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Imagining John Pizzo

It’s hard to imagine that a man could live on a farm for a hundred years and not have been born there. A man, over 100, who has no need of glasses to read this print, a man, over 100, who has an impish smile filled with perfect, natural teeth. It’s hard to imagine a [Read More…]

A Tribute to Sam

Several years ago Sam Quimby asked the owners of the Ship Lantern Inn for permission to place a historical marker on their property along Old Indian Road in Marlboro to indicate the road’s use by native Americans. Sam then proposed underwriting and installing the marker to the Marlborough Historical Society. After Sam passed away in [Read More…]

Perfect Picnic Places

Hudson Valley residents and visitors are never deprived of outdoor excursions and Ulster County in particular has a delicious collection of places to picnic. Make it your goal to head to each one before school’s back in session.   Minnewaska Lake and State Park are part of the Shawangunk Mountains — or “The Gunks,” to [Read More…]

Somewhere Between Here and Kingston

My dear friend, Wilson Tinney, always a wonderful source of interesting area historical tidbits, alerted me to the story of Zimmy, the Legless Swimmer. Zimmy, a.k.a. Charles Zibelman, who lost his legs in a trolley accident when he was a child. Not one to let adversity wash him up, Zimmy went on to become a [Read More…]

Practically Paradise

Pack up all your cares and… whoa! grab your picnic basket. Have I got a great place for you! In addition to the delightful places to picnic highlighted in Lindsay Pietroluongo’s article, there are two more not to be missed. Both are in West Park, west of Route 9W off Floyd Ackert Road. Fittingly, a series [Read More…]

Wilson’s Other Stories

Continued from Somewhere Between Here and Kingston.   Another swimming topic and some other random memories from Wilson Tinney were sent in the following email. Editor has added the information shown in italics to give background to Wilson’s information.   “Speaking of swimmers, there was a fellow, Al Melville, who used to put on a [Read More…]

12 Plattekill Avenue, New Paltz

New Paltz is old. We know that because it has the stone houses of Huguenot Street and the Elting Memorial Library building on Main. With this rich “stone house history” we often overlook other interesting 19th century structures in our village. Many of these still gracefully serve us in a variety of ways. To honor [Read More…]

Bees, Frogs, Toads, Bats, & Trees

This is a “bad news–good news” kind of story. There is no sugar coating the threats to some of our valuable and/or adorable friends with whom we share this dirt patch in the universe. Now, yes, entire branches on the tree of evolution have come and gone, leaving little or no trace. We did not [Read More…]

Built for the Ages

“It is our hope that The United Methodist Church of Milton and Marlboro will continue to serve as a beacon of light in our communities for many generations to come.”   As the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the experiment in freedom known as America started, a more hopeful endeavor occupied a pious [Read More…]

Three New Local History Books Plus One Not So New

About Town of Ulster County’s focus is local history. Two-thousand-eleven has provided an embarrassment of riches for us as history buffs. The books pictured above are just the latest in a growing stream of good reading and viewing provided by local researchers and writers. Stephen Laden, who was the director of the Trolley Museum in [Read More…]

Winter Hikes

Skip the Winter Blues by soaking up sun and staying active year-round. New Yorkers may not be able to jog outside in shorts and a tank during December like West Coast-ers can, but Southern Ulster County is abundant in hiking trails and nature preserves. Winter hiking lovers will argue that the best time of year [Read More…]

The Civil War’s Ulster Guard

The Civil War was like most arguments — each side had its points, and both the Union soldiers and the Confederates faced off confidently and steadfastly. Modern day history buffs, military servicemen (and women), and bored college students can all make up their minds about which side they would have fought for based on their [Read More…]

Feats of Clay

The natural clay deposits along the Hudson were just one more resource awaiting the entrepreneurial spirit to turn earth-formed materials into fortunes. Rich farm land, blue stone, limestone, peat, Shawangunk grit, timber, furs, scenic beauty, fresh air, water power, potable water, ice, and more provided the raw materials to build an individual’s prosperity—and the nation’s. [Read More…]

Bee Ready

In late March the native mason bees begin to emerge to begin their brief fruitful lives. They are one of nature’s best pollinators and will give you hours of enjoyment watching them come and go bringing food and mud to feed and protect their next generation. Harmless and amusing and easy to lure to your [Read More…]

Ulster Bounty

The first thing newcomers notice about Ulster County is how green it is—how trees fill every vista. It is said there are more trees here now than 100 years ago. With a land and water area of 1,161 square miles, Ulster boasts some of the largest tracks of woodlands and forested areas in New York. [Read More…]

Inspired Architecture

For many of us, the soul of religious architecture is the achievement of an element soaring upward, lifting us from this mortal coil. Rarely do we see a building dedicated to one’s God that does not have an arch or spire—some symbolic element visible from the distance beckoning supporters to “come home.” If the effect [Read More…]

Loyd — Centerville: Reflections of a Forgotten Hamlet

When determining land boundaries, surveyors tell us there must be a “point of beginning.” That said, we turn our attention to the township of New Paltz. But first, a little bit of history. The late Beatrice Hasbrouck Wadlin, former town historian, stated in her book, Times and Tales of the Town of Lloyd: “Prior to [Read More…]

Walkway To The Hamlet of Highland’s History

Walkway Over The Hudson strollers and cyclists can now continue their exploration of the Hudson Valley by following the paved Hudson Valley Rail Trail west, passing under Route 9W, and taking the exit that brings them to the Hamlet of Highland. The exit is just west of the 9W underpass, and leads up to Tillson [Read More…]

Esopus Turns 200

The colorful and inspirational individuals who lived in, and often shaped, the Town of Esopus over the past two hundred years have included a former slave, ship captains, millionaires, preachers, a presidential candidate, a world-renown naturalist, world-shaping entrepreneurs, a world-famous walker, and many philanthropists. Below are a few.   Truth Today, the Town of Esopus [Read More…]

Milling About

I asked my dear 93-year-old friend, Wilson Tinney, what he remembered about mills in Ulster County. “Wherever there was flowing water there were mills,” was his reply. In researching this article, I find he did not exaggerate. Carpet mills, paper mills, saw mills, powder mills, grist mills, cider mills, cement mills, carding mills, knife mills, [Read More…]