Local History Talk: The History and Work of Preserving the Jan Van Hoesen House

The Jan Van Hoesen House on Route 66

The library History Room presents the latest in its Local History Speaker Series: The History and Work of Preserving the Jan Van Hoesen House by Ed Klingler on Thursday, April 26 at 6pm. If you have driven by this distinctive Dutch colonial style house on Route 66 near the Dutch Village Mobile Home Park and wondered about its mysterious presence, now is your chance to learn about its history and significance!

The program’s speaker, Ed Klingler, is a co-founder of the Van Hoesen House Historical Foundation and has been a builder specializing in accurate historic restorations for over forty years – an interest cultivated in him by the Van Hoesen house as a child growing up in Columbia County in the 1960’s. Continue reading

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Celebrating the Life of Megan Carr-Wilks at Women’s History Event

Assemblymember Didi Barrett will be hosting a celebration of the life of former NYPD officer and Hudson resident Megan Carr-Wilks on Friday, March 23 at 4pm in the library’s Community Room. The event coincides with the release of the fifth volume of Assemblymember Barrett’s “Women’s History in the Hudson Valley: Ten Stories from Columbia and Dutchess Counties” booklet in celebration of Women’s History Month. Megan Carr-Wilks is one of ten remarkable Hudson Valley women honored in this year’s booklet. The event is open to the public.

Megan’s family and friends will share stories about her life and contributions to our community. Megan was an officer with the NYPD during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and later moved to Hudson where she worked as a School Resource Officer with the Hudson City School District. She passed away in 2017 from cancer related to her service as a first-responder during 9/11. Continue reading

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The Library Partners with Leisler Institute & Gotham Center on Local History Talk on Native Americans

The Jacob Leisler Institute, in cooperation with Hudson Area Library and the Gotham Center for New York History, will present Natives on the Land: American Indians in the Mid-Hudson Valley by Dr. William A. Starna on Thursday, April 19 at 6pm at the library.

William Starna is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the State University of New York, Oneonta. He is a long-time student of the Iroquoian and Algonquian peoples of eastern North America, in addition to federal and state Indian relations. He has received several fellowships including from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Senior Fellowship at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, and a New York State Library Research Residency. Dr. Starna is a Fellow of the New York Academy of History and a member of the board of trustees, The Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History. For many years Starna was a consultant with the Native American Rights Fund and has worked with over twenty American Indian tribes on land claims, treaty rights, and the federal acknowledgement process. He has written many books and articles on Native American and colonial history.

A question and answer period and refreshments will follow the talk. For more information email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518.828.1792 x101, or visit the main desk in the library.

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Local History Speaker Series: The General Worth Hotel: Hudson’s Second Grand Home

Join us for the Local History Speaker series presentation “The General Worth Hotel: Hudson’s Second Grand Home” by Gary Sheffer on Thursday, March 22 at 6pm.

Many long-time Hudsonians remember the dying days of The General Worth Hotel at 215 Warren Street: the collapsing ceilings, the rotted windows, and the omnipresent pigeons. The glorious life of this once-grand hotel came to an end in 1969, when it was razed after it was deemed a public health and safety hazard — despite the fact that it had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more than 100 years, this urban Greek Revival hotel was the cultural and hospitality center of Hudson, with waiters and waitresses speeding across a black-and-white tile floor to serve dinner to patrons, wedding celebrants, and the regulars. Named after Hudson’s most famous resident, General William Jenkins Worth (as in Fort Worth, Texas), the hotel was built in 1836-37 when Hudson was a bustling port city. Writer Henry James allegedly arrived for dinner in 1905, “with two ladies and a French poodle.” Told the dog was not welcome, he dined elsewhere.

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History Room & Friends of Hudson Area Library Book Sale!

Our History Room Committee and the Friends of the Hudson Area Library will be partnering for the second time on a book sale in the Community Room on Saturday, March 24, 10am-2pm. This is a rare opportunity to purchase very unique books on local history as well as new and gently used books on a variety of subjects including art books as well as CDs and DVDs.   Continue reading

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Local History Speaker Series talk in Collaboration with the Leisler Institute

The Jacob Leisler Institute, in cooperation with the library, will present Libelers, Monsters, and Rebels: The Jacob Leisler Institute and Research into New York’s Neglected English Colonial Period on Thursday, February 22 at 6pm at the library. During this local history talk David Voorhees will discuss the Zenger Trial, the Claverack Giant and local Native tribes, the so-called Negro Conspiracy of 1741, and, of course, Jacob Leisler and the 1689-1691 Leisler’s Rebellion. The focus of this event will be on the integration of various European ethnic groups into a broader English colonial melting pot (Huguenots, Germans, Dutch, English, etc), and on the English manorial and political systems which continue to impact this region today.

A question and answer period and refreshments will follow the talk. For more information email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518.828.1792 x101, or visit the main desk in the library.

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Get Your Photo Taken With Your Former Self or a Relative in a Hudson High Yearbook!

Thanks to Library Clerk Anne Terwilliger and History Room volunteer Dan Miller, we now have over 100 years of Hudson High School Yearbooks in our History Room collection (1914 – 2017)! We discovered our young people are very interested in getting their photos taken with a parent’s yearbook photo (Larry Walker, Jr., pictured here, posing with the photo of Larry Walker, Sr. began this craze).

In celebration of our new seven-day schedule, on Sunday, February 11 from 1-4pm, we have the volunteer services of Tom Buckner, a local photographer, who will take your picture with your graduation photo or the graduation photo of a relative from the near or distant past. This is a free service and we will send you the digital file for your use. To make an appointment for a photo session email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org with your name, the yearbook date and name of person in the photo and we will give you an appointment.

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Local History Speaker Series: The History of the Black Community in Hudson

From the collection of Toni Cross, Shiloh Baptist Church, 1954

Our next Local History Speaker series is a collaboration with the SBK Social Justice Center’s Barbershop Talks. “The History of the Black Community in Hudson” will take place in the Library’s Community Room on Thursday, February 8 at 6pm.

Local long-time Hudson residents will speak on their roots in and/or migration to Hudson. They will discuss remembrances of  the Hudson they grew up in and what Hudson is like now. These local recollections of family, community, and civic life will be explored in relation to public affairs issues around the topics of education, criminal justice, health and human services, and quality of life on the local, state, and national level, with an emphasis on how it affects minorities and people of color. Continue reading

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