“Kingston” Book by Patricia Murphy Collects Vintage Postcards

You’ve got mail: Postcards illustrate Kingston’s past

Patricia Murphy, a lifelong Kingston resident, grew up surrounded by postcards. Not only did her grandfather sell a wide variety of them at his Kingston stationery store, but her father was the region’s biggest distributor. “I still have some of the original photos that he turned into postcards; they’re very important to me,” she says. More than 200 vintage black and white postcard images of the old city are included in Kingston (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99), which was written by Murphy in conjunction with the Friends of Historic Kingston. “They really tell a great story of a time before urban renewal,” she says. “It’s so great to see the old Rondout before it was destroyed.” In addition, Murphy notes, “It’s interesting to think about the impact postcards had back then. Sometimes people wrote really important information on them, like ‘We’ll be arriving in two days.’ They were like the text messages of today.”

The Friends of Historic Kingston opens for the season on May 3; this year’s exhibit, “Kingston Postcards,” is on display through October. For more information see www.fohk.org.

Featured below are images and descriptions from Murphy’s book.

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hoffman house kingston postcard

The Hoffman House stood in the northwest corner of the 1658 stockade. The earliest portion was possibly built in the late 17th century, and the house remained in the Hoffman family until the 1920s. In 1977, it was rescued from being demolished by Kingston residents who bought and restored it, converting it into a popular tavern and restaurant.
(Courtesy Dr. William B. Rhoads Collection)

Faye’s Bar and Grill, opposite the courthouse on Wall Street, claimed to be famous not only for seafood, but also for having the longest bar in Ulster County. This 1936 postcard shows the polished wood bar with the traditional brass rail running along the bottom.
(Courtesy Frank A. Almquist Collection)

faye's bar and grill kingston postcard
the transport kingston postcard

In August 1881, the Transport, a former rail transfer boat and sidewheeler, began ferry service from Rondout across the Hudson River to Rhinecliff. The men’s and ladies’ separate cabins had chandeliers and seats made of black walnut and basswood. The Transport had the strongest paddle wheels on the Hudson.
(Courtesy Edwin M. and Ruth Ford Collection)



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