Category Archives: Strange Stories

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 Catskill Mountains, Education, Revolutionary War, Ulster County, Wars | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ghost of Sam Kettle Part II

Monday morning, August 13, reinforcements finally arrived from Marbletown and Rochester. Cantine’s exhausted soldiers were bolstered by some 200 hundred fresh troops and still more came from New Paltz. According to Ralph Lefevre, their force numbered some 400 soliders. A forced march came within striking distance of the fleeing raiders, but they eluded the soldiers. Governor Clinton [...]

Also posted in Revolutionary War, Sullivan County, Town of Gardiner, Town of Marbletown, Town of Rochester, Town of Shawangunk, Town of Wawarsing, Town/Village of New Paltz, 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 Catskill Mountains, Revolutionary War, Shawangunk Mountains, Sullivan County, Town of Rochester, Town of Wawarsing, Ulster County, Wars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Roadside Murder

“How long will peaceable people consent to being shot down, clubbed, or choked to death is a question not much longer to remain unanswered.” The New Paltz Independent of March 1873, continued, “if the present plan of uncertain and dilatory punishment is continued, quick death will overtake the murderer by summary process.” This was an [...]

Also posted in Bringing the Wicked to Justice, Sullivan County, Town of Olive, Ulster County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Curious Case of Pvt. David L. Wells

There is an interesting headstone in the Pine Bush Cemetery in Rochester, N.Y. on Route 209. If you are not looking for it, you will definitely miss it. It is unassuming, and partially overshadowed by the gas station next door. A closer look  reveals a remarkable story and the Civil War solider who lived it. His name was [...]

Also posted in Cemeteries, City of Kingston, Civil War, Education, Town of Rochester, Town of Rosendale, Town of Wawarsing, Ulster County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Lennon’s Travels in Ulster County, New York (Revisited with Christine)

It has been almost 40 years since John Lennon was shot and killed by a crazed fan in front of his home in New York City. Many fans still gather at Strawberry Fields to remember “the day the music died.” Many people do not realize that John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono loved the Hudson [...]

Also posted in Historic Sites, Landmarks, Town of Marbletown, Town/Village of New Paltz, Ulster County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hudson Valley K-9 in The White House

  They say that if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. All but 10 of our Presidents took that advice seriously. Over the past two centuries of White House history there have been over 100 dogs that have made 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue their home. One of the most famous of these dogs [...]

Also posted in Historic Sites, Hudson River, Picturing the Past | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Poor Excuse for the Letter You are too Lazy to Write.

Mother’s Day seems to have been around forever. It is fitting that this holiday be celebrated during the time of year where birth as well as renewal is all around us. Many histories give the credit to the holiday we celebrate today to Anna Jarvis. The holiday dates to 1908  when Jarvis organized the first [...]

Also posted in Education | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Callahan’s Final Jump

Feeling invincible after successfully leaping from the Brooklyn in the summer of 1895, Patrick Callahan, the self-proclaimed “King of Bridge-jumping,” set his sights on an even riskier prize – the newly constructed Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge. Callahan, an Irish immigrant living in New York City, was a twenty-seven-year-old bartender who had found that he could earn [...]

Also posted in Hudson River, Railroads, Town of Lloyd, Town of Plattekill | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Caught in a Bar with a Stolen Horse

Accord, New York is a hamlet located in southwestern Ulster County. At one time, it was a stop on the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Canal known as Port Jackson. When the D&H Canal ceased operating, trains took its place. It is because it was such a hub of activity that hotels began to open. There [...]

Also posted in Bringing the Wicked to Justice, Sullivan County, Town of Marbletown, Town of Rochester, Town of Wawarsing, Ulster County | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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    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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