At the turn of the 20th century, the Hudson Valley was the brickmaking capital of the world, producing more than a billion bricks a year and employing nearly 10,000 people in more than 120 brickyards. By the late 1970s, the once-mighty molded-brick industry was no more. One by one, the great yards had closed their gates, leaving behind a small-but-colorful legacy of people who remember the industry in its prime.
A primer on Kingston’s own soldier/statesman.
Thursday, January 11: “Captain Dixie” Kiefer was a US naval commander during World War II who saw so much action that his men joked that the ship’s compass needle always pointed to him, on account of all the shrapnel in his body. While awarding him a medal, the Secretary of the Navy dubbed Kiefer “the Indestructible Man.” But shortly after the war ended, Kiefer perished, along with five other Navy men, in an airplane crash on Mount Beacon. A group called the Mount Beacon Eight is working to attain recognition for those who died alongside Kiefer in the 1945 plane crash.
Books collecting the autographs of others, along with poems and other mementos, were once common. Today they live in only for special occasions, like weddings or graduations.
In the late 19th century, the Hudson Valley was home to at least 135 commercial icehouses, collectively capable of storing as much as three million tons of ice during the winter months.
The Friends of Historic Saugerties will present a discussion, “Lost Industries of Ulster County: Brickmaking and Ice Harvesting” on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. in the community room of Saugerties Public Library, 91 Washington Ave. Admission is free and open to all.
William and Andrew Smith – jocularly known in their own lifetimes as “Trade” and “Mark” because that’s what it says under their portraits on the cough drops boxes – were geniuses at marketing.
Although it sometimes seems Woodstock has ridden the coat-tails of what didn’t happen here more than what did, the town has indeed been graced with several geniuses, two of whom endured allegations of “imposter!” and taught the world much through such endurance.
Located on what is now Bellows Lane, the home looks like many in the area. Yet during its time it served as a center of the town’s cultural life.
Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has hired a new executive director, Liselle LaFrance, an award-winning museum professional who has served as the director of Historic Cherry Hill in Albany for 26 years.