Tag Archives: Dutchess County NY History

RESEARCH DESTINATIONS~ Beacon Historical Society

Beacon, Dutchess County, NY

The exhibit “Whispers of the Castle Keep” from the Bannerman Castle Trust intrigues me; the suspense builds as I wait until Spring to visit Bannerman Island. 

Vintage Photo of Working Men in Beacon

Beacon Historical Society ; I Hear America Singing

Bricks made from clay dug from the banks of the Hudson River

Beacon Historical Society

Beacon Historical Society holds an ever-expanding collection of interest to local history buffs and family history aficionados. From a reel manufactured by Toy Krofters, a Bookie Blox collection and bricks from local brickyards to business directories and family history files, BHS is a must-visit Hudson Valley site.

The exhibit “Whispers of the Castle Keep” from the Bannerman Castle Trust intrigues me; the suspense builds as I wait until Spring to visit Bannerman Island. From a shield and rifle to a romance which includes illustrations depicting how the bridegroom won his young bride from her intended the Reverend, the collection is well-executed. The docent presents captivating vignettes of selected artifacts. He not only sparks interest in the local history surrounding the Castle but also plays his part in “Keeping NY History Alive”.

Bannerman’s Catalogue of Military Goods

Bannerman, Francis. “Catalogue of Military Goods”. 1907. From the New York Public Library
Bannerman, Francis. “Catalogue of Military Goods”. 1907. From the New York Public Library

Contrary to being a weekend getaway, the castle in “the mighty Hudson” was an arsenal, a storage facility for Francis Bannerman’s military surplus business in New York City. This does not deter me; I will visit Bannerman Island! Stone walls built centuries ago and abandoned buildings lure me as gold mines captured the imaginations of our ancestors.

The treasure is the story yet to be discovered.

VINTAGE RECIPES: The Perfect Pumpkin 10/27/19

“Farm produce with small image of horse in the upper left corner”; chromolithograph. Library of Congress. 1893.

Picking the perfect pumpkin is a family tradition. Whether a miniature or the largest pumpkin in the field is chosen to adorn the front step, much discussion and deliberation ensues. Each year, the trip to the pumpkin field ignites memories beginning with “Remember when…”. The excitement and resulting anticipation heightens while bumping through the field on a wagon ride.

Children spring from the wagon and scatter through the field. Some will choose the first one spotted; others will wander for a while with much consideration; one great thinker seemingly arrives on each wagon ride. The most patient driver becomes restless. The other children begin to call. A set of parents begins to apologize as their child carries several pumpkins to a central location and checks for imperfections. Those that do not make the final cut may have a speck of dirt, a rough patch, or perhaps a slightly irregular shape, but the child knows that there is only one “Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”!

The Pumpkin

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin,—our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam,
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Whittier, John Greenleaf. The Pumpkin.

Harvest time on all parts of the farm was busy yet rewarding. In the kitchen, Auntie’s passion for cooking brought joy to family and friends. Each Autumn, I recall the aroma of Auntie’s pumpkin pie.

Auntie’s Recipe for Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 cups of stewed pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 scant pint of milk
  • Bake 45 minutes.
Lee, Russell, photographer. Pumpkins and turnips near Berlin, Connecticut. Library of Congress. October 1939.
Lee, Russell, photographer. Cutting up Pumpkin for Pie. Bakery San Angelo, Texas Library of Congress. November 1939.
Delano, Jack. At the Crouch family Thanksgiving Day dinner. Pumpkin pies. Ledyard, Connecticut. Library of Congress. November 1940