To go right to Miss Feeny's Tour of Peekskill , Peekskill Memories, or The Spider Spins Again: The Mystery of the Sunset Diner, click here.
You may click on any of the underlined links to see a photo of that item.
Yow! I'm on my way to Peekskill, New York, to see all of the sites!
I'm really glad Brad Tenan wrote his articles in The Stanley Steamer and The Little Lulu Library 'bout the town that resembles Little Lulu's home town of Meadowville. I'm also glad that Jon Merrill published the articles in The Stanley Steamer and sent me all the back issues when I finally got his address. I'm goin' to take the tour of Peekskill that Miss Feeny took Brad and Jon on a few years ago!
Right now I'm on a plane that left Bloomington, Illinois at 7:35 a.m. to Detroit, Michigan, where I'll catch another flight to Newark, New Jersey. I hope I'm not late for the plane from Detroit, 'cause I have only 30 minutes layover!
After I get to Newark, I'm plannin' to make a few stops before I head north to Peekskill. First I'm goin' to go to Ellis Island to take some pictures of the names on the wall of my grandparents (my Mother's parents and brother and my Dad's father). Then I'm going to go to Rye, New York, to see Playland! I c'n hardly wait to get there!
Yow! I made it to the gate in Detroit for my flight to Newark just in time, but I didn't think I would. We landed a few minutes early, but there was a "traffic jam" and it took a while for the plane to stop. Then we got onto a bus and rode to a place where we got out and waited for another bus. That bus finally came and then we got to our concourse and had to walk to the right gate. Boy did I walk fast! When I got to the gate all the other passengers were already on the plane! Now I c'n relax for a while 'till I get to Newark.
Yow! I'm in Peekskill! I'm at the Peekskill Inn on Main Street. I just had dinner in the restaurant here at the motel - it was good! I'll tell you 'bout my afternoon.
The plane landed in Newark about noon, and I got my luggage and then took a monorail to rent my car. Then I took off up the New Jersey Turnpike to look f'r exit 4B, which would take me to Liberty State Park and the ferry to Ellis Island. But the first exit I noticed was 5W, so I thought I missed my exit. I guess I was busy watching traffic and trying to get used to the car. I went to the next exit to make sure, which was 6 something, so I was sure I missed my exit. Then I turned around and went back to exit 4B. I found it, and I found the way to the park, and the way to the ferry parking lot. I got my ticket and waited a short time for the ferry to start to board. I could see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty behind it from there, so I took some pictures.
Then I got on the ferry and rode to Ellis Island. I found the wall full of names of people who came through Ellis Island, and then I found the names of my mother's family and my dad's father and took pictures of them. I also made a pencil rubbing of them. I had to stay there for an hour and a half before the ferry came back that would take me to New Jersey. I looked around f'r a while and had something to eat while I waited for the ferry. On our way back to New Jersey we rode past the Statue of Liberty, where Miss Feeny took Lulu's class. There were several classes of students with their teachers on Ellis Island and on the ferry. I kept looking f'r Miss Feeny, Lulu and the other kids, but I didn't see them. I saw one boy that at first I thought was Tubby, but it wasn't. I did hear some of the kids talking about Peekskill, though, so maybe they knew Lulu.
By the time I got back to my car I decided it was too late to go to Playland, so I got back on the New Jersey Turnpike and went north to the Washington Bridge, then I went north on route 9A/9. I drove north along the Hudson River, going through Sleepy Hollow, 'till I got to Peekskill, and here I am! It was dark most of the way up, so I couldn't see much along the way. I did see a couple of deer along the side of the road - I was glad they decided to stay on the side of the road and not try to cross it! I found the Peekskill Inn right off of Route 9 on Route 6, Main Street. I got my room, and then had dinner downstairs in the restaurant. I'm going to bed pretty soon. I am really tired from all the excitement of the day! Tomorrow I've got a big day!
Today, Dear Diry, I had a great day! First I put on my sweatshirt with Little Lulu on it that my sister made me. Then I took the tour that Miss Feeny took Brad and Jon on when they were in Peekskill. I started first thing in the morning and kept going all day until dark. Yow! Was it fun to see all the sights they saw!
I have the list of directions and sites I made for me to follow their route - just click on the things you want to see, and you'll see the pictures I took of them. (Some day I will add the pictures from the comics that show the same things, but that will take me a while to find and scan all of those pictures, and I didn't want to wait until I get it done! So come with me on Miss Feeny's tour!
Following "Miss Feenys Tour"
of Peekskill, New York, October 26, 1998
as described in Bradley Tenans article in TSS 24: "Miss Lulu Moppet Lives at 22 Main Street.........
But Where????? The Search is Finally Over - Part IV"
Sites to See
|Begin at Beach Shopping Center on Main Street - east side of town||Supermarket - "self-service market"|
|Go west on U.S.6 - Main Street, on left ahead to Tompkins Park||Wooded areas, trails - "path that leads down to Main Street", ball field|
|Continue down Main Street||Houses: Lulu style-wide apart and singular|
|Continue past Larch Lane, Grant Ave., Armstrong Ave.||Tubby style houses - closer and closer together|
|Continue past Field Street and Broad Street||Broad Street - where Tubbys father works; Annie-Iggy style houses - rows of ground-level apartment houses whose doors open to the street with no front yards|
|Continue into central business district||City blocks with 5&10, delis, fruit markets with stands of fruit outside (I didn't see fruit outside in October, but there were illustrations of it on a large painting on a wall on Bank Street), laundromats, toy stores, bakeries, etc. Taxi service office, newspaper printing office, large department store (Winkles-Howlands), Tompkins Office Building (I found pizza, fish market, pork market, boutique, book store, drug store, hardware store, fabric store, gift shop, collectibles, florist, etc.)|
|Continue through Division St. toward Nelson and Union Avenues||City Hall on corner to the right, Public Library & Police Headquarters on corner to the left; traffic lights, city blocks, public transportation services as city buses, bus shelters, taxi stops|
|Continue down Main street past central business district||Shadier with more trees and large apartment buildings|
|Continue between Hadden and Decatur Streets||Elementary School with playground in front (Is that Miss Feeny and Lulu's class?)|
|Continue on Main out of shady area to top of hill overlooking Hudson||On right Peekskill Motor Inn|
|Continue on Main across overpass - U.S.9 is below; bend in road and curves downhill to foot of hill at end of Main Street||If continued on - over the bank into the water as Lulu and Annie did|
|Turn left on Water Street||West side of town - junk piles, run-down, boarded-up buildings|
|Turn right at Riverfront Green miniature park - get out to walk||To left is train station - upstate express (Is Lulu's dad in that train that is going north?); Hudson River, hills and valleys, large massive building-Wilburs mansion|
|Go south past Hudson and Railroad Avenues, turn left on Requa Street, turn right on South Street||Large building on small hill - iron rod fence - convent or something - maybe was old, run-down abandoned house (I'm not sure this is the right house)|
|Continue along Lower South Street - pass Mountain and Cliff Street||Cliff Street (I couldn't find Cliff Street)|
|Continue another mile, past tiny park, to Welcher Avenue - turn left on Welcher to what seems to be the end of Welcher||Entrance - pay at booth - straight and then to left - dense, wooded area - Blue Mountain Reservation- woods, hiking trails, spots for picnics, (YOW! There are Tubby and Iggy are roasting a hot dog! Thanks for the picture, E.D.!) lake Lounsbury Pond - with island (You can see how close the island is to the other side of the lake in this photo) (I even found a waterfall on the lake - is that where Lulu saved Tubby from going over?) (YOW! There are Lulu and Tubby having fun by the waterfall!Thanks for the picture, E.D.!)|
|Go back way came, but instead of leaving park bear all the way left to other side of lake||Beach|
|Leave BMR on Welcher, take left onto Washington Street, then left on Montrose Station Road for about a mile-traveling across lower portion of BMR - look to left||"Dead Mans Hill" - Blue Mountain|
|Continue to end of road, then turn back toward center of Peekskill-turn left on Maple Avenue||Maple Avenue (Tubbys house is at 22 Maple Avenue)|
|Go northeast on Maple||Bradleys Lane (Meadowvilles discoverer)|
|Continue on woody road, more Lulu type houses, go up big hill||Hills|
|Continue on Maple to first street intersecting-Elm||Maple and Elm|
|Turn left on Elm to fifth right||Walnut Street (opposite Walnut should be Oakhill - clubhouse corner of Elmhurst and Oak) (The man at the taxi office told me about Oak Hill School on what used to be Oak Hill Street but is now Ringgold - it had Drum Hill School on it, but they used to call it Oak Hill School. It was on the top of Oak Hill, and I could see it from my room at the Peekskill Inn across town (here's a closeup). I found it, and there on the corner of Elm and Ringgold - formerly Oak Hill - was a vacant lot there which may be the site of the clubhouse. (Yow! Look! Here IS the clubhouse on that very spot! Thanks for the picture, Bob!)|
|Turn left on Walnut Street and cross Hudson Avenue, tennis courts on left||Stone/cement posts in front leading to "Meadowvilles City Park" - Chauncey M. Depew Park (There were also different shaped posts at the exit and at another entrance to the park) (I also found the statue of Chauncey Mitchell Depew)|
|Enter park, turn left||Swampy land - frogs, quicksand (I didn't venture out onto the quicksand nor find any frogs) - Lake Mitchett (This view is taken from the little bridge) (YOW! There are Lulu and Tubby walking on the stone wall by the lake! Thanks for the picture, E.D.!)|
|Cross small bridge||Sign Nature Center - zoo (I couldn't find any reference to the Nature Center)|
|Turn around and go back way came, come out on Union Avenue rather than Walnut by moving straight ahead; turn right and go about half mile, crossing Elm, passing 1st and 2nd Streets and historical museum||2nd Street; Museum (with its sign in front)|
|Cross South Street||Central Avenue; apartment buildings on meadow-like land with wildflowers (There were no wildflowers this time of year)|
|Continue past parking garage on right and library-police station on left; turn left on Main Street, right on Hadden Street (next to school), left on John Street to end of John - turn sharply to right to private drive-go up steep, slim, foresty road far enough to see whats at top||"Van Snobbe mansion - Convent of St. Marys (This drive is now open to the public. As I started up the hill there were signs to the convent and also to apartments that were further up the road, with another sign farther up directing the way. I found the convent. Then, on my way back down the road, there was another large house that was now a private home up a private drive. It had a sign in front of it, and it is the home that is visible from the Riverside Park below - I think this is Wilbur's house - notice the flag in front, similar to the view from below)|
|Turn back, take left on Hadden Street, right on Paulding Street, cross Decatur, left on Nelson Avenue||Orchard Street - where Gloria lives|
|Turn right||Houses typical of Lulu - steep hills|
|Turn right on Division Street, travel down hill toward Main - on right between two taller buildings||Sunset Diner on sloping hill (I didn't find the diner on Division Street. At Main I took a left, then a right on Bank Street, and the diner was on the left. See more photos and information about the diner below) (YOW! There are Lulu and Annie in front of the diner! Thanks for the picture, E.D.!)|
|Continue on Division Street, cross Main, turn left on Park Street||Movie theater (I didn't find a theater on Park Street. There used to be one, but it is gone - moved out to the edge of town)|
|Around the block in this same area is a live theater||Live theater (see side view) (This theater has both live performances and films now)|
|Continue to end of Park Street, turn right on North James Street, right on Brown Street||Along Brown Street - solid black wrought-iron fence-like structure (I couldn't find this particular fence, but I found many examples of the wrought-iron fence: at houses, around the playground by the school, at city hall, etc.) (Yow! There's Tubby in the playground! Thanks for the picture, E.D.!)|
|Turn left on South Division Street, bear left on Compound Road||More wrought-iron architecture along this stretch|
|Continue on Compound (U.S. 35) about a mile, on left directly before Conklin Avenue||Peekskill Community Hospital (Now called Hudson Valley Hospital center - where they visited Grampa Feeb??)|
|Turn left on Conklin Avenue, back on U.S. 6 - Main Street, turn left into Beach Shopping Center||End of "Miss Feenys Tour"|
I found some other things on my trip to Peekskill, too. I wanted to find some of the things Brad mentioned that let him to determine that Peekskill was Little Lulu's "home town." First, he said it was in the north because of the change of seasons with colored leaves in the fall (looks like Lulu needs to get busy raking leaves) and all the snow on the winter (I didn't see any snow, but I did see ski hills (is this where Lulu and Tubby went to the ski competitions?). Brad said it was in the northeast rather than the northwest because of the types of trees, including the chestnut (it's the small smooth trunk just to the right of the larger, rougher one) with it's yellow leaves and prickly seeds, and the hickory with its shaggy bark.
He also said it was near New York City (here's another view of New York City), with the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty where Miss Feeny took Lulu's class. The Hudson Valley is also near, with tales of the Headless Horse from nearby Sleepy Hollow (notice the high school sign in the background with the football team called Horsemen) with its famous Headless Horseman. Sometimes Lulu and her friends went to camp in the Catskill Mountains.
Brad mentioned some of the military history in the area of Lulu's home town. There were signs nearby related to the military, including homes protecting West Point; Camp Smith, a National Guard site; and the Military Academy on Oak Hill right in Peekskill. It used to have the hanging oak tree. It is now the site of the public school administrative office, but still has the canons on display and oak trees in the back.
Brad said Lulu's home town was near the ocean where they went to Playland (Rye, NY), with the beach, the boardwalk that went right out into the water, and the amusement park, with the roller coaster and ferris wheel. I also saw the bath house where the kids changed into their swimsuits, and there were and signs for Tubby's favorite - hot dogs! There were other treats, too. There was a crab on the beach like the one the Tubby found, and I thought I saw little Alvin with his shovel ready to dig in the sand, but I guess it wasn't him after all. There were places for a lot of busses to take Lulu, Tubby, and Alvin back home. One thing at Playland that is probably a recent addition is the casino.
To identify the actual town in that general area, Brad looked at other clues in the comics. There was a bridge nearby, and routes 6 and 9 go through the town, with route 301 nearby.
I had a great time at the diner (now called Center Diner). Remember, Tubby always liked to go to the Sunset Diner to try to get some pies or something from Al. I took some photos of the inside of the diner, including the counter and one of the booths. I also took a picture of the pie case. There was also a gum ball machine in there - maybe it's the one Alvin got his finger stuck in! (You can see a sign of the times with the missing child picture on it.)
It looked like Al behind the counter, but I guess it wasn't. I took a picture of a couple of the men sitting at the counter, just like they did when Tubby went into the diner. When I was there, someone came in with a "false face" for Halloween, and at first I thought maybe it was Tubby all grown up, but it wasn't.
The owner, Marie, showed me some old photos she had from the late 30's when the diner was new. Here's one of the diner, one of the street, another of the street, one of the diner in a heavy snow, one of the diner from the back, one of the diner and the street, and another looking down the street. She also showed me a photo taken last year of the diner and another of her and her husband (who died a few months before) taken at the same time. She also showed me an old Coke advertisement from that time. They have recently renovated the diner, so it now looks like it did when it was first opened (1937 or 1938).
Marie also showed me a menu from 1947 (see the cover, the first page and the second page. Note the price of one of Tubby's favorites - apple pie!) I also took a picture of the new menu - the cover, the first page and the second page.
I made sure I went there several times, so I could try several different things to eat. I got a piece of apple pie just like Tubby (oops - it looks like Tubby was here and ate the pie all up)! I also had a chocolate soda because I know Lulu and Tubby love them, and a cup of coffee (I got decaf, so I didn't get affected like Tubby did the day he drank lots of coffee!)
See "The Spider Spins Again: The Mystery of the Sunset Diner" which first appeared in The HoLLywood Eclectern.
Because I was in Peekskill the week before Halloween, I was able to see that Halloween is still a big holiday there, just as it was for Lulu and the other kids. I saw lots of houses all decorated for Halloween! Check them out! Here's one, and another, and a third (was Alvin here to pile up the pumpkins?) (YOW! There's Alvin now, along with Lulu, Tubby, and someone in a witch's costume - or is that Little Itch herself?? Thanks for the picture, E.D.!), and fourth, and fifth (here's a close up of that), and sixth.
I found the cemetery - maybe this is where Lulu and Tubby walked - straight out North Division Street. Actually there were two close together, but I went to just the first one I came to.
I went to the post office in Peekskill to mail some postcards I made with Little Lulu on them, so they would have the Peekskill postmark on them. Here's the front and back of one of them.
Well, Dear Diry, that's my trip to Peekskill to see Little Lulu's home town. I had a great time. All the people I talked with were really nice. I especially enjoyed my visits to the diner. I felt right at home, just like I knew everybody through the comics. However, I didn't find any reference to Little Lulu. I was hoping maybe there would be something, but there wasn't.
After finding the sites in Peekskill, I took one day and went north to find some waterfalls to add to my waterfall web page, and then I flew back to Illinois.
See pictures of Lulu and her friends appearing in some of my photos of Peekskill/Meadowland
January 9, 2013
I found your site while doing genealogy research on my family who spent years in the Peekskill area. I graduated from Hen Hud in 1969, as did my parents some twenty years earlier. I recently received some cassettes made by my uncle, Ray Hard, with interviews of his mother, Margaret L. Hard Dillon, and his uncle Jack O'Brien, both born around the turn of the century. They share memories of growing up in a boarding house on 113 Smith St, and talking about staying on Lake Oscawana in Nate Seaburys (the police chief) summer house, and references to old businesses like the Boston Variety Store, Natelos charcoal, Tullers, Genungs and many more. They made reference to my g.g.grandfather, Benjamin Hard, who played drums for the silent movies at the Paramount. Grandma Margaret remarried late in life to an incredible man, John Dillon, who owned a battery business. I have a picture of his truck that looked exactly like a car battery with Exide on it with Dillon's Battery Service logo. My maternal grandmother was Edna Basley, formerly See, who lived above Pop Nardones barber shop on South St. It is a blast looking at all the pictures on your site. I lived in Verplanck on the river as a child, and I still speak highly of where I was raised, moving to Buchanan in my early teens. I still have one cousin in Peekskill, and she still loves it there where she raised her family. I don't know if I'll go back, but I enjoy checking your site from time to time. Maybe I'll post some pictures one of these days! Bill Hard, Jr., now living in Florida, but on the west coast where it's peaceful like home.
January 9, 2013
Amazing. Just searching for a deceased Dr. Colao in Peekskill brought me to your LuLu site and wonderful story. What I found also interesting were all the comments from former Peekskill residents. It is similar to comments we get at the Peekskill Museum website. My name is Bob Mayer and I am currently a trustee and the treasurer of the Museum which you managed to show during your tour of the city. Too bad you didn't get inside for a tour. I have printed out the entire 31 pages and will share them with the other trustees at our next board meeting. It is possible that some of them were aware of your site as I noted the Frank Godere's wife had left a comment back in 2004. Frank is a member and former trustee of the museum. I am also offering our assistance with many of the requests for more information about the former schools, etc. in the city. Based upon the comments I read, many were seeking help with searches. Unfortunately, none of their email addresses show up on your site, so we are not in a position to help at this point. It would be wonderful if you possibly could provide our information to them, I think we might be able to come up with some good information for them. The info is as follows:
The Peekskill Museum
124 Union Ave.
PO Box 84
Peekskill, NY 10566-0084
Visiting hours Saturday 1-4pm or by appointment
Thank you for the enjoyable reading and for passing this on if possible. Bob
March 23, 2010
Note from Michele: I received an e-mail from Lillian who has created a website for those who went to Villa Loretto School and Mount St. Florence. You may see the sites and contact her through the information she sent below:
There were comments on Villa Loretto School for girls and there was Mount St Florence there too and I went there. I ask because all the Alumni and I have put a site together for the Alumni and I am doing all kinds of research of the school and nuns that were there to place on the site.
Here are the sites and here is my email LillianDesmond@aol.com
March 23, 2010
Hi there! I found the "diry" of your trip to Peekskill, NY. Would you know if any of the LL comics were printed at the Western Publishing plant in Poughkeepsie, NY? All of each issue, or just the copies for the eastern US? Poughkeepsie is less than an hour north of Peekskill, right on US 9. I'm a native of the Poughkeepsie area, and had to pass through Peekskill every time I went to NYC, whether by car or by train. There's some info about the building itself on http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/category/hemmings-publications/hmn/ -- scroll down to June 2009. My memories of the building will be in the comments for that entry, as soon as the moderator approves them. Adam
March 23, 2010
Hi, I recently discovered your web pages about Peekskill. I grew up in Peekskill, but had no idea it had any connection to Little Lulu.
Although I dont live in Peekskill, I spent a lot of time there until my mother passed away. I was happy to see a reference to the coconut buns at the Modern Bakery. My mother, Alice, worked at the bakery for 35 years and always gave free cookies to the kids who came in. The bakery closed a few years ago and I, too, miss the coconut buns. My mother and I both missed Sioles, the ice cream parlor on South St., which had the best ice cream I have ever had. I have a few of their metal ice cream dishes.
Many of the stores in your pictures have closed or changed hands. The Center Diner is still there, but I am not sure if the owner is the same.
Peekskill has gone through many changes since the 50s and 60s when I was growing up. However, it is a vibrant little city with a big Hispanic community and a community of artists. There are several good restaurants that feature live music at night. The farmers market on Saturdays is wonderful. There is a Peekskill festival every summer.
Now that I dont get back to Peekskill very often, I miss it. Thank you for keeping our memories alive through your web site. Linda
March 23, 2010
Hello, Found your website while trying to find out more info on the "defunct" boarding school, St. Mary's located in Peekskill, which apparently closed in the mid-1970's after nearly 80 years.
While you may not be able to help me directly, I'm hoping that you may have some suggestions on who may have the historical records and documents from the school. Why?? Last week, I received over 100 old letters that were written between a St. Mary's student and her father between 1911 and 1918. The letters were listed on eBay and I was intriqued with the information as the Seller described them. I have since received and read them and they have touched me in a way that I would like more information on this family. I am saddened to think these old letters may have been lost over the years and that there are surviving relatives that would cherish them.
I understand that St. Mary's was run by the Episcopal Diocese, at least in the early 1900's. I have exhausted all leads by going online and Googling the father's name which was Edgar Eugene Brooks. I did find an obituary for him for 1921. His only daughter who boarded at St. Mary's name was Anna Mary Brooks and she was born around 1904. It would seem to me that there could be grandchildren or greatgrandchildren descendants of Anna Brooks.
Not sure how much sense I'm making of this tonight as I'm nursing a cold. If you have any suggestions, I'd truly appreciate your help.
I'm in my 60's and Little Lulu was one of my most favorite comics. I remember that I had a little Golden Book (I think) back in the mid 1950's that was a Little Lulu book. It had a small pack of Kleenex tissues in it. I might still have the book somewhere in all my old collectibles.
July 8, 2009
Hi, just read your blog about Peekskill. It was really great hearing everyones memories of what was once such a beautiful and great place. I grew up in Peekskill in the 70's. I had no idea of it's history until I read your blog. I must inform most of the people that contributed to this blog that a lot has changed since they were there. I do realize I came along much later than a lot of these bloggers, but I too have some of my best memories in life from growing up in Peekskill. Even in the 70's Peekskill was a beutiful city to grow up in.
I attended Macinley elementry school which was on the corner of Welcher ave and Washington st. It was called the castle on the hill. I believe it is now used as some sort of community center. I have never seen a school so grand since then. The huge windows everyone has been talking about. The stone work, the granite, it was amazing. I lived at the apartment complex just behind it, it used to be called Patricia Gardens. I believe it is now called Welcher ave apartments. There were kids everywhere. Every morning all the kids would gather together and walk up our own sidewalk in the rear of the apartments and walk to school. Imagine that, unsupervised even, what a time. I also remember swimming lessons at Depew park, and the countless walks to Blue Mountain park. Ferronies deli always got the change in our pocket on the walk home. Howlands was a great place to ride the elevator, it looked like it was out of a science fiction movie. I still remember to floor numbers painted on the wall so the operator knew where to stop the car. My mother worked for Peekskill savings bank right in the middle of town. Even the bank was huge. Multi floors, lots of space that would never be considered today.
As I said though, as well as a few others on this blog, Peekskill started to change in the late 70's. The downtown district was becoming very dirty and crime ridden. Beach shopping center started to loose it draw as the new Mega malls were being designed. I still remember driving all the way to that mall that was up 9 just before you hit I-84. Then came Westchester mall with Masters as it's anchor. Beach went through a huge decline before it recovered in the early 90's. The school system started to get a bad reputation and people were leaving Peekskill and not returning. It's really a shame when you consider all Peekskill has to offer with it's location relative to NYC.. The train close by as well as major roadways. Bear Mountain park a close drive. West Point a nice sunday outing.
Peekskill has several times promoted a public "turn around" but has never pulled it off. Just take a drive through many of the common places described in these blogs and I doubt many would be impressed with what the city has done in the past 20 years. It is not an attractive place to live, and there are few areas you would want to raise a family. If they ever did get it right, I would certainly consider moving back home. Thanks Phil D.
July 8, 2009
The emotions of finding a blog about Peekskill where I lived from 1959-1964 at 950 Paulding Street in a 250 year old 3 story house, and then later in 1966-1967 I was in St. Germaine's/ Mt. Florence surprising have welled up inside me.
I have always had recurring dreams of people, places and things there...so many.
Since Paulding St was only 4 blocks or so from Oakside I would walk to school 3-6 grades. I still see the inside stairways on both sides of the building...the bathroom, Mr. Schwartz' class with the very tall windows, where thunder and lightening would excite one. School was luckily integrated in 1960 there and I had friends of all races.
One fixture there was a crazy lady named Maggie who would walk the street outside the Oakhill playground.
There was a patch of grass on the playground cement wall that we would jump to get onto; on the Oakhill building was a lower roof where we would take a risky flying leap to jump onto from the fire escape after stealing things at Woolworths down town...(no wonder I ended up in St. Germaine's later on as a teen).
There was a street behind the playground that was a high hill that I used to walk up, then into the woods where after a little ways was a pond, then a monastery I think...intriguing historical woods. One path led a long way to that bridge over pass in your photo and on the other side of it, a trampoline that we used to go on.
Across from the high front steps of Oakside was a grocery store and a little girl named Charlene lived on the corner...
Bohmen (sp) Towers was down a section of creep dangerous streets that I would have nightmares about walking on. Across from that, a ballet school with teacher named Linda that I went to.
A girl named Patty Male lived around there that some made fun of as she had a skin disease...they called her scaly Male-crudely.
My step-father worked in Bill's market as a butcher past Pugsly's Park where the chicken man hung out-he would walk around clucking...people said he was really quite rich-who knows...lots of weird characters in town... and across the park was Big Ben, bowling alley where my mother was a waitress.
That section of town by Bill's market was for in the Puerto Rican/black neighborhoods that I would walk all the time to.
On the walk to town down Division St from the monument was Oppenheimer's store on the left side-funny shaped building, then the drugstore on the corner. The two way street went all the way through town then, I here it is only one way now? St Mary's was at the other end...
We used to go down South Street as the guy said in another post, the town was so well laid out, one could walk to any where.
I went to Drum Hill where my first young love interest was Johnny Kramer in 7th grade. I hate to think that it all has changed now...swimming at the park, riding a bike down the hill to the river, I loved Peekskill, loved it.
Best friends who lived in my apt building: Mimi and Monica Hochroth...ended up being quite popular in Peekskill I heard. They were from Germany.
In St. Germains we had a chance to get up at 6 am and go to chapel. This chapel was very special: 3 sided. The cloistered order of Sisters Of The Cross with their black habit and black veils sat on one side of the alter; we, the resident girls sat on the other side of the chapel, and the Good Shepard Nuns with their white habits and black veils sat in the front. Some of the S.O.T.C. used to be school girls there but couldnt speak to those they knew, they would just wave a few fingers at their side if they knew some one.
But the singing was so beautiful, that I always took the option of getting up early and going to mass during the week as well as the standard Sunday. There was a wonderful library and that was the first time I ever read about St. Francis and the Lepers. That made a lasting impression. I graduated from 9th grade there. Then, one of the shrinks that we had to see told me I had to leave because there wasnt anything wrong with me...broken home. Girls would be released from the dining room to go home. Mother Superior would call our names, us when it was time for me to be released, I remember making a dramatic run for the door, as I had seen some one do previously, to make a point. But really, they were very sweet nuns. When we went to Pennsylvania for camp in the summer they would wear sneakers and were very cheerful, except the Mother Superior who seemed very worn with care about us all.
There was a girl who died there that the nuns fondly remembered and would talk about her uniqueness.
If anyone has any photos to send of St. Germaine's, I would love to see them. Does anyone know if all our records were destroyed? I would like to track them down and find one of the psychologists names who talked to me...I cant recall it and thought a record might exist. I cant believe the place is gone...that beautiful chapel, what a waste.
I remember on my hands and knees cleaning the stairs with tin pail and scrub brush. Very good early training of discipline that I dont think girls on the outside had the opportunity to have.
Jeanne, now from California
July 8, 2009
My children, my second husband and I all went back to Peekskill in February 08 to lay my first mother in law to rest. My first husband, Bart Creed, was a Peekskill native and naval aviator MIA in Laos since 1971. His parents, George (had been a partner in Creed Brother's Lumber Company) and Verna Creed lived on Elm Street where I visited often with Bart. Mrs. Creed was a librarian and was very instrumental in getting the new library built; I remember going to the old library in the basement of a building in town and she was so anxious for the library to above the ground! She instilled a love of reading in my two older children--she'd sit in the sunroom in the Peekskill house and read for what seemed like hours to my toddlers-- that still serves them well. Bart and I loved sledding in DePeuw Park and hanging out at Sorrento's across from the train station. Peekskill was magical in those years of young love...until the mood changed to melancholy when Bart was lost.
The Creeds moved to Florida many years ago; Mr. Creed died in 88 and was interred in Port Charlotte. Mrs. Creed came to a northern Virginia retirement home for the last few years of her life; we were near her and loved having her back in our lives. When she passed away last year at almost 97, Mr. Creed was disinterred from Florida and both he and Mrs. Creed were laid to rest in the Creed family plot in Hillside Cemetary; HOME AGAIN.
We all stayed at the Peekskill Motor Inn where we had several Christmas dinners with great grandma Marion Flockton Creed back in the late '60's and early 70's after she was too frail to go to the Bear Mountain Inn any longer. It was hard to look out from the balcony of the Inn and look over the Hudson. So many wonderful memories flooded back. It was the same place I'd been in youthful, happy times, but it was...different. My two children with Bart said they thought we should have a memorial for Bart in the family plot. It would give us a reason to come back to Peekskill at least one more time. Susan Clifton, Virginia
July 8, 2009
Very interesting page. I went to Peekskill Military Acadamy for 1 year. My brother went for 5 yrs. We used to live in Lake Mahopac, and drive to school as `townies`. There were very many presteigous students there from many parts of the world. I went back to New York [ I was in N.Carolina for 35 yrs.] in 2001 and remembered the hanging tree and read the plaque that was imbedded in it. The school was torn down along time a go and they built the Peekskill High School. Regards, John Perlini
February 3, 2008
I was looking through your web-site and found all great information about Peekskill, NY. I was in St. Joseph's from 1965-67 with two of my brothers. The nuns there were wonderful and I want to try and get more information about other children that were there from when the home first opened till it closed. I would love to do a documentry on the children that came through St. Joseph's. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for the memories! Lisa
February 3, 2008
Read of your Peekskill NY visits. Oddly, the 'history' of the Peekskill Inn is not mentioned in any of the history of Peekskill. I thought you might find this of interest, along with photos of the place now occupied by the Peekskill Inn, of which only 1 small building remains of the original 3. IMHO, they totally 'destroyed' not only the building but the charming land ...
My parents (Helen and Ralph Bianco) owned the original "Hotel" site from 1947-1955, when it was sold to Farber Whitman developers. Unfortunately, they tore down two of the buildings to build the "Peekskill Motor Lodge," as it was called in those days. It was 636 St. Mary's Lane; I note it is now 635 Main St.
My parents bought the parcel from the Sisters of St. Mary's in 1947. There was not an unbroken window in the place, as the property had been abandoned--as I recall, for some twenty years. To the best of my knowledge, at that time the buildings were over 100 years old. My father purchased the property for $7,000 - a lot of money in 1947. My parents got their mortgage from the old Peekskill Savings Bank. My mother worked for "Pines, Sterling and Sterling" at the time, and Charlie Sterling was on the Board of Directors at the Bank and as I recall, did some arm-twisting to secure a mortgage for my parents as there was reluctance to mortgage an 'abandoned' property.
The property was beautiful. It was a magical place for a child to live - there were over 4 acres, the 3 stone buildings plus the building which for many years housed the Veterans of Foreign Wars. My father sold part of the land (to the VFW) to be able to renovate the main hotel building and the 2 smaller homes. We lived in both the smaller homes and the hotel. There were '10' hotel rooms plus 2 dining rooms, bar and kitchen and as children, we used to play in the rooms that were not occupied.
The buildings were beautiful - the walls 18" thick fieldstone. Wall to ceiling windows, high ceilings, elaborate plaster mouldings, and a marble fireplace in each room of the main 'hotel' building. In spring, daffodils grew wild and covered the entire hillside in front of the main hotel which had a wrap around porch, with magnificent views of the Hudson -- and at that time, of the old Mothball Fleet. The sound of the trains from the railroad tracks below was music to our ears and very much missed when we moved.
There was a natural waterfall adjacent to the stone house that remains which went into a tiny pond. There was a larger pond up behind the VFW building where the 'Late Great Duchess' - the dog we grew up with used to bring home huge snapping turtle shells (strangely devoid of their occupants.
My parents operated the "Hotel BelAire" for many several years, along with a restaurant as part of the hotel and for others in Town. I recall every summer, the local doctors would have their annual clambake at the hotel. The late Doctors Nicholas Colao, John McGurty Senior, David Scuccimarra, among the 40 or so doctors who would attend this annual event.
I recall deliveries of soda for the soda machines from the Abele Bottling Works, beer from Bertoline's, and trips to the Horton Ice Cream factory on Park Street for 5 gallons of the best vanilla and chocolate ice cream I ever had.
June Week at West Point, the hotel would be bustling with families of the cadets, many of whom we befriended and kept in contact for years.
One of my fondest memories is of a New York City family who were in the garment business who stayed for months at the hotel due to a tragic accident. Mrs. Arthur Lewis whose only son was killed in an accident on Route 9 and whose husband remained hospitalized for months in the old Peekskill Hospital which necessitated their staying at the hotel until Mr. Lewis was released from the hospital. Every weekend when they would visit Mr. Lewis in the hospital and return to the hotel, they brought my brother, sister and myself treasures from Manhattan. Another friendship forged for many years ...
A freelance photographer took some photos of the hotel and Graymoor and I have a lovely one of the Hotel in summer and if I can figure out how to scan it here, I will send it.
I was heartbroken when my parents sold the site in 1955. It was considered a big real estate deal in those days for Peekskill - it made headlines of the old Peekskill Evening Star that the property sold for $65,000!
Just thought you' like to know about some history which supercedes what you have posted...
Best wishes, Carol Renza
(You may click on the photos below for a larger version)
Hotel shows the original slate roof with finials
Hotel 2 showed the new roof my father put on.
Hotel 3 shows the beautiful view of the Hudson from the large wrap-around porch of the hotel
Hotel Listing 1 and Hotel Listing 2 depict the sales literature with American Listings in New York City when my parents listed the property for sale
February 3, 2008
I was at St Germaines home from 1963 to 66 it was a wonder full experiance. The sisters treated us so well. I was from a very abusive home, because of my uncle. I learned a lot while i was there, I was there not because I was bad but because of circumstance. How can I get pictures of St Germains today and then? Also there was a manmade pond on the grounds do you know what it was called? I was only one of two girls back then that came from Rochester NY, one other was Carmen Martinize, do you have any infro on any of the girls from that time or any future reunions? I am really interested to see my old girls home. I was so young but loved Peekskill. Is it still a pretty little town? Thank you so much, please tell me whom to contact for photos or more infromation. Thanks again, Catherine
February 3, 2008
I happened onto your website and thoroughly enjoyed it even though I was no fan of Lulu. Jack Armstrong and Buck Rogers were more to my liking.
The main purpose in contacting you is to see if you, or any of your readers, have addresses for both St. Mary's School for Girls and St. Peters School for boys. My mother and her sisters (I believe) attended St,. Mary's and I graduated St. Peter's in 1948. I am working on a family tree and could certainly use information from both of these now defunct schools.
As I am the oldest living member of our family there is no place to go to for information.
If I could get the phone number for the Van Cortland Historical Museum I could contact them. One lady that wrote you says her husband is a VP there and he could probably help me. Gordon Vail
February 3, 2008
I just found your site by accident as I was surfing the net. I was raised in the Home on the hill St. Joseph now Mt. St. Francis. I know it's no longer a home for children but you brought some good memories. I haven't been back in over 30 years and hope my planned trip to the Bronx will afford me some time to visit the church I spent so many hours in. Thank you for the memories. Hiram Rivera
February 3, 2008
I JUST FOUND YOUR SITE ON ST JOSEPH'S HOME. I WAS THERE FROM ABOUT 1946 TO 1950 AND WAS TRANSFERED TO THE LEUT. JOSEPH P KENNEDY HOME ON STILLWELL AVE IN THE BRONX. NAMED AFTER PRES. KENNEDY'S BROTHER WHO WAS LOST IN THE WAR. ( IT USE TO BE THE GOULD FOUNDATION ) I ALWAYS TELL MY WIFE ABOUT APPLES ON THE TERRACE, SISTER JOSEPHINE, OR WHO WAS ON DUTY IN THE KITCHEN WOULD RING A BELL AND YELL APPLES ON THE TERRACE AND ALL THE KIDS WOULD COMING RUNNING DOWN THE TERRACES TO GET THERE FIRST FOR AN APPLE. WE HAD OUR OWN POWER PLANT, SHOEMAKER, SMOKEHOUSE, ETC, IT WAS A LARGE PLACE. I WAS SEPARATED FROM MY TWO SISTERS. THEY LIVED IN THE GIRLS SECTION. WE HAD OUR OWN SCHOOL ALSO. I HAVE GOOD MEMORIES. WE WERE KEPT BUSY WITH CHORES RAY CADMUS
February 3, 2008
I was looking for pictures of Jackie Gleason's house and stumbled onto your website. This past summer I took a trip back to Peekskill after many years away. It is very sad to me because I grew up in Peekskill and lived there until about 1978 and it was a wonderful place to grow up. I attended Uriah Hill Elementary School, Drum Hill Jr. High School, Peekskil High School (graduating class of 1959) and Peekskill Business School (Mr. & Mrs Brody, owners and teachers were wonderful people). I worked at Standard Brands for one summer before attending college for one year and deciding to marry my high school sweetheart.
Growing up we had two theaters in town in the 50's - Peekskill Theater and Paramount Theater. The Peekskill Theater struggled to stay open. I spent many hours after school at the soda shop where the PMA students hung out - Marathon was for the "Townies". I dated many PMA students and attended their dance class on Wednesday evening with Mr. Davies. The only "Townie" I ever dated was my future husband from Lakeland HS. I remember many evenings stopping at the Diner for breakfast. I think it was called the By-Pass Diner in the late 50's. It's sad to see Sorrentos gone. I worked at EdnaLite for a few years and that is gone. I could go on at length naming businesses that closed and left Peekskill.
Does anyone from Villa Loretto past remember a beauty culture teacher by the name of Elsie Turner. She was one of my Mother's closest friends. She did my hair for my very first date which was a blind date with a PMA cadet. She was a wonderful person.
We always had milk delivered from Kuritzky's. My parents were active in the Hudson Valley Yacht Club and had a boat on the river - that was when you could dock at Croton Point and swim off the boat - water was clear to the bottom. Spent many days at Sprout Brook in the summer. Peekskill was a wonderful place to grow up and it was sad to see what happened to town once urban renewal came in and the strip shopping centers popped up outside of town. I feel there are many people now trying to revitalize the area and I wish them well. I sure miss the beautiful Hudson River valley. Dorothy
February 20, 2007
Very nice site to look around. I lived in Peekskill from 1966 through 1982. My mom was the secretary at Oakside Elementary School from 1973 to 1982 when the family moved to New Jersey. Luckily, I only live 50 miles from Peekskill now, so I can still go back if I want to. There's just nobody left there to go see! I graduated PHS in 1979. I don't recall Drum Hill ever being called "Oak Hill". I do know it's been renovated and is now as "assisted living" building. As the grandmother of a friend lives there, I've FINALLY been able to go inside and see the inside of it, things like the Atrium. It's funny to see the 12-foot high windows that tend to make it obvious that the rooms used to be classrooms!
February 20 2007
I really enjoy looking at your site. I passed it on to some of my old friends. This is an old picture of St. Joseph's on the shores of the Hudson River. When I see the pics of the 5&10 and the old paramount theater, it brings back some good old memory's, My first slice of pumpkin pie and strawberry shake at the soda fountain , and as an old alter boy, when we got the Latin down right for serving mass, we were treated to a movie at the paramount theater, That's when the Magnificent Seven just came out. And I also really enjoyed marching in Peekskill as a cadet in the marching drill team. As a kid back then it was a big deal. I also remember on a hot summer day my friend Vincent and were sitting on the wall facing south street from St. Joseph's and to our surprise then an Ice Cream truck flip over and these big tubs of ice cream rolled out and we jumped from the wall the driver was not hurt but when he got out he said later hey kids help yourselves we did we grabbed a Five gallon drum and we shared it with the other kids then. Bad day for the truck good day for us kids.
Mt. St. Francis from the Hudson River
The Original St. Joseph's Home, Now MT. St. Francis the Picture is from 1875. Over looking the Hudson River.
February 20, 2007
I enjoyed your website! I found it in the dogpile search engine. I was looking for info on Peekskill to solve our own family history mystery. We have been looking ,off and on, for 40 years for the date and place of death and burial of our gggrandfather Benjamin Clinton Odell. Just this week I found out online(internet angel)that he died 7 Dec 1887 Peekskill,Westchester, NY. I think he is probably buried there. Do you have any idea if there was a tuberculosis hospital in Peekskill area in 1887? B.C.Odell and family lived in Kingston I suspect He was sent away to Peekskill more than once for health reasons. I live High in the Rocky Mountains and a visit there is out of the question right now. Do you have any suggestions on how I could go about finding a local that might check for a headstone and/or obitutary or a history buff that might check out the hospital possibility. You are welcome to post or pass this query on to someone who might help. I have tried to find the info online but I guess I lack experience and skills because i am going around in circles. Thanks again. Your website was a fun side trip on my quest to learn more about Peekskill. Lois Woody
February 20, 2007
For the first time in my life, I have relived my past in St. Josephs Home, My self and my sister Janet, Spent our Childhood there we arrived in 1956, and I was transferred to Pius Xll in chester N.Y. in 1959. I am 62 years old, but the memories still remain of the home and the nuns, I still remember father Best. I was an alter boy. I left St. Joes from the 6As. With sister Carleta. Sister Rita Cathrine was the Mother Superior. I remember the hill, was our play ground, the Round house our gym, it was all stone. And the Wall like the Wall of China that inclosed St. Josephs Home, I went out to school at Drum Hill School. For those who have attended with me and want to relive the past, contact me at Pasorebel@aol.com. Thanks for the memories..... P.S. my name is Charles Nazarian I was called Charlie.....
February 20, 2007
February 20, 2007
Hi, I just came across your very interesting site. I was a cadet at Peekskill Military Academy from 1949 to 1952. I was the captain of the band in my senior year. Oh such wonderful memories of the school and the town during those wonderful four years. During that time as a cadet, I dated a very lovely young lady by the name of Barbara Ann Fisher from Peekskill. I have often wondered what ever happened to her. Bob Bracilano
October 22, 2006
I want to say you have a very interesting page, very imformative. If I were going to Peekskill I feel that I could follow your directions and get to where I want to go. I stumbled on your site by just clicking away, and so glad I found it. It gave me info on the Peekskill Military Academy with pictures, and I was off from there. My father went to that school from 1910-1915 as a little lad, and I couldn't get a lead anywhere, until I found your site, Since then, I have been in touch with the Academy, which is now a High School, and have asked them for any possible info they have. I thank you so much for putting this kind of info online, it sure helped me. I am so grateful you did. Regards Bonnie Montreal, Quebec
October 22, 2006
I absolutely know Lulu. Would be great to see the comic pics that resemble the real pics you took. The school you photographed with the woman and three kids is Oakside School. My mom used to be the secretary to the principal there and I used to work there over summers. And although things have changed quite a bit since I lived there in 1982, I pretty much know where all of the pics you took are. The Drum Hill School is now an assisted-living community. Condemed building when you were there but got renovated and now they get around $3,500 a month for rent! But inside you can still tell it used to be a school. Even the rooms still have that classroom look with 12-foot high windows!
By the way, the Hanging Tree is not by the only remaining building from the Military Academy which is now the Admin building. The tree still stands in front of the High School across the street and approximately 250 yards away. Rich
October 22, 2006
I am Ron Abbey, Class of 1940 alumni from Peekskill High School. While searching for pictures of Peekskill I came across your page and want to say that I have enjoyed exploring with you Peekskill and surroundings. I too have a web site, http://www.peekskillhighalumni.net which has been in existence for many years. It contains a wealth of material email adddress, reunions and yearbook pictures from graduating classes that go back into the 1920's. If you wish I will provide a link to your page and perhaps you could link to my page.
August 20, 2006
Many of the pictures of the diner , as well as the menu, were
given by me to Maria, when she and Jimmy were remodeling.
My grandfather put the diner there. He brought it up from
Tarrytown. (I still have the original bill of sale). My
grandparents told me many stories about the diner when we were
little. It was sad what happened to Maria and
the diner after Jimmy died. They were very good
people. If you are looking for more history on the diner,
let me know.
Carl Fehrmann PHS grad 1974
August 20, 2006
Someone was looking for information on Villa Loretto. The original building is now called Villa At The Woods and has, I believe, landmark status. Because of that, the original art deco lobby remains as do all the transoms over doorways and the carved beams that were in the chapel. At the end of one hallway is a large stained glass wall. The building is now a condominium; you can feel the old tile floors under the corridor carpeting and each transome is covered from the inside so there is privacy. I am on the board of the adjacent, but separate condominium community - The Woods III in Westchester. There are many original remnants of stone walls on the property. The original outdoor pool remains though a new one has been built over and around it.
March 26, 2006
Loved all the photos. It brought back lots of memories of my hometown. I grew up in Peekskill. My father was the custodian at City Hall & grounds keeper at the Old Vancortlandtville Cemtery. Prior to that my father was on of the first founders of the Peekskill Fife & Drum marching band. Dad passed on Dec 13,19881 but all the memories still linger on & always will. From time to time I do go back to Peekskill, it's still not the same as time marches on. Now living in Florida & as I age getting home is a little bit harder for me. I will however be going home to Peekskill this year. Alice Lockwood
March 18, 2006
It was great to see the pictures of our hometown from the late 50's to the early 90's. My wife and I were both born in the 'old' Peekskill Hospital off of Bay Street - and our two wonderful daughters in the 'new' Peekskill (Hudson Valley) Hospital. Although official Peekskill residents we went to the rival Hendrick Hudson High School and proudly called ourselves 'Sailors'. Favorite memories include swimming at Blue Mountain Park, playing in the Lapolla Little League and the 4th of July parades and fireworks - and surprised no one mentioned that the Peekskill Military Academy was the NY Jets training camp in the 60's. Also wonder if anybody remembers milk delivered by our family business - LaDue's dairy?
Although we live in the
Carolinas now we desperately miss the pizza at the Paradise
Restaurant in Verplank, sandwiches at Ferony's Deli on Welcher
Ave, and the coconut buns from the Modern Bakery in uptown
Peekskill (near the Assumption Church). Although we still have
family there we don't get home very often. When we do there's
nothing like the views from the Bear Mountain Bridge or West
Point - especially in the fall. Thanks for a glance at hometown
Kim and Steve - Fort Mill, SC
March 13, 2006
I was born in Peekskill and my mother died in
child birth, 1959, I was put in an Orphanage I believe St
Joseph's House, I stayed there from1959-1962. My name was
Andrew Calhoun Johnson III. Wondering if anyone knows the family,
family name etc... or where I could start to find relatives. Any
help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the great web
site... I never been back to Peekskill.. I'm in the USAF and a
good friend of mine grew up there, CMSgt June Robins, she has
told me a lot about Peekskill. Hope you can help.
SMSgt John Gouthro
January 13, 2006
This is awesome. I was born in Peekskill, in 1957. What I liked was not only pictures of familiar sites I have been to, but also many stories I have read about Peekskill, in the 1950s.
As a toddler, I lived on 421 Dykman street, from late 1958 to August 1961, then we moved to Fishkill, N.Y. my Mom and Dad were very good friends with our landlords Charlie and Betty Lyman. And I remember our next door neighbors the Conklin's. I last saw in 1980.
During that time my mom and my self, would walk downtown from Dykman street via Washington street, and onto main street. And yes I remember Gynuns department store. We would always shop there. Then go to the 5 and dime and get a slice of good ol New York style pizza. Let see now, a pizza slice back in 1960 was something like 10 cents. I used to get hair cuts at the barber shop, on the corner of Washington and Requa street. And all those lolly pops the barber had after the young boys used to get after a hair cut. Later the shop became a travel agency.
And Serentos restaurant at the train station. Best Italian food in town. Also I ate at the Peekskill Diner on occasions. My Grand father was an electrician for the Croton Harman train station, my grandmother was an R.N. at the Peekskill hospital. (Fathers parents) My great Uncle Al Vatolia was chief of police for Peekskill P.D. in the late 1960s. He retired in 1970.
My grandfather George Lynch( known as Doc) worked at the Peekskill police station. Always stopped at one of the downtown bakeries and bought a dozen of donuts for the officers, on the way. He walked to work.
The town was set-up to where everything was in walking distance. My Dad was class of 1952, and my Mom was class of 1953, at Peekskill High School. My Dad won two trophies in the 1949 / 1950 soap op derby.
I remember the parades in downtown Peekskill, in the 1960s. But I remember one parade at around Bank street some where around early summer of 1960.
I also remember riding my grandparents pony Soxie in the early 1960s, with my Uncle Michael, who took the lead rope. We would go through the paved road into Depew park, and right into the back 40. My Grand parents lived on Hudson Ave. close to where green houses and where River view drive is at. You can see the Hudson river is at and where all the ships on shore.
There is so much to talk about. When I here a 50s do-op song, I think of Peekskill.N.Y. That's where I lived back then. Also when I hear Tim McGraw's song remember back then, I think of holidays with my Grand parents.
Today I live in San Jose, Calf. John Walsh jr.
January 13, 2006
I came across your website looking for picture's of Saint Joseph's Home and it was wonderful to come across your website. I am one of the children who grew up there with good memories of the home and the nun's who rasied us. I emailed my sister the photo of the sign (Saint Joseph's Home) and she loved it. The children of Saint Joseph's Home get together every two/three year's and have family reunions. I'm sure she will tell everyone about your website. Thanks for the memories. Paula Escoto
October 2, 2005
Memories of Peekskill, N.Y. I was a student at St. Mary's for four years in the '50s and was anxious to see the pictures. It is pretty much unrecognizable to me now but still interesting. And, by the way, St Mary's was an Episcopal boarding school, not Catholic. Thanks for your memories! Susan
October 2, 2005
hi my name is eddie acevedo. i use to live in st. joseph's home in peekskill ny. i was there from 1959 till 1968. if he was there during that time. please tell me his name. i would like to talk to him he may know me.
October 2, 2005
I just read your wonderful blog about Miss Lulu in Peekskill NY. I am writing a book about Villa Loretto School. Can you tell me what you know? I cant seem to map it or get the phone number. Anything you do could help. Thanks.
October 2, 2005
I didn't know anyone was interested in Peekskill. I was born there in 1946 and moved away in 1960. I went to kindergarten in Drum Hill school (that's right, it used to have all grades), then went to Woodside school and back to Drum Hill for Jr. High. I lived at 927 2nd St. and would love to see pictures of the town from that era. I'm too far away now (CA) to go back. Enjoyed your web site.
October 2, 2005
Very humbly I tell you that I was Miss Peekskill in the 60's; I grew up in Putnam Valley and went to Lakeland Highschool. Your Little Lulu's Peekskill photos took me way back in time, to innocent times of wonderful Halloweens in Shrub Oak and exciting times at the drive-in near Lake Mohegan. One of my first jobs was at Genungs while attending Lakeland Highschool. Thank you for all your efforts in creating Little Lulu in Peekskill; my highschool friend who lives in CA (I moved from CA to AZ last year) told me to check out your site. So glad I did. Much love, NW
October 2, 2005
I love your Little LuLu page! I lived in Peekskill 1968-1970. I lived in a home called Mount Florence(St. Germains). It was located on Maple Avenue. It is now a development called Chapel Hill. I am very familiar with Villa Loretto, as it was run by the same nuns as Mt Florence, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. I have done a bit of research on both, and found that there were unwed mothers at Villa Loretto, but that was before the 1950s. It later housed girls in their late teens, who needed care because of family problems (mostly.) Mount Florence served the same purpose, except for younger girls. The Good Shepherd Sisters gave their lives to God, and to helping the countless numbers of girls that passed those doors. Peekskill and the Sisters and residences will forever live in our hearts. Peace LMcG
October 2, 2005
I was born in Peekskill 1949 and still live here. I was a big fan of Little Lulu when I was a kid. I even had a subscription to the comic book! I had no idea my neighborhood could have also been hers. but maybe that's one of the reasons I loved the comic. I grew up in a section called Finktown. I lived on Main Street. It was a great place for kids to grow up. I went to the Assumption School, Drum Hill Junior High School and the old PHS which is now the midddle school. By the way, the hanging tree still stands. It is at the front entrance of the new high school which was built on the grounds of Peekskill Military Academy. Another correction, this one to Ralph P. Siols was on South Street, not Main St. And the diner was probably the one which was located on North Division St. across from ST. Peter's because it was on a hill. There was another diner on a hill, but it was torn down many years ago for Urban Renewal. It was on Nelson Ave. a block from the new police station where the art lofts are now.. Thank you so much, I really enjoyed the photos etc....Barbara
October 2, 2005
I came across your site & was intrigued by the e-mails & the pictures. In 1983 I brought a house on westbrook drive, It was peekskill then but was changed to CORTLANDT MANOR in the mid 80's (No one wanted to be associated with lowly peekskill) I now live in PEEKSKILL at Villa @ the Woods.(the school for unwed mothers & troubled girls) The woman who lived there for 21/2 years and did not see any pregnant girls is correct. The young ladies were coersed into given up their babies for adoption at Misericordia hospital in the bronx and other hospitals throughout nyc BEFORE they were brought to the school. The portryal of peekskill as the quiet little piece of americana does not begin to tell the story of the area. The chain links that were placed across the hudson river by the people of peekskill effectively kept boats from reaching other states and played a hugh part in the civil war. HARRIET TUBMAN led hundreds of slaves through the underground railroad (we have tours) MIKE TYSON hid out in the Forest View area after he bit off the ear. In 1949 PAUL ROBESON, a lawyer & the most famous black internationally acclaimed actor & opera singer who played OTHELLO & sang showboat's "OLD MAN RIVER" had to escape from peekskill after white mobs attacked concert goers while state police stood by. His famous quote "I AM GOING TO SING WHERE EVER THE PEOPLE WANT ME TO SING & I WON'T BE FRIGHTENED BY THE CROSSES BURNING IN PEEKSKILL OR ANYWHERE ELSE!" was written in newspapers all around the world. The pictures are now 7 years old. Much has changed in peekskill since 1998. It's no longer a sleepy little town.
October 2, 2005
EEYOW ! - I came across your site and was happy to see you are helping to keep our stories alive . Lulu and I had many wonderful times growing up in Peekskill . I found the story of your visit most interesting . I live in Texas now and Lulu is out in California ( Newport Beach ) . The wife and I go out every other year for a visit . If you email me with a mailing address I will send you some postcards I kept from my time in Peekskill . I'll send you postcards of 1.Depew Park ( Lulu, the gang & I had many adventures there ) 2. the REAL waterfall where Lulu saved me ( your photo was wrong , but I see you like waterfalls ) 3. Downtown ( yes Peekskill was as simple as was shown in the comics ) . - will write more later - your pal , TUBBY .
March 19, 2005
Christopher from Florida
An amazing diary. I lived in Peekskill as a child, from 1964 through 1988. Your photos brought back a lot of memories. As a very small child, I remember when the Howland's department store was still Genung's, and was the only building in town to have an elevator (run by an operator!) My father owned a deli on Route 202, near Villa Loretto. The girls there used to come in all the time and were very nice. I went to Hillcrest Elementary and then St. Mary's during its last year. My very first job was at the Beach Shopping Center movie theater, where I used to climb up to the roof and sit and watch the traffic. I used to take Bynum taxi to school on occasion, and to this day still remember their phone number (the same one as in your photo!) I played in Depew Park, and Tompkins Park when it was nothing more than a few swings and a jungle gym. Our favorite place to go was behind our neighborhood, which we called (of course) "the woods." On the property there was the old Byrd Estate, a huge mansion that later became the School Aministration Building. During my youth it was abandoned, so we got to play inside that old house for years until it got too dangerous and fell apart. Interestingly, they later built a condo complex there called "The Woods." The most special thing we could do as kids was go to Playland... I still remember hurting my head on the Dragon Coaster. During summers in between college semesters, I worked for the City Highway Department and the Water Board. (Great jobs for a kid, I worked hard and learned a lot about work ethics.) I have some great memories of Peekskill, and hope to go back some day to see what it is like now.
March 2, 2005
I found your page and loved it . I moved to Peekskill about a month ago and have been researching the history. Thats how I stumbled across your page . the history here is incredible from the fact that Abraham Lincoln visited here to all the stories as far back as the revolution. I bought a house here and plan on being a native for a long time. The house I bought was built in 1865 during the civil war.
Good news for people thinking that Peekskill is on a downward spiral. The waterfront is undergoing a big revival and many new houses are being built as well as at least 2 or 3 that are being renovated on every street. I attached a picture of mine for your file.
Visit and see Peekskill all over again. Evan Stoner
Note: You may click on the image for a larger version.
February 25, 2005
I just read your diary. I came across your website
because the girls of Villa Loretto are planning a reunion.
So, there it is your diary with one very disturbing and totally
false statement. Villa Loretto was not a home for unwed
mothers. It was a school for girls who had emotional
problems. There was not one unwed mother that I knew about
in the 2-1/2 years I spent there.
Please correct your diary.
October 2, 2004
A FRIEND OF MY DAUGHTER WHO LIVES IN CA. CAME UPON YOUR PAGE
BY ACCIDENT. SHE BY THE WAY IS ALSO FROM PEEKSKILL, NY. SHE SAW A
RESPONSE FROM SOMEONE IN PHILADELPHIA WHO HAPPENS TO BE A LONG
LOST FRIEND OF MINE. HAVE NOT SEEN OR HEARD FROM HER IN YEARS. I
WOULD LIKE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH HER. I UNDERSTAND SHE WAS
REMINISCING ABOUT WALKING IN THE PARK WITH HER FRIEND IRMA,
THATS ME (SMILE). IF YOU HAVE HER EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE, PLEASE
GIVE HER MINE. BY THE WAY HER NAME USED TO BE REBA
JOHNSON. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE IF YOU CAN HELP. IF YOU
cannot THANKS ANYWAY FOR A SMILE AND A PRAYER. IRMA AMOS
(Note from Michele: I tried to contact Reba, but her e-mail address was no longer in use. Reba, if you read this, please contact me so I can give you Irma's e-mail address.)
October 2, 2004
I found your site today while looking for a school in my hometown. I currently live in Arizona, but I'm originally from Peekskill, New York. I love the pictures that you've taken! Especially the pictures of Oakside Elementary School and the park next door to the school. I went to Oakside Elementary as young girl (during the early 80's) and I have some very fond memories of the school. My family also lived in the apartment building across the street from the park. I talk about my hometown a lot to my fiance and this site will help me show him some of the places that I've mentioned.
October 2, 2004
I really enjoyed the tour of Peekskill. I lived there during the period 1963 to 1974 qnd enjoyed the town and it's peoples. I try to visit Peekskill once or twice annually as i still have relatives and friends there. I now live in Fayetteville /Fort Bragg,NC.
October 2, 2004
I wanted to let you know how much your website and pictures of Peekskill meant to me. I have been researching my mother's family who resided in Peekskill from the early 1900s before moving to California. Some of their family remained in Peekskill. I have never been there, but hope to visit this August. If for some reason I will not be able to go, I have visited Peekskill thru your pictures and diary. Thank you Frances in Virginia
October 2, 2004
The old house on the hill, overlooking the train station and the Hudson river, was the house use by the priest at St. Joseph's. Like two that I can remember Monsignor Best, and Father Sullivan. That was during the 1950's.. JohnSolano
October 2, 2004
My name is Susan Goderre and I was born and raised in Peekskill, NY. My husband, Frank Goderre, lives and breathes Peekskill. He has an extensive collection of photographs of Peekskill and loves to share them with one and all. Currently he is the Vice President of the Van Cortlandt Historical Society (Cortlandt Manor is an offshoot of the old Village of Peekskill) and as VP he has done in depth research of Peekskill both past and present.
October 2, 2004
Your website was uncovered by a grad student at North Carolina State Univ. who passed it on to me. I am a Peekskill native, now living in Cary, NC. I attended schools there and graduated from PHS. The pictures and stories brought back fond memories of growing up there, but seeing how the town has failed to keep up with growth and development was reason enough for me to move away about 10 years ago. Upon returning twice in the last 10 years to visit, I observed that Peekskill continues on a downward spiral. But, thanks anyway, for the good reading on the site. I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Little Lulu was a comic book favorite of mine growing up also. CB
October 2, 2004
Loved the Peekskill tour-I was born there in 1948 and lived there with my family until 1959 I have great childhood memories of Peekskil. The diner mentioned was called the "Peekskill" diner. The most famous place was missed entirely and that was called "Silos" on main street, It was a tradiaitonal ice cream fountain place with counters of marble and glasses that fit into metal holders-it was the place to get a "black and white" ice crea soda. There was also the Washigton tower pizza place as well as Sarentos near the railroad station. There should have been pictures of the Peekskill Military Acedemy it was a neat place and there was a "hangman's " tree in front of the building where a Revelutionalry War Traitor was hung. It was a spot where as a young boy coming home late at night from woodside elementary school I would feel a chill up my neck. Drum Hill was the Junior High we great views of the Hudson River-the home of sock hops and Sadie Hawkins days. There is muuch much more about Peekskill the hairpin road at Depew Park where a long sley ride could be had. And certainly what should have been featured was the "Assumption church" with the "little red school house" where I attended Kindergarden I am sure this is where Lulu would have gone to school. A revisit tour is most necessary especially from people who remeber the 40's and 50's this town would make the "phony" town depicted in the movie "grease" look shallow indeed. Anyway I loved the Tour Ralph Pelaia
October 2, 2004
I found your website when I googled my old prep school St. Mary's School Peekskill, NY. I don't know if John Stanley based the character there, but he did live in nearby Garrison and Cold Spring and sent his son (Jim) to St. Mary's School in Peekskill. I went there from 1975 until 1977 when the school closed for lack of endowment and or enrollment. Jim Stanley went to school there for final school year of 1976-77. Wilbur's House as you call it was the home of the headmaster. Father Gunn from 1971-1974, Father Gannon 1974 to 1977 and Father Dearman when the area defaulted back to being just a convent in 1977. Chateau Rive apartments was the school. The view from there was fabulous until the large nuclear plants were built at Indian Point in 1970. I forget who the architect it was but the same guy helped design an expanded West Point around the same time. It was a girls school until 1973 when it went co-ed. Alexander Boyle I would have been Class of '81
October 2, 2004
Your site is great, Little LULU tour of Peekskill was fun!! I lived in Peekskill from 1968 to 1971 on the hill with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and attended Villa Loretto Catholic High School. Our school was divided into groups, Saint Michael's, Euphrasians, Saint Joseph and Sacred Heart. Some of us were orphans, some came from dysfunctional families and most were in need of supervision. Villa was our home and the bars on the windows were too keep us safe, you must remember some of the girls were use to running away so when the nuns put us down to sleep they wanted to make sure we were in our beds the next morning and not running the streets of Peekskill. We are planing a reunion for the very first time in 30+ years, most likely for June 2005. We are coming from California, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, Georgia and all parts of New York. D. Anderson, Y. Serrano can be located on Classmates dot Com if any of your readers are old Villa Loretto girls wanting to be part of our Peekskill reunion. Thank you for your wonderful site Vonnie
October 2, 2004
Thanks for sharing the picture. I was raised up in St. Joseph's Home (1968 - Closed) .I missed those nuns but not the spankings (LOL). Thanks again. E.Delagdo
April 2, 2003
Route6tour.com <--- being restructured, and we will be adding your website link to our site.
My name is Russ Lombard, President of the U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association. This evening I'm helping some high schools students that are working on the website. We are looking for all the community and chamber websites located along the "6." Later we hope to locate all the high school websites, etc.
Who are we?
The U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association is a nonprofit IRS 501 (c) (3) Corporation dedicated to the cultural preservation and economic development of inner-cities, small towns and rural communities located along 3,652 miles of the Grand Old Highway.
What is your name?
Congratulations, you are now the official website on behalf of the town of Peekskill, NY. Peekskill does have a chamber site, but no city site; you're it!
April 2, 2003
Hello Ryan, my name is JoAnne, I lived in Peekskill all my teen life, attended high school there and worked in a place called Tullers Drug Store, they had a nice luncheonette in the rear of it and my aunt Hazel was the manager there, I was a soda jerk in the late 50's, and had a great time doing that. I also learned to cook there, as my aunt showed me how to make burgers and fries and grilled cheese sandwiches. We had the ladies come in for their lunch, they worked at the telephone company which was located across the street on (Brown St.) the corner... It was also located near the movie house and across the street was also Victory Market..... it was a great little town to grow up and have your first job in.. Up the street the Catholic Church, called the Assumption Church/School....was located.....I'm sure your gramma saw this also... as across the street from there was one of the laundramats....... I went to the high school and I lived up on North Division Street, near the 'monument' park there.... I just had a great time looking thru your gramma's site and thought you would like to hear from me.... to let you know she did a wonderful job with her presentation. Alas, now I live upstate in another nice little town called Maybrook, N.Y.......I have many fond memories of my life in Peekskill, and also wanted to mention that my girl friends and I use to go swim and get our tans in Loundsbury Park...... once they even had a snack bar there, about the time of the early 60's. I almost got a job there once..... but I started working with my aunt.... tell gramma, it was a great trip for me too..... later gator Jo Anne
January 8, 2003
Our daughter found your site and mentioned it to us. We have just spent an enjoyable evening browsing through the pictures you took. What a wonderful tour! My husband and I are Peekskill natives....as were generations before us. We relocated to PA many years ago. We both attended Oakside School and Drum Hill, then on to Peekskill High. My husband even worked for a time at St. Joseph's Home which another viewer identified. I think my aunt waitressed at the Center Diner. My Mother had lunch there often taking a break from her job at the Nan Flower Garment factory located just up the block on Park St. It was a wonderful small town to grow up in in those days! Peekskill is so historical in many ways. It played such an important part in the Revolutionary War, produced many important products such as Iron stoves and Binney and Smith (Crayola) crayons. It can also lay claim to important inventions the (MRI for one.) And, of course, celebrities which have already been mentioned including authors. The picture you took of the Newspaper Office, the Peekskill Herald, was a wonderful link for those of us who relocated. As children we did tramp through those trails and woods to enjoy a day swimming at Lounsbury Pond. Depew Park was a great place to be on the 4th of July! I can't imagine why Little LuLu was not connected to Peekskill. We all enjoyed that comic strip! Maybe someday the "city fathers" will realize the true historic value of Peekskill and lean towards making it more in the style of Williamsburg, VA. Thanks so much for your research and for a great trip! Sincerely, Margaret and Frank Wilson
November 22, 2002
I lived in Peekskill for four years 1954 to 1958 from Philadelphia, PA. I enjoyed your picture deeply. Bynum Brother's cab stand, Depew Park, "the Peekskill Train Station (which I have never lost from my memory the coal stove in the waiting room and the riding the Budd car. I lived on Lincoln Drive with my aunt and uncle. I went to Park Street School, Oakside and Drum Hill. Your pictures brough back lots on memories. The Depew Park I had many walks alone in that park watching the geese. Walking pass PMA, the train station stays in my mine. I wonder if Tuller's Drug Store is still there. Irma Amos and I use to go to Tuller's Drug store for ice cream soda's and to the Paramount theatre across the street from the Catholic School and Bynum Brother cab stand. We also use to go to the canteen dancing and preteen fun. I wonder if Tuller's Drugstore is still in Peekskill and the luggage factory, the little water way on Park Avenue. I was only 9 years old when I moved to Peekskill. I also enjoyed Depew Park many walks alone as a small girl thru the park. March down to the park with the girl scouts on holidays. Thanks for the memories!! Reba
November 22, 2002
Just wanted to drop you a few lines to thank you for the work you did and are doing with your web pages. I was born in Peekskill, NY a long, long, long, time ago and that was my primary interest in going to your site. Even though born there I knew nothing about Peekskill because my parents took me to Brazil when I was 1 month old and I didnt return to US for 18+ years. The reason my Dad brought my mother to US so that I should be born here was because at that time Dad worked for US Embassy but he was a naturalized citizen. As such he had to come to US every two years in order for me to have the option of choosing citizenship by the time I reached 21 yrs of age so it became simpler for him to bring my mother here. After coming to the US I simply remained and made my life here. The internet has created a medium that causes me to spend a lot of time looking things up and today Peekskill was my goal and thus I found you. Again, thank you so much for your effort and for the information I obtained from your most interesting and fun web sites. Lois N P
November 22, 2002
When browsing late one night a while ago, I came upon your photos of Peekskill and was so thrilled. I grew up there and finished school and left 50 years ago. Sadly, I have never been back. Your photos brought so many poignant memories for me. I did not record the website (I had gotten it thru Google). When I tried to find it again today I panicked. It was gone ! But, no, I had keyed in PeekskillNY rather than just Peekskill. Ah, there it was again! Thank you so much for taking me back twice to "my hometown". I hope your trip there was as gratifying as was mine. I just want you to know how much I appreciate what you have recorded and how much joy you have brought to a viewer.
November 22, 2002
What a trip! I had no idea that I see some of Lulu's history every day! Great Site! Incidentally, did you know that Frank L. Baum, author of the famous OZ stories, went to the Peekskill Military Academy shown on your site? It is suspected by many Peekskillians that he obtained 'the yellow brick road' from the paving method of yellow bricks at the turn of the century....interesting! Peekskill has also seen the likes of Jackie Gleason, Mel Gibson, and Paul Reubens. Interesting, huh? Thanks again! No need to respond, I just thought I'd share some of the history I know. Cheers! K
November 22, 2002
Enjoyed your tour and photo layout of Peekskill and its environs. Am a Peekskill native from the fifties and knew a lot of the area before I left. Worked at Genung's during high school when downtown was downtown before the advent of the shopping centers in the suburbs. Thanks again for the memories.. R. Berger
November 22, 2002
I too grew up in Peekskill........................have been in California for many years. In viewing your diary, I was very impressed! Brought a lot of old memories back to me. Many times walked from Peekskill to the Diner.......walked to ...........and ate at ...the diner many times. My first job was at the Peekskill Theatre ...movie house. And yes, when I was small, had a little Lulu purse I remember to this day.....red. It had a little Lulu doll on the outside and it was clear plastic with red trim. The brillent colors you have captured in the trees make me homesick, even at this age. Yet they make me smile. You have touched my heart!
November 22, 2002
I grew up in Peekskill and many of your pictures brought back memories. I used to swim at Blue Mountain's Beach. We had our Peekskill High senior picnic on the other side of the lake in 1984. Tompkins Park was down the street from my house on Husted Avenue. We used to go crayfish hunting when my brothers had games,when Lake Penelope was still vital. If they won or lost we walked to the Carvel's just down the road for ice cream. The old Drum Hill School was finally developed and no longer looks like the eyesore in your pictures. You also made the Bohman Towers look respectable, the apartment buildings across from Oakside School. Peekskill has been trying for years to turn itself around. Nothing seems to work. I never knew it had a connection to Little LuLu. My father still lives in Peekskill and a sister works at City Hall. I am e-mailing her your page I hope she passes it on to others. Thanks for the trip down memory lane and the new view on a town I couldn't wait to blow! Carolyn
November 22, 2002
Hi, I found your tour of Peekskill very interesting. The thing that led me to your story was my search for The Villa Loretto School. I lived there in 1965 to 1967. It was true that there were a few unwed teenage mothers there but most of us were sent there by family courts from New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Upstate because of problems at home. In my case, my parents were really dysfunctional and alcoholic so I kept running away from home. I loved the nuns there I felt safe even though it was a little like prison with bars on the windows. To this day I believed it saved my life. I am an RN, married 27 years to a wonderful man and have 3 great kids. I have never gone back to see the school but I wonder if its still there and what happened to it. There were about 130 girls there during the time I lived there. Take Care MSS
(Note: see another description of the Villa that differs from this one)
November 22, 2002
It was very exciting to discover your web page on your Little Lulu tour. I am doing research on my mother's history for a class. I was born in Peekskill and lived there 21 years. It was great to see all the old photos. I had no idea about Little Lulu, who I adored as a child. Thank you! If you have any questions about Peekskill, feel free to email me. Clare Bennett
I just came across your trip to Peekskill to find Little Lulu spots....I grew up in Peekskill and thought you would be interested in a few facts. The house that you thought was the "Wilbur" home actually belongs to Dr. John McGurty Jr., his father was also a doctor in Peekskill for many years...he bought the home from the sisters at St. Mary's Convent as it was part of the old St. Mary's School, (sort of the framework for the 80's show "Facts of Life"), which was a girls Catholic school many years ago. Now most of it is Chateau Rive, apts/condos. The building that Dr. McGurty bought was a mess in the mid 80's...it was gutted and completely rebuilt to be a home. Lower South Street was once the home of several estate type houses that looked over the river...many have been gone for decades. The building near the riverfront park that you thought was an old school was actually St. Joseph's home (orphanage/group home later on) at one time, and also a convent...sort of decaying now. There was also an enormous old building which was called Villa Loretto, located on Crompond Rd., (also now condos), which was a convent and a home for unwed mothers...sort of a creepy place to explore when I was younger...a small cemetery was in the back with tiny little headstones...not sure if that exists anymore. Parts of older buildings down by lower South Street across from the river were part of the old Peekskill Hospital when it really was Peekskill Hospital, now also condos. (Note: see another description of the Villa that differs from this one)
I just remembered about the Diner on North Division Street. It was almost across the street from St Peter's Episcopal Church..in the late 70's when I was in high school it was usually dark, empty and forbidding looking. It was very small and built on a sloping hill, sort of like it was built to appear as though it was rising out of the sidewalk. I used to look in the windows and it appeared to look like the old style 1940/50's diner, stools..old ads for Coca Cola all yellowed and dusty hanging over the counter. Behind it was a large dilapidated building that was a club called Elliots Lounge...rumored that many African American celebrities used to party there...Richard Pryor, etc. when they were in town. Both buildings were torn down. Maybe that was the diner in the Little Lulu comic strip...trying to remember a bit about it, (my mother used to buy them for me when I was home sick because her mother used to get them for her when she was home sick as a child)..it does seem that that would be very much like the diner in the comic. Take care, Lisa (formerly of Peekskill)
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