Local History

Sojourner Truth Life Walk ends with slideshow by two sculptors of famous activist

Sojourner Truth Life Walk ends with slideshow by two sculptors of famous activist

Saturday, Feb. 22: This year’s Sojourner Truth Life Walk goes from Port Ewen to Kingston, and you can catch the bus from Dietz Stadium. The Hudson Valley heroine’s image is being added to a 15-foot-tall bronze statue planned for Central Park that includes Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. A statue of Truth by herself is soon to be erected near the Highland entrance to Walkway over the Hudson. The sculptors creating both – Meredith Bergmann and Vinnie Bagwell, respectively – will give a joint slide presentation and talk.

Book tackles early racial injustice in Upstate New York

Book tackles early racial injustice in Upstate New York

Back in December, 1905, when Kingston still got its water from the Zena reservoirs and Cooper Lake was twinkling in the city’s eye, Oscar Harrison was murdered near the water supply. An African American man, Cornell Van Gaasbeek, in whose house the body was found, was charged with the crime and tried in Ulster County Court. He was defended by a local reformer, part politician Augustus H. Van Buren, as the trial unfolded amid the charged racial climate of the early 20th Century.

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.