A Taste of History

A Traveling House Party Along the Hudson River

This year, the New Baltimore Conservancy’s annual Taste of History event will be held on June 17th.

Proceeds of this event are used toward funding the annual scholarship, given by the Conservancy to a graduating, local, high school senior with a strong background of activities and work to support the community.

Taste of History: June 17

A Little About New Baltimore

The hamlet of New Baltimore coalesced around a landing and anchorage on the Hudson River during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Shipbuilding began in the 1790s and by 1800, the landing had several dozen houses and taverns and was named New Baltimore. Several Dutch families settled in the community along with a number of Rhode Islanders. New Baltimore had the advantage of being situated below bars which often obstructed navigation to Albany. The hamlet thrived on shipbuilding and the sloop trade on the river and beyond.

Shipbuilding became a major source of employment in the nineteenth century. The Baldwin shipyard was founded in 1858 and built more than 100 steamboats, tugboats, and barges. The marine railway built-in 1884 remains on Mill St. at the center of the yard’s historic operations. The ice industry operated a series of icehouses north and south of the hamlet as well as across the river on Houghtaling Island. The hamlet
became urban in scale boasting fine churches, stylish houses, and several hotels.

New Baltimore declined after World War I. Wooden shipbuilding was no longer competitive and the ice industry collapsed as a result of health concerns and
mechanical refrigeration. Destructive fires hollowed out the historic business district between 1897 and 1919. Labor moved to the cities. Efforts to clean up the Hudson River and a renewed interest in historic architecture brought new people to the hamlet beginning in the 1970s. The hamlet was entered on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 1996 and a number of historic houses have been thoughtfully rehabilitated during the past several decades.

Tickets are $30 per person. You can purchase online here or at the door.

What is Taste of History?

It’s an event that celebrates the beauty of historic homes in the Hamlet of New Baltimore and provides a lovely evening of people getting together to relax, get to know each other and especially, to enjoy the creations of our local talented cooks! We’ll have a selection of appetizers at the first two houses and desserts at house #3. Wine will be served along with other beverages at each house.

We will share some history of our three host homes, each of which reflects the beautiful architecture of the area.

Schedule of Events:

We begin at 6 pm at the first home, 1139 Rte.144, with appetizers. This house high atop Route 144 has a huge, overlook view of the area.

At 7 pm we continue on to home #2, 336 Main Street in the hamlet of New Baltimore, with a beautiful view of the Hudson River from above and more delectable finger foods.

At 8 pm we continue our evening with a brief stroll down Mill Street, right along the Hudson to home #3, 42 Mill Street, to enjoy wonderful desserts with outdoor seating right along the river and from atop an outside porch.

Homes are within walking distance of each other.  Note that parking is limited in the hamlet. Suggestions for parking include the Post Office, at house #1, or at Cornell Park.

Here is a map of this year’s traveling house party:

While enjoying the traveling house party, you may also enjoy our self-guided walking tour:

Our First Home: Susan O’Rourke and John Cashin

1139 NYS Rt. 144 (River Road)

Rev. James A. H. Cornell Homestead Farm. The Pastor served in the New Baltimore Dutch Reformed Church from 1843 to 1848. He served many congregations throughout his career but until his death, and that of his wife, Mariette, they always considered this community their home. Frank Easterbrook and his wife, Florence, purchased the property in 1922. Frank, a chemist, established a glass works, “Easterbrook Test Tubes” on the farm which may account for the various out buildings.

Our Second Home: Terrence and Maria Flannery

336 Main Street

Eagle Tavern “Brick Tavern Stand” was built circa 1828 by Stephen Ayrault, a partner in a sloop repair business. A dry-dock was built behind the Tavern. In 1850, the Tavern was purchased by, shipowner, Joseph Sherman. Joseph’s son-in-law, Judge M. Smith, a prominent criminal lawyer in New York City, and his wife used the Tavern as a summer home. In 1901, it was purchased by Dr. Percy Waller, serving as his home and medical practice.

Our Third Home: Kelton and Eilleen Vosburgh

42 Mill Street

Steamboat Office built circa 1845 by Gildersleeve Bedell. When sold in 1847, the property included a dock and steamboat office. In 1852, while under the ownership of Jeremiah Hyatt, the New York State Governor granted Letters of Patent for adjoining lands lying in the Hudson River, for docking purposes. Until 1941, it was owned by various families whose men plied their trade on the Hudson River.