Parksville

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Parksville in Parksville, New York. Ask questions or share travel tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this place, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/parksville-ny?utm_source=atlas-forum&utm_medium=referral

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Ideal TV & Movie production shooting site,
B&B Inn, for rallies?? Living History use.
Awesome.
Whole town is a Museum

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I hope they do a video feature on this town, I’m sure the town is hauntingly beautiful, the article is a great tease haha.

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It’s called the Borscht Belt and there are many towns in the Catskills like this with the same story. I am glad I grew up and experienced the beauty of the river, valley and mountains in this area.

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A beautiful location close to NYC. I’m surprised that the town hasn’t bounced back. Places like Hudson have become a weekend retreat for city people. Perhaps this town is too far gone to revitalize. It’s a shame.

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To write of Liberty, NY and not mention the Borsch Belt is like writing about Vatican City without mentioning the Catholic Church.

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I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS…Parksville, New York, is the nearest community to where my family had our 95-acre summer place. We went up there every weekend in summer.

I know Parksville very well…it had our Post Office, our Dairy King (which did “land mine business” on Route 17), and a small restaurant we ate in, and Pamela Moore, “the lady auctioneer.” The drugstore shown in the photo was the Greyhound Bus Stop. The mayor was Russell Fiddle, and the whole place was run by the Fiddle family.

Every year we went there, a few more buildings would have vanished. I guess Russell Fiddled while Parksville vanished.

We owned the property when Poppy’s vanished (we ate there a few times), and the drug store shut down. I am very upset about the Dari-King being gone…they made GREAT Ice Cream.

The Paramount Hotel was up Tanzman Road, which led to a hamlet called “Tanzville.”

The whole Borscht Belt resort industry fell on its posterior when it had to compete with casinos, theme parks, and the jet age. It was supported by New York Jews fleeing the Lower East Side and Bronx tenements – hence the synagogue.

The other thing about Parksville, was that it was the only exit on the Route 17 Quickway that was a traffic light-controlled intersection.

I love this town, such as it is.

It’s a strange place…there are still people there. And a tiny little WW2 memorial. The whole Fiddle family is on it. They came back.

Liberty is NOT a ghost town, though. But Liberty does deserve its own entry.

Interestingly, that’s where I had my first encounter with anti-Semitism, at age 13, when I met a girl who was busily painting the O&W Station that her father owned (by then a bar). I wanted to discover the great mystery of life, and as we talked, she told me she hated Jews, and said she’d heard they had horns.

I told her I was Jewish, and had “one big horn,” then walked off. Too bad…she was cute. Frilly short shorts.

Sadly, the beautiful train station/bar suffered a horrid fate. It was burned down. Doubtless the owner had profit trouble. Arson-for-profit was SOP in the Borscht Belt. Fires would start in buildings at 3 a.m. when nobody was around, and the volunteer Fire Departments would cover up the cause for a portion of the insurance payment.

I worked one summer at Camp Beaumont,a few miles up the hill towards Franklin Lake in 1967. Parksville was already becoming fairly ghostly at that point. I drove through a few years ago, out of curiosity, and there were metaphorical tumbleweeds blowing down the deserted main street.

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My family stayed at a hotel in Parksville for a week in the summer of 1974 when I was 18. We usually spent a week in the Catskills with the Berger family of five kids, plus our four. I am almost positive that it was the Paramount Hotel. This is all so familiar to me. I went on a date with a waiter and we went to Poppy’s. It was very crowded because there were several summer camps in the area and this is where the counselors went on their evening off. My grandparents had a bungalow for that summer in Monticello and we went there for a few days after we checked out of the hotel. They later permanently moved to a place just down the road from Grossingers. It’s sad to see a whole town abandoned. I have seen blogs about some new hipster-ish places in Loch Sheldrake. Maybe someone will invest in Parksville next.

I grew up in Parksville, and still have family that lives there.

Some added context: to call Parksville a town is extremely generous, as it is, and has been since incorporation, a hamlet, part of the Town of Liberty and not an actual municipality. There are under ~800 people who live in Parksville, vs a total population approaching 10k in the Town of Liberty. What most people are referring to as a “town” is just the tiny old street of about a dozen buildings that sits adjacent to the highway as well as the defunct railroad tracks that have been out of use for over 60 years. It would likely not garner any attention on Atlas Obscura if not for the hauntingly preserved abandoned pharmacy, which has sat empty since my parents were kids- otherwise, it just looks like any other ramshackle of houses off of every semi-exit of old Route 17 that you see frequently between Liberty and Hancock. A small cluster of businesses (largely owned by one family when they functioned) also sit a few hundred feet over where the stoplight on Route 17 was, but have largely been out of business as of the past 10 years or so when the highway was moved over a few hundred yards away.

Virtually everyone who lives in Parksville has always lived along the roads surrounding this area as opposed to the tiny street people here focus on. These long, windy roads are where the old camps and hotels were (the Paramount and some of the larger camp properties burned down in cases under suspicion of arson by owners in the last 15 years; hasidic bungalows and hunting camps occupy grounds of some of the other previous properties). To call it a ghost town is misleading- it was never a functioning town, lacking government and other trappings of an actual town. It was a railroad stop, an area full of hotels, and a cluster of highway pit stops. Nobody local would ever even think of it as a town- if someone even from as close as Monticello asked you where you live, you’d just say Liberty.

I have great memories of the summer house my parents rented near Parksville in 1964 - 1966.
It was within walking distance of Hunter Lake… we would attend Sunday Mass - outside and standing - at an all boys camp that was on the Lake - it was named St John’s…I had my first kiss with one of the campers…((SIGH)).
I loved it up there.
Great memories.