Welcome to The Town of Olive!

Nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York State is 40,000 acres named the Town of Olive. In 1824, theory has it that it was so named from the biblical story of the dove returning to Noah’s ark with an Olive branch. The Ashokan Reservoir geographically divides Olive–north and south. The hamlets around the shoreline are Boiceville, Olivebridge, Samsonville, Krumville, Shokan, West Shokan, and Ashokan.

The passing of the Water Act of 1905 led to the building of the handmade Ashokan Dam on the Esopus Creek and upon its completion in 1916 created the Ashokan Reservoir, a main water supply for the City of New York-Olive’s largest landowner. The demand for pure, clean drinking water for New York City inhabitants changed the course of history for the Town of Olive and still has an impact on everyday life. The Town center and the majority of the Town’s residents were forced from the rich Esopus Valley and relocated to the nearby foothills. In May of 1997 Land Use Regulations, which could become a model for the rest of the country, became effective as a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Watershed Towns and the City of New York to provide for protection of water quality throughout the New York City Watershed.

Traveling west on State Route 28, Olive is thirty minutes from Kingston, New York—the first capitol of New York State-and is a little more than an hour travel time to the current state capitol of Albany. Being only two hours north of New York City and totally within the Catskill State Park, Olive has been a seasonal recreational area for New Yorkers. The boarding house days and hunting camps of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s have vanished and are now seasonal second homes or primary residences for many city folk.

The major industries of timber harvesting, tanneries, and excelsior mills, which once ravaged the mountains of Olive, have long vanished as the Catskill Forest Preserve was created in 1885 keeping forever the preserve as wild forest lands. The Catskills have been a favorite tourist destination for over 100 years. Today’s Olive is primarily residential in nature, with a large percentage of seasonal residents, and a limited number of backyard farms with victory gardens.

Prevent Property Damage from Snow & Ice Melt

It was March of 1980 when heavy rain on top of snow pack created major flooding in the Town of Olive.  Since the current conditions are consistent with those of 1980 there are a few reminders from the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) that urge property owners to evaluate their flood risks as warmer weather arrives.   The following are a few tips to prevent property damage when flooding is imminent.

1. Clear drains, gutters and downspouts of debris.

2. Move furniture & electronics off the floor, particularly in basements and first floor levels.

3. Roll up area rugs, where possible, and store these on higher floors or elevations.  This will reduce the chances of  rugs getting wet and growing mold.

4. Inspect sump pumps and drains to ensure proper operation.

If a sump pump has a battery back up, make sure the batteries are fresh or replace the batteries.

A sump pump needs to be away from basement walls to be effective.

Make sure the sump pump outlet pipe is clear and water flows freely away from your property.

5, Shut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets may end up under water.

6. Place all appliances, including stoves, washers, dryers, etc. on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.

7.  Seal all cracks in walls, openings, or your foundation using masonry caulk or hydraulic cement.

8. Create an emergency preparedness kit and evacuation plan.




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