Eventually we hope to be able to upload each entire edition of our quarterly newsletter, The Historical Key, to this site. Meanwhile, here is a list of articles in the December 2012 edition. If you would like the complete text of an article, please click on "Contact Us" and we will happily e-mail it to you.
Kinsman Sought Titanic Survivor and Found a Hero
Core Values Endure as Girl Scouts Mark 100 Years
Antique Treasures Take to the Road for Charity
Peekskill Soldier Killed at Antietam Remembered
Bailey, Kummer Elected Co-presidents
Autumn Edibles Attract 40 to Fall Festival
Excerpts from the President's Corner
in the December 2012 edition:
The time has come to welcome two new, though familiar, faces to the top spot of our Society. As many of you already know, Dan Bailey, treasurer for the past six years, and George Kummer, director for the past six years, will become co-presidents January 1, 2013. After four years at the helm, I will move over to secretary, where I hope to devote much more time to organizing our archives (the goal I overoptimistically proclaimed and then failed to reach after leaving the presidency the first time, in December 2004). I change jobs knowing that I am leaving the reins in the hands of two of the most capable members of our organization. Dan, who has earned the lion’s share of the credit for bringing our financial aspects into the 21st century, as well as leading the painting, flooring and other rehabilitation work at the Schoolhouse, has been my right-hand man and go-to guy, and George, a past president and longtime mentor, has been the driving force behind such projects as roadside markers and the restoration of the Van Cortlandt family plot in Hillside Cemetery.
As I have said and written many times, I have tried to emphasize three broad themes of stewardship:
-- Research what happened here.
--Preserve key extant remnants of our heritage.
--Share our findings with the community at large.
In short, the volunteers in our happening organization try to make our community better by preserving its story and sharing it with others. This is who we are. This is what we do.
Inside this edition are a few of the latest details. Our September meeting featured a program on Girl Scouting, linked to the centennial of the founding of that organization. Our October meeting featured a look behind the scenes at how Historic Hudson Valley celebrated its 60 anniversary as the featured museum loan exhibitor at the annual Winter Antiques Show. Our annual luncheon in November included the story of a local radio host’s quest for information about a kinsman who survived the sinking of the Titanic a century ago. This edition also contains a photo spread on our second annual Fall Festival and a report on a ceremony organized by our friends at the Peekskill Museum to honor a Peekskill soldier who was killed 150 years ago at the Civil War Battle of Antietam.
I hope you will agree that ours is an organization with which you want to continue to be involved – a hope that leads to a not-so-subtle transition to the subject of dues.
Yes, it’s that time of year again and, as usual, those of you who pay your dues annually will soon receive a letter inviting you to renew your membership for 2013. But some familiar categories will be missing, and life and honorary members will receive a letter as well. These changes, adopted at the May 2012 membership meeting, are part of the effort to put our Society on a sounder long-term financial footing. Here are the details, effective January 1, 2013, which will also be spelled out in the letter you will receive.
Annual student membership ($10), regular membership ($25) and couple membership ($35) are unchanged. Reduced-rate senior memberships for individuals and couples are eliminated. No more life memberships will be authorized; existing life members will continue to have this status.
All members, especially life members, will be encouraged to make donations to the Society annually. Suggested giving levels (which include standard annual dues):
- Contributing member – $35 per person, $50 per couple
- Supporting member – $50 per person, $75 per couple
- Sustaining member – $75 per person, $100 per couple
- Benefactor member – $100 or more per person, $200 or more per couple
All members contributing at higher levels than standard dues will have their names displayed in a place of honor in the Schoolhouse for that year.
Why eliminate the senior membership categories? These discounts were designed to give older members (62 and older when the dues were last raised, in 2006), many of whom are on fixed/limited incomes, time to adjust to the new, higher dues. They were not designed to be permanent and were not intended to remain in place as long as they have.
Why eliminate the life member category? Research indicated that many organizations such as ours do not have, or have eliminated, life memberships. Presumably, life members are among an organization’s most dedicated members, yet they are not part of the annual stream of dues revenue that should fund the organization’s day-to-day operations. The enhanced giving levels will provide an opportunity for all members to participate more fully in the work of our Society.
Any questions, or if cost is a problem, please ask me, Dan, George or Mike Marx. We don’t want to lose any members because of financial challenges but somebody has to tell one of us.
Quick notes: Need a last-minute stocking stuffer or other gift for the holidays? Please come to our holiday party and/or let me know. … Our fourth season of monthly open houses concluded in November. If all goes well, they will resume in the spring. … If you would like to honor someone, living or dead, with an entry in our Memory Book, or would like to suggest someone worthy of an inscription, please contact Arlene Goodenough. … If you know a member (or close relative) has died, please let me know as soon as possible so I can get the word out before the wake and services. It may be too late by the time I see an obituary in a newspaper (if one is even printed). Ditto if you or someone you know should be added to the sick list. Thanks for your help.
Many thanks to all who helped make my four years as president so memorable and worthwhile. May God bless you all.
There continues to be a lot going on at the Schoolhouse these days. Hope to see you at the next event – with a friend.
Articles in the September 2012 edition:
Westchester Cemeteries Reflect County's Rich History
Edith Ryan Young Memorial Tree Dedicated
French Soldiers Remembered at Annual Service
Reservation Form for Annual Luncheon
Order Form for Gift Case Items
In Memoriam: Lorraine Stone, Armando Tudisco
Photos of Strawberry Festival, Picnic, Raising of New Flag
Articles in the June 2012 edition:
The Tuskegee Airmen
Albert Lee Gaines, Our Own Tuskegee Airman
Composer Aaron Copland at Home in Cortlandt
Photographer Walter Rabetz and the Bear Mountain Bridge
In Memoriam: Richard Belliveau, Ruth Duff Dyckman
Teddy Bear Tea
Photos of Edna Beisser Tree, Upgraded Schoolhouse Restrooms
Articles in the March 2012 edition:
The Generals Who Initiated Modern Warfare in the Civil War
In Memoriam: Jane Schrull, Kurt Schwartz
Photos of Upgraded Kitchen, Holiday Party, Mailbox Vandalism, Van Cortlandt Family Plot
Articles in the December 2011 edition:
Remembering 9/11, 10 Years After
Meteorologist Offers Insight into Forecasting
In Memoriam: Kathleen 'Kay' Moshier
Historical Society Was Founded 90 Years Ago in Turbulent Time
Olsen, Reif Re-elected Directors at Luncheon; Croft Rejoins Board
Photos of Fall Festival, Scout Campout, Artifacts, New Flooring
Articles in the September 2011 edition:
The Glory Days of Peekskill Military Academy
In Memoriam: Edna Beisser
Schoolhouse Floors Getting a Facelift
Strawberry Festival Attracts 50
35 Turn Out for Annual Picnic
French Soldiers Honored During Annual Service
Open Houses Help Share Our Heritage
Articles in the June 2011 edition:
Reflecting on National Women's History Month
Tea in a Schoolhouse 'Wonderland'
Cortlandt's Historic and Scenic Roads
1 Nation or 2? Looking Back 150 Years
Early School Days Program Welcomes 442
Notables Found a Haven in Putnam Valley
New Roadside Marker Erected After Mishap
Open Houses Begin Third Season
Articles in the March 2011 edition:
The Daring Capture of Stony Point
Marking Black History Month
More than 50 at Holiday Party
In Memoriam - Muriel Gazverde
Buchanan Girl Scouts Visit Schoolhouse
Rotarians Present Patterson Book
Disorder Continues to Plague Bees, Challenge Scientists
Storms Topple Tree, Blow Away Flag at Park
Lincoln Depot Groundbreaking
Articles in the December 2010 edition:
The push to preserve the Fishkill Supply Depot
Exterior of Schoolhouse repainted
Canning re-elected president at annual luncheon
Stagecoaches along the Hudson Valley
Yellow Brick Road connects Peekskill, Oz
Efforts under way to restore Van Cortlandt cemetery plot
Time capsule completes Quadricentennial celebration
Articles in the September 2010 edition:
Revitalizing and renewing Peekskill
Quadricentennial panels dedicated
Memorial service for French soldiers
Stove finds new home in Schoolhouse
In memoriam: Charlotte L. Koerner
Open house adventure
Registration form for annual luncheon and election
Articles in the June 2010 edition:
Slavery and coopering in Colonial America
The plot to assassinate Lincoln
Schoolhouse takes on nautical air
New planter graces oil-fill pipe
Roadside historical marker damaged
In memoriam - Agnes Minore
Annual picnic Saturday, July 17
Articles in the March 2010 edition:
'In Remembrance' - our new memory book
Viola Baldwin-Gaines elected director at annual luncheon
Enhancing Peekskill's Lincoln legacy - the Lincoln Depot
Trip through time via the American clock industry
Open house to begin new season
Articles in the December 2009 edition:
In memoriam - Edith Ryan Young
In memoriam - Marie T. Ferrara
Quadricentennial in homestretch
Civil War draft riots in New York City
Visiting the ancestral town of the Lent family
The many Abraham Lincolns
Living the history that happened here