Events · Holiday Boutique · Uncategorized

Our busy season is starting up!

We have a few events coming up in the next several weeks!

Wednesday, October 26th at 7:00pm is our annual Halloween Event. This year, join us as we hear from Paranormal Investigator Penny Ann Osborn who will share her tales of local investigations and haunted houses. This is a free event for all, and will be at the Putnam Valley Grange as it can accommodate a larger group of people than the museum.


Our Annual Meeting and Cocktail Reception is October 30th at 3:00pm at Char Steakhouse on Bryant Pond Road. It’s not too late to RSVP – send us an email and you can pay at the door.


The Story of Bannerman Island with Thom Johnson is on Saturday November 12th at 10:00am at the Putnam Valley Free Library.


And after all that…our Holiday Boutique will be the first weekend in December, the 3rd and 4th. If you sell handcrafted or locally sourced items and are interested in being a vendor, send us an email or message us on Facebook!

Events · Historic Photos · Museum

Our American History and Who are we?

Edited – This was a post from two weeks ago that never got published! It was in the drafts when I logged in this morning to publish today’s post.

Just a quick reminder – this Saturday October 8th is the next installment of Our American History. This time we’ll be learning about the origin and history of Camp Smith with Paul R. Martin, III. Join us at the Putnam Valley Free Library on Oscawana Lake Road at 10:00AM to learn about this important part of our region’s history. It’s also the last day of our exhibit on 70 Years of the  Putnam Valley Volunteer Fire Department, so stop by the museum afterwards if you want to check it out.

If you take a peek at our Facebook page, you’ll notice that a new album (and project) was started. Who are we? is an ongoing album of the unlabeled, unidentified photos in our collection. Most are carte de visite photographs about 150 years old, but there are a few tintypes mixed in as well. Some have little notes in the old handwritten database that they were found in the attic of the Tompkins Corners Store, but nobody seems to know who they were. Most were taken at studios in Peekskill, but there’s a bunch that were taken in New York City or New Jersey.  We’ll be adding to the album every couple of weeks, and eventually will have a similar album for old house and building photos in our collection.

If you’re not on Facebook, the album (and the rest of the pictures on there) should still be visible.

See you Saturday!


But what do you have there?

Our next program is coming up on October 8th – The History of Camp Smith. Please join us and afterwards, if you haven’t yet checked out our exhibit on 70 Years of the Putnam Valley Volunteer Fire Department, stop by the museum as the 8th is the last day it will be on display.


Moving on…

What do we do at the museum? What do we have there? Of course, we’ll tell you about all the cool things we have with much enthusiasm, but many people don’t get why we love it.

Our main room is where the seasonal exhibit is displayed, where we have meetings, where visitors can sit down to look through old records, documents, photos, etc. and where we set up the Holiday Boutique. Just off the main room is a small closet, restroom, and office space. The office space was formerly a permanent kitchen display but as the museum and Historical Society grew and computers and other technologies came into existence, the room was converted to an office space. To the left of the office is a permanent general store display. The door leading to our records room is to the left of the stack of hat boxes.

To look at our records room right now would make you scratch your head and wonder, “…What? That’s exciting?”


What you can’t see are the thousands of pages of Putnam Valley history. There are store receipts and ledgers over 100 years old , family trees, report cards and attendance records, meeting minutes and newsletters from now defunct clubs and organizations, old newspapers (Putnam Valley Post, anyone?) and obituaries, maps, scrapbooks…and we are still finding things buried and misfiled. The file cabinets are getting replaced with fireproof models in the coming weeks. As mentioned above, the exhibit in the main room will be coming down after October 8th so we’ll have room to empty out the cabinets, bring in the new ones, do a rough sort of everything that came out, then refile it… with our fingers crossed that everything will fit back in the new cabinets.


Down the road, we’d like to replace the shelving system that currently holds our photo collection (still scanning as we go – all the beige boxes on the bottom two shelves are full, and every single photo is scanned so far), glass slide collection (completely scanned), photo negatives, and binders. The binders that, by themselves, hold probably an additional couple thousand pages of information. Some of them are transcriptions of old documents, some of them are copies of those old transcriptions, and some of them are holding papers that just didn’t have a home anywhere else. The shelves continue on down the wall past the window on the left and hold those binders and books. There’s also interviews on cassette tapes, video tapes, and a textile collection housed in the small closet within the records room.

And then there’s the attic. Off limits to the public, it’s full of more collection pieces, past display boards and posters, and spiders. Outside there’s an outbuilding and garden area. If you ever came to the museum as a child on a class trip, you probably ate your basket lunch in the garden. And yes, we have pictures of some of those class trips.

There are several upcoming events scheduled for the rest of the year. The Our American History series continues on the second Saturday of the month (see the Events menu for the dates and details); our Halloween Event and  Annual Meeting are at the end of October, and the Holiday Boutique finishes out the year in December. We hope to see you soon!


A successful program this weekend – thank you!

The program yesterday had a great turnout! (There would have been a post yesterday when I got back to the museum but the internet wasn’t cooperating.) We had to put out more chairs and we ran out of coffee, always a good sign – we’ll have more of both ready next time. It was also great to see many new people attending, as well as a few younger folks. We received positive feedback about the program, and we’d like to thank Debra Palazzo, Cynthia Kauffman, and the Daughters of Liberty’s Legacy for their wonderful presentation. This was also our first time running the program at the library – it offers a larger, more comfortable space with more parking and we look forward to holding The History of Camp Smith there on October 8th.


This coming weekend you can find us at Putnam Valley Town Day at the town park. The museum will be open its regular hours (10:00AM – 2:00PM) and then we’ll be at the park from 4:00 – 6:00pm with some of our gift shop items, a small display of past town celebrations, information regarding up coming events, and more (we’ll have ice cream!) See you then!