current city of Port Jervis was once part of the still
of Deerpark which was itself
established in 1798. After incorporating as a
village in 1853, and later being legally separated from the
Town of Deerpark, in 1907 Port Jervis became a city, the
smallest of the three found in Orange County.
Prior to the arrival of the first
Europeans near the start of the 18th century, the fertile
Neversink River bottomland running through today's Port Jervis was known as "Magagkamack,"
(Delaware Indian) phrase that
has been interpreted as "pumpkin field" or
"red lands." It was in the
vicinity of Port Jervis that a sub-group of the
Lenape, the Munsee, made their traditional seat of
government while the larger region in which Port
Jervis is located was "Minisink," a word still
used today as a regional geographic identifier.
of its location and waterways, which also includes the
mouth of the Neversink
river, Port Jervis has long been a transportation hub.
Owing to the mining and transportation of coal being a core reason
why the D & H Canal was built, researching and
first steam engine locomotive to run on commercial railroad
tracks in the United States was likewise among the many lifelong
engineering accomplishments of the
with its geography and relative prominence in early 19th century
transportation, the coming of the Erie Railroad in 1848
led Port Jervis to become an important
railroad center where one of region's few remaining steam
engine turntables can still be found.
the most famous of Port Jervis citizens is the acclaimed
author of the Red Badge of Courage, Stephen
Crane, who in 1878 took his first school lessons here. The inspiration for that novel and other
of his works held associations to Port Jervis where he
stayed with his brother
William, camped in Pike County with Port
Jervis friends, spent time in Sullivan County, and
returned for much of his 28 year life.
by the area's
natural beauty, including the
Nest" section of New York
Route 97, every year hundreds of thousands of visitors
and raft down the Delaware river.
This same region is a popular fishing
spot and is graced with American
Bald Eagles that can be observed
from public viewing areas, particularly during the winter
months. Because National
Geograhic recognized "the world-class natural and cultural
attractions of the middle and upper Delaware River region"
of which Port Jervis is part, it partnered with local
oranizations to create a useful geotourism guide map that
highlights the area's many interesting features, activities,
and points of interest. Visit the The National
Scenic, Wild Delaware River resource for more.