Life on the Hudson

Date: March 20, 2010

Location: Locust Grove, Route 9, Poughkeepsie
Contact Hours:7.5
Time: 9:00-4:30
Cost: $25 (includes lunch)
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Life on the Hudson began over four hundred years ago and continues now that the Quadricentennial has ended. Many peoples have lived along the river and interacted with each other. The story of life on the Hudson is one of art, culture, ecology, history, and history. No mere symposium can cover all its facets. The speakers here provide a glimpse in to the majesty and significance of a river that once defined America and still does although it does not received the attention it deserves.

9:00 – Welcome and Program Overview: Peter Feinman, IHARE

9:15 – The Hudson: America’s River: Fran Dunwell, author

How has the Hudson River transformed American history, politics, and culture? How has its unique geography, scenic beauty and a culture of entrepreneurship inspired people to innovate in the fields of engineering, environmental conservation, art and architecture? Here is a chance to find out.

Drawing on material from her book The Hudson: America’s River, this talk recounts how the Hudson powered the growth of the country’s greatest industrial and financial empire and also produced America=s leading artists, writers, engineers and environmentalists. These dramatic tales bring to life the stories of visionary people, inspired by their deep relationship with the river, changed the direction of national history still today. The talk makes the case for conserving the Hudson River as a source of creative inspiration and demonstrates that the river continues to be a creative force.

Fran Dunwell is the author of The Hudson River Highlands and The Hudson: America’s River. She is a renowned conservationist who has devoted thirty years to protection of the natural and historic heritage of the Hudson River, serving in a number of nonprofit and governmental positions. She was instrumental in the successful designation of the Hudson River as an American Heritage River and the Hudson River Valley as a national heritage Area. Her work has resulted in the clean-up of river pollution and the protection of scenic vistas, historic sites, and fish and wildlife habitants.

10:15 – Sailing on the River of Dreams, Hudson Talbott, author

The Hudson River has been a source of inspiration and a means of livelihood to all who have lived along its shores. It played a key role in the settling of the New World and the outcome of the Revolutionary War, and was the birthplace of the environmental movement. Each appealing spread sheds exciting light on the river’s strategic, economic and cultural significance. Based on his book, River of Dreams, he will speak about how great river valley was a source of inspiration for generating prosperity as well as culture for our nation.

Hudson Talbott is the author of River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River. It was written to be accessible for young readers it serves as an introduction to our regional and state history.

11:15 – The Lenape: Lower New York’s First Inhabitants: David M. Oestreicher

For over twelve thousand years, the region that is now lower New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware was home to groups of Lenape (Delaware Indians) and their prehistoric predecessors. By the late 18th and early 19th centuries, however, after a tragic series of removals had taken them halfway across the continent, the broken remnants of these tribes finally came to settle in parts of Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Ontario. By the late 20th century, only a handful of elders could still speak their native language, or had knowledge of the traditional ways.

This talk combines archaeological and historical evidence with decades of firsthand ethnographic and linguistic research among the last Lenape traditionalists. This talk combines archaeological and historical evidence with decades of firsthand ethnographic and linguistic research among the last Lenape traditionalists.

Dr. David M. Oestreicher is recognized as a leading authority on the Lenape (Delaware), our region’s first inhabitants, having conducted linguistic and ethnographic research among the last tribal traditionalists for over 30 years. The late renowned elder and traditionalist Touching Leaves Woman (Nora Thompson Dean, 1907 1984) called him her “Key in the East,” and she and other elders relied upon him to help preserve and disseminate knowledge of her people.

Oestreicher is curator of the award winning traveling exhibition, In Search of the Lenape: The Delaware Indians, Past and Present. His writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals and books.

12:15 – Lunch roundtables

Speakers, historic organization staff, teachers, and general public

1:30 – Life &anp; Lessons in Local Lore – How to use your locale’s history and heritage to teach, Jonathan Kruk, storyteller

Every community has a history. This talk will demonstrate with lively local stories, how to turn your community’s heritage into an engaging tale designed to teach. I come from Cold Spring on Hudson. for example, where legend has it George Washington drank from a stream and gave the village it’s name. It’s both a myth and a teachable moment. Come join me and see how.

I am Jonathan Kruk, know for performances of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and my New York lore programs, Hudson Valley magazine named me Best Storyteller in the Hudson Valley.

2:30 – Historic organizations

Presentations by historic organizations with connections to life on the Hudson.

3:30 – Teaching Life on the Hudson River

Using the information presented today in the classroom and working with historic organizations

For further information contact IHARE at 914-939-9071 or email us at: