A New York State Non-Profit 501(C)3 Educational Corporation
Researching Archaeoastronomy and Landscape Archaeology in Northeast America and Beyond
Preserving and Protecting
Environment – Culture – Community
CELEBRATING our 10TH Year!
From 10 years ago, this video shows the birth of the OMC effort to protect lands in Lewis Hollow on Overlook Mountain.
Identifying, documenting and protecting Native American Ceremonial Stone Landscapes (CSL) as Importnat Resources of Cultural Significance.
“Let the Landscape Speak” ~Doug Harris Dep. Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island (Retired)
Since 2013, the threatened lands in Lewis Hollow on Overlook Mountain, which we set out to preserve, have been secured and is no longer at risk of residential development. Overlook Mountain Center (OMC) stewards the nearly 40 acre upper Lewis Hollow parcel, overseeing land use and access, while conducting research and operating outdoor education programming open to the public.
OMC RESEARCH UPDATE
September 10th, 2022
Overlook Mountain Center Turns Ten;
Announces New Board of Directors and Officers
Nonprofit Expands Efforts in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains
As it turns ten, the Woodstock, NY nonprofit Overlook Mountain Center (OMC) has expanded both its focus and its board. The organization, known for its guided hikes to indigenous ceremonial stone landscape (CSL) sites in the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, has expanded its efforts to put greater emphasis on relationships with local indigenous tribes as well as on creating partnerships to research these sites, complementing local indigenous knowledge with scientific research. The expanded board, along with an Advisory Council, includes three members of northeastern Indigenous groups, as well as an archeologist, a nonprofit fundraiser, a nurse, a local realtor, former media executive and an assistant district attorney, among others.
“This is a pivotal moment for OMC,” said Glenn Kreisberg. “After spending a decade securing and researching the critical Lewis Hollow site…
Lewis Hollow site dating using optical stimulated luminescence (OSL) methodology
OMC recently received results of research that dated one of the stone cairns in Lewis Hollow to 1590 CE, possibly making it the oldest stone structure in Ulster County. The findings were made using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) methodology conducted by Dr. James Feathers of the University of Washington and geophysicist Dr. Marine Florin from SUNY Stony Brook. More detailed information will be released when the results are finalized this Spring.
Dr. James Feathers of University of Washington reported results of OSL samples collected in the fall of 2020. Preliminary dating analysis placed the construction of Great Cairn #4 at 1370 AD +/- 70 years. Final results and dating analysis of a second feature are expected shorty.
Ashokan Rail Trail Native American Interpretive Sign installed Oct. 2021
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.
Ulster County/Townships MOU and Land Acknowledgment
OMC will continue to propose and promote a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ulster County Legislature, as well as local townships, and local and regional Native American Tribes, including the Ramapough Lunaape Munsee Nation Turtle Clan and the United Southern and Eastern Tribes (USET) members. MOUs would acknowledge the existence of CSLs in Ulster County, based on USET Resolution 2007-37, 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/or county townships and signed by the county executive, town boards and supervisors. 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.
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.
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
2022 – OMC received its third grant from Humanities NY. The Action Grant was provided to conduct a community group reading and discussion. The program title was Echoes of the American Revolution – Land, Liberty & Loss, exploring the impact on Indigenous communities in the wake of American freedom, independence and liberty from Britain.
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.
Gallery of Mysteries of Lewis Hollow Site
Lewis Hollow cairn
Lewis Hollow "Great Cairn"
GPS site survey by Susan Sweeney - Long view
Sweeney GPS Site Survey
Connect the dots
Connecting the dots
Northern constellation Draco
Draco Petroform map mirrored
Lewis Hollow "Great Cairn"
Thuban - 3rd star in the tail of Draco...once and future pole star
Contact OMC: 845-417-8384 | P.O. Box 1278, Woodstock, NY 12498
Administrator: Glenn Kreisberg
Created by: Shari Design Solutions | Copyright © 2018