What the Preserve Has Meant to Rensselaerville


The following composition, a copy of which is in the archives of the Rensselaerville Historical Society, was written in 1956 by 11-year-old Cynthia Olson as part of an essay contest on the occasion of the Huyck Preserve’s 25th anniversary. On August 22, 1956, the Preserve board of directors presented Cynthia (who had turned 12 in May) with a $50 bond as a prize for her essay. Much of what is described in the essay is as true today as it was in 1956 (except there is no longer a caretaker or a campground; new trails are not blazed every year; and the Preserve has grown to over 2,000 acres).

The Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve, Inc., is a tract of land of several hundred acres within the town of Rensselaerville that has been set aside for the preservation of wildlife and forests. It is a living memorial to the late Mr. Edmund Niles Huyck who spent most of his life in Rensselaerville.

myosotis-panorama-cropped.jpgThe E.N, Huyck Preserve is very important to the everyday life of Rensselaerville. The people enjoy many happy hours at Lake Myosotis, fishing, swimming, and boating. There is a private picnic ground for the villagers with swimming facilities. Many families from the village cook and eat there are warm summer nights using the fireplaces provided. There is also a picnic ground for public use and a campground on the shore of the lake.


The campground on Lake Myosotis was closed in the early 1960s. (Photo courtesy of Kathleen Bennett Hallenbeck.)

Fishermen come from the surrounding area to fish. At the caretaker’s cottage at Lake Myosotis there are boats for hire by the day or hour. Since there are no motors allowed on the lake, an afternoon spent there would be very peaceful and quiet.

Every year, the men and boys blaze a new trail on the Preserve. These trails provide footpaths for pleasant walks through the woods.

r'ville falls 2017 may.jpg

The Rensselaerville Falls.

The Rensselaerville Falls, part of the Preserve, are a beautiful sight of tumbling waters over high rocks. Footpaths follow the course of the stream and cross several rustic bridges. These falls attract many visitors and in the summer the younger children swim in the small pool at the foot of the falls.

During the spring and summer, bird walks are organized through the trails of the Preserve. Records are kept of the birds seen.

You can understand that the Preserve means a great deal to Rensselaerville and that we are very fortunate to have the advantages of this nature preserve so close to our homes, bringing recreation to the children and adults of Rensselaerville.

About L. Stephenson Carter

L. Stephenson Carter is a science writer/editor and was also on the board of directors of the E.N. Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville, NY.
This entry was posted in Huyck Preserve, Natural History, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to What the Preserve Has Meant to Rensselaerville

  1. Pingback: Table of Contents | lscnews

  2. Maria Guzman says:

    Great waterfall photo! As always, the article was written quite beautifully by this 11-year old. Whatever happened to her? Did she become an author? It seems to be her calling.

  3. Joanna Bull says:

    Sweet and lovely, as the song says. I do enjoy your blogs, Laura, including archival material such as this essay by a local child, accompanied by great photos. Thanks.

  4. Chris Schiralli says:

    What an enjoyable read.

  5. Mary Jane Schroeder says:

    Thank you Laura. This is a very well read young lady.

  6. Janet Haseley says:

    The last address I have for Cynthia Olson she was married to a man named Jones and living in Camanche, Iowa.

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