Posts tagged Hudson NY
Posts tagged Hudson NY
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!
Since it is my first year not hibernating through the winter, I’m learning about some of the fun things people have done in Columbia County to pass the time in the cold weather. One way that people had fun (and still do!) when it got cold was ice skating. Columbia County has many lakes and ponds that are perfect for ice skating once they froze over.
Skating was such a popular pastime in Hudson that the Hudson Skating Club was formed in the middle of the 1800s. In fact, skating was really popular all over, and many towns and cities created skating clubs. The Hudson Skating Club published rules for proper behavior on the skating pond in the Hudson Weekly Star newspaper on January 11, 1862. The rules stated:
I guess most of the rules would still be pretty useful at the skating pond today!
Here is a pair of ice skates that are in CCHS’ collection:
They were made some time between 1875 and 1900. They look a lot different from the skates people use today, don’t they?
This postcard shows people skating on “Lake Underhill” in Hudson (today, it is called “Underhill Pond”):
The postcard is from 1910. If you look closely, you can see that the people are dressed quite differently than we might to go ice skating today- most women wouldn’t wear long dresses to go skating!
Do you like to ice skate? Do you go to Hudson to skate on Oakdale Lake (which is right near Underhill Pond, and still hosts ice skating in the winter), or do you have another favorite spot?
Do you know what today is?
It is the start of the Columbia County Fair! I’m looking forward to my first fair as a history ambassador. I’m planning on visiting on Friday evening… I promised my co-workers at CCHS that I would help out at the Landmarks Visitors Collaborative booth, in the main Fair House (the big yellow building). You can come say hello to me from 4-7:30pm on Friday. I hope to get there early so I can walk around and check out the sites (and visit some of the many animals that are there!).
Getting ready to go to the fair got me thinking about the poster, above, from CCHS’ collection. It was part of the exhibition Inked Over, which was held at the museum in 2010-2011 (the exhibition was all about things that were printed). The poster was an advertisement for an agricultural fair that was held in Hudson in 1860. As you can see, the fair was put on by the Columbia Agricultural and Horticultural Association. This was not the same as the fair that is held in Chatham each year, which has been put on by the Columbia County Agricultural Society since 1841… for a while, Columbia County had two fairs! The fair that is advertised in the poster took place at a fairgrounds in Hudson, located near the present day intersection of Fairview Avenue and Parkwood Boulevard. You can see it here in the 1873 Beer’s Atlas:
Here is a modern view of Hudson, with the fair ground pictured in the 1873 map placed in its correct location:
The fair poster lists some of the attractions that could be expected at the fair in Hudson… some of them are very similar to things you can find at the Chatham fair today! Just like today, there were also exhibitions of “Cattle, Sheep, Swine and Poultry, Farm Implements, Household and other Manufactures, Products of the Dairy, Orchard, and Garden, Fine Arts and Mechanical Products.” The poster also lists a “trial of speed” for horses… a horse race. Horse races were part of the Hudson and Chatham fairs, but are no longer included in the fair schedule.
My favorite part of the fair poster is the engravings of the animals:
Perhaps I will get to meet some of the descendants of these animals when I visit the fair on Friday? I promise, I’ll have lots of photos to share with you, and a little of the history of the Columbia County Fair!
Before I start sharing my photos with you from the Civil War Encampment that took place here at CCHS last weekend, I want to make an apology.
Last week, I was saddened to hear of the news from Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson, that twice, flags were stolen from the graves of veterans of the Civil War in the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic, an organization that was founded by Veterans of the Civil War) section of the cemetery (you can read more from the Register Star here and here). Imagine my dismay when I read the paper on Saturday, only to learn that through careful investigation, they had discovered the suspects… my fellow groundhogs! (story here).
I wish I could say that all groundhogs have a love for history like I do, but unfortunately, that is not the case. As I continue to study the Civil War, I hope that I can teach my fellow groundhogs at the cemetery (and all over Columbia County!) more about the war those soldiers fought in, and why we should respect their graves. Maybe you can help me too— as we spread the word about the history of our county, hopefully we can also spread respect for that history. It is an important lesson for both people and groundhogs!
I started to tell you about my day at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival… but it was such a busy day, I only got to tell you about the history books! There were also lots of books about animals, so I was hoping to find one about a groundhog…
In the exhibitor’s room, I got to meet the Very Hungry Catepillar! He was greeting people at the table for the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. They warned me not to get too close, since he was very hungry, but he was very friendly too!
I also ran into another old favorite, Clifford the Big Red Dog!
I met Nancy Furstinger, who wrote Maggie’s Second Chance, which is about a group of 4th graders who create an animal shelter to save a dog.
Next to Nancy were Bruce and Jeanette Hopkins. They have three great books, but my favorite was The Ladybug Waltz. Bruce and Jeanette happen to be our educator, Ashley’s aunt and uncle, so I got VIP treatment at their table! How do you like my ladybug hat?
Next, I got to meet Willow Bascom, who wrote The Paisley Pig. Still no groundhogs though…
I got to meet the author of the Bad Kitty books, Nick Bruel…
…and later I ran into Bad Kitty himself! I thought he was pretty nice, but I’m glad I didn’t have to give him a bath! Maybe Bad Kitty doesn’t mind groundhogs as much as dogs and babies?
Jerry and Katie Davis showed me their book Little Chicken’s Big Day. It was a very sweet story, but still no groundhogs…
Iza Trapani told me about her story The Bear Went Over the Mountain- it is a extension of the classic song, and you get to find out more about what the bear really found on the other side of the mountain!
Here I am with Doreen Cronin and her daughter. Doreen wrote a silly book about cows, called Clack Clack Moo, Cows that Type!
I met Kara LaReau, and she read me her book Mr. Prickles: A Quill Fated Love Story. It is a book about a porcupine (which I have been mistaken for!) looking for love… but still no groundhog.
So I didn’t find any authors this year who wrote about groundhogs (although I hear that last year, Susanna Leonard Hill was there with her book Punxsutawney Phyllis). Hudson Talbott, who I included in my post yesterday, mentioned that he had an idea in his head for a groundhog story… so maybe next year!
Last weekend, I attended the Hudson Children’s Book Festival with CCHS’ educators. Have you ever been to the book festival? It is a wonderful place! There is a whole school gym filled with people who write great books for children. I got to meet lots of authors, and even some of my favorite characters from books.
Of course, I had to check out the history books. Here I am with Richard Copley, who showed me 3D images from his book The Civil War: A History in3D. CCHS is working on a new exhibition on the Civil War in honor of the 150th anniversary, so I was definitely interested in this book. Mr. Copley took stereoscope views (Stereoscope views are special cards that have two slightly different images. When you view them through a special stereoscope viewer, they appear in 3D. They were very popular in the 19th century as a type of entertainment.) of the civil war, and converted them so you can view them with regular 3D glasses- neat!
I also met Anita Sanchez, who wrote Mr. Lincoln’s Chair. It is also related to the Civil War, and the story of the Shakers.
Here I am with Lesa Cline-Ransome. She has written many wonderful books on history, includingQuilt Counting, Words Set me Free,and biographies on Helen Keller, Pele, and many others! Her husband, James Ransome, illustrates her books, and also books by other authors.
Hudson Talbott read to me from his bookRiver of Dreams.It is all about the history of the Hudson River.
That was just a part of my day at the book festival… check back for part 2!
I love field trips, especially when it means getting to meet kids! Last night, I went with CCHS’ educator Ashley to the Chatham Lions Club Cub Night at Jackson’s Old Chatham House. Ashley talked about what life was like for soldiers from Columbia County during the war, and then the kids got to try on some uniforms and gear. Thanks to the Lions Club for having us!
Speaking of getting to meet kids… tomorrow I’m going with the education staff to the Hudson Children’s Book Festival. Come visit me at CCHS’ table in the exhibitors room! The festival runs from 10am to 4pm at the Hudson Junior and Senior High Schools (215 Harry Howard Ave., Hudson). I wonder if there will be any books about groundhogs?
While I was visiting Promenade Hill, I paid a visit to the statue of St. Winifred that is in the park. St. Winifred is Welsh, and is said to be the Patron Saint of Mariners (sailors). I guess that is why she keeps watch over the Hudson River!
The statue was given as a gift to the park by General John Watts DePeyster, who lived in Tivoli. General DePeyster purchased the statue for $10,000. He wanted it to be mounted in a fountain, at the Methodist Church in Tivoli, but they could not afford to build a fountain. He then offered the statue to the City of Hudson, who accepted it. The City of Hudson begun work on a base and fountain for the sculpture, and the statue was placed there in 1896.
Unfortunately, St. Winifred no longer stands over a fountain. She does continue to keep watch over the park and the Hudson River though!
The story of the park at Promenade Hill begins way back in the 1700’s! On March 9th, 1795, the Proprietors (the men who founded Hudson) voted to set aside land as a public park. They wrote: “certain piece of land, known by the name of Parade, or Mall, in front of Main street, and on the banks fronting the river, which should be granted to the Common Council forever, as a public walk or Mall, and for no other purpose whatever.”
In 1834, the city of Hudson began to make improvements to the park. They put in walkways, and gave it the name “Parade Hill,” as it is sometimes known today. Later in the 1800’s, some people also called it “Promenade Hill.”
From Promenade Hill, there is a beautiful view of the Hudson River, with the Middle Ground Flats (the Island the is in the middle of the river between Hudson and Athens), and the Hudson Athens Lighthouse. Mount Merino rises to the south, and in the distance, are the Catskill Mountains.