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Ulster County, NY History

Ulster County, New York history

We have a number of items from Ulster County and are planning to offer them in the coming weeks and months.
Available for Download
 

 

The Indians by Abraham G. Bevier (1846)

The full title of this work is “The Indians, or, Narratives of Massacres and Depredations of the Frontier, in Wawasink and its vicinity, during the American Revolution, by a Descendant of the Hugenots.”  It will surprise few that this short volume offends modern sensibilities.  There are very distinct good guys and bad guys in the author’s scheme of things, and while the rare mention of a good deed by a bad guy is here, far more common is the excusal of less-than-good-guy behavior by the ostensible good guys as the sort of thing that, well, good guys just sort of do, and that it is actually moderately humorous that they do it.  It does take some getting used to.  Nonetheless, to have a real sense of how people in the 1840s viewed their cultural history, one needs to understand the mindsets of the people of the 1840, as well as the mindsets of those who lived before them who passed along the facts and legends of their own forbears. 

As well as views of the Indians that would be unpopular with most today, the author adds some material on treatment of the Tories after the Revolutionary War.  While some may be encouraged that the treatment of Tories was not much more humane than treatment of the Indians had been, the author’s prognostication that the ill feeling toward Tories would have completely faded away in a few years from the time he wrote the book, the Publisher recalls his own grandfather, born in Neversink, NY in 1872, referring to a neighborhood in Neversink as a “nest of Tories” as late as the early 1950s.  Predjudice indeed suffers a long and difficult death.  78+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.50

The Indians by Bevier

The Saugerties High School Sawyer for 1935

A nice, useful yearbook, with higher quality photography and printing than one expects from these depression times, and a very attractive cover for any era. 88+ pages.  Download in PDF format, $4.25

Saugerties Sawyer

The Spectator Of Kingston Academy for 1909

High school yearbooks are one form of history within which everyone is recorded when they graduate from high school.  They, and their community, are frozen at a point in time that the yearbook captures and keeps.  Haircuts, clothes, friends, teachers – they are all captured as they were, not as we choose to remember them or tell our children they were back in the good old days, or, in the case of the yearbook, as we may have heard from our grandparents.  The class pictured in this yearbook – their yearbook – graduated when the 20th century was not yet a decade old.  Ahead of them were two World Wars, and, for the long-lived among them, such wars as Korea and Vietnam.  Economic panics were not novel back then, but the game-changing Great Depression was decades in the future.  Women could not yet vote, and Prohibition was still something that was thought by many to be a desirable change in the legal system. 

 

Graduates included: Leroy Hammond, Sam Scudder, Alice Krom, Alton Du Flon, Jacob Mollet, Elizabeth Goodrich, Arthur Ellis, Fannie Wood, Helen Terwilliger, Bertram Tenhagen, Clara Ostrander, Isabel Alliger, Elizabeth Sullivan, Marion Everett, Ethel Elmendorf, Edith Van Gaasbeck, Theodore Conklin, Elizabeth Adams, Gladys Mulford, Conrad Drautz, Emma Down, Cornelia Ougheltree, Henry Elting, Etta Van Aken, Phoebe Cheshire, Florence Norton, Elizabeth Hazard, Clifford Bennett, Laura Reiner, and Hazel Freer.  Alton B. Monroe, who died during his senior year, was memorialized.  Note we’ve necessarily reduced the size of the pages in this yearbook, hopefully without loss of image quality, since it was originally printed in what we now call landscape format and we generally publish in portrait format.  68+ paged, in PDF format, download now for $4.00.

 Kingston Academy 1909

 

The Ulster County chapter from French's Gazetteer of the State of New York (1860)

French's Gazetteer was (and still is) viewed as authoritative for demographic information and, to a large extent, for historical information about New York State counties as they were in 1860.  The following localities receive boldface mention in the text:  Denning, Dewittsville, Esopus, Port Ewen, Arnoldton, South Rondout, Dashville, Sleightsburg, Ellmores Cove, Amesville, Atkarton, Freeville, Gardiner, Tuthilltown, Libertyville, Jenkinstown, Hardenbergh, Dry Brook, Hurley, West Hurley, Kingston, Rondout, Eddyville, Wilbur, Fly Mountain, Dutch Settlement, Flatbush, Lloyd, New Paltz Landing, Centerville, Lewisburgh, Riverside, Marbletown, Stone Ridge, Kripplebush, High Falls, Marbletown, Bruceville, Marlborough, Milton, Lattingtown, New Paltz, Butterville, Ohioville, Springtown, Olive, Shokan, Samsonville, Olive City, Plattekill, Clintondale, Flint, Modena, Rochester, Alligerville, Port Jackson, Accord, Kyserike, Rosendale, Lawrenceville, Bruceville, Green Locks, Whiteport, Saugerties, Malden, Glasco, West Camp, Quarryville, Unionville, Glenearle, Van Akens Mills, Ashbury, Shandaken, Pine Hill, Ladews Corners, Phoenicia, Woodland, Shawangunk, Galeville Mills, Ulsterville, Dwaars Kil, Burynswick, Jamesburgh, New Hurley, Wawarsing, Ellenville, Napanoch, Homowack, Kerhonkson, Lackawack, Greenfield, Port Benjamin, Port Nixon, Woodstock, Bearsville, and Lake Hill.   If you have an interest in any aspect of Ulster County history, this 11+ pages (PDF format) download is a "must have".  $1.75.

 Ulster County - French's Gazetteer

The Ulster County chapter in Mather & Brockett's Geographical History of the State of New York (1848)

Only a dozen years before French's Gazetteer, but a world of difference!  Treatment of this county in the five pages allotted is fairly comprehensive in its treatment of the county's physical geography and history but a little spotty in coverage of the towns that comprised it.  We also include the two page summary of New York State land grants for background in this download.  5++ pages (plus supplement), PDF format, download now for $2.75

 Ulster County NY in Mather and Brockett

The Descendants of Noah Cross and Rachel Osterhout:  Cross - New York State - 1775 - 1975

This genealogy of a family that originated in Ulster County, originally published by the Cross Family Association, is now available for download.  See the Cross family page for more information.

The Kingston High School Maroon for 1924

High school yearbooks often provide a glimpse of a town or city at the time it was issued that is not easily available from other sources.  Young people are surprisingly accurate reporters of their milieu.  This yearbook shows a prosperous small city, with a high school with high standards for academic achievement and also for concern for others and for the environment – well ahead of its time.  The yearbook unfortunately is also quite typical of yearbooks of its time, peppered as it is with ethnic humor that is not funny in the 21st Century.  Please note that at some time before the Maroon came into our possession, someone had removed the back-to-back senior photos of Watson J. Bailey and Katherine M. Bennett, and also had cut one or more individuals from the photos of the baseball and basketball teams (page 127-28).   PDF format, 152+ pages, download now for $5.00.

 Kingston High School Maroon for 1924

Historic Wallkill Valley for 1903 (Orange and Ulster Counties, NY, and Sussex County, NJ) 

“Historic Wallkill Valley” was a more or less annual production for several years at the beginning of the 20th century.  Printed on expensive paper, with color on some advertising pages and abundant photos it was clearly an expensive undertaking, and contained many ads for area businesses as well as articles.  The articles in this issue included several about Walden, some material about cemeteries in the area, Wesley Grove (Neelytown), articles about historical incidents and locales, an article about Montgomery, various in memoriam articles, and an article about Mount Beacon with its cog railway.  There is even a review of the previous issue of “Historic Wallkill Valley” – something one does not often see.  See our Orange County page for more information.

 

A History of Ulster County Under the Dominion of the Dutch

By Augustus H. Van Buren (1923).  The author provides us with abundant history of Ulster County from the time of European arrival until 1763, when the English government of the area was formally in place.  Wars, domestic life, interactions with the Native Americans, and name – lots of names – and anecdotes make up the body of the work.  Furthermore, if you know a bit about the geography, it is an entertaining read.  146+ pages, PDF format, download now for $4.00

 Ulster County under the Dutch

Prison Etiquette

Edited and with an introduction by Holley Cantine and Dachine Ranier (1950).  This volume, republished to fulfill a commitment made many years ago to Holley Cantine, is a collection of recollections and advice by extreme pacificists during World War II who chose prison over any cooperation at all with the Selective Service System in the United States.  Please see our Americana page for more information. (both Cantine and Ranier were residents of Woodstock, NY).

 

 

Orange, Ulster and Greene County items currently awaiting publication:

Our Catskill Mountains, by H. A. Haring (1931)

350 pages, with 42 illustrations and two maps.  A very nice, well-produced history and guidebook of the Catskill Mountains, emphasizing the high Catskills area.  Includes chapters on geography and geology, general area history, historical industries including hemlock bark harvesting and tanning, hoop making, glass blowing, and bluestone quarrying.  In more recent history, the New York City water system and the Catskill State Forest, as well as trout fishing receive entire chapters.  It concludes with four chapters on hiking the Catskills and motoring and vacationing there.  Also includes an index.  Possibly we'll publish this in three sections as downloads.

The Catskill Mountains and the Region Around, by the Rev. Charles Rockwell (1869)

351 pages.  Interesting articles -- chapters -- about historical and then-current cultural matters.  There's an entire chapter on Thomas Cole, the painter, reminiscences about the Catskill Mountain House, the usual articles about life in the wilds of the Catskills in bygone years.  In addition, there's a map and some drawings.  This was not one we were familiar with when we acquired it, but it looks like a good addition to a Catskill Mountains CD-ROM at some point in the future.  What do you think?  Possibly we'll offer sections as downloads in the interim.

 
Ulster County was one of the original counties of New York State.  In 1797 a portion of present-day Delaware County was taken from it, in 1800 a portion of present-day Greene County, and subsequently, in 1809, Sullivan County was separated.  Please see our Delaware County page, our Greene County page, and our Sullivan County page for more information about those counties.

 

We offer a large number of New York State titles, including many from neighboring counties.  CLICK HERE to return to our New York State page

 

 

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