Local History
How the west once was: Art and culture in West Saugerties

How the west once was: Art and culture in West Saugerties

Old-timer Sam Boyce was walking down West Saugerties Rd. (now West Saugerties–Woodstock Rd.) on a late spring day some 20-plus years ago. Passing a house about a mile past his driveway that until recently had been unoccupied, he stopped to talk with the new neighbor. “Now, are you folks weekenders,” he inquired, “or are you…...
A light in the dark

A light in the dark

In this month of long nights, we celebrate light. Candlesticks are ceremoniously lit, and strings of light bulbs are draped along gutters and trees. Lest we forget, we are reminded that, once upon a time, light was precious and not easy to come by. Nowadays, when strings of light-emitting diodes can be purchased by the...
Saugerties historic oversight shakeup debated

Saugerties historic oversight shakeup debated

Some fear the return to the bad old days, adult theaters and boarded up buildings Others portray Review Board as obstructionist, needlessly spoiling innocent business deals Homeowner says board’s intervention made selling his house impossible; tells village to buy it Review Board member charges merger won’t save time or money; mayor disagrees Village Board will...
Village should bring in pros to survey historic district, says Review Board chair

Village should bring in pros to survey historic district, says Review Board chair

The village should hold off on passing a revision to its zoning law until a professional study of its historic district boundaries is done, said Review Board chair Richard Frisbie. “The village’s two historic districts are a decade overdue for updating the original survey,” Frisbie said. “The state (Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation)...
Sawyer Savings calls off house demolition, citing public opinion

Sawyer Savings calls off house demolition, citing public opinion

Sawyer Savings has shelved plans to purchase and demolish a Partition St. home to expand its parking lot and construct a drive-through ATM, citing negative publicity. The decision has Mayor William Murphy furious at village historic preservationists, sarcastically saying he’s “glad they think they know what’s best for everyone… This is two major improvements now...
Public hearing on historic oversight board shakeup, zoning changes

Public hearing on historic oversight board shakeup, zoning changes

A much-anticipated public hearing will be held Monday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. at Village Hall, 43 Partition St. The proposed law would: Merge the five-member village Historic Review and Village Planning boards to create a seven-member Planning Commission which would have the oversight powers of both, including ensuring development within the village’s two historic...
Plan to merge historic, planning boards gets warm reception

Plan to merge historic, planning boards gets warm reception

The Village Board’s plan to combine the Planning and Historic Review boards to streamline the approval process for projects within the village’s two historic districts was praised at its most recent meeting. Review Board member Jonathan Shapiro said a combined board “will be more efficient.” Other speakers painted a picture of a board overzealous and...
Historical Society needs help heating Kiersted House

Historical Society needs help heating Kiersted House

As the nights turn cold, Marjorie Block’s mind turns to thoughts of heat. The village historian and president of the Saugerties Historical Society said $3,000 is needed to heat the 18th-century stone house that serves as the society’s headquarters and repository for Saugerties antiquities. Block said the thermostat is set at around 55 degrees and,...
Village may merge planning, historic boards

Village may merge planning, historic boards

The Saugerties Village Board is considering combining the village planning and historic review boards to speed up the application process for projects, but past and present Review Board members say the real motivation is to get the board out of the way. All new construction and renovations (including signage) within the village business district and...
History Day at Kiersted House

History Day at Kiersted House

Photos by David Gordon   A rainy morning didn’t stop the planned celebration of local history Saturday, Oct. 11, but it did slow it down. The usual demonstrations of Native American and colonial life that generally fill the lawn were reduced to just two. Stuart Lehman, dressed in period garb, showed his collection of antique...
Lighthouse gets funds for storm repairs

Lighthouse gets funds for storm repairs

The Saugerties Lighthouse is among 14 historically significant properties in New York State that will receive grants to address damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012. The 145-year-old landmark that has become the go-to symbol of Saugerties since its restoration in the late-’80s will get $175,000. “We are grateful for these much needed...
Village: Dragon Inn attracting kids, vulture, maybe a bear

Village: Dragon Inn attracting kids, vulture, maybe a bear

While preservationists still hold out hope for a buyer who will restore the Dragon Inn to its Gilded Age glory, in the near term, the broken down structure has become an unsafe playground for neighborhood children. The village wants owner Ching Ya Wu to board the place up and put up a fence. Last winter...