Woodstock: The Golden Age Before Tie Die

We think of the Bohemian Twenties and the Rock ‘N’ Roll Sixties as the wildly colorful eras that made Woodstock famous. But Richard Heppner, our town historian, has chosen the late Forties and early Fifties, after World War Two’s Greatest Generation came home, as the period when Woodstock became the community we recognize and treasure today. By 1960 the population had doubled. IBM had opened nearby in Kingston, transforming our rural hamlet into professional suburbs. A new generation of artists had revived the Arts Colony tradition. Bars like the S.S. Seahorse were hopping. The Sleepy Fifties didn’t afflict this town, where people cast aside old antagonisms between locals and newcomers to have good time. Those who remember the S.S. Seahorse still have a little wickedness in their smiles.

This Saturday, August 4th, Richard Heppner will be our our Village History Walk guest, as we continue The Pocket Guide to Woodstock series led by Michael Perkins and myself. We’ll start at 10 am at the Golden Notebook at 29 Tinker Street. We’ll finish an hour later at the Historical Society of Woodstock on Comeau Drive for a private showing of their terrific summer exhibit, After the War was Over: Post WW II Woodstock and the Building of a Community, led by Deborah Heppner, president of the Historical Society. Light refreshments will be served. The walk fee is a book purchase or $10. Join us to learn about this golden age of Woodstock before tie dye.

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The Mother Grouse Blog is produced by Will Nixon, author of My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse and Love in the City of Grudges available on-line.

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