Category Archives: Catskill Mountains

The Tory William Caldwell

The name William Caldwell first caught my attention while researching the August 12, 1781, raid in Wawarsing. His name was mentioned again in Governor George Clinton’s public papers. It was also in connection to the August raid which, it was believed, was lead by Caldwell who was then a Captain.  During this raid he led other Tories [...]

Also posted in Education, Revolutionary War, Strange Stories, Ulster County, Wars | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ghost of Sam Kettle Part I

I like a good story and one of my favorites is the ghost story involving Sam Kettle. The first time I heard this story was while on stand-by in the Kerhonkson fire house where I was a firefighter for many years. Many people living in Ulster County do not realize that during the American War for Independence [...]

Also posted in Revolutionary War, Shawangunk Mountains, Strange Stories, Sullivan County, Town of Rochester, Town of Wawarsing, Ulster County, Wars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Note to Our Readers

Subscribe to Hudson Valley History Blog by Email As the year comes to a close, History & Heritage would like to take this opportunity to thank our readers for another good year! We have seen the interest in this site continue to grow. We look ahead to 2016 with more coverage of local history events, [...]

Also posted in Appalachian Mountains, Bringing the Wicked to Justice, Cemeteries, Covered Bridges, Education, Firefighting, Historic Sites, Hudson River, Landmarks, Lost Landmarks, Monuments, Museums, Orange County, Picturing the Past, Press Releases, Shawangunk Mountains, Strange Stories, Sullivan County, Ulster County, Wars | Leave a comment

The Catskills: Its History and How it Changed America

A funny thing happened on the way to filming a documentary on the Borscht Belt: it became the most comprehensive book in decades on the Catskills – all five counties of the Catskills, from Henry Hudson to Henny Youngman to high volume hydraulic fracturing – with personally sweet and bittersweet sidebars. Alfred A. Knopf recently [...]

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Notes from the Other Side

Ellenville, NY: Local author Marc B. Fried is best recognized for his books on the history of the Shawangunk region. Known as “Mr. Blueberry” for his book The Huckleberry Pickers by many, Fried has been a regular contributor to the Shawangunk Journal; his column “Notes From The Other Side” has appeared monthly for nearly 9 [...]

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“Preservation of the Minisink Battleground in a Landscape of History Lost”

  Today in Sullivan County history, 1779, one of the most deadly battles of the American Revolution, in terms of ratio of participants to numbers killed, took place on a hill overlooking the Delaware River just north of Barryville, NY.  (Last week, I briefly summarized the battle, but a more comprehensive account can be found [...]

Also posted in Historic Sites, Landmarks, Monuments, Orange County, Revolutionary War, Sullivan County, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Battle of Minisink


It was just about mid-day on July 20, 1779. The residents of the small Mamakating valley settlement known alternately as Peenpack or Minisink were going about their daily chores, farming, cutting timber, milling grain. Carefree children played quietly among the small homes. The serenity of the afternoon was abruptly broken by the shrill war whoop [...]

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“This Place Matters” Along the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway

A fun and easy way to promote favorite sites along the New York State Route 97 Upper Delaware Scenic Byway is by bringing the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters” campaign to the local level. The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway parallels the western border of Sullivan County, along a scenic 70-mile stretch of the [...]

Also posted in Cemeteries, Covered Bridges, Historic Sites, Landmarks, Lost Landmarks, Monuments, Museums | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cherry Trees, Takamine and Sullivan County’s Sho-Fu-Den

The Jefferson Memorial during the 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival

If you have ever been awed by the cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC or New York City, then thank a former Sullivan County resident. Japanese-American Dr. Jokichi Takamine, was already a wealthy chemist in 1901 when he became the first to isolate and purify the hormone adrenalin, the first effective bronchodilator for asthma. A [...]

Also posted in Hudson River, Landmarks, Lost Landmarks, Sullivan County | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Local History Event: “The Tanning Industry of Ulster County”

(Marbletown, NY) – If the Delaware & Hudson Canal helped shape the Rondout Valley, the tanning industry of the 19th century had an even greater impact on the Catskill Mountains. The huge influence of that industry on the people, the economy and the environment of the Hudson Valley is the subject of a compelling lecture [...]

Also posted in Education, Museums | Leave a comment
  • Blog Author

    AJ Schenkman

    A.J. Schenkman is the author of numerous books and articles. He is Consulting Historian for Historic Huguenot Street and Town of Gardiner Historian. 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

    Debra Conway

    A former Features writer/Columnist for the Times Herald-Record and Director of Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History in Narrowsburg, Debra Conway is currently the Executive Director of The Delaware Company, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ... Read Full

    Matthew Colon

    Matthew Colon enjoyed nearly a decade in public history working and volunteering for organizations including Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site and the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands. Read Full

    Shannon Butler

    Shannon Butler is a Park Ranger of Interpretation and Education at Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site in Hyde Park New York. She has also interpreted the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston New York. Read Full
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