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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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!
Apologies for the confusion with our Annual Meeting and Awards Reception invitation. If you did not receive an invitation by mail and would like to attend – anybody is welcome to attend – you can send us an email to email@example.com or leave a message on the answering machine at the museum (845) 528-1024, and pay at the door on the 30th.
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!
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!
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.
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!