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Springside: Matthew Vassar’s Home

by Shannon Butler For many hard working folks, it’s pretty common to dream of a piece of land to work with and a house to call your own. Many of us want something that we can build upon and improve with our creative visions and perhaps even pass it down to future generations. For most of us, this means a modest little house on a manageable piece of land with maybe a small garden. The days of grand landscapes and large mansions along the Hudson are mostly a thing of the past, but we are fortunate enough to benefit from some of those left behind. As we saw in our recent documentary on landscapes and gardens, there are plenty of places you can stop and admire. In my eagerness to showcase some of our old gardens and landscapes, I somehow neglected to mention one of the most historic landscapes located right here in Poughkeepsie, Springside. Matthew Vassar had been a pretty hard working guy most of his life. He made his way across the river when he was about 14 years old in search of some gainful employment. He worked for a merchant just north of Newburgh for a while before [...]

Springside: Matthew Vassar’s Home2024-04-18T16:19:32-04:00

Popular Ladies’ Hairstyles of the 1870’s

by Shannon Butler The Vail photography studio that once operated on Main Street took thousands of photographs of the people of Poughkeepsie. As we discussed in an earlier blog post, we have in our collection boxes and boxes of these photographs. However, until fairly recently, most of the people were unidentified. Not long ago, our local history librarian Kira Thompson discovered that some of the ledgers from our collection have names and numbers that match up with these photographs. So now we are endeavouring to transcribe these ledgers so that we can put the names to the faces. While going through these images you begin to notice certain trends in the hairstyles of women. Bonnets were out, and braids, curls, and buns were in. Victorian era women tended to keep their hair very long (very few trips to the hair stylist back then, sound familiar my ‘Covid-19 era’ friends?) though it was not respectable to have your long hair out loosely much past the age of 15. With all of that hair, ladies could get very creative with their up-dos. Generally, women would be inspired by looking through magazines like Harper’s Bazaar or Peterson’s Magazine (seen on the right). These publications [...]

Popular Ladies’ Hairstyles of the 1870’s2024-04-18T16:18:12-04:00

The Eccentric Patriot: Boots Van Steenburgh

by Shannon Butler Recently in the Local History Room we have been transcribing the ledgers of the Vail Photography Studios. These ledgers allow us to put names to faces in our collection of thousands of Vail photos that, until recently, have been unidentified. The ledgers are quite helpful with names and sometimes even addresses attached, but every once in a while, you come across something that makes you ponder. As seen in the image to the right, the ledger shows us mostly common names with the exception of one entry, #9577, simply marked “Boots.” At first, I thought perhaps this was the name of a pet, as Vail studios was known to photograph dogs and cats from time to time. So, being the animal lover that I am, I thought we would check the number and see who “Boots” was. As you can see from the photo, #9577 is no pet, but an oddly dressed man! For those of you researchers out there, you will know that putting a common word like ‘Boots’ into any search engine will give you a ton of results and wear down your patience but nevertheless, I persisted. A search in Newspapers.com (narrowing my window to [...]

The Eccentric Patriot: Boots Van Steenburgh2023-10-19T13:07:02-04:00

Charles Gilbert Spross – Local Musical Celebrity

by Shannon Butler Located here in the Local History archives we have some of the music composed by local musician Charles Gilbert Spross. He was famous both for his music and for accompanying some of the great singers of the early 20th century. Spross traveled the world and played to thousands of people but he would always find his way back home to his beloved Poughkeepsie. Today, we are going to look at the life and career of a local musician who managed to gain fame but still stayed grounded in his roots. He was born to German immigrants Michael and Alouisa Spross on January 6th 1874 in the family’s home at 51 South Bridge Street right here in Poughkeepsie. As a child, he no doubt enjoyed listening to his father sing, as he was a member of the Germania Singing Society. Little Spross took after his father and began singing in the choir of the Church of the Nativity as a boy. He began his training in piano and organ with Adolf Kuehn and Helen J. Andrus (who is also the author of ‘A Century of Music in Poughkeepsie’). Later Spross would serve as the accompanist for the Germania Singing [...]

Charles Gilbert Spross – Local Musical Celebrity2024-04-18T16:12:56-04:00

Happy Father’s Day

by Shannon Butler The first time the phrase “Father’s Day” appeared in print in our local newspaper was in 1914 when the Presbyterian Church in Lagrangeville decided to pay tribute to dads on August 9th. There was no official holiday for fathers at that time but the idea for such a celebration had popped up in various places around the country. In 1918, a little blurb appeared in the Poughkeepsie Eagle News that said, “Why Not? We forget whether in this grand and glorious country of ours we ever had a fathers’ day. If not there ought to be one. Frinstance a nice big rally alongside some good fishing streams out in the country. Oh you fathers’ day!” A notice from Luckey, Platt & Co. reminded its customers not to forget their father’s on June 15th and this was in 1924 when there was still no official holiday to speak of. Wallace’s Department store also made the same reminder stating, “On Sunday June 15th, the whole world will be thinking of its own father. It's a day when we all like to make him a remembrance if he is still with us.” However, do you notice a trend in the early [...]

Happy Father’s Day2024-04-18T16:10:53-04:00

Historical Views on Racism in Poughkeepsie

by Shannon Butler One would have to be living under a rock (a really big one) these days to not know the importance of the current situation we find ourselves in. Protesting in large crowds, which is breaking down the barriers of our recent social distancing guidelines, parts of the country are rethinking their police forces, and racial tensions appear to be similar to those of the 1960s. All of this drives a history nerd to contemplate, what were the views of previous generations when it comes to racial equality in our area? You might hear people from the north (especially right here in our area) say things like, “well we fought on the right side of the Civil War,” or “we had a lot of abolitionists up here,” or “Ok so maybe we did have slaves, but they were treated better than the ones in the south.” All of this makes me think of an oral history that I conducted years ago with Mrs. Doris Mack, a volunteer from Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. Doris (who was 92 when I interviewed her, and still going strong by the way) was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She and her [...]

Historical Views on Racism in Poughkeepsie2024-04-18T16:09:16-04:00

Letters to Home – Robert Verplanck in the Civil War 

by Shannon Butler Here in the Local History room we have some original letters from a soldier who saw action during the Civil War. Not only did he witness men fighting and dying but he also witnessed the breaking down of racial barriers for the benefit of the war effort. Robert Newlin Verplanck was born at Mount Gulian on November 18th 1842. Of course all of you local history nerds will know that Mount Gulian is a fabulous historic site located in Fishkill and well worth a visit (when the Covid 19 crisis is over that is). Verplanck was fortunate enough to be the son of William Verplanck and Anne Newlin Verplanck and was therefore a descendent of Gulian Verplanck, one of the Rombout Patent owners (in other words, they had some money). Young Robert was first educated at the Poughkeepsie Collegiate school before heading off to Harvard in 1858. During his time in college the Civil War broke out and he stayed long enough to graduate in 1863. Soon after leaving Harvard, he volunteered to join the 22nd Regiment of the New York State Militia but quickly made his way into a new and eye opening role. Just before Verplanck [...]

Letters to Home – Robert Verplanck in the Civil War 2024-04-18T16:08:22-04:00

Mustaches, Beards, and Sideburns!

by Shannon Butler Did you know there is such a thing as a National Mustache Day? Apparently we missed it back on April 9th (and to be quite frank, it doesn’t seem like a legit thing, more like a brief internet craze), but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a moment to reflect on this random subject matter just for the heck of it. While flipping through the photograph collection here in the Local History Room it dawned on me that there were some serious mustaches (and other various forms of facial hair) that were quite popular at the turn of the 20th century. Everything from the handlebar, the horseshoe, the walrus, wacky sideburns and so on. By the way, the last President to have a mustache was William Howard Taft, all the way back in 1909-1913. You can see from the display of photographs to the right that there were many different patterns that were used here in Poughkeepsie. Most of these images are from the late 19th century and these guys are considered very stylish for their day. John P. Adriance decided to go without a mustache or a beard and opted for mega sideburns instead (named after Civil [...]

Mustaches, Beards, and Sideburns!2024-04-12T15:26:19-04:00

Curbside Pick Up

Curbside Pick-up Service Provided at Adriance Memorial Library and Boardman Road Branch Library Reserve items for pickup at Adriance by calling 485-3445 x 3701. Reserve items for pickup at Boardman Road by calling 485-3445 x 3706. Some more details: Please have your library card barcode ready when you call.  We will be unable to provide service without it. Delivery between libraries has resumed. You will be notified when the item(s) are ready for pickup.  Please follow the instructions provided, so we can keep everyone safe. You must show the same library card at pickup that was used when requesting the item(s). Presently, the service is limited to five (5) items per patron. You must have a standard library card barcode with 14-digit number to use this service.  For those digital cardholders, please come into the library with your valid photo ID and address verification to get your physical library card.

Curbside Pick Up2023-06-05T13:36:40-04:00

Memorial Day

by Shannon Butler This Monday is Memorial Day! A.K.A Decoration Day, A.K.A the unofficial start of summer. Considering the strange new world that we live in, this memorial day will not look like the ones we are used to. Typically we would head over to a parade with marching bands, floats, and every organization taking to the streets to say thanks to all of our soldiers and sailors who died while serving in our armed forces. We might then head to any of our local cemeteries to place flags on their graves. And of course, as Americans, we then generally head to backyards, parks, or beaches for food and beer! Sadly, in the time of COVID-19, most parades and celebrations are canceled and our food consumption will be limited to our own personal households for the most part. Given these odd circumstances we should take a look at how our area celebrated this day in the past. As you can see from the newspaper articles on the right, here in Poughkeepsie Memorial day was particularly important to the veterans who served in the American Civil War (they refer to it as, “the late war of the rebellion”). Members of the local [...]

Memorial Day2024-04-12T15:20:21-04:00

Bicycles in Poughkeepsie

by Shannon Butler How many of you history nerds are also avid cyclists? It was certainly comforting to discover that local bicycle shops are considered essential during our current crisis (due to the fact that they service bicycles which are considered a form of personal and commercial transportation). There is nothing quite as freeing as hopping on a bike and heading out onto the open road or rail trail and going as far as you can (until your rear end starts to hurt and then you might question the length of the ride). Long ago in the days before automotive racing, football, and basketball, bicycle races were considered to be the premier sporting event watched by thousands. In 1883, local drugstore owner Frank J. Schwartz (seen on his Penny-Farthing Bicycle to the right) took first place at the major race of the Dutchess County Fair. Back then, bicycle races were the big attraction to see and just as popular as horse racing, perhaps because they could sometimes be more dangerous. Bicycle races at the Poughkeepsie riding park were a very common thing to see on summer nights (You can see the Poughkeepsie bicycle club’s 1893 photo on the right). For example, [...]

Bicycles in Poughkeepsie2024-04-12T15:17:31-04:00

Art in the Time of Covid

by Shannon Butler We here in the Local History department can certainly say that we miss visiting our local historic sites, museums, and galleries. One of the great things about Poughkeepsie is that we have so many fabulous places to visit that are close at hand. We happen to have a world famous art gallery right here in our city, the Vassar College Art Gallery, also known as the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. This is the first college in our country’s history to have an art gallery as part of its original plan. As a result of the forward thinking of Matthew Vassar, the college began collecting some of the world’s greatest pieces of art long before institutions like the Metropolitan Museum or the Fine Arts museum in Boston were even established. What a pleasure to walk onto the fabulous campus with its breathtaking architecture and then take a right into the art gallery that holds a massive collection right here in our backyard. You can see some of the Hudson River School artists like Thomas Cole, Frederic Church and Asher B. Durand. Then there is the gallery filled with Egyptian and Roman sculptures from thousands of years ago. What [...]

Art in the Time of Covid2024-04-12T15:13:30-04:00

Steaming North – The Hudson River Day Line

by Shannon Butler Have you ever sailed up the Hudson River? It truly is a wonderful feeling to hop on a boat in New York City and take your sweet time as you make your way north. First, you pass by the steep cliffs of the Palisades, then around the curve of Anthony’s Nose, pass the barracks at West Point, then around the ruins of Bannerman Island, and finally to the base of Main Street in Poughkeepsie. Making that journey on a sailboat could take you a few days depending on the wind, but with a good steam boat, it only took about 4 hours. And when you journeyed on one of the stylish Hudson River Day Line ships, you traveled in a little bit of elegance. The Hudson River Day Line prided itself on speed in the early 1860’s. Alfred Van Santvoord had taken over some of his father Abraham’s business of steamboats that ran on the Erie Canal and the Hudson. At the time they had the fastest ship on the Hudson, the Daniel Drew which in 1855 had set the record for fastest time from Albany to New York City (7 hours, 20 minutes). In 1863 the company [...]

Steaming North – The Hudson River Day Line2024-04-12T15:06:43-04:00

The Many Inhabitants of St. Andrews-On-Hudson

by Shannon Butler Many of us have visited the Culinary Institute of America located on Route 9 on the southern edge of Hyde Park. Perhaps you went for some fine food, or to take a tour, or you may have even taken some classes there. The classes offered at the C.I.A. are of course food and drink related these days but did you know that the main building on the campus was originally designed to teach young men how to be Jesuits? Did you know that many of these Jesuits are buried right on the campus, not far from where you enjoyed that fancy meal? As a matter of fact, the property where the C.I.A. sits today is filled with interesting history going back even to early Native American inhabitants. Back in 2003, evidence was discovered during an archaeological dig that showed that people have been using the acres around the C.I.A. campus since before Europeans settled the area. Certain spots along the Maritje Creek (that runs down the hill towards the river), were prime locations for prehistoric occupation. Tools were discovered along with fire hearths which would have been used by early Native Americans long before any stone or brick [...]

The Many Inhabitants of St. Andrews-On-Hudson2024-04-12T14:47:33-04:00

The Death of FDR – 75 Years Later

by Shannon Butler This week marks 75 years since the death and funeral services of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our neighbor and fellow history nerd. We thought we would take a look at the events surrounding this sad yet important anniversary. On the evening of March 24th, 1945, FDR ventured home to his beloved Hyde Park. His appointment book was blank for the next few days which meant he could simply enjoy the quiet comfort of his family’s home and perhaps work on his stamp collection or do some bird watching (two of his favorite hobbies). We know that he had a meeting with the director of his presidential library, Mr. Shipman before returning to Washington D.C. on the morning of the 29th. He had a few quick meetings during the course of the day before getting on a train to head south to what he considered to be his second home, Warm Springs, Georgia. By this point in the President’s life he was incredibly ill and frail. His heart was failing him and his blood pressure could not be controlled (at least once, it had reached 260/150). The stress of the war and the conditions of serving as President for [...]

The Death of FDR – 75 Years Later2024-02-01T15:41:57-05:00

Industrial Poughkeepsie – Schatz Federal Bearing Corp.

by Shannon Butler When the Schatz family brought their business of making ball bearings to Poughkeepsie in the early 20th century, they probably didn’t know what sort of impact they would leave on this community. The business started out in a small, one story factory with 75 employees and grew to a large complex with over 1,000 employees at its height. In fact, it was hard to find someone who didn’t know someone who worked for Schatz. By the mid-20th century the company had contracts with some of the biggest names in business including Ford Motor Company. During World War II; Schatz, like many other companies in the area, was pumping out products for the war effort. Here in the Local History department we have an entire collection of Schatz related material including images taken of the inside of the factory during its height in the 1940’s and several ledgers filled with scraps of newspaper articles concerning the company’s employees. A lot of the scraps that were saved are of Schatz’s sports teams that played baseball and basketball in local tournaments against other corporations like IBM and Western Publishing. What’s neat about these scrap books (that date from the early 1900s) [...]

Industrial Poughkeepsie – Schatz Federal Bearing Corp.2023-10-19T12:56:56-04:00

Fun with Family Photo Albums

by Shannon Butler For this week’s entry, we thought it would be fun to take a look at a family photo album from the early 20th century. These images were taken by members of the Konsier and Russell families and if you look closely, you may recognize some of the places they photographed. Anna Gertrude Russell was born and raised in Staatsburg NY, the daughter of a William (a painter based on the census records) and Gertrude Russell. Anna married a printer from Poughkeepsie named Louis Konsier in 1905 and in 1906 they had a daughter named Florence. Off to the right you can see Anna when she was a young new bride sitting on the porch. Louis can be seen holding his young daughter Florence as they take a nature walk through Vassar. Anna and her daughter sit for a portrait together in the next photograph. On the porch of the Konsier family home in Poughkeepsie we can see Louis holding his clarinet with a friend playing the banjo (we wonder if this band was any good?). William Russell, the brother of Anna, stands on the porch of his home in Staatsburg. Someone in the family also enjoyed photographing their [...]

Fun with Family Photo Albums2024-04-12T14:44:36-04:00

Public Works of Art – Olin Dows

by Shannon Butler Have you ever been inside some of our local historic post offices and admired the murals? Those paintings are there thanks to the vision of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and some of his New Deal programs including the Public Works of Art program (PWAP) which was established in 1933 and  The Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture (later known as the Section of Fine Arts), commonly known as the Section. The plan was to put America’s great artists to work and for one local artist, these programs made his work famous (at least to us locals). Olin Dows was born right here in the Hudson Valley at Irvington-on-Hudson in 1904. His family moved to Rhinebeck when he was four years old. His father, Tracy Dows had married Alice Olin whose Livingston wealth allowed them to build a lovely estate which became known as Foxhollow Farm. When Olin was 12, he attended St. Mark’s School in Southboro MA where he figured out at an early age that he wanted to be a painter. He stated that his inspirations included great artists of the past as well as more modern minds, which included everything from Michelangelo to Maxfield Parrish. As a [...]

Public Works of Art – Olin Dows2024-04-12T14:43:00-04:00

19th Century Diseases in Dutchess County

by Shannon Butler “Nothing contributes more, perhaps, to preserve a constitution healthy, and to restore it when disordered, than a calm dispassionate state of mind” – From The Means of Preserving Health and Preventing Diseases by Dr. Shadrach Ricketson, 1806. With everyone being more conscience of health and well-being today, we thought we would take this time to look at some of the health issues of the past and how they were dealt with right here in Dutchess County. Here in the Local History collection are several old books relating to diseases and medicine along with a large collection of old hospital reports from several of the hospitals in the area. Some of our earliest pieces concern the work of Dr. Hunting Sherrill, a doctor who practiced both in Hyde Park and Poughkeepsie and served as the President of the Dutchess Medical Society. Sherrill was born in Stanford NY in 1783 and studied medicine at the Geneva College. He came to practice in Hyde Park in 1809 and married Margaret Mulford in Staatsburg in 1811. In our collection we have a book that contains two addresses that Sherrill gave before the Dutchess Medical Society in 1819 and 1825. In the first, [...]

19th Century Diseases in Dutchess County2024-04-12T14:41:48-04:00

Collection’s Spotlight – Margaret DeMott Brown

by Shannon Butler We have some wonderful things stored away in boxes and folders here in the Local History Room. Every once in a while we come across something that we forgot we had and when we come across it again, we remember just how cool it really is. Recently we were asked if we had some photographs by a female photographer named Margaret DeMott Brown. As it turns out, we have quite a few of them. As it turns out, Margaret had a studio right here in Poughkeepsie and much of her work was based on subjects in and around Dutchess County. We thought we would join in with the Dutchess County Historical Society’s endeavor to celebrate Women’s Voices and Talents by showcasing some of Margaret’s work. Margaret DeMott Brown was born in Jacksonville Illinois on March 1st, 1880, into a family that believed in the education of women. Her grandfather William Holden De Motte had been instrumental in the foundation of schools for women as well as the deaf. Margaret appears to have been interested in photography for quite some time, as evidence shows her beginning to advertise the sale of her photographs in 1905. Also around this time, [...]

Collection’s Spotlight – Margaret DeMott Brown2024-04-12T14:35:13-04:00

Upcoming Local History Discussion Night – Luckey, Platt, and Co.

by Shannon Butler So for those of you fellow history nerds out there, we wanted to take this week’s blog entry and do a bit of marketing, if you will, for our upcoming Local History Discussion Night. If you came out to our first evening it was mostly just us trying to figure out what we wanted our discussion nights to consist of. We listened to your suggestions and we have decided to start off each discussion night with a brief presentation on a part of our local history, followed by discussion and (it possible) sharing of memories. We put together a list of things you suggested we should focus on and for our next meeting we will take a special look at the history of Luckey, Platt, and Co. Just to get you interested in joining us for the discussion group, here is a little sneak peek… The history of Poughkeepsie’s own department store has humble beginnings that go back to 1866. That’s when Charles Pinkney Luckey began his career as a dry goods clerk at a store that belonged to Isaac Dribble and Robert Slee. Young Luckey had to walk from the Samuel F. B. Morse where his father [...]

Upcoming Local History Discussion Night – Luckey, Platt, and Co.2024-04-12T14:33:50-04:00

Hidden Mansions: Tioronda/Craig House

by Shannon Butler We continue our look at Mansions along the Albany Post Road corridor this week with a house that has a fascinating history with some equally fascinating characters. Just outside the City of Beacon on Route 9D is a fabulous old Gothic Mansion that has served as a residence and a retreat for the mentally ill. Though it has a somewhat ominous look about it, there was a time when this mansion saw brighter days and hopefully it has a brighter future ahead of it. The mansion’s first use was as a home which was designed by Frederick Clarke Withers for Joseph Howland and his wife Eliza. Joseph was born in 1834, the son of Samuel Howland who had made his fortune as one of the founding members of the shipping firm, Howland and Aspinwall. This firm made its wealth in the trade with China in the 1830’s and 40’s. Joseph was apparently considering going to seminary but never did, instead he was educated at home and at the age of 21, he married Eliza Newton Woolsey in New York City. After a trip through Europe, the two decided on living on a country farm up the Hudson River, [...]

Hidden Mansions: Tioronda/Craig House2024-04-12T14:32:07-04:00

Hidden Mansions: Wyndclyffe

by Shannon Butler This week we will look at another house just off of the Albany Post Road corridor that is quite grand, yet needs some serious attention, Wyndclyffe. Now it is true it’s a bit of a hike from route 9 to this old brick mansion hidden in the woods of Rhinecliff, but since it lies between the river and the road, it counts. When you think of mansions, you usually think of fine architecture, large rooms, and luxurious interiors, and the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” generally comes to mind. But did you ever ponder who the Joneses were? And where that saying comes from? Did you know it was right here in the Hudson Valley? Built in 1853, this fabulous brick house is built in the style known as Norman, and looks like a castle from times gone by. Though the architect is not known, it is believed to be the work of George Veitch, who also designed the first Episcopal Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck in 1852. It is believed that since the owner of this house, Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones as well as her brother Edward were major contributors to the building of the church, [...]

Hidden Mansions: Wyndclyffe2024-04-12T13:09:27-04:00

Hidden Mansions: Maple Grove

by Shannon Butler Most of the glorious mansions that dot the Albany Post Road corridor have either been lovingly restored, or they have been torn down entirely. There are very few that stand somewhat forgotten and waiting for a new chance at life. Today we will look at a house right here in Poughkeepsie that is a hidden treasure and truly needs some loving, Maple Grove. Some of the biggest names in architecture have left their marks here in the Hudson Valley. Names like Richard Morris Hunt, McKim, Mead, and White, Andrew Jackson Downing, A. J. Davis, and Calvert Vaux, just to name a few. Maple Grove has the look and feel of the last three names mentioned, Downing, Davis, and Vaux, but sadly no one really knows who designed or built the house. However, the detail of both the exterior and interior is still (for the most part) intact from its 19th century additions and alterations and the house is an excellent example of Hudson Valley Bracketed architecture, a term coined by author Edith Wharton. Charles A. Macy purchased a farm just south of the city of Poughkeepsie in 1850. This purchase included about 35 acres of land and some [...]

Hidden Mansions: Maple Grove2024-04-12T13:08:05-04:00

Bertha M. Round – Music Lover

by Shannon Butler We know the people who read these blog posts are history lovers, but are there any music fans out there? Well, we found a music fan in the boxes of our archives. A woman who devoted her entire life to getting great talent to the stages of Poughkeepsie so that everyone could get the chance to hear the best music from all over the world. She took pride in her work and one of the perks of her job was that she was able to meet everyone who came to perform! Her name was Bertha M. Round. And she brought music to Poughkeepsie. Bertha was born in Poughkeepsie in 1879 and began singing at an early age in quartets for the Reformed Church. She joined the Choral Club where she sang as an alto. She performed with them during the 1903 season. She continued to perform in and around Poughkeepsie and received positive feedback from the press. In 1910, she performed with the 21st Regiment Band at College Hill to which the Poughkeepsie-Eagle proclaimed, “The solo work of Miss Bertha Round was a rich, musical treat.” But Bertha was not destined for glory as a singer. Her true [...]

Bertha M. Round – Music Lover2024-04-12T13:00:22-04:00

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie – Gone But Not Forgotten: The Old County Court House

by Shannon Butler There is no escaping the fact that the streets of Poughkeepsie have changed over the past century, especially in the areas encircled by the arterial. Main and Market streets have lost some of their character and also gained new perspectives (for better or worse). In some cases, older buildings come back to life in the form of inspiration for newer buildings, as is the case with our focus for this week, the old County Court House. Built in 1809, the court house that we are referring to was not the first in the area. The first one was built in 1720 and would go on to host the state’s committee for ratifying the Constitution. When that building burned down in 1806, this court house on the southwest corner of Main and Market Streets was built. In the process of building a new court house, it was decided that part of the walls of the earlier building could be incorporated as well as the two dungeons in the basement. Sheriff John Forbus wrote in 1806 “the walls being uninjured will be fully competent to rebuild upon. This will save the county at least from five to six thousand dollars.” [...]

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie – Gone But Not Forgotten: The Old County Court House2024-04-12T12:59:07-04:00

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie – Gone But Not Forgotten: Riverview Military Academy

by Shannon Butler Today as we continue our look at buildings of Poughkeepsie that are now gone, we will take a look at one of the schools that was established as a result of the demise of the school at college hill. As you may recall, last week we mentioned the Riverview Military Academy briefly, as it was one of two schools that popped up after the closure of Charles Bartlett’s Poughkeepsie Collegiate School. Otis Bisbee, once a teacher at the Collegiate decided in 1867 to begin a school that would give an excellent education, grounded in military tradition. A Riverview Academy booklet from 1888 suggests that this institution was always a part of the Poughkeepsie Collegiate School and that Charles Bartlett was in charge from 1836 until 1857. It makes no mention of the split between Otis Bisbee and Charles B. Warring (who went off to establish his own military school on Smith Street). Since Bisbee could not manage to win the property at College Hill at auction in the 1860s, he purchased and began constructing a new school just west of Eastman Park. On a spring day in 1867, the entire school marched from the College Hill campus to [...]

No Longer Standing: Buildings of Poughkeepsie – Gone But Not Forgotten: Riverview Military Academy2024-04-12T12:56:58-04:00
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