Town of the Week: East Durham

  |  February 27, 2012

Catskill Creek, as seen by Thomas Cole

Ages ago, the hamlet of East Durham, located in the Town of Durham in Greene County, was Vacation Land. Irish families who couldn’t afford to return to the Emerald Island flocked to East Durham because of its resemblance to their mother country. It’s easy to see why. The green rolling terrain of the Catskill Mountains surround East Durham’s countryside, and resorts, restaurants and meeting places started to look like the pubs and taverns of home.

East Durham is still a resort town, though not the kind of resorts you might be thinking of, those walled-off mega-destinations is tropical spots. These are humble, family-style places, resorts with a lower-case r. Places like Gavin’s Irish Country Inn and the County Place Resort dot the landscape, and attractions like Zoom Flume Water Park draw thousands of out-of-town visitors every year. But it’s easy to escape the crowds; East Durham is still quite rural, and all you have to do is drive a few miles and you can stretch your legs in open space once again.

There are some beautiful, inexpensive properties in and around East Durham with lots of acreage and charm. At the time of this writing, there were more homes in the $100,000 to $200,000 range than any other bracket, and none over $700,000. Albany is less than an hour away, Saugerties and Woodstock are also nearby.

The area takes its Irish heritage seriously, and East Durham is even the home of the world’s largest map of Ireland. The Irish Park consists of one entire acre’s-worth of red bricks forming the shape of Ireland, with each county marked by its flag. East Durham also holds several Irish-themed festivals all year, like the Catskills Irish Arts Week, the East Durham Feis and Irish Heritage Day. Many of these events are held at the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Centre on route 145. GMAP

About Kandy Harris

Kandy is a writer and musician/music teacher living in Saugerties, NY.

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