Episodes from a Hudson River Town

New Baltimore, New York

By Clesson S. Bush

Subjects: New York/regional
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Hardcover : 9781438440330, 276 pages, August 2011

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Table of contents

1. Prehistoric Times: Our Landscape and First People
2. Europeans Settle in Greene County
3. Revolution Opens the Door
4. New Baltimore is Born
5. Town Growth and Another War
6. Life on the River
7. The Train Arrives in New Baltimore
8. War and Modern Times
9. Off to School
10. The Road to New Baltimore

The story of New Baltimore, New York, a small Hudson River town, and how outside pressures and local hard work have combined to forge a lasting community


Winner of the 2012 Award for Excellence presented by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network

The seemingly unremarkable Hudson River town of New Baltimore has had its ups and downs, you could certainly say that. Here, generations of families have worked the fields until the yield tapped out, built and repaired ships and barges until the steam age died, and harvested ice until refrigeration made "icebox" a quaint colloquialism. Yet despite the various economic, social, and military forces that have transformed the town, New Baltimore and its residents have endured, celebrating their triumphs and enduring their tragedies. Drawing on original town board minutes, Greene County surrogate and land records, federal and state military records, land patents, colonial documents, conversations with local residents, censuses, and period newspapers, town historian Clesson S. Bush provides an authentic portrait of a small-town community, making the routine—and drama—of small-town life on the Hudson River come alive.

Clesson S. Bush is Historian for the Town of New Baltimore. He has held a variety of positions in state and local government, and for twenty years worked in the New York State Education Department's congressional liaison office. He received his Master's in Information Science and Policy and his PhD in Public Administration from the University at Albany–SUNY, as well as a Master's in Urban Studies from Long Island University, Brooklyn.


"…[the book] succeeds in portraying the nature and character of townspeople in New York State … Bush's attention for the lives of common people can be explained by his academic background in public administration and urban studies, which shines through in this abundantly researched and well-written book about the people of New Baltimore throughout the centuries. Bush never loses himself in heavy scholarly details. " — Hudson River Valley Review

"…this is a book worth looking at … Bush does a great job in tying local and national events together. He does a noteworthy job explaining the dynamics of settler and Indian interactions when the Town was the frontier, experiences of local soldiers in the Civil War, World War I and World War II, local agriculture, the businesses that developed from the Village of New Baltimore's location on the west bank of the Hudson River, and the arrival of the railroads and New York State Thruway. " — Kaatskill Life

"Thornton Wilder would smile on this detailed portrait of a small Greene County town. " — Chronogram

"During his fifteen years as town historian Bush kept meticulous notes … [his] book provides a comprehensive perspective, beginning with a brief overview of prehistoric times, archaeological sites and the influence of the Mohican people. " — Daily Mail