Rifton - An Explosive Town

Author's note: These are backup copies of pages created when Susan and Karl Wick published an exhibit about Rifton at the Klyne Esopus Museum. The exhibits refered to below were discarded or rendered otherwise unavailable by Daniel Terpening, Melinda Terpening, Vivian Wadlin and Alexander Contini. I present the web pages here because we believe in sharing history, not in hiding it from public view.

"Why this title?", you might ask. Well, it becomes quite apparant as one studies the history of the Rifton/Dashville area.

In the mid nineteenth century, the potential of water power in the area was realized with the rapid construction of a large number of mills. The growth in both population and industry was "Explosive". Photo of Rifton Grist Mill

Lafflin and Rand Powder Mill Photo The Lafflin and Rand Powder company was a major industry in Rifton. We have photos, maps and newspaper articles in our exhibit.

Here is a bit of a secret: During prohibition, Rifton was known throughout the nation for its top quality applejack. New York City and its huge demand for speakeasys was just a few hours away by car. {See the book 'Jack "Legs" Diamond' for a fascinating insight into the prohibition era.}

In our exhibit, we have a large collection of both textual and photographic information about Rifton. We have actual Dimmick carpets and pattern books, iron rail and brass mule shoes from the Powder Works, applejack jugs, and lots of other goodies. This is the Friedman Hotel (one of several hotels in Rifton) under construction in about 1920. Picture of Rifton Hotel

Photo of Perrine's Bridge Naturally, we have a Perrine's Bridge section with a timeline, models, newspaper clippings, photos and slides, and the Grady Papers. The architect for the pending restoration has even visited us for information.

Oh yes, we even have a couple of really interesting artifacts, but you'll have to visit us in person to see them.

Finally, we honor the most famous person born on Rifton's (called Swartekill then) soil; Sojourner Truth.

Click below for a closer look at our exhibit

This page created and maintained by Karl Wick (karlREMOVE@MEstremy.net)  Email purposly obscured to thwart spammers.