Putnam Valley Historical Society on Pause

With New York State being on Pause until at least May 15th, the museum will not be open to visitors in the near future. Being in Putnam County, we’re in a weird position. We’re in the Hudson Valley, we’re definitely nowhere near upstate but we’re not exactly the same as Westchester. We seem to be the dividing line between the top of the lower Hudson Valley and the bottom of the upper Hudson Valley.

So…where does that leave our little museum? We’re going to take advantage of this Pause and really focus on organizing and cataloguing our collections, making more of it available to you electronically. Working on it piecemeal has been challenging, starting and stopping. It’s easy to lose momentum, having to spread everything out only to have to clean it back up after four hours is frustrating.  Being able to work while the building is open (i.e., the water turned back on) yet closed to the public will allow things to move at a much quicker, less stressful pace. There are things in there that haven’t seen the light of day in decades just waiting to be noticed and officially documented. And other things that have a better home elsewhere.

Recently uncovered was a scrapbook from the Public Health Association of Putnam Valley-Kent, covering 1946-1968. Pages and pages of newspaper clippings and annual reports detailing the health of our community in the 1940s and 1950s. We also now know the year that linoleum was first laid down in the main classroom. When the PHAPVK officially moved into the Adams Corners Schoolhouse after years of fundraising (April 13, 1951 was the day the doors opened). That there were plans in place to turn the (now elementary school) Putnam Valley School into a hospital in case of a Civil Defense emergency in 1951.  That the dental clinic was added in 1955. It also allows us to build a more concrete history of the use of the schoolhouse.

We are working on a plan for when we do reopen officially. It does include not having a physical exhibit this year while we push to get everything organized. More on that to come later.

A newsletter will be going out soon to our membership with more information about our plans for this year, and will eventually be shared here. In the meantime, keep healthy – and hopefully we’ll see you at some point this summer.


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