History of the Black Forest Colony
We stumbled upon what looks to be a brief history of the Black Forest Colony online. It might be a rough draft since there was a little note at the end that said "Check for historical accuracy?"
From the Sullivan County Lumberland Compresive Plan Document:
The Black Forest Colony has its origins in1936 as the inspiration of Mr. C. K. Froehlich. Froehlich was wellknown member of several German societies in New York City as well as the head of North German Lloydâ€™s travel department. He had led tour groups through the Black Forest in Germany and realized that, given the political situation, there would come a time when traveling to Europe would become impossible. His vision was to create a community and retreat for German-Americans here in the states. Houses would be built in the Bavarian style, and each would be surrounded by three acres of land. An additional 800 acres would be reserved for community park purposes. There would be no businesses, only residences, in this pristine forest environment. To realize this vision he began at the German community centers in Yorkville Manhattan, speaking to and inspiring a core group of people to find and settle a piece of land in the spirit of the original Black Forest. To find this land, fifty of these supporters traveled in three buses through the countryside of New York. They went through Greenwood Lake, on to Sullivan County, and then to Glen Spey. Of these, some people decided to explore other possibilities in the many â€œfor saleâ€ signs on houses and farms. But a solid group stayed on and among them was Mr. Edgar Zecher. With his staunch support he became the trusted treasurer and co-founder of the Black Forest Colony. The building of the colony proceeded slowly. Originally, each prospective member of the colony paid three dollars for their membership and two hundred dollars for a certificate promising them their three acres. The first major purchase was the MacKenzie Park property, and estate of approximately 2,000 acres for the price of $25,000. It was a struggle to get the funds together. The depression years were just ending. However, with the commitment and resourcefulness of colony members (among them Mrs. Mehrer, Mr. Hans Ostermann and Mr. Jacob Seifferth; all of whom helped with a loan toward the mortgage payments) the property was eventually secured. Bungalows went up, one at a time. Pepe Huber was the first member to have a small cottage built. The men of the colony built a small narrow wooden bridge across the Mill Brook where the Freund Bridge is today. Bit by bit the Colony formed itself and it was a happy day when, on September 21, 1940 the mortgage for the entire Black Forest property had been paid.