Van Cortlandtville Historical Society - Where History Comes Alive

 The Van Cortlandtville
Historical Society
Be sure to be a part of another exciting year of exceptional guest speakers and additional surprises and special events.      
The Van Cortlandtville Historical Society will host an OPEN HOUSE ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH, from 2 to 4 p.m., at The Little Red Schoolhouse, 297 Locust Avenue, Cortlandt Manor, New York. 
                                          This event is open free to the public.............
Visitors will be given a guided tour of the 19-century one-room schoolhouse, which
 until the mid-1970s was still functioning as part of the Lakeland Central School District.  The schoolroom and adjoining meeting room of the Society has books, photographs and classroom items dating back to that early era.   
Light refreshments will be available.
The Little Red Schoolhouse is located at the north end of Locust Avenue next to Old Saint Peter’s Church and cemetery, just south of Oregon Road in the Town of Cortlandt. 
For more information:  Visit; or, call (914) 736-7868.

          SATURDAY, JANUARY  21, 2017
"Crossing the Croton"    with Marc Cheshire

    and Carl Oechsner

of  Croton Friends of History

Three centuries of fords, ferries, trestles and trusses over the Croton River will be the topic of a program---Crossing the Croton---on Saturday, January 21, at 2 p.m., at The Little Red Schoolhouse, 297 Locust Avenue, Cortlandt Manor, New York.  Sponsored by the Van Cortlandtville Historical Society, the event is open free to the public.Historians Marc Cheshire and Carl Oechsner of Croton Friends of History will use a PowerPoint picture program of rare photographs, maps and drawings to show how the lower Croton River, from Quaker Bridge to the Hudson, was crossed in different ways during the last 300 years.  They will tell the story of how and where the Native Americans made fording places; the uses of the Van Cortlandt Manor ferry and the Revolutionary War “New Bridge” to the origins of the legendary High Bridge and Quaker Bridge, and the battle over the destruction of the old Albany Post Road Bridge.  There will also be a short video anecdote, featuring the late Ed Rondthaler of Croton, about the tale of a herd of circus elephants and the fate of the High Bridge.  A Croton resident for more than 20 years, Mr. Cheshire has served on the board of the CrotonFree Library and is currently the vice president of the Croton Arboretum and a member of the board of Croton Friends of History.   A graduate of Brown University with a degree in Graphic Arts, he worked for 30 years as an editor and art director of children’s books.  He is currently the marketing director of Seth Kaller, Inc., one of the top dealers in rare historic documents.  Mr. Oechsner is a founder and the current president of Croton Friends of History.   A graduate of Ithaca College and Columbia University, he taught backyard history in the Ossining Public School System for 40 years.  He is the author of three books on area history, and is the familiar leader and guide on popular history walk tours of various historical sites in the Croton/Ossining area.  A native of Ossining, he and his wife, Joanne, an artist, have lived in Croton for many years where they raised their three children.  They have four grandchildren.Mr. Cheshire publishes a blog called Croton: History & Mysteries (, where he shares his research and passion for the history of Croton-on-Hudson and the lower Hudson Valley.   Mr. Oechsner has published a number of articles on the history of the Croton area that can be viewed on the Croton Friends of History website:  The Little Red Schoolhouse (the venue for the January 21st program) is located at the north end of Locust Avenue, next to Old Saint Peter’s Church and cemetery, on the hill just south of Oregon Road in the Town of Cortlandt.  For more information, visit:;  or, call (914) 736-7868.  


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