Lost Newburgh Composer Willie Fullerton


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Fullerton MansionJudge Fullerton’s brick, Italianate home has quietly presided over the northern end of Grand Street in Newburgh, New York, since 1868, but the once-famous trial lawyer has long since been forgotten. Visitors sometimes inquire about ghosts or secret passageways or buried caches of coins. I tell them all the same thing: the real treasure is in the history. In this respect, I have been richly rewarded.

Hidden away beneath the visible architecture was a cornucopia of stories. Some took place on the historical stage; others on theatrical stages; some were once known to the world at large, at a time when telegraph wires strung along railroad lines turned locally-printed newspapers into “mass media”; others are deeply personal, private stories of success, failure and loss.

But above all, I found Willie. Continue reading

Hudson River School Painters Presentation In Hudson


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hudson river painting by sanford giffordThe Columbia County Historical Society and Historic Hudson will host The Hudson River School (1825-1875), a Slide Show and Conversation with Peter Jung on Sunday,  June 25, 2017. An opening reception will begin at 4:30 pm, the lecture will begin at 5 pm.

The mid-19th century landscape painters of the Hudson River Valley depicted the new American landscape in terms where humans and nature were united in peaceful co-existence. These realist paintings were quite detailed, and often combined many images from diverse natural scenes and vistas observed along the Hudson River as well as the extended geography including the Catskills and Adirondacks. Continue reading

The Erie Canal, New York City, and Democratic Government


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Erie Canal

Along the Erie Canal, Buffalo, N.Y. (No. M 71, Buffalo News Co., Buffalo, N.Y.) courtesy ErieCanal.org

On July 4, 1817, at Rome, New York on a site now occupied by the Worthington Industries Steel plant, there was a ceremony allegedly turning the first spade of earth on the construction of the Erie Canal, one of the most important public works projects in history.

As we approach the Bicentennial of the Canal’s construction, we would do well to better understand this history and its importance. On July 2, 2017 there will be a march through Lower Manhattan sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Historical Association celebrating this event. Continue reading

Ham Radio Field Days at Chimney Point This Weekend


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amateur radio stationJune 24 and 25, 2017, is the annual Amateur Radio Service Field Days across the country. Members of the Addison County Amateur Radio Association will be at the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison on Saturday, from 1 to 5 pm, and Sunday, from 9:30 am to 2 pm. They will set up a simulated emergency station, and will invite visitors and talk about what they are doing.     Continue reading

New Book Explores Class Conflict in Eighteenth Century NYC


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Who Rules at HomeIn Who Should Rule at Home? (Cornell University Press, 2017) Joyce D. Goodfriend argues that the high-ranking gentlemen who figure so prominently in most accounts of New York City’s evolution from 1664, when the English captured the small Dutch outpost of New Amsterdam, to the eve of American Independence in 1776, were far from invincible and that the degree of cultural power they held has been exaggerated.

Goodfriend explains how the urban elite experienced challenges to its cultural authority at different times, from different groups, and in a variety of settings. Continue reading

A New History of the Fulton Chain


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A new history covering the Fulton Chain of Lakes region from Moose River Settlement to its boundary west of Raquette Lake is now available from North Country Books and selected regional bookstores.

Regular contributor to the Weekly Adirondack of Old Forge Charles E. Herr’s new book, The Fulton Chain: Early Settlement, Roads, Steamboats, Railroads and Hotels, documents the story of the stalwart folk whose lives shaped the Fulton Chain.

The book represents the first general history of the Fulton Chain region in almost seventy years.
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New York History Around The Web This Week


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Exhibit: Freed Slave, New Paltz Landowner John Hasbrouck


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John Hasbrouck Account BookHistoric Huguenot Street has curated a new exhibit entitled John Hasbrouck, “A Most Estimable Citizen,” now on display at the DuBois Visitor Center, 81 Huguenot Street, through June 27, 2017.

John Hasbrouck was born to an enslaved woman in New Paltz in 1806 and, later, as a freeman, was able to purchase land in the town. He is commonly believed to be the first African American eligible to vote in New Paltz. The exhibit features original records; two account books in John’s own hand, listing work he did for white farmers and how he was compensated; as well as personal notes, letters, and receipts. The exhibit is accompanied by a full-length, biographical essay written by Josephine Bloodgood, Director of Curatorial and Preservation Affairs. Continue reading