The Possible Origin of Anthony Street

-by the Hillsdale Historians

One of the things we really enjoy about being the town historians is finding a particular facet of Hillsdale history and learning everything we can about it, and then sharing it with you. We select our topics in either of two ways: we see something and wonder about it, or someone asks […]

By |2021-02-10T12:32:37-05:00January 25th, 2021|History|

From Solstice to Santa Claus: How Christmas Became Christmas


-by the Hillsdale Historians

December 21 is the Winter Solstice, the longest day of the year and a holiday observed since the late Neolithic and Bronze Age. The Winter Solstice was immensely important in agrarian societies. In December, farmers enjoyed a period of leisure. The harvest had been gathered, the deep freeze of midwinter had not […]

By |2020-12-21T15:03:08-05:00December 21st, 2020|History, Main Street|

An American Christmas

Much like the memories of yore, the origins of many beloved customs often get lost within the fog of passing time. Each year, as the calendar turns to December, we collectively search our attics for the yuletide decor that will adorn our homes but once a year. Almost unconsciously, families around the country venture out […]

By |2020-11-25T18:48:25-05:00November 25th, 2020|History|

Post Office Pentimento

-by the Hillsdale Historians

A pentimento, in painting, is “the presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.” Even the greats, like Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Titian, revised their paintings to eliminate figures, reposition compositional elements, or change backgrounds. The original elements, the pentimenti, survive in the […]

By |2021-01-12T13:37:36-05:00November 23rd, 2020|History, Main Street|

150 years – or was it yesterday?

We feel it only fair to offer this gentle warning before you invest a few moments reading what follows. This piece is a bit different than others we have written. It draws heavily on history, reflects on those historical references and, with no subtlety intended, holds a mirror to what has become almost a cliché […]

By |2020-10-28T12:16:20-04:00September 25th, 2020|History|

Reflecting On Sullivan County’s Resort Scene

It’s the place where Jerry Lewis, Mel Brooks, and Rodney Dangerfield kicked off their comedy careers, the setting of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, and a summertime destination for the stylish Maisel clan of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fame.

The name “Catskills” was derived from the Dutch “Kaaterskill,” which translates to “Wildcat Creek.” Although the Catskills […]

By |2020-10-30T12:22:58-04:00September 25th, 2020|History|

The Old Copake Falls Church

Miracle on Miles Road

The old church, which had first opened its doors to parishioners in 1892, closed those same doors in 1955. It would subsequently stand empty and unused for the next 30 years. “In 1979 the Methodist Church in Copake Falls, NY, was an abandoned and bedraggled building, windows broken, the door often left […]

By |2020-10-26T12:51:34-04:00September 25th, 2020|History|

The Polymathic Mrs. Pulver

by the Hillsdale Historians

Over the years, there have been a number of prominent women who have had a large and lasting impact on Hillsdale and Columbia County. One of them was Ida Haywood Pulver, a well-educated (for her time) woman whose many professions — photographic hand-colorist, dressmaker-to-the-stars, Parisian milliner, fundraiser, gardener, historical society founder and […]

By |2021-01-12T14:01:42-05:00September 25th, 2020|History, Main Street|

The Man Behind the Mountain

— by the Hillsdale Historians

The Taconic Mountains extend about 180 miles from southern Dutchess County and northwestern Connecticut up through Berkshire County, Massachusetts and on to Brandon, Vermont. The Taconics afford a number of spectacular views of the Hudson Valley; some feel that there is no finer view than that from the summit of Mt. […]

By |2020-07-23T08:52:33-04:00July 22nd, 2020|History|
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