Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes

Situated in the scenic Hudson Valley, Ulster County is a lovely location to make a home and raise a family, but it wasn’t always so pleasant. Unsavory characters and immoral events have sullied its name.

In the 1870s, the Shawangunk Mountains inspired fear rather than awe, as groups like the Lyman Freer and Shawangunk gangs robbed and terrorized locals, descending from the protection of the wooded peaks. Kingston was torched, arson blazed in Kerhonkson and even the Mohonk Mountain House was threatened by flames. In 1909, the Ashokan Slasher’s bloody crimes and sensational trial captured headlines across the country. A.J. Schenkman’s Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs and More features these and other salacious stories buried in Ulster County’s history. Read more

Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson

One hundred years ago. On the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain rescues an injured mermaid from the waters of the busiest port in the United States. A wildly popular&#8211and notoriously reclusive&#8211author makes a public debut. A French nobleman seeks a remedy for a curse. As three lives twine together and race to an unexpected collision, the mystery of the Mermaid of the Hudson deepens.

Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel is a new graphic novel of the webcomic of the same name serialized online in the tradition of a nineteenth century novel. A mysterious and beguiling love story with elements of Poe, Twain, Hemingway, and Greek mythology, drawn in moody black-and-white charcoal, Sailor Twain is a study in romance, atmosphere, and suspense set in 1887 on board the Hudson River steamboat Lorelei. Read more

Educators: Place-Based Education Resource Fair

Teaching the Hudson Valley (THV) and the Albany Institute of History & Art invite teachers, 4H and scout leaders, home schoolers, PTA activists, and others working with children and teens to drop in for a free place-based education resource fair at the Albany Institute between 3:30 and 5 p.m., Tuesday, October 16.

Erika Sanger, education director at the Albany Institute pointed out that, “Many educators are familiar with field trips offered by local museums, historical societies and sites, parks, and environmental groups in our region. Less familiar are the wealth of artifacts and primary sources, staff expertise, traveling trunks, in-school programs, and other resources sites are eager to share.”

Superintendent Sarah Olson, of the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, added, “This is a great way to connect teachers and others with place-based resources in their own backyards.”

The fair is designed to give educators from sites in the Capital area an opportunity to talk with teachers and youth group leaders one-on one and describe what they have to offer. At the same time, teachers and others will be able to explain what would be helpful to them and their students.

Light refreshments will be served and there will be poster giveaways. While the event is free, interested parties are asked to RSVP to Info@TeachingtheHudsonValley.org or 845-229-9116, ext. 2035, with their name and school or organization.

The fair is made possible, in part, by the Hudson River foundation, www.HudsonRiver.org.

AJ Schenkman: The Hasbrouck Ledger

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.

Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck was born in 1722 in Ulster County just outside of New Paltz, New York. He later relocated in 1749 to what would become Newburgh, where his mother Elsie Schoonmaker purchased 99 acres of land.
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New Guide: Exploring Historic Dutch New York

Exploring Historic Dutch New York has been co-published by the Museum of the City of New York and Dover Publications (2012). The easy-to-read guide is filled with hundreds of historic facts and anecdotes about the greater New York area. Exploring Historic Dutch New York is the only travel guide and reference book currently in print that encompasses the historic Dutch elements of the former New Netherland colony in present-day New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

Edited by Gajus Scheltema and Heleen Westerhuijs with an introduction by Russell Shorto, this guide tours important sites and also serves as a cultural and historical reference. Seventeen international scholars explore topics such as Dutch art and architecture, Dutch cooking, immigration during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, furniture and antiques, and more. Color photographs and maps are included throughout the guide. Read more

Peter Feinman: The Greater Hudson Heritage Conference

The Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHNN) held its annual conference on September 28 at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor Center, Hyde Park. The theme of the conference was &#8220Mining the Museum: Using Your Existing Resources in New Ways&#8221 with Executive Director Priscilla Brendler presiding. The meeting was so-well attended I didn’t even have a chance to speak with the all the people I would like to have talked to. The format has been expanded beyond being primarily an awards ceremony to be more like the Museumwise conference with a plenary speaker followed by concurrent sessions but for one day instead of two. Read more

Forts Montgomery and Clinton: Twin Forts Day

On October 6, 1777 an invading British Army assaulted Fort Montgomery and nearby Fort Clinton. Outnumbered 3 to 1, the defending Continental soldiers and militia held out as long as they could until at last the forts were overrun, the Continental ships burned by their own crews to prevent capture, and the Great Chain removed. Over half of the garrison was captured or killed.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site in the Hudson Highlands on Saturday October 6th will commemorate the 235th anniversary of this bloody battle. Reenactors are portraying the American Continentals and militia as well as the British, their German allies, and the Loyalist Americans. There will be a reenactment of the battle on the actual battlefield of Fort Montgomery- cannon firings, including the fort’s 32-pounder “George” and military drill and living history demonstrations throughout the day.

Schedule:

10:00 AM &#8211 Camps Open. Living History Demonstrations and Military Drill throughout the Day
11:00 AM &#8211 Guided Tour of Fort Montgomery &#8211 Starting at the Museum
12:00 PM &#8211 Children’s Musket Drill – Reenactment Field
1:00 PM &#8211 Artillery Firing &#8211 Grand Battery
1:30 PM &#8211 Military Music Demonstration &#8211 Grand Battery
2:00 PM &#8211 Children’s Musket Drill – Reenactment Field
3:00 PM &#8211 “Soldiers of the Twin Forts” &#8211 Museum Terrace
4:00 PM &#8211 Battle Reenactment – Reenactment Field
5:00PM &#8211 Camps Close

Parking will be available off-site with a shuttle bus running throughout the day (follow the posted signs). Twin Forts Day is presented by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Fort Montgomery is located at 690 Route 9W, ? mile north of the Bear Mountain Bridge. The museum and grounds are open Wed. through Sun. 9 AM to 5 PM. Call 845-446-2134 for more information.

More Hudson River Ramble September Weekends

The 2012 Hudson River Valley Ramble continues for the weekends of September 15-16, 22-23, and 29-30, 2012. More than 170 events will be held from the Capital District to New York City.

The Ramble brings people outside to enjoy our distinct cultural heritage and the natural beauty of the Hudson River Valley. It also serves as an economic boost for our region’s tourism. Nearly 150 environmental, land conservancy, trail and historic preservation organizations, State historic sites and parks, as well as the National Park Service participate by offering events. Many events are free of charge and family friendly. Guided hikes, cycling and kayaking tours, historic site walks, festivals and river explorations are examples of some of the types of events that will be available for every ability level. With all that the Ramble has to offer, it’s easy to find a Ramble adventure nearby.

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Waterford Tugboat Roundup This Weekend

More than two dozen boats are expected to participate in this year’s Tugboat Roundup in Waterford. The Roundup, cancelled last year due to damage caused by the storms Irene and Lee, is organized by the town of Waterford and runs from Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9.

Working tug boats from along the Hudson River including Kingston, Albany and Troy, from the Canal System, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River are expected to converge in Waterford in time for Friday afternoon’s parade. The parade starts at the Port of Albany at 2:45 on Friday with boats arriving in Waterford as early as 5pm.

Live music will be performed throughout the event with at least nine different groups booked to play on board one of the tugs, the Grand Erie, docked in front of the Visitor’s Center along the canal at the foot of Tugboat Alley in the village.

Boat tours will be offered on both the Hudson River and the Waterford locks and kids activities will include face-painting, clown performances, puppet theaters, a bouncy-bounce, pony rides. and more throughout the weekend.

On Sunday, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will be dedicating the Waterford flight of locks as a significant engineering achievement in America. This dedication will take place on Sunday.

A full schedule of performances and activities can be found on the Roundup’s website, www.tugboatroundup.com or on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/tugboatroundup.com

Photo: The 2008 Tugboat Round-Up, Courtesy Duncan Hayes, NPS  (Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor).

Call to Artists: Hudson River School Art Trail


To celebrate the many talented artists who continue to be inspired by the landscapes along the Hudson River School Art Trail, the Thomas Cole Historic Site has issued a &#8220call to artists&#8221 to submit a new postcard-sized artwork for an exhibition and sale entitled &#8220Postcards from the Trail&#8221 that will take place on Sunday September 23, 2012.

A preview will benefit the Greene County Council on the Arts on the Saturday before. Artworks may depict any one of the 22 magnificent views that are now part of the Hudson River School Art Trail, a series of driving and hiking routes to the places that inspired the great landscape paintings of the 19th century. Hurry! The deadline for submissions is August 31st. For information about the Saturday preview, contact the GCCA at 518-943-3400.

Artists can get the details and entry instructions online.