Underneath Elsie is a sign stating that the Hamlet of Wallkill was the location the “Home Farm” of John G. Borden. Thus, many commonly believe that Borden Condensed Milk was in fact invented in the Hamlet of Wallkill; however, its origins can be traced to Burrville, Connecticut and Gail Borden, Jr. Actually, the business was not originally called Borden at all – that title would come later. [Read more…] about Everyone Knows Elsie: A Short Borden Company History
James Eldridge Quinlan’s History of Sullivan County is generally regarded as one of the most thorough and entertainingly written local histories. Published in 1873, Quinlan’s history is the undisputed bible of Sullivan County’s past, and yet it is not without its shortcomings. Some have criticized what they view as his selective exclusion of material – he does not, for instance, write much about the Civil War, and it has been said that this was because he was a Copperhead, or a southern sympathizer. And each year in March, Women’s History Month, we are reminded that he afforded minimal space in his writings to the women of the era.
That makes the few women he does write about stand out even more than they might otherwise, and no woman receives greater praise from Quinlan than Phebe Reynolds Drake. [Read more…] about Phebe Reynolds Thwarts The Tories
A little more than two years after a devastating fire Goshen Historic Track has added a new page to its history. Considered among the world’s oldest active harness racing tracks, the Orange County facility recently hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate a newly constructed barn and horse stalls on the site of the old BOCES Barn that was partially destroyed by the fire on August 23, 2017. [Read more…] about New Barn in Goshen Preserves Horse Racing Tradition
General George Washington, Governor George Clinton and Lord Stirling all knew about Anthony’s Nose. Not because it was part of someone’s anatomy, but because it was a prominent feature along the Hudson River, the highest place in Westchester County. Anthony’s Nose resembles a person’s nose when viewed in profile from the Hudson River, and so was a well known landmark.
Anthony’s Nose was also strategically important. [Read more…] about Hudson River Chain, Anthony’s Nose, and the American Revolution
Sometimes the past changes. For the Friends of Hathorn House research team, a chance remark led to discovery of a lost chapter in Warwick’s history — the Continental Army’s supply depot here.
In 1780-81, the Army kept a large and active post near the Village of Warwick, NY which stored and shipped supplies to the troops. The depot was not without controversy, however. The citizens of Warwick proved to be challenging partners. [Read more…] about The Continental Commissary at Warwick, Orange County
Walter Allison, a graduate of Newburgh Free Academy probably did not know what hit him when wounded in the stomach on September 29, 1918. He lay in a shallow shell hole, bleeding, not far from where his commander lay mortally wounded. Two lieutenants urged the men of E Company of the 107th Infantry Regiment on, but they too were cut down, as bullets ripped through the air, shells exploded all about them wiping out an entire squad and Allison’s classmate Everett Baker. Smoke and chemical gas drifted through the air as the few remaining sergeants, corporals and privates carried on the fight, and the brutal battle to break the Hindenburg Line continued. [Read more…] about New Yorkers At The Hindenburg Line in 1918
On New York State Route 94, just north of the village of Chester, Orange County, cars and their occupants whiz past the homestead site of a once-famous pioneer and author, the site of a once locally renowned public house, and a resting place for local residents probably known only to loved ones.
The first two sites have only their historical markers to indicate what once was there, while the last has, I suppose one could say, historical markers of a sort, but also continued presence that evokes an image of past community and that gives poignant testimony to the way we have layered our world on top of it. [Read more…] about Some Early Settlers Near Chester, Orange County
When I began my term as Orange County Historian, Ted Sly was kind enough to go over some of his most memorable moments in the post.
On one occasion around 2010, he explained, he met with members of the Paul Rudolph Foundation and toured them through the Government Center where they encountered hecklers, one of which shouted out from the office, “Tear it down! Tear it down!”
It wasn’t my first inkling of the animosity that has persisted in the community regarding the Orange County Government Center since it was dedicated in 1970 but I appreciated his warning. [Read more…] about Brutalist Architecture Still Controversial After 50 Years
Orange County Historian Johanna Yaun will host a trip to Belgium and France next year to honor the 40 Orange County residents who died on the same day in 1918 during the Battle of the Hindenburg Line.
The trip will take place from September 24th through October 2nd, 2018 and will explore locations that served as notable backdrops during World War I. [Read more…] about Orange Co Historian Leading Trip Honoring WWI Soliders
A walk around the Pergamena warehouse in Montgomery, NY in Orange County, is a step back in time. Rows upon rows of animal skins, of all kinds, are carefully laid on shelves, in piles and are in various stages of processing.
Some will turn into leather, some into parchment, some will become covers for drums and books, some will be made into shoes, handbags, dog collars, and the list goes on.
Pergamena – Italian for “parchment” – is a tanning business, and Jesse Meyer, co-owner with dad Karl and brother, Stephen, is providing this tour in a cold warehouse off of Montgomery’s Route 211. [Read more…] about A Visit to the Pergamena Tannery in Orange County