Honoring the Past

Newburgh: the Cradle of American Speed Skating

Back in the days when people could count on the Hudson River freezing over nearly every year, skating on it was a popular pastime. In Newburgh, people took to it with particular zeal. As early as 1815, hometown skaters like...

Celebrating the Scenic Hudson Decision

When the 6 people who founded Scenic Hudson gathered to protect Storm King Mountain in 1963, they knew they faced an uphill battle. When it came to big industrial projects like the hydroelectric plant Con Edison proposed to build on...

New Life for Old Bridges

In the early 20th century, access to the Hudson River in upper Dutchess and southern Columbia counties was confined largely to those wealthy families whose sprawling estates lined its banks. To reach the shore, and in some cases their mansions, many...

Happy Birthday, Headless Horseman

This year marks the 200th anniversary of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which appeared in Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. in 1820. Many literary authorities consider it our nation’s oldest ghost story. For sure, it’s a Halloween staple....
Steamer Adirondack

Remembering the Night Boats

It’s 5 p.m. at a Manhattan pier on the Hudson River. Your carriage is stowed below deck, and your luggage has been delivered to your stateroom. After freshening up in your private bath, you make your way to the grand...
Perkins Memorial Tower, Bear Mountain State Park, NY

The CCC’s Hudson Valley Legacy

Earlier this year a New York Times op-ed called for the U.S. to dust off one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps, to boost the pandemic economy by creating jobs that benefit the environment. That...
Sojourner Truth, 1870

Honoring Sojourner Truth

Imagine being enslaved for 29 years — beginning at the moment of your birth. Imagine being subjected to cruelty that permanently scars your body. Imagine having someone renege on his promise to let you be free. This was reality for...
Jane Colden

Remembering America’s First Woman Botanist

Driving along the distinctly suburban stretch of Route 17K in Coldenham, a hamlet in Orange County’s Town of Montgomery, it’s hard to imagine a time when this could have been “the habitation only of wolves and bears and other wild...
Thurgood Marshall Painting by Betsy Graves Reyneau

Thurgood Marshall’s Valley Legacy

Travelers whizzing along Route 17 — perhaps on their way to or from hikes in Harriman or Sterling Forest State parks — may have noticed that a portion of the road in Rockland County is now named the Thurgood Marshall...