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 September 2014 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.
New Roof for Old Saint Peter's Church
Amusing Anecdotes from Long Time Members, Part II
French Soldiers Remembered at Annual Service
Summertime Picnic Fun
Excerpts from the Co-President's Corner
in the September 2014 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 started back with a great speaker in September who talked about Sing Sing Prison in Ossining and plans to establish a museum there. You will find a write-up on this program in the December edition of the newsletter.
Inside this edition you will find summaries, in their own words, of the long-ago experiences of some of our longtime members, which they shared during our second annual Amusing Anecdotes program in June. You will also find reports on our annual picnic in July and our annual memorial service for the French soldiers who died in Van Cortlandtville during the Revolutionary War.
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 luncheon meeting and election:Our Society’s annual luncheon meeting with guest speaker and election of officers will be held Friday, November 21, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Cortlandt Colonial Restaurant. For reservations, please email
Open houses: We will have our final open houses of the season from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 5, and Sunday, November 2. Please contact Arlene Goodenough if you can help staff an open house. If you have not been active in a while, please stop by if you can and see what’s new at the Schoolhouse these days – and bring a friend!
Memory Book: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. We hope that this book will serve as our history of the people who were members or served our organization. And please check out the entries in the book next time you are at the Schoolhouse.
No parking: In response to the needs of members and guests with limited mobility, we have designated the area by the main meeting-room entrance a “no parking” zone and have posted a sign. This will enable folks to be dropped off right by the entrance, after which the driver can park elsewhere. A reminder: If you are unable to navigate steps, there is a ramp by the rear entrance to the meeting room.
Bus trip canceled: George Kummer made preliminary arrangements for an August trip to the Kinderhook, New York, home of President Martin Van Buren (1837-41) but we had to cancel because of cost and inadequate response.
Flagpole and light for flag: The American flag in front of the Schoolhouse will soon be flying from a new attractive pole, thanks to the generosity of Co-President George Kummer after he noticed the deteriorated condition of the current pole. Earlier this year, George also donated a solar-powered light that illuminates the flag and shows off its glory during the hours of darkness.
Condolences: 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.  
Thanks for being a friend and may God bless.
Dan Bailey
Articles in the June 2014 edition:
Snow, Ice Pull Down Gutters
Creating a Revolutionary Path
2nd New York Regiment Has Proud Revolutionary War Heritage
Kosciuszko and the Fortification of West Point
Bumble Bee Tea a Blooming Success
New Book Focuses on People of Cortlandt
New Light Illuminates Flag at Night
In Memoriam: Jean Gilbert Clark, 1925-2014
Articles in the March 2014 edition:
In Memorian: Beatrice E. Konnerth, A Woman of Letters, 1924-2014
In Memoriam: Charles P. Schwartz, 1934-2014
Land Tenure: From the Lenape to the Lords of the Manor, Part 2
Snow Fun at the Schoolhouse
45 Celebrate Holidays at Annual Party
Embracing Peekskill After Dark
Articles in the December 2013 edition:
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, Part 1
Amusing Anecdotes from Long-Time Members, Part 2
How a Growing Metropolis Slaked Its Thirst
In Memoriam: Theresa Baxter, 1929-2013
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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