The Hudson River Valley Institute

Meet the Intern: Sean Hayden

I’m a senior Business marketing major/ History minor here at Marist College, originally from Stratford, Connecticut, which is on the coast of the Long Island Sound. My sister Kellie is a Marist Alumna, which was a considerable factor in my decision to enroll at the college, and the last three and a half years have been an incredible journey.


As a Business major, I am often presented with questions such as “Why do you also study history? What does that have to do with business?” When asked, I am quick to offer two responses, the first being that I simply have a love and passion for History! Ever since grade school, I was always the student that was deeply invested in the world’s interesting, chaotic, and occasionally dark past, as well as constantly analyzing and questioning the events of Earth’s timeline. This interest in understanding the past led me to minor in history, a decision that I am thankful for as it has greatly expanded my knowledge, along with presenting me fabulous opportunities such as interning at the HRVI.

The second response I give to the “why history?” question is my belief that understanding and interpreting the past can help an individual in business project future trends and make educated predictions. Furthermore, understanding the vast amount of mistakes made in history that involve business can be studied, with their consequences interpreted, and people of the future can learn from these mistakes. Basically, I find history fun, and I believe that it will help me be the best entrepreneur that I can be!

Outside of my studies, one of my main interests is following sports, New York sports in particular. I am a fan of Football, Baseball, and Basketball, with my teams of choice being the Giants, Mets, and Knicks. I try to watch as many games as possible, and typically try to go to at least one game per season in each sport. I’m also always eager to play a pick-up game of basketball or football with my friends.

One of my other hobbies that fills my free time is playing video games. I received a Gameboy Color when I was five years old, which was the catalyst for my love of video games that still continues today. As of late, I’ve been loving the new Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A few of my all-time favorites are Super Smash Brothers, Resident Evil 4, and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

Along with sports and video games, I am an avid film watcher. My favorite director is Quentin Tarantino; Pulp Fiction & Inglorious Basterds are tied for my all-time favorite film. In my opinion, his eye for cinematography and ability to write intertwining storylines are unparalleled.  Some of my other favorite movies are The Shining, Hot Fuzz and Deadpool.

I hope this introduction of me gave you a clear sense of who I am, what I like, and how much I like history. I look forward to contributing material to the Hudson River Valley Review!


Meet the Intern: Spencer Hogan


My name is Spencer Hogan and I’m currently a Sophomore at Marist College studying Business Administration/Finance and Economics. I also have a minor in History, linked directly to my goal as an intern at the Hudson River Valley Institute: to expand on the research I have previously done on this region, which I have called home for my entire life. Hailing from Middletown, NY, I am a proud graduate of Middletown High School and lifelong admirer of Orange County’s vast collection of historic sites and stories.

My passion for history came to the forefront with a very personal discovery about a year ago: my family had unearthed a trunk that we quickly realized was used by my grandfather on a 3 month long trip to Western Europe after the Second World War as part of a cohort of American graduate students in a program entitled “The Marshall Plan in Action.” He met with government and industrial development leaders in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, West Germany, Luxembourg and France, and kept records of each day with what we believe were intentions of creating a scrapbook. None of us knew much about his remarkable journey until our recent discovery, but seventy years later, I have now started work on that scrapbook in my spare time.

I’ve always enjoyed photography (mainly landscapes) and have had my work recognized by the New York State Art Teachers Association and Scholastic Publishing, with four “Gold Keys” in their Art and Writing Awards for the region. This ties in directly with my fondness for travel with my family, giving me the opportunity to photograph some of the most awe-inspiring sights across the world.

I am currently the President of the Marist College Business Club and an active member of the Honors Program. Honors at Marist has allowed me to take unique seminars that have piqued my interest, including “Why Nations Fail,” “Did It Happen Again? The Great Recession and the Great Depression,” and “The Evolution of Money and Banking.”

During my internship at the HRVI, my focus will be on “hidden history” in Orange County, particularly relating to a campsite in ruins within Highland Lakes State Park just outside of Middletown, for which I have obtained a collection of original records. After graduating from Marist, I plan to pursue a career relating to financial services or management, while certainly keeping my interest in history (particularly local history and genealogy) with me for a lifetime of research and enjoyment.

Meet the Intern: Henry Borum

Henry was born in Annapolis, Maryland, but has since grown up in LaGrangeville, New York. He graduated from Arlington High School in 2014. While a student there, he was active in the Arlington Soccer program as well as the Debate Club and the Arlington Model Congress.


Coming from a largely military family, he was strongly influenced to join the military. Henry attended Boston College for his freshman and sophomore years on an Army ROTC scholarship. He decided to pursue ROTC in conjunction with his twin brother, who attended Boston College as well. Boston College was a great, broadening experience for Henry, but after two years he sought an educational experience that fir him better. This is what he found when he and his brother transferred to Marist College for their junior years in Fall of 2016. Shortly after arriving on campus, Henry knew that this was the place for him. The study of history, continuing ROTC, and the relationships that he’s made have made Marist a positive experience.

When Henry is not studying history, or waking up too early to run around campus, he loves playing video games. He has three different game consoles in his dorm room for purposes of variety, although he is partial to PlayStation over Xbox. Henry is also fairly confident that he is the world’s greatest Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, and counts seeing them in concert as one of his biggest accomplishments. One would not be surprised with what he picks for the next song on a long road trip.

Although he played basketball and soccer throughout high school, Henry’s favorite sport is football. As a Giants fan, the 2018 season has been a true test of faith. Loving to spend time with his family, Henry enjoys being close to home at Marist, as well as living with his brother at school.

Now a senior, and in the ROTC program, Henry is set to graduate, as well as commission into the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Spring of 2018. He will become an active duty Air Defense Artillery Officer. At this point in time, a career in the Army is what he aspires to. However, beyond that, Henry is interested in incorporating the possibilities of graduate school, or law school as means to diversify his education and further his career. His background in history gives him a strong skill set and basis of knowledge for a wide range of opportunities that he may wish to take advantage of.

No matter what the future holds for Henry as an individual, he hopes that he can be a leader and provide service to the benefit of others.

Historic Preservation That You Can Take To The (Snow) Bank!


During the 1930’s and 40’s, materials were rationed for the war effort. Tractors and commercial implements were in short supply and many companies began building kits for modifying Model T and A automobiles. David Bradley (Sears and Roebuck), Montgomery Ward, and Popular Mechanics all made instruction books and kits for these modifications and many in the northeast would commence in altering these vehicles. After modification, they would be used in agriculture and other industries, and frequently were outfitted with snow plows, cultivators, and trailer hitches for hauling.

Locally, these vehicles were very popular in Hyde Park, Rhinebeck, Staatsburg, and Red Hook. Farmers, hard up because of the Great Depression, would rely on these modified vehicles as farm equipment. This example was modified by the C.E. Sipperley Plumbing and Heating firm of Rhinebeck at that time. The business started in 1912 with Calvin E. Sipperley, and provided service to many of the river estates and mansions in the Rhinebeck environs. In 1945, Calvin’s son, Carleton modified a 1929 Ford Model A into a snow plow vehicle. The Model A was originally owned by the Van Auken Brothers, local grocers, and purchased by Mr. Sipperley sometime in the late 30’s or very early 1940’s. Originally a sedan, the cab was removed, the rear end chopped off, and a Model T rear axle installed. This rear axle was worm driven, allowing for more torque. A frame was welded together on the front to allow for a snow plow to be mounted complete with hydraulic lift. Given World War II, materials were rationed and the Sipperley’s relied on a lot of make-do metal like mattress frames, etc. The cab was built using metal ductwork and enclosed with wood doors. A one thousand pound cement block was fabricated to rest on the rear of the frame to add weight for the snow plow.


This vehicle was principally operated by Vernon Sipperley from the early age of 15 (1945) until he was 81 years old (2011). At one period in the 1950’s and 60’s, Vernon had over 45 driveway accounts and used the machine to clear snow from village streets, around the local Episcopal Church, and the firehouse. Vern was very much a part of village affairs as a member of the Relief Hook and Ladder of the Rhinebeck Fire Department from 1949 onward, and as a partner with his brother Peter in the plumbing business. Many Rhinebeck locals remember the vehicle as a familiar sight from the 1930’s up until a few years ago.


I bought the Model A in January of 2018 and restored it to the condition of when Vern had it. It is only a hobby vehicle now but I am sure if put to the test it would function with no problem as a snow plow.

  • Elijah Bender, Marist ’18

Fitz Henry Lane’s “Fishing Party” (1850)

By Michelle Linker, Marist ’18

Fitz Henry Lane (also known as Fitz Hugh Lane) was born on December 19, 1804 in Gloucester, Massachusetts and died in his home there on August 13, 1865. He was born as Nathaniel Lane and when he was 27, he changed his name to Fitz Henry Lane for unknown reasons. During the early 20th century, there was confusion about what his true middle name was, with art historians incorrectly identifying him with the middle name Hugh instead of Henry.[i]

As a young child, Lane lost use of his legs, thought to have been caused by eating a poisonous fruit or possibly polio.[ii] This would force him to use crutches for the rest of his life.  He began studying printmaking under William S. Pendleton at Pendleton’s Lithography, until 1837, when he moved to work at a publishing firm.[iii] Yet the skills he was learning allowed him to open his own publishing firm in 1844. Around this time, he began doing oil paintings of seascapes and harbors. Perhaps it was this building passion for developing his art that inspired him to move back to Gloucester to build himself a studio and focus primarily on painting after only four years with his own print company.

His time at Pendleton’s Lithography trained him formally in art. His experience in printmaking familiarized him with tonal gradation in painting.[iv]  Lane would spend the rest of his life traveling around the Gloucester coastline as well as other US ports, such as Boston, Maine, and New York through the 1850s and 1860s.[v] Lane’s style evolved into what, in the 20th century, came to be referred to as luminism, and his usage of this style along with painting horizontal landscapes would categorize him as a Hudson River Valley School artist by art historians. He particularly liked to paint scenery of the coasts and the ocean.


Fishing Party (1850) Oil on canvas. 19 5/8 x 30 1/4 in. (49.8 x 76.8 cm) Signed and dated lower right: F H Lane 1850., 

Fishing Party (1850) is an oil on canvas painting by Lane, depicting a moonlight night in Indian Bar Cove in Brooksville, Maine.[vi] Lane had also used this scenery in a previous painting, View of Indian Bar Cove, Brooksville, Maine(1850), showing the cove during the late afternoon as the sun is beginning to set in contrast to the deep, cool colors of the night used here.[vii] Something rare about this painting in comparison to Lane’s other pieces is the night setting the sentimentalism, and the inclusion of people gathering in a social setting, as most of his works were much more formal and serene, portraying ships in a bay as a storm is approaching or an early harbor morning. Despite the individuality of this piece from Lane’s other works, it portrays characteristics such as the use of nautical and horizontal scenery, tranquility, luminism in the reflection of light on the clouds and the water from the moon and the bonfire, and particular detail to the surface of the sea.

Out of all of Lane’s paintings I viewed, this piece stood out the most from his usual paintings. Lane and many artists at the time did not depict night scenes, as they were usually more difficult to paint. However, I usually prefer the darker colors of nighttime scenery, and his usage of luminism with the moon and the bonfire give the painting a relaxing warmth. Another aspect of this painting that stood out to me (although he uses it in many of his other works) is the vantage point from the water instead of the shoreline, which makes the viewer feel as though they are floating on a ship within the cove witnessing it themselves. Lane’s greatest talent is in the way he places you into the painting and conveys emotions through his tonality and lighting. When looking at Fishing Party you can feel the atmosphere of the setting: the leisurely attitude of the people, the summer air, the gentle heat of the bonfire, and the calmness of the sea under the moonlight.

*This an other images available at:


Blumberg, Naomi. Britannica Academic, s.v. Fitz Henry Lane, Accessed October 10, 2017,

Holdsworth, Sam. Fishing Party (1850) Commentary. Accessed October 10, 2017.

[i] Blumberg, Naomi. Britannica Academic, s.v. Fitz Henry Lane, Accessed October 10, 2017,

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Holdsworth, Sam. Fishing Party (1850) Commentary. Accessed October 10, 2017.

[vii] Ibid.

David Wagner, painter of the W3R, honored by France

david-wagnerDavid R. Wagner, a lifelong resident of Scotland, Connecticut, attended the Black Hills Teachers College and the University of Connecticut and received a degree in history from Eastern Connecticut State College. A self-taught and versatile artist, Mr. Wagner’s media include
acrylic on canvas paintings and pen and ink illustrations. His subjects include portraits, still-lifes, landscapes, Native American scenes, and representations of historical events, most notably his historical series depicting the activities of the French and Continental Armies during the American Revolution and a collection of 102 paintings depicting
the history of the Eastern Woodland peoples, commissioned by the Mohegan Tribe in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route collection covers all nine states and the District of Columbia traversed by the armies of Generals Washington and Rochambeau during their campaigns and numbers well over 100

The 77-year-old Wagner is also the recipient of the National Order of Merit from France for his series titled, “The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route.”


The Institute has a number of Mr. Wagner’s paintings in its Bumpus Collection. We purchased them in order to promote the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail (W3R) and to interpret through art the importance of the contribution of the French Expèdition Particulière to America’s independence. A guide to this collection is available online.

The Autumn 2017 Issue of The Hudson River Valley Review

Out now!


It is hard to imagine anyone associating George Washington with un-American activities, but our lead article reveals that some expressed just such a sentiment toward the Washington Benevolent Society during the War of 1812. The cover article, on the Springside estate of Matthew Vassar, rounds out the noteworthy presentations from our 2015 symposium dedicated to the legacy of Andrew Jackson Downing, the founding figure of American landscape architecture characterized by art scholar Morrison Heckscher as “endlessly fascinating [and] charismatic.”  We want to thank Mr. Heckscher for his commentary throughout the symposium, and to recognize J. Winthrop Aldrich for his witty and inspired concluding remarks, especially his parting wisdom regarding historic preservation: “Be on the alert to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done.”

What are the lessons and circumstances that shape an individual’s ambition and actions? The article on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Hyde Park upbringing and our adapted Cunneen-Hackett lecture on General Jacob L. Devers provide answers to this question as it relates to these two men who influenced international events and relations. And in addition to our regular Regional History Forums and book reviews, the issue introduces a new, occasional feature called “Personal Reflection.” This first installment focuses on the beginnings of the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

You can preview the issue and read the Regional History Forum, Book Reviews, and New and Noteworthy Books online at:

 The Hudson River Valley Review is available at select booksellers and museum gift-shops throughout the region for $15.00 each. Subscriptions are available through the website at:, or by calling 845-575-3052. A one-year subscription (two issues) is $20.00, save even more by subscribing for two years at $35.00.

The Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College is the center for the study and promotion of the Hudson River Valley, providing information about the region’s history, culture, economy, and environment, and educational resources to teachers, students, and others through, public programming, and The Hudson River Valley Review. This biannual journal covers all aspects of regional history. All articles in The Hudson River Valley Review undergo peer analysis.

 Contact: Andrew Villani, (845) 575 – 3052,



Vol. 34, No.1, Autumn 2017

The Delinquency of George Holcomb: Civil Disobedience in the Upper Hudson River Valley, 1812,  Jennifer Hull Dorsey

Saving Springside: Preserving Andrew Jackson Downing’s Last Landscape, Harvey K. Flad

“Thy Servant Franklin”: How the Hudson River Valley Shaped the Faith of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Durahn Taylor

2016 Cunneen-Hackett Lecture

From the Hudson to the Rhine: The Life and Service of General Jacob L. Devers,  James Scott Wheeler

Personal Reflection

A Hudson River Valley Greenway,  Barnabas McHenry

Regional History Forum

Beverwyck Manor, Charles Semowich

Washington’s Headquarters at Newburgh, New York: Then and Now, Bernadette J. Hogan

Plus: Book Reviews and New and Noteworthy titles received


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