Author Archives: hillsdalehistorians

Lost and Found: The Middle Gate Toll House on the Columbia Turnpike

In 1776, the population of New York City was 25,000, second only to Philadelphia in the 13 original American colonies. But that changed quickly. By 1830 more than 185,000 people called themselves New Yorkers. With growth of that magnitude, it … Continue reading

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Of Floods and Picnics: Mysteries Abound

July 23rd, 2018 was 130th anniversary of the Great Flood of Hillsdale. On that morning, a cloudburst dumped 12 inches of rain in one hour on Austerlitz and North Hillsdale, and as far west as Craryville. By comparison, during the … Continue reading

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Vanishing Act

Lauren: We’ve written about Hillsdale cemeteries before, but my imagination has been captured by one in particular: the McKinstry Family Plot on upper Hunt Road. Its beautiful headstones, many still legible, have lain mostly undisturbed for more than 200 years. … Continue reading

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Best Friends and Summertime Memories of Hillsdale

Our guest blogger is Tim Belknap, a former Hillsdale resident. Tim contacted the Historians of Hillsdale in search of information about James Donald “Don” Bell, who practiced law in Hillsdale in the early 20th century. When we heard about his … Continue reading

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Hello Central?

The Historians of Hillsdale recently found themselves wondering when the telephone first came to Hillsdale. This information turned out to be a little trickier to find than we imagined, because of the difference between a telephone and a telephone company. … Continue reading

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In Search of Nobletown

The Historians of Hillsdale love a good mystery and we’ve been trying to solve a big one: where were the boundaries of Nobletown, the predecessor to modern-day Hillsdale? If you are not familiar with Nobletown or the contentious role it … Continue reading

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John Bunyan Bristol: Hillsdale’s Own Hudson River School Artist

Not long ago, the Hillsdale Historians received a request for information about a Hudson River School artist named John Bunyan Bristol. Bristol was a contemporary of Frederic Church and was well respected during his lifetime. His work hangs in the … Continue reading

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The Book Lover: A Visit with Maureen Rodgers

Maureen Rodgers, Bookseller Extraordinaire Rodgers Book Barn, on Rodman Rd. in Hillsdale, celebrated its 45th anniversary this summer. Founded in 1972, it is relatively young by the standards of the Historians of Hillsdale. It is, for example, 196 years younger … Continue reading

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Hillsdale’s Historic Cemeteries, Part 2

Our first guest blogger is Jeanne Kiefer. Jeanne authored most of the content of the Hillsdale Cemetery Report and continues to dig up (no pun intended) rich histories buried in Hillsdale’s Historic Cemeteries. Jeanne lives in far West Hillsdale and … Continue reading

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What’s Scary about Old Cemeteries? Not What You Think

As Halloween approaches, there’s no better time to write about one of our favorite subjects: old cemeteries. We love old cemeteries. They are restful places for contemplation and reflection. Nothing scares us about old cemeteries, except that they are vanishing … Continue reading

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