Exposing the shame of enslavement

Professor Andrea C. Mosterman PhD and the book cover of “Spaces of Enslavement: A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York.”

HUDSON—The Hudson Area Library and Leisler Institute co-sponsored an in-person presentation, “Spaces of Enslavement: A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York,” by Professor Andrea C. Mosterman PhD Friday, May 20. Ms. Mosterman is an associate professor at the University of New Orleans. Her areas of expertise are Atlantic history and early American history.

Ms. Mosterman, a Netherlands native, said that her local education included slavery in the United States but did not disclose the role of the Dutch West India Company in the slave trade and early settlement of New Netherland (New York).

The presentation included slides and the first one shown was “Maison des Esclaves” located in Senegal on Goree Island, where captured Africans were held before transport to the “New World.” The slide pictured three doors. The first door is the point of entry and the second door leads to a holding area. The third was known as the “door of no return.”

Africans could be held at the Maison des Esclaves for a few days up to several months until a ship was ready to sail with its human cargo. Ms. Mosterman, who visited Goree Island in July 2010, described the facility as having “thick walls” that let in only “a sliver of light.” She added that conditions were “unsanitary.” Read more…

Plans emerge for Olana intro site

An image of the proposed new visitor’s center at Olana that will be adjacent to the main entry off of 9G. Image contributed

GREENPORT—The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and The Olana Partnership (TOP) held a virtual public information meeting to discuss a proposed new $11 million visitor welcome facility at Olana State Historic Site on Wednesday April 27. The new proposed building will be on the Olana site near the entrance off Route 9G.

Olana, 5720 State Route 9G, was the home and studio of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), a preeminent American artist of the mid-19th century. It is designated a National Historic Landmark administered by OPRHP. TOP, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, offers public tours and educational programs year-round at the site.

“Church designed Olana as a holistic environment integrating his advanced ideas about art, architecture, landscape design, and environmental conservation. Olana’s 250-acre artist-designed landscape with five miles of carriage roads and a Persian-inspired house at its summit embraces unrivaled panoramic views of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains and welcomes more than 200,000 visitors annually. Olana’s landscape is free to all and open daily 8 a.m. to sunset,” according to information from OPRHP.

Linda Cooper, OPRHP regional director, opened the virtual meeting by saying that Olana is a “crown jewel” of the state parks system. She talked about the visitor facility being public and private collaboration and being paid for with public and private funds. Later in the meeting, she said that the project is currently in the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) process and that if there are no issues, construction should start in 2023 with an opening of the building in 2024. But she said that “all depends on everything going smoothly.” Read more…

Pride Festival returns to Hudson after a two year hiatus

HUDSON—June is PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) Month globally.

In celebration of the occasion locally, the City of Hudson embraces and officially welcomes the 13th annual OutHudson LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival, June 1 to 5, with a non-stop schedule of events—day and night around the city.

A May 17 Hudson Common Council Resolution designating and celebrating June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the City says:

“The month of June is nationally recognized and celebrated as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month in commemoration of the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City which marks the birth of the modern-day LGBTQ+ human rights movement…” Read more…

Paper delayed

The printing press at the Berkshire Eagle was not working this morning, delaying publication of the June 2 issue of The Columbia Paper. The Eagle staff repaired the problem as of about 10 a.m. today. As a result, paper deliveries will be delayed by about two to three hours.

We regret the delay and and appreciate your patience.

Thank you,

Parry Teasdale, Publisher

County Training Facility opens in Ghent

Keeler honored for over 2 decades leading county EMS. On May 21, the newly completed PJ Keeler Columbia County Emergency Services and Response Training Facility, 50 Grandinetti Drive, Ghent was dedicated. It is named for PJ Keeler (pictured center in uniform accepting the congratulations of friends) who has been the County EMS Coordinator for the past 22 years. Attending the dedication ceremony and demonstrations were many members of the county EMS fire and law enforcement agencies. For more information on the day’s events see Page 4. Photo by David Lee

Pictured are Ghent firefighters Ryan Francoeur, Rick Juliano and Captain Dan Lamarre demonstrating the car fire burn prop installed at the facility. Photo by David LeePictured are Ghent firefighters Ryan Francoeur, Rick Juliano and Captain Dan Lamarre demonstrating the car fire burn prop installed at the facility. Photo by David Lee

GHENT – On Saturday morning, May 21, the newly-completed P.J. Keeler Columbia Columbia County Emergency Services and Response Training Facility was dedicated. It is located at the end of 50 Grandinetti Drive off Bender Boulevard at the south end of the Columbia County Airport within the Gerald R. Simons Commerce Park.

The Chairman’s Proclamation presented by Columbia County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Matt Murell lists some of the reasons why the facility bears EMS Coordinator P.J. Keeler’s name. Mr. Keeler has been an active member of the A.B. Shaw Fire Company in Claverack for 46 years, a 42-year member of the Greenport Rescue Squad and is credited with leading the effort to create and implement a coordinated EMS system, the first of its kind in the state. He also developed a plan to fund the 2018 state law requiring volunteer firefighters to have insurance coverage for cancer-related illnesses. The Columbia County Volunteer Firefighters Association awarded Mr. Keeler the 2019 “Lifetime Firefighter Achievement Award”

Making presentations on behalf of Mr. Keeler in addition to Chairman Murell were county fire Coordinator George Keeler, Stuyvesant Supervisor Ron Knott, friend and retired Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski, Director or the Columbia County Emergency Management Office David Harrison, and Veterans Service Agency Director Gary Flaherty who presented a proclamation on behalf of state Senator Daphne Jordan (R-43) who was unable to attend. Read more…