In the summer of 1908 Circle W opened its doors as a traditional country general store to serve the needs of a growing population of vacationers, quarrymen, landscape painters and mill workers.
Palenville, New York (a small Catskill hamlet) had become famed for the many waterfalls in it's vicinity (including Kaaterskill Falls and Fawn's Leap), mountain views, artist retreats, and the setting for the mythical home of Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle.
For close to a century, upon entering the store, one could find anything from a gallon of paint to a gallon of milk, a pair of work pants, a kite to fly, homemade lunches, a fishing pole, hardware, ice cream and much much more.
Sadly, in the mid nineties the business fell on hard times, stuttered its doors, and in the ensuing year fell into deep disrepair. It sat there cold and empty, weeds grew up along the porch, paint chipped and faded, and each passing season the once-loved Circle W leaned closer toward an inevitable date with the wrecking ball.
Then in 2009 the store and property was purchased by Patti and Gary Harvey and painstakingly restored and brought back to life by the Harvey-Robert-Felice clan, who have roots in the hamlet going back to before the American Civil War.
Now, thanks to Patti and family, Circle W has once again become the beating heart of the Kaaterskill Clove, a colorful and vibrant community of families, artists, craftspeople and nature-lovers nestled along the banks of the rushing creek.
Long Live the W!!
We love stories of the old Circle W. Send us one in the CONTACT section and if it's a good one, we'll post it here.