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Walter Williams, Host and Historian, Part Two

This article is continued from Fall 07 About Town and can be found here. It is the history of the Rosendale area as recounted by the late Walter Williams, one of the founders of Williams Lake Resort. This story was transcribed by his wife, Marianne Williams, from a recording of one of his “history hikes,” [Read More…]

Walter Williams, Host and Historian

Introduction by Marianne Williams History, for my husband, Walter Williams, was not just a subject to be studied in school. It was, for him, a way of connecting with all that had gone before him and passing it along to those who would come after. Williams Lake Hotel was his business but it was also [Read More…]

Early Cragsmoor: The Beginning of an Art Colony

Perched high on the Shawangunk Ridge in southern Ulster County, New York, Cragsmoor has long been a destination for seekers of beauty. They have been attracted by the rocky outcroppings, jagged cliffs, sheer waterfalls, and unique vegetation, and enticed by the spectacular views of the Catskill Mountains, and the Rondout, Wallkill and Hudson Valleys. The [Read More…]

Dublin, Ireland Letter About Esopus, circa 1817

(In this letter several dashes indicate illegible passages or words in the original script.)   An Irish Political Exile’s View of America: TIM O’DRISCOLL IN ARCADIA ON THE HUDSON – AND THE LAVISH DISPLAY AT THE HOME OF JACK HANLON From the Irish Magazine (Dublin), 1817. Letter to Mr. (“Watty”) Cox, From New York   [Read More…]

Dashville on the Wallkill

  The north flowing Wallkill River passes through towns in New Jersey and New York before joining its larger sister, the Hudson, via the Rondout Creek near Kingston. Along its bed, the Wallkill enriches the soils and scenery of the towns of Wallkill, Gardiner, New Paltz, Rosendale and Esopus, among others. Enrichment in return was [Read More…]

Some Things I Saw This Winter

Many recall the scene in Hitchcock’s The Birds. An occupied park bench, behind it a playground jungle gym. A single crow silently alights on the structure. Then another. And another. Finally, the bars of the jungle gym are just rows of large, silent black crows. This wasn’t like that. Outside my house the crows were [Read More…]

To Think Of Time

Walt Whitman once wrote a poem entitled “To Think of Time.” A recent trip to Atlanta reminded me of that poem. Rather than flying to a conference, I took the train, a sleeper on Amtrak’s Crescent Limited. I know what you’re thinking: what a waste of time. Eighteen hours to make a trip that you [Read More…]

Gardiner Scenes From Around 1909-1930

       

Plutarch Lives!

One-room school houses dot Ulster County disguised as homes, stores, club houses, and museums. Dozens of others are gone, but not forgotten by those who learned their “three Rs”, and more subtle lessons–don’t forget your lunch, homework, mittens, boots or anything else, ’cause nobody is going to bring them to you. Walking to and from [Read More…]

The Ruoff Family of Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant

A Half Century Of Fine Dining Doesn’t Just Happen… It takes hosts dedicated to knowing their guests, their guests’ tastes, and by treating everyone who enters with an indefinable, yet genuine “welcome.” It takes people like the Ruoffs. The Ruoff family at the Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant in Gardiner, have done it flawlessly for 50 years [Read More…]

Stone Ridge Orchards, How Does Your Garden Grow?

With horticultural intrigue—read “variety.” When I interviewed Mike Biltonen for the honey bee story, I learned Stone Ridge Orchard is one amazing place. Last year I became addicted to their cider and enjoyed stopping at their stand on Route 213 (just before the intersection of Route 209). Now I know Stone Ridge is more than [Read More…]

Turkey Nuggets

It’s early February and the wild turkeys are starting to strut their stuff (as opposed to late November when they strut their stuffing). Their communications are similar to a cork slowly turning in a wine bottle and signify about the same thing–love is in the air. I watched two males trying to out-fluff-up and out-tail-spread [Read More…]

The Plight of the Humble Bee

It is easy to wax poetic about honey bees. Fragile, fascinating, fruitful, and feisty, the once ubiquitous wild honey bee is now few and far between. Feral (wild) honey bee colony numbers have been decimated by loss of habitat, pesticides, infestations of an imported fungus and a mite. The mite clogs the adult bee’s trachea [Read More…]

The American Chestnut

My father grew up outside New Paltz in the 1920s and 30s. In those days, trees were an economic asset and knowing your trees was essential to a family living off the land. Tulip trees were cut to take to the basket factory in Highland. Locust was cut for posts. Hardwoods for furniture. Walking in [Read More…]

Gomez Mill House

Marlboro, NY

This microcosm of America’s past is not to be missed. Its original builder, Luis Moses Gomez, a Jew, fled the Spanish Inquisition in 1695, ending up in America. Ten years later, Queen Anne of England granted him an Act of Denization–the right to conduct business and own property. In addition to becoming a business leader [Read More…]

Black Bear Trading Post

Esopus, NY

While traveling in Connecticut we (by chance) visited a museum featuring American Indian tribes. There on the wall with the photos of other honored elders from various tribes was a picture of someone I recognized. Roy Black Bear. Although I had not been in his museum, I had seen him at functions in the community. [Read More…]

Timeless Toys

At Vintage Village, Highland, NY

This large room of toys contains much of the collection I began more than 30 years ago. It started with one rusty 1938 Ford pedal car that my father brought home from the Esopus dump in the late 1960s. The pathetic little car was parked outside my father’s garage accumulating more rust until I asked [Read More…]

Klyne Esopus Museum

Ulster Park, NY

The distinguished gentleman to the left is Alton B. Parker. The snoozing, nevertheless distinguished-looking, gentledog is Senator. Judge Alton B. Parker ran against Teddy Roosevelt in 1904 for the Presidency of the United States. Parker declared his candidacy and did much of his campaigning from the porch of his lovely Hudson river home, Rosemont (now [Read More…]

Geographic Information Systems

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a way of organizing and administering information related to location. The uses of GIS in Ulster County and elsewhere seem limitless. When you log on to the GIS web-site for Ulster (www.co.ulster.ny.us), a standard map is shown. However, as you zoom in and out of the map and click the [Read More…]

The Shaupeneak and Black Creek Trails

The geologic undulation running north and south on the west side of the Hudson in Esopus is called the Marlboro Mountains. I call it seclusion with a view. In fact, two quite spectacular views within a short walk—to the east the Hudson River and Dutchess County, and to the west, the Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains. [Read More…]