The goal of this newsletter is to share a bit of local news and shine a spotlight on the interesting things that are happening  in Hillsdale and nearby.

News from Town Hall 
Every so often, visitors come to Town Hall to review records in search of their ancestors. Recently, Town Clerk Kathi Doolan greeted Melody Masi and Diana DiGioia who traveled from Cape Cod to learn details about Melody's great-grandfather and Civil War veteran Josiah S. Hall. They learned that he was born in Amenia in 1828, farmed for decades near Ox Bow Road, and died in Hillsdale in 1902. 

Volunteers Kick-off

A dozen volunteers joined us on Saturday, June 29 to learn more about opportunities for service on the Hamlet and Historic Hillsdale Committees. Many thanks to those of you who joined us -- both Committees are critical to supporting economic growth in Hillsdale. The next step for each Committee is to formally convene with these new volunteers and establish goals for moving ahead. If you're interested in joining a Committee, contact [email protected]. I will keep you posted on the Committees' progress.

Work Delayed on County Route 21

The Town has been advised by the NYSDOT  that construction work on Route 21 near Pheasant Lane has been delayed until 2020. I will keep you posted as I receive information on this important infrastructure project.

Housing Committee Project 

Consistent with our Comprehensive Plan, the Town's Housing Committee continues its mission to investigate opportunities to provide more affordable housing for our community.  A recent workshop to explore this issue with the Committee was facilitated by architect Dennis Wedlick and Brenda Adams of Habitat for Humanity. 
A rendering of a 2-family, zero-lot-line home (shown below) was reviewed. Both units include 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and similar structures have already been built in other towns in Columbia County.  Ultimately, for this to work in Hillsdale, a suitable site needs to be donated or purchased.

As a next step in this exploration, the Committee will schedule focus groups and a town-wide workshop in September (date and location to be announced). 

Hillsdale House Ribbon Cutting
Sponsored by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, the Hillsdale House had its official Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on June 6. Owner Cori Barbato cut the ribbon and served several dozen guests from Hillsdale and from the Chamber delicious wood-fired pizza. Carol Patterson, membership director of the Chamber, announced: "We're looking forward to welcoming more businesses from Hillsdale into the Chamber, as our lovely town continues to flourish!"
Everyone is so excited to see this historic business back in operation. We all wish Cori and her team great success.

Congratulations to Tiny Hearts Farm
In case you missed it, Tiny Hearts Farm was included in the June issue of Martha Stewart Living. A l ink to a slideshow and the article can be found here:  Martha StewartMore amazing photos can be found on Tiny Hearts Farm's  Instagram feed. Congratulations, Jenny and Luke!

Welcome Rookie Farm Bakery
Everyone is thrilled to welcome Rookie Farm Bakery to Hillsdale! The business is located at 10 Anthony Street in a handsome building dating back to the late 19th century. Rookie Farm Bakery is a mother and daughter team who are making - all from scratch - cakes, scones, breads, and their signature deep dish cookies. 

"We want to bring back classic cookie flavors in a modern way," says daughter Jessica Kovac. "My mother and I make everything on the menu by hand. We are a second-generation Columbia County family and we hope to have the opportunity to meet new friends and neighbors in Hillsdale!"

Here's their Facebook page.

Photo above: Jessica Kovac and Amy  Laurie at their Bakery on Anthony Street, Hillsdale.

Photo below: Anthony Street around 1910. The buildings in the foreground are gone (now replaced by the IGA and and an adjacent building). The building that protrudes into the street is 10 Anthony, now home to Rookie Farm Bakery.

Welcome Foxy & Winston Letterpress Design & Print Studio

Foxy & Winston, a  specialty letterpress and print studio owned by Jane Buck, has recently opened its doors for business  below the  Hillsdale General Store .  
After moving to Hillsdale from Brooklyn one year ago, Jane decided to open a studio in Hillsdale, where she will create wedding invitations, announcements, and stationery for all occasions using antique printing machinery from the turn of the 19th century. 

The shop houses a restored antique Chandler & Price platen presses and a Peerless Gem paper cutter.  The shop also features an array of printed items, including greeting cards, organic cotton aprons, baby onesies, and blankets. 

Foxy & Winston will be open on weekends and by appointment. To welcome our new neighbor,  please join Jane for a celebratory opening on Saturday, July 13 from 5 - 7 p.m. where drinks and snacks will be served. For more information about Foxy & Winston or to contact Jane, please visit her website .

Roe Jan School: An Idle Monument
In case you missed it. Griffin Cooper published a piece about the Roe Jan School in the June issue of Main Street Magazine. He wrote: "Twenty years have passed since the Roe Jan building held its final classes and closed its doors for the last time. Twenty years since anyone disembarked the early morning bus and, with puffy eyes, strolled through the big double doors of this titan of a local landmark. Two decades have crept by since students, teachers, and staff flooded the halls of Roe Jan, but the memories remain."

Read on. The article starts on page 33 of  Main Street Magazine.

Safe at Home Committee Update
Hillsdale's Safe at Home Committee, designed to inform, educate, and assist area seniors, has recently focused their attention on elder justice. This  is a broad and timely topic that touches on elder abuse and neglect, health care fraud, financial exploitation, and discrimination. 

An important local resource for area seniors on this topic is the Columbia/Greene Task Force on the Prevention and Education of Elder Abuse. This group is hosting an information fair at the Roe Jan Library on July 23 from 10 am - 1 pm. Everyone is invited to join. 

The event will feature representatives from  the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia & Greene Counties, Community Action, St. Peter's Health Partners, and the Albany Medical Center as well as elder law attorneys. For further information, please contact Dawn Wallant of the Task Force at 518-943-0523 or [email protected] .

Every summer the Columbia County Office for the Aging offers Farmers' Market Coupons for seniors. Each booklet contains $20 in coupons and five $4 checks to be used at a local farmers market.

Eligible individuals must be 60 years of age or older and have an income of $1,926 /month or less for a single person household; $2,607/month or less for a two person household; or $3,289 or less for a three person household.

Coupon booklets will be available at Town Hall on July 26 from 1 - 2 pm. For more information call 518-828-4258.

Mark your calendars. On October 19 at the Firehouse, the Committee will host a workshop for seniors on services and information important for living healthy lives at home.

Exhibition: The Hidden History of the Roe Jan Region
The Roeliff Jansen Historical Society Annual Meeting and preview of their summer exhibition, The Hidden History of the Roe Jan Region, will take place on Friday, July 5 at 6 pm at the Historical Society Museum. All are welcome, and refreshments will be served. 

The show officially opens on Saturday, July 6 at 2 pm and runs through the summer.  More information can be found on the RJHS website .
Local Election Season Begins with Democratic Caucus July 14
The Hillsdale Democratic Caucus will be held at the Town Garage (155 Old Town Road) on Sunday, July 14 at 1 pm. At this Caucus, the Democratic slate of candidates for the following positions will be decided: 
  • Town Supervisor
  • Town Clerk
  • Two Town Council seats 
  • Two Town Justices
  • Tax Collector
  • Highway Superintendent
All Hillsdale registered Democrats are encouraged to attend. 

The Republican Caucus has not yet been announced, but I will keep you posted if one is scheduled.
Annual Afternoon Tea & Fashion Show Fundraiser
Mirror Mirror Clothing Shop is hosting their annual Afternoon Tea & Fashion Show to be held at the Hillsdale Fire Company on July 14 from 1-4 pm.  This event benefits the Taconic Hills Elementary School Backpack Program and C.A.N. (Churches Assisting Neighbors).

The BackPack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children and provides backpacks filled with food. C.A.N. renders emergency assistance to residents in need.  Guests will enjoy a light "Afternoon Tea" consisting of finger sandwiches, baked goods, fresh fruit, and tea.

For more information, please contact Lynne Chmurzynski of Mirror Mirror at 518-325-4000 or  [email protected]
FTSP Annual Meeting and BBQ Supper July 20
Friends of Taconic State Park welcome renowned historian Kenneth T. Jackson as their guest speaker at the Friends'  11th Annual Meeting and BBQ Supper on Saturday, July 20 .
Professor Jackson will discuss "Robert Moses and the Rise of New York." Moses is legendary for his role in creating the system of New York State parks and parkways that includes Taconic State Park. Jackson's observations on this important figure in New York history, about whom he has written extensively, promise to make for a fascinating and lively evening.
More information can be found at Friends of Taconic State Park
Hillsdale ArtsWalk Returns August 10
Hillsdale's ArtsWalk is back and will be held on August 10 from 10am - 4pm in the Hamlet. 

Featuring incredible local artisans, the ArtsWalk is a fantastic way to meet and support our area's many treasured artists. 

For more information or to apply to show your work as part of the ArtsWalk, please email [email protected].
Grillsdale's Back On August 24!
Back for its fourth year as one of the most tantalizing evenings of the summer, Grillsdale proudly spotlights the culinary bounty of Columbia County and the Berkshires. It features some of the best grilled small plates from the area's top restaurants and chefs. Set against the rolling hills of Roeliff Jansen Park, you can watch the sunset while sampling your way through an all-inclusive food and drink menu. 

More information can be found at
Roe Jan Ramble Set For September 21
The Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour is returning for its 7th year on Saturday, September 21. This free event is sponsored by the towns of Hillsdale, Copake, and Ancram and takes riders through some of the most scenic roads in the three towns.

This year, there will be 6 different routes to choose from, from a family-friendly 10 mile route to a 62.5 mile route for more experienced cyclists. Riders can go at their own pace on well marked quiet country roads and portions of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. The rides begin and end in Copake Memorial Park.

To join the fun and for more details, visit this online link.

Thanks for reading our newsletter.  If you want to promote your upcoming event on the Hillsdale calendar, share an old photo, or write an article or two, I'd love to hear from you!
Peter Cipkowski, Town Supervisor and Town Crier