Mamakating Historical Society



Mamakating Sign HS 2021



(summer only) 


(year round).


Open from May through November on Tuesdays from 10 to 3 pm.

Open on Saturdays June 24th, July 29th, August 26th and September 23th from 12 to 2 pm.


*All events are open to the Public

6/20/23Souper Tuesday12 pm
7/7/23Shawanga Lodge Talk by Gary Dan7 pm
7/14/23Potluck Dinner-
General Membership- Meeting
6 pm
7 pm
7/21/23Hidden Treasures if the Catskills talk by author Tony Musso7 pm
8/26/23Women on the D&H Canal by Bill Merchant2 pm
9/7/23Liberty Highway talk by John Conway7 pm

Our History

In 2001, the Town of Mamakating, at the direction of Supervisor Mary Barbuti, purchased the former Summitville schoolhouse (ca. 1854) from the Ellenville School District in order to create a Mamakating Historical Society and Museum.

John Masten was appointed President by the new Board of Directors, and Bernice Masten was appointed curator and archivist for the new museum.

Later, Charles and Helene Goetschius assumed these responsibilities. The Masten and Goetschius officers with contacts throughout the Town of Mamakating and Sullivan County enabled the museum to acquire important historical artifacts and information on the D&H Canal, the O&W Railroad, various historic commercial enterprises, and early settlers and pioneers of the town. When Charles and Helene retired, Karen Tolcz was appointed President of the Historical Society and Museum. She works with a dedicated staff of volunteers including Danielle Berg and Donna Durland.

Through the years, the Boards of Directors and many members have worked very hard to enable the museum to research, collect and document the Town's history, and to educate members of the community. A major bequest from historian Radford Curdy enriched our archives with books, photographs and historic postcards.

The Museum is located at 136 Summitville Road in Summitville NY 12781. Phone 845-888-2851 (summer only) and 845-423-0153 (year round). We are open from May through November on Tuesdays from 10 to 3 pm. We will open on Saturday July 31, Aug 28 and Sep 25. There are no salaried employees and the offices are staff entirely by volunteers. Membership dues (and donations) help fund overhead costs and enable us to purchase needed supplies. Dues are $10 for individuals and $15 for families. They may be sent to the MHS at PO Box 163, Summitville, NY 12781.

We hold two all-member meetings each year, as well as a potluck gathering, a bakeless bake sale, and events with speakers featuring local history. We'd be pleased to have you join us. 

Historical Society Building Background

In 2001 when Mary Barbuti was the Town of Mamakating Supervisor the town purchased the old school building in Summitville from the Ellenville School District. Her dream was to have a Historical Society there and she contacted Bernice and John Masten, who at this time were active in the Sullivan County Historical Society. John and Bernice had a strawberry fest at the old D&H Canal building in Summitville and signed up members to start the Society.

The building was turned into a museum and Bernice Masten was curator and archivist. John was appointed President by the new Board of Directors and was busy collecting information and articles for the museum. The dream was born and the Mamakating Historical Society was born.

Bernice became ill and had to give up her beloved position. Her work is greatly appreciated today by the staff of the museum with Helene Goetschius as the present archivist and curator. Helene’s right hand person is Joan Dunn who works very hard in putting information in books on many subjects that are of interest to the Town of Mamakating. Helen Johnson is also an important member who helps us keep the museum going.

Please come and visit us and enjoy the exhibits at the museum.

Town Government History 

History Page