Rondout: A Hudson River Port - Purple Mountain Press


by Bob Steuding

From the conclusion:

"At first, after the bulldozers left, it looked like the Rondout was not going to make it. . . .But within a decade or so . . . Rondout began to come to life again. Never without its supporters, in 1970 a community development organization was formed to rehabilitate the Strand. . . . Nine years later, Rondout and the West Strand were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

If Rondout no longer throbs with the rich, full beat of industry and commerce, as it once did years ago; if the Mary Powell and the Jacob H. Tremper no longer stream into the creek; if cement is no longer mined under Hasbrouck Park and bluestone is no finished at Fitch's stoneyard in Wilbur near the railroad bridge; if ice is left in the river uncut, and bricks no longer bake at North Street out near the point; if Julia Dillon and Catherine Murdock no longer follow their daily round, and the memory of Rondout's patriotic schoolteacher, Joseph Corbin, who died during the first day of battle at Gettysburg, is forgotten; if the Dutch and the Indians who traded in Rondout have long ago returned to the soil, and the red hair of Rondout's founder, Thomas Chambers, is turned to dust; if all this is gone-the human hopes, the fevent dreams, the artful deals-somehow, Rondout, although altered, has not been lost. If not renewed, as many hoped, or even reborn as a copy of its former self, Rondout has nonetheless survived. For once again, miraculously, Rondout has been transformed."

This book is a tale of floods, fires and plagues, of commercial enterprise and the acquisition of vast, untazed fortunes as well as the expression of public spiritedness in both peace and war. From its early days of Dutch settlement to the boom years in the nineteenth century after the construction of the Deleware and Hudson Canal to the final flowering of rondout at Kingston Point, this book portrays the vibrant, often rambunctiousm life of one of the Hudson's greatest ports and the characters who built it.

Bob Steuding teaches humanities at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge. He is also the author of The Last of the Handmade Dams: The Story of the Ashokan Reservoir, The Heart of the Catskills and A Catskill Mountain Journal published by Purple Mountain Press.

208 pages, 50 illustrations, 7 x 10
$19.00 paperback--A Purple Mountain Press original, second printing 2009

Copyright © 2009 Purple Mountain Press. All rights reserved.