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FALL FESTIVALS IN THE HUDSON VALLEY

What a beautiful Fall Saturday it was!  Finally, (for all of you that follow me) my “honey” and I were back to our “Hudson Valley ‘Travelingselves’” this past weekend!  Yippee, we were so excited as there were so many apple festivals, farmer’s markets and craft fairs along with the very early stages of the beautiful fall foliage, we couldn’t wait to jump in the car.  I need to warn you, because we haven’t been out ‘n about in while, we tried to visit a few of the many activities taking place so this post may be a tad longer than normal but hopefully you’ll be intrigued and want to read to the end.

Our first stop was the 4th Annual Hudson Valley Bounty Festival held at the Cluett Schantz Memorial Park in the tiny hamlet of Milton, NY.  Milton and Marlboro are hamlets of the Town of Marlborough, New York.

Pictures from the HVBF:

Nestled on the banks of the Hudson River, half way between Albany and New York City, this community (in Ulster County) represents the very heart of the Hudson valley.  Marlborough is an active farming community, with some of the best fruit and vegetable  products in the Hudson Valley.

As we drove along 299 (just outside of New Paltz which was our afternoon stop) we were stunned when we saw the many many many different apple festivals, farmer’s markets, etc. taking place in and around the Hudson Valley.

This mid-Hudson Valley area offers everything from scenic views, farms where you can pick the freshest fruits & produce, vineyards for you to sip the finest wines, savor the agri-cuisine, go horse back riding, relax at luxurious modern spas, stay the night for a wonderful weekend get-away at beautiful B&B’s, browse the eclectic shops, take in the magnificent; river, valley, mountains & bucolic views.  Psst, can you tell I love the Hudson Valley! LOL!

An absolute unexpected treat was the entertainment!  I’m so excited to have found a great new band and to learn they are from the Hudson Valley!  We were so impressed with John Cary & George Segnit of the Hudson Ridge Band that I’ve already purchased their CD!  

Take a minute to listen/watch my video here and you too will fall in love with this band!

And then we were absolutely thrilled to see the legendary Pete Seeger!   At 91 he is amazing!  Listen and watch my videos here as he performs one of my favorites Sailin’ Up, Sailin’ Down (ringtone available) which is about cleaning up the Hudson River – most likely sailing on the beautiful sloop Clearwater.  Pete Seeger launched the Clearwater in 1969 to clean up the Hudson River.  I would like to encourage you to help support the sloop Clearwater, consider making a donation or purchasing a great t-shirt from their store!

Watch and listen and Pete Seeger again captivated us as everyone stopped to sing alone with this legend and friend of the Hudson Valley.

As you know, I grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and wouldn’t trade it for the world.  My love of the river and the entire Hudson Valley grows deeper as I get older and can appreciate all the history behind our beautiful region including the history of Verplanck.  Stories of how Henry Hudson’s Halfmoon is reported to have dropped anchor in the waters off Verplanck.  NY Times Article dated March 8, 1896 refers to the date of  August 24, 1683 when Verplanck was purchased from the Indians for “wampum, rum, beer, knives, and trinkets”.

I cherish the many stories my father has told me about when he and his friends would swim across the river from Steamboat Dock in Verplanck.  I remember my father taking us in our boat over to the Hudson River National Defense Fleet of ships and listening to his stories of how he and his friends used to swim the length of these ships underwater! These ships are huge, and as a child they were enormous!   My father has told me stories of how brickyards and the ice industry were major industries for Verplanck.

The following was taken from a commemorative roadside plaque on Riverview Ave in Verplanck:

“In the 1840s John Henry, the principal landowner of Verplanck’s Point at that time, opened the first brickyard north of Steamboat Dock. In 1884, there were 10 separate brickyards operating in Verplanck, employing about 425 men, mostly Irish immigrants. The brick making season lasted about 150 days and the combined output of the yards was apx. 60 million brick per year. At the beginning of the 20th century the clay deposits were becoming exhausted and the brick-making era was coming to a close. By 1914 there were only 2 yards operating in Verplanck.”

This 1891 map of this area by F. W. Beers shows many brick companies in this general region. Right on Verplanck’s Point, it lists the Bonner Brick Company to the north and the Hudson River Brick Company to the south. More brick companies were located to the south in Montrose and Crugers (Jones, F.W. Seward and Bellefuille). These yards were later operated by OBRIEN and today is the Montrose Point State Forest. Here’s a Trail Map. Farther south in Crugers was the L. H. Lynch Co. yard.

Lake Meahagh (which was literally my backyard) is actually an artificial lake created by the Knickerbocker Ice Company to ship ice to New York City residents.  Having the sounds of the ducks and swans as my lullaby each night I beleive is also responsible for my love of living on the water!

To read more about the Hudson River,  check out the Google book The Hudson, a guide book to the river by Arthur G. Adams.

At the bounty festival we also discovered Luigi’s Infused Oils!      Their oil is amazing!  All ingredients locally grown and yes, for those of you that follow me, we did purchase the Sun-Dried Tomato oil! I was thrilled to see the back of their business card actually shared a few tips & suggestions! Their oil may be purchased from a variety of retail locations in and around the Hudson Valley.

We loved meeting Diana Henry from Quimby Farm and sampling her delicious jams and jellies.  They grow their own berries to make this “wonderful” jams and jellies.

After leaving the bounty festival we stumbled upon a sign that read “festival” with an arrow.  Yes, you guessed it, we turned to see what it was and we came upon our 2nd stop of the day at the    DuBois Farm in Highland and their “Fall Into Fall” festival!  This 54 acre farm was voted Best Pick-Your-Own in the Mid-Hudson Valley.  The orchards seem to go on and on.  They provide a pumpkin patch area, you can shop for fresh apple cider and donuts,    lunch and overall spend the day enjoying a day on the farm! .  There are a variety of events scheduled between now and November 7th so if you are looking for a great way to spend a weekend picking your own apples DuBois Farm is the place!

Some pictures from the farm:

Next stop was the   The 21th Annual Huguenot Street App le Festival & Craft Fair in New Paltz.   Huguenot Street is rich in history.  Huguenot Street is now a National Historic Landmark and was created to preserve the oldest continuously inhabited street in America with its original houses, a wonderful collection exhibiting Dutch vernacular architecture and furnishings. My personal favorite was the Deyo Houseone of the twelve (12) original houses.  The principle houses on Huguenot Street were built surrounding the turn of the 17th into the 18th centuries, from 1680′s through the first decates of the 18th century. Descendants of the first families lived in them for hundreds of years and some were adapted for their changing needs.  The twelve originals patentees were:

The twelve patentees were:

  1. Louis DuBois and his sons,
  2. Abraham DuBois and
  3. Isaac DuBois
  4. Christian Deyo and his son,
  5. Pierre Deyo
  6. Simon LeFevre and his brother,
  7. Andries LeFevre
  8. Jean Hasbrouck and his brother,
  9. Abraham Hasbrouck
  10. Antoine Crispell
  11. Louis Bevier
  12. Hugo Freer

The streets will filled with various local craftsmen & women, local bakers, local painters, and more! We sampled a couple homemade apple fritters that were absolutely delicious, darn, wish I could bake them that good!

We had an amazing day traveling around Ulster County this past weekend.  We were a little disappointed that there wasn’t as much color/fall foliage as I had expected.  The weekend before, we had traveled up to the city of Hudson in Columbia County to visit Taconic Orchards with my parents & brother and we were thrilled to see the early stages of the fall colors peaking in and out of the trees.

Looks like we will just have to go back to the beautiful mid-Hudson region in a week or two if we want to see the display of colors in it’s peak!!

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!

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