In this interview Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian, Kathy T. Sheehan sheds light on who killed Hazel Drew. Kathy sheds light on what it was like to move within the power circles of Troy, New York.
Interview with Rensselaer County Historian Kathy T. Sheehan
By 1860 Troy was one of the wealthiest cities in the nation. It still has some of the finest 19th century architecture in the US, as well as a very large & concentrated selection of Tiffany Windows. Troy was also a big employer of women. Some like Hazel Drew left the family farm and found employment as domestic servants, others worked long days for little money for companies like the Cluett Peabody & Company. In it’s prime Cluett Peabody & Company employed 10,000 women.
In 1902 the young and beautiful Hazel Drew found employment working for Troy City Treasurer, Thomas Hislop. Six years prior to her murder Hazel worked for some of Troy’s most powerful and wealthy families. But, in the the spring of 1908 things changed. Hazel began spending money beyond her means and on July 11th was found face down, dead in Teal Pond.
Many think her dearth can be traced back to her work as a domestic servant. Haze’s first employer Thomas Hislop, later faced embezzlement charges and her second employer John H. Tupper a wealthy coal merchant and unsuccessful Republican candidate for Troy mayor in 1897.
Why, at fourteen years old did Hazel Drew leave her family?
We don’t know why Hazel left her family and the Taylor farm at fourteen years old. It could have been the beginning of the full family exit. It could have been Hazel’s idea and desire to strike out on her own. In this interview Rensselaer county historian Kathy Sheehan explains why coming to a wealthy city like Troy New York can be an opportunity laced with danger.
If you’re local to the capital district and would like to gain access to limited premiere tickets to “Who Killed Hazel Drew” Sign up here. Become an insider and you’ll also receive exclusive interviews as well as behind the scenes project updates. Click here to become an insider.
You can learn more about Troy, New York (The Home of Uncle Sam) and Historian Kathy T Sheehan at The Rensselaer County Historical Society.
To learn more about the murder that inspired Twin Peaks and it’s world famous character Laura Palmer click here.