Author Archives: hillsdalehistorians

The Parla Foster House: A Brief History

At the corner of Rts. 22 and 23 sits an imposing brick house built circa 1783-1790 by a man named Parla Foster. Although the house is listed in the Historic Hillsdale Resource Survey as being in the Federal style, it … Continue reading

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Blog for the Common Man

It can be tempting to think of our town history in terms of its founding fathers, historic houses, and seminal events. But like the history of most small towns, those people, places and occasions serve as punctuation marks in the … Continue reading

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The Millionaire Next Door: John K. Cullin

Most residents of Hillsdale probably drive right by the Civil War monument in the center of town without even noticing it anymore. But the “Soldiers and Sailors Flag Bearer” memorial is worthy of notice because it is the sole Civil … Continue reading

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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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