Bordered by the Hudson River and the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, few know Columbia County is noted for a mastodon tooth that rolled down a farmer’s hill in Claverack changing the world’s understanding of prehistoric times. President Martin Van Buren lost his wife, Hannah, in Kinderhook and hardly mentioned her again. Hudson’s gallows were the scene of New York’s last hanging, as hundreds of ticket holders looked on. “Pondshiners” in the hills of Taghkanic made fantastic baskets.
Local author Allison Guertin Marchese explores these little-known stories of people and places in
Hidden History of Columbia County, New York (History Press, 2014).
Allison Guertin Marchese works as a fundraiser and grant writer for various non-profits in her area. She is also a freelance writer and has published articles in local newspapers such as the Chatham Press, the Chatham Times and the Women’s Courier on historical subjects ranging from local Shaker communities to ghosts. She has worked as a researcher and publicist for the Shaker Museum.
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