Saturday, December 31, 2011

On the Road to Cooperstown…(Part 3)

Continuing with our late summer road trip…

Just south of US 20 on New York Hwy. 166, we came across another little town with an interesting past…
The village of Cherry Valley New York was established in 1740 by John Lindesay and it was initially named Lindesay’s Bush.  During the American Revolution, 47 residents were slaughtered by a British and Iroquois raiding party in what is now referred to as the Cherry Valley Massacre.

This is the Cherry Valley Museum.  It’s located at 49 Main Street in the village.  The museum is packed with early Americana, ranging from Victorian furniture to housewares, toys and clothing.  There are also artifacts from the Cherry Valley Massacre, historic portraits, a Civil War flag carried by the NY State 76th Volunteers in 1862, fire equipment and much, much more.  This compact museum is quite a bargain…no crowds, lots of interesting artifacts and admission is $5.00 for an adult, $4.50 for seniors…and children are free with an adult.

The current population of Cherry Valley is about 550.  At one point, it was a growing enterprise but after the railroad pulled out, the New York Thruway was completed, and a bypass was built just north of town for US 20, the town has been sliding into a long decline.
Cherry Valley has many old homes and a lot of interesting architecture.  The town looks much like it did in the 19th century.  For that reason, and because of its isolation, Cherry Valley has a long history as an artist and writer’s community.  Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used to visit here to escape city life.  Ginsberg purchased a farm nearby.  Willa Cather wrote “O Pioneers” while living in the village.  It became a haven and destination point for many of the major players from the “Beat” scene.  This included William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Herbert Huncke, Ray Bremser, Anne Waldman, Robert Creely, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Harry Smith…  Just ‘Google’ any of these names for more information about them…

Its hard to believe but this is the former Delaware & Hudson Railroad freight depot.  The Cherry Valley Branch began as the Cherry Valley & Sprakers Railroad.  After several mergers and buy outs, D & H bought the line in 1908.  The last train from Cherry Valley departed on August 17, 1956.  At least the basic structure has been put to good use…

Poet Charles Plymell still lives in Cherry Valley as does jazz pianist Paul Bley, artist and writer Jack Walls, artists Richard Saba and Mark Mastroianni, film maker James Rasin and novelist Dana Spiotta.  Andy Warhol superstar and transgender pioneer Candy Darling is buried in the Cherry Valley Cemetary.
One final item of interest… With the assistance of his cousin, Judge James Otis Morse and Amos L. Swan, both of whom lived in Cherry Valley, it was here that Samuel F.B. Morse developed the first working telegraph machine.  Was Cherry Valley the birthplace of the Information Superhighway?!
For additional details about Cherry Valley and its history, just click on the following website:

Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!!
Wishing Everyone a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

1 comment:

  1. Dear Dave, I wish you and Laurie the very best for the New Year! It is such a blessings getting to know you both. Blogging is a wonderful experience. Blessings, Catherine