The Florida Historical Society will host a Seward Day Parade on Saturday, May 14th, honoring the Village of Florida’s native son William Henry Seward, New York Governor, State Senator, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln. [Read more…] about William Seward Day Parade in Florida, NY on Saturday
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the grand opening of the Hudson Valley segment of the New York State Birding Trail to highlight the State’s world-class and wide-ranging birding opportunities.
The Hudson Valley segment includes 39 locations on public lands throughout six counties, providing a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy. [Read more…] about Hudson Valley Segment of Statewide Birding Trail Opens
The butter trade was once so important to dairy farmers in Orange County, NY that the bank in Goshen, the county seat, printed its currency on yellow paper. Popularly known as “butter money,” this currency symbolized how significant the trade in butter was to dairy farmers in dairy regions across the state prior to the introduction of refrigerated railroad cars to ship raw milk, first using blocks of ice and then mechanical cooling.
The original shipment of milk from Orange County to New York City is believed to have taken place in the spring of 1842 via the New York & Erie Railroad. Prior to this raw milk could be transported only short distances by farm wagon.
Butter, however, could be transported to markets many miles from the farm or factory where it was produced. As symbolized by “butter money,” blocks of butter were once as good as gold. [Read more…] about Crimes Against Butter: The Oleomargarine Controversy
“The importance of the Hudson River in the present contest, and the necessity of defending it, are subjects which have been so frequently and fully discussed and are so well understood that it is unnecessary to enlarge upon them.” – George Washington
It is hard to imagine a time in the United States when highways did not exist, but that was certainly the case at the time of the Revolutionary War. Some cities could brag of their cobblestone streets but once outside the residential area, roads could best be described as single-lane dirt paths, frozen solid but probably covered with snow in winter, mud bogs in spring, and deeply rutted, jarring, swaying and unstable conveyances the rest of the year.
A small military wagon could move along only as fast as a team of oxen could pull it. Moving armies and cannon along these roadways was a slow, difficult undertaking, offering opposing forces considerable advance notice and many opportunities to thwart progress or attack. [Read more…] about Chains Across the Hudson, Stirling Ironworks & The Townsend Family
Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County, NY is growing by an additional 130 acres that includes a portion of the former Greenwood Forest Farms, the first resort in New York State incorporated by and for Black families.
Between its founding in 1919 and through the 1960s, a portion of this property was Greenwood Forest Farms, which was founded by a group of prominent Black families and civic leaders from New York City, the resort became a haven for cultural and civil rights leaders from Harlem and Brooklyn, including writer Langston Hughes. Some descendants of the original pioneers now live in the neighborhood year-round. [Read more…] about Sterling Forest State Park Expands With Purchase of Historic Black Resort
In the summer of 1898, Harper’s Magazine published a novella by the noted author Stephen Crane entitled, The Monster. It is one of the first pieces of American fiction to realistically deal with racism and discrimination.
Crane, in the aftermath of the meteoric rise to fame that accompanied the publication of his Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage some three years before, was living in England when the story was published, but both his and the story’s ties to Upstate New York are undeniable. [Read more…] about Stephen Crane’s Monster: A Story About Community Courage
In 1852, Harriet Jacobs became legally free, but not independent as she yearned. She continued her job as nursemaid for the family of Nathaniel Parker Willis, then editor of the trend-setting magazine Home Journal and one of the country’s most famous authors. The needs of the Willises usually took precedence over her own.
When the family moved to Cornwall, in Orange County, NY, she went too. There, in fits and starts, over the course of more than five years, she wrote the book about her life still read today – Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. [Read more…] about ‘Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl’: Harriet Jacobs in Orange County, New York (Conclusion)
So announced the abolitionist Liberator about the 1861 publication of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, a book written by Harriet Jacobs about her life in slavery and seeking freedom. Forgotten for many decades, it is one of the only known books written by an enslaved Black woman. Most of the book takes place in the coastal town of Edenton, North Carolina, where Jacobs was born in 1815.
New York State also plays a large, if lesser-known role in the life of Harriet Jacobs, who escaped to the city of New York in 1842 and lived there at two separate times. She also lived in Rochester and in Cornwall, Orange County, where she spent years writing the powerful book that is read and cherished today. [Read more…] about Harriet Jacobs in New York State
The Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area, located in the Catskills 75 miles northwest of New York City, was designated a Bird Conservation Area because of its unique combination of habitats important to bird species, including forests, reservoirs, and river habitat where bald eagles nest and overwinter. [Read more…] about Watchable Wildlife: Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area
When excavated soil from a foundation wall on the verge of collapse adjacent to a colonial era cemetery was cleared for disposal by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), some quick-thinking workers at the site thought better.
They made a snap decision to pile the dirt on a tarp for further examination by local history advocates. [Read more…] about Newburgh’s Weigand Tavern Archeology Update