America’s oldest Main Street Is the Old Mine Road (now New York State Route 209) which is also Main street for the colonial eras hamlets along its length such as Hurley and Stone Ridge New York south to the Pennsylvania line (pictured on the main page is the Stone Ridge Library situated in a Dutch stone building dating from 1798 and erected on the foundation of earlier smaller stone building put up in 1674). The Old Mine road is the oldest road in continuous use in the nation having been cut by Dutch settlers in the sixteen hundreds from what is now Kingston New York on the Hudson River southwest to Port Jervis and the Delaware Water Gap a distance of approximately one hundred miles.
On the network of back roads and country lanes emanating from The Old Mine Road (especially in the Stone Ridge area) are living in cul-de-sacs and private drives the original Dutch and early English Families. The so-termed “Legacy Families” who inter-married with the Delaware Indians called Winisook (those that are left behind) in the seventeenth century. These descendants still live, grow corn and hunt deer and bear in the autumn much as they’ve done for almost four hundred years. People who maintain many of the frontier beliefs and legends of their ancestors including their Indian forebears sacred Owl Dances (which outsiders have never witnessed).
A way of life they believe is guarded by a gigantic magical bear named Broken-Paw. An orphaned cub accidentally left behind when the rest of his race, the Boda-Wan-Ta-Awazas fled the great tree-cutting which began as the British seized control of the colony in 1677. Incredibly long-lived bears who if they didn’t plant the old forest ten thousands years ago certainly tended and guarded it and who will return at some point in the future when the forest reestablishes itself in the mountains from which it was driven.
Here is a map of the road and its old churches.