year.” The county historian performs essentially the same duties as the town historian but on a scale that includes all cities, townships, and villages within the county. Additionally, each county historian is a resource for city, town and village historians.

Sullivan County has had the following County Historians:

Adelbert M. Scriber, Monticello - 1933 – 1948
James W. Burbank, Narrowsburg - 1948 – 1952
Charles S. Hick, Jeffersonville – 1952 – 1959
Nathan Weiss, Fallsburg – 1959 - 1960
Manville B. Wakefield, Grahamsville – 1961- 1974
William G. Smith, Monticello – 1974 – 1992
John Conway, Barryville – 1993 - present