As part of its monthlong cultural celebration of its namesake town, ShoutOut Saugerties has put together an online challenge: Discover little-known treasures of the township, photograph them (selfies are acceptable) and post your photos on social media using the hashtag #SecretSaugerties, or simply e-mail them to email@example.com. Your entry could wind up featured on Instagram. It’s sort of a scavenger hunt for grownups – one that’ll clue you in to amazing features that you probably never knew Saugerties had.
Now, every town has its cool stuff, but some of these discoveries are mind-blowing. Did you know that the first stained-glass window commission undertaken by the William Morris Company for an American client, with panels designed by Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Morris himself, was the 1867 Vanderpoel Window that hangs in Saugerties’ Trinity Church? The Arts & Crafts Movement had left its stamp way up the hill at Byrdcliffe, but this manifestation down in the Valley could be news to you.
Other artworks waiting to be discovered throughout the town include a WPA mural by Edward Dreis at the Cahill Elementary School and a painting in the lobby of the Saugerties Masonic Hall by John Vanderlyn, Jr. (known for his portraits, but this one is intriguingly described as “an example of his more imaginative work”). A sculpture by Ezio Martinelli is tucked away in a grove in an obscure corner of Seamon Park, while two bluestone works by Tomas Penning can be found at St. John the Evangelist Church and the St. Mary School. Town Hall has a 77-panel panoramic mural created by many artists painting over blown-up photographs of Saugerties scenes. Café Tamayo has a massive walnut bar hand-built in place by the building’s original owner. Also on the list are some choice spots in the Esopus Bend Nature Preserve and a historic grave marker in St. Mary’s cemetery.
Sound like an enticement to go exploring? That’s the whole point. The full list of recommended destinations for the Secret Saugerties event, including street addresses and hours of access to certain venues that aren’t open all the time, can be found at www.shoutoutsaugerties.org/secret-saugerties. Check it out and share your findings.