Local History Books Reviewed

Marlborough On My Mind

Marylou Mahan’s book, Marlborough On My Mind, published in 2009, is broken in to handy bite-size chapters and subchapters covering everything from education, spiritual life, famous and infamous individuals, local families, work, and finally, it brings us up to the planning for the quadricentennial celebration of Hudson’s trip up the river.

But this is more of a conversation than a history book. Lots of photos of residents. Some you may know, some you wish you’d known, and a few (very few) you will be happy to have avoided. Marylou brings the Town of Marlborough’s history to us as fresh as today’s headlines. You’ll learn the ice man’s story, but not the one found in a glacier. You’ll yearn for a quick stop at the Willow Tree Inn Tea House. You’ll study the photos of buildings to see if you can find them today. Some you will, others…long gone. There are interview articles, personal anecdotes, and letters from the past.

Her previous book is The First Hundred Years. Both books are available at the Marlborough Library or online at Amazon.com. The First Hundred Years is also available as a download.

The Road to Gardiner

Gardiner was formed from parts of the towns of New Paltz, Shawangunk, and Rochester. Ed Thompson’s book is about how that came to pass. To quote from Ed’s introduction to The Road to Gardiner, “This book is about the people who came into the area long before it became known as Gardiner. Hopefully, it will give the reader a better insight as to where they originally came from and the major contributions they made to the area.”

Ed introduces you to local heros from the War for Independence, Native Americans, provides family trees with descriptive short biographies including Sojourner Truth, and the local blot of slavery. In addition to all the detailed information on those early families, there are photos of buildings, grave stones, cemetery lists, individual’s wills (very interesting!), court cases, lots of world and local history woven into local family stories.

This book is more than a simple history of an area. It is a tool for anyone seeking information on individuals, related and unrelated, who may have had a hand in building “the road to Gardiner.”

Available at the Gardiner Library, Town Hall, and at the Town of Lloyd Historical Society’s monthly meetings.

Hidden Treasures of the Hudson Valley

Fortunately for us, Hidden Treasures of the Hudson Valley is itself not hidden. Anthony Musso wrote the book after realizing that all his guests visiting Hudson Valley miss so many wonders of our area—historically significant but often unnoticed gems. To remedy that, he ferreted out a number of places worthy of attention for the visitor and resident to explore.

From the Smith Brothers’ cough drop story, to Revolutionary War sites, and one side trip into scandal, Musso weaves small trips (including Timothy Leary’s home) you will want to visit with or without guests. Whether titans of industry (the Vassars) or more hat in hand (The Hat Capital of the United States), you are bound to be fascinated at what you don’t know about your own back yard.

Other titles by Musso include FDR and the Post Office and Setting The Record Straight, Vols I and II. Tony will be a speaker on Setting The Record Straight at Lloyd Historical program in 2014.

Visit Musso’s website where you can read more about his books and purchase them.