Hudson Valley Magazine’s March 2009 Reader Mailbox

Where in the Hudson Valley…?

Just about everyone who wrote recognized the subject of February’s “Where in the Hudson Valley” contest as the legendary “Uncle” Sam Wilson — whose artistically rendered image is best-known as the face on the World War I “I Want You” recruiting posters. We salute keen Highland Falls reader Moira O’Brien for being the first to recall that Wilson’s grave is located in Oakwood Cemetery in Troy. Valley patriots can further test their Revolutionary knowledge with this month’s quiz about a sculpture dedicated to the “female Paul Revere.”

History mystery

Does anyone recall a hotel called “The Windmill?” It served a predominately black clientele and was located on Route 9 in the Town of Poughkeepsie, approximately where the U-Haul establishment is now.

Lee David Klein
Via E-mail
After some investigation, we think that you may be confusing a few Dutchess County landmarks. According to Lynn Lucas, the local historian at Poughkeepsie’s Adriance Memorial Library, the spot of today’s U-Haul on Route 9 marks the general location of the old Domino Inn, a 1930s nightclub which was eventually purchased by a Pentecostal church and transformed into a bible institute. Before its nightclub days, the local African-American spiritual leader George Baker — popularly known as “Father Divine” — might have been in negotiations to purchase the property; however, this information cannot be verified.

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Alternatively, a “Windmill” inn may have been located in the Fishkill plaza where the current Hudson’s Ribs and Fish restaurant now stands — although sources say the business was named “The Ship’s Wheel” and not “The Windmill.” Valley history buffs, can you help us solve the mystery? Write to us at


SUNY skip

I liked your article “Staying Home to Go to College” (February). I’m wondering why SUNY Purchase, in Westchester County, was not mentioned (I have a son in SUNY New Paltz and a daughter attending SUNY Purchase in the fall). The write-up on New Paltz was terrific. I think Purchase College — also close to the Hudson Valley — should have been mentioned as well.

Sari Grandstaff
Via E-mail

Thanks for your letter. While we would have loved to cover all the colleges in the 10 counties of the Valley, space limitations made that impossible. Instead, we chose to focus on the colleges and universities located in the mid-Hudson area.

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A persimmon a day

I was reading the article titled “A Plan for all Seasons” by Lynn Hazlewood (Hudson Valley Home, Winter 2009). I could not help but notice that Lee Reich, horticulturalist, mentioned that he grows persimmons in Ulster County. I’ve been searching for about a year to find a persimmon tree that would grow in Orange County. Is there any way to find out which species Lee grows?

Mary Burton

Lee Reich replies: “Grow an American persimmon, not an Asian persimmon (kaki) as seen in supermarkets — they’re more cold-hardy. Plant a grafted tree; I suggest Szukis, Mohler, or Yates. The trees will grow well in average soil in full sunlight; they’ll need little or no care.” For more information about persimmons, see Reich’s book Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden (Timber Press, 2004). Happy growing!


Last month’s “On The Town” section featured a photo from Putnam Hospital Center’s annual Gala Dinner and Ball. Unfortunately, the photo was from the 2007 event. Eagle-eyed readers no doubt spied different photos from the 2008 gala on our “Photorazzi” page in the same issue. Our apologies for the confusion.


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