Author Archives: hillsdalehistorians

The Bernsteins of Hillsdale

We recently stumbled on an interesting piece of Hillsdale trivia: one of our more prominent residents was the legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein, of course, was a fixture at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home, Tanglewood, for some 50 years, … Continue reading

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

As we greet the New Year, the Historians of Hillsdale decided to look back over our first 2.5 years in the role. We’ve very much enjoyed being the town’s historians. Although we have only lived in Hillsdale for five years, … Continue reading

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The Perils of Parsimony, 1881

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The Perils of Parsimony, 1881

The following cautionary tale was published in the November 24, 1881 issue of the Hillsdale Harbinger. A THANKSGIVING STORY “The Badgerleys coming here to spend Thanksgiving?” said Mrs. Nettingley. “Not if I know it.” Mrs. Nettingley was a close-fisted and … Continue reading

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The Writing Life: James Agee in Hillsdale

James Agee was a commanding literary voice in mid-20th-century America: an extraordinarily versatile writer who in his lifetime won acclaim as a novelist, poet, and screenwriter. He is buried on a farm in Hillsdale. That’s not big news. But we’ve also … Continue reading

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Hillsdale Goes to Work

Americans will soon be celebrating Labor Day, so it’s a good time to look back on the history of work in Hillsdale. From Hillsdale’s earliest days, farming was a major occupation, although not an easy one to pursue. The rocky, … Continue reading

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Rent Riots, Rebels and Revolution: How Hillsdale Helped Win the American War for Independence

At the southeast corner of Routes 22 and 23 stands Hillsdale’s Revolutionary War memorial, which was erected in 1977. Compared to the imposing Soldiers and Sailors monument in the town square, it is modest in size and design. It’s likely … Continue reading

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Don’t Have a Cow!

Over the years, a number of celebrities have lived in or visited Hillsdale. Some were not famous when they lived here but achieved celeb status elsewhere. But Hillsdale was always “home.” A case in point was Hudson River School painter … Continue reading

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New Life for “The Old Agway”

If you have passed the intersection of Anthony Street and White Hill Lane in Hillsdale Hamlet, you have probably seen the flurry of activity happening at the old Agway building. Owners Steve and Kathy Bluestone are restoring the three-story structure … Continue reading

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What’s In A Name?

Recently, we came upon a 1976 article from the Roe Jan Independent about the origin of some of the more colorful road names in the Roe Jan area. Ironically, the author of the article was Tim Belknap, who was a … Continue reading

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