Woodstock area | History

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Ed Sanders unveils new biography of eminent historian Alf Evers

Ed Sanders unveils new biography of eminent historian Alf Evers

A true Renaissance man, Evers’ first big success as an author was in the field of children’s books, illustrated by his wife, Helen Bryant Baker. Together they published some 50 of them over a 23-year period, which came to an end in the early 1950s with the advent of the mass-produced (and much cheaper) Little Golden Books. By then Evers, who first moved to Woodstock in 1931, had begun writing articles on historical subjects on a regular basis for local newspapers and the New York Folklore Society, which eventually caught the attention of Ellin Roberts, a senior editor at Doubleday. It was she who recruited him to write a comprehensive history of the Catskills. It ended up taking him nine years, but the legwork paid off: The book is still considered the go-to source on its subject.

African-American Catskills History: The McKenleys of Oliverea

African-American Catskills History: The McKenleys of Oliverea

“I’m goal-oriented, and truth-oriented,” said retired forest ranger Patti Rudge, explaining why she’s devoted so much time and energy to early 20th century Oliverea resident Dr. William H. McKenley, one of her hamlet’s most interesting and mysterious figures. A man of color, McKenley was described in a July 11, 1900 New York Times article as “well-known both as a society man and a physician of the Negroes on the west side.” 

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.

The Heart of the Matter: The Unknown Hervey White

The Heart of the Matter: The Unknown Hervey White

Part IV in a series on Hervey White. Erroneously named “founder” of Woodstock by Life magazine in 1938, White [1866-1944] is better described as godfather of a town he personally transformed into America’s most famous Bohemia, earlier even than 1920. But despite this fact, and although admired by artists and farmers alike, Hervey lived and died an enigma. Some knew part, but none knew all his secrets.

The Death of an Enigma: The Unknown Hervey White

The Death of an Enigma: The Unknown Hervey White

Part III in a series on Hervey White. Erroneously named “founder” of Woodstock by Life magazine in 1938, White [1866-1944] is better described as godfather of a town he personally transformed into America’s most famous Bohemia, earlier even than 1920. But despite this fact, and although admired by artists and farmers alike, Hervey lived and died an enigma. Some knew part, but none knew all his secrets.