Tag Archives: Rockland County

Bridges And New York History

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New York State has approximately 17,000 highway bridges. They are essential for traveling around our state and connecting our communities. About 37% are “functionally obsolete” or “structurally deficient,” according to DOT, a reminder of the need for continuing investment to maintain valuable resources.

Bridges – old and new – are part of community and state history. The story of three historically significant bridges shows various connections to history. Continue reading

Rockland Lake Park Complex Master Plan Underway

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The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) Palisades Region and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) will hold a public information meeting regarding the preparation of a Draft Master Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Rockland Lake, Hook Mountain, Nyack Beach, and Haverstraw Beach State Parks (together, the Rockland Lake Park Complex) on the west bank of the Hudson River in Rockland County, New York.

OPRHP and PIPC encourage the public to participate in the planning efforts for the park complex and welcome all comments and suggestions. Developed and opened to the public in the early 1960s, the parks are part of the Palisades Interstate Park system.

The public meeting will be held at Rockland Lake State Park Championship Golf Course Clubhouse on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM. Park staff will make a brief presentation about the master planning process and the park after which the meeting will be open to receive public comments.

All persons interested in the Rockland Lake Park Complex are urged to attend; those who cannot may view the Public Information Meeting Packet on the OPRHP website.

Written comments and suggestions may be submitted by April 27, 2012 to:

Mark Hohengasser
Park Planner
Agency Building 1, 17th Floor
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12238

Upon inclement weather conditions, please visit the OPRHP website for a meeting cancellation notice and updated information.

For additional information and directions to the meeting, contact the park office at 845-268-3020.

Bear Mountain Inn Reopening Saturday After Renovations

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The historic Bear Mountain Inn at Bear Mountain State Park, which had been closed for renovations for over six years, will reopen its lodging facilities to the public this Saturday, February 18, 2012.

Originally built in 1915, the Inn has been extensively renovated to include 15 luxury guest rooms and suites designed by Thomas Hamilton and Associates, and over 20,000 square feet of flexible event space. Room rates will range from $189 to $450/night. The Inn also welcomes guests to the 1915 Cafe, which features a local and sustainable menu, and the Bear Mountain Trading Company, where visitors can find park souvenirs, crafts, local food items, and jewelry.

Bear Mountain Inn is an historic landmark, listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places. Upon its opening, The American Architect declared the Bear Mountain Inn to be one of the “finest examples of rustic Adirondack architecture in America.” Park employees constructed the Inn using natural materials, including stone and wood found in the park. The Inn’s interior is outfitted in the rustic style with handcrafted chairs, sofas, tables, light fixtures, and other accessories to complement the building’s design and woodland setting.

The Inn has hosted such dignitaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. It has also welcomed the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, New York Knicks, Green Bay Packers, champion boxer Jack Dempsey, and entertainment headliners Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, and Kate Smith to name a few.

Bear Mountain State Park is considered the flagship of the Palisades Interstate Park System. The park is 45 miles north of New York City, in the Hudson Highlands. Facilities include playing fields, picnic groves, rowboat docks on Hessian Lake, swimming pool and bathhouse, nature trails including the first segment of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, an ice-skating rink, basketball court, Trailside Museums and Zoo, Iona Island Estuarine Reserve and Bird Refuge, Perkins Memorial Drive and Tower, the Bear Mountain Merry-Go-Round and pavilion as well as four stone lodges, Cliffhouse and the Overlook Lodge.

Event catering is under the leadership of award-winning Executive Chef Michael Matarazzo. The Bear Mountain Inn is managed by Guest Services, Inc., of Virginia, a private hospitality company that has provided food, hotel, resort and leisure services since 1917.

More information about Bear Mountain Inn can be found online.

Photo: Bear Mountain Inn Dining Room, circa 1923.

Stony Point 18th Century Tavern Night

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Join costumed staff and visiting reenactors for a family program of music, games and story telling on Friday, July 15, 2011 at 7:00 PM. Performers Tom Hanford and Nancy Finlay will draw guests into the convivial world of an 18th century tavern, and host John Muller will share his expertise of the period at this unique event. Light period refreshments will be served. Note: No alcohol will be served.

Advanced reservations required. Please call the museum office at 845-786-2521 for reservations and further information. Adults $15, Seniors and Children $12.The historic site is located at 44 Battlefield Rd., accessed from Park Rd. off Route 9W in Stony Point.

Stony Point Battlefield 2011 Programs and Events

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The Battle of Stony Point, one of the last Revolutionary War battles in the northeastern colonies was where Brigadier General Anthony Wayne led his corps of Continental Light Infantry in a daring midnight attack on the British, seizing the site’s fortifications and taking the soldiers and camp followers at the British garrison as prisoners on July 16, 1779.

The site features a museum, which offers exhibits on the battle and the Stony Point Lighthouse, as well as interpretive programs, such as reenactments highlighting 18th century military life, cannon and musket firings, cooking demonstrations, and children’s activities and blacksmith demonstrations.

The Stony Point Battlefield State Historic site is located at 44 Battlefield Road, accessed from Park Road, off Route 9W in Stony Point. For more information and directions and to reserve your spot, call the site office at 845-786-2521.

Saturday, April 23rd at 7:45 AM: Spring Bird Walk
Spring Bird Walk with Della and Alan Wells of the Rockland Audubon Society. These experts will lead a walk through the diverse bird habitats found at the Stony Point Battlefield. First time birders welcome, and experienced birders will enjoy exploring the location of a wonderfully accessible birders paradise. Bring binoculars, or borrow an extra pair from the group. This program is free to the public. Site entrance gate will be open from 7:45 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. only to admit Birding Ramblers, so please be on time. No parking fee for this early bird special!

Evening Lighthouse Lantern Tours
Friends of the Stony Point Battlefield & Lighthouse present an evening lecture and slide show on the history of lighthouses along the Hudson River, followed by a lantern tour of the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. Reservations required for this program, due to space considerations, call the museum. Please bring a flashlight and bug spray. Admission $4.00 adults, $3.00 seniors and children 10 to 18 years. Program not appropriate for children younger than age 10.
This program will be offered on a TBD Saturday in June, July, and August.

Friday, July 15th at 7 PM: Tavern Night at the Battlefield

Join the Friends of the Stony Point Battlefield & Lighthouse, the site staff and visiting reenactors to celebrate the site’s anniversary weekend at the first annual Tavern Night. Get ready to travel into the convivial world of an 18th century tavern as performers Tom Hanford and Nancy Finlay lead the night with music and story-telling. There will be 18th century games to learn and play and light refreshments will be served, including delicious beverages from 18th century recipes created by Tavern Keeper, John Muller. This program offers entertainment for the whole family. NOTE: No alcohol will be served. Admission to this fundraising event is $15.00 for adults and $12.00 for seniors and children. Rain or shine – the event will be held in the picnic pavilion if inclement weather.

Saturday, July 16th and Sunday, July 17th (11 AM – 4 PM): Celebrate the 231st Anniversary of the Storming of Stony Point
Visit our 18th century military encampment as we commemorate American Brigadier General Anthony Wayne’s daring nighttime assault on the British fortifications at Stony Point. Battle scenarios will be re-enacted each day at 3:00 and a special
Saturday evening presentation on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Watch as American troops advance on the British camp and experience what the soldiers might have felt in a midnight raid. There will be musket, rifle and artillery demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, blacksmithing, along with colonial games and wooden musket drills for children. $5.00 daytime parking fee. Rain or shine. Evening battle program is free.

Saturday, August 13 at 8 PM: Evening Battlefield Lantern Tour
Presented by the Friends of the Stony Point Battlefield & Lighthouse. Experience the story of the Storming of Stony Point as you follow in the footsteps of the American Light Infantry soldiers who captured the British fort. Tour the historic grounds with a guide by lantern light as the battle unfolds around you. Reservations required for this program, call the museum. Please bring a flashlight and bug spray. Admission $4.00 adults, $3.00 seniors and children 10 and older. Program not appropriate for children younger than age 10.

Sunday, September 17, 8 AM- 1030 AM: Hudson River Birding Ramble
Hudson River Birding Ramble with Della and Alan Wells of the Rockland Audubon Society. These experts will lead a walk through the diverse bird habitats found at the Stony Point Battlefield. First time birders welcome, and experienced birders will enjoy exploring the location of a wonderfully accessible birders paradise. Bring binoculars, or borrow an extra pair from the group. This program is free to the public. Site entrance gate will be open from 7:45 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. only to admit Birding Ramblers, so please be on time. No parking fee for this early bird special!

Saturday, September 17th & Sunday, September 18th, 1 PM and 2 PM: Hudson River Ramble Walking Tours
Enjoy a guided walk to the Lighthouse at 1 PM or a guided tour through the Battlefield at 2 PM- followed by the site’s artillery demonstration at 3 PM. This program is free to the public.

Saturday, September 17th at 11 AM: Historical Gardening Talk
Michael Hagen, Horticulturalist and 18th century reenactor, will give a tour of the new soldier’s scratch garden at the Battlefield’s living history camp area. Come and learn about planning, planting and growing food in an 18th century military camp. The garden is brimming with plants and our camp cook will prepare recipes from the period. This program is free to the public.

Saturday, September 24th, 12 Noon- 4 PM: Lighthouse Day
Celebrate the history of lighthouses on the Hudson River and their important connection to the maritime economy of New York State in the 19th century. Tours of the lighthouse will be given throughout the day along with talks on the history of lighthouses, the history of the economic importance of the maritime trade on the river, artists interpretation of Hudson River lights. 19th century maritime music and storytelling will be performed by Balladeer, Linda Russell and Storyteller Jonathan Kruk throughout the afternoon. A family arts and crafts area featuring lighthouse projects will be available.

TBA Saturday in October, 5-7 PM: Lighthouse Cruise
Spend an evening aboard the historic vessel Commander enjoying a two hour Cruise along the Hudson. While on-board, discover the fascinating history surrounding Haverstraw Bay, the Lower Highlands, Lighthouses along the Hudson and the Stony Point Lighthouse as told by local history narrator, Scott Craven. Enjoy spectacular views of the illuminated Stony Point Lighthouse as we sail along the river. The cruise departs Haverstraw Marina at approximately 5:00 p.m. Presented by Friends of Stony Point Battlefield and Lighthouse and Hudson Highlands Cruises, Inc. By advanced reservation, please contact the museum. Admission: $30 Adults, $25 Seniors (62+), and $15 Children (5-12).

Hook Mountain Saved 100 Years Ago

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One hundred years ago this month, less than a year after the Harriman gift of $1,000,000 and 10,000 acres was leveraged to raise an additional $4.5 million in private and state funds, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission began its purchase of the five quarries that were steadily eating away at the stately Hook Mountain ridge between Nyack and Haverstraw, New York.

The first quarry purchased belonged to the Manhattan Trap Rock Company. Its facilities, including the concrete power house used to crush the rock before being loaded onto barges from the wharf, were eventually dismantled or converted by the WPA to recreational facilities. The power house, a beautiful dutch colonial sandstone building that sits at the foot of the mountain, was transformed into a bath house when swimming in the Hudson was still permitted. This magnificent example of adaptive use is now experiencing a second wave of interest by the community as the anchor of Nyack Beach State Park.

The River Trail, one of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trails, runs north from Nyack Beach for almost five miles. A magnet for runners, cyclists, bird watchers, fishermen, lovers, and artists, it is the only trail along the lower Hudson in New York that does not share its waterfront with a train line or highway. The Long Path parallels this trail high above atop the cliffs.

Rockland County: St. Johns in the Wilderness

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In a quiet corner of Rockland County, just a few miles from downtown Haverstraw, NY, stands St. Johns in the Wilderness Episcopal Church. Today it is a reminder that there was once a small but thriving community there, long since grown over.

Located near present day Lake Welch in Harriman State Park, St. John’s was constructed in 1880 through the patronage of Mrs. Margaret Zimmerman, a wealthy New Yorker, as a memorial to her husband John who had died suddenly while they were honeymooning in Palestine. Mrs. Zimmerman (who never remarried) had a retreat estate in Tuxedo Park and enjoyed hiking throughout the area, ultimately buying the land where St. John’s now stands.

In June of 1880, the cornerstone was laid and named for St. John the Evangelist and on November 23rd of the same year, the church was dedicated and officially opened for services. Three years later, Mrs. Zimmerman and Mrs. Carey, director of this church, founded a parish school for orphaned boys from New York City.

That Much Good Might Be Done: St. John’s-in-the-Wilderness, the Legacy of Ada Bessie Carey and Margaret Furniss Zimmerman, is a historical biography of these two 19th century women who devoted much of their lives operating the school and the chapel for the poor families of the Ramapo Mountains. The book details both their efforts and the history of the church.

The author, Odessa Southern Elliott, was caretaker at St. John’s for 30 years. She collected data locally and from around the world. She obtained the memoirs of Dora Ruth West, Mrs. Carey’s adopted daughter; and Sean Furniss, the great-great-great nephew of Mrs. Zimmerman shared his family research with her.

Copies of the book are available at the Harriman Park Visitor’s Center located between exits 16 and 17 on the Palisades Parkway for $15. For more information, call: 845-786-5003.

231st Anniversary of the Storming of Stony Point

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On the seemingly calm night of July 15, 1779, an unusual chill drifted through the summer air at Stony Point. The British garrison stationed there was confident in their position on the Hudson River and unaware of American plans to invade. Just before midnight, the stillness of the fort was broken as Brigadier General Anthony Wayne and his Light Infantry took the British by storm with a surprise attack. By 1 A.M., the garrison had surrendered, marking an important triumph for America and the last major battle in the north.

Visit Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 16th-18th, to celebrate the 231st anniversary of this bold victory as reenactors from British, American, and Loyal American regiments recreate soldier and family life during the Revolutionary War.

The Battlefield will come alive with demonstrations of 18th century warfare and performances of tactical demonstrations and mock skirmishes. Musket and artillery drills are planned throughout the weekend, showing visitors how weaponry was used in combat. Learn about the kinds of currency circulating through the colonies from our camp paymaster and witness a demonstration of the mail system by our colonial postmaster. Reserve a place on the Battlefield Lantern Tour Saturday evening and witness a recreation of the midnight assault while you take a guided walking tour through the battleground.

A range of activities are planned which will provide fun for the whole family. Children will love enlisting in Washington’s army at the camp recruitment table (where they will receive a certificate signed with a quill pen) and anyone can collect a reward for discovering the renegade hiding in the camp. Enjoy a Tea Party with staff dressed in colonial costume and learn about 18th century fashions and etiquette. Talk to our working blacksmiths to discover how tools were repaired or created to meet the needs of the army.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Tom Hanford will present a family show of 18th century entertainment with music, stories and dramas from life “In the Good Old Colony Days.”

There will be a $5 parking fee. For more information and directions, please call the site office, 845-786-2521.

Illustration: Storming of Stony Point by J. Rogers (ca. 1770-ca. 1880).

Managing Your Historical Photographs Workshops

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The New York State Archives is offering two new workshops on managing historical photographs. The first, offered at three locations around the state in October is intended to present strategies for taking physical and intellectual control of photographs to ensure their long-term access and use. Participants will hear methods of organizing and making accessible photographic material, and preservation guidelines for photographs, along with reference, exhibition, and outreach strategies will be outlined. The workshops are free and open to the public. The second workshop in the two part series, “Digitizing Your Historical Photographs,” will be available next year.

Schedule and Registration

October 13, 2009, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Hanford Mills, East Meredith, NY
Presenter Ray LeFever, Coordinator of Archival Advisory Services, NYS Archives Register by downloading a registration form from Upstate History Alliance

October 20, 2009, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
New City Library, New City, NY (Rockland County)
Presenter Ray LeFever, Coordinator of Archival Advisory Services, NYS Archives
Register by emailing Dianne Macpherson at Greater Hudson Heritage Network.

October 20, 2009 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Schenectady County Library Schenectady, NY
Presenter Denis Meadows, Regional Advisory Officer, NYS Archives Region 4
Register online with the State Archives.

For more information e-mail ARCHTRAIN@mail.nysed.gov.

Photo: Bart Warren and helper in his blacksmith shop, West Sand Lake, NY c. 1900

Barnabas McHenry’s Greater Hudson Heritage Award

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The Board of Trustees of Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) will confer special regional recognition to Barnabas (Barney) McHenry through presentation of the Greater Hudson Cultural Heritage Award on October 2, preceding a Historic Site Futures Forum at Bear Mountain, New York.

For 40 years Barney McHenry has worked to protect the Hudson River Valley, its heritage, culture and landscapes. As counsel to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of Reader’s Digest, he was the principal architect of the Wallace Funds, which have contributed to the arts, education, humanities and the environment throughout the Hudson River Valley.

Barney McHenry demonstrates his commitment to the region as Chair of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council, Co-Chair of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and Member of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, while offering valued trustee-leadership to regional historic sites through his service on the boards of Friends of the Hudson Valley and the Open Space Institute, and as Chairman of Boscobel.

A long time patron of museums throughout the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, Mr. McHenry has served on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, The New York Commission on the Restoration of the Capital and the Empire State Plaza Art Commission.

“Greater Hudson’s vision of ‘communities that value the exploration and preservation of their heritage and cultures, and are empowered to save and interpret them to future generations,’ has been furthered by the work of Barney McHenry,” affirmed Dr. Jacquetta Haley, President of the GHHN Board.

Greater Hudson Heritage Network (formerly Lower Hudson Conference of Historical Agencies & Museums), is a museum service organization that has grown over 30 years to encompass an area and cultural constituency from the Battery to Albany- engaging and informing staff, consultants and trustees of cultural heritage organizations as a catalyst to strengthen professional capacity, define and meet mission, and connect them through best practices in stewardship.

Greater Hudson’s Annual Meeting and Historic Site Futures Forum will take place on Friday, October 2, 2009 at Overlook Lodge, Bear Mountain, NY from 10am – 3pm.

The Hon. Richard Brodsky, NYS Assemblyman, 92nd District (Westchester) will address an audience of museum and historic site professionals on issues of “Smart Stewardship,” as he introduces the morning Historic Site Futures Forum and panel speakers.

The Cultural Heritage Award presentation and Futures Forum will be followed by a buffet luncheon, election of GHHN trustees, and the afternoon presentation of 14 Awards Towards Excellence for organizations and projects selected from submitted nominations by a peer jury, chaired by Greater Hudson trustee Jennifer Plick.

The Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s Awards Towards Excellence program seeks to recognize and commend exceptional efforts among GHHN members. Awards are made to projects and organizations that exemplify creativity and professional vision resulting in a contribution to the preservation and interpretation of the historic scene, material culture and diversity of the Greater Hudson region- from the Battery to Albany.

2009 Awards Towards Excellence are presented to:

BOSCOBEL HOUSE & GARDENS, Garrison, NY (Putnam) for the exhibition, Home on the Hudson: Women and Men Painting Landscapes, 1825-1875. This award is in recognition of the continued effort to explore the works of Hudson River School painters particularly those done by women artists and for incorporating the research of doctoral students in the exhibit catalog.

CLARKSTOWN TOWN CLERK, DAVID CARLUCCI, New City, NY (Rockland) for the preservation of the Town of Clarkstown’s historical records. This award is in recognition of the Town Clerk’s program to preserve, digitize and make accessible over 250 years of town records that, in many cases, are too fragile to be handled.

CONSTITUTION ISLAND ASSOCIATION, INC., West Point, NY (Orange) for the film, “Constitution Island: American Landmark.” This award is in recognition of the endeavor to raise awareness of the historic and cultural significance of the site and its use as an educational tool.

SAMUEL DORSKY MUSEUM OF ART, New Paltz, NY (Ulster) and NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY, New York (NY) for the exhibition and publication, The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: 19th Century American Landscape Paintings from the New-York Historical Society. This award is in recognition of a collaboration that re-interprets the landscape collections of the New-York Historical Society by exploring the importance of the region as a cultural site in the 19th century through the works of Hudson River School artists.

HISTORIC HUGUENOT STREET, New Paltz, NY (Ulster) for the exhibition Before Hudson: 8,000 Years of Native American History and Culture. This award is in recognition of the exhibit and public programming that advances regional history by exploring the history of the native inhabitants of the area using archaeological findings.

KATHLEEN EAGAN JOHNSON, Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, NY (Westchester) for the publication, The Hudson-Fulton Celebration: New York’s River Festival and the Making of a Metropolis, co-published by Fordham University Press and Historic Hudson Valley. This award is in recognition of the extensive research and in-depth study of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909 and its impact on New York City.

LYNDHURST and WESTCHESTER COUNTY, Tarrytown, NY (Westchester) for the public program and community collaboration, Hudson River Fest: A Search for the Past, Present, and Future. This award is in recognition of a collaborative program that celebrated Westchester’s historic ties to the river and land, and explored the respectful stewardship of these important but fragile resources.

MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE – A LIVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST, New York (NY) for the creation of an on-line collection resource. This award is in recognition of an innovative program that invites the public to browse artifacts in a dynamic and user-friendly environment. The online Collection offers information unavailable in the Museum.

NEVERSINK VALLEY AREA MUSUEM, Cuddebackville, NY (Orange) for the exhibit, “The Star is Born: A History of the Movie Star in America from Florence Lawrence and Valentino to Heath Ledger” and a program on women in early films. This award is in recognition of new audience-driven local history programming.

NEW CASTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY and EAGLE SCOUT MICHAEL MARTINEZ, New Castle, NY (Westchester) for documentation of the Chappaqua Friends’ Graveyard. This award is in recognition of the extensive research, detailed documentation and creation of a searchable database for over 1,000 markers in the local graveyard dating back to 1745.

THE OLANA PARTNERSHIP and NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION, AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION, Hudson, NY (Columbia) for a new gallery, inaugural exhibit, “Glories of the Hudson: Frederic Edwin Church’s Views from Olana” and its exhibition catalog. This award is in recognition of a public-private effort to broaden the scope of the historic house museum, and a valuable collaborative marketing concept.


LAKEVILLE-IRONWORKS EDUCATIONAL TRAIL and MATTHEW SHOOK, Sterling Forest, Tuxedo, NY (Orange) This award is in recognition Matthew Shook’s dedication, leadership and collaborative skills in bringing together the PIPC, State Historic Preservation Office, NY/NJ Trail Conference, and Rutgers University to preserve, interpret and make accessible to the public a neglected historical resource.

PUTNAM COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY & FOUNDRY SCHOOL MUSEUM, DR. TRUDIE GRACE and DAVID DEARINGER, Cold Spring, NY (Putnam) for the exhibition catalog accompanying the exhibition, George Pope Morris: Defining American Culture. This award is in recognition of the extensive, scholarly research undertaken into the life of George Pope Morris of Cold Spring, and his contribution to 19th century American publishing, music and poetry.

For registration information about Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s October 2, 2009
Annual Meeting, Futures Forum, and Awards presentations at Overlook Lodge, Bear Mountain, please see: www.greaterhudson.org, or contact GHHN: 914.592.6726; info@greaterhudson.org.

Hudson River ‘Brickers’ Focus of New Exhibit

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There will be an opening reception of the Haverstraw Brick Museum’s new exhibit, Moving Bricks on the Hudson, on September 20, 2009 between 1 and 4 pm at the museum at 12 Main Street in Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York. In celebration of the Hudson River and the Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial, the exhibit highlights sloops, schooners, towboats, tugs, and barges that transported bricks on the Hudson in the 19th and early 20th centuries. At its peak the brick industry was the dominant industry on the Hudson River and diverse boats carried one billion bricks annually. Visitors will learn about the brick boats and their boatmen and women, the dangers of river transport, and the shipyards that built and repaired the “brickers.”

The exhibit was inspired by the donation of the papers of the Reilly & Clark brick company to the museum. This collection, along with documenting the manufacturer, contains extensive records for the schooners that carried the firm’s bricks to market between 1885 and 1905. Items range from hundreds of receipts for tows, dock fees, and night watchmen to detailed accountings of the number of bricks carried each trip. The exhibit’s curator, T. Robins Brown, has a personal connection to cargo-carrying sailing ships as her great-grandfather, William T. Robins, was the owner and captain of the schooner Ella Worden on the Chesapeake Bay.

Moving Bricks on the Hudson is open on Sunday, September 13 from 11 am to 4 pm for the Annual Haverstraw Street Fair and until January 31, 2010 during the museum’s regular hours Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1-4 pm. It is also open by appointment by calling 845-947-3505 or emailing haverstrawbrickmuseum.org.

The mission of the Haverstraw Brick Museum is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit materials and cultures of the brick making industry within the Hudson River Valley.

Photo: On Minisceongo Creek, a “bricker,” a brick-carrying schooner, awaits its cargo of bricks from the Shankey brickyard. On board are brickyard workers as well as the brick boat’s crew. The two women, the wives of the captain and first mate, were likely part of the boat’s crew. They lived aboard and cooked, watched tides, pumped bilge water, and performed other tasks that required less strength. Photograph from de Noyelles, Within These Gates.