Jonathan Hasbrouck and the Family Account Ledger

Guilford Patent House drawn by Alfred Hasbrouck. It is believed that Jonathan Hasbrouck was born in this home-Courtesy of Historic Huguenot Street Archives

Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck was born two hundred and ninety three years ago this spring. His life is as intriguing to me as it was over twenty years ago when I first started researching his life. During that time I have uncovered many aspects of his life, as well as those of his immediate family, that were not commonly known or perhaps even overlooked by prior researchers. One of these is his ledger that is on file at Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh, State Historic Site. It is the only known ledger, kept by Colonel Hasbrouck, known to still exist. It is particularly valuable because it covers the years during the American Revolution.

Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck was born in 1722 in Ulster County just outside of New Paltz, New York. He later relocated in 1749 to what would become Newburgh, where his mother Elsie Schoonmaker purchased 99 acres of land. After marrying Tryntje DuBois, Hasbrouck brought her to her new home in June 1751. The couple had several children named: Mary, Rachel, Joseph, Abraham, Cornelius, Jonathan, and Isaac. Hasbrouck’s 99 acres would form the heart of his farm, mills, and merchant activity, which he would expand for the rest of his life. As his wealth increased, his home was also enlarged until it took its present form by 1770. This later included a store. It is during the late 1770s that Hasbrouck started keeping an account ledger.

Jonathan Hasbrouck took a leading role in his community as a Patriot when conflict started with England. The veteran of the French and Indian War, was appointed a Colonel, by the Provincial Congress, on October 25, 1775. He was placed in command of the 4th Ulster County Militia. Prior to this his activity centered on the Committee of Safety formed in Weigand’s Tavern. Once the regiment was formed in 1775, the focus now centered on outfitting the regiment for what was looking more and more like a prolonged conflict with England. Albert Gedney Barratt wrote that 4th Militia’s service can be divided into “three periods in different localities; first, in guarding the pass in the Ramapo Valley, second, in garrisoning the forts in the Hudson Valley, and third, in protecting the county borders.” Some of these phases are reflected in the ledger, especially pay for service at Fort Montgomery.

J. Tate Washington's Headquarters Newburgh (Jonathan Hasbrouck House) 1869 in a private collection used by permission

What is equally fascinating about the ledger is the plethora of names of various participants involved, not only in those preparations for war, but also garrisoning Fort Montgomery. A look at some of the specific entries within just the first few pages, we find that supplies are received by Hasbrouck for powder and lead to be used in the “defense of the states.” Still others list what men served at the fort and what they were paid for while at the fort. Yet another entry reads that Captain Conklin was given a “French Musket,” which can tell us what types of weapons were available to the militia in and around Newburgh in 1776.

It is believed, partially because of exposure to the elements while serving at Fort Montgomery, Hasbrouck became sick. This would figure prominently in his decision to resign his officer’s commission in May 1778. The other reason was most likely to resume his life as a merchant supplying the army. His mills, for example helped supply flour the army. In addition, there are other interesting notes pertaining to his profession as a merchant, miller, and store owner. For example, an entry of “three hundred dollars” for “1900 pounds of tobacco” was recorded, which was an important commodity. His oldest surviving son Cornelius Hasbrouck was sometimes involved in transporting. In the spring of 1779, he carted “8 hogs heads of rum” and took in “1600 dollars” for it which he shared with a Joseph Gashire. Much of the entries pertaining to 1779 deal directly with the fortune that the Hasbrouck family as merchants in Newburgh which include references to flour, hops and other commodities.

Later entries, especially those made by family members after Jonathan Hasbrouck dies in July 1780, pertain to the lands that the Hasbrouck’s owned in and around Newburgh. They are for various taxes to be paid on family lands in New Windsor and Newburgh. These taxes range from poor taxes to county taxes. After Hasbrouck’s death, his wife Tryntje continued to pay these various taxes even during the time when General Washington occupied the home as his headquarters from 1782-1783. Tryntje’s exact whereabouts during this time aren’t known for sure. What is telling is that an entry reads “received Newburgh”, possibly indicating that even as Washington lived in her home, she might have been in the area. Many earlier historians believe, however, that Tryntje relocated to New Paltz. Still other historians believe that Tryntje might have resided in one of the tenant houses that Hasbrouck’s owned.

A unique aspect of the ledger which deserves some attention is that it appears a family member might have used a few blank pages in this the back for recording recipes. It cannot be definitively proven who this person actually was or if it even was a Hasbrouck. They are interesting for delving into the Hasbrouck’s culinary tastes; if, once again, they are actually Hasbrouck family recipes.

The recipe for Washington Cake stands out as more or less the same recipe for Martha Washington’s Great Cake, which was one of George Washington’s favorites. There is a recipe for ice cream, which has been around since the time of Washington and was even served by Jefferson – both presidents had ice houses. Also contained in the ledger are recipes for macaroons, apple tarts, and puff pastries. Once again, the author of these recipes is not recorded.

The ledger of Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck should not be overlooked, as it provides a glance into the life of a prominent merchant and also offers information pertaining to the American War for Independence in the Lower Hudson Valley. It is also a rich resource for genealogists hoping to trace various individuals and their corresponding locations during specific times in the conflict. Perhaps one day another ledger will be found that was kept by Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck, but until then, this is a great source.

The Hasbrouck Mill circa 1798-It was no longer owned by the Hasbrouck Family in 1798.

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He is also a VIP for Teaching the Hudson Valley. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

Posted in City of Newburgh, Education, Historic Sites, Hudson River, Landmarks, Museums, Orange County, Revolutionary War, Town/Village of New Paltz | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CANDLELIGHT TOUR OF HOMES CELEBRATES NEWBURGH ARCHITECTURE

Newburgh Historical Society

NEWBURGH, NY – The Newburgh Historical Society’s annual Candlelight Tour will take place this year on Sunday, December 14th. The self-guided tour takes place between 12:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. and includes over a dozen decorated homes. The authentically decorated 1830 Captain David Crawford House is the starting place for the Tour.

The house circuit features a diverse assortment of public and private spaces, including mansions, structures in the rehabilitation process, new construction, architectural gems, and some of Newburgh’s most important landmarks.

The Historical Society’s mission is to promote an appreciation for the region’s architectural significance. The annual Candlelight Tour of Homes showcases Newburgh as a center of architectural variety and beauty. For years, community members within the second largest historic district in New York State have generously decorated and opened their homes to visitors in support of local history.

Tickets can be purchased online through the Society’s website (http://newburghhistoricalsociety.com/) or by calling (845) 561-2585. Visitors can save $5 off the regular $30 ticket price by purchasing tickets in advance. A guide booklet and a custom map will be provided to add historical context and enrich the visitor experience.

The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands was launched unofficially when the Hasbrouck House (Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh) was in danger of demolition after the Revolutionary War. The current Society, incorporated in 1884, has always been an advocate for Newburgh’s history. Society headquarters, the 1830 Captain David Crawford House, was purchased by the Society in 1954 to save it from demolition, symbolizes their dedication to preserving and protecting Newburgh’s assets.

The Crawford House, located at 189 Montgomery Street within the City of Newburgh’s Historic District, is open for tours by appointment during the winter season. View the “Made in Newburgh” exhibit, a temporary exhibit open through the Candlelight Tour. Admission is $5.00 per person or as part of the Candlelight Tour ticket price. For more information about admission, tours, or programming please call (845) 561-2585.

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He is also a VIP for Teaching the Hudson Valley. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

Posted in City of Newburgh, Education, Historic Sites, Hudson River, Landmarks, Museums, Orange County | Leave a comment

Ulster County Historic Sites in Gingerbread

Each year the Ulster County Historical Society hosts a holiday event and this year’s theme is Historic Ulster County…in gingerbread! On Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14, 2014, gingerbread creations of Ulster County’s favorite historic buildings will be displayed nestled among the wonderful Christmas decorations at the Bevier House Museum in Marbletown.

Other activities include an exhibit of model trains, gingerbread cookie decorating for anyone wishing to be creative, and a holiday gift raffle. Refreshments of hot cider, mulled wine and homemade cookies will be served. The gingerbread houses will be contributed by historic groups, restaurants, museums, bakeries and scout troops throughout the county.

The Bevier House Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 13 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 14. Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for UCHS members, and $7 for Students and Seniors. For more information, call 845-338-5614 or visit the Ulster County Historical Society website at http://www.ulstercountyhs.org

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Historic Huguenot Street Holiday Exhibit Features Classic Toys

HHS Teddy Bear-HHS

NEW PALTZ, NY – The Historic Huguenot Street Curatorial Department has developed a new exhibit in honor of the winter holiday season. On display now in the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, “Gifts of the Past” features a selection of historic children’s toys from the Historic Huguenot Street Permanent Collection.

Holiday gift giving has been a tradition for several centuries. Around the world, Christmas traditions are influenced by the legend of a gift giver rewarding children for their good behavior with toys and treats. “This exhibit brings together examples of classic children’s toys, both mass produced and hand-made, from the 19th and early-20th centuries,” explained Collections Manager Josephine Bloodgood. “We are very lucky to have such an extensive collection of these timeless objects preserved to share with the public.”  Items on display include the first model Teddy Bear, a set of alphabet blocks, handmade wooden dominoes, and a bisque handmade doll.

This exhibit is a part of Historic Huguenot Street’s larger holiday programming season, featuring special events, interpretations, and décor. Additional objects from the Permanent Collection, including toys and holiday greeting cards, will be on display throughout the Deyo House, which guests can tour by purchasing a regular All-Day Pass.

“Gifts of the Past” is free and open to the public, now through Sunday, December 21, 2014. The DuBois Fort Visitor Center is open weekends, 10 am – 5 pm.

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve their French and Dutch heritage.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He is also a VIP for Teaching the Hudson Valley. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

Posted in Education, Museums, Town/Village of New Paltz | Leave a comment

The Cantonment at New Windsor

Infantry: Continental Army, 1779-1783, IV / H.A. Ogden ; lith. by G.H. Buek & Co., N.Y

After the Siege of Yorktown and the victory over the British, George Washington eventually decided to move the Northern Wing of the Continental Army to New Windsor, New York in October 1782. It was in New Windsor that the Continental Army would winter in what is known as a cantonment. A cantonment is a semi-permanent military encampment.

When all the troops arrived they  would they would total some 7,500 soldiers and about 500 camp followers. These camp followers are not the same as later camp followers, for example, in the Civil War. The camp followers at New Windsor were women, children, refuges, and families of some of the soldiers.

Within two months the soldiers had erected “nearly 600 log huts.” The encampment stretched over 1600 acres. In addition to the huts, the soldiers created what became known as the Temple Building or the Temple of Virtue. It was located on the McGill Farm, on what is today known as Temple Hill. In addition to the Temple of Virtue there were also many notable events including the famous Newburgh Letters in March 1783, the cease fire in April 1783, and subsequent discharge of the army. Finally, the entire cantonment needed to be broken down and the lands returned to the community. Once broken down, the materials were sold at auction. In addition to being the last encampment of the Continental Army, New Windsor is also known for the Badge of Military Merit.

The Badge of Military Merit was conceived by Washington on August 7, 1782. In his general orders,  ”the General ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military merit directs whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings, over his left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding.” Only three men are known to have received this award, “At the present time there are three known recipients of the Badge of Military Merit: Sergeant Elijah Churchill, 2nd Continental Dragoons; Sergeant William Brown, 5th and Sergeant Daniel Bissel, 2nd Connecticut Continental Line Infantry.”

Merit Badge-Wikipedia

 

Although the Merit Badge was not continued after 1783, it was brought back to life in 1932 for the bi-centennial of George Washington’s birth. This is today’s Purple Heart. Since the forerunner of the Purple Heart was conceived by Washington at the Hasbrouck House in Newburgh (Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site), and awarded to individuals stationed at the Cantonment, it is only fitting that in 2006, The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor should be opened at the New Windsor Cantonment.

Temple Hill Monument. Site of Last Cantonment of Washington's Army-NYSA

“In 1933 the National Temple Hill Association was founded to preserve the site and the Mountainville Hut, a log building believed to be built from an original Cantonment hut, was moved to the grounds.” The Temple Building was re-built in the 1960s. Today, a portion of the New Windsor Cantonment is preserved as a state historic site. Visitors can catch a glimpse of camp life by way of living history.

The New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is co-located with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor at 374 Temple Hill Road (Route 300) in New Windsor, NY, just three miles south of the intersection of I-87 and I-84. The historic site is closed holidays except Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. Costumed living history demonstrations are available from mid-April to the end of October, from Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The visitor center is open except for the above mentioned holidays year round Monday – Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

A.J. Schenkman -Author

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He is also a VIP for Teaching the Hudson Valley. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

Posted in City of Newburgh, Education, Historic Sites, Hudson River, Landmarks, Monuments, Museums, Orange County, Revolutionary War, Wars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Santa Paws” Arrives on Huguenot Street

DuBois Fort-Author

NEW PALTZ, NY – Historic Huguenot Street will open its doors on Small Business Saturday, November 29, for a dog-friendly holiday sale in the Museum Store. Throughout the day, doggy daycare will be available for those with furry friends, and dogs are invited to take a photo with Santa from 10 am – 12 pm for $10 (sponsored in part by Sue’s Zoo). Dogs must be vaccinated and leashed to participate.

Dogs have a history on Huguenot Street dating back to before the arrival of Europeans.  In archaeological excavations over the last decade, remains of a companion dog, ceremoniously buried, were found on what is today Huguenot Street. Our canine friends have played on the Street from at least that time, and continue to today.

During the sale, the Museum Store on Huguenot Street will be offering discounts on select merchandise, including jewelry, children’s toys and crafts, and other locally-produced, hand-made gifts exclusive to Historic Huguenot Street. Shoppers can expect to receive 20% off of most items, with select items up to 50% off. All sales directly benefit Historic Huguenot Street.

The holiday sale will begin at the Historic Huguenot Street Museum Store on Friday, November 28 and continue through Sunday, November 30. The Museum Store is located in the DuBois Fort Visitor Center at 81 Huguenot Street. Historic Huguenot Street and the Museum Store will be open every Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 5 pm through December 21 with special holiday tours available.

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve their French and Dutch heritage.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.

Posted in Museums, Town/Village of New Paltz, Ulster County | Leave a comment

Wildmere and Cliff House

Wildmere -1903 Library of Congress

A couple of weeks ago I went for a relaxing walk around Lake Minnewaksa. It is a favorite destination for me. Half way around the lake I decided to sit on a rock and eat a sandwich that I had packed. While sitting there I remembered as a child coming up to Lake Minnewaska before it was a park. It was some 37 years ago when at the opposite end of the lake stood Wildmere Mountain House. Wildmere holds a place in my heart because it is where I fell in love with horses. I still remember that horse’s name-Tomato.

Today, Minnewaska State Park Preserve has become a popular destination for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. It is crisscrossed with acres of pristine views, carriage trails, and hiking trails. Many people visiting there do not realize that it once was the site of two spectacular mountain houses that sat perched on the cliffs overlooking Lake Minnewaska. They were named Wildmere and Cliff House.

The start of these two mountain houses can be traced back to the Smiley twins, Alfred and Albert, who earlier founded the famous landmark Mohonk Mountain House.

The site of the first mountain house, Cliff House, was first viewed in 1875 when Alfred and his brother were on a day excursion from the Mohonk Mountain House which they founded years earlier. Alfred decided that Lake Minnewaska, which was then called Coxing Pond, would be a perfect site for a mountain house. He was determined to find out who owned Coxing Pond.

Shortly after visiting the pond, Alfred inquired about who owned the lake. He was told, according to the book Mohonk: Its People and Spirit, that George Davis owned it. Eventually, Alfred purchased over 2,000 acres of land and construction commenced, in 1877, on the first of two mountain houses. The first mountain house would be named Cliff House.

The mountain house was completed by 1878, and Alfred, who was at the time the manager of Mohonk, moved with his family to Cliff House. Guests who stayed at Cliff House were allowed to travel back and forth between Mohonk and Cliff House by way of a carriage road. Eventually, another hotel on the opposite side of Lake Minnewaska, christened Wildmere, was completed in 1881. The combined houses could accommodate over 400 guests. Alfred Smiley continued to expand the property until his death in 1903. 

The Minnewaska Mountain Houses remained in the Smiley family until 1955 when they were acquired by the Phillips family in 1955. Kenneth B. Phillips, Sr. worked for the Smiley family; as stated in a newspaper interview, he came to Minnewaska in 1927. Lake Minnewaska’s mountain houses continued to thrive until the late 1960s and early 1970s when interest in the mountain houses began to decline. Finally by 1972, Cliff House was abandoned because the Phillips family did not have the financial resources for the upkeep of the mountain house. It was decided that the family’s resources should be concentrated in Wildmere. A fateful mistake had been made by the family when they shut the water off to Cliff House, which also cancelled the insurance policy on the structure. 

New York State, by this time, hoped to avoid development of this pristine area of Ulster County. In 1969, the state began purchasing property from the family. In addition to New York State, the Nature Conversancy also started to buy parts of the property. According to The Daily Freeman, by October 2000, the state purchased 7,000 acres for 1.5 million dollars. 

By 1976, the owners of the Cliff House and Wildmere filed for bankruptcy. Brian Anglin wrote that in 1977, the Philips family, who was now out of money, put Minnewaska up for sale. New York State eventually moved in and purchased 1,400 acres of land with an additional 200 acre easement. Anglin continued that after all the purchases had been made over the years, the family was left with 1,200 acres which included the two mountain houses and the lands around them. Phillips, Jr., who ran the resorts, hoped to reopen Cliff House and also build luxury condos on the property. The furniture, and anything of value, was auctioned off by the family. Concerns emerged about vagrants who were lighting fires and destroying the empty hotel. There was fear of a fire starting in the abandoned structure; that fear became reality in the first days of 1978. 

According to most sources, such as The New York Times, the fire that destroyed the Cliff House started in the evening of New Year’s Day. A report of a structure fire was phoned into the Accord Fire Department at 8:30 PM. Accord Fire Chief Lowell Baker, whose district the hotels were located in, arrived first on the scene. Seeing the size of the fire, which was spreading quickly through the wood structure, he promptly called for mutual aid from the neighboring Kerhonkson Fire District as well as from other local fire departments. As the flames leapt 75 feet into the winter sky, according to The Huguenot Herald, fire-fighting vehicles headed to the scene but were halted on Route 44/55 at the gate to the property. A heavy snow continued to fall and it prohibited safe travel up to the hotel.

Those trucks that attempted to navigate the snowy, icy, twisting, and winding approach to the mountaintop resort realized that their attempts were futile. The vehicles did not have chains on their wheels and had to turn back, or in some cases, slide back. Only those trucks that had four-wheel-drive were able to make it to the top. As the heavy snow continued to hamper firefighting efforts, The Newburgh Evening News reported that the water and sprinklers had been shut off in the structure; this denied firefighters a valuable water source once they were able to get to the top of the mountain.

The awful fire was over by 12:30 AM; a century of history was reduced to smoking ruins. The community mourned the loss of the mountain house. Fortunately, Wildmere still stood unscathed. It too finally closed in 1979. The fight was on to save this environmental treasure from development, which appeared imminent by way of the Marriott Corporation who wanted to build a high-end resort. This plan was finally defeated in 1985.  

Unfortunately, however, on a Thursday afternoon in June of 1986, Wildmere also burned down and brought to an end the era of the grand mountain houses of Lake Minnewaska. New York State finally bought the rest of the

Wildmere 1903-Library of Congress

Lake Minnewaska resort, and opened the preserve that many people still enjoy today. According to a recent Poughkeepsie Journal article, the Minnewaska property has grown from its original 10,000 acres to about 22,000 currently. The most recent acquisition was Little Stony Kill Falls.

Posted in Education, Firefighting, Lost Landmarks, Shawangunk Mountains, Town of Gardiner, Town of Rochester, Town of Wawarsing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historic Huguenot Street to Host SUNY New Paltz Ceramics Program Exhibit

Picture Courtesy of HHS

NEW PALTZ, NY (November 14, 2014) – Historic Huguenot Street has collaborated with the Ceramics program at SUNY New Paltz to present “Insight/On Site,” an exhibit of student artworks, on Saturday, November 22, from 3 pm to 6 pm. Inspired by the structures and collections of Historic Huguenot Street, works will be displayed throughout the historic homes and the artists will be present to speak about their art, their inspiration, and the artistic process. General admission is $15; admission is $10 for seniors, military, students, and members of Historic Huguenot Street. Admission is free for SUNY New Paltz students with ID.

“Insight/On Site” will feature artwork by New Paltz undergraduate and graduate Ceramics students, providing an opportunity to revisit New Paltz history while encouraging students to develop their own unique expressions, interpreting traditional artifacts in a contemporary manner. The first “Insight/On Site” exhibit was hosted at Historic Huguenot Street in 2012 in collaboration with the SUNY New Paltz Metal program.

“This collaboration is a perfect example of the extensive educational partnership between Historic Huguenot Street and SUNY New Paltz,” said Board President Mary Etta Schneider. “As a historic site, Huguenot Street is uniquely capable of providing engaging and enriching educational opportunities for our community’s students.”

“We are pleased that our students and the art department are partnering again this year with Historic Huguenot Street on this project,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian. “It’s exciting that our ceramics students are drawing artistic inspiration from local history, and that the College can support programs at HHS in the process.  This is precisely the kind of regional collaboration that we want to build.”  The SUNY New Paltz Ceramics program offers an extensive curriculum in all aspects of traditional and contemporary ceramics practices and technologies in a state-of-the-art facility with teachers who are actively engaged artists.

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve their French and Dutch heritage.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He is also a VIP for Teaching the Hudson Valley. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

Posted in Education, Historic Sites, Town/Village of New Paltz, Ulster County | Leave a comment

First Peoples of the Esopus: Native American Music and Storytelling

On Saturday, November 15, 2014, the Klyne Esopus Museum’s Roger Mabie Speaker Series continues with guests Reverend Nick Miles and Friends, who will present “Native American Music and Storytelling.” The program will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the Town of Esopus Town Hall Community Room, 284 Broadway in Ulster Park.

Reverend Miles, also known as Tecumseh Red Cloud, is a member of the Pamunkey Tribe, Powhatan Nation. He is the Lead Singer and Drum Keeper of the Cloud Breaker Society, who along with the Red Feather Singers, are members of the Association of Native Americans of the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Miles will share Native songs from various traditions, Evan Pritchard will offer a sample of Native Flute music and a Native Lullaby will be sung. Miles will also speak about the importance of storytelling in native cultures.

Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. This program is underwritten by Aardvark Realty of St. Remy. The Klyne Esopus Museum, located in Ulster Park, New York, is housed in a former 1827 Dutch country church. The museum offers a variety of exhibits about the culture, commerce and history of The Town of Esopus. Call 845-532-5548 for more information.

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An Unforgiving Land: Hardscrabble Life in the Trapps Lecture on November 9

Davis house stone foundation ruin, Gardiner, NY-Wikipedia

Marbletown, New York (November 8 ) Authors Josephson and Larsen present their newest book, an illustrated history of a small, hardscrabble community in the Shawangunk Mountains of Ulster County where today’s Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park Preserve now lie. From early post-Revolutionary days through World War II, a few hardy families scratched out a living atop the mountain, defying an unforgiving and isolated terrain. For generations they lived off the land, working subsistence farms and harvesting raw materials from the forest and earth, having only each other to rely upon. Today only a few vestiges of this proud and independent community remain. The rest has vanished along with the way of life that sustained it. Our authors tell the remarkable story of the Trapps people and how the hamlet was honored with placement on the National and State Registers of Historic Places the first time New York State has recognized the historic importance of a vanished, hardscrabble community.

Admission is $7 to general public free for UCHS members, books will be for sale at event.

The Bevier House Museum

2682 Route 209, Marbletown

(845) 338-5614; uchsdirector@gmail.com

A.J. Schenkman, Historic Huguenot Street’s Consulting Historian, teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books include “Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County,” “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More,” and “Washington’s Headquarters Newburgh: Home to a Revolution.”  A.J. has columns in both The New York History Blog, and is a history blogger for The Times Herald Record. He is also a VIP for Teaching the Hudson Valley. He has been featured in numerous publications, venues , radio, and television.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Education, Lost Landmarks, Shawangunk Mountains, Strange Stories, Town of Gardiner, Town/Village of New Paltz, Ulster County | Leave a comment
  • Blog Author

    AJ Schenkman

    A.J. Schenkman teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent books Include Murder and Mayhem in Ulster County and Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More, and ... Read Full

    Elizabeth Werlau

    Elizabeth Werlau is an English teacher in the Hudson Valley and is the historian for the Town of Plattekill in Ulster County. She has authored and contributed to several books on regional history, including her most recent publication, Murder and ... Read Full
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