The Kingston Land Trust Board of Directors Retreat and Walk Their Properties in February

The stellar Board of Directors at the Kingston Land Trust. (L-R) Tim Weidemann, Gregg Swanzey, Andi Turco-Levin, Beth Roessler, Scarlet Duba, Steve Noble, Barbara Epstein, Kevin McEvoy, Brad Will and Matt Gillis.

 

The Kingston Land Trust Board of Directors met today to walk their properties and view their other projects as well as to have a relaxing afternoon together.

Here, the group looks closely at their parcel on Yoemans Street in historic Ponckhockie.

 

We were conveyed this lot by the City of Kingston in 2010 with hopes of working with the neighbors in the Ponckhockie section to create a small garden at the south end of the parcel that is mostly level and receives sunlight. The north end that connects to Yeomans Street has steep slopes, difficult terrain, is shaded and covered with poison ivy. The lot is a demapped street once connecting Yeomans Street to East Union St. The East Union frontage was conveyed by the City sometime ago so the parcel has only frontage on Yeomans Street. At the time of the conveyance we were made aware of an underground drainage easement to be retained by the City referred to as Tunnel Street. The demapped street appears on 1854 map for George North and Walter B. Crane who owned and subdivided the area at that time and had grading of slopes performed including the grading of the Revolutionary militia battleworks believed to have been located in this area which is discussed in Schoonmakers’s History of Kingston.

Originally it was thought that this steep north section of the parcel might have been the east slope of the Revolutionary battleworks site where the local Ulster County militia was stationed in October 16, 1777 when the British arrived to burn Kingston. Besides Schoonmakers’s History of Kingston, the battleworks have been discussed with a drawing depicting the general area in 1849 prior to North & Crane’s grading in Lossing’s Fieldbook of the Revolution and have been the subject of discussions with City Historian Ed Ford and military historian Col. James Johnson. As part of a separate National Historic Register nomination concerning another site in Ponckhockie, I reviewed and documented possible and known roads in 1777 and possible locations of the militia battleworks.

KLT Executive Director Rebecca Martin at the South Pine Street City Farm in Kingston. Photo by Andi Turco-Levin

After taking title, our executive director Rebecca Martin inspected the site, met the adjoining neighbors and was made aware by them of the significance of Tunnel Street. While there may be Revolutionary significance yet to be determined, the name Tunnel Street refers to a Tunnel entrance located on the site now sealed shut which leads into the former Newark Lime & Cement Company quarries in nearby Hasbrouck Park.

Kevin McEvoy, Vice Chair – The Kingston Land Trust

 

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