Author Archives: hillsdalehistorians

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hail to the Chiefs: 100 Years of the Hillsdale Fire Department

  The Internet is amazing. You start out looking for one thing, only to find something else so fascinating it sucks up the hours you were planning to spend on the first thing. This happens to us a lot. This … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Envisioning Education for Everyone: The Harlemville Schoolhouse

Almost 140 years ago the tidy, bright green building at the intersection of Harlemville Rd. and County Route 21C was constructed as a public schoolhouse for the residents of Harlemville, a hamlet in northwest Hillsdale.  In 1880 Harlemville numbered 100 … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments