A Year of Sounds & Stories

a year of sounds and stories

The Stories

Get caught up in the net of history with these stories from our oral history collection. Featuring Hudson River commercial fishermen interviewed between 1989 to 1999, these stories tell familiar and unknown tales of the Hudson – from shad to sturgeon, pollution to protection, wildlife to waterfronts. For more information about this project, please read about everything Behind the Sounds & Stories. This page will be updated throughout the Year of Sounds & Stories, so check back often for new stories.

The iPhone app is here! Download it for free today!

The app will be updated with new stories for all of 2014 as part of the Year of Sounds & Stories: 365 Tales from Unexpected Places.

Full interviews are now available on Hudson River Valley Heritage. Listen to them today

Slaughterhouse Coffee

George Clark used to use Hudson River water to make coffee on the fishing beach, recounts sources of river pollution from the period.

There Used To Be Just Thousands and Thousands of Them

Everett Nack recounts the former populations of Hudson River animals like bullfrogs, snakes, turtles, muskrats, and more.

Mrs. Flannigan’s Apron

George Clark’s father uses his knowledge of the Hudson River to avoid bad weather.

They Didn’t Cost You Anything

George Clark’s father argues with a fish dealer about the value of his shad catch.

I Was a Little Light For Heavy Water

George Clark’s father insists his 12 year son (George) goes fishing with him, despite bad weather.

My Main Fish Was Goldfish

Edward Nack tells of the famed Hudson River goldfish, which once traveled the world to be featured at events like the World’s Fair before its precipitous decline.

Clams and Snails

Everett Nack lists and discusses species of Hudson River clams and snails that have declined in population over the years.

Prison Break

Edward Hatzmann tells story of Charles Rohr who finds his shad boat used as a getaway vehicle.

Smelt – They’re Really Tasty Little Fish To Eat

Everett Nack remembers fishing for smelt illegally in the Columbiaville Creek.

They Couldn’t Fish For Shad In New York City

Frank Parslow describes restrictions on fishing in New York Harbor during WWII and the impact on Hudson River fishermen.

These stories are also available on SoundCloud, HistoryPin, and YouTube. For full interviews, visit our page on Hudson River Valley Heritage, an online collections repository for Hudson Valley history. You can also download our free iPhone app (coming in January, 2014!) to get automatic updates of new stories and listen any time, any where.

Listen Offline

“Listening Matters: Fish Tales”
Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
7:30 PM

Mark your calendars for this special event at the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s Kingston Home Port and Education Center. “Listening Matters: Fish Tales” will feature oral history stories and snippets to listen to and discuss in depth with other participants.

Keep an eye out for our special traveling mini-exhibition featuring information about the collection as well as audio to listen to right there on site.

Listening Matters is a program sponsored by the New York State Council for the Humanities.

Learn more about this project