Issue Date:

About Town

Fireside Reads

Had enough of current events for a while? Travel back in time to the small towns and villages of early Ulster County. The books below are a great way to learn your local history and not over-tax your stressed-out brain. Vintage pictures with just enough text to tantalize you into wanting more. Other great reads [Read More…]

For Freedom

April rains left there dirt roads of York Colony muddy and dangerous to the rider in the night. Part of the journey was by road, but many miles were swampy path or closely wooded virgin forest. The first rider had arrived hours before, soaked and exhausted. He could go no farther. “The British are attacking–destroying, [Read More…]

Owney, World Traveling Post Office Dog

Owney was a stray. He wandered into the Albany Post Office in 1888 and became a legend. He began traveling with mail wagons, then went farther and farther afield. He visited Japan, Mexico, Suez, Algiers and many other exotic places. His postal friends, fearing he would get lost, furnished him with a vest and put [Read More…]

John Burroughs: A Lasting Source of Wisdom

There’s no better time than Fall in the Hudson Valley, and no better guide to the wonders of nature than world-renowned naturalist John Burroughs (1837-1921). Below are listed a few of the many places to learn from him. Burroughs led generations of Americans to see nature and—in seeing and experiencing it firsthand–to love and sustain [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…]

Joseph Tubby Retrospective

At Friends of Historic Kingston Gallery

A retrospective of Joseph Tubby (1821-1896), a nineteenth century Kingston artist noted for his paintings of local landscapes, is open at the Friends of Historic Kingston Gallery. Tubby was a disciple of the Hudson River School and painted in that style throughout his career. Born in England, Tubby moved to Rondout as an adolescent when [Read More…]

Walkway Over The Hudson

Considered an unrivaled engineering feat, the bridge was the first to span the Hudson. When opened in 2009 for the Hudson Fulton Celebration, it will be the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. Thanks to the Board of the Walkway, the Dyson Foundation, and Bill Sepe, whose dream it always was.        

Orchard Mason Bees to the Rescue

With all the bad news for feral and domesticated honey bees (Colony Collapse Disorder), we thought a little good news for gardiners might be in order. That good news is the native Orchard Bees, a mild-mannered pollinator. Last year I purchased two orchard mason bee blocks or houses. These were made from 6x6x9 inch blocks [Read More…]

Putting Down Roots: Concetta Alessi McIntosh

According to the 1930 census of the Town of Lloyd, Rosa DeLena Alessi, head of household, lived with five of her seven surviving children. Joseph, Concetta, Mary, Anna, and Rose. Two, others, John and Frank, lived elsewhere. All the children were born in the United States, but Rosa and her husband, who had died in [Read More…]

Special Delivery

Sometimes it’s just the message conveyed by the sender that makes a card special. Here are a few I hope you enjoy.     PM New Paltz, NY July 27 6pm, 1910:   PM 1917 6am, NY:        (sent to 321 E 5th, NYC)     PM Rosendale Nov 18, 1909, 7am: (with [Read More…]

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…]

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…]

Gardiner Scenes From Around 1909-1930


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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]