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So far Bradley Diuguid has created 196 blog entries.

Murder on Main Street – Part Two

Murder on Main Street - Part Two Last week we covered the abrupt shooting of a rigger named Henry Gagnon. He was shot to death in broad daylight on Main Street, right here in Poughkeepsie. His killer just happened to be his married lover, Fela Palick, local proprietor of the Red Rose Lunch Room, which she operated alongside her husband. We left off with Fela sitting in jail awaiting trial, accompanied by the infant she had named for the man she was accused of murdering. In February of 1929, a cell in the Dutchess County Jail was converted into a temporary nursery for the newborn baby, so that Fela could nurse him. Photos of Fela and the child with cell bars in the background could be seen in newspapers across the country, as people wondered how someone so lovely could commit such a brutal crime.  In March, Fela’s attorney, William Mulvey, brought in Dr. Clarence O. Cheney from the Hudson River State Hospital, to examine the mind of his client. The goal was to determine if she had suffered from a fit of “emotional insanity,” causing her to kill her lover when he refused to acknowledge that he was the father

Murder on Main Street – Part Two2022-04-29T11:22:24-04:00

April Fool’s Day in Poughkeepsie

April Fool's Day in Poughkeepsie We can probably all agree that today is one of the most annoying days on the calendar. April Fool’s Day is actually older than you’d think. There are references to April 1st being a day of fools that go back to the 12th century. The main goal of the day has always been playing tricks on people and otherwise making them look like fools. Searching through the newspapers, one can easily find tales of interesting pranks over the years, though not all of them worked out quite as planned. On April Fool’s Day in 1894, someone had spread a rumor in the Little Italy district near Dutchess Avenue that workers were needed at the bridge, and within “less than half an hour there were sixty Italians up at the bridge depot looking for work.” That same day, a helpless man who had been walking down Main Street with a large package under his arm did not realize that someone had placed a note on the back of his coat which read, “This man is going on a fool’s errand; that box is empty.” In 1900, someone decided to prank the local fire departments (which is not

April Fool’s Day in Poughkeepsie2022-03-31T14:08:56-04:00

Sadie Peterson Delaney and the Work of Bibliotherapy

Sadie Peterson Delaney and the Work of Bibliotherapy As many of you have heard by now, we are opening a brand new branch on North Hamilton Street right here in Poughkeepsie. The Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library will be located in the former Poughkeepsie High School/Our Lady of Lourdes building, now known as the Family Partnership Center. You might be asking, who exactly is this Sadie? And what in the world is bibliotherapy? Well, have you ever been under a lot of stress, or perhaps you felt depressed, but then you picked up a good book to read and suddenly things just felt better? Well then, you’ve been healed by bibliotherapy, and Sadie Peterson Delaney used that to help our nation’s veterans feel better again.  Sadie Johnson was born in Rochester on February 26th, 1889. She and her family moved to Poughkeepsie, where she studied at Poughkeepsie High School and attended church at Smith AME Zion Church. She wrote poetry and became active in the local women’s suffrage movement in her early 20s. Based on marriage records and newspaper reports, Sadie’s first marriage took place in Poughkeepsie when she was only 16. Unfortunately, this marriage was troubled from the start.

Sadie Peterson Delaney and the Work of Bibliotherapy2022-03-24T14:17:30-04:00

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling…

What’s Cooking Blog – Entry #15: When Irish eyes are smiling… The Ides of March generously bring traditional and modern Irish fare to many kitchens and gastropubs in the area. Although not originally part of Irish cuisine, Irish American corned beef and cabbage has since become one of the most indicative dishes of St. Patrick’s Day. For years I’ve simmered corned beef brisket in a large sauce or stock pot on the stovetop until the meat is tender enough to fall apart with a fork. Aside from a small seasoning packet included with the brisket, I add bay leaves, onion, a handful of carrots, and sometimes ½-1 can of Guinness, then let it cook for about three to four hours. Overlooking the utilitarian one-pot cooking method, I boil cabbage, potatoes and additional carrots separately to preserve individual flavor profiles. This year, while listening to everyone talk about their plans for St. Patrick’s Day dinner, I realized that corned beef can be prepared in a variety of vessels. Although I may be a little stubborn to experiment when my method has repeatedly been successful, create your own tradition. You’ll find recipes in our printed collection and online for brisket prepared: in the

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling…2022-03-22T14:11:51-04:00

Poughkeepsie Architecture: Academy and Old Ladies’ Home

Poughkeepsie Architecture: Academy and Old Ladies’ Home One of Poughkeepsie’s most distinguished buildings with an equally interesting history is the Vassar-Warner Home, once known as The Old Ladies’ Home. If we go back even further in time, the building also served as one of the first schools in Poughkeepsie, known as the Dutchess Academy. The space seemingly went from teaching the young to comforting the old in the course of almost two centuries. The unmistakable columns and Greek Revival architecture help it to stand out on beautiful South Hamilton Street and it has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 1835, this space on the corner of South Hamilton Street and Hooker Avenue was occupied by the Dutchess Academy, which had previously stood at the corner of Academy and Cannon Streets. That school began back in 1792 and was the first private boys' school in Poughkeepsie for many years. Boys from some of Poughkeepsie’s most prominent families were educated there including the Cannons, Van Kleecks, Stockholms, and Barnes, to name a few. The three-story brick building that served as the last location for the school was built in 1835 and would continue to serve until the school

Poughkeepsie Architecture: Academy and Old Ladies’ Home2022-03-11T08:29:05-05:00

Are You Insane? Common Reasons to Be Admitted to the Hudson River State Hospital

Are You Insane? Common Reasons to Be Admitted to the Hudson River State Hospital We can probably all agree that we live in some pretty chaotic times. The past few years have given us everything from a worldwide health crisis, political and racial tensions, to what appears to be another major war overseas. So, it comes as no surprise that folks are feeling stressed; more people are suffering from depression and therapists are in high demand. Thankfully, with advancements in mental health care and medicine, there are many ways to receive treatment and therapy now. A century ago, that wasn't the case. In fact, conversely, there were more reasons to be institutionalized than there were treatments that would result in patients being released.   Curious people searching for patient records from the Hudson River State Hospital mistakenly call us here in the Local History Room all the time, hoping that we might have some juicy records hidden away. While we do have some Annual Reports of the HRSH, these booklets do not contain any patient names or conditions. Some of these reports give lists of reasons why people were being committed. In the list pictured off to the right, we can see

Are You Insane? Common Reasons to Be Admitted to the Hudson River State Hospital2022-03-03T13:29:14-05:00

The Perfect Scone

What’s Cooking Blog – Entry #14: The Perfect Scone... One morning Pat L. surprised us with homemade scones. After generously praising his time and effort he told me that (before temporarily returning to Poughkeepsie for work) he’d spent some time in the kitchen of a small Mom and Pop bakery and scones were one of his favorite things to bake. During our conversation I referred to myself as something of a scone connoisseur but disclosed that I’d never made them myself. Shortly after we spoke, I received an encouraging text from Pat with a recipe for Christopher Kimball’s “Triple Ginger Scones with Chocolate Chunks.” Pat said Kimball’s recipe was a good place to start. He also recommended listening to the Milk Street podcast episode discussing the scone approach. I thanked him and told him that I’d let him know how things went. Here we are months later and well into the New Year... Like most dishes I’ve never made, I wanted to know as much as possible before I was knead-deep in dough. Aside from striving to attain a palatable texture what, quintessentially, differentiates a scone from a biscuit? Should the flavor-profile be slightly sweet and fruity or rich and savory? Is a

The Perfect Scone2022-10-11T13:45:37-04:00

John Van Benschoten: A Man on Wheels

John Van Benschoten: A Man on Wheels In the time period between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War II (less than 75 years), there were a crazy amount of new and life-changing inventions being made available to the public. From the bicycle, to the automobile, to the airplane, the advancements in technology were hard to keep up with: unless you were a visionary man like John Van Benschoten. In order to supply the demands of the modern world you had to be well read on the advancements that were being made in designs, engines, wheels, tires, tools, you name it! For half a century, Mr. Van Benschoten was the man to see if you needed servicing on any of these new machines.  The year was 1889 and a group of very athletic men charged their way down Albany Post Road from Poughkeepsie to Wappingers Falls. Leading the pack was a young man named John Van Benschoten, riding a 58-inch Expert Columbia high-wheeler bicycle (see image of him as an older man with his bike at right). John won that race and would continue to win many others over the course of the next few years.

John Van Benschoten: A Man on Wheels2022-02-25T10:50:42-05:00

Black History is Local History: Theodore and Doris Mack

Black History is Local History: Theodore and Doris Mack As you may have read in one of our previous posts, Historical Views on Racism in Poughkeepsie, segregation and racism has existed here in the State of New York. However, we have also had some incredible people who lived right here in Poughkeepsie, who managed to overcome whatever barriers were put in their way while continuing the fight for Civil Rights. A couple who were raised and married in the South and made their way to Poughkeepsie just after World War II would find themselves on the front lines of it all. Together, they saw some interesting sights, made a difference in their community, and made a powerful friend along the way.  Theodore Lanett Mack was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1920 and was educated in local schools before heading off to college. While attending Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, he ended up pausing his studies to serve in the Navy as a musician during the war. In 1946, after he completed his service, Mack (as everyone called him) married Doris Holloway in Durham, North Carolina. Doris was born in Durham in 1922 and went to college to earn her Bachelor's

Black History is Local History: Theodore and Doris Mack2022-02-17T13:06:07-05:00
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