Local History

Building “a prison without walls”

Building “a prison without walls”

When it opened in 1932, inmates at Wallkill Correctional Facility lived in four housing wings, each containing 42 cells, with bathrooms and recreation rooms on each wing, much like a college dormitory. They were allowed to keep the keys to their own rooms.

A time of ferment: The rise and legacy of Poughkeepsie brewing tycoon Matthew Vassar

A time of ferment: The rise and legacy of Poughkeepsie brewing tycoon Matthew Vassar

Matthew Vassar barely acquired any formal education, being kicked out of night school after throwing a bottle of ink at the schoolmaster who had just smacked him in the head with a ruler. A niece named Lydia Booth, who had begun her teaching career as a private tutor and opened the Cottage Hill Seminary on Poghkeepsie’s Garden Street, was the first to plant in Matthew’s mind the notion that a fully accredited college for women was direly needed.