Tag Archives: Poughkeepsie

Historic Steamboat Planned For Hudson River

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ss columbiaIn the years between 1807 and 1971, the Hudson River was alive with boat traffic. The great Hudson River Day Liners were perhaps the best known of all the vessels – famous for their elegance and speed. New Yorkers and visitors alike experienced the river and magnificent landscapes from their decks and plush salons.

Now, a New York City nonprofit is planning to restore the S.S. Columbia, believed to be America’s oldest surviving excursion steamship, for service on the Hudson River between New York City and Albany, with stops at Bear Mountain State Park, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Hudson. Continue reading

State Parks Purchases Hudson Walkway Parcel

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walkway of the hudsonThe New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has purchased a half-acre parcel adjacent to the Poughkeepsie entrance of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park from the Open Space Institute (OSI), which will provide growing room to improve visitor services at the 1.28-mile linear park.

State Parks purchased the parcel for $550,000 with funds from the Environmental Protection Fund. Continue reading

Hudson Valley Docs From 1911 Fire Being Digitized

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document_reinforcementAT&T has given a $20,000 contribution to support the conservation and digitization of documents burned in the 1911 New York Capitol Fire.

The documents are expected to be conserved and digitized are badly fire damaged and contain information about life in the Hudson Valley in the 1700s, primarily in Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties. They have been unavailable to the public since 1911; no timetable for online public access has been announced. Continue reading

American Revolution:
Trouble at Poughkeepsie and Peekskill

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American Revolution ShipsA loyalist is a man with his head in England, his body in America, and a neck that needs to be stretched.  – an anonymous patriot.

Late in June of 1776, the New York Provincial Convention (NYPC) received a troubling report from the Dutchess County Committee of Safety. It said that Poughkeepsie officials and patriot warships were being threatened by loyalists, so-called Tories. Continue reading

Walk For History: Save Our Hudson Valley Landmarks

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95The first-ever “Walk For History: Save Our Hudson Valley Landmarks” is scheduled for Sunday, November 24 at 1 PM, at the Walkway Over The Hudson. Walk for History is being organized by Friends of Jackson House, a landmark structure in the Village of Fishkill that faces an uncertain future.

The purpose of Walk for History is to call attention to endangered cultural assets of the Hudson Valley like the Jackson House – irreplaceable assets that deserve the benefit of smart preservation policies. Preserving our cultural wealth enhances what makes the Hudson Valley a beautiful, profitable and well-traveled destination. Continue reading

Bridges And New York History

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New York State has approximately 17,000 highway bridges. They are essential for traveling around our state and connecting our communities. About 37% are “functionally obsolete” or “structurally deficient,” according to DOT, a reminder of the need for continuing investment to maintain valuable resources.

Bridges – old and new – are part of community and state history. The story of three historically significant bridges shows various connections to history. Continue reading

Peter Feinman: Bowling Alone in 2012

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“Harlem Loses Its Bowling Alley” was part of the headline for an article in the New York Times on August 6, 2012. The article told the story, not of some hallowed bowling alley from the time when life was simpler, but from 2006 when with great fanfare and former President Clinton in attendance, Harlem once again had a bowling alley decades after its last one closed in the 1980s. Continue reading

Poughkeepsie’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument

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One of our contentions at the Hudson River Valley Institute has always been that you can go anywhere by starting exactly where you are. The closest I ever came to losing this argument was at a Teaching American History conference with a gentleman from New Mexico. “It’s easy for you – the Hudson Valley has nearly 400 years of colonial history and documented prehistory before that,” he said “all we have are aliens (Roswell) and those German POW scientists from WWII.” (He had just finished a presentation about the latter). But he went on to explain that even in that state’s most isolated towns, there was at least one war memorial with the names of local soldiers who served their country, and when they shipped out, they charted a course around the nation and the world leaving a path for students today to trace through history. Continue reading

Poughkeepsie: Historic Family Homes Reunited

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Historic Huguenot Street has announced that it has reached an agreement with Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie to transfer to it the properties and collections of Locust Lawn located in the town of Gardiner, New York. The agreement is result of months of planning to reunite the family homes of Annette Innis Young, who was responsible for establishing both estates as protected historic sites.

Transferring ownership and “reuniting” these two estates fulfills the original vision of Annette Young. It was Miss Young’s desire to jointly preserve the Locust Lawn and Locust Grove estates under one organizational umbrella hoping “the foundation will maintain these houses as an example of the lives of three generations of a wealthy and cultured Hudson Valley family.” Unfortunately, she was unable to achieve this during her lifetime.

As an alternative, she donated Locust Lawn to Historic Huguenot Street (which was then known as the Huguenot Historical Society), an organization in which she was already involved. Upon her death in 1975, Annette Young’s will established a not-for-profit educational corporation to preserve Locust Grove and its contents in perpetuity for the “enjoyment, visitation, and enlightenment of the public.”

The Locust Grove Estate was purchased by Annette Young’s father, William Young in 1901. The Young family cherished Locust Grove’s extensive grounds and historic buildings and added their own important collections of furniture, paintings and ceramics.

Locust Lawn is located on Route 32 South in Gardiner. It features an historic federal-style home was built in 1814 by Josiah Hasbrouck, a businessman and gentleman farmer whose ancestors were among those that founded New Paltz. Josiah Hasbrouck was Annette Young’s great-great grandfather and a U.S. congressman. The Hasbrouck family left Locust Lawn in 1885, leaving behind 70 years of finery and furnishings. The house was a repository of family history for another 70 years until it was donated to Historic Huguenot Street by Annette Young in 1958.

In addition to transferring the property and collections of Locust Lawn, Historic Huguenot Street will donate its adjoining properties, which include the historic Terwilliger stone house as well as the Little Wings Bird Sanctuary and Meadow. The Terwilliger House will continue to be protected as a historic building, open to the public. The existing protections on the Little Wings Bird Sanctuary and the Conservation Agreement on the Meadow also will remain in place with the transfer of the properties. Together, all of these properties preserve the core of the estate created by Josiah Hasbrouck.

The executive directors of the respective organizations have cooperated over the years to ensure that the collections and history have stayed linked to each other. These connections led to the formal transfer that is now taking place.

It is anticipated that Locust Grove will assume ownership and management of Locust Lawn by the end of August. Under the terms of the transfer, which has already been approved by the boards of both organizations, all restrictions placed on the property by Annette Young at the time she gifted the site will remain in effect. In the short term, the site will continue to be open to the public by appointment. Locust Grove plans an expanded program of public events in the future.

Photo: Locust Lawn Front Facade Courtesy of Historic Huguenot Street.