The Fagan Sisters: A History of Life in a New York Country Village

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The Fagan Sisters speaks of life in a county village in upstate New York. Sally and Agnes Fagan were born in the village of Copake Falls and lived there through almost all of the 20th century. Their experiences, however, were not confined to that village, located about 50 miles south of Albany near the Massachusetts and Connecticut borders. Even in their childhood, they frequently traveled by horse and buggy or train to visit relatives in neighboring states. The sisters talk about their people who left Ireland during the famine of the mid-1800s, arrived in the rural area, and found work in the mines and later on the railroads. They reminisce about their own school days, their wide circle of friends, and their simple and more elegant pleasures. They recall their first years as teachers in the classroom, where they experienced the prejudice that existed against Irish Catholics at that time.
ISBN: 9780738502830
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: New York
Series: Voices of America
Images: 200
Pages: 96
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Author Elinor Mettler, director of the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society Museum, uses photographs from the society, local residents, and the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution to illustrate this book. For most of her life, she knew the Fagan sisters, and beginning in the 1980s she interviewed them for an oral history project. In The Fagan Sisters, she presents Sally and Agnes in conversation, telling their own story in their own way, in their own voices.