Doing new things with old stuff, and a class trip!

There’s been a lot of “behind the scenes” things happening at the museum recently.

One box of our older documents has been scanned is ready for transcribing – volunteers are welcome! The document on the left is a vendue list (a public auction or sale) from Nathaniel Post. It’s undated, but assumed to be from the late 1700s. The prices listed are in pounds, shillings, pence. The document on the right is the indenture between Beverly  Robinson and Abraham Post, signed in “the fourteenth Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord King George the Third”, or 1774. Does the name Beverly Robinson sound familiar but you’re not quite sure why? Visit the museum! Our current exhibit is about the (now) Putnam County area during the American Revolution and you’ll find quite a bit about Mr. Robinson.

We’ve also started the process of transferring our recorded interviews from cassette tape to digital. The oldest tapes go back to the mid 1970s, the newest from the 1990s. In the coming weeks we’ll hopefully have some clips available here for your listening pleasure. The topics range from the history of the library, to the creation of Lake Peekskill, the history surrounding Lake Oscawana, Putnam Valley during World War II…and much more. Most of these also need transcribing, and again – volunteers are welcome!


Our American History is on vacation for August, but in July we had a wonderful presentation by crowd favorite Thom Johnson about the Old Cornish Estate in Cold Spring, and it was very quickly decided that a tour of the property would be an excellent outing for the historical society and our friends. Our dedicated volunteer Michael Bennett wrote a great advertisement for our class trip – who wouldn’t want to join us after reading it??

Come join the Putnam Valley Historical Society, along with local historian, educator and artist Thom Johnson, for a visit to Northgate, the Old Cornish Estate in Cold Spring, NY. Journey back in time to see the remnants of the once-great estate – and see the site’s promise for the future!

One of the most mysterious ruins in the Hudson Valley is the Old Cornish Estate, or Northgate, located in the shadow of Breckneck Ridge and part of the Hudson Highlands State Park. For many years there were no known photographs of the site prior to its destruction by fire in 1958, and there was little information available. After publication of the book Hudson Valley Ruins (Rinaldi and Yasensac 2006), descendants of Sigmund Stern, the estate’s first owner, and Edward Cornish, who purchased it in 1917, came forward with both photographs and a more complete history of the site.

Today, while only ruins remain to demonstrate its former grandeur, the location’s early history, the records of its initial construction, the identity of the many structures built on the site and their varied uses, the story of its sale and the devastating fire, and even the promise of the estate’s future remain a fascination for local historians, researchers, nature-lovers, preservationists, and artists of all types!

There is a $10 fee per person for the trip. You can pay online here or pay at the museum on a Saturday, or mail a check (payable to Putnam Valley Historical Society) to P.O. Box 297, Putnam Valley NY 10579. We will also be making carpool arrangements as the date gets closer, due to limited parking.

New t-shirts are on their way to the museum as well – we’ll be sure to let you know when they arrive so you can visit us to buy one. We’ll have them before the trip, in case you wanted to pick one up to wear that day, in case we wanted to take a group picture or anything…

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