Erroneously named “founder” of Woodstock by Life magazine in 1938, Hervey 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.
At some point in our studies, it’s impressed on us that, if he had wanted to, George Washington could have become King of America. But we’re never told exactly where or under what circumstances that happened. The answer may surprise you.
The eminent Swedish botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus, father of modern taxonomy, called Bartram “the greatest natural botanist in the world.” And aristocrats eagerly awaited the arrival of their “Bartram’s Boxes”: bundles of seeds, saps and specimens shipped from North America. What brought him to the Catskills?
One wouldn’t think that people in the business of hunting whales far out at sea would ever have imagined Hudson to be an auspicious place to set up shop. But they did, beginning in 1783, just as the Revolutionary War was drawing to a close.
Considered by many to be the jewel of the Hudson River bridges, the Mid-Hudson Bridge was created by the famous bridge designer Ralph Modjeski. And the financing of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge is considered by many to be an innovative precursor of FDR’s New Deal economic systems.
Civil-rights photographer and Hudson Valley resident Jim Peppler served the cause of freedom.
We need special nights, damn it, and until such time as it is all Applebees out there, someone is going to trade ten years of their life expectancy to give them to us.
“Laurels by Laura” is an account of life in Shandaken that will leave readers nostalgic for days gone by, even if they weren’t there to see them.
A renowned beauty and intellect of legendary sensuality and style, she was praised, envied, scandalized, even worshipped (for one, by Byrdcliffe’s founder Ralph Whitehead, who named the domicile he built for her “The Angel.”) But though she was the first great woman artist of Woodstock, her face remains all but unknown to us.
The idea that a feminine impulse could save testosterone-driven capitalism from itself is not new. In fact the notion was subtly rooted in Woodstock’s first back-to-nature, Arts and Crafts community, Byrdcliffe. Here a bisexual and lesbian sub-culture prevailed unacknowledged, even by itself. Historians of an earlier era remained at best vague in describing it, and at worst silent. That silence ends now.