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Letterbox Back Story: Koo Koose

08/27/2002
by Silent Doug

The upper Delaware River Valley was the home to many native American tribes, including the Lenni Lenape (Delaware), Mohawk, Oneida and Tuscarora. A few miles south of Oquaga Creek State Park is the site of a native American village known as Koo Koose, the place of owls. When white settlers formed a settlement on the west branch of the Delaware River in 1783, they named it "Cookhouse" (or "Cookose").

The settlement's first permanent structure was a home built for the first married couple of the village, Margaret Whitaker and Captain Conrad Edick. The house eventually becanme a tavern, then a tourist hotel, and today serves as an antique store.

By 1800, the Lenape had been forced westward, out of the Delware River Valley, and the settlement of Cookhouse incorporated in 1811 and was renamed Deposit. Logging was the main industry of the area, and pine logs were hauled by sleigh in winter, and deposited in piles along the banks of the Delaware River to await the Spring's high waters (hence the name “Deposit”). The timber was then put on rafts and floated down the river to reach sawmills in the Philadelphia area. By the early 1900s, the logging industry had declined; the Depression of the 1930s only worsened the village's fate.

Today, the owl and the native American's place name serve as reminders of the region's heritage. The local chapter of the D.A.R. is known as the Koo Koose Chapter, and the local historical society uses the owl for its logo.

If you're hungry, try Crane's restaurant at 68 Second Street in Deposit. Breakfast every morning from 7-11 a.m, lunch on weekdays from 11 am - 2 p.m. and dinner every night starting at 5 (4 on Sunday). Note that they're closed on Mondays. Call for directions or more info (607) 467-2406. They have a great kids menu, and a daily list of specials. Don't forget to sign the guest book on your way out -- do you recognize any letterboxers' names in it?

Go to the Koo Koose Letterbox

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