THE HISTORY OF WALKER VALLEY by
Richard and Gregston Greer
The early settlers to the valley in the 1700s carved out farms from land patents in West and East Shawangunk. Early industries included railroad tie- and ship mast making, logging, ice cutting, and huckleberry picking.
The Walker family settled in the Valley in the 1830s with over 4000 acres in land holdings; in the 1860s, Jacob and Mary Walker donated land for the school house, cemetery, and church. The Valley was named after the Walkers in 1862.
Many businesses operated in the Valley in the early 20th century, such as the Lakeside Rest which included a general store, post office, dance pavilion, movie house, and boating and swimming on a once much larger lake. There were egg farms, a bowling alley, a pogo stick factory, and many camps for children. The evening was a history lesson made personal, as long time residents spoke of their presence at long-ago events: the dedication of Rte. 52 in 1934 and 1935 (a WP A project), the fighting of significant fires in the Valley, and attendance at the Walker Valley schoolhouse. There were cries of "Remember?" from the audience: forty people rebuilding a house in one day after destruction by a chimney fire; stopping cars on the road for volunteers to fight a fire; remembering dances, minstrels, and fairs. Between the personal recollections and the well-researched information amassed by the Greers, the meeting gave the audience a mesmerizing history of the Walker Valley.