Publishing for over 30 years
Purple Mountain Press specializes in books about the Catskills, Hudson Valley, Adirondacks, Lake George, and Mohawk and Champlain Valleys. The press grew out of a printing business started in 1973 by Wray and Loni Rominger in the village of Fleischmanns, New York, who turned to full time book publishing in 1988. Wray and Loni initially published titles about the surrounding Catskills and nearby Hudson Valley, but extended the house’s scope to other areas of New York State in 1990 when they acquired Harbor Hill Books, another publisher of regional books. Subjects include regional history, military history, transportation, natural history, folklore, travel and outdoor recreation.
Renowned regional experts
Authors include such renowned regional experts as Robert and Johanna Titus (geologic history of the Catskills), Michael Kudish (natural history of the Catskills, railroad history), historians Carlton Mabee, Diane Galusha, Ray LaFever, Bob Steuding, and Russell Bellico.
With Wray’s retirement in 2020 (Loni sadly passed away in 2019 at age 95), Purple Mountain Press begins a new chapter under the stewardship of the couple’s longtime friends James and Maureen Krueger of Bovina, NY. Their mission is to continue and build upon Purple Mountain Press’s standing as an important and vital publisher of books about the ever-fascinating history and lore of the Catskills, Adirondacks, the Champlain and Mohawk Valleys, and other regions of upstate New York. Maureen’s background includes 30 years’ of book publishing experience in New York City and Woodstock, NY where she was special sales and subsidiary rights manager for The Overlook Press, working for publisher Peter Mayer. James, an ordained priest, founded and directs a contemplative Christian retreat center in Bovina, Cloud-Bearing Mountain Retreat Center and has authored numerous books, poems, and articles.
About Our Name
no mountain named “Purple”…
Writes cofounder Wray Rominger:
We are often asked about our name; there is no mountain named “Purple” in the Catskills. Native Americans knew the Catskills as blue mountains, but when Washington Irving journeyed by sloop down the Hudson River, he saw them differently:
“Of all the scenery of the Hudson, the Kaatskill Mountains had the most witching effect on my boyish imagination. Never shall I forget the effect upon me of my first view of them, predominating over a wide extent of country–part wild, woody and rugged; part softened away into all the graces of cultivation. As we slowly floated along, I lay on the deck and watched them through a long summer’s day, undergoing a thousand mutations under the magical effects of atmosphere; sometimes seeming to approach; at other times to recede; now almost melting into hazy distance, now burnished by the setting sun, until in the evening they painted themselves against the glowing sky in the deep purple of an Italian landscape.” — Autobiography
I came across this long after our press was named. The inspiration came, not from Irving, but from Mrs. Brown, a third-grade teacher in Omaha, Nebraska [where Wray grew up}. By the time I reached Mrs. Brown’s class, I had not seen a mountain. But I recall vividly the indignation I felt when she criticized a mountain range I depicted in robust purple. “Mountains aren’t purple,” she said, but I knew I was right. Did we not sing of the “purple mountains’ majesty?” Confirmation had to wait twenty-three years, however, until we moved to the Catskills. Driving through the mountains one evening, I startled my wife by exclaiming, “By God, they really ARE purple!”
The effect is strongest at twilight in the spring when the trees are in bud. Also, we have heard that sunlight sometimes refracts from tiny droplets of terpene (from conifers) in the atmosphere, creating a purple glow. I hope you will see it for yourself some day and that you will find books of interest in our on-line catalog.