Don’t Fence Me In

Hand Hewn

Old Fence, near Ligonier, Pennsylvania

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Bucolic Bliss

She Speaks To Me

My favorite tree, near Valatie, New York

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Backroads America: Farmstands

Seasonal fruit and vegetable markets are common along American backroads. Staron’s, on County Road 203 in Columbia County, NY, grows much of the produce and many of the plants it sells.

Backroads America: Valatie, Columbia County, New York

The Hudson River Valley is home to many villages, hamlets, towns, and cities. Valatie is a village of about 1,900 that sits in the middle of the town of Kinderhook. It was settled by the Dutch in 1665 as part of New Netherlands. The original inhabitants of the area were Mohigan, an Algonqin Indian Tribe.

At the height of its prosperity, Valatie had 9 cotton mills and a number of grist mills. The mills were powered by two waterfalls on. Valatie means “little falls” in Dutch. This is the Beaver Mill Overlook; the mill no longer exists.

Valatie was an important regional center of commerce. It was home to the workers though it has a number of large houses. The John Morgan house dates to 1830.

The owners lived in Kinderhook, where large stately home can be found.

It has a lovely cemetery.

In 1946, it was the home of the first Santa Claus Club.

Agriculture is one of the economic drivers in the area. Bio fuel corn has replaced many grain crops. Fruit and vegetables are important and roadside markets are scattered throughout the area.

Locally grown strawberries are in season at the moment.

Backroads America

In the US, cemeteries are often the oldest existing remnants of European settlers. In the Husdson Valley, which luckily has preserved much of its heritage, many small towns maintain their historic cemeteries. This headstone is from 1785, in the town of Canaan. RIP Esther Million.

Backroads America

Sunset over a cornfield, Columbia County, New York.

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