We are going to be the when in “do you remember when…?”

The past few weeks have undoubtedly proven to everyone that we are indeed living in a time that will forever be noted in medical journals and perhaps history texts. Our current generation(s) have a unique advantage when compared to what our ancestors have gone through – social media. We may feel as though our lives have been complete upended – and they have, there’s no question. New York State is the hardest hit in the country (so far). Our lives are on pause. But the rapid spread of information and our ability to adapt to the ever changing situation will also be noted. Schools are closed, but students are able to continue their studies through online classrooms. There are dance studios and martial arts studios holding classes via online video meetings. Medical offices are in the process of switching over to telehealth, so patients can virtually see their doctor. Some dining establishments are able to temporarily switch to take out only. We can FaceTime or Skype with our friends and loved ones all so we can heed to one of the simplest of things we can do to help – stay home.

So now that you’re staying home – what do you do? If you are fortunate to have a yard, you can go outside. Hiking trails are still open for solitary outdoor activity. This past weekend has been very generous in the weather department. Lots of attics, basements, closets, and garages will be cleaned out in the coming weeks. The majority, if not all of our meals for the foreseeable future will be eaten at home. But from a historical society standpoint (we are, after all, the Putnam Valley Historical Society), have you done anything to document how this is changing the lives of you and your family? There are countless pictures on Facebook right now of kids at home working on their school work, and there are news updates 24 hours a day where we see the count of positive tests growing at a concerning rate. Take meaningful pictures. Write things down. Especially if you have kids that are too young to fully grasp what is happening. To that end, we are asking for your help in documenting how our town is living day by day. If you’re comfortable answering a few questions (you don’t have to answer with specifics), we’d love for you to share your answers with us. You can email us your response, you can mail us a hard copy, or wait until this has passed and we reopen the schoolhouse and are able to welcome visitors again.

  • Do you feel prepared if you need to immediately self-quarantine?
  • Are you concerned you will get COVID-19?
  • Are you employed by an essential service provider?
  • Have you taken any precautionary measures to protect yourself and your family (ie, gloves and/or masks) when in public?
  • Have you started reading any new books? Any recommendations?
  • Have you spent more time outdoors?
  • Have you picked up any lost hobbies?
  • Are you cooking more at home? Using new recipes or tried and true favorites?
  • Are you concerned with running out of toilet paper?

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Now for the historical society bit. Slowly going through everything in our little schoolhouse over the past few years, there is a definite and noticeable drop in documentation after the mid to late 1990s. We can look back to the mid-1700s to get an pretty good idea of life here in the (general) Putnam Valley area and while there are some chunks of time that offer more information than others from the early 1800s to the mid1980s, we need you, past and present residents of Putnam Valley, to help us to also fill in those later gaps. If while you are cleaning out your aforementioned attics, basements, closets, and garages and you come across something that’s relevant to the history of the town of Putnam Valley, it’s residents, or environs – please share it with us. Old phone directories, business cards for long closed businesses, old pictures (we don’t need the originals, you can forward us a digital copy with as much info as you can provide)…surprise us.

Keep calm, wash your hands…and we’ll see you soon!

Got weekend plans?

It’s the last weekend of activities for us in 2019! It’s supposed to be rainy tomorrow – and who wants to go holiday shopping in all that miserable nonsense? Join us at the library for the last session of Our American History, we’ll have our usual coffee and breakfast-y treats set up. You’ll also notice the perimeter of the room all set up for our annual holiday boutique. We’re trying something new this year, holding the boutique at the library.

The boutique will be open on Saturday the 14th from 11:30am – 4:00pm. and on Sunday from 10:00am – 4:00pm. See you there!

Holiday Boutique Next Weekend

Change in museum hours today

The museum will be opening at 1:00pm today instead of our usual 10:00am.

Our annual holiday boutique will be held next weekend, December 14 & 15, at the Putnam Valley Library. More information (and a nice, colorful flyer) will be available tonight!

Annual Meeting in 10 Days

Refreshments will be served. Join us for a fun afternoon, and learn about our plans for 2020 and beyond.

Updated Our American History Info

We have a schedule change for November 9th’s Our American History – we will be welcoming Paul R. Martin III back to discuss Camps, Cradle of Aviation and Mitchel Field: The Military History of the Hempstead Plains, Long Island NY 1776-1961

Halloween at the Museum!

We’re switching gears a bit this year for Halloween. We’ll be there rain or shine – the forecast seems to be changing hourly at this point.

We will supply the treat bags for the pumpkin hunt to ensure all participants get roughly the same amount of goodies. It’s also an ongoing thing, so you don’t have to be there exactly at 2:00pm for the pumpkin hunt. We’ll also have some fun games and snacks available.

It looks like there’s a nice spread of Halloween events between now and the 31st from several different organizations. Hope to see you on Sunday, costumes optional but suggested!

Annual Meeting Rescheduled

Our annual meeting previously scheduled for October 20th has been rescheduled to early December. We will be mailing new invitations and publishing flyers with updated information as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Our American History: Field Trip Edition

Also coming soon…

Our annual meeting is coming up in just under two weeks! Interested in attending? It’s $45.00/person – and that gets you a meal and entertainment. What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon! You can reserve your spot right here online (there’s a Paypal link on the top right of the page) or send payment to the Putnam Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 297, Putnam Valley NY 10579.

Town Day is here!

We are closing up early to head over to Putnam Valley Town Park to set up for Town Day. If you’re local, head over and check us out! Visitors are welcomed from 2:00pm on, we’ll probably be there until 7:00 or so.