Online Exhibit

Life in Putnam Valley, Late summer 1938

To assist in the final push to finish the Shrine of the North American Martyrs, two large fundraisers were held; one in 1937, and this one in 1938. This is a full copy of the program for the 1938 fundraiser, held at the Putnam Valley Central School (now the elementary school). It’s a wonderful peek into Putnam Valley 80 years ago, giving a good idea of life at the time and the businesses our residents would frequent. There’s even a listing for Sears Roebuck & Co!


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We are fortunate enough to have photos of several of the businesses listed – some buildings are still around today! O’Connor’s Restaurant would later be destroyed a little over a month after the fundraiser was held.


The fundraiser was held on August 20, 1938. On September 21-22, 1938 a devastating hurricane blew through Long Island, NY and up into New England. The outer bands reached all the way up into Putnam Valley, flooding the Peekskill Hollow Brook at Oregon Corners, less than half a mile from the newly constructed Shrine of the North American Martyrs. The first photo below shows the damage done to O’Connor’s, who would later rebuild (1940) on the opposite side of Oregon Corners.


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