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Orange County, New York

Orange County, New York Series Cover

Royal Fireworks Press President, Dr Thomas Milton Kemnitz, was honored by the Town of Warwick for his contributions to the history and community of the county.
Orange County Plaque
From The Photo News, April 9, 2009-04-19:
Dr. Thomas Kemnitz, the owner and publisher of Royal Fireworks Press of Unionville, was recognized this week during the Warwick Town Board meeting for publishing more than 26 books by local authors and artists, including municipal histories of Warwick, Monroe, Chester and Sugar Loaf.

Warwick Town Historian Dr. Richard W. Hull presented the award. “No other publisher in our town or county has done as much to promote and advance the culture and heritage of our local communities through the works of our local artists, poets, biographers and historians,” Hull said. “As citizens we owe a great debt to Dr. Kemnitz and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

“Publishers of his kind have become an endangered species in America yet they have been indispensable in giving our communities and citizens a voice and an identity.”

Among Royal Fireworks’ biographies, literary, culinary and art works are those by Orange County Poet Laureate Rose Werkman, columnist Beth Quinn, and sculptor Frederick Franck and writers Barry Lewis and Jon Mundy.
 

Below are some of the books printed and published by, or printed and available from Royal Fireworks, about Orange County in the state of New York.

In addition, Donald Skier, a well-known artist based in Highland Mills, has produced an art curriculum for us, and his daughter, Cari Skier a series of Spanish activity books.

Royal Fireworks Press President, Dr Thomas Milton Kemnitz, was honored by the Town of Warwick for his contributions to the history and community of the county.
Orange County Plaque
From The Photo News, April 9, 2009-04-19:
Dr. Thomas Kemnitz, the owner and publisher of Royal Fireworks Press of Unionville, was recognized this week during the Warwick Town Board meeting for publishing more than 26 books by local authors and artists, including municipal histories of Warwick, Monroe, Chester and Sugar Loaf.

Warwick Town Historian Dr. Richard W. Hull presented the award. “No other publisher in our town or county has done as much to promote and advance the culture and heritage of our local communities through the works of our local artists, poets, biographers and historians,” Hull said. “As citizens we owe a great debt to Dr. Kemnitz and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

“Publishers of his kind have become an endangered species in America yet they have been indispensable in giving our communities and citizens a voice and an identity.”

Below are some of the books printed and published by, or printed and available from Royal Fireworks, about Orange County in the state of New York.

Among Royal Fireworks’ biographies, literary, culinary and art works are those by Orange County Poet Laureate Rose Werkman, columnist Beth Quinn, and writers Barry Lewis and Jon Mundy.

In addition, Donald Skier, a well-known artist based in Highland Mills, has produced an art curriculum for us, and his daughter, Cari Skier a series of Spanish activity books.

What Valley View Has Meant to Orange County Cover

What Valley View Has Meant to Orange County

Author:
Kemnitz, Myrna
Subjects:
Valley View
ISBN:
978-0-89824-9576
Order code:
9576
Price:
$30.00

Myrna Kemnitz, one of the Orange County Legislators  tasked with overview of the Valley View Facility, has  written a book to help her fellow legislators and the people of Orange County understand the importance of the nursing home.   This 330-page volume includes the history since its inception in 1831, stories about the people who reside there, the politics of the decision to close or sell it, the position of the union in terms of keeping it open, the minutes of public discussions about Valley View since 2009, and the Request for Proposals to purchase it.

Myrna Kemnitz, one of the Orange County Legislators  tasked with overview of the Valley View Facility, has  written a book to help her fellow legislators and the people of Orange County understand the importance of the nursing home.   This 330-page volume includes the history since its inception in 1831, stories about the people who reside there, the politics of the decision to close or sell it, the position of the union in terms of keeping it open, the minutes of public discussions about Valley View since 2009, and the Request for Proposals to purchase it.

Series description
People of the Valleys Revisited: History of Warwick, New York. 1700-2005 Cover

People of the Valleys Revisited: History of Warwick, New York. 1700-2005

Author:
Hull, Richard W
Subjects:
American History; Warwick, NY
Geography:
Hudson Valley, NY; Orange County, NY
Order code:
0071
Price:
$21.00

During the past two generations, Warwick has been well served by Professor Hull's extensive research and writing of its history. This volume expands and updates his earlier histories of Warwick and is based on more than four hundred interviews and thousands of pages of local newspapers, books and journals, public documents and family histories. Bibliography.

In his Preface, Professor Hull describes Warwick as: "one of the most culturally-dynamic and geographically-diverse towns in the Hudson Valley. It is also about one of the great success stories in the history of American communities."

Chapters include:

  1. Our Mysterious Beginnings: The Indians in the Valleys
  2. Achieving our Freedom: Warwick in an Age of Revolution
  3. Making it all Work: Governance, Public Services and Utilities
  4. Indulging Ourselves: Taverns, Inns and Applejack
  5. Our Spiritual Community
  6. Educating Ourselves and Helping the Needy
  7. Discovering Our World: Dimensions of Culture
  8. Modes of Transportation
  9. Agriculture in Our Valleys
  10. Ten Industries
  11. Paying for it all: Banking and the Economy
  12. Caring for our Families and Keeping Informed: Health, Law, Senior Citizens and our Media
  13. Caring for Nature: Our Changing Environment
  14. Who are We? The People of the Valleys

During the past two generations, Warwick has been well served by Professor Hull's extensive research and writing of its history. This volume expands and updates his earlier histories of Warwick and is based on more than four hundred interviews and thousands of pages of local newspapers, books and journals, public documents and family histories. Bibliography.

In his Preface, Professor Hull describes Warwick as: "one of the most culturally-dynamic and geographically-diverse towns in the Hudson Valley. It is also about one of the great success stories in the history of American communities."

Chapters include:

  1. Our Mysterious Beginnings: The Indians in the Valleys
  2. Achieving our Freedom: Warwick in an Age of Revolution
  3. Making it all Work: Governance, Public Services and Utilities
  4. Indulging Ourselves: Taverns, Inns and Applejack
  5. Our Spiritual Community
  6. Educating Ourselves and Helping the Needy
  7. Discovering Our World: Dimensions of Culture
  8. Modes of Transportation
  9. Agriculture in Our Valleys
  10. Ten Industries
  11. Paying for it all: Banking and the Economy
  12. Caring for our Families and Keeping Informed: Health, Law, Senior Citizens and our Media
  13. Caring for Nature: Our Changing Environment
  14. Who are We? The People of the Valleys
Series description
Florida, New York Cover

Florida, New York

Author:
Florida Historical Society
Subjects:
American History; Orange County, NY; Black Dirt Region
Geography:
Orange County, NY; Florida, NY
ISBN:
0-880924-971-6
Order code:
9716x
Price:
$35.00

Winner of the Lower Hudson Conference Award of Excellence, 2002

An Early Look at its Faces, Places and Winding Staircases

This beautiful and extensively researched book is a history of the Village of Florida in the Town of Warwick, Orange County, New York, birthplace of William Henry Seward, Secretary of State to both Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson and as such the man who purchased Alaska for the United States.

Compiled by members of The Florida Historical Society, it tells the story of the first settlers and of those who followed them: their homes, stores and 'The Black Dirt' farms; the buildings they worked in; the churches where they worshipped; their children's schoolhouses; their civic organizations and the taverns where they gathered to discuss the events of the day.

The authors write:

We weren't aware of it at first, but it seems the old poscards, photographs, letters and other memorabilia helped to paint a gentle, but energetic picture of early life in the 'sweet little valley' of statesman Seward's birth.

The book is extensively illustrated with old photographs and copies of old maps, and contains cemetery records, including those of Civil War veterans; entries from the ledger of William Randle's Sawmill 1795-1815; lists of homes and a comprehensive index of residents of Florida until around 1903.

Winner of the Lower Hudson Conference Award of Excellence, 2002

An Early Look at its Faces, Places and Winding Staircases

This beautiful and extensively researched book is a history of the Village of Florida in the Town of Warwick, Orange County, New York, birthplace of William Henry Seward, Secretary of State to both Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson and as such the man who purchased Alaska for the United States.

Compiled by members of The Florida Historical Society, it tells the story of the first settlers and of those who followed them: their homes, stores and 'The Black Dirt' farms; the buildings they worked in; the churches where they worshipped; their children's schoolhouses; their civic organizations and the taverns where they gathered to discuss the events of the day.

The authors write:

We weren't aware of it at first, but it seems the old poscards, photographs, letters and other memorabilia helped to paint a gentle, but energetic picture of early life in the 'sweet little valley' of statesman Seward's birth.

The book is extensively illustrated with old photographs and copies of old maps, and contains cemetery records, including those of Civil War veterans; entries from the ledger of William Randle's Sawmill 1795-1815; lists of homes and a comprehensive index of residents of Florida until around 1903.

Series description
Orange County Bounty Cookbook Cover

Orange County Bounty Cookbook

Author:
Wallkill River School
Subjects:
Orange County, NY; Food; Cookbook
Geography:
New York
ISBN:
978-0-89824-9539
Order code:
9539
Price:
$24.99
Website Price:
$20.00

A sumptuously and delightfully illustrated cookbook by the artists of the Wallkill River School that is also an information resource on local produce, family-run farms, farmers’ markets and the restaurants which buy from them in Orange County, New York.

The artists collected favorite recipes from the growers and from the restaurants, illustrated each page and gathered family histories to share the experience of several generations of growers and cooks.

It is their hope that by encouraging New Yorkers to support the farmers and the restaurants featured in the book, not only will the ideals of good nutrition be shared but also the beautiful rolling farmlands and scenic vistas preserved to inspire future generations.

Comb-bound, in full color. A 'must buy' for all lovers of good food and supporters of farmers' markets and locally produced food.

Sample Recipes:

A sumptuously and delightfully illustrated cookbook by the artists of the Wallkill River School that is also an information resource on local produce, family-run farms, farmers’ markets and the restaurants which buy from them in Orange County, New York.

The artists collected favorite recipes from the growers and from the restaurants, illustrated each page and gathered family histories to share the experience of several generations of growers and cooks.

It is their hope that by encouraging New Yorkers to support the farmers and the restaurants featured in the book, not only will the ideals of good nutrition be shared but also the beautiful rolling farmlands and scenic vistas preserved to inspire future generations.

Comb-bound, in full color. A 'must buy' for all lovers of good food and supporters of farmers' markets and locally produced food.

Sample Recipes:

Series description
Sugar Loaf, New York. 1700-1997 Cover

Sugar Loaf, New York. 1700-1997

Author:
Hull, Richard W
Subjects:
Orange County, NY; Regional History; Sugar Loaf
Geography:
Orange County, NY
Order code:
0070
Price:
$10.00
Sugar Loaf, NY  1700-1997   The Enduring Vision

This is an updated and expanded edition of Professor Hull's earlier work: Sugar Loaf: Its History, Mystery and Magic 1703-1980

This is an updated and expanded edition of Professor Hull's earlier work: Sugar Loaf: Its History, Mystery and Magic 1703-1980

Sugar Loaf is a hamlet and a community; a community of talented, independent-minded people. It is known and visited for its art and craft shops, its theatre and inns and its very distinctive charm--a main street of preserved stores, houses and workshops, against a backdrop of hills and farms.

This is the history of the place and of the Foundation, and of the people who live there and made it what it is today.

The theme of the book is a "walking guide through more than 294 fascinating years of Sugar Loaf's history."

There are many historic photographs and past advertisments, and a bibliography.

Richard W Hull is Professor of History at New York University.

Sugar Loaf, NY  1700-1997   The Enduring Vision

This is an updated and expanded edition of Professor Hull's earlier work: Sugar Loaf: Its History, Mystery and Magic 1703-1980

This is an updated and expanded edition of Professor Hull's earlier work: Sugar Loaf: Its History, Mystery and Magic 1703-1980

Sugar Loaf is a hamlet and a community; a community of talented, independent-minded people. It is known and visited for its art and craft shops, its theatre and inns and its very distinctive charm--a main street of preserved stores, houses and workshops, against a backdrop of hills and farms.

This is the history of the place and of the Foundation, and of the people who live there and made it what it is today.

The theme of the book is a "walking guide through more than 294 fascinating years of Sugar Loaf's history."

There are many historic photographs and past advertisments, and a bibliography.

Richard W Hull is Professor of History at New York University.

Series description
History of the Development of Chester:1845-1995 (paperback) Cover

History of the Development of Chester:1845-1995 (paperback)

Author:
Subjects:
Orange County, NY; Regional History
Geography:
Orange County, NY; Chester, NY
Order code:
3067
Price:
$25.00

An overview of the growth of the Town of Chester, Orange County, New York

Compiled in celebration of Chester's 150th year, March 22 1995

This hardback book is extensively illustrated with photographs of citizens, their farms, houses and horses throughout the decades and throughout the seasons as the town's neighborhoods expanded and grew.

The hamlets include Sugar Loaf Craft Village, which beside its arts and crafts is also noted for being the birthplace in 1849 of Hambleton, "the great progenitor" of future racehorses.

A fascinating side of life in Chester is glimpsed through 'The Rural Book Club', founded in 1911 and by accounts of the lives of the women of old Chester.

There is a list of all the elected officials from 1845 to 1995 and the results of the 1845 census and 1990 census.

An overview of the growth of the Town of Chester, Orange County, New York

Compiled in celebration of Chester's 150th year, March 22 1995

This hardback book is extensively illustrated with photographs of citizens, their farms, houses and horses throughout the decades and throughout the seasons as the town's neighborhoods expanded and grew.

The hamlets include Sugar Loaf Craft Village, which beside its arts and crafts is also noted for being the birthplace in 1849 of Hambleton, "the great progenitor" of future racehorses.

A fascinating side of life in Chester is glimpsed through 'The Rural Book Club', founded in 1911 and by accounts of the lives of the women of old Chester.

There is a list of all the elected officials from 1845 to 1995 and the results of the 1845 census and 1990 census.

Series description
History of the Development of Chester:1845-1995 (hardback) Cover

History of the Development of Chester:1845-1995 (hardback)

Author:
Order code:
3075
Price:
$35.00
Series description
Minisink Turns 50: History of Minisink Valley Central School Cover

Minisink Turns 50: History of Minisink Valley Central School

Author:
Subjects:
Orange County, NY; Minisink Valley Central School
Geography:
Orange County, NY; Minisink, NY
Order code:
2665
Price:
$30.00

Minisink Valley Central School celebrated its Golden Jubilee on June 30, 2005 and this 400 page book of its history is dedicated to 'the Minisink Family and School Community...and all those who have helped us 'reach higher crowns." '

A comprehensive and wonderfully warm book of memories, history, photographs and records of the school, its students and staff, drama productions, sports clubs and achievements.

There is a special chapter on school life in the sixties; a list and photographs of Yearbook Dedications and every list you could want from a this Yearbook of Yearbooks.

Minisink Valley Central School celebrated its Golden Jubilee on June 30, 2005 and this 400 page book of its history is dedicated to 'the Minisink Family and School Community...and all those who have helped us 'reach higher crowns." '

A comprehensive and wonderfully warm book of memories, history, photographs and records of the school, its students and staff, drama productions, sports clubs and achievements.

There is a special chapter on school life in the sixties; a list and photographs of Yearbook Dedications and every list you could want from a this Yearbook of Yearbooks.

Series description
Village of Monroe, Celebration of a Century: 1894-1994 Cover

Village of Monroe, Celebration of a Century: 1894-1994

Author:
Subjects:
American History; Orange County, NY; Monroe, NY
Geography:
Orange County, NY; Monroe, NY
Age:
9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
Grade:
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Order code:
1854
Price:
$24.99
Website Price:
$20.00

Researched and compiled by the Members of the Monroe Historical Society, the book celebrates the centenary of the Village of Monroe, New York in 1994.

Hundreds of photographs and memorabilia depict life and times of the community, its homes, streets, stores, farms and parks; the recorded events over the years, the changing transportation and face of the landscape.

Photographs of Sunday School picnics, bowling teams, the mills and industries, the Monroe High School fire in 1928, the Firemen's Opera House, the creamery that invented Velveeta cheese and many structures that have disappeared in the name of progress.

Researched and compiled by the Members of the Monroe Historical Society, the book celebrates the centenary of the Village of Monroe, New York in 1994.

Hundreds of photographs and memorabilia depict life and times of the community, its homes, streets, stores, farms and parks; the recorded events over the years, the changing transportation and face of the landscape.

Photographs of Sunday School picnics, bowling teams, the mills and industries, the Monroe High School fire in 1928, the Firemen's Opera House, the creamery that invented Velveeta cheese and many structures that have disappeared in the name of progress.

Series description
Minisink Hose Company No.1, Unionville, NY. 1895-1995 Cover

Minisink Hose Company No.1, Unionville, NY. 1895-1995

Author:
Mavros, Donald O.; McNeil, Mary
Subjects:
American History; Orange County, NY; Unionville; Firefighters
Geography:
Orange County, NY; Unionville
Order code:
0073
Price:
$10.00

The rural Village of Unionville, New York, by the Appalachian Trail on the border of the states of New York and New Jersey, was founded in 1740.

This large format, paperback book commemorates the centennial of Unionville's Fire Department and also contains a history of the Village and a fascinating collection of historic photographs.

A substantial fire destroyed a block of buildings and stores in its center in July 1869 when the only means of protection was the "Bucket Brigade." After the Village was incorporated in 1872 , a movement began to have a water system with a reservoir and hydrants, but it was not until September 30, 1895, after another disastrous fire on Main Street, that formal action was taken to organize a Hose Company which developed into the modern Fire Department, still operated by dedicated volunteers.

Manufacturing of silk ribbons began in 1894. By 1899 Toner and Prescott were operating 34 looms in a large mill on Prospect Street. In 1919 the American Silk Label Manufacturing Company bought the firm and built another plant on First Avenue. By 1975 the plant contained 40,000 sq ft and employed 150 people. For economic reasons the operations were moved to other parts of the country in 1986. The buildings were then purchased by Royal Fireworks Press, which runs its printing and publishing companies there to this day.

The rural Village of Unionville, New York, by the Appalachian Trail on the border of the states of New York and New Jersey, was founded in 1740.

This large format, paperback book commemorates the centennial of Unionville's Fire Department and also contains a history of the Village and a fascinating collection of historic photographs.

A substantial fire destroyed a block of buildings and stores in its center in July 1869 when the only means of protection was the "Bucket Brigade." After the Village was incorporated in 1872 , a movement began to have a water system with a reservoir and hydrants, but it was not until September 30, 1895, after another disastrous fire on Main Street, that formal action was taken to organize a Hose Company which developed into the modern Fire Department, still operated by dedicated volunteers.

Manufacturing of silk ribbons began in 1894. By 1899 Toner and Prescott were operating 34 looms in a large mill on Prospect Street. In 1919 the American Silk Label Manufacturing Company bought the firm and built another plant on First Avenue. By 1975 the plant contained 40,000 sq ft and employed 150 people. For economic reasons the operations were moved to other parts of the country in 1986. The buildings were then purchased by Royal Fireworks Press, which runs its printing and publishing companies there to this day.

Series description
Wawayanda: Our Town Cover

Wawayanda: Our Town

Author:
Subjects:
American History; Orange County, NY; Black Dirt Region; Wawayanda, NY
Geography:
Orange County, NY; Wawayanda
Order code:
5108
Price:
$45.00

Compiled in 1999 for the 150th anniversary of the Town of Waywayanda in Orange County, New York, this 400 page hardback book is a comprehensive history.

Beginning with an discussion of the theories about the origin of the town's unusual name, it goes on to describe the geology of the area, archeological finds, the Native-Americans who lived here and the pioneer families.

The development of the hamlets that make up the Town is described in detail: New Hampton and Denton; Ridgebury; Pellets Island (originally part of the Drowned Lands, now the Black Dirt Region) and The Lower Road; Slate Hill; Gardnerville; South Centerviller, Millsburg and Kirbytown.

Agriculture chapters cover: the growing of celery, lettuce and onions, sod farms and dairy farming .

Covered extensively are: the Railroad, the Creameries, the churches, the schools, the Fire Department and Police, the Post Offices, the baseball teams and the wartime years.

There are genealogical records of families who have lived three generations or more in the Town and a comprehensive index.

Compiled in 1999 for the 150th anniversary of the Town of Waywayanda in Orange County, New York, this 400 page hardback book is a comprehensive history.

Beginning with an discussion of the theories about the origin of the town's unusual name, it goes on to describe the geology of the area, archeological finds, the Native-Americans who lived here and the pioneer families.

The development of the hamlets that make up the Town is described in detail: New Hampton and Denton; Ridgebury; Pellets Island (originally part of the Drowned Lands, now the Black Dirt Region) and The Lower Road; Slate Hill; Gardnerville; South Centerviller, Millsburg and Kirbytown.

Agriculture chapters cover: the growing of celery, lettuce and onions, sod farms and dairy farming .

Covered extensively are: the Railroad, the Creameries, the churches, the schools, the Fire Department and Police, the Post Offices, the baseball teams and the wartime years.

There are genealogical records of families who have lived three generations or more in the Town and a comprehensive index.

Series description
Exploring Orange County (for Children) Cover

Exploring Orange County (for Children)

Author:
Cohen, Nancy Lipson
Subjects:
American History; Orange County, NY; Colonial Life
Geography:
Orange County, NY; New York
Age:
8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Grade:
3, 4, 5, 6
Order code:
5566
Price:
$9.99
Website Price:
$7.99

Believing that history should be meaningful and "alive" for youngsters, the author has imbued her slice of Orange County history with a warm style, supplemented with illustrations and photographs, that puts the reader into the flow of the summertime action with modern day eleven-year old twins and their story-telling grandmother.

Grandma mixes storytelling with visits to museums, hands-on site visits, and discoveries that grow out of the children's observations. What could have been a boring summer turns out to be not only and adventursome holiday but also an in-depth learning experience.

The children learn about and see the skeleton of a mastodon at Orange County Community College; their observation about the beautiful Purple Loostrife along the road leads to a tale about a young girl botanist who lived 50 years before the American Revolution and kept a diary; there is the Museum at West Point; the Sephardic Jewish Gomez family of 1750; the De Roebling steel suspension bridge in 1849 over the Delaware River; and the Delaware & Hudson Canal of 1855, among other attractions.

Contains a Bibliography for further reading.

Theodore W. Sly, Historian for Orange County, New York, called the book historically correct, and added that, "I, as an adult, found that I was there..." He continued. "A children's book, yes, but one that perhaps is best read by an adult to a child...being together with the child in imagination and heart."

Nancy Lipson Cohen is a fourth grade teacher and an active resident of Orange County, NY.

Believing that history should be meaningful and "alive" for youngsters, the author has imbued her slice of Orange County history with a warm style, supplemented with illustrations and photographs, that puts the reader into the flow of the summertime action with modern day eleven-year old twins and their story-telling grandmother.

Grandma mixes storytelling with visits to museums, hands-on site visits, and discoveries that grow out of the children's observations. What could have been a boring summer turns out to be not only and adventursome holiday but also an in-depth learning experience.

The children learn about and see the skeleton of a mastodon at Orange County Community College; their observation about the beautiful Purple Loostrife along the road leads to a tale about a young girl botanist who lived 50 years before the American Revolution and kept a diary; there is the Museum at West Point; the Sephardic Jewish Gomez family of 1750; the De Roebling steel suspension bridge in 1849 over the Delaware River; and the Delaware & Hudson Canal of 1855, among other attractions.

Contains a Bibliography for further reading.

Theodore W. Sly, Historian for Orange County, New York, called the book historically correct, and added that, "I, as an adult, found that I was there..." He continued. "A children's book, yes, but one that perhaps is best read by an adult to a child...being together with the child in imagination and heart."

Nancy Lipson Cohen is a fourth grade teacher and an active resident of Orange County, NY.

Series description