Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Treasure Trove of Images

Back in the 1990s, Robert and Evelyn Monthie were the premier and pioneer collectors of old pictures of Hudson and Columbia County. They would photograph people's collections of photographs and turn them into slides. More than once, in its early days, Historic Hudson sponsored showings of the Monthies' slides. That collection now resides at the Columbia County Historic Society. The images of Hudson have been digitized, so they can be viewed on a laptop computer instead of projected on a screen. The picture below, which shows the Washington Hose firehouse (now the Chamber of Commerce) before the truck bay on the south side of the building was constructed and before all the buildings along North Front Street were demolished, is from the Monthie collection.

Evelyn & Robert Monthie Slide Collection|CCHS
Technology in the past quarter century has made preserving and sharing old photography easier. In 2015, Peter Cipkowski made his grandfather's home movies of life in Hudson available on YouTube. This morning, Ralph Del Pozzo introduced me to a wonderful online collection of photographs, the work of Howard Gibson, a professional photographer who lived in Germantown from 1947 until his death in 1978. Bruce Bohnsack purchased a collection of Gibson's work from his estate and has created a website to memorialize Gibson and share his work:

The subject of much of the collection is, of course, Germantown, but there is an entire section--133 photos--devoted to the City of Hudson. Most of the pictures were taken in the '50s and '60s and show such things as the exterior and the interior of the Half Moon in 1960, the train station before it was restored in the 1990s, the beach at Oakdale in 1951 and 1960, boat races at the Hudson Power Boat Association in 1951, opening day in 1960 of the Dairy Queen on Green Street, and Democratic Party fundraisers held in the ballroom of the General Worth Hotel in 1952 and 1960 at which Eleanor Roosevelt was the guest of honor.
Along with Gibson's own mid-century photographs, the collection includes some older images, dating from 1917. An example is this picture of 508 Warren Street, back in the day when it was the Miller brothers' barbershop and the building next door was the Star Theater.

It's a wonderful collection, and I urge readers to explore and enjoy it. Thank you, Bruce Bohnsack, for making these images available to all.


  1. Superb - thank you for sharing Bruce!

  2. and Gore Vidal! what a great collection, thank you.

  3. Priceless! Having grown up in Hudson during the 50's, 60' and 70's viewing these photos was like a trip back in time. As kids we spent day after day swimming, fishing and skating at Oakdale... running to the "dime" stores, Woolworth's, Newberry's and Kresge's..going to the Dairy Queen for "Mr. Misty floats"... bothering the crew at Deno's Auto Body shop..going to shows at the Armory....watching parades as they marched UP Warren Street ending in the cemetery...soap box derby on Warren St. etc. This collection is remarkable ! Bought back SO many great memories. Thanks for sharing !

  4. Wow! What a collection.
    Thank you Mr. Bohnsack and gossips.

  5. This is wonderful news! We'll add it to the online resources on the Hudson Area Library History Room webpage. Can the Monthie collection be viewed offsite from CCHS or within their library?

    1. The Monthie Collection can only be viewed at the CCHS library.

  6. I LOVE neon signage!!! Sad to know it has been banned in Hudson! Time for a change?

  7. Hi from a girl in Spain.Sitting with my mother and talking about her uncle Leo Saul Sack, who inherited a Knitting factory in Hudson from his mothers brother Samuel Grushlaw. The factory was a Sweater knitting factory called Hudson Knitting mills Cooperation.My granduncle designed the Sweaters when he was younger.I don't know anything about this place and would love to hear if you might have researched it and could tell me more and perhaps knew the whereabouts of any Photographs of this Factory? I believe Samuel and his brother George Grushlaw(sky) started this factory. Looking forward to hear from You.

  8. If you search for "Hudson River Knitting Mill" on this blog, you will find information and pictures. Unfortunately, the last surviving building of the factory complex was destroyed by fire--arson--just a year ago.