My entire life I have been lucky enough to live right here in New York's Hudson Valley. The area is known for being one of the most beautiful for sightseeing, especially during the Fall season and tourists flock to the region, take in the sights and visit all, of our scattered small towns.

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While the Hudson Valley is a gorgeous area, it's also an area that is filled with history. Many of the towns and places throughout the region date back to the very beginnings of America as a nation. This brings me to present day where gravestones for soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War were recently discovered in a local Middletown Cemetery.

Historic Hillside Cemetery

For such a historic discovery, it makes sense that these Revolutionary War grave sites were discovered at a historic cemetery. That historic cemetery would be the Hillside Cemetery located in Middletown. In 1860 an attorney and member of the Hillside Cemetery Association by the name of James N. Pronk, approached one Calvert Vaux about designing the plans for the cemetery, which Vaux later did in 1861.

If the name Calvert Vaux sounds familiar, it's because Vaux was also the mastermind behind the creation of Central Park, which he built with Frederick Law Olmstead over a 20 year period from 1858-1878. 1866 also saw Vaux and Olmstead design the plans for one Prospect Park.

Sky view of Central Park
Unsplash-Jermaine Ee

According to the cemetery website, Vaux's original plan for the 44 acre cemetery was for it to be a wide open space full of trees and paths designed for leisurely strolls. Each path is named for a different tree or plant that was planted there. Also, if you couldn't guess the name "Hillside" comes from the fact that the the cemetery was literally built into a hillside.

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

In total, the cemetery has acted as the final resting place for 98 of Middletown's first settlers as well numerous members of the towns most distinguished families. Later in December of 1994, Hillside Cemetery was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places and to this day is still open and welcoming for all those looking for a good spot to spend an eternity.

An Unexpected Find at Hillside

Finding grave stones for soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War is monumental, it by no means was planned. Actually the reality is that these graves stones were found by accident. According to Spectrum News, the story starts with a man by the name of Andy Mills, who has a long history of visiting the cemetery.

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

Mills explained that as a child, his grandmother would take him to the cemetery frequently and one particular area of the cemetery captured his attention. This one area was a section where a massive cluster of headstones were placed so closely together, that they were nearly impossible to read and that's in addition to the hundreds of years of weathering the stones have endured.

Zoonar RF

It is further explained that descendants of Middletown's founder David Moore were brought to the site to determine if one of the cluster of headstones was Moore's. It was in this act that while they did find David Moore's headstone, they found five headstones which belonged to Revolutionary War soldiers. One of these headstones was for Captain Daniel Denton, one of Andy Mills ancestors.

Strategic Retreat
Getty Images

Now Read This: Correcting History: Hudson Valley Student Discovers 130-Year Old Mistake

Upon the identification of the headstones, a fundraiser was put together where proceeds were then used to buy a new commemorative and honorary headstone for the cemeteries Revolutionary Soldiers. Mills would further go on to state that more work is being done to invest in more historic markers for the cemetery for the various other famous folks who reside on the grounds. That would also include several recipients of the Civil War Medal of Honor.

Sneak Peek at Highly Anticipated Hudson Valley Museum

A New Museum Will Open In The Catskills Featuring Hollywood's Biggest Stars

The Borscht Belt Museum will open in Ulster County,NY. This allows for the history of the Borscht Belt to carry on in the Hudson Valley.

While celebrities in the past visited the Borscht Belt region, there will be more involved in the community when this museum opens in 2025.

Fran Drescher And Fellow Celebrities Will Sit On A Hudson Valley Museum Board

Fran Drescher is a celebrity that almost everyone likes. Known for her role as Fran Fine in The Nanny, the world couldn't help but laugh at her jokes, statements, and relatable interactions with other members of the show.

According to Yahoo News,

Fran Drescher isn't the only celebrity who will be in the Catskills.

"The museum’s list of advisory board members includes Fran Drescher, Harvey Fierstein, Judd Hirsch, Robert Klein and Richard Lewis — a fitting cast for a place where some of the nation’s top comedians got their start."

Have You Ever Heard Of The Borscht Belt?

"For generations of Jews in the New York metropolitan area, there was no doubt about the location of those “mountains.” Less than 100 miles from the cramped, sweltering tenements of Manhattan’s Lower East Side was a lush patchwork of forests, farms and bustling rural towns that hosted a summertime population of nearly a million urban strivers hungry for the clean air, fresh food and familiar camaraderie that even a garment worker or cab driver could afford."

Spending the summer in the Catskills sounds ideal.

"From the turn of the 20th century to the 1970s, more than 1,000 hotels, bungalow colonies, summer camps and boarding houses dotted the Catskill Mountains of southern New York. At first they came by train, and later, by bus and car along The Quickway, now known as Route 17."

Some may know this area or region to be called Solomon County, Jewish Alps or The Mountains. The Borscht Belt was also another term that most people remember the most.

 How Can You Visit The Borscht Belt Museum In Ellenville, NY?

I took a day trip to the Borscht Belt Museum in Ellenville, NY. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a humorous sign stating "Come in and schmooze, free admission".

When I entered the museum, I was greeted by a volunteer. I was able to walk around and see memorabilia from the different resorts of the Borscht Belt region and community.

I was also told that this museum is a pop up for now, they will continue to change the set up as well. 2025 marks the year that the Borscht Belt Museum will officially open.

Gallery Credit: Allison Kay

Take This Fascinating History Crawl Through Hyde Park, NY

Hyde Park, NY is located in Dutchess County, NY. It is the home to several prominent figures that played a role in how the world was once formed. Even though these members of society have passed on, their stories and legacies continue in our area.

I have had the chance to visit these historical sites and will always remember what each one meant to me, what I learned on the tours and how guests can continue to visit in 2023.

Gallery Credit: Allison Kay

Ridiculous Laws in New York State

Believe it or not, these are some of the dumbest, stupidest, and most ridiculous rules in all of New York State.

Gallery Credit: Dan McGuire