Collection Facts

Extent: 
81 items
Collection Owner:
NYH Topic Area(s):

Historical Context

William Seward (Will) Teator (1860-1930), known as Red Hook’s ‘Renaissance Man,’ was a self-taught naturalist, accomplished artist, scientifically-inclined farmer, and award-winning apple orchardist. Around 1900 he began taking images of his surroundings using dry plate photography. He was born on his father’s farm in the hamlet of Upper Red Hook and received his formal education at the Mountain View Academy of Upper Red Hook. After graduation he worked for a time as private secretary to General J. Watts de Peyster of Tivoli and then chose to apply his scientific skills to his apple orchard, developing new and improved varieties. He married Nevada (Nena) Myers and had two children, Roscoe and Marion, who appear in many of his photos.

Scope of Collection

Selected images of Upper Red Hook and surrounding areas by William Seward Teator, mostly photographed between 1898 and 1905. The images document local vistas, agricultural activities, buildings, neighbors and family groups. The collection consists of 287 original glass plate negatives as well as prints from the negatives (some images are digitally reversed). The collection was donated by Martha Hermans, a descendant of William Teator.