July 25, 2014 | 5:03am    area forecast: Today: Mostly Sunny High 83°F, Low 55°F

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UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Thursday, July 24
    Eastern NY Junior Holstein Show
    9am–5pm. Phone: 845-876-4001. Email: info@dutchessfair.com. Url: http://dutchessfair.com.

  • Thursday, July 24
    Saugerties in the Hudson River Valley
    6:30pm. Vernon Benjamin, author of The History of the Hudson River Valley from Wilderness to the Civil War, will read from his book. Phone: 845-246-4317. Url: http://saugertiespubliclibrary.org.

  • Thursday, July 24 - Sunday, July 27
    Unnecessary Farce by Paul Slade Smith
    Shadowland continues its string of successful farces with this regional premiere. Two hotel rooms, eight doors and a crazy cast of characters propel this crime-based comedy to felonious levels of laughter. Fri-Sat 8pm: $39, Sun 2pm: $34. Phone: 845-647-5511. Url: http://shadowlandtheatre.org.

  • Thursday, July 24
    Junior Naturalists: Trees and Papermaking
    10am-1pm. Trees are one of the most magnificent living things on planet Earth and we'll take some time to get to know them better. Your children will make their own recycled paper from discarded, clean newspaper. Then, as it dries, they'll walk the trails near the Nature Center, learning how to age a tree and making friends with a tree by playing a fun game in the woods. This program is recommended for seven to twelve year old children accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. All registrants should bring a sandwich sized bag of newspaper, ripped into small pieces, approximately the size of cold cereal, with them. This is a messy activity, so participants should wear clothing they don't mind getting soiled. Pre-registration is required. Phone: 845-255-0752. Url: http://nysparks.com.

  • Friday, July 25 - Sunday, July 27
    Les Miserables
    The epic story of shattered dreams, passion and redemption, set against the backdrop of a nation in revolution. An Up In One Production produced by Diana di Grandi, directed & choreographed by Kevin Archambault w/music direction by Matthew Woolever. Fri & Sat at 8pm; Sun at 3pm. $27/$25. Phone: 845-876-3080. Url: http://centerforperformingarts.org.

  • Friday, July 25 - Sunday, July 27
    Euryanthe
    Carl Maria Von Weber's opera w/American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein. Kevin Newbury (Die Liebe der Danae, SummerScape 2011) directs this rare staging of this Romantic-era opera that's been unjustly neglected. Sung in German with English subtitles. Tkts $25–$95; Fri at 7pm, Sun at 2pm. Phone: 845-758-7900. Email: fishercenterboxoffice@bard.edu. Url: http://fishercenter.bard.edu.

  • Friday, July 25
    Arm of the Sea Theater: The Rejuvenary River Circus
    7:30-8:30pm. An allegorical tale featuring gorgeous masks & puppet characters. Free, all welcome. Phone: 845-246-9529. Url: http://saugertieshistoricalsociety.com.

  • Friday, July 25 - Sunday, August 3
    Christmas in July Week
    Surprise gift for each child. Jump on Big Apple Bounce pillow. Be a sleuth and play the Farm Scene Investigation (Clue) game and earn an Investigator Badge. Ride the cow train, visit our animals, race pedal carts along NEW track, and more. $10, under three free. Farm birthday parties are great! Phone: 845-883-7825. Email: susan@hurdsfamilyfarm.com. Url: http://hurdsfamilyfarm.com.

  • Friday, July 25
    Kingston Night Market
    6-10pm. Shops, galleries, and restaurants host a mix of fun, art, music, food and wine in the form of Parisian style antique markets. Url: http://kingstonwaterfront.com.

  • Friday, July 25 - Sunday, July 27
    Woodstock Shakespeare Festival 19th Season
    Twelfth Night, one of the bard’s most hilarious comedies is performed by Bird-On-A-Cliff Theatre Company on Woodstock’s outdoor Elizabethan stage. 5pm. Free, $5 suggested donation. Blankets, chairs, picnics welcome. Phone: 845-247-4007. Url: http://birdonacliff.org.

  • Saturday, July 26
    Mohonk Preserve Volunteer Recruitment Open House
    11am-2pm. Do you want to make a difference and connect with nature in the process? Join us at the Visitor Center and learn about the Preserve’s many volunteer opportunities including Back Country Patrol, Bike Patrol, Education, Phenology, Photography, Trailkeeping, and more. Light refreshments will be served. All ages welcome. Children must always be accompanied by an adult. Please RSVP to volunteers@mohonkpreserve.org or call ext. 1269. Free. Phone: 845-255-0919. Url: http://mohonkpreserve.org.

  • Saturday, July 26
    Kuumba Dance & Drum
    Along w/Operation Unite. Bring drum or borrow ours. Free for kids; Adults $5. Phone: 518-822-1438. Email: info@hudsonoperahouse.org. Url: http://hudsonoperahouse.org.

  • Saturday, July 26
    One World, Many Rhythms
    Drum circle. 4pm. Url: http://oklibrary.org.

  • Saturday, July 26
    Reception. Small Works
    Opening of show of paintings, prints, collage, and mixed media by 20 HV artists. 6-8pm. Phone: 845-757-2667. Url: http://www.tivoliartistsgallery.com. .

  • Saturday, July 26
    Tivoli Yard Sale Day
    You're sure to find a new treasure at Tivoli's village-wide sale. Starts 9am. Phone: 845-757-2021. Url: http://tivoliny.org.

  • Saturday, July 26
    Firemen's Convention Parade
    40 participating fire companies, including new and old fire trucks, horses, marching bands. 2pm. Url: http://Villageofkinderhook.org.

  • Saturday, July 26
    Glimpses into Existence: Franz Kafka
    10:30-11:30am. Philosophical discussion with Gregory Sadler. Phone: 845-331-0507. Url: http://kingstonlibrary.org.

  • Saturday, July 26
    Woodstock Library Fair
    10am-5pm. Phone: 845-679-2213. Url: http://woodstock.org.

  • Saturday, July 26
    Marbletown Founders' Day
    Celebrating the 311th anniversary of Marbletown's original land patent grant. Marbletown Art Festival featuring over 30 local artists with work on display and for sale. Art competition & auction: email andrey@element22.net for info. Live music throughout the day, 3pm interactive dance with the Vanaver Caravan. Live birds of prey demonstration presented by the Marbletown Environmental Conservation Commisssion. Historic grave stone etchings presented by the Marbletown Historical Preservation Committee. Siversmithing presentation by SUNY New Paltz faculty & students. Sponsored by the Town of Marbletown to benefit the Stone Ridge Library. 10am-6pm. Free admission. Lucas & Fairview Ave, High Falls.

  • Saturday, July 26
    Pond Exploration for Kids
    10-11:30am. Come for a two-mile hike to explore the ponds in Minnewaska's former golf course. We'll use nets to see what life, be it amphibian, insect or other, can be found in these ponds. And, if any of the delicious blueberries are ripe near the ponds, we'll take some time to enjoy them! This program is recommended for children age six to nine years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Waterproof boots for all participants is highly recommended. Pre-registration is required. Phone: 845-255-0752. Url: http://nysparks.com.

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credit Green River Gallery, Columbia County, 1976

The Battle of Boston Corners

Winter 2002   

If you take a long view at a map of Columbia County, you will notice in the extreme southeastern corner, just above the Dutchess County "Oblong," an appendage that looks like the proverbial sore thumb. Like the proverbial sore thumb it was not always there. Unlike the sore thumb, it took an Act of Congress to put it there. The little area consists of 1,000 acres of farmland and is known as Boston Corners.

Today there is nothing very remarkable about Boston Corners, it is a serene little community nestled in the Taconic Hills. It consists of farms, a few roads and was once a stop on the New York Harlem Railroad.

Boston Corners may be a peaceful and tranquil setting today but that was not always the case. There was a time in the nineteenth century when it could rival the legendary "Hole in the Wall" made famous by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. That was a time when it was not part of New York State, much less Columbia County. It was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Boston Corners sits above "the Oblong" of the Town of Northeast like a pointed dunce’s cap. (See the map.) Historically it lay in the southwestern part of Massachusetts and was as far removed from its namesake capital as its geographical situation would allow. Besides that, Massachusetts was unable to enforce its jurisdiction on the little community. The highest peaks of the Taconic Hills on the west and the Connecticut line to the south made it inaccessible to that state’s law-enforcement authorities as well as its courts and jails.

This was not all bad for Boston Corners; due to lack of law-enforcement the good citizens ran things as they saw fit. Because of their isolation, they did not vote in state elections, nor did they pay state taxes, they supported their own schools. Having neither jail, judge nor jury, they felt they were getting on all right as things were.

In his 1909 History of Dutchess County Frank Hasbrouck said, "Had they been left to themselves their escutcheon might have remained untarnished." But that was not the case which accounted for a stain on their escutcheon.

An enterprising gentleman from New York City, by the name of Samuel Black, came into their midst. This gentleman saw all kinds of possibilities in Boston Corners. The New York Harlem Railroad was under construction from Amenia and Millerton, and there were stations planned for Boston Corners and Copake. A little above Copake, Mr. Black opened "Black’s Grocery" to accommodate the local people, also an inn and tavern for the benefit of out-of-towners. The inn and tavern did a better business than the grocery as the visitors from the seedier side of the tracks found their way to Mr. Black’s establishment; and Mr. Black prospered. With the coming of the railroad many of his guests came from New York City. In his History of Dutchess County Frank Hasbrouck referred to Black’s clientele as "refugees from the constables of three commonwealths."

Guests came and went; duels were common; gambling was the order of the day and lawlessness inhabited the land. At this time the sport of boxing was illegal. Prize fights were held in such places as barges, warehouses or any place that seemed to be beyond the law. The location of Boston Corners being ideal for the illicit side of life was a perfect place, and well-suited for prize fighting.

On Wednesday, October 12, 1853, an event took place that would change the face of Boston Corners forever. On that date a brash young fighter from Troy, N.Y., by the name of John Morrissey challenged the famed Yankee Sullivan. Sullivan, age 40, weighed 145 pounds, giving away 30 pounds to the younger Morrissey. Morrissey who was 22 years old, stood 6 foot 2 inches and weighed 175 pounds. The purse for the winner was $2,000 and the fight was held in an abandoned brickyard. Today there is a historic marker at the site, on Undermountain Road just north of the Dutchess County line. Unfortunately the date on the marker—1883—is incorrect.

It was estimated that between three and five thousand fight fans converged on Boston Corners the day of the fight. They came from New York City, Albany, Troy and all points in between. Little thought was paid to the fact that the population of Boston Corners was less than 150 people and had only one inn. The fans came; they came by train, by stage, by horse and on foot; all converging on the little hamlet to see what was hoped to be the fight of the century. By fight time many of the fans were well tanked up from liquor they either brought with them or bought on their way south from Black’s Inn. They were not considered the most genteel crowd that ever assembled. An aura of rowdiness hung over the event.

Morrissey was not a skilled boxer but a brawler who was considered a favorite over Sullivan. From the beginning of the fight Sullivan displayed his boxing skill against his young and bigger opponent. By the end of the first round Morrissey’s left eye was blackened and blood was coming from his nose. Each of the following rounds were repeats of the first with Sullivan badly punishing Morrissey. For thirty-six grueling rounds Sullivan beat his heavier opponent, but Morrissey refused to stay down. In the 37th round, as Sullivan tried to throw Morrissey to the floor, both fighters’ handlers charged into the ring and there was a free-for-all. In an attempt to restore order, the referee called the fighters to the center of the ring to resume the fight. Morrissey responded, but in the confusion Sullivan failed to answer the referee’s call. The referee declared Morrissey the winner with the title of "Champion of America."

What happened next has become known as "The Sack of Millerton" (though it all took place several miles north of that benighted village). A melee broke out in the crowd at the referee’s decision. The riot spilled out of the brickyard into neighboring farms. The rioters started looting on their way back to the train. Farms were ransacked, pantries were looted for food, hogs were slaughtered and roasted along the road. The Boston Corners community was stripped of every edible thing that could be found. Some local people managed to flag down a freight train to take them to a safer location.

New York authorities moved in to restore order and arrested the most innocent of the crowd, the two boxers. The boxers were held on $1,500 bail each. Sullivan jumped bail and was last heard of on the West Coast. Morrissey paid a $1,200 fine and became the toast of New York. He made friends with the Tammany Hall politicians who controlled New York City politics.

The "famous fight" changed Boston Corners forever. The good citizens petitioned to New York State and the U.S. Congress to bring them into the jurisdiction of New York. On January 3, 1855 an Act of Congress changed the state line and made Boston Corners officially part of New York.

Meanwhile, John Morrissey became a respected citizen. He married a highly-educated young lady who urged him to change his ways and develop good personal habits. He fought once more in 1858, when he successfully defended his title against John Heenan.

After the birth of his son, Morrissey moved with his family back to Troy, where he entered politics. He was twice elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and twice to the U.S. Senate. He was a gambler and was involved in gambling establishments in New York City and Saratoga including the famous Saratoga race track.

In 1877 Morrissey became ill during his second campaign for the U.S. Senate. He won the election but never took his seat. He died at the Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs on May 1, 1878, at the age of 47. An estimated crowd of 12,000 stood outside the church in Troy to pay their respects to an American Champion.

 
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Featured Community Businesses

From a box-lunch picnic to a wedding, and everything in between, Red Devon can make your event delicious and memorable. Call 845-677-8757 to speak with Chef Sara.

108 Hunns Lake Rd., Stanfordville
845-868-3175

Fun - Affordable - Dance in GARDINER! Air Conditioned Facility includes 2 Studios, Dancewear Store, ANYTIME parent viewing, Homework Center, N.P. school bus stop, KinderDance, Tot Classes, Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Ballroom, Line Dance. Birthday Parties, Demo Team, Private Lessons, Workshops and MORE! Ages 3-Adults!

28 Osprey Lane, Gardiner
845-255-6434

Your Bank. Our Community. Mortgage rates remain at all time record lows. Great rates and terms. Personal service throughout the life of your loan. Call or click today to consult with Tracy Mackey-Preferred Mortgage Consultant. Eleven Hudson Valley branches.

845-532-7090

Theresa Quartararo, CHP, AADP, is a knowledgeable and supportive health counselor. She will help you set and accomplish goals in order to achieve and maintain your ideal weight, reduce cravings, increase energy, feel great in your body, and understand the role food plays in your life.

537 Tyrrel Rd., Millbrook
914-489-8716 or 845-702-0096

Quality work for 35 years. Call Raymond Bauer for all your excavating needs; foundations, septics and land clearing. Firewood for sale.

Germantown
518-537-4521 or 518-965-1922

The Knitting Garage @ Stickle's, the new knitting boutique! Featuring yarns by: Blue Sky, Spud & Chloe, Madeline Tosh, Shuibui and more! At A.L. Stickle Variety Store: in the back through the red double doors!

13 East Market St. , Rhinebeck
845-876-3206

For your wedding, anniversary, cocktail party, art opening, or even just a dinner for two. Make the event really special, set the mood, and enjoy. Russian trained classical violinist and pianist. Solo or duet. Reasonable rates, large repertoire, references. Also violin, viola, piano lessons.

New Paltz
845-256-9767

Classes designed to discover the artist within your child. Children 5-12 years old in small group settings with much individualized instruction and attention in multi medias, including assemblage, collage, print making and paint. Great gift idea for grandparents who want to give new experiences instead of "things". Five - one and a half hour sessions are just $75.

830 Route 9W Broadway, Ulster Park
845-532-2280

Rent from us and you'll be out over the Hudson River without using any roads or sidewalks. Walkway Over the Hudson is 1.28 miles long and it connects you to miles of paved and unpaved rail trails in Ulster and Dutchess counties. Enjoy the rail trails or our lovely rural roads without the hassle of lugging your bicycle. Those who are physically challenged to walk long distances can rent an electric scooter to partake of the fun on Walkway and the rail trails.

We are conveniently located with direct access to the paved Hudson Valley Rail Trail and the approach to Walkway Over The Hudson.

Bicycles are just $13.89 for the first hour. Scooters are $18.52 for the first hour. Lower rates for longer rentals. Free Parking for bike or scooter renters.


Enjoy the taste and sounds of Italy in an intimate and warm setting right here in Rhinebeck. Dishes from the Italian homeland with gourmet artistry and local bounty. Call about catering or to book a private party. Find Puccini Ristorante on Facebook. Venite à trovarci presto! Grazie!

22 Garden St., Rhinebeck
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The premier Food & Lodging Guide in New Paltz that is built for mobile devices. Your #1 source to eat & sleep in New Paltz—find addresses, phone #s, web sites, maps, discount coupons & more. Download free App at web site.


For over 26 years, systems technical & project management professionals providing support for IBM Big Iron, experts in large systems infrastructure, and mainframe operating systems that run Western Civilization. Supporting legacy application modernization & transformation; Green Data Center Initiatives; Healthcare IT conversions from ICD9 to ICD10 & server virtualization on System z. Been there, done that - so you can avoid repeating yesterday's mistakes. Contact us - we can help.

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Hudson Valley Foot Associates' board-certified podiatric physicians and surgeons are intensely trained in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of all disorders and diseases of the foot and ankle. We offer state-of-the-art treatment options and technology in our six offices conveniently located in Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Delaware, and Columbia Counties.

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AboutTown Ulster: PO Box 474, New Paltz, NY 12561, 845-691-2089  EMAIL US
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