A couple weeks ago, Jan Franz van Hedgehog-Orange-Ekaert invited me to visit him at his home, Stoddard Corner bookshop in Hudson. I love books (you can read about my visit to the Hudson Children’s Book Festival here and here), and Jan Franz told me they had lots of interesting historical books and documents, so I decided to check it out. Here I am with my hosts, Jan Franz the hedgehog and Peter Pherson, the shop’s proprietor (owner).
I had a lot of fun exploring the shelves. There were little books, that were my size…
…and big books that I might need some help reading!
There were familiar books (many of the books in this photo were published by the Columbia County Historical Society) about local history.
Stoddard Corner carries many old books and manuscripts (a book or document written by hand, not printed— that means there is usually one one of them! For example, diaries, letters, and even hand-written pieces of music are manuscripts). As you can see by the top book in the photo below, I got to see some autograph books. In the 1800s and early 1900s, people kept autograph books, and would have friends sign the pages (kind of like we do with school yearbooks now). Maybe I should get myself an autograph book and collect signatures from all the great history loving people I meet!
There were diaries in the shop, including several that were kept by farmers. It was not uncommon for farmers to keep a daily log, with notes about the weather and their crops. It would have been neat (and very helpful, if you were a farmer trying to figure out when to plan seeds) to be able to look back at records of what the weather was like on a particular day for the previous ten years!
A big thanks to my friend Jan Franz van Hedgehog-Orange-Ekaert. I had a great time checking out the books and manuscripts at Stoddard Corner!