Odds Against Tomorrow: Screening & Discussion

Program Description: The library’s History Room is pleased to present a special screening & discussion of Odds Against Tomorrow with documentary filmmaker David McDonald. Odds Against Tomorrow is a 1959 film starring Harry Belafonte that was filmed in Hudson and New York City and used many Hudsonians for cast and crew. There will be a preview of McDonald’s trailer for his documentary in progress about the filming of Odds Against Tomorrow and a discussion about the film, followed by the screening.

Date/Time: Thursday, June 28 from 6-8pm.

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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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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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Local History Talk: The History of the Robert Jenkins House

Image available via Gossips of Rivertown

Join us Sunday, December 3 at 3pm for a Local History Speaker Series talk, “The History of the Robert Jenkins House, a home in Hudson” by Jeane La Porta and Pat Fenoff. The Robert Jenkins House has been owned by the Hendrick Hudson Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution since 1900. The house was built in 1811 by  Robert Jenkins, son of one of the original Proprietors of the City of Hudson, who went on to serve as third and fifth mayor of Hudson.
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Peter Cipkowski Speaks on Hudson’s Urban Renewal of the 1970s

By popular demand: Peter Cipkowski will offer a repeat of this talk on Thursday, November 2 at 6pm in the Library’s Community Room.

Chipp’s Market, 39 South Front Street, opposite Franklin Square.

Join us for the latest in our Local History Speaker series: A Brief History of Hudson’s Experience with Urban Renewal” by Peter Cipkowski on Thursday, October 26 at 6pm. Cipkowski will give an illustrated talk about Hudson’s urban renewal in the 1970s, a massive undertaking that impacted hundreds of families and changed the city forever.

The presentation, based on historical documents and conversations with project leaders and local residents, will provide both context and an overview of how, and why, urban renewal unfolded in Hudson. It will address many of the questions we all wonder about: How was the urban renewal project funded? What were its original objectives? Did it succeed in meeting its goals? What was lost? Was it worth it? What has the experience taught us about planning, preservation, and economic growth? How did it compare with similar projects in the Hudson Valley and beyond? What lessons, if any, are there for us as Hudson continues to evolve? Continue reading

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The Hudson Residence of Charles Alger

Engraving of the Charles C. Alger residence in Hudson, NY, 1858.

Engraving of the Charles C. Alger residence in Hudson, NY, 1858.

The History Room Committee of the Hudson Area Library as part of its Local History Speaker Series, is pleased to present The Hudson Residence of Charles C. Alger and His Patronage of Architect Alexander Jackson Davis, by Walter G. Ritchie, Jr.
This presentation is free and will be held on Thursday, December 1 at 6:00pm. in the Community Room.

In 1848, Charles Coffey Alger (1809-1874), a Massachusetts iron manufacturer, organized in conjunction with a number of Hudson’s leading businessmen the Hudson Iron Company. Designed by Alger, the new iron works went into operation in 1851, the same year that he built at the corner of Allen and Second Streets in Hudson a picturesque Gothic Revival brick house embellished with bargeboards, finials, and eared drip moldings. The residence, described by a local newspaper in 1867 as “a correct specimen of gothic architecture,” was a well-known landmark for many years, situated on a large property that extended down a slope to Cross Street. This lecture will discuss Alger’s house at 59 Allen Street and also address his patronage of the noted 19th-century New York architect Alexander Jackson Davis (1803-1892), who designed or remodeled at least three other residences for Alger.

This presentation will be held in the Community Room on the first floor of the Hudson Area Library, with wheelchair access. Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The History Room Committee’s Local History Speaker Series offers free monthly talks on diverse topics related to the history of Hudson, Greenport, Stockport, and Columbia County. The Hudson Area Library’s History Room houses a special collection that pertains to the history of the City of Hudson, as well as Columbia County and New York State. The History Room is open to the public on Saturdays from 10am-12pm, and by appointment.

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Local History Speaker Series – Hudson’s Ukrainian Community

ukrainianimageJoin us on Thursday, November 3 at 6:00pm in the library’s Community Room for a Local History Speaker Series event focused on Hudson’s historic Ukrainian community.

The history of the Ukrainian community in Columbia County dates back to the 19th century, when immigrants from western Ukraine moved to this area. Learn about why they settled here and how they developed a community in Hudson. Guest speakers Reverend Richard Washburn and Rosa Pfeil will discuss the 200 year history of the Ukrainian churches in Hudson, as well as Ukrainian heritage, traditions and holiday celebrations that are still observed today.
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