The Washerwoman’s Genes

June 27, 2006

Sleighing in Sleightsburg

Filed under: Story — by WWG @ 2:36 pm

Growing up in New York, we went sleighing when the snow fell. It’s a New York thing. In school, our reading books had children going “sledding,” but to me this was an alien locution. Consider: “sleighing” is so light and rising a sound, “sledding” so thumping and dead.

In the Klyne Esopus Museum in Esopus, there is an example of a wooden child’s sleigh made in the area. The sign reads:

Sleighs were made in Sleightsburgh by Crosby, Gilzinger and Company. The factory, established just after the Civil War, was destroyed by fire in 1901. Virtually every child had an “ulster” sleigh and many enterprising boys made bobsleighs using two “ulsters.”

On Colonel Payne’s estate in West Park, children would ride the long hill of Route 9; one riding a horse would haul the bobsled back to the top of the hill after each run.

My third-cousin once removed, who shares my Esopus ancestry by being descended from Elisha James, the brother of my g-g-grandmother Josie, told me a story. Her mother and her uncle used to ride their sleighs down the hill in Sleightsburg and out on to the river. Once Clinton hit a tree or something and was rushed to the hospital. He wound up with a plate in his head!

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2 Comments »

  1. ya it was my ancestors who invented the sleigh i think that’s pretty cool

    Comment by Tabor Gilzinger — November 16, 2009 @ 3:18 pm |Reply

  2. Check out some of Sleightsburgh’s history here>>>http://www.facebook.com/pages/SleightsburghNY-An-Imaginary-place/155004111288168

    Comment by Davyo — March 3, 2013 @ 1:46 pm |Reply


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