Tag Archives: Kingston

General Washington in 1782:
Traveling the Rondout Valley, Visiting Kingston


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220px-GeorgeWashingtonByRobertFieldIn early spring 1782, General George Washington arrived at the Hasbrouck House in Newburgh, New York for his longest stay – 16-1/2 months. Washington’s time at the Hasbrouck House was one of watchful waiting, followed by a cessation of hostilities, and finally an end to the war.

From the Hasbrouck House Washington made a short trip through the scenic Roundout Valley, stopping at Stone Ridge (or Stoney Ridge), on his way to Kingston, which the British had burned in  1777. En route to his destination, Washington stopped to dine and sleep at the home of Major Cornelius Evert Wynkoop. Continue reading

Ulster County: The Life of Sarah (Hasbrouck) Osterhoudt


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The Osterhoudt houseIf Sarah (Hasbrouck) Osterhoudt was transported from the 18th century to her home today, she would recognize her actual stone dwelling and little else. Once the nucleus of a large and prosperous farm which remained in the Osterhoudt family for centuries, today the home sits on less than an acre and is crowded later development.

The Osterhoudt house, located on a dead-end street in Lake Katrine, NY, is one of the oldest in Ulster County. It’s about five miles from the Stockade District of Kingston where Sarah’s eldest brother Abraham Hasbrouck lived. A considerable amount of information is known about the home Osterhoudt, but little is known about the lives of the occupants themselves, most notably Sarah. Continue reading

The Trials and Tribulations of Abraham Hasbrouck


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Rachel WeepingI’ve been researching the Hasbrouck Family for close to twenty years. During that time, I’ve spent most of my time exploring and writing about Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck. His home, located in Newburgh, is famous for being the headquarters of General George Washington from 1782-1783 and today it’s a state historic site.

An often overlooked member of this family is Jonathan’s oldest brother, Abraham. During his long life, Abraham kept a diary and because of this journal, we know a lot about Jonathan and his family, as well as the events (and even notable weather) of his time. Continue reading

New Netherland: The Esopus Wars


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417px-EsopusTreatyThis year marks the 350th anniversary of the Second Esopus War, which was fought primarily between the Munsee Esopus and the New Netherland colonists in 1663. The image of an “Indian” war most often conjures up scenes of the American West, yet this conflict took place right in the proverbial backyard of the Hudson Valley.

The Esopus Wars were centered around the settlement of Wiltwijck, a place we know today as Kingston. The conflict completely changed the power dynamic of the region, from one dominated by American Indians to European colonists. While from another angle, a look at the war’s participants offers a view of the diverse population that composed Dutch New York. Continue reading

Dutch Roots Return With Sinterklaas Celebration


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12-Sinterklaas-2012The third annual Sinterklaas Celebration will be held in Rhinebeck and Kingston with a variety of events over several days. The event honors the region’s Dutch heritage by recreating customs that the settlers from Holland brought to the Hudson Valley.

In the DUtch tradition, each year a town resident dressed up as Sinterklaas – elegantly garbed in a bishop’s tall hat, red cape, shiny ring, and jeweled staff. Mounted on a white steed, this Sinterklaas would ride through town knocking on doors late at night accompanied by the Grumpus (also known as Black Peter) who threatens to steal away the naughtiest children, and rewards the good children. Over the years, Sinterklaas’ ride turned into a parade still celebrated in Holland today. Continue reading

Preservation Failures: The Hardenbergh House


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Both photos appear courtesy of HABS/HAER-LOCMy previous post about Weigand’s Tavern was written about an historic structure, one of the oldest in Newburgh, which was in peril. Sadly, it is but one instance of many; there are too many cases in other parts of Ulster and Orange counties.

Another example is the Johannes G. Hardenbergh house, which was introduced to me by a fellow firefighter who explored its remains as a young child. This post will be about what happens when a local community does not, or can not, move fast enough to save a piece of history in time. Continue reading

Kingston Senate House History Camp Planned


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Kingston-senate-houseSenate House State Historic Site in Kingston is offering special activities for children ages 8-12. It will give children an opportunity to learn about life in 18th century Kingston. This three-day program runs from August 6-8, 10am-3pm.

Activities include hearthside cooking, churning butter, making wampum and cornhusk dolls, 18thc.games, and more. The fee is $75 per child and registration is required. Please call the site at (845) 338-2786 to register. Hurry , the program is limited to 20 participants. Continue reading

AJ Schenkman: The Hasbrouck Ledger


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One of the problems in researching the life of Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck is that there are so few primary sources written by him left to us. We are fortunate that at least one of the treasures that give us a peek into his life, one of his account ledgers, has been preserved. It is a rich source for a researcher of not only Hasbrouck, but of others from his time period as well. Continue reading

18th Century Autumn Festival at Senate house


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Celebrate the bounty of autumn at the 18th Century Autumn Festival at Senate House State Historic Site on Saturday October 6, 2012. From 11am-3pm visitors will have a chance to see demonstrations of activities that were traditionally done in the autumn during the 18th century including meat smoking, apple cider pressing, making apple butter and blacksmithing.

Hands on activities including making cornhusk dolls and action figures, dipping candles and making dried apple wreaths are also available and are fun for all ages. The 1st Ulster Militia will be encamped on the grounds demonstrating 18th century military camp life. Period music will be provided by “Marilee and Kate”.

Guided tours of Senate House will be provided by costumed interpreters at regular admission rates of $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and free for children 12 and under, and members of the Friends of Senate House. All outside events are free. Everyone is invited to attend. Senate House State Historic Site is located on Fair St. in historic uptown Kingston, NY.

Senate House State Historic Site is part of a system of parks, recreation areas and historic sites operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and is one of 28 facilities administered by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in New York and New Jersey. For further information about this and other upcoming events please call the site at (845) 338-2786 or visit the State Parks website at www.nysparks.com.

Dutch Influence on the American Kitchen Lecture


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Senate House State Historic Site will host noted author and food historian Peter G. Rose on Saturday September 22, 2012 at 1pm. She will be giving a talk “The Influence of the Dutch on the American Kitchen.” The program is free and open to the public.

Peter Rose lectures on historic Dutch foodways throughout the country. She illustrates her talks with paintings of the Dutch Masters and has spoken at many museums with holdings of such Dutch art all over the country, including the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard’s Fogg Museum and The National Gallery.

Rose has worked as a food writer and contributed a syndicated column on family food and cooking to the New York – based Gannett newspapers for over 20 years. She has written articles for magazines including Gourmet, Hudson Valley Magazine and The Valley Table. In 2002 she received the Alice P. Kenney Award for her research and writing on Dutch food history.

Senate House State Historic Site is part of a system of parks, recreation areas and historic sites operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the site is one of 28 facilities administered by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in New York and New Jersey. For further information about this and other upcoming events please call the site at (845) 338-2786 or visit the State Parks website at www.nysparks.com.

Senate House Independence Day Celebration Saturday


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Senate House is one if New York’s outstanding historic sites. The former home of Abraham Van Gaasbeek was the first meeting place of the New York State Senate in 1777. It was burned by the British, along with the rest of Kingston, in October 1777. In addition to the Senate House, the site consists of a Colonial Revival art museum with the world’s largest collection of art by Kingston native John Vanderlyn, and other objects donated to the site over many years.

Senate House State Historic Site is celebrating Independence Day on Saturday June 30 from 11am-3pm. The day begins with a Patriotic Service at 11am which will include patriotic readings and music, followed by an afternoon of music provided by the Headless Horsemen Fife and Drum Corps, 18th century magic performed by “Mr. Bayly” and 18th century games for kids to play.

Additionally, the Third Ulster Militia will be encamped on the grounds demonstrating 18th century camp life, including hearthside cooking, washing laundry and demonstrating the practice of medicine in the colonial era.

Guided tours of Senate House will be provided by costumed interpreters. Outdoor events are free of charge. Tours of Senate House are $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, children 12 and under are free. The site is located on Fair St. in historic uptown Kingston. For more information please call the site at (845) 338-2786.

Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck’s Tory Son Cornelius?


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Governor George Clinton of New York sat down at his desk, in January 1781, to read a painful letter from Judge Robert Yates. The letter concerned the son of a now deceased acquaintance, Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck. It involved his oldest son, Cornelius Hasbrouck, who as Clinton read the letter, sat in a Kingston jail tried, convicted, and branded for stealing “sundry oxen and goods and chattels of the United States of America”. Continue reading

Kingston 18th Cent Market Days, Militia Muster


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The Brigade of the American Revolution will hold their 18th Century Market Days and Militia Muster on the grounds of Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston, NY. This free event will be held on Saturday, June 25, from 10am – 4:30pm, and Sunday June 26, from 11:00am – 3:00pm.

Throughout the weekend a variety of 18th century vendors will be on hand demonstrating their crafts and selling their goods. Participants can also enjoy militia drills and firing demonstrations, children’s games and drill, presentations on 18th century foodways and fashion and style, and 18th century dance instruction.

At 4pm on Saturday and 12pm on Sunday, a Meet the Authors will take place in the site’s museum. Norman Desmarais, Paul Huey and Tom Baker will all be on hand for the book signing. As usual Senate House State Historic Site will be open for tours. Admission to tour Senate House is $4.00 for Adults, $3.00 for seniors and students and free for children 12 and under. So take a step back in time and experience what life was like for soldiers of the American Revolution at the 18th Century Market Days and Militia Muster on the grounds of Senate House State Historic Site.

The Brigade of the American Revolution is a non-profit living history association dedicated to recreating the life of the common soldier during the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Members represent elements of all armies involved: Continental, Militia, British, Loyalist, German, French, Spanish, and Native American forces along with civilian men, women and children.

Photo courtesy The Brigade of the American Revolution.

Sustainable Living, Historic Hudson Valley Style


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What can our past tell us about better living today and for the future? A free festival of demonstrations, tours and living history interpreters, presented at Senate House State Historic Site on Saturday, May 14, offers some out-of-the-ordinary suggestions. Designed for the whole family, this outdoor event will offer ways for people of all ages to learn about practices of the past and their relevance to choices we make today. This free event is perfect for families and people of all ages, and occurs rain or shine. For more information, please call (845) 338-2786, or visit www.nysparks.com.

Friends of Senate House is partnering with the Kingston Land Trust and Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture to offer presentations on colonial gardening and cooking, herbal medicinals, creative darning of textiles, special tours of Senate House on the theme of sustainable building practices, hands-on activities for kids, and free admission to the Senate House and the site museum.

The Kingston Land Trust will present master gardener Allyson Levy of Hortus Conclusus who will be on hand at 11:30 and 1:30 to speak on the contents and uses of a colonial woman’s dooryard garden, and present the historic garden she created.

Dina Falconi, practicing herbalist and author, will speak with visitors about her own herbal preparations and medicinals, and present examples of her creations and the plants used to make them.

Rob Sweeny, member of Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture, will give special tours of Senate House at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30 on the theme of historic building practices and house-holding in 17th- and 18th- century Hudson Valley.

Peter Cutul, a history educator with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation at Fort Montgomery, will present on historic land-use, farming and food preservation practices, with objects and samples for all ages to explore.

Dawn Elliott will offer a creative darning clinic, so bring your textiles for a consultation and possible repair.

Scions of Patria, re-enactors of 17th Century Dutch life in the “New World,” will present hearth cooking of traditional foods and other colonial activities and traditions.

Hands-on activities for kids: Children can practice writing with the “green” writing tool of the colonial period (a quill); learn about the history and uses of a plant, and pot a seedling to take home.

New York Heritage Weekend will showcase the Empire State to residents and visitors alike and to help kick off the summer tourism season; it offers the opportunity for participants to enjoy historic site programs that highlight the significant historical, cultural and natural resources of New York State. In anticipation of this statewide celebration, a new website has been unveiled: please visit www.HeritageWeekend.org.

This special event is sponsored and financially supported by the Friends of Senate House, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area in partnership with the National Park Service.

Vanderlyn Expert to Speak on Huguenot Street


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The Vanderlyn name, long associated with the Mid Hudson Valley, will be front and center at the October Second Saturdays talk at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz. “The Portraits of John Vanderlyn,” will be presented on Friday, October 9th at 7pm by Katherine C. Woltz, a scholar with the University of Virginia. Woltz has become a central figure as interest in Vanderlyn, an Ulster County native and one of the country’s first nationally recognized artists, has undergone a resurgence in recent years.

Born in Kingston in 1775 and educated at the Kingston Academy, John Vanderlyn was protégé of statesman Aaron Burr and portrait painter Gilbert Stuart. Burr’s uncommon generosity allowed Vanderlyn to study first with Stuart in America, and then in Paris with the famous French painters Vincent and David at the é cole-des-beaux-arts. Meeting with acclaim in both Europe and the U.S., he was perhaps the first American artist to gain an international reputation and following.

Woltz is currently working on a book about Vanderlyn and will be featured at “Appraising Art, Re-Appraising Vanderlyn,” a special forum being offered by the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston later this month.

The talk will be offered in the newly reopened LeFevre House. The museum house now features a portrait gallery. Currently on exhibit is “An Excellent Likeness,” a selection of portraits from the permanent collection of Historic Huguenot Street. “An Excellent Likeness” includes several portraits attributed to John Vanderlyn Jr. The LeFevre House is located at 54 Huguenot Street in downtown New Paltz. Parking is available in municipal parking lot across the street. There is an $8 charge ($6 for Friends of Huguenot Street). For more information, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1889.

Illustration: Abraham D Deyo. Attributed to John Vanderlyn, Jr. From the permanent collection of Historic Huguenot Street.

Arts Forum:Appraising Art, Re-Appraising Vanderlyn


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The artistic and historic treasures of the Hudson Valley receive special attention from renowned appraiser and television personality, Leigh Keno, at Senate House State Historic Site on Saturday, October 23, in an arts forum, Appraising Art, Re-appraising Vanderlyn, 10 am to 4:30 pm. Also, regional experts on Hudson Valley art and culture examine the artistic Vanderlyn family, including John Vanderlyn, painter of six U.S. Presidents and an important American artist born in Kingston, NY. Tickets are $10. An evening reception with Leigh Keno in the Vanderlyn Gallery of the Senate House Museum, with wine, food and music, is $50. per person. For more information and to reserve tickets, please call (845) 338-2786.

Television personality and keynote speaker Leigh Keno shares his antiques discoveries, including the auction of early Kingston native Anna Brodhead Oliver’s portrait for $1.1 million.The forum introduces the Vanderlyn Catalogue Raisonné Project to document John Vanderlyn (1775-1852), first American painter to receive a gold medal from Napoleon Bonaparte for his art. If you have Vanderlyn family art or letters to submit for evaluation, call (845)338-2786.

Presentations include talks on Pieter Vanderlyn and John Vanderlyn contemporaries. Paintings and antiques from audience members will be evaluated by Leigh Keno and art experts during the afternoon session. Post-forum, join Leigh Keno for a soirée with chamber music, period French wine and hors d’oeuvres in the Senate House Museum. Tickets for the evening event are $50 per person. Senate House State Historic Site houses the world’s largest collection of Vanderlyn paintings, documents and ephemera.

“’Appraising Art, Re-Appraising Vanderlyn’ will be a fun-filled day for the home antiquer and the art connoisseur with a few surprises thrown in” stated Katherine Woltz, Vanderlyn Project director, who expressed her thanks to the Saugerties Historical Society and Historic Huguenot Street for their assistance in organizing the forum with the Friends of Senate House and the staff of Senate House State Historic Site.

Senate House State Historic Site is located at 296 Fair Street, Kingston, NY 12401, and is part of a system of parks, recreation areas and historic sites operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the site is one of 28 facilities administered by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in New York and New Jersey. For further information about this and other upcoming events please call the site at (845) 338-2786 or visit the State Parks website at www.nysparks.com.

Illustration: Miniature portrait of John Vanderlyn (1775-1852). From the collection of the Senate House State Historic Site.

Washington’s HQ: Dutch Ramble Weekend


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Ever wonder what it was like to be a guest at General and Mrs. Washington’s headquarters? Come to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site on Sunday, September 12th and find out what an 18th century visitor could expect when you accompany Cornelia Tappan Clinton on tour. These special tours by reservation only are scheduled at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

Mrs. Clinton, wife of New York’s first governor, George Clinton, will guide you through the Hasbrouck house rented by her dear friends, the Washingtons. In the course of this First Person Experiential Tour, Mrs. Clinton will not only touch upon her friendship with Martha Washington, but also on her own life. This was a lady who witnessed the burning of Kingston, the smallpox epidemic that followed, and the migration of survivors to safer grounds. In her Dutch-tinted accent, Mrs. Clinton will explain how her family survived. To her way of thinking, surmounting these problems was not that difficult as long as the family was able to stay together.

Coming from an old and prominent Dutch family, Cornelia Tappan married George Clinton, a lawyer from Little Britain, and the couple set about to establish themselves in Orange County, to live, work, and raise their family. In time, Mr. Clinton became an officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and Cornelia was called upon to keep the family together, save whatever crops from her farm she could salvage and keep her children safe. She rose to the occasion admirably.

It is as Martha’s friend that she is visiting the home the Washingtons will be renting from Mrs. Hasbrouck, in Newburgh. Join Mrs. Clinton as she walks through the rooms speculating on what use the Washingtons will make of this small house on the Hudson River.

Admission for this Special Event is $4.00 per person. Please call by September 11th for reservations. Contact 845-562-1195 6 to reserve a place on one of the tours.

Photo: The Hasbrouck House, Orange County.

Currier & Ives Prints Exhibition at Senate House


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The exhibit Currier & Ives: “Cheap and Popular Pictures” is now open at the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston. The prints of Currier & Ives—one of the most successful purveyors of lithographic prints in the 19th Century—are diverse, full of fascinating historical information and compelling imagery, perhaps despite their perennial appearance on calendars and cards. This new exhibit at Senate House State Historic Site, offers us forty of their prints focusing on the ideals, values, and innovations of the 19th Century.

While it’s better known for its buildings and collections representing colonial and Revolutionary history, Senate House State Historic Site, located in uptown Kingston, also has impressive collections of objects, documents, and art of the 19th Century, including over 200 Currier & Ives prints, given to the site by the late Rutgers Ives Hurry, a Saugerties resident whose passion was collecting images of the Hudson Valley made by the firm.

The Senate House exhibition focuses on three themes: the ideal of the 19th-century home, images of New York City, and Hudson River steamboats (both the luxury and potential dangers they represented). The exhibit is entitled “Cheap and Popular Pictures,” a term touted by Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives, who shrewdly observed and marketed their images–made by many different artists of the day—to the opinions, interests, and ideals of America’s growing middle class.

The Senate House is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, and 1 – 5 pm on Sundays. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibition runs through October 31 and is available by appointment and for school groups after that date. Senate House is located at 296 Fair Street, Kingston NY, 12401. For more information and other details, please call (845) 338-2786.

Illustration: Steamers Drew and St. John. Sketched and Drawn by C. R. Parsons.
Hand-colored lithograph published by Currier & Ives, New York. Courtesy of Senate House State Historic Site.