“Three Centuries on the Hudson River” was written in 2009 following a few years of retirement after some fifty years of college and high school teaching. My niece, an author, suggested that if “someone” didn’t put the history of our family home in writing, much valuable historic information would be lost.
The Staats homestead was built in 1696 and has been owned and occupied by the family ever since…twelve generations to date!! Included in the content are descriptions of Dutch colonial times, the revolutionary war era and the visit by George Washington, the family ice house business, the Hudson River Day Line, the Great Depression Years, World War II and modern developments.
A few years after “Three Centuries…” I decided to put into print a selection of often-hilarious anecdotes gleaned from all of those teaching years. The book, “Campus Capers on the Hudson River” is the kind of book which the reader can open to any page, read a few selections and put the book down until a later time when a lift in spirits is needed.
Much help was needed in getting these books published. The expertise of Edith Leet was invaluable. Historic contributions of good friends Shirley Dunn and Janny Venema and the geneology efforts of Connie Staats is much appreciated. Proofreading by friends and family have been most helpful. A special thanks goes to those readers who have let me know how much they enjoyed the work.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
These are the first publications for W.L. Staats, who was born in Albany, NY, in 1932. He grew up at Hoogebergh and in Rensselaer. In 1950, he graduated from Van Rensselaer High School and proceeded on to the New York State Teachers’ College at Albany (now the University at Albany). Tuition at the time was $42.00 a semester. From 1952-1954, he interrupted his studies to enlist in the US Navy, serving as a Quartermaster. In 1957, he married Sandra Reimann, a union that produced seven children and 47 years of terrific memories. Sandra died from cancer in 2005.
Mr. Staats taught at Chatham High School and at Hudson High School before moving on to Hudson Valley Community College in 1961, where he taught accounting and computer courses until retirement in 1995. Subsequently, he taught part time until 2004. In 1965-1966, he took a year’s leave of absence to teach accounting at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, where he made lifelong friendships with many faculty.
In semi-retirement, Mr. Staats continues his responsibilities as treasurer of First Church in Albany, a position he has held since 1971. He has been a choir member there for 40 years.
As a retiree, he attends to endless tasks at Hoogebergh as well as taking advantage of the outdoor recreation there. He thoroughly enjoys visiting with friends and extended family and spending significant time with his seven children and 15 grandchildren.