Saturday, December 25, 2010

Books and Christmas at an Old Hudson Estate

Enjoying some Cider, Books, and an Old House on the Hudson

In the week before Christmas this past year, many businesses, organizations, and museums have celebrated the holiday season with open houses, complete with decorations of pine boughs, bright lights, and sugar cookies with warm mulled cider. And it was at one such event that I found some old books to share with my readers. And a little bit of history. In the cold of this December, the Clermont Estate, once owned by the illustrious Livingston family, was open to the public. Driving along the old paved roads leading up to homestead, one could see the cold woods, with traces of left-over snow and the community of grey trees holding themselves tight against the cold of winter.

Inside the visitors center, there were several exhibits relating not just to the Livingston family, who owned and lived on the property for generations, but also some luminaries of American history, including steam boat pioneer Robert Fulton.

Outside the shop and down the hill, visitors would soon see this lovely view of the manor house, which stood stately and proud in its age on this cold winter day.

Inside, the halls and rooms were decked in the most splendid holiday charm. Above, the Christmas tree; below, one of the library-study rooms.

The delightful tour of the home was capped by a visit to the kitchen. And look!--even there we found books! Books, books, everywhere! So, if you're ever in the area north of Poughkeepsie, NY, near the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, or Bard College, stop by the old estate and pay them a visit. It's a worthy cause to help support such vital historical institutions of our regional and national heritage. And you might spy some interesting books in the mean time.

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