Inhabited by the Mohicans before Europeans arrived (before 1651), Kinderhook, in Columbia County, NY, has an intriguing historical past.
Lisa LaMonica’s new book Kinderhook: Images of America (Arcadia Publishing, 2019), which is set to publish in August 2019, looks at one of the oldest towns in New York State and its significance to our nation’s history and culture.
While the town has ties to the American Revolution and was home to America’s eighth president, Martin Van Buren, Kinderhook is most known as an origin of one of America’s first ghost stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The story’s main character, Ichabod Crane, is said to be based on Washington Irving’s close friend Jesse Merwin, a teacher who moved to Kinderhook in 1808. Due to the story’s success and its terrifying icon, the Headless Horseman, Kinderhook and the Hudson Valley have evolved from farmland and sleepy folklore to an area full of cultural interest. Today, Kinderhook’s celebrated art galleries and restaurants attract visitors and locals alike
English explorer Henry Hudson saw Kinderhook in September of 1609 when the Half Moon anchored there for four days. His sailing party were welcomed by the Mohican who gave the newcomers corn, pumpkins and tobacco.
Lisa LaMonica is an author and illustrator in upstate New York who has received awards for her artwork. She was nominated for Artist of the Year in 2002 by the Columbia County Council on the Arts. She has attended the Hudson Children’s Book Festival, the largest of its kind in the Northeast, every year since its inception. Her books include Haunted Catskills, The History Press and Images of America: Hudson, Arcadia Publishing; a recipient of a grant from Furthermore, a program of the JM Kaplan Fund. Lisa has written for Chronogram Magazine and PBS/WMHT.
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