Shokan is a hamlet in the Town of Olive. It is one of the small historic community’s that surround the shoreline of the Ashokan Reservoir, a major water supply for the City of New York. Other hamlets around the reservoir are Boiceville, Olivebridge, Samsonville, Krumville, West Shokan, and Ashokan. In May of 1997 a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between these Watershed Towns and the City of New York to provide for protection of water quality for the reservoir.
A little history on the reservoir: The passing of the Water Act of 1905 led to the building of Ashokan Dam on the Esopus Creek and upon its completion in 1916 created 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 all its hamlets as the Town center and the majority of the Town’s residents were forced from the rich Esopus Valley into the nearby foothills. Olive has long been a seasonal recreational area for New Yorkers, and now that it’s protected its enticements are even greater than heretofore. The boarding house days and hunting camps of the 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s have vanished and now serve as second homes or primary residences.
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