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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…]

The Story of Sky Top: A Towering Achievement

In 1870, the year that Quaker twins Albert and Alfred Smiley opened Mohonk Mountain House, they built the first of four observations towers overlooking Lake Mohonk on the high point of land which was known locally as Paltz Point. The Smileys referred to it as “Sky Top” and that has come to be the accepted [Read More…]

Snake Shots, Missing Puppies, Raccoon Noses, And A Career As A Veternarian

During the thirty years in which I practiced veterinary medicine-first in High Falls and then in Stone Ridge-thousands of office calls and surgeries occurred, the details of which have left my memory. There are however a few that, because of their unusual nature, will forever linger in my mind. Take for instance, the time a [Read More…]

Skunks and Snakes

Two skunk episodes and a snake story seemed fitting for Spring. The late Peter Harp’s delightful book, Horse and Buggy Days, a History of New Paltz carried the 1906 John Kaiser skunk story, written in 1965. The second skunk tale, by Vivian Wadlin, occurred in Plutarch in 1952, and her snake tale took place in [Read More…]

New Paltz Landing, Highland, NY

In May of this year, the Economic Development Committee of the Town of Lloyd (Highland) unveiled the conceptual drawings for the redevelopment of a portion of its Hudson River frontage. The drawings were the culmination of community meetings seeking public input of ideas for making the river front accessible and interesting. Currently, much of the [Read More…]

Favorite Haunts

A few my favorite haunts and some things I’ve yet to try…such as, the new hiking trail that has opened in Esopus. Esopus: Shaupeneak Trail Coming from the south, Shaupeneak Trialhead is on Old Post Road (a left off Route 9W just north of Black Creek Apartments and Black Creek Road). Then, cross the railroad [Read More…]

Birdland, Revisited

· A wounded Great Blue Heron spent several days in our lake providing a riveting spectacle as she followed the sun around the shallow end. You could walk quietly within ten feet, sit down, and watch her feed on small fish, salamanders, frogs, and polliwogs. When she disappeared, our end of the lake was quite [Read More…]

The Community of Levi Calhoun

Liz Alfonso sat behind a folding card table in the cool October afternoon. Spread before her were a poster with several photocopied newspaper stories and photos, a sheaf of membership forms for the Town of Lloyd Historical Society, and various pens and clips to keep things orderly. “Would you like to join the Lloyd Historical [Read More…]

Rosendale’s Reusable Resource

In the 1950’s, before the owners fenced and sealed it, you could walk deep into the abandoned cement mine beside Route 213 just outside the village of Rosendale. A moist, steady 52-55 degree-air poured from the mouth of the cave, summer and winter. It was often our destination in the early evening of a hot [Read More…]

Through Time: Perrine’s Bridge

This summer, I will take my grandchildren over Perrine’s Bridge. I think of the journey across the wandering Wallkill River as an inter-generational sharing, a tradition I can not break. Often, my father and I would stop, abandon our car, and walk within the bridge’s seemingly indestructible timbers. At the Route 213 end of Perrine’s [Read More…]