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, [...]
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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 [...]
by Bridget O'Donnell 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 less stand alone. Countless potato and leek soup recipes [...]
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 [...]