A NYS Nonprofit Corporation
Researching Archaeoastronomy &
Landscape Archaeology in
our Region and Beyond
Summer - Overlook Mountain, Woodstock, New York
Winter on Overlook Mountain, Woodstock, New York
Summer on Overlook Mountain Summit
Artists at Overlook Mountain, Woodstock, New York
Identify and protect Native American ceremonial stone landscapes (CSL)
as resources of cultural significance
"Let the Landscape Speak"
- Doug Harris
Environment - Culture - Community
The threatened land on Overlook Mountain, which we set out to preserve, has been secured and is no longer at risk of real estate development. Overlook Mountain Center (OMC) stewards the nearly 40 acre upper Lewis Hollow parcel, overseeing land use and access, while conducting outdoor education programming open to the public.
Vision 2020 Initiatives
Lewis Hollow Site Protection
OMC will continue to facilitate the donation and transfer of ownership of the 38 acre Lewis Hollow Site, from the current owner, Guardian Antiquities Research, LLC, to a non-profit Native American Tribal entity (TBD), for permanent protection in perpetuity of the ceremonial stone landscape (CSL) present on the property.
Tribal Ranger Program
OMC will seek to establish a “Tribal Ranger” program by partnering with local and regional Native American tribes, to offer opportunities to tribal youth as hiking and cultural tourism guides, introducing CSLs to the public, on public and private sites in our region. Tribal youth will gain career training and experience toward testing and receiving their NYS DEC Guide License for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and boating. Grant writing and public and private donations will help fund the “Tribal Ranger” program.
Ulster County MOU
OMC will continue to propose and promote a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ulster County Legislature and local and regional Native American Tribes, including the Ramapough Lunaape Munsee Nation Turtle Clan and the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island as well as other United Southern and Eastern Tribes (USET) members. MOUs would acknowledge the existence of CSLs in Ulster County and recognize them as important resources of cultural significance deserving of protection and preservation. The MOU would take the form of a resolution to be voted on by the county legislature and signed by the county executive. OMC will further seek to expanded MOUs to include multiple property agreements (MPA) covering multiple locations of CSLs, not unlike historic covered bridges or red barns, found in our communities.
Rail Trail Signage
OMC will work with Molly McDonald of AKRF Environmental and Planning Consultants, on behalf of the Ashokan Rail Trail (ART) and Chief Vincent Mann of the Ramapough Lunaape Munsee Nation Turtle Clan, to craft the wording of interpretive signage along the ART recognizing and honoring the ancestral lands of the Esopus Indians, which the reservoir and surrounding lands encompass.
Celebrating Ceremonial Stone Landscapes
OMC will continue to offer monthly hikes to CSL sites in the Catskill Mountains, as well as workshops and programs related to archeoastronomy and landscape archaeology in our region.
We will continue to celebrate and satisfy our need to protect and connect with these sites in a purposeful and meaningful way.
Below is the list of accomplished milestones and goals, which speaks to our mission of promoting and supporting the environment, culture and community on and around Overlook Mountain.
CONSERVE - Purchase of Upper Lewis Hollow
The upper 37 acre Lewis Hollow lot was purchased with the help of a local private family foundation, for preservation, education and research of the historic and possible prehistoric stone constructions present on the property. The land features include stone walls associated with Hardenburgh Patent and Livingston family property line sub-divisions as well as those which may be Naive American and ceremonial in origin. The land is now owned by Guardian Antiquities Research, LLC, and is not open to the public. Land stewardship is provided by Overlook Mountain Center which provided access through its interpretive guides and programs. Call 845 417 8384 for more info or go to our Programs page.
Links to articles documenting the preservation effort.
"Forever Wild" Deed on lower parcel
The lower 45 acre lot was purchased by a private individual, who lives in Lewis Hollow, and a “forever wild” deed restriction has been placed on the land, protecting it from development.
COMMUNITY - Programming
Since 2013, OMC has been carrying out interpretive tours and programming including group walks, talks, lectures and workshops on landscape archaeology, archeaoastronomy and local history. Participants included groups such as the 3rd graders from Mtn. Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz, Boy Scout Troop 31 from Glasco, NY and the Photography Club of Mohonk Preserve members.
CULTURE - NYS Humanities Grant
2019 – OMC received its second New York Humanities grant, to facilitate a community discussion and workshop on the topic: Identifying and Protecting Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscapes in our Communities. The talk, titled “Let the Landscape Speak”, was presented by Doug Harris of the Tribal Historic Preservation Office of the Narragansett tribe of Rhode Island.
2015 – OMC applied for, received and implemented a grant from the NYS Council for the Humanities, to facilitate a community discussion group on the topic of “work in our community over the years.” This was facilitated by Woodstock Town Historian Richard Heppner and carried out at the Historical Society between March and June.
EDUCATE - Research and Study
Solving the mysteries of Lewis Hollow on Overlook Mountain is a focus of OMC. By identifying the various resources of historic significance and understanding them is their proper cultural context, a stronger connection to the mountain can be realized and appreciated by those who interact with Overlook. Various expert researchers have visited the Lewis Hollow site and examined the features and artifacts present there.
Below are links to some of their findings.
Press report on research effort at Lewis Hollow site.
A letter from SUNY Prof. Nina Versaggi attesting to the uniqueness and importance of the Lewis Hollow Site.
A report based on the extensive survey of the Lewis Hollow site by researcher and National Geographic grant recipient David Johnson.
ENVIRONMENT - Future Land Protection
As a land preservation “think tank”, OMC is available to assist other groups and individuals in protecting threatened property and resources of cultural significance. Using “fast track” methods not usually available through conventional land conservancy groups, OMC can help put in place the resources and support needed to protect important, threatened parcels.