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About Cragsmoor Free Library
The hamlet of Cragsmoor, an area of approximately six square miles, is located near Ellenville, New York on Route 52 between Ellenville and Pine Bush on the Shawangunk Ridge. The Mountain Top, as it was originally referred to, began with settlers and pioneers, and a farming community was established in the early 1800s. The land was gradually cleared around homesteads and the lumber was hauled down the mountain to fulfill the needs of growing communities in Walker Valley to the east and eventually the Rondout Valley to the west.
The timbering, farming and eventual clearing of the forests on the mountain gave way to scenic views and panoramic vistas. Dramatic shifts in weather, unusual flora and fauna, and extraordinary natural beauty attracted several artists who began summering here in the late 1870s. An artist colony established itself and flourished for almost seventy years.
The founders of the Cragsmoor Art Colony and their contemporaries donated many works to the Library. These gifts have created a unique collection, which is augmented by our present-day artists. More artists live and work here today than during the time of the original art colony.