We opened for the year this past Saturday, on a what seems to be becoming an increasingly rare sunny day! We’ll be having 3 somewhat smaller exhibits this year, each lasting about two months. First up is Putnam Valley: The Prohibition Years (1919 – 1933). Turns out it was a pretty okay time to be living out here in the country. Our population grew very quickly towards the end of the period, we centralized our schools, new roads increased accessibility to the area…come to the museum and check it out! The room is also semi-set up as a classroom again. It’s a work in progress.
Our American History was happening at the same time as the museum opening. Many thanks to Mr. Vincent Dacquino, who revisited us to share his new book, Patriot Hero of the Hudson Valley: The Life and Ride of Sybil Ludington. It was one of our most well attended OAH sessions to date, and we had the pleasure of meeting another young Sybil!
And bringing up the rear of this post, our pumpkins have started growing! Well, some of them, anyway. Out of five patches, 2 took off. Hopefully now that the weather seems to have changed it’s dial to spring, the rest will catch up. We’ll plant more this weekend just to be sure.
See you soon!
We are just a little over two short weeks away from our exhibit opening for 2019. On Saturday May 11th, after you go to the PV library to listen to local author Vincent Dacquino share the story of Sybil Ludington…
…you can head on over to the museum to check out Putnam Valley: The Prohibition Years, our first exhibit of 2019. We’ll be trying something different this year that seems to have worked many years ago – more than one exhibit per year. Every two months (coinciding with Our American History dates, so you can make it a day of local history), the topic will change while still being loosely connected to the first exhibit. This will give us 3 different exhibits to share with you, and give you at least 2 more reasons to make a repeat visit to the museum.
Also new this year, in an effort to attract younger crowd, we’ll be planning a few programs at the museum geared towards school aged children. Each program will last approximately 45 minutes and include a take-home item. The first program will be announced in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out here and on Facebook. Our members will also receive information in the mail.
And since it’s never too soon to be thinking about Halloween, pumpkins seeds were recently planted at the back of the museum property. Hopefully, right around Town Day, we’ll have a nice crop of pumpkins in the yard. What will we do with all of them? That’s a surprise you’ll have to wait for – only 153 days until the first day of autumn!
One of the more difficult yet oddly fulfilling things about working (and volunteering!) in a historical society is that it is highly likely you’ll get distracted when looking for something, especially when sorting through stacks of folders and documents. You dive in looking for one specific thing, and find 3 other things you were looking for eons ago. As an example, and this reads a bit along the lines of the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” – this past Saturday I began pulling out our church and religion files to look for any information about the Methodist Church circuit and the ministers that came to Putnam Valley in the late 1800s. Which lead to organizing the church folder, renaming it to religion because it also includes information about the temples in town, and reading countless newspaper clippings and transcribed documents. One of those documents was a transcription of the deed for the Oregon Methodist Church (Peekskill Hollow Road, opposite Once Upon a Time – and now a private residence).
Reading through the deed, I recognized the name of a person that we received a request for information on two and a half years ago. He owned a mill, and there was a question of which mill he actually owned and where it was located. He and his mill were apparently on the property next to the property the church was built on, on Peekskill Hollow Road. I made a mental note and continued on my quest to find the circuit ministers, but was again sidetracked when I came across a program from a local fundraiser in 1938. Of course, I had to read through it and realized it was a glimpse into a time in Putnam Valley that not many people can recall firsthand. And that led to the idea that we could have an online exhibit here on the website – interesting things that are a little too complicated to explore on Facebook but don’t necessarily require a full exhibit in the museum. And thus, our online exhibit page was born. You’ll find it by hovering over the Exhibit tab in the menu up top. There won’t be a regular schedule of postings, just as I come across things of interest to the community. I did eventually find a partial list of ministers, but there’s still more research to be done.
We mentioned a while ago (and on a somewhat frequent basis) that we’re in the process of digitizing as much as we can, for ease of access and to help preserve the original documents and items in our collection. We also recently upgraded our website to allow for audio and video files to be posted. So in addition to the online exhibits, I’ll be uploading and sharing short audio and video files. This page can be found by hovering over Historic Putnam Valley, and clicking on Audio History. There’s still some fine-tuning to be done, but I pulled up a short, informal interview about the history of the library as a test run. This page will get a littler fancier down the road, but it’s a start.
So now that the website is getting updated, we’re turning our focus to the schoolhouse museum. The year is winding down and it’s time to plan for the year ahead, and what our goals for the future are. We want to offer more to our members, we want to see more of you (members or not) at the museum, and we want you to leave with a sense of “huh, that was actually pretty cool!”. We have lots of ideas – some big, some small – and some involving pumpkins. That’s right, we already have ideas for Halloween 2019. If you have any ideas, or suggestions for what you’d like to see us do or offer, please let us know! Sometime between now and the end of the year, we’ll share a general rundown of what we’re going to do for 2019 and beyond. It’s going to be exciting, and we hope you’ll come along with us.
This coming Wednesday evening at the museum! Please join us!
Just a reminder – next Sunday we welcome Lou Del Bianco for Out of Rushmore’s Shadow during our annual meeting. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP using the Paypal link on the top right here ($40 includes a buffet lunch with beer and wine available) or send us an email at email@example.com if you’d prefer to pay with cash or check at the door.
As mentioned earlier, Our American History for the month of October will be during our annual meeting and reservations are required as it is a catered affair.
Please note – there are newer flyers for our annual meeting that say “luncheon” instead of dinner. We’re meeting at 1:00pm and a buffet will be available (it’s included in the $40/person). For some it may be breakfast or brunch (second breakfast, anyone?), for some it may be lunch or linner, or maybe even dinner. Or supper, we suppose. And lets not even get started on whether the chicken parm is served with sauce or gravy. Regardless of what meal you consider to be in the early afternoon or what you call the delicious red stuff on top of chicken parm, we hope you’ll join us. There’s still time to reserve your spot – you can pay via PayPal in the top right section of our website, send a check in the mail, or drop by the museum on a Saturday to pay in person. Kindly RSVP by October 6th.
Another Town Day has come and gone! Thanks to everybody that stopped by our table – we were happy to meet the two couples who will be moving to Putnam Valley, and pleased with the interest in the “1976” booklet. We’ve decided to reprint it for our holiday boutique this year, which was also a common topic yesterday. If you don’t know what booklet we’re referring to, in 1976 the historical society had printed up a paperback booklet of photos of old Putnam Valley. The inscription on the inside cover reads
The primary purpose of this booklet is to foster enjoyment of our past through a visual record.
An attempt has been made to present an overall picture of Putnam Valley in a more placid era.
Several histories of the town have been published before. We felt that a photographic record would be appropriate for the bicentennial year.
It was difficult to choose from so many photographs made available consequently we plan to have several exhibits at the Schoolhouse Museum in the future.
We acknowledge with thanks the following people who gave or loaned us their precious old pictures:
Bruce Adams, Louise Croft, Clement Gorley, Madeline Holla Knoll, Cliff Lent, Fred Lent, Walter Levino, William Nohai, Bess Perry, Gwen Schauer, Paul Schmittman Sr., Sadie Tompkins Sheldon, John Sinclair, Audrey Toohey and special thanks to the Bicentennial Commission for their financial help and encouragement.
The Putnam Valley Historical Society
We absolutely love that their is a renewed interest in this little booklet. If you have any pictures of old Putnam Valley or Lake Peekskill that you’d like to share with us and possibly include in the reprint, please let us know as soon as possible!
A reminder that this coming SUNDAY at 1:00PM will be the next installment of Our American History. Michael Adamovich will give his Basically Baseball presentation at the Putnam Valley Library. Our Annual Meeting featuring a special presentation by Lou Del Bianco is coming up after that on October 14th (see a few posts down for more information). Invitations have been sent out to the members, but all are invited. Since it’s also our 50th anniversary, there will be a small display about the museum and society and of course, cake. Who doesn’t like a good celebratory cake? You can reserve your spot in the top right of the website, mail in your payment or stop by the museum on a Saturday.
Last, but certainly not least, our Halloween event. Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, we’ll be holding it the week before on Wednesday the 24th of October. Meet us at the museum at 7:00pm for a presentation by local author Vincent Dacquino.
For more information about Mr. Dacquino and his work, head over to his website for a list of his books, television programs, and more. We are asking for RSVPs (email, phone, Facebook) for this one because we are planning on holding in the museum. If you’re not familiar with the building and plan on making this your first visit, our building has a small visitor capacity and parking is in the dirt lot across the street from the museum.