Photo of the Western Hotel in Callicoon by Flickr user dougtone. Published under Creative Commons license.
In the New York Post today, real estate writer Tina Traster takes a stroll down Callicoon's Main Street, in search of the powerful lure that draws folks like Mark Ruffalo and Debra Winger to the little town on the Delaware River.
Is it the mighty Delaware? The cute little artisanal cheese shop? The big country houses? Or maybe just the fact that New York City is less than two hours away:
The area certainly charmed Molly Denver and Brewster Smith, who bought a 1,200-square-foot, 1890s farmhouse and barn on 5 acres of an old dairy farm for $182,500 in early May. Denver had never heard of Callicoon but used the “compass” house-hunting method: Look at a map and draw a circle around New York City of everything that is about 100 miles away. Callicoon is situated along the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (or New York state Route 97), a 70-mile stretch that traverses the western borders of Orange, Sullivan and Delaware counties.
Traster also tells the sad saga of the Western Hotel, a favorite local watering hole that has fallen under a shadow since 2008, when owner Joe Naughton accidentally shot and killed bartender Lori Schubeler while showing off a handgun, earning himself six months of prison time. This April, Naughton went back to prison for selling wine to an underage undercover cop, and the hotel went on the market for $699,000.