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So far Bradley Diuguid has created 196 blog entries.

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie – The Old Post Office

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie - The Old Post Office Those of you who have lived in Poughkeepsie for a long time may remember a stately brick building that once stood on Market Street. Today, the land where this building stood is now a very modern-looking Dutchess County Office Building (home of the DMV and County Clerk offices). If we go back in time to the mid 19th century, there was a famous row of buildings known as Lawyers’ Row. If you happened to find yourself in trouble, you could simply shop for a lawyer conveniently located right next door to the County Courthouse. However, in 1883, this real estate would find a new purpose when the Federal Government decided that this row of old decrepit buildings was the perfect spot for a post office.  On March 23rd, 1883, the lawyers on what was known as “Jewett Block” on the corner of Market and Union streets were all in a flurry as they considered the futures of their dingy office spaces. The Federal Government was in town looking for land to build a new Post Office, and they had their eye on Lawyers’ Row. It's not like this line of

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie – The Old Post Office2022-05-11T12:33:29-04:00

“A dark gloomy day for Pokepsie” – The Destruction of the Henry Clay

“A dark gloomy day for Pokepsie” - The Destruction of the Henry Clay You may notice that the word "Poughkeepsie" is misspelled in our title. That is because it was spelled this way in an 1852 diary written by Matthew Vassar Jr., which is located here in our local history collection. He wrote these words to sum up the terrible news that he had just heard on July 31st, that the steamer ship Henry Clay had caught fire and crashed ashore near Yonkers. This year will mark 170 years since the catastrophe, and even though it did not take place near Poughkeepsie, it was certainly felt by many people within the city.  The Henry Clay was built by Thomas Collyer in 1851 and was known as a side-wheel paddle steamer. Her length was just under 200 feet and she (yes, boats are referred to as she/her) had the capacity to carry over 500 passengers and crew. In the 1840s and 50s, it was quite common for steam ships to race each other from New York City to Albany. Since there were many Steamer companies competing, it certainly looked appealing to paying customers if a ship could make the journey in seven

“A dark gloomy day for Pokepsie” – The Destruction of the Henry Clay2022-05-11T12:33:52-04:00

The Gallows Tree: Executions or Legends?

The Gallows Tree: Executions or Legends? In the book “The History of Dutchess County” by James Smith, there is a passage that reads, "on the west side of the road, nearly midway between Kidney's creek and the Fallkill, on the old Thomas Nelson property, now the estate of Mr. Orrin Williams, stood the Gallows Tree." When we think of the term "gallows," we immediately think of people being hanged from a tall branch. The idea that a tree’s single purpose in history was for the hanging of criminals is certainly an ominous thought, but what proof do we have that a certain tree was used by the city of Poughkeepsie to conduct capital punishment? If indeed the tree was used for such things, how long did that go on before someone finally said “it's time to find a better way”?    On the 1799 map of Poughkeepsie in the area of what is now Pulaski Park there is definitely a very clear set of words: “Gallows Tree,” complete with a little drawing of a tree (in case future historians thought that might be the terrible name of someone’s estate or something). So we have concrete proof that there was certainly a tree

The Gallows Tree: Executions or Legends?2022-05-11T12:34:12-04:00

Winter Stew

What’s Cooking Blog – Entry #13: Winter Stew It’s beginning to look a lot like winter, especially in the freezer… When it gets cold outside and travel plans don’t seem to be a viable option, comfort foods can turn into a mindful coping strategy to help warm up the kitchen and our bellies. Like the competitive cooking shows I periodically watch at the gym, my only guideline while looking into the freezer was to pair grass-fed beef with the rest of the hand-picked okra that I froze during the 2021 CSA vegetable season. Based on what I’ve read okra is commonly used in African, Caribbean, Egyptian, Indian, Southern and occasionally Mexican recipes. (Did anyone else just think, Anthony Bourdain?) Okra is often fried or used as a thickening agent in soups and stews but can be an acquired taste for some. Stews, tangentially, have been a quintessential cuisine in many cultures for centuries. They’re typically simmered over a low-heat for hours and call for few lower-cost ingredients. To me, this ultimately translates into less prep time. Now you may come across the blog entry about family broth that’s been simmering, or at least never completely cold, for three generations in Italy.

Winter Stew2022-01-26T08:40:05-05:00

The Poughkeepsie Savings Bank Building

The Poughkeepsie Savings Bank Building In our modern era, where we can do almost anything that needs to be done online, a trip to the bank sometimes feels like a thing of the past. Today if you need to deposit a check, you can take a picture of it with your phone. Or if you want to apply for some kind of loan, you can do that almost entirely online as well. So the idea of getting dressed up and making your way to a grand old building made of marble does have a touch of the old days to it. One of the earliest banking establishments for Poughkeepsie was none other than the Poughkeepsie Savings Bank, and though the institution itself is now a thing of the past, the grand old building is still here and is being repurposed. Originally chartered in 1831, this bank had some of the biggest names in Poughkeepsie’s history serving on the first board of trustees, including Matthew Vassar, Thomas Tallmadge, and William Davies, just to name a few. The first president of the bank was Colonel Henry A. Livingston, not to be confused with the Henry Livingston of “Revolutionary fame,” as Edmund Platt’s “History

The Poughkeepsie Savings Bank Building2022-01-21T09:01:40-05:00

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie – The Poughkeepsie Hotel

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie - The Poughkeepsie Hotel Every town that attracts visitors needs someplace for those visitors to stay. Even in Poughkeepsie's humble beginnings, people came into town in order to conduct business. Farmers had to travel from outside of town to buy and sell goods, which would sometimes mean an overnight visit requiring taverns and inns. Right in the center of things, the Poughkeepsie Hotel was one of the oldest and longest lasting hotels that the city ever had. The hotel operated for well over a century and hosted some interesting guests over the course of those years. Today, we only have a few pictures of what once was, but it gives us a glimpse of how the streets of Poughkeepsie have changed. The Poughkeepsie Hotel started off as the Baldwin’s Hotel sometime around 1803, though it is believed that there may have even been a hotel here as early as 1797. It sat on the north side of Main Street and stared directly down Market Street (essentially the top of a ‘T’). In 1804, members of the Republican party purchased the hotel from Robert Williams for the sum of about $9,000 to be used as a

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie – The Poughkeepsie Hotel2022-01-14T08:53:54-05:00

Poughkeepsie Architecture: The Poughkeepsie Station

Poughkeepsie Architecture: The Poughkeepsie Station We are quite lucky to live on this particular section of the Hudson River. We are at the center of it all when it comes to getting around. If for some reason you don’t feel like driving, and would much rather sit back and enjoy the scenery, taking the train is one of the best ways to do it. The station that we have in Poughkeepsie is the third station to have been constructed here and the entire area around it has drastically changed over the past 100 years, but the mission remains the same; catch the train on time. The railroad first came into town in 1850 and was known as the Hudson River Railroad in the early years. This was part of a line that stretched from Albany down to New York City. The land between Poughkeepsie and Columbia county along the river’s edge is quite rocky and interestingly, the original plan involved surveying land outside of Poughkeepsie and heading north into the countryside, as far as seven miles away from the river to see if the tracks should take that route instead. However, as we know, that plan was abandoned and the trains

Poughkeepsie Architecture: The Poughkeepsie Station2022-01-07T09:23:21-05:00

Poughkeepsie Architecture: The Cast Iron Building

Poughkeepsie Architecture: The Cast Iron Building On December 26, 1870, a fire broke out in the saloon that had been operated by George W. Cannon at 301 Main Street. Within moments of the fire’s first sparks, an explosion occurred, sending flames, glass, and smoke almost to the other side of Main Street. The alarm was sounded and the firemen were soon on the scene but the fire was spreading quickly into the next place of business, a drug store operated by Morgan Farnum. What seemed like mere minutes later, the fire moved into the bookstore of Archibald Wilson. The flames ripped through the block so quickly that there was nothing the firemen could do except prevent the fire from crossing Main and Garden streets. The next morning, there was nothing left but a hole in the ground. That block on the corner of Garden and Main Streets, which was made up almost entirely of old wooden buildings, belonged to Mrs. Josephine Pardee (the widow of Enoch Pardee) and she had taken quite a loss. The reports from both the Poughkeepsie Eagle News and the New York Times showed that several of the tenants who owned shops in these buildings had lost

Poughkeepsie Architecture: The Cast Iron Building2021-12-31T11:01:14-05:00

Christmas Shopping for Deals at Luckey, Platt, and Company

Christmas Shopping for Deals at Luckey, Platt, and Company Well folks, it's that time of the year - Christmas Eve is here! Perhaps you are on top of your game and you have completed your holiday shopping. Or perhaps not. You might not even have time to read this blog post as you are frantically trying to hunt down those last minute gift ideas at rock bottom prices (it's okay, we don’t judge). We thought we would take a look at Poughkeepsie's once-famous superstore Luckey, Platt, and Company to see what deals they had to offer. To do this, we are digging into the Poughkeepsie Journal Archives and picking through the thousands of advertisements to find the hot items at the best prices (for the time period).  For those who didn’t know what to buy, we found a very helpful advertisement from December of 1877 where the store showcases an entire alphabet of possibilities. For example, A is for “Aprons and Afghan yarns” and U is for “Umbrellas and Undergarments” (you get the idea). In their ad for the Christmas of 1880, they decided to separate the gifts into categories: for gentlemen, for ladies, for children, or for home use (which

Christmas Shopping for Deals at Luckey, Platt, and Company2021-12-24T09:28:32-05:00

Gingerbread Interpretations

What’s Cooking Blog – Entry #12: Gingerbread Interpretations “When they came nearer they saw that the house was built of bread, and roofed with cakes, and the window was of transparent sugar.” This quote, from the German fairytale Hansel and Gretel, was published in 1812. It is often credited as the first known reference to what has become the traditional gingerbread house we recognize today. Although the seasonal structure is often considered a Christmas tradition, the history and evolution of the gingerbread house is internationally renowned. References to cultivated ginger root for cooking and traditional medicine date back to circa 500 BCE in China and India. After being imported throughout the Roman Empire, ginger root made its debut in household recipes varying from soft, moist loaf cake to a harder ginger biscuit. Eventually, ginger was also found to help preserve flour and meat and was widely employed. The origin of the first gingerbread recipe is a little nebulous, though. References appear around 2400 BCE in Greece, 992 CE in France, 13th century Germany, and a Swedish nunnery in 1444 CE, to list a few. Queen Elizabeth I has been accredited with allegedly serving the first gingerbread men to foreign dignitaries and

Gingerbread Interpretations2022-10-11T13:48:58-04:00
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