history-genealogy site

This is a site where I will discuss my family genealogy research and related history. When a blog deals with a particular family group, I will try to include it in the title so uninterested people can skip it without skimming it. It is my hope to get feedback on research methods, family members and historical context from other historians, genealogists, and researchers. (c) Barbara L. de Mare 2006, 2007

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Location: Englewood, New Jersey, United States

Friday, June 09, 2006

Salt Point & other Dutchess County reminiscences

I know--my posting has been remiss as of late. I spent a week in Paris, and then had to try to catch up at work. There has been a thread running through the Dutchess County list for the last two days about the history of the corner of Main and Catherine Sts in Poughkeepsie. At the same time, the Connecticut list has had a thread of reminiscences about life in a small Connecticut town in the 50s (can't find the name). I was thus compelled to reply with my reminiscences of Dutchess County in the 50s. Here's what I wrote in response to a listing of fondly-remembered stores on Main Street, Poughkeepsie: Ginny,
Our annual trip to Lucky Platt and Wallaces, usually with an aunt in Salt Point, was a high light. I drove down Main Street a month ago and wasn't even sure where they had been. Nothing looked like the buildings--of course I was driving and my 20 year old niece who was with me never heard of them. Are the buildings still there?

This also reminds me of why I was in Poughkeepsie that day. While touring Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery and talking to my niece, I realized she knew nothing about the area in general and Salt Point in articular. It created a panic that I was probably the only one of my generation with genealogical interest who would remember the town.

The next day we drove through Poughkeepsie and took pictures of the theater my mother used to frequent when she cut classes in High School (cell phone call to her confirmed correct theater). Once in Salt Point we went all around town taking pictures of everything I remembered: my paternal grandparents house on Hibernia Road, my uncle's house next door, De la Verge's store and their house across the Street, the Presbyterian Church and my paternal grandparents headstones in the churchyard, the house on Cottage St. my maternal grandparents lived in for a couple of summers when living in the same house with my aunt and uncle no longer worked (it was originally my grandparents farm, but oldest son got it before I remember. He then gave my grandparents a home for summer; they wintered in Florida), my grandparents big house on Allen Road which subsequently belonged to my aunt and uncle, the house my uncle built for my grandparents, the one-room school house my mother attended, then back down Allen Road past Hazel Rogers house, Ethel Timmers house, Doc Allen's house. I also tried to photograph the hill where we went tobogganing with our cousins, and Allen Road itself where we would sled until the sand truck came. In my mother's day there were no sand trucks or snow plows, so they could make it all the way down Allen Road from Broadview (my grandparent's original farm) to Clifford Buck's house in the village. Then we went over to Clinton Corners to the Grange Hall where my grandparents met and to the cemetery where my maternal grandparents are buried.

On the way back to New Jersey we stopped in Beacon where my great-aunt had lived with her parents while teaching school there. Now I was really stretching my mind. She moved in with us in 1953, the end of third grade for me. We found the old high school without much trouble, and St. Luke's Church which she attended is right on Route 9D through town. I had my laptop computer with me which had the address on Verplanck St. where she lived when my great-grandmother died in 1945. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the house I had visited as a young child. In those days we had to take the ferry across the River; there was no bridge. The only house we found to have been torn down in the whole weekend adventure was the Beacon house on South Cedar Street where my great-aunt lived when her father died in 1931.

Getting all these pictures taken made me feel much better; I knew that to some extent these memories weren't lost and gone forever. My 20 yr old niece knows what the pictures are of, and she wrote a commentary. Now she is going to do a Power Point show. Anyone have any ideas how to get oral descriptions to go with the Power Point show? Anyone make it this far through my nostalgic moment?

The H-Connecticut website has had a thread going of memories of a little Connecticut town. It and this post once again reminded me of my March trip to Dutchess County. I should do the same thing for places where I actually lived, but sadly the house I grew up in in Columbia County (near Linlithgo) is no longer there--an historic house torn down by the subsequent owner solely to lower taxes. Fortunately I have a couple of old pictures of it.

Thank you Ginny for this nostalgic moment. Now I just have to go to Pleasant Valley for the Howe house and my great-grandparents graves and great-aunt's tombstone in St. Paul's churchyard so I can do an all Dutchess presentation.

Barbara

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