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So far Bradley Diuguid has created 196 blog entries.

The Monitor Cannon

The Monitor Cannon If you've ever entered our library on the Market Street side, perhaps you've taken a moment to notice that there is a small cannon standing guard in front. A plaque on the cannon reads:  THE MONITOR of 1863 fame the invention of Capt. John Ericsson was the first war vessel carrying an armored turret. It was made through the efforts of John F. Winslow and John A. Griswold and with money furnished by them. This cannon made for the Monitor was presented to the CITY OF POUGHKEEPSIE by Mary C. W. Black Mr. Winslow's daughter 1926.  That all sounds very official, but there's a slight problem: there were only two cannons on the Monitor and they both went down with the ship (they are now being preserved in a museum in Virginia). So what's the real story behind this particular cannon? First, what is the Monitor? Perhaps you remember learning in school about the famous Civil War battle between the two ironclad ships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (also known as the Merrimac when it was a Union ship). This battle, which took place in March of 1862, was the first of its kind, with the

The Monitor Cannon2021-12-17T09:28:04-05:00

Bring Out Your Dead: Locations of Old Burial Grounds in the City of Poughkeepsie: Part Two

Bring Out Your Dead: Locations of Old Burial Grounds in the City of Poughkeepsie: Part Two Last week, we talked about the old burial grounds that were once within the city limits. This week, we will continue our search using old maps and newspaper articles to help us locate more of these forgotten sites. We have learned thus far that there were burial grounds from several different denominations and families throughout the city. By the 1870s, the city of Poughkeepsie determined that there would be no more interments of human remains in city soil. Also, as the city expanded and a need for new buildings for both business and residential became clear, several of these old graveyards were moved to the newly formed Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. On the east side of Jefferson Street, there once was a large graveyard that was owned by the Methodist Church. The ground was originally acquired in 1806 and a church was built there. In 1826, the church was torn down and moved elsewhere, but the land continued to be used as a burial ground. It appears that the first burial was not even a member of the congregation, but someone from out of town. 27-year-old

Bring Out Your Dead: Locations of Old Burial Grounds in the City of Poughkeepsie: Part Two2021-12-10T09:43:59-05:00

Bring Out Your Dead: Locations of Old Burial Grounds in the City of Poughkeepsie

Bring Out Your Dead: Locations of Old Burial Grounds in the City of Poughkeepsie Have you ever walked along our city’s streets and wondered to yourself what might have been in that spot over a century ago? Did it ever occur to you that the playground or the parking lot might be someone’s grave? Or at least, it used to be. In the 18th century, as this city was being formed, people were beginning to build their lives here. However, that means that people were also finishing their lives here (“get busy living or get busy dying,” as the saying goes). So when people start dying in your new settlement, that means you have to find a place to bury them. Typically, when you died you could be buried in your church’s graveyard. Or perhaps your family had established its own burial ground. On the 1834 map of Poughkeepsie, there were six burial grounds within the city. Today, those sites are all used for other purposes. What was perhaps one of the oldest burial grounds once stood on the northwest corner of Vassar and Mill Streets. This would have been the final resting place of the Van Kleeck family. In 1702,

Bring Out Your Dead: Locations of Old Burial Grounds in the City of Poughkeepsie2021-12-03T09:24:52-05:00

The Cost of Thanksgiving

The Cost of Thanksgiving We’ve all seen the news stories and we have all felt it in our wallets. The cost of Thanksgiving has certainly gone up! Everything from cranberries to roasting pans, from coffee to the big bird at the center of it all, this year’s holiday is going to be historic on all of our bank accounts. Whether you are making food for the family or heading out for a fine dining experience, it's going to cost you more than it ever has. So it begs the question, how much did it cost to enjoy Thanksgiving over a century ago? How much did you spend per pound on a turkey this year? Well, the market shows that prices range from $2 to $5 per pound depending on the quality. In 1890, the price was 16 cents a pound as advertised in the Poughkeepsie Eagle News. Based on inflation, that’s about $4.86 in today’s dollars. Over a century ago, it took quite a bit of time to prepare your traditional Thanksgiving feast. It was said that “during the week preceding Thanksgiving the New England housekeeper is a busy woman” (I mean, I feel like this is still true, but maybe

The Cost of Thanksgiving2021-11-19T10:56:28-05:00

A Murder on Thanksgiving

A Murder on Thanksgiving With Thanksgiving approaching, we thought now would be a good time to talk about a fascinating local true crime case that took place right around this time of year (but we didn’t want to do it on Thanksgiving because, well...that would be a bummer). But it's right about now when we all try to think of something that we are thankful for, and one thing we can all be thankful for is that we haven’t been brutally murdered on a dairy farm, on Thanksgiving (well, technically, it was Thanksgiving eve). Sadly, this was the fate of the four members of the Germond Family of Stanford in 1930. This case caused such a stir in Dutchess County and across the country that it even got the attention of fellow Dutchess County resident and Governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was a quiet evening on November 26th, and 18-year-old Bernice Germond was sitting on a bus traveling from Poughkeepsie, where she was studying at the Eastman Business College. Bernice was headed home to her family’s farm in Stanford, on the Salt Point road. When the bus stopped in front of the property, Bernice mentioned to the driver,

A Murder on Thanksgiving2021-11-19T08:26:49-05:00

The “Genius Killer” Visits Poughkeepsie (Twice!)

The “Genius Killer” Visits Poughkeepsie (Twice!) How many of you love true crime (this historian raises her hand)? Well what if I told you that one of New York’s most famous serial killers stopped in Poughkeepsie, not once, but twice, and on both occasions he managed to fool everyone when it came to who he really was? This man managed to charm both criminals and academics alike as he strived for intellectual greatness in between his outbursts of anger and crime sprees. His brain is still considered to be one of the largest specimens to ever be studied, and scientists still stare into the giant glass container where it sits and ponder its relevance to this day. The man who studied and wrote about language while he murdered innocent people was none other than the infamous Edward H. Rulloff.  In a small book entitled “Life, Trial, and Execution of Edward H. Rulloff” written in 1871, the question is asked right on the title page, “Was he man or fiend?” He was born in 1819 in New Brunswick Canada, and by the time he was 20 years old he had proven himself capable at both law and crime; having served in a

The “Genius Killer” Visits Poughkeepsie (Twice!)2021-11-11T11:32:00-05:00

Today’s Special – Potato Leek Soup

What’s Cooking Blog – Entry #10: Today’s Special - Potato Leek Soup Last month PPLD’s What’s Cooking Blog extended the invitation to submit reviews for cookbooks and recipes that aren’t found in the library’s collection. On a cool October morning respectively following this announcement a serendipitous recipe-exchange graciously provided the inspiration for this blog entry. Potato Leek Soup is something I never imagined myself making (or enjoying). However, despite eagerly welcoming the opportunity to try something new, there was one little caveat. While most of the ingredients listed in the recipe were already staples in our diet, leeks were a mystery. How had this locally grown vegetable inconspicuously evaded my attention for so long? With a little help from the omnipotent Google and the Mid-Hudson Library System I learned that leeks have numerous health benefits and can be considered a superfood. Classified as an Allium, they’re often described as the mildest, sweetest member of the onion family. Brief narratives introducing cooks and their interpretation of said recipe assured me that potatoes and leeks (like bread & butter, peanut butter & jelly and, salt & pepper) were a classic combination; that additional ingredients can be added but, this duo can more or

Today’s Special – Potato Leek Soup2023-01-30T13:11:30-05:00

The Oakwood Friends School

The Oakwood Friends School One of the oldest schools in Dutchess County just celebrated its 100th anniversary right here in Poughkeepsie. It should be noted, however, that the school and its mission are actually older than that, but its relocation to Poughkeepsie occurred back in 1920. The school’s foundations are humble, its beliefs are based on faith, and its list of alumni is quite impressive. The school dates back to the 18th century and has not altered much from its original philosophy that children do best when they are challenged to push themselves beyond their academic comfort zones while being surrounded in a nurturing environment. Of course we are talking about none other than the Oakwood Friends School. The school began as a project of the religious group known as the Friends (a.k.a. the Quakers) who had settled in the Millbrook area in the late 18th century. When the school was officially created in 1796, it was inside what had once served as a store, not far from the main Meeting House used by the Friends. Since the Friends believed that both men and women could be moved by the Holy Spirit to speak in church, both sexes could also learn

The Oakwood Friends School2021-11-29T08:45:45-05:00

Ghost Stories in Poughkeepsie

Ghost Stories in Poughkeepsie It's that spooky time of year again: Halloween is upon us! What would the season be without a good ghost story? There are several books about various haunted sites in the Hudson Valley. From creepy old houses and theaters, to hotels and bars, there are supposedly several spooky spots that can be found (or investigated, if one believes in such things). One place that seems to keep popping up is that of the hauntings at Christ Church, right here in Poughkeepsie. Could there be something lurking in the pews of this historic building on Academy Street (other than the Holy Ghost)? Why would such a special place be haunted, you ask? Well, the land where the modern day Christ Church stands today was once a graveyard (strike 1!). If we look at the early maps of Poughkeepsie, you can see where it says “Episcopal Burying Ground” even as early as 1834, before the south end of Academy Street was established. About seven acres was secured by the Rev. Dr. John Reed, who was rector of Christ Church, for the use of a burial ground. Several burials took place there, beginning in 1828 and ending around 1866, when

Ghost Stories in Poughkeepsie2021-10-29T09:17:54-04:00

The Long-Lost Adriance Homes

The Long-Lost Adriance Homes The name Adriance is well known here in the City of Poughkeepsie. The family was once a major part of this city’s development, particularly in the mid to late 19th century. As we have discussed in a previous article, John P. Adriance made a large fortune in the farming equipment industry. It is well known that both his family and the surrounding community benefited from his wealth. For example, his money went into the creation of this library, as well as the building of Christ Church. By the end of the 19th century, the Adriance family had used this wealth to establish three large houses on the corner of Academy and Livingston Streets; only one of those houses is still standing. The first house in this area was built by John P. Adriance. He called it “Eden Hill” and is seen in the drawing on the right. The house was built in the Italianate style and was passed down in the family to one of the six sons, John E., who later remodeled it. Just north of Eden Hill was the home of Dr. Edward Clay Bolton, who established a house in 1865. William Allen Adriance purchased

The Long-Lost Adriance Homes2021-10-22T09:09:03-04:00

Hudson Taylor: The Retired Book Dealer of Academy Street

Hudson Taylor: The Retired Book Dealer of Academy Street We have been preparing for our upcoming walking tour on Academy Street and have found some fascinating stories about the people who once inhabited these homes. Today we will share with you a story of an old book dealer who lived at #148 and who had experienced some amazing times and spent time with some of this country’s most famous citizens. Though it could be said that the more one reads about Mr. Hudson Taylor, and his various adventures both on land and on the river, the more it seems that he should be considered one of the country’s most famous citizens as well (certainly one of Poughkeepsie’s). Hudson Taylor was born in New York City in 1820, the youngest of Robert Taylor’s six children, a doctor from England (all of Hudson’s siblings had been born in England). The family had moved to Poughkeepsie after Robert’s brother John had established himself as a lawyer here. The family also lived in Tivoli for a time, before heading out west to Illinois, where Robert sadly passed away. Young Taylor made his way back to Poughkeepsie with his mother and some of his siblings, but

Hudson Taylor: The Retired Book Dealer of Academy Street2021-10-15T09:10:42-04:00
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