Van Cortlandtville Historical Society - Where History Comes Alive
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 2013 edition. If you would like the complete text of an article, or the entire newsletter, please click on "Contact Us" and we will happily e-mail it to you.
 
Old Saint Peter's Church Awaits Historical Signs, New Roof
Rehabilitation of Van Cortlandt Family Plot Celebrated
Bernstein, de Neuville, DiMauro Win Terms on Board
Land Tenure: From the Lenape to the Lords of the Manor
Amusing Anecdotes from Long-Time Members, Part 2
How a Growing Metropolis Slaked Its Thirst
In Memoriam: Theresa Baxter, 1929-2013
 
Excerpts from the President's Corner
in the December 2013 edition:
Well, the fall is gone and I hope everyone enjoyed the weather as now we look forward to the upcoming winter. We continue to have dynamic speakers each month and I encourage each and every one who can attend the meetings to do so. It is a great time for people to relax and enjoy some great food and good fellowship.
We had our annual business meeting November 15 at the Cortlandt Colonial Restaurant and it was a great success, attended by 57 members and guests. Our speaker, Leah Olsen, gave a wonderful and insightful presentation on Old Saint Peter’s Church with its rich history and promising future. We also elected three board members – Anne de Neuville for a second term, Father Joe DiMauro for his first full term and Marc Bernstein for his first term.
Our October speaker was Bernis Nelson, a longtime local attorney, who gave a very vivid history of the Lenape Indians and their culture and settlements in this area. To our surprise, some of the descendents of the Lenape tribe were in attendance and contributed to the discussion.
Bob Foley is our program director and, although he does a great job, if anyone has a suggestion for a program, please tell him and I am sure he will try to address your suggestion.
Membership: I hope you will agree that ours is an organization with which you want to continue to be involved. Yes, it’s that time of year again and every one of you will soon receive a letter inviting you to renew your membership for 2014 (if you pay your dues annually) or your support (life and honorary members). Annual dues are for student membership ($10), regular membership ($25) and couple/family membership ($35). All members, especially life members, are encouraged to make donations. Suggested giving levels (which include standard annual dues when applicable):
·                     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
Any questions, or if cost is a problem, please contact me, Co-President George Kummer, Secretary Jeff Canning or Treasurer Mike Marx. We don’t want to lose any members because of financial challenges but somebody has to tell one of us.
We are still looking for your biography. This is so we can get to know you a little better. Along with this form we would like to take your picture so we can have a face to go with your name. Please submit your own photo or have Carol Reif take one.
Condolences  to the family of former member Theresa Baxter, who passed September 30, 2013. Anyone having knowledge of a member passing away or an illness please alert us so that we may bring it to the attention of our members. 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. And please check out the entries in the book next time you are at the Schoolhouse.
Calendars: As I have mentioned previously, 2013 was a good year for our Society in terms of programs, accomplishments and finances. To take note of this, and show our appreciation to our members who make all this possible, we are giving 2014 American Spirit calendars with matching pens to each member household. The calendars are being distributed to members attending the luncheon and holiday party (to save postage) and will be mailed to the others.
Late arrivals: Our programs continue to draw larger and larger numbers of members and visitors, which is good. But it also creates a space crunch. Please be considerate of others; if you arrive after a program has begun, please take a seat in the rear of the meeting room or go into the classroom. Do not distract the speaker or disturb the folks in the front of the room. Also, be aware that folks taking notes and pictures are often working for our Society or the media; please do not interrupt them.
Upcoming: Our open houses for the year were again a great success and will begin again in the spring (first Sunday of the month) from 2 to 4 p.m. This is a chance for all our members to bring a friend and/or neighbor to get a glimpse of what we have to offer. If you would like to volunteer to staff an open house, please call Arlene Goodenough.
Thanks for being a friend and may God bless.
Dan
 
Excerpts from the President's Corner in the September 2013 edition:
Well, the summer is gone and I hope everyone enjoyed the weather as now we look forward to the fall. We continue to have dynamic speakers each month and I encourage each and every one who can attend the meetings to do so. It is a great time for people to relax and enjoy some great food and good fellowship.
We had our annual memorial service for the eight French soldiers who died in Van Cortlandtville during the Revolutionary War on July 7 at Old Saint Peter’s Church.
Our annual picnic July 20 was a great success and attended by approximately 30 members and guests. We did not meet in August but now are back in full session.
For a variety of reasons we did not take a bus trip this summer. We will try again next year.
We had the formal dedication of the rehabilitated Van Cortlandt family plot and five new signs in Hillside Cemetery on Sunday, September 22. Those in attendance included many of our members as well as a representative from the Town of Cortlandt. A full report will appear in the December edition of The Historical Key.
The Town of Cortlandt celebrated its 225th anniversary Sunday, July 28, at George’s Island County Park in Montrose. The celebration was a great success and very well coordinated from the games for the kids, bands, parade and food vendors. Everyone should be proud of the effort the Town put into this event.
We started back with a great speaker in September who described the water system that feeds New York City and some of the surrounding area. A full report will appear in the December edition.
Bob Foley is our program director and, although he does a great job, if anyone has a suggestion for a program, tell him and I am sure that he will try to address your suggestion.
Annual Business Meeting: We will hold our annual business meeting and luncheon Friday, November 15, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Cortlandt Colonial Restaurant. This event is always well attended and everyone has had a great experience, so please consider attending.
Just a reminder: We are still looking for your biography so that we can get to know you a little better. Along with this form we would like to take your picture so we can have a face to go with your name. To date, we have received about 30 forms but only a couple of photos. Please submit your own photo or have Carol Reif take one. If you need a form, please pick one up at the Schoolhouse or email Secretary Jeff Canning, historicaljeff@aol.com  
Condolences  to the family of life member Aram Casparian, who passed on July 1. Anyone having knowledge of a member passing away or an illness, please alert us so that we may bring it to the attention of our members.
Upcoming:  We continue to have our open houses (first Sunday of the month through November) from 2 to 4 p.m. This is a chance for all our members to bring a friend and/or neighbor to get a glimpse of what we have to offer. If you would like to volunteer to staff the open house please call Arlene Goodenough.
Welcome to our new neighbors, the Revs. Todd and Jennifer Pick, who took over the pulpit at Van Cortlandtville Community Church during the summer.
Memory Book: If you would like to honor someone, living or deceased, please contact Arlene Goodenough.
Gift case: It’s not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. Our gift case has a number of unusual items that may meet your needs.
Thanks to Past President Frank Goderre for replacing the deteriorated step to the storage shed behind the Schoolhouse.
Thanks for being a friend and may God bless.
Dan
 
Articles in the September 2013 edition:
In Memoriam: Aram Casparian, 1931-2013
French Soldiers Remembered at Annual Service
Cortlandt Celebrates 225th Anniversary
Amusing Anecdotes from Long-Time Members, Part 1
Strawberries Take Center Stage at Festival
 
Articles in the June 2013 edition:
Baseball Has Deep Roots in Hudson River Valley
New Look for Old Saint Peter's Church
Pines Bridge: A Brief But Bloody Battle
Dining with the Van Cortlandts
Oz Meets Schoolhouse at Annual Tea
 
Articles in the March 2013 edition:
Queen of Magic Comes to Life at Schoolhouse
The John Jones House, a Van Cortlandtville Treasure
Cortlandt to Celebrate 225th Anniversary
In Memoriam: Elsie Berko, 1923-2013
45 Celebrate Holidays at Annual Party
 
Articles in the December 2012 edition:
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
 
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
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