Heather Heddleson
Town Historian



By Appointment

Town History


Bluestone Industry


Highway Dept.

Our Veterans

Sawkill Fire Co.

Schools in Town

Siemsen Tribute

St. Ann's Church

Sweet Meadows

Tales of the Town


By the early part of the century “taking in” summer boarders became a popular pastime with the town’s people as well as a boost to the economy.  Local industry turned from mills and quarries to services.  Summer retreats, camps, stores and small businesses were established.  Some of the small businesses that once operated in the town were:  the Village Store, Armscraft Gun Shop, Avalon Nightclub, the Dasie Bus Line (circa 1920), Smith’s Truck Equipment, Central Cabinet Shop, the Dress Factory, Reiff’s Inn, Sawkill Stables, Urell’s Auto Parts, Wopowog Kennels, and Thendara Lodge.

Camp Woodcliff

Camp Woodcliff was located just off Sawkill Road across the Powder Mill Bridge.  It was owned and operated by the Saphir Family.  On the back of a photo taken November 3, 1945 there is a notation that states “Saphir 12 years”.  Whether this means the camp was 12 years old at the time the picture was taken is a mystery.  By 1945 it was a small camp with just a few camp buildings and a lake.  The aerial view is postmarked December 16, 1948.  The lake built in 1963 was enlarged in 1964.  As the camp continued to grow and expand many children came to spend summers in the lovely woods and lake of the camp.  In 1972 parents could elect to send their children 5 days a week for 8 weeks at $350 or 5 days a week for 4 weeks at $200.  The camp was coed with children ranging from 4 to 12 years of age.  There was a resident doctor and nurse at the camp.

The camp consisted of a large dining hall, a lodge, tents and camp buildings to house the campers and counselors.  There was a playground, tennis courts, a ball field, basketball court, golf range, rifle and archery range as well as a barn and riding ring.  In addition, there was a lake for swimming and boating.

More and more activities were added and finally in its “heyday of the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s Camp Woodcliff could boast of its popularity.  A slow decline of the camp began in the 1980’s.  With the retirement of the Saphir family and the sale of the property, Camp Woodcliff began a slow march toward gradual decline.  The property was finally sold to the Madison Avenue Boys and Girls Club in New York City.  In 2001 it began being used for weekend retreats.  Time and deterioration claimed the once pristine and beautiful camp.  In 2015 the camp was sold to a Hasidic sect from the metropolitan area.  After some repairs and improvements, it became a summer camp for Jewish boys.

Sawkill Snack Bar

The Sawkill Snack Bar, once located on Sawkill Road just east of the Sweet Meadows housing development, served as the local "watering hole" for many years.