Kingston Historian Releases New Book “Street Whys: Anecedotes and Lore of Kingston, NY”

KINGSTON STREETS MAKE HISTORY

KINGSTON – More than a half century of research by City Historian Edwin M. Ford has yielded a new book, “Street Whys:  Anecdotes and Lore of Kingston, N.Y.” A book signing will take place on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, 1- 4 p.m. at the Friends of Historic Kingston Museum.

The book tells how approximately 365 Kingston streets got their names and, in the process, provides a composite portrait of the city’s development over the past 350 years.  The listings are arranged alphabetically with each entry containing information on when and how the street developed, along with names of its notable buildings, businesses and residents.

“The streets of our cities are, after all, where most history happens. By organizing the book by streets, City Historian Ford makes Kingston history very accessible, as well as engaging, “Friends of Historic Kingston President Patricia Murphy says.

The Friends of Historic Kingston has produced a companion “Street Whys” exhibit composed of vintage photos, maps and text from the book.  The exhibit may be viewed in the museum gallery until October 31.  Admission is free.

The Friends of Historic Kingston Museum, on the corner of Wall and Main Streets,
is open Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m. thru October.  The facility is handicapped-accessible and there is no charge for admission.  For more information, call (845) 339-0720.

Calendar listing:

Saturday, July 31, 1- 4 pm

“Street Whys” Book Signing – City of Kingston Historian Edwin M. Ford signs copies of his new book, “Street Whys,” that tells how Kingston streets got their names. Companion exhibit in museum gallery. Free. 1-4 p.m.  Friends of Historic Kingston Museum, corner Wall-Main Sts., uptown Kingston.  (845) 339-0720.

Sunday, August 1, 1-4 p.m.

“Street Whys” Book Signing – City of Kingston Historian Edwin M. Ford signs copies of his new book, “Street Whys,” that tells how Kingston streets got their names. Companion exhibit in museum gallery. Free. 1-4 p.m.  Friends of Historic Kingston Museum, corner Wall-Main Sts., uptown Kingston.  (845) 339-0720.

9 thoughts on “Kingston Historian Releases New Book “Street Whys: Anecedotes and Lore of Kingston, NY”

  1. For $21.55, you can find the names of many of the people who once lived on your street (and their occupations).

    Having had an opportunity to preview portions of the book, I can guarantee that you’ll find it fascinating!

  2. Mr. Ford, Just out of curiosity, do you know if the Fauxhall House, Kiersted Lane(behind Armory) was the house that Thomas Chamber owned and if so, what origin is the name Fauxhall from as it is written on the pillar at the entrance of home. Thank you for your wonderful book on the streets of Kingston. We all have thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!!

  3. Mary Ann: Since Ed Ford doesn’t currently have access to this discussion group, I forwarded your questions to him through Jane Kellar, Director of the Friends of Historic Kingston, and here is Ed’s reply:

    We still don’t know for certain where the house of Thomas Chambers was. The Vauxhall House name on the pillar is the traditional local name for the present 19th century house. The current homeowner gave approval for an archaeological dig a few years ago by Dr. Joseph Diamond, professor of archaeology, SUNY New Paltz to search for a colonial foundation or evidence of 17th century occupation with no substantial results. The present Foxhall Road led to the lands belonging to the Chambers property later known as the Manor which gave the name for the Manor Avenue area. The names, Vauxhall and Foxhall seem to be intertwined. This is a mystery still to be solved.

    • I, too, am interested in the origin of the name. Is there any connection with Calvert Vaux? I stumbled upon the name of the manor in the research room of the library, as well as your site, and have been researching local history in general. Because Vaux did work in Kingston, I wondered about a possible connection…? Thanks!

      • Cheryl, you can purchase a copy of “Street Whys” directly from Ed Ford (his phone number is in the telephone book; he doesn’t have an e-mail address) or from the museum store at the Friends of Historic Kingston (open week-ends in the summer I believe from 1 to 4) or probably from most local book stores.

      • Taft, I bought the house from your parents and lived there for 20 years with my family. What a great job you all did in enhancing the property. I did seek to verify what you have said with a number of local historians, including Ed Ford who I knew personally, but could not do so. Perhaps you are saying simply that it was “named after C. Vaux”. When I purchased the house I understood that the lore was that he had designed it. Which did not seem to make great sense given the style of the houses he designed in the Hudson valley. Regardless, it has been and remains a truly stunning home, if not the most beautiful home in Kingston in a regal setting.

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