This week on “The Historians” podcast Radio Boston news producer Jamie Bologna of WBUR-FM interviews Bob Cudmore about Cudmore’s years as a radio reporter in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, when GE was starting to downsize there. Listen to the podcast here. Listen to WBUR’s finished reports on the story here. Continue reading
During the summer hiking season, one of the most popular destinations in the Catskills is Overlook Mountain. Sunny days will have the parking area, located across from a monastery on Mead Mountain Road in Woodstock, at overflow capacity. The hike to the summit, along a dirt road, is not especially grueling, though hikers can expect to do some heavy breathing as they near the top. Continue reading
The Roeliff Jansen Historical Society will host “What’s New at the Old Copake Iron Works,” an illustrated lecture by Edgar M. Masters, on Sunday, May 15th at 2pm at the Society museum, 8 Miles Road in Copake Falls.
Masters’ program will begin with a look back at the Copake Iron Works in 2008 when Friends of Taconic State Park first began planning the preservation of the long derelict, but historically important, 19th century industrial site. He will continue with a photo review of the work done in the ensuing years and a quick discussion of future plans, including the re-creation of part of the railroad that once circumnavigated the Copake Iron Works. Continue reading
After a nationwide search, the board of trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum has appointed a new Executive Director.
“It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Jim Letts as our new Executive Director,” Anthony Ianniello, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum said in a statement issued to the press. “While serving as the CEO of the Saratoga Regional YMCA for the past 12 years, Jim has had amazing success, growing the Y’s membership from 6900 to 26,900 while raising many millions of dollars through capital campaigns to support and expand the Y’s facilities and activities. We think he is a perfect fit for our extremely active, rapidly growing museum and are thrilled to have him on board for our busy summer season!” Continue reading
Lowell Thing’s book The Street that Built a City: McEntee’s Chestnut Street, Kingston, and the Rise of New York (Black Dome, 2015) takes a look at the city of New York and the street that built it — or much of it. The street is on a quiet hilltop overlooking the Hudson River a hundred miles north of New York’s harbor.
Chestnut Street’s first resident, James McEntee, was an engineer who helped build the Delaware and Hudson Canal, which brought millions of tons of coal from Pennsylvania to the port at Rondout to be hauled down the Hudson River on barges pulled by steamboats belonging to another Chestnut Street resident, Samuel Coykendall, to fuel a rapidly growing New York City. Seven owners of brickyards lived on the street, and their hundreds of millions of bricks rose skyward in New York while bluestone slabs shipped from nearby Wilbur paved the city’s sidewalks. Continue reading
Shane White’s book Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire (St. Martin’s Press, 2015) is the story of 19th century business man Jeremiah Hamilton, who overcame adversity and discrimination to become one of the wealthiest men of his time, earning a fortune of $2 million, valued at $250,000 million in today’s world.
This is a historical account of an African American man who held his own in the business world, bought a mansion in rural New Jersey, and owned railroad stock on trains he wasn’t legally allowed to ride. Cornelius Vanderbilt, America’s first tycoon, came to respect, grudgingly, his one-time opponent. Continue reading
Robert Furman’s book Brooklyn Heights: the Rise, Fall and Rebirth of America’s First Suburb (The History Press, 2015) is a substantial illustrated history of Brooklyn. The book takes a look at the moving forces of history, and shows that technology is the great creator and destroyer, especially in the rise and fall of cities.
Brooklyn was once a great industrial city, like many others. It was enabled by transportation technology: steam ferries, railroads, canals. It was once the largest freight port in the world, in particular in Red Hook’s Atlantic and Erie Basins. They were the discharging end of the Erie Canal, and later expanded into international shipping. Continue reading
The new book Finger Lakes Wine Country (2015 Arcadia Publishing), by Finger Lakes local author Sarah S. Thompson, is a photographic journey covering 150 years of viticulture and winemaking in New York’s Finger Lakes region, and its pivotal role in American wine history.
The book is a regional history of the wine industry, told through more than 200 vintage images from collections of area wineries, museums, historical societies, archives and passionate residents. Continue reading
The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center presents the last of their Winter Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 8th from 7 pm – 8 pm. The featured speaker is Craig Gravina, co-author of the book Upper Hudson Valley Beer and co-founder of the Albany Ale Project.
Brewing in the Hudson Valley has a long and rich history dating back to the first Dutch settlers of 17th century Beverwyck – now present day Albany. An integral part of society, brewing was a major trade in Dutch New York. Since brewery equipment was expensive, many of the brewers were wealthy and many were appointed to positions of authority, becoming the city’s founding fathers. Many of the original Dutch brewer’s families continued beer making well into the 18th Century. Gravina will also be signing and selling his book Upper Hudson Valley Beer. Continue reading
Antique tractors, Model A Fords, outboard motors, a 1956 Chevy Belair and a variety of gas and steam-powered engines will be featured at the 32nd Annual Dan Rion Memorial Antique Engine Jamboree and Powerfest at Hanford Mills Museum on Saturday, September 12 from 10 am until 5 pm.
The Museum’s wood-fired steam boiler plant will power horizontal and vertical steam engines. The event also will feature Mill tours, renewable energy exhibits, children’s activities, and live music with the Stoddard Hollow String Band. Continue reading