New York state is filled with fascinating historical information. Some of New York state's history is well known while others are still discovering facts about our state.

Did you know that the world's oldest forest is located in New York state? Information from and the Town of Cairo, NY helped clarify where this forest is located.

The world's oldest forest is in upstate New York located in Cairo, NY. Fossil Forest is the world's oldest forest in New York state.

Also located in New York state, the oldest tree of its kind in America is located in the Hudson Valley area.

Scenic Hudson provided information about this famous tree, the Balmville Tree.

"it's the oldest Eastern cottonwood on record and a beloved Hudson Valley landmark."

They also mentioned that the Balmville Tree was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. The Balmville Tree is located on Old Balmville Rd in Newburgh, NY.

Some of the most popular colleges within New York state have their own historical stories to tell.

You'll Never Believe What These New York Colleges Used To Be


Marist College

3399 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Canva, Marist Archives
Canva, Marist Archives

Marist College is located in Dutchess County, NY.

Marist College Archives and Special Collections and Marist Heritage Project shared information about it's interesting historical past. They explained that the grounds of Marist College were once a thriving amusement park called Woodcliff Pleasure Park.

The property was sold a few times before getting into the hands of Fred H. Ponty who was from Rye, NY. Ponty had already developed an amusement park in the Rye, NY area. This amusement was known as a "famous attraction" which was called Playland.

The idea of making the grounds in Poughkeepsie, NY even greater than what he had built in Rye, NY was the plan.

Marist College Archives and Special Collections and Marist Heritage Project continue to share that at this amusement park, guests were able to enjoy roller coasters, swimming pool, additional rides and concessions stands.

A restaurant, dance space and more were at the once thriving, Woodcliff Pleasure Park.

When the Great Depression happened, Woodcliff Pleasure Park ended up going into bankruptcy. Wesley Ruthkowski took over the grounds and turned it into Runk Realty Corporation.

Kem Plastic Playing Cards from New York City was the buyer from Runk Realty of Woodcliff Pleasure Park, now Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

SUNY Purchase

735 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase, NY 10577

Canva, SUNY Purchase
Canva, SUNY Purchase

SUNY Purchase is located in Westchester County, NY.

SUNY Purchase shared information about the college and historical stories of the grounds. They explained that SUNY Purchase was once a dairy farm.

The Chisholm family purchased pieces of the college's land and had intentions to create a dairy and cattle farm with the property. This family's wealth came from New England where they started the Oxford Paper Company and had additional forms of income options along with being involved in railroads.

SUNY Purchase continued to share that, the Strathglass Farm was in operation for about 50 years. During that time, they had a cattle breeding business along with raising poodles. The family also were in the dairy production business. However, the farm was sold to local residents who 

"were concerned about the rapid development of Westchester and the commercial expansion of neighboring properties,"

It wasn't until the 1960's that they then sold the property to New York state in hopes to bring a state university campus and add to New York state's education system.

Cazenovia College

Cazenovia, NY

Canva, Facebook, Cazenovia College
Canva, Facebook, Cazenovia College

Cazenovia College was located in Madison County, NY. Cazenovia College shared information about its historical roots in New York state.

They shared that this college dates back to the 1820's. Cazenovia College explained,

"it was founded as the Seminary of the Genesee Conference, the second Methodist seminary to be established in the United States."

This college opened in the previous Madison County Courthouse. Over time, funds for the college came from church members and local residents of the area. In just two years, Cazenovia College had 145 students.

Cazenovia College continued to share that the rooms at Cazenovia College during that time only cost students $1 per week, wow! These buildings were available to both men and women.

Cazenovia College had name changes before it became what it did. Seminary of the Genesee and Oneida conferences, Ondeia Conference Seminary, Central New York Conference Seminary were some of the names.

Later in time, Cazenova Seminary and Cazenovia Junior College were additional names this college took on. In the 1960's, Cazenovia College received its new name of Cazenovia College for Women. In the 1980's, Cazenovia College received its final name.

In May of 2023, it was Cazenovia College's 198th commencement ceremony as they celebrated the graduating class of that year. However, this historic college closed in June of 2023. In August of 2023, the announcement was made that Cazenovia College would soon become a state police auxiliary academy.

In March of 2024, New York State shared that the New York State Police Academy has a second location in Cazenovia, NY

Do you know any historical information about New York state colleges? Which college did you find had the most fascinating story? Tell us more below.

6 Things You Didn't Know Were Invented In New York State

In New York state, there are inventions that we may not have been aware of that were created here. 

There are also everyday items and food that we're glad that were made.

Gallery Credit: Allison Kay

Here Are The 8 Best Things About Stewart's Shops According To The Hudson Valley

Everyone has a place that they enjoy visiting which makes them feel comfortable and like home. To me, Stewart's Shops has always brought those good feelings and excitement to visit. 

A poll was taken on WRRV's Facebook asking,
"What’s the #1 reason why you love Stewart’s? "

With over 40 comments on social media, Facebook users and Hudson Valley residents were eager to share their love for local Stewart's Shops.

Gallery Credit: Allison Kay, Facebook, Stewart's Shops