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The people of Eagle’s Nest and Lapala, living on Hurley Mountain above some of the richest farmland in America, never sought attention. Shrouded by confusing and often degrading myths, they persevered. Today most of the original families that populated those mountain roads have moved on. Still, living relatives and neighbors remember the communities where their families lived and worked. As they recall stories of ancestors, we researchers have gathered information to put their memories in “conversation” with relevant historical documents. Our work, however, is about more than personal stories.

Hurley Mountain Stories focuses on a poor, rural, multi-racial community, where free Blacks owned land as early as 1795 in slave-ridden New York State. The project follows this community as it evolves through national crises, from the Civil War through the Depression and to World War I. The website provides researchers, students, and other visitors a variety of options, including “Stories”, “Collections”, and “Items” to explore this fascinating American History. An important part of the site is the “Resource” page which includes Lesson Plans for teachers and students, a Bibliography and Webliography. 

Finally, Hurley Mountain Stories features “Falcon Ridge” an original play written by David Gonzalez, that explores the life of a fictionalized rural, multi-racial community somewhere in Ulster County, in upstate New York.

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