photos by Kelly Dean
Town of Tusten Eagle Capital of New York State
Sullivan County, NY
This project was assisted by a grant from the Upper Delaware Council, Narrowsburg, NY 12764
Beyond Narrowsburg the beautiful, rural setting continues, attracting many second home owners and vacationers from all over the country. A scenic highway follows the Delaware River along its entire Upper Delaware segment.
At any time one can chance upon a blue heron, a fawn, a bald eagle, mountain laurel, glittering blue water, green fields and towering oaks and evergreens. This is a haven to be experienced. We treasure it and hope you will too!
Tusten Stone Arch Bridge
Ten Mile River, Tusten
Narrowsburg is a small town situated on the Delaware River in the area between the Catskill and Pocono Mountains. Centered in the Upper Delaware River corridor, it is surrounded by rolling hills, forests and many lakes. It overlooks the Big Eddy, a popular fishing spot and the deepest point in the Delaware River. It also overlooks the Narrowsburg Bridge, which crosses the river at its most narrow point (hence the name Narrowsburg).
Narrowsburg and the Town of Tusten, in which it is located, has historically been a bustling place with strong ties to the outdoors. At one time thousands of logs tied together in rafts traveled down the Delaware to cities below, and raftsmen would "dock" their rafts in the Big Eddy and stay in town overnight. Before the decline of the railroad, city folks would board the train and spend their summers at inns and boarding houses in the area, swapping heat and dirt for fresh air and hearty country cooking.
Today the outdoor tradition continues. Canoers flock to the area as soon as the season opens to float down the clean waters of the Delaware. Hikers can enjoy the newly opened Tusten Mountain Trail which overlooks the Delaware River, anglers ply the waters for shad, trout, smallmouth bass and walleye and hunters target white tail deer, black bear, turkey and other game.
Over the years, Narrowsburg has also developed a strong arts and cultural community. It is the home of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, the Delaware Valley Opera, the Tusten Theatre, Fort Delaware and the Tusten-Cochecton Library. And although small, the greater Narrowsburg area has over 50 businesses of all sizes, two volunteer fire departments, a volunteer ambulance corps, three churches and a weekly newspaper.
The Tusten Stone Arch Bridge was constructed in 1896 by William H. Hankins, a local timber raftsman, stone mason and occasional postmaster. The bridge crosses the Ten Mile River just northeast of its confluence with the Delaware River. It is approximately 52 feet long and 15 feet wide and continues to operate as a single lane vehicle bridge for local traffic. The bridge is named in honor of Dr. Benjamin Tusten, “an American militia volunteer and physician, who was killed as he ministered to the wounded at the Battle of Minisink on July 22, 1779 less than ten mile to the south of this settlement.” (1) The bridge and the surrounding land has been owned by the Boy Scouts of America since 1927 for their use an educational camp. Fortunately, through an agreement with the National Park Service, the bridge is publically accessible along the beginning section of the 3-mile Tusten Mountain Trail, an interesting hike with outstanding Upper Delaware Valley scenery. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.