The Tangled Tale of Rhinebeck’s Waterfront:A Hudson River History
By Cynthia Owen Philip
author of Robert Fulton: A Biography and the prize-winning Wilderstein and the Suckleys: A Hudson River Legacy
This richly illustrated book is a gem. John Winthrop Aldrich, New York State Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation
In Rhinecliff, Cynthia Owen Philip paints a vivid portrait, filled with fascinating detail and extraordinary characters, of a proud, independent community with a sense of place like no other.
Overshadowed by its upstreet rival — the politically more powerful village of Rhinebeck — and closely surrounded by the great estates of the Astors, Livingstons, and Beekmans, feisty Rhinecliff has carved out its own unique identity from its scenic rocky perch on the eastern bank of the Hudson River in Dutchess County. In this copiously illustrated book, author Philip untangles the tale of the community’s long history from early Native Americans and the 1686 land deal that paved the way for settlement, to colonial Kingston burning on the horizon and British warships anchored off its docks, through the heydays of steam navigation on the Hudson and the coming of the railroads, the slow collapse of the great estates and the 20th-century decline of riverfront communities all along the Hudson, right up to the 21st-century rebirth and the land-use battles that rage as fiercely today as any other conflict in the long history of the Hudson Valley.
I have been charmed by Rhinecliff, New York, many times — but never more than when reading Cynthia Philip’s surprising book. This small hamlet on the Hudson River has been a first-hand witness to revolution and democracy, war and peace, wealth and struggle, decline and revival. We, and posterity, owe Ms. Philip a great debt; Rhinecliff is a vivid reminder that the history of America is best found in the stories of its communities and the lives of its people. John Cronin, Director and CEO, Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries
The complex, colorful history of the riverfront hamlet of Rhinecliff is hidden no longer, thanks to Cynthia Philip’s lucid, compelling account of this centuries-old community — a place that is so much more than an Amtrak stop and a stepchild to Rhinebeck. Here is the thoroughly researched, fluently written story of strong individuals and national change viewed in the intimate context of a Hudson Valley hamlet. This richly illustrated book is a gem. John Winthrop Aldrich, New York State Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation
Rhinebeck is fortunate that this talented author is an interested and engaged resident who is able to recount the story of its waterfront community in intimate detail from its origin and settlement. Cynthia Philip provides fascinating insights and interweaves first-person accounts to bring to light long-forgotten events while also placing in perspective Rhinecliff’s current status in the Town of Rhinebeck. Nancy V. Kelly, Rhinebeck Town Historian
About the Author
Cynthia Owen Philip is an independent historian who has written extensively on the Hudson River Valley. She is the author of Robert Fulton: A Biography and the prize-winning Wilderstein and the Suckleys: A Hudson River Legacy. Her wide array of articles and essays has appeared in national and local magazines.
ISBN: 978-1-883789-62-6 / 1-883789-62-1
$24.95 paper, 8 ½" x 11", 224 pages, 130 maps, photographs & illustrations
Correcting the record:
My recent book, Rhinecliff: The Tangled Tale of Rhinebeck's Waterfront: A Hudson River History, was inaccurate in its discussion of the Kibel/DeCola Ellerslie property south of the hamlet.
I want to publicly acknowledge the errors I made. They are: mislocating the boundaries of the property; misspelling the DeCola family name; misdating the year in which the property was purchased; and incorrectly stating a proposed density on the site.
The Michael Decola and Jamie Kibel family are respected members of the Rhinecliff/Rhinebeck community and I deeply regret these errors. I take full responsibility for them and have asked the publisher to correct any future edition, to which the publisher has agreed.
Cynthia Owen Philip
This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 13 May, 2012.