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 2015 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.
Inaugural Colonial Fair 'a Huge Success'
Reading Brings 'Memories' of Augusta Robertson to Life
25 Cruise the Hudson River
French Soldiers Honored at Annual Service; Signs Delayed
In Memoriam: Marlane Bernstein
Summertime Picnic Fun
Excerpts from the President's Corner
in the September 2015 edition:
Well, the summer has 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.
During the summer we did several things that kept our members busy.
·        On June 7 we had our first Colonial Fair, which more than 65 people attended. We had children from the local area in the classroom with two Early School Days classes to give them a sense of what it was like to go to school back in Colonial days, a Colonial cooking demonstration, re-enactors from the 2nd New York Regiment of the Continental Army and other activities for all.
·        On July 5 we had our open house along with our annual memorial service for the French soldiers who are buried in the cemetery between Old Saint Peter’s Church  and the Schoolhouse.
·        On July 18 we had an anticipatory dedication of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail panels at Old Saint Peter’s (the arrival of the panels was delayed until August), followed by our annual picnic, which was attended by more than 50 people.
·        On August 15 we had a boat cruise for 25 of our members, the total number the boat could hold. The boat left Peekskill and went up the Hudson to West Point with a narration of all the rich history of the area along the way, along with a light lunch. This is something that we will do again, given the positive feedback that we have received.

We started back with great speakers in September from the Daughters of Liberty’s Legacy who spoke about Patriots in Petticoats. This program, as well as other programs, filled the Schoolhouse. A 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 he will try to address your suggestion.
Annual luncheon, meeting and election: Our Society’s annual luncheon and meeting (open to members and guests), with Kacey Morabito Grean from WHUD as our guest speaker and election of officers, will be held Friday, November 20, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Cortlandt Colonial Restaurant. Please email us if you need a reservation form.
Open houses: We will have our final open house of the season from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 4. 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!
Congratulations to …
Longtime Society member John “Jack” Lancaster, who finally received his high school diploma – at age 93. Jack was called to serve in the United States Navy in February 1943, four months shy of his Peekskill High School graduation date. With intervention and legwork from his good friend, retired Peekskill principal Jim Taylor, and Schools Superintendent Dr. David Fine, Jack received his diploma during a Peekskill Board of Education meeting July 7. “Thank you … for this. You’ve made an old man very happy,” he said.
Condolences to …
Life member Tim Stone on the death of his grandmother Alice Stewart on July 10, 2015. Alice was the mother of the late Lorraine Stone, also a member of our Society, who died August 10, 2012.
Mark Bernstein, who lost his wife and best friend Marlane on September 5, 2015. Marlane was a longtime member and a true friend of our Society and her loss will never be forgotten.
Former Society member and Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster on the July 2, 2015, death of her husband, Don.
The family of former Society member Dorothy Thomas, who died February 26, 2015.
Welcome and best wishes to …
Lynne Nayman, who has succeeded veteran Doris Smith in the office of Hillside Cemetery. And thanks to Doris for her invaluable assistance to our Society over the years, most recently with the cleanup of the Van Cortlandt family plot and the 2013 installation of informative signage.
Membership update: Thanks to all who have renewed their membership and/or sent donations this year. While a few people are no longer with us for various reasons, newcomers are taking their places. A late-summer tally showed 88 annual dues-paying members, 73 life members, eight honorary members and 12 corporate members, for a total of 181. For anyone who is familiar with our work and has not officially joined us, there is no better time financially to do so; anyone who joins between September 1 and December 31, 2015, is paid through December 31, 2016. Membership categories are student ($10; under age 18), regular ($25) and couple/family membership ($35).
Member biographies: We are still looking for your biography so we can get to know you a little better. If you need a copy of the form, please tell Jeff Canning or me. 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.
Pictures from the past: As I have mentioned previously, Anne de Neuville and I found extensive displays of old photos all over the walls during a visit to the historical society and museum in the old Town Hall in upstate Lake George. We hope to adapt this concept and provide more compelling displays on the walls of the Schoolhouse. Please let me know if you have any old family or other photos that might be appropriate. Your originals will be scanned and promptly returned to you.
Memory Book: Anyone having knowledge of a member passing away, please alert us so 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.
Thanks for being a friend and may God bless.
Dan Bailey
Articles in the June 2015 edition:
President Lincoln's Visit to West Point
Iona Island - Getting Back to the Garden
How Peekskill Streets Got Their Names
'Down by the Sea' Tea a Swimming Success

Articles in the March 2015 edition:
Preservationists Recovering Story of McAndrews Estate
Black Baseball Players Faced Extra Challenges
William Singleton, an Unknown African-American Hero
Holidays Celebrated at Annual Party
Spirit of Saint Nicholas at Old Saint Peter's
In Memoriam: Helen A. Beuchert, 1928-2014

Articles in the December 2014 edition:
Hudson Valley's Hidden Treasures Unveiled
Ghostly Tales Told in Time for Halloween
Planned Museum to Offer Look at Prison Life
Bailey Elected President; Turner Rejoins Board
In Memoriam: Katherine Lent Clearwater, 1927-2014
In Memoriam: Margie J. Conley Barger, 1923-2013
Schoolhouse Projects

Articles in the September 2014 edition:
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

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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