From Isabella to Sojourner: A Slave in Ulster County

Sojourner_truth_c1870-wikipedia

One of the most famous residents of Ulster County was a slave born Isabella. She was born in the last years of the 18th century. We know Isabella by the name she later took which was Sojourner Truth. She adopted this name after gaining her freedom.  Truth would spend a large part of her life campaigning for the end of slavery in the United States. Equally well known was was when she saved her son from slavery pleading her case at the Ulster County Court House in Kingston. She won the case. Finally, she is well known for her speech “Ain’t I Woman?”

February 7, 2015,  will be the first in a  series of 3 lectures about Ulster County.  Historian Anne Gordon will discuss not only slavery in the Hudson Valley, but on March 7, she will discuss the lives of women in the 17th century Hudson Valley after the English conquest in 1664. The lecture series will conclude on April 2, with a lecture on the Hasbrouck Family. Ms. Gordon will be joined with noted Hasbrouck historian A.J. Schenkman.  

Anne Gordon has been the Ulster County Historian for the past 7 years. Her background in library and archival work for the City of New York, and her experience in local government have been important assets in her work. She was recently named a New York Registered Public Historian. Anne holds degrees from Brooklyn College and Pratt Institute. A native of Virginia, she has lived in the Hudson Valley for more than 30 years.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

  • 4:00pm5:00pm16:0017:00
  • Deyo Hall 6 Broadhead Ave New Paltz, NY, 12561
  • Members $5; seniors and military $7.
    $10 general admission. 

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, Ulster County | Leave a comment

The Coldens

Cadwallader Colden-New York State Museum

Some years ago I drove past the remains of the Colden Mansion at the intersection of Stone Castle Road and Route 17K in the Town of Montgomery. I made  a mental note to return to investigate this interesting site where a beautiful mansion once stood. All that remained to remind the passerby were some walls.

Recently I had the chance to return to the area for a look around the site. A blue New York State Education Department sign alerts passerby that this skeleton, almost lost in the woods, was the site of “the Colden Mansion built of stone in 1767 by Cadwallader Colden, Jr.” How many families, like the Coldens, can boast about having Royal Surveyors, Lieutenant Governors, Acting Governors of New York, noted scientists, and even one of the first female botanists in the Americas among them?

The Colden’s played an integral part in both local and state history, beginning locally when Cadwallader Colden Sr.  was the first Colden to come to the area that would become Coldenham in 1727. He was granted three thousand acres of land. It was his son Cadwallader Colden, Jr., who inherited some five hundred acres of land in 1744 and built a luxurious home on this plot of land. A 1959 article from The Newburgh News described the inside of the mansion: “The house had 17 large rooms, nine open fireplaces with mantels, two bathrooms, a butler’s pantry, three wide halls, and 10 foot ceilings….”  The paper went on to note the “grey field stone house” and interior paneling that had been brought from England, features representing the height of opulence for the area.

Colden_Mansion_engraving-1859

Fortunes changed for the Coldens before and during the American Revolution. In 1765, while Colden Sr. was acting Governor of the Province of New York, his carriage was destroyed by a mob protesting the Stamp Act. Later, his son refused to sign the oath of allegiance and was arrested several times before requesting he be allowed to go to New York City, where he believed he would be safer. In 1776, his father died in Flushing, Queens and was thus spared the worst that the Revolution had to offer the family. Some believe that the reason the mansion was allowed to deteriorate was because of the family’s Tory leanings.

The Colden’s mansion passed out of the family by the 1890s. According to the same article in The Newburgh News, by the 1930s, George Bache had purchased the home by way of back taxes owed on the house and property by the previous owners. Bache realized the importance of the site and hoped to sell it to the New-York Historical Society, a plan that fell through.

The home’s disrepair was reported periodically in local newspapers. In the 1940s, all of the windows were broken and missing, the rooms vandalized, and anything of value stolen. During this time, according to The Newburgh News, some of its unique paneling from the parlor was removed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. By 1959 the mansion belonged to the Affron family, who had purchased the house and property with the hope of restoring it. They found the costs of restoring the home staggering and the home entered into a period of extended deterioration.

Colden Mansion Ruins-Wikipedia

In the 1970s, The Newburgh Evening News, asked in a title to a story about the home, ”What to Happen to ‘Lady in White’ at Colden House?” A reference to a ghost said to have inhabited the home. Al Hinton reported in March 1970, that home was ready for the wrecking ball.  Instead, the mansion was ignored until 1997, when the Town of Montgomery gave the site landmark status. By then, only a few outside walls remained and its original 3,000 acres had been whittled down to eight.

The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 and in 2010, a group of local historians as well as activists came together in order to raise awareness about the ruins in addition to one of the richest and most influential families in New York. The group named itself The Coldengham Preservation and Historical Society. Their mission was to raise awareness and appreciation of the history and legacy of Cadwallader Colden, and the Colden family, and to develop a heritage park encompassing the mansion ruins, Colden Family Cemetery and Colden Canal. The organization also hoped to build an interpretive center which would also bring to light the long held interest of the Colden family in the natural history world (their remains an abundance of flora and fauna on the grounds).

The society  hosted its first ever Colden Day in 2013 an effort to raise local awareness of the site. Local historians gave tours and explained the site to visitors. The hope is this will become an annual event. Even though the original mansion can never be replaced, there are lessons to be learned from the site, including what happens when historical treasures are allowed to fall into decline.

 

Posted in Education, Historic Sites, Hudson River, Landmarks, Lost Landmarks, Monuments, Orange County | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historic Huguenot Street Awards $14,500 in 2015 Scholarships

Abraham Hasbrouck House with Freer House in background-HABS/HAER

NEW PALTZ, NY (January 13, 2015) – As a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to academic achievement, Historic Huguenot Street is pleased to announce the 10 recipients of a total of $14,500 in scholarships for 2015. In collaboration with the Hasbrouck Family Association, Historic Huguenot Street has now provided nearly $140,000 to further the education of more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students across the country since 1998.

Five different funds provide support for scholarly work in fields related to Historic Huguenot Street’s mission, including historic preservation, art history, architecture, and historic anthropology. Scholarship candidates are reviewed and recipients are selected by the Historic Huguenot Street Scholarship Committee, chaired by Dr. James Merrell, Professor of History at Vassar College, and Dr. Louis Roper, Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz. In addition to Dr. Merrell and Dr. Roper, the Committee includes Hasbrouck Family Association Vice President Robert Freehill.

“Historic Huguenot Street is committed to maintaining the tradition of its Huguenot founders by supporting higher education,” said Dr. Merrell. “The 2015 scholarship recipients represent excellence in their chosen fields of study, and we are proud to recognize them and support their academic growth.”

The 2015 recipients are: Timothy J. Brown, University of New Hampshire (NH); Elonna J. Falk, Tufts University (MA); Drew J. Hasbrouck, Northeastern University (MA); Elizabeth R. Hundley, Appalachian State University (NC); Nathan R. Hyndman, Colorado State University – Pueblo (CO); Rose I. LeFevre-Levy, Macalaster College (MN); Tisa N. Loewen, SUNY New Paltz (NY); David C. Miller, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY); Colin A. Price, University of Vermont (VT); Isabel M. Sacks, Swarthmore College (PA).

Information about the scholarships provided by Historic Huguenot Street is available at www.huguenotstreet.org/scholarships.

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 Education, Museums, Ulster County | Leave a comment

Old Maps: Rossville, Savill and Savilton

A section of the 1875 F.W. Beers & Co. Atlas Newburgh map; the hamlet of Savill is located in the center of the image. (Click on image to enlarge)

Old maps have many stories to tell, and help to provide clues to the life in hamlets and neighborhoods that have been lost to time. Maps such as those in the 1875 F.W. Beers & Co. Atlas, for example, show the location of stores, churches, schools and residences in areas that today are unrecognizable as having once been active. One such area in Orange County is the hamlet is Savilton in the Town of Newburgh, today little more than an unnamed stretch of Route 32 leading from Newburgh north to the Town of Plattekill.  On early maps, however, the area is listed at various times as Savilton, Savill and Rossville, with indications that it once was an active neighborhood.

Early records indicate that the area that started as Wallace’s Patent, an area roughly 1,900 acres in size. The earliest settlers were the members  of the Joseph Penny family, natives of Yorkshire, England, who ran a sawmill on the Quassiack Creek that ran through the area.  Penny  later sold a portion of the patent to Robert Ross. Ross, a shoemaker, settled in the area around 1750 and started a successful tannery. According to the 1887 History of the Town of Marlborough, Ulster County, NY,  he made a profit in both of these business ventures during the American Revolution, and as a result was able to make significant additions to the stone house he had built near his tannery. His sons, Alexander and William, eventually inherited the property and the tannery yards, in the area that came to be referred to as Rossville.   

A section of the "Orange County Before 1810" map; courtesy of the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. The home of Robert Ross and the hamlet of Rossville (Savilton) are visible in the upper right corner.

Some areas indicate that the name was bestowed in honor of Alexander Ross, who was a well-known businessman, surveyor, and town assessor who remained on his father’s lands; his name can still be found on many Newburgh and Plattekill-area deeds. He was also a road commissioner for the Newburgh and Plattekill Turnpike Company, a precursor to Route 32. His brother William was a prominent lawyer who removed to the City of Newburgh. He was active in politics and served as an Assemblyman from 1808 to 1814 and a State Senator from 1815 to 1822.  

Methodist meetings were held in the area as early at 1808 and in 1831 the Rossville Methodist Church was built, at a cost of about $600. The church shared a minister with the Plattekill Methodist Church, located a few miles north of Rossville. A joint school district of the towns of Plattekill and Newburgh was formed in 1829, and a general store and a few surrounding residences rounded out the small hamlet by mid-century.

At some point prior to 1859, in what started as a joke, Newburgh lawyer Chauncey F. Belknap renamed the area Savill, in honor of his son.  The 1881 History of Orange County, New York notes:

The name and the post-office had their origin in Mr. Belknap’s office. The circumstances were these: An old gentleman from Rossville called at Mr. Belknap’s office, and in conversation on neighborhood matters Mr. Belknap jokingly asked hi why they did not have a post office there? The gentleman replied he did not suppose one could be obtained. “Nothing easier,” said Belknap, and turning to his desk he drew up a petition, which was signed by himself and Mr. Thomas George and forwarded to Washington, expecting that that would be the last of it. The department, however, regarded the application as having been made in good faith, and established the office and appointed a postmaster.

 Thus, the hamlet came to be known as Savill, after the name of its new post office, a name that would eventually morph into Savilton.  

Though just a small neighborhood, Savilton made national headlines over the next century starting in the 1920s with the story of a nine-year-old Brooklyn boy who drowned in a creek near his boarding house; a passerby refused to jump in to save the boy for fear of ruining his new suit in the water. Another case in the 1930s involved a serial arsonist who struck a number of homes in Newburgh and Plattekill. By the 1960s, the hamlet was mostly known for the high-speed stretch of Route 32 that was the site of numerous accidents. Savilton resident Ramon Blanco made the news in 1968 when he refused to allow state road crews to cut down a tree on his property that he claimed had saved him from one such accident. When road crews tried to cut down the tree as part of a road maintenance effort, seventy-five year-old Blanco, who lived in a two-hundred-year-old home that most likely had been built by Robert Ross, told them that the large maple tree saved his life when a driver misjudged the road and a car came onto his lawn at high speed. Blanco, who was working outside at the time, was directly in the car’s path save for the tree which bore the impact of the crash. (The state allowed the tree to remain without further disturbance.)

Within a few years of Blanco’s stance, the hamlet bore little resemblance to the Rossville of the 1800s. The one-room Savilton School, Newburgh/Plattekill District No. 6, which had closed in 1941, was sold in 1974. The Rossville Church merged with the Fostertown and Middle Hope Methodist Churches in 1975 to form the Trinity United Methodist Parish in Newburgh, and the church building was sold. Little evidence remains of the hamlet today, beyond the former Rossville Methodist Church and cemetery, which are now privately owned, private residences, a small convenience store and the crumbling stone remains of some of the earliest structures. 

The one-room Savilton School in the 1930s. Photo courtesy of Shirley Anson.

Posted in Cemeteries, Education, Landmarks, Lost Landmarks, Orange County, Town of Newburgh, Town of Plattekill, Ulster County | Leave a comment

The President Visits New Paltz

Bevier/Elting House Library of Congress

Several months ago I published a piece about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visiting New Paltz in 1943 with the Princess of Norway. It was a small part of a larger article about archives. After that article was published I received quite a few requests for more information about this visit. While researching the 1943 visit in the Huguenot Street archives, I found that it was not the first time royalty had visited Historic Huguenot Street.

The New Paltz Independent and Times on September 23, 1943, proclaimed that on the afternoon of September 22, the President of the United States, along with his son Lt. Col. James Roosevelt, Princess Helen of Norway, as well as her 3 children visited Huguenot Street. The primary reason for the visit was to return some documents. A professor working for the FDR Library had borrowed them from some New Paltz families in order to make copies for the library’s archives. President Roosevelt, the unknown columnist wrote, was a descendant of Antoine Crispell, and quite interested in the stone houses on Huguenot Street. They decided to stop in front of the Bevier/Elting house where they were greeted by Lenetta DuBois.

Queen Juliana-Wikipedia

While his son and the rest of the party were given a tour of the entire Bevier/Elting house, the president remained waiting in his car. There is an often told story that has been passed down in the DuBois Family, and attributed to Bob Lasher. Lasher, then a young boy, claimed to have escorted President Roosevelt to New Paltz. He suggested, to Roosevelt, that an excellent Dutch style house to view would be the Bevier house. It was owned by a cousin of Lasher’s named Lenetta DuBois. When the presidential motorcade pulled up, Lasher ran into the house to tell his cousin that the President of the United States was outside. DuBois remarked, “Oh yes, Bobby- Stalin and Churchill too. I suppose.” This story is more or less impossible to verify. Although in the archives of the FDR Presidential Library the Princess is recorded as Princess Martha not Helen. After the tour of the house came to an end, Ms. DuBois offered everyone apples which were devoured as the group returned to the waiting limousines. This would not be the last visit by royalty to the street.

James Roosevelt Library of Congress

Nine years later Queen Juliana of the Netherlands visited Huguenot Street. This time Eleanor Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, and his two children accompanied Queen Juliana to New Paltz. On April 10, 1952, Walter Hasbrouck and Kenneth E. Hasbrouck Sr., welcomed three black Cadillac limousines as they drove down the street. They were escorted by four state police cars and numerous local police as well.  The entourage drove down the street slowly, stopping only to wave at individuals who had lined the street to see Queen Juliana. This time there were no tours of the stone houses because a driving rain cast a shadow on the big event.

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 Historic Sites, Museums, Town/Village of New Paltz, Ulster County | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Damm Bears

Black Bear and Hunters-Library of Congress

Bears have become a part of our local scenery, like it or not. Years ago it was uncommon to see a bear; in fact, I lived here for many years and had never seen one. I saw my first black bear outside of New York. Today however, it is becoming more common to see them crossing the road or worse, digging through your garbage. All the talk of bears got me thinking about how our ancestors saw these majestic animals.

One need not look far to find stories about bears and bear hunting in our neck of the woods. Some of them are larger than life such as in Smith’s Legends of the Shawangunk. In one particular story in the winter of 1819, “three young man by the names of Burnham, Horton and Brown, residing in Forestburgh, engaged in a bear hunt.” It all began when one of the men found fresh bear tracks in the snow. They followed the tracks to the Mongaup River, to a den. The men were ready to call it a day, but one of them insisted on sharpening a stick to poke into the den to find the bear. The bear of course flew out of the den and was promptly killed. This was not the end of the story, another bear, possibly a cub, came out only to be killed as well. Local papers liked to fill some of their pages with these exploits.

One of the more entertaining articles I remember reading appeared in several local papers including The Kingston Daily Freeman in 1903. It involved Augustus Damm who lived on Greenville Turnpike five miles east of Port Jervis. Damm was a farmer, and also kept milking cows. One day he noticed that when the cows came in for milking in the evening that one particular animal should have been yielding plenty of milk. It grazed in one of largest of the farmer’s pastures. However, when it came time to milk the cow it was empty. Yet, in the morning it gave plenty of milk. Damm Family members followed the cow for days to see if they could figure out why the cow was coming back dry in the evening.

Mr. Damm decided he would take care of the situation himself. He spent a whole day in the pasture following this particular cow. Nothing entered the pasture. The cow lazily grazed on the rich grass. However, things changed as the animal made its way towards some dense undergrowth. The cow started acting “strangely.” When Augustus Damm went over to investigate, nothing could have prepared him for what he was about witness. There in the dense undergrowth were two cubs nursing from the cow.  Amusement turned to Anger because he was being robbed of milk by these two cubs. The farmer cut off the cubs from his cow. No one would believe this so Damm scooped up the cubs and brought them back to his milking barn. Here he locked them up so he could have people come to watch the cubs feed off this cow. It appeared that the cub’s mother had been killed. What became of the cubs after the farmer tired of them is not shared by the reporter covering the story.

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 Orange County, Shawangunk Mountains, Strange Stories, Sullivan County | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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    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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