New York September 05, 2018
This Historic Park Is One Of New York’s Best Kept Secrets
With an adventure always waiting for you in every region of New York, exploring the outdoors and our state parks is a luxury we often take for granted. If you’ve already crossed our most famous parks off of your bucket list and are looking to visit somewhere that’s lesser known but equally as interesting, then you’ll love hearing about the history of this one little park in Sullivan County. This creek-front park may look quaint from a distance, but as you look closer you might begin to notice its spooky history. Keep reading to find out what we mean!
Just outside Kenoza Lake is Stone Arch Bridge Historical Park, a little gem of Sullivan County that's even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Covering only 20-acres, you'll find lots of charm packed into this small space with picnic tables and grills that make use of right along Callicoon Creek.
In recent years, the park even received a new playground that kids who are visiting the park will love to explore.
But the heart of this historic park is the bridge, built around 1880 by Swiss-German immigrants Henry and Philip Hembdt.
A pedestrian bridge that's now grassy and you can walk over, it's quite the photogenic structure that draws people into the park to stop, explore, and take pictures of the scenery.
The Stone Arch Bridge also happens to look particularly gorgeous during the fall, when the bright colors of the foliage reflect off of the creek and make this park look even more magical.
But if you read the informational sign in the park before you leave, you'll realize that the bridge didn't always such a delightful history - it was actually the site of a hex murder in 1892!
It's true, in January of 1892, a man by the name of George Markert was murdered by his brother-in-law after the man had suspected George of being a warlock who had put a hex on him. According to local legend and the history books of Sullivan County, George's brother-in-law Adam believed that he was hexed. Reportedly any time Adam did anything three times (like sneezing or tap his toes), something bad would happen to him. The story says that Adam believed the only way the hex could be broken was to murder George in three different ways, over running water which was said to leave warlocks and witches powerless.
History says that George was murdered horribly, being stabbed, shot, and beaten by Adam before his body was thrown into the frozen creek below. Once Halloween rolls around and it gets closer to the month of January when George died, you'll find many people visiting the park in search of George - whose ghost is said to still haunt the park to this very day. To learn more about Stone Arch Bridge Historical Park,
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