The goal of this newsletter is to share a bit of local news and shine a spotlight on the interesting things that are happening  in Hillsdale and nearby.

A Note from the Fire Chief:

To Our Friends and Neighbors:   The Hillsdale Fire Company No. 1, cordially invites you to join us for our centennial celebration, to be held on Saturday, September 8 in the Pavilion at the firehouse on Route 22.  The event, 2-5 pm will feature FREE hamburgers/cheeseburgers, hot dogs, soda, and water, served by the members of the Fire Company.  Meet and greet the members, check out the trucks and equipment, see what we have been up to, and see where we are heading.

This is our way of saying "Thank You" for your support over the years.

Along with announcing our 100 year celebration, this letter provides an opportunity to bring the community up to date on the services provided this year by our volunteers. In the first 8 months of 2018 we have:
  • Answered 62 alarms, which include structure fires, accidents, brush fires, med flight assists and calls involving weather related calls.
  • Logged over 984 man hours in department training and drill time to stay current with mandatory firefighting standards.
  • Welcomed 2 new active members.
  • Maintained and updated our plan for an Emergency Shelter, should the community require this service.
  • Hosted the Palm Sunday Brunch (and the Centennial Celebration). These two fundraisers are a significant part of the operating budget for the year and we thank the community for its support.

A Note from the Town Assessor:

During the first half of 2018, the Columbia County Data Collectors and the Town Assessor were out and about inspecting and collecting property data. Almost all properties have been inspected and collected data recorded in the NYS real property system.   In addition, new photos and sketches were completed and updated. It's been over a decade since this arduous process was done on a town wide basis.

Now that the first phase of the project is complete, verification of the collected data is the next step.

As an extension of the Hillsdale CAC's natural resources inventory, it will also identify the different kinds of farming going on in Hillsdale.  Whether you keep bees, raise pigs, collect maple syrup, or plant 100 acres of corn, help us get a good picture of the diversity and range of Hillsdale's agriculture. 

CAC member Caroline Stewart and Rene Gibson are heading up this effort and will be getting in touch with as many known farmers as possible.  Please help guide them to other farmers, small or large.  

If there's anything the Town can do to encourage more farming, please let them know or contact Supervisor Cipkowski at 

It all began with a donation jar at the Hillsdale General Store!  As part of its  Food Service and Meal Delivery Program Grants, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has awarded the Roe Jan Food Pantry an annual $7,500 grant. The  organization supports a variety of health and human service needs beyond AIDS. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS helps men, women and children across the country and across the street receive lifesaving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.  


The cemetery task force will install a sign in the Old Community Cemetery on Old Town Road this month.   A small, easy-to-miss burial ground located on a section of Old Town Road west of Route 22 (not be confused with the larger cemetery on Old Town Road east of Route 22), research shows that it's the oldest in the Hamlet.

The sign is the first of several planned to mark Hillsdale's historic burial grounds including Krum, Pill Hill, and North Hillsdale.  They are paid for by funds raised by the Historic House Tour last summer. 

The cemetery task force is part of Hillsdale's Development and Marketing Committee. 
The Hillsdale historians are at it again.  This time, advancing the investigation into the mysterious whereabouts of Columbia Turnpike's Middle Gate.  Problem solved?  Read on:

In 1776, the population of New York City was 25,000, second only to Philadelphia in the 13 original American colonies. But that changed quickly. By 1830 more than 185,000 people called themselves New Yorkers.

With growth of that magnitude, it was essential to maintain a steady supply of food coming into the city. This was great news for the farmers of the Hudson Valley and Berkshire regions, who produced an abundance of crops and livestock. And these farmers had, in effect, a superhighway for transporting their goods to the city: the Hudson River.

Earlier this summer, the Hillsdale Substation (part of the Columbia County Sheriff's office,) welcomed its new resident Deputy Sheriff, Joseph Kilmer.  The Deputy Sheriff will oversee Police Patrol and Investigation, Traffic Safety Education and Enforcement, Community Relations and Interaction, Underage Drinking and DWI Education and Enforcement, Handicapped Parking Education and Enforcement and all other standard duties of a law enforcement officer.  
Deputy Sheriff Kilmer has stopped by Town Hall more than a few times to discuss issues that concern us around town, among them speeding in the hamlet as well as on many back roads: West End, Mitchell, Collins, Ox Bow, Hunt, Whippoorwill, and Harlemville.  Moving forward, he will be providing us with a report indicating the number of speeding violations and their locations so we can determine if more speed limits should be posted. 

Here's something pretty awesome.  Our very own Columbia-Greene Community College, an institution supported by taxpayer dollars, has been  ranked second in the state and 24 th  in the nation out of 715 community colleges.  C-GCC is part of the State University of New York 

New York State ranks fifth on the 2018 list of the Best Community College Systems in the Nation, (behind South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and Arkansas).

Something magical is happening in North Hillsdale for the third year in a row.  The Oldtone Roots Music Festival brings together 30 bands on 3 stages at Cool Whisper Farm on County Route 21.  

The festival features hand-picked artists who all have one thing in common: an honest, real and earthly tone to both their music and their performance.  The event has an intimate  hands-on atmosphere where audience members can engage directly with the artists. 

Thursday, September 13, is a a primary day in New York State for registered Democrats.  You can vote in person at the Hillsdale Firehouse (just north of the intersection of 22/23).   Polls will be open from NOON until 9 pm for the primary.

If there is any chance you will not be able to vote in person,  now is the time to make a plan to vote absentee.

The Office for the Aging is holding its first ever Senior Day at Stuyvesant Falls VFW, 845 County Route 26, Stuyvesant Falls on Thursday, September 13 from 11:30-2:30.
What can you expect?   Festivities to include a picnic style lunch and a DJ!
Vendors from health and wellness fields will be there, and if vaccine is ready, flu shots by Department of Health may be provided.
If you have medications you no longer need or are expired, the Columbia County Sheriff will help you dispose of these.
Please make a reservation by calling 518-828-4258.
The Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour is gearing up for its 6th great year riding the beautiful and quiet roads & rail trails of Hillsdale, Copake and Ancram. Big news: this year, the Ramble's been selected as a featured event in New York State's 19th annual "Hudson River Valley Ramble" series of events being held throughout the Hudson River Valley in September!
The popular annual bike tour is free and open to everyone. It takes place on Saturday, September 22, 2018, and is a great way to spend the day with family and friends, or just ride yourself, on five different routes (from easy to challenging) through the three towns. The ride raises donations for the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association. 
Sign up by September 4, and you'll get the free 2018 Ramble T-shirt. It's a collector's item!

Thanks for reading this newsletter.   If you want to promote your upcoming event on the Hillsdale calendar (or share an old photo), I'd love to hear from you.
Peter Cipkowski, Town Supervisor and Town Crier