The Hillsdale Family That Put A Man On The Moon

Sometimes a topic for a blog post comes to us through sheer luck. This happened recently, when we received an inquiry from Lance Fromm, an Andover, MA antiques dealer.

“Hello … I have come across a walking-stick with a silver engraved cap on top that reads ‘J. B. Collin Hillsdale NY.’ A Google search […]

By |2022-01-26T13:48:12-05:00January 26th, 2022|History|

Hillsdale Postcards

We recently discovered that Hillsdale shopkeeper Matthew White has assembled one of the most complete collections of late 19th and early 20th century Hillsdale postcards. It gave us the idea for this blog post. And, as often happens, researching the topic led us to explore the history of a humble item that turns out to […]

By |2021-12-27T11:31:21-05:00December 27th, 2021|History|

Local Historical Society Announces New Outdoor Exhibition

The Columbia County Historical Society (CCHS) has announced a new permanent outdoor exhibit, the Early Heritage of Columbia County Outdoor Narrative Panel Exhibit, featuring eight narrative panels set along the treeline of its rural properties along Route 9-H including the c.1850 Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse and the 1737 Luykas Van Alen House located in the Town […]

By |2021-11-24T09:13:34-05:00November 23rd, 2021|History|

Could You Pass This Test?

Our friend and fellow history buff Sally Laing recently gave us a copy of a news clipping from the April 17, 1889 edition of the Hillsdale Harbinger. The clipping is of an article listing half of the questions on the arithmetic exam that was given to the students, presumably eighth graders, at the Hillsdale School. […]

By |2021-10-25T15:10:46-04:00October 25th, 2021|History|

Spare Parts

by the hillsdale historians

Every now and then, we set out to research something, and while we may uncover some interesting facts and anecdotes, there isn’t enough to warrant an entire blog post. So, we chuck what we have found into a folder and stash it, like a jar of old screws and bolts, on a […]

By |2021-09-27T11:54:45-04:00September 27th, 2021|History|

What Did High School Look Like Before Zoom?

by the hillsdale historians

Now that secondary education in the Roe Jan region by Zoom is becoming the exception instead of the rule, it’s worth remembering that for the first 114 years of its existence, Hillsdale had no high school at all. Until 1903, an eighth-grade education had been deemed adequate — the “Three Rs” equipped […]

By |2021-06-28T15:32:58-04:00June 28th, 2021|History, Main Street|


The building that houses the Hillsdale General Store was built in 1852.  The original part of the Hillsdale House dates back to 1797. And the Closson farm’s ice house that gradually evolved into today’s Passiflora was almost certainly a 19th century structure.  So it would be understandable if one assumed that the building nestled between the […]

By |2021-05-20T14:16:33-04:00May 20th, 2021|History|

Litchfield County’s Railroads

Connecticut, long known as the Land of Steady Habits, came late to the railroad craze that swept the country in the 19th century. In fact, neighboring states had to prompt Connecticut into its first railroad ventures. When completed, however, these lines provided both a much more efficient means for the industrial and agricultural products of […]

By |2021-05-25T09:58:37-04:00April 27th, 2021|History|
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