Catskill lore

CATSKILL AND LEGENDARY BOXING COACH CUS D’AMATO. After  guiding Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres to boxing greatness, Cus D’Amato moved to upstate New York and opened the Catskill Boxing Club at 422 Main Street in the Village of Catskill. There, he met Mike Tyson, a troubled young man living in a nearby reform school, and began teaching him to box. The two developed a unique bond, and after Tyson’s mother died D’Amato legally adopted him. In 1985, at the age of  20, Tyson became the youngest world heavyweight champ. Sadly, D’Amato had died shortly before their triumph. To this day, Tyson gives props to his trainer, mentor, and the only father figure he’d ever known – the late, great Cus.

CATSKILL AND UNCLE SAM. In the early 19th century, Samuel Wilson was a government meat inspector based in Catskill, responsible for stamping “U.S.” onto shipments destined for the military during the War of 1812. The story goes that when asked what the “U.S.” stood for, workers joked that it referred to “Uncle Sam” Wilson. Later, prominent local contractor William Smith (who knew Wilson) upped the ante, appearing at Catskill’s 1888 centennial celebration in top hat and stars and stripes regalia, creating the iconic Uncle Sam image we know today. The Uncle Sam Bridge stands as a monument to Wilson, and connects the east and west sides of the Catskill Creek which runs though the village.

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