Exploring The Back Roads of New York State: A Visit to Rosendale, NY

On a Country Road

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Mules along the towpath

Child leading mules on the Delaware and Hudson Canal, believed to be near Rosendale, New York.
Child leading mules on the Delaware and Hudson Canal, believed to be near Rosendale, New York. | Source

Rosendale Cement and the D&H Canal

Walking along the towpath the young man coaxed his mule to pull the barge along the canal. He knew this barge carried a special load headed for New York City. This load of cement was going to mix the base for a new statue from France, they were calling it The Statue of Liberty. After all, this stretch of canal was part of the Delaware and Hudson Canal. He was sending some of the highest quality cement in North America down to New York City!

Imagine how that young man felt? That was back in 1885. The Town of Rosendale was well known for its cement. Rosendale cement was used in the construction of the Capitol Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Starrucca Viaduct, Roebling’s Delaware Aqueduct, and as already mentioned, The Statue of Liberty. This young man knew the cement was going to The Statue of Liberty and he was helping to deliver it!

It seems once the rock was found in Rosendale, the cement industry was on it's way. Rosendale Cement was originally used in the building of the Delaware and Hudson Canal that served as it's mainline to the rest of the world. The Delaware and Hudson Canal, the Rondout Creek, and the Hudson River made that connection.

The original cement works were located in Lawrenceville, just outside the Village of Rosendale. Speaking of Lawrenceville.

Lawrenceville Rosendale Map

This is an old map of the Lawrencevill/Rosendale region.
This is an old map of the Lawrencevill/Rosendale region. | Source

Lawrenceville Road, Rosendale, NY

The house where I spent my summers on Lawrenceville Road.
The house where I spent my summers on Lawrenceville Road. | Source

Lawrenceville...now a road in Rosendale

Originally a place for a cement mill, Lawrenceville is where my folks bought a summer home in 1961. Though we had vacationed in the area, two weeks is not enough time to learn about an area. Once they purchased the house and we started to spend entire summers in Rosenale, I learned a lot more.

The road our house was situated on was called Lawrenceville but has since been renamed Route 213 and is just considered a part of Rosendale. Our house was a little over a mile outside of the then Village of Rosendale. (The Village has since been dissolved and incorporated into the Town of Rosendale.)

The most outstanding thing about Lawrenceville was "The Caves". On the northbound side of the road were some pretty deep caves that were not accessible to foot traffic. When you drove by in the summer though you always stuck your hand out the window to feel the cool air. The caves maintain a temperature of fifty-five degrees all year round. To a kid who didn't have air conditioning in the car this was quite a treat and very memorable. There are other caves located throughout the Town of Rosendale in different hamlets including Tillson.

A Cave Opening

Some of my family in front of a cave opening in Tillson.
Some of my family in front of a cave opening in Tillson. | Source
A markerRosendale, NY -
Rosendale, NY, USA
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Rosendale, NY about 120 miles north of New York City and about 63 miles from Albany, NY.

Have you ever heard of Rosendale, New York?

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The Rosendale Theater circa 2011.
The Rosendale Theater circa 2011. | Source
Dutch Reformed Church - now a wedding hall.
Dutch Reformed Church - now a wedding hall. | Source

Main Street Rosendale in the Fifties

Looking up Main Street Rosendale.
Looking up Main Street Rosendale. | Source

Rosendale

The town of Rosendale consists of different hamlets including Tillson, High Falls, Binnewater, Bruceville, Cottekill, Creeklocks, Hickory Bush, Kallops Corners, Maple Hill and Whiteport. With all those hamlets Rosendale only covers about twenty square miles and has a population of that hovers around sixty-five thousand.

According to a May 2010 edition of the New York Times;

Rosendale, in Ulster County, is hardly the first place to consider itself Brooklyn North or the sixth borough. But like New Paltz and Beacon before it, this depressed former cement manufacturing town of 6,400 has lately had a steady influx of creative freelancers with 917, 718 and 646 area-code cellphones.

The Village Green calls Rosendale "The hippest little town you never heard of", explaining that artists and nature lovers alike flock to this little town. It's true, they do. For example, there's a place called "The Woman's Studio Workshop". Located in the hamlet of Binnewater in a historic building, this workshop provides private classes, applications for grant or fellowship opportunities, you can rent a studio that allows you to use the facilities at the workshop and there's even a ceramics studio for rent!

The Rosendale Theater, built in 1949, sits right in the middle of Main Street. Many first dates took place there, including mine in 1961. The funny thing is the original owner, Tony Cacchio was the proprietor and everybody's friend. No vulgar movies and the holidays saw free matinees for the kids. A real family theater with a real family feel. Everyone loved Tony especially when he was trying to be stern. Tony passed away in 1999 and his son Michael took over the theater along with Tony's wife Fanny. Fanny was the money taker and ticket giver. Always in her booth. Recently the theater was purchased by the Rosendale Theater Collective. Television, DVD's, and the Internet had their effect on the theater's income. In 2010 the Rosenale Theater entered the digital age when a new digital projector was donated. The theater continues to thrive under this community group.

The New Rosendale Walkway

The 155ft Joppenburgh Mt. railroad bridge has been converted into part of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, making it a pedestrian walkway over the Rondout Creek.

The Joppenburgh Mountain is a five hundred foot mountain composed of a forested area and carbonate bedrock overlain by glacially deposited material. The mountain though not exactly in the center of town has been an active part of the town's history.

Several skiing competitions were held in the thirties and forties and then not again until the seventies. During the seventies there was talk of trying to qualify this jump for the Olympics but lack of snow hindered any chances.

One hundred and eighteen years ago a truss bridge was built for the railroad, to connect the towns of New Paltz and Rosendale running up on Joppenbrgh Mountain. Lack of use led to disrepair in the late seventies. There was a gentleman who bought the bridge for one dollar with the intention of a bungee jumping venture but nothing came of it.

In the meantime the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail began expanding and there was talk of using the old trestle bridge as part of the rail trail. What a thrill to walk over that bridge. A panoramic view of the Rondout Creek and the town of Rosendale right before your eyes. The path of the railroad leading to and from the bridge needs to be worked on to expand the rail trail but the bridge is in use every day. Walkers, hikers, bike riders, you name it, they're on that wonderful old bridge.

Joppengergh and Rosendale Walkway

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A look at the walkway from the end of Main Street.A view of the Rosendale Walkway across the Railroad bridge with the Rondout Creek beneath.Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove A closer look.A sign at the Binnewater end of the rail trail.Walking to the bridge from the Binnewater entrance, through the woods.The refurbished walkway - railroad bridge.A look at part of Joppenbergh Mountain from the walkway.Joppenbergh Mountain.Looking off the walkway - bridge.A view toward Main Street from the walkway - bridge.  St. Peter's RC Church in the background.
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A look at the walkway from the end of Main Street.
A look at the walkway from the end of Main Street. | Source
A view of the Rosendale Walkway across the Railroad bridge with the Rondout Creek beneath.
A view of the Rosendale Walkway across the Railroad bridge with the Rondout Creek beneath. | Source
Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove A closer look.
Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove Name of source (optional): Source URL (optional): Caption (optional): remove A closer look. | Source
A sign at the Binnewater end of the rail trail.
A sign at the Binnewater end of the rail trail. | Source
Walking to the bridge from the Binnewater entrance, through the woods.
Walking to the bridge from the Binnewater entrance, through the woods. | Source
The refurbished walkway - railroad bridge.
The refurbished walkway - railroad bridge. | Source
A look at part of Joppenbergh Mountain from the walkway.
A look at part of Joppenbergh Mountain from the walkway. | Source
Joppenbergh Mountain.
Joppenbergh Mountain. | Source
Looking off the walkway - bridge.
Looking off the walkway - bridge. | Source
A view toward Main Street from the walkway - bridge.  St. Peter's RC Church in the background.
A view toward Main Street from the walkway - bridge. St. Peter's RC Church in the background. | Source

The Unity Riders in Rosendale, NY

The People of Rosendale

Is there more to see? Sure, its an historic town with, obviously, lots of history.The best part of Rosendale is the people. People like the members of the American Legion or the various Volunteer Fire Departments.

There's the people who run the Street Festival held on Main Street Rosendale. It's a grassroots, not for profit citizen run event. It runs for two days in July and everyone who's anyone is there. Admission is free.

Then there's Victoria Coyne who owns and runs Victoria Gardens. Classes, special events, plants, gardening, an all round garden center, all superbly done and under the supervision of Vickie. A friendly helpful lady. Vickie is always smiling and always willing to help, in the store and out.

There's also the Pickle Festival run by Billy Brooks. Billy is a local barber who had a dream and now that dream is a yearly Pickle Festival. When my oldest son was about two years old he was petrified of anyone in a white coat. I took him to Billy for a haircut and it took three of us to hold him down. When Billy was done he said, "No charge, just don't tell anyone I gave him the haircut."

There's a Tavern in the town. Actually it used to be a lumberyard that was converted into a bar, well actually several different bars, then a restaurant and subsequently it was bought by Billy Loughlin and his wife. Bill is a local boy who owned a restaurant in nearby New Paltz but sold it and took a break for his new baby son. When he was ready to return to the business he opened the Red Brick Tavern on Main Street Rosendale. If you ever want to eat there call ahead. Bill's great cooking and reputation keep the Red Brick crowded every open hour. The ambiance second only to the great cuisine and classic desserts made by Michelle Loughlin.

There's so much more to Rosendale but you'll just have to visit for yourself to find out.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Rosendale

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The American LegionHigh Falls in the hamlet of High Falls, RosendaleVolunteer firemenPart of the local high school orchestra.Run-off from a small dam near the Rosendale cement kilns.One of the local historical signs in Rosendale.A mother and her babies behind a house in the hamlet of Binnewater.Morning mist off a country road.You decide, is this really a bear running across the street by our local Catholic school or is someone good at photo shop?
The American Legion
The American Legion | Source
High Falls in the hamlet of High Falls, Rosendale
High Falls in the hamlet of High Falls, Rosendale | Source
Volunteer firemen
Volunteer firemen | Source
Part of the local high school orchestra.
Part of the local high school orchestra. | Source
Run-off from a small dam near the Rosendale cement kilns.
Run-off from a small dam near the Rosendale cement kilns. | Source
One of the local historical signs in Rosendale.
One of the local historical signs in Rosendale. | Source
A mother and her babies behind a house in the hamlet of Binnewater.
A mother and her babies behind a house in the hamlet of Binnewater. | Source
Morning mist off a country road.
Morning mist off a country road. | Source
You decide, is this really a bear running across the street by our local Catholic school or is someone good at photo shop?
You decide, is this really a bear running across the street by our local Catholic school or is someone good at photo shop? | Source

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50 comments

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk

A fascinating trip around The Back Roads of New York State: A Visit to Rosendale, NY In particular I love the top image which is so striking. I doubt very much if I will ever get to see Rosendale but it is, nevertheless fascinating for me to see how different New York is as apposed to where I live. I would very much like to link Exploring the Back Roads of Paris and a French Market - Marché Pyrenees to your Hub if you would like to do the same.

Thank you,

Sally


jhamann profile image

jhamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

I am excited to be a part of this series and almost fell out of my chair when I saw your hub. What a great hub! I love to read about the less known places, it is exciting. Can't wait to read the next and to see where our next hub takes us. Have a great morning. Jamie


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I absolutely loved the introduction, Mary. Did you think I wouldn't notice? Well done my friend. I would love to visit this town, and thanks to you it came alive for me. Thank you for being a part of the Exploring series. I will link this on mine now.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Exploring The Back Roads of New York State: A Visit to Rosendale, NY this sounds an interesting way of exploring another part of NY. The places in the back road is explained with great interest


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

thanks for sharing.. it is awesome .. such cultural diversity,, it is beautiful.. your pictures only enhance the great hub..

Michael


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

Great job with this hub, Mary!


Homeplace Series profile image

Homeplace Series 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing. Felt like I was there with you! ;-)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I know what you mean Sally, I'll probably never get to Marché Pyrenees so I'll have to go and read your hub. I would be honored to have you link to mine and I will certainly add a link to yours.

Thank you Jamie. Our dear Bill has had a wonderful idea. We can visit places all over the world while sitting at our computer. Hope you're enjoying your day.

I was hoping you would notice Bill. All of the things you've taught us were rolling around in my head and that introduction came out! I am honored to be a part of this great series. You rule sensei.

Thank you DDE, we all have so much to offer.

Thanks Michael. So happy to see you here and glad you liked it.

Thanks Deborah!

How nice to see you here Homeplace Series. I'm so happy you enjoyed my little visit.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

What a wonderful visit! I had no idea there were places like this not so far away from New York.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Blossom many people associate New York State with New York City but we are so much more. Glad you stopped by.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

I liked the historic portion of the hub in the beging, and the town looks lovely. I have traveled many of the backroads of New York back when my son lived in upstate NY, but not Rosendale. I enjoyed this hub very much.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Glad you liked my history lesson ;) Did you visit any towns in Ulster County? I forgot to mention that is where Rosendale is.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Hi Dear Mary,

Thank you for taking us along on your trip to Rosendale, NY! It reminds me a lot of my little town I live in now. Such interesting history and your photos are always excellent, especially that first one is beautiful!

We have friends who live in Canandaigua, NY, which I tried to find on your map. So, if we ever make it up that way, we will sure make a point of stopping in Rosendale. We were amazed that our friends said, that farmers in Canandaigua will leave their vegetable stands with a pot for people to put money in, while they are away, and everyone is so trusting!

You are right, it is always the people who make a place so special indeed!

Up and more and sharing

Blessings to you and yours,

Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

You know I always considered New York State to be New York, City, but I forget that it just isn't the city.. you got Buffalo, Alabany, and places like Rosendale.. where trails are common water rafting and so much more thanks for reminding me once again, and cherish your memories and family, Til, bless you


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Faith, Canandaigua is further upstate than we are but we share their trust. We see lots of small farm stands with a pot for people to put their money after they take their produce, in fact there is one very close to us. If you ever head up to see your friend I'd LOVE to see you. We could even meet halfway or something! Thanks for your votes share but most of all your blessings. May He bless you and yours as well.

I know Frank, so many people do just think of NYC. You're right too, we do have all that stuff...last time I went rafting though it was a few years ago ;) I do cherish it all and continue to make new memories! God bless Frank.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Loved this mary, and your photos were great! I really liked your house, I always wanted one like that! lol! your tour round the back roads of New York State was fascinating reading, I actually read a book a few years ago about how they made the Statue of Liberty so this was a good reminder to go look that book out again, voted up and shared! nell, have a great weekend!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

What fun it was to explore the town with you. The caves must have been fun to see and all the quaint buildings look so warm and welcoming. Your summer home is exactly what I would have enjoyed as a child. Thanks for sharing.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Glad you enjoyed Nell. It was a great house, I loved the front porch! The Statue of Liberty has so much history we sometimes forget. Thanks for reading, sharing, and voting. Hope your weekend is super too!

Teaches the caves are fun. We still walk to see them and feel the cool air in the summer. You are most welcome!


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Wonderful. Your entry had me in 4 seconds and the rest was gravy. Thank you.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Well thank you Eric, I hope you had some mashed potatoes ready ;)


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Thank you for this charming visit to Rosendale, Mary, and the expose of its almost hidden treasures. The Pickle Festival sounds like a winner, m'dear.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. There is nothing like getting off the highway and hitting the back roads. Loved Rosendale, what a beautiful place. May have to seek this out some day. Voted up, shared, etc.... Have a great weekend.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Very interesting, especially the part about cement and the Statue of Liberty. Beautiful old buildings. We have a Lawrenceville here in Georgia near Atlanta. It doesn't have any really old buildings because General Sherman burned the town down.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Interestingly enough the Pickle Festival is today drbj. It is held on the fourth Sunday in November turning Rosendale into Pickle Town ;)

Thanks Bill. Lots of cool stuff for such a little, backwoods town. If you ever do seek it out, let me know. Thanks for the votes and share. Hope your weekend is winding down nicely.

Rebecca there are so many facts floating around, look at yours about Lawrenceville! Thanks for reading.


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Hi Mary, I really enjoyed visiting Rosendale through your eyes! There are so many historic and interesting places, large and small, in this great Empire State of ours. My favorite subject in junior high was New York State History. Thanks for sharing the place as well as the people, the real heart of any town. Your intro was especially good, and instantly made me want to find out more ;) Pearl

Voted Up++++


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you Pearl. I'm glad you found this enjoyable. You're right, you know,there is so much in New York State history. People certainly can make or break a place! Thanks too for the votes.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Such a wonderful hub Mary and voting up for sure. Have a wonderful day and lots of love from Wales.

Eddy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

How nice to get love from Wales on a Monday morning Eddy!


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

What a beautiful, comprehensive hu, Mary! I loved reading about Rosendale! Your descriptions and pictures bring it alive! Up++

Thank you for the link! I will do the same!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Well thank you btb...turn around is fair play ;)


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

This looks like a quaint town, and I love a good cave in the heat of summer.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

We have lots of birds too Deb! Thanks for stopping by.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Oh I really enjoyed seeing this part of the world where you are, Ms. Tillsontitan. And I enjoyed learning about the town which spawned your user name. You've captured the essence of small town wonderfulness here with the gorgeous pictures and interesting history. Loved this one, Mary.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Peg. I would love to know more about Dallas as well. I'm sure, seen through your eyes there would be new perspective. So glad you enjoyed my trip ;)


mylindaelliott profile image

mylindaelliott 2 years ago from Louisiana

It definitely sounds like an interesting place.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Linda, it definitely is.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Mary I know this area very well, thanks to an older cousin. He graduated from Union College, married his classmate, settled in Poughkeepsie, and is living there ever since then. Whenever we visit him over a long weekend, these are the roads we literally live on. This region somehow reminds me of Caledon Hills, about 25 kms north of me in southern Ontario.

Very informative. Voted up!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

How cool Suhail. Not only am I impressed you know the area but happy to hear it is similar to a beautiful area near you in southern Ontario! Thank you for reading and commenting, always good to see you.


DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

DrBill-WmL-Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

Thanks for sharing. A fascinating trip! ;-)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

And thank you Dr. Bill for reading!


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Thanks for the history and the imagery about this area. I love going on drives in the country. We do it often around my area in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Voted up, interesting, useful and beautiful for you.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Guinevere, I'd love to see your area too!


Romanian profile image

Romanian 23 months ago from Oradea, Romania

I love your photos with Rosendale, it's a beautiful place.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Thank you so much for visiting Romanian. I am so glad you enjoyed my little tour.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas

This sounds like a wonderful place to spend one's summers growing up -- or to live year around. Beautiful scenery.

New York has the best mountains in the U.S. I lived in Colorado and have traveled extensively through the western U.S. as well as PA and OH, and all through New England, and I loved the NY mountains best. Every state has its beauty and I enjoyed seeing all of those I visited (39), but I really loved the mountains and all the green in NY. I've never been to NYC, but I'm not a city girl. My daughter has visited there and loves the place.

A beautiful place to take a vacation and you have lots of good information included here so that travelers could easily stay busy for several days or more. Voted up and BAUI. Sharing also.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 22 months ago from New York Author

Glad you enjoyed Aufait. A famous actor who lived here used to say it is the most beautiful place in the world. Obviously we think so too!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 22 months ago from America

I enjoyed your Rosendale, NY photos and stories. I love NY I think it is one of the prettiest states. Thanks for sharing. Vote up and shared.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 22 months ago from New York Author

Moonlake it certainly is one of the prettiest states now if it was not the most expensive ;) Thanks for the vote and share.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 19 months ago from South Carolina

This hub is so great, it made me homesick for the Hudson Valley! Love the way you wove your childhood memories into the history of Rosendale and brought us right up to the present time. And the photos were great.

Voted up across the board except for funny.

Hope you are having a wonderful spring.

Hugs,

Gail


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

So glad I could trigger your memories of the Hudson Valley Gail. It really is a lovely place with the Gunks and Catskills providing such wonderful views. Your votes are appreciated but not as much as you! Hugs right back at you.

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