The schoolhouse is now open for the 2017! We’ll be open this Saturday from 10:00AM – 2:00PM and doing a lot of spring cleaning, but you’re welcome to stop by. The exhibit won’t be fully up and running the opening until May 6th – there will be a post in the next week or two with more information.
Information about the Bannerman Island tour on May 20th will also be available in the near future.
Our next installment of Our American History is one week from this Saturday. See you there!
So…what’s been going on.
Next month brings the return of our continuing Our American History series with Eleanor Roosevelt: The Development of a Woman Activist on Saturday March 11th, 10:00AM at the library.
There’s also a genealogy workshop on Saturday March 25th at 10:00 at the library. There is a $10.00 registration fee, but both members of the Putnam Valley Historical Society and/or Friends of the Library have a reduced fee of $5.00. Speaking from personal experience – genealogy is fascinating and you NEVER know what you will find piecing together your family tree.
The schoolhouse will hopefully be reopening sometime in March, there will be a post here when we get a date. That post will also include information about the exhibit for 2017, and possibly the schedule of topics for Our American History.
Regarding the Where Are We houses – Some have been potentially ID’d by looking up tax notices in the newspapers from the 30s and 40s. This will be an ongoing project, as will the Who Are We pictures. Nobody has been identified yet, but some people in the photo collection that were labeled as “so and so’s grandfather” are now properly labeled with their own name. Again, another ongoing project.
We’ve been getting messages from people about helping out and volunteer opportunities. We’d love to have you! Once we reopen for the season, the house/people project will be ongoing, we are always scanning and transcribing documents…it may sound boring but I promise, it’s not. We are also interested in anything photo/document/story you may have that’s related to Women’s Suffrage or World War I AND is connected to either Putnam Valley or Putnam County. 2017 is the centennial anniversary of both Women’s Suffrage and the US entry into World War I. If you have anything, contact either us or the Putnam County Historian’s Office. We’d love to see what you have!
The response to the last picture post on Facebook was, in a word, awesome. Was not expecting that! We’ve gained 84 page likes since Wednesday morning – hello new people! Thanks for liking us!
We’re nearly a month into the new year – here’s what’s been happening behind the scenes.
- Plugging along with the picture scanning. We are well past 2,000 and the more I dig through files, the more I find. I would not be surprised if when all is said and done, we end up with 4,000 – 4,500 digital pictures. This does NOT include the documents that have been scanned (more on that below). We don’t know yet if all of these images will be available online in the future, or if we’ll just have the database available with a smaller, rotating digital album. Stay tuned.
- Genealogy files – another project that sounds simple,until you open the first folder (Adams, in case you were curious) and see that it’s not just genealogy papers inside. That’s been taking some work. Do we scan everything and call it a day? Do we just list what we have available for each name? How do we know what’s in there if we don’t list every individual name? Do we (way in the future – like, next year in the future) create family trees for each family? I’ve settled on a combination of scanning everything and making a very basic list for now.
- Updating the site here. If you click around, specifically on the Historic Putnam Valley menu at the top, you’ll notice there’s a new posting about the History of Putnam Valley. It’s a brief but informative writing from our past town historian Mr. Crimmins. Another document that we have 400 paper copies of that is now available to everyone. It was written 31 years ago so there are some things missing, namely the high school.Within that post (or if you hover over the menu) is a link to Historic Lake Peekskill. This was an oral history given by Bertha Gragert to Gladys Gragert Muller in 1990. I’ve started inserting pictures into the two pages, and more will be coming in the next few months. Another one of our back projects is getting all the old VHS tapes of the senior interviews onto the computer, and I’d like to get some clips of those up here and create a separate personal history section. That’ll probably happen over the summer or fall.
- Document scanning. We have everything from dental work receipts from when a “full upper and lower” was $30.00 and could be paid in installments (my guess is early 1900s) to original school tax receipts ($0.38 tax + $0.05 collector fee) and copies of wills. And that’s just in one genealogy folder! This will definitely end up being a later rather than sooner project, since the documents aren’t just in the genealogy folders but in our regular archives as well. And the scrapbooks of newspaper articles. So many newspaper clippings.
- Working on our upcoming exhibit. More on that in a few weeks. The opening is May 6th at 10:00AM at the schoolhouse.
The museum will not be open today due to the snowy, soon to be sleet-y and icy conditions. Today would have been our last day of the year anyway, so the museum will not be reopening until May 2017. See you then! (There will be a longer post tomorrow or Monday – just wanted to get it out there that we are not open today)
ETA: Check out this article by Tom Renner of the Putnam Daily Voice about this weekend’s guest speaker Craig Nelson!
Our final two events of the year are coming up this weekend. On Saturday the 10th we’ll have our last Our American History program of 2016 on Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness with Craig Nelson at 10:00AM at the Putnam Valley Free Library.
Also this weekend is the second half of our Holiday Boutique. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00AM – 4:00PM we’ll have a few new items this weekend, and Santa will be at the museum on Saturday the 10th at 11:00AM. See you there!
We had what I believe is our best turnout yet for Our American History – over 35 of you joined us this past Saturday to learn about Bannerman Castle. Many thanks to Thom for his enjoyable, very informative presentation.
Apologies for the sideways pictures. They are uploaded in the upright position and get flipped when inserted.
Every. Single. Time.
Moving on, we have our next event coming up in a few short weeks – the annual Holiday Boutique! Stop by the museum, do some holiday shopping…there’s even a rumor Santa may be swinging by one of the days. There’s still some room for vendors, if you’re interested send an email to email@example.com . The museum is still open on Saturdays but be aware the exhibit has come down and the holiday decorations are going up.
As you can see, the boutique will be open during the next installment of Our American History. You’ll also see below that there’s been a change in topic for next month. We’ll now be hearing from Craig Nelson as he discusses Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness on Saturday December 10th at the Putnam Valley Library.
See you soon!
Everybody’s heard of it, but what do you know about it? Join us at the Putnam Valley Free Library on Saturday November 12th at 10:00am, when guest speaker Thom Johnson tells all there is to know about this history of this local site.
Thanks to all that braved the torrential downpour and joined us for our Annual Meeting and Awards Reception this past Sunday. If you weren’t able to join us, there was a sneak peek at some more pictures that have been scanned in. Hopefully you’ll recognize the building! They were at the bottom of the fall update “newsletter” that was printed out for each table, these are probably much easier to see. (They were scanned in from large negatives and didn’t *quite* fit the negative portion of the scanner, so the very tops and bottoms were cut off.)
We’re very close to ordering our new fireproof file cabinets. In going through the existing file cabinets to figure out how to best empty them, I came across the genealogy folder for the Adams family. Aside from the cemetery plot listings and obituaries in the folder, there were also several handwritten notes from the 1980s from people trying to figure out if our Adams family of Putnam Valley were descendants of one Mr. John Adams, second president of these United States. Of course all this work was done well before the internet was readily available for such research quests, and there wasn’t a definitive yes or no. It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out now with so many genealogical resources available, and during our winter lull it will definitely be researched. Unless somebody already has the answer…please let us know!
Now that November is here, we’re also shifting gears and starting our annual Holiday Boutique set up. There are whispers of a certain jolly someone stopping by the museum – we’ll let you know when he’ll be making an appearance, so get your lists ready!