Past Events

2011 Events


Holiday Candlelight Tours of the Historic Jacob Blauvelt House

When: Sunday, December 18, 2011, 7:30, 8:30, 9:00 pm
Where: HSRC, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $ 10/Adult; $8/HSRC Member and Senior; $5/Child

Spend an enchanted evening at the historic 1832 Jacob Blauvelt farmhouse onThe evening is magical as the historic house is illuminated with candlelight and lanterns, fragrant with traditional sweets and decorated with festive greenery. Experience Dutch-American holiday traditions of the 1830s with 19th century music and song, docents in period costumes and seasonal refreshments. Reservations are required for the tours located on the grounds of the Historical Society of Rockland County, 20 Zukor Road, New City. Price includes admission to the 36th Annual Miniature, Dollhouse & Art Exhibition: Creativity!

Tours of the Jacob Blauvelt House

When: Sunday, November 27, 2011, 1, 2, and 3 pm
Where: HSRC, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $10/Adult; $8/HSRC Member & Senior; $5/Child

We invite you to take a guided tour of the Jacob Blauvelt House. Price includes admission to the 36th Annual Miniature, Dollhouse & Art Exhibition: Creativity!

Historical Marker Dedication: Betty Friedan/Birthplace of American Women's Movement

When: Thursday, November 10, 2011, 11 am
Where: Grand View Village Hall
Admission: $FREE

Join us to dedicate a new historical marker commemorating the influence of Betty Friedan on the feminist movement. While a resident of Grand View, Friedan wrote her seminal book, The Feminine Mystique (1963). She was also a co-founder and head of the National Organization for Women (NOW). The marker is sponsored by the Rockland Chapter of NOW and is one in a series erected by the Historical Society of Rockland County since 1980. It features a cast bronze bas relief of Friedan's profile by the renowned artist Cristiana Biaggi of Palisades.The marker was brought about through the efforts of Catherine Whitney, a trustee the Grand View Village; Muriel Fox, chair of Vetern Feminists of America; Phyllis B. Frank, president of Rockland County NOW; the Hon. Harriet Cornell, chair of the Rockland County Legislature; and Marianne Leese, President, Historical Society of Rockland County.

Historical House Tour: Piermont

When: Saturday, October 16, 2010, 10 am-4 pm
Where: Ticket pickup at Piermont Library, 25 Flywheel Park, Piermont
Price: $35/ticket (advance orders, until October 9); $40/ticket (day of event)

Sponsored by
Beckerle Lumber's Remodeling Showrooms. Presented by the Historical Society of Rockland County and the Piermont Historical Society.

Fall Festival and Drummers' Summit

When: Sunday, October 2, 2011, from 12-6 pm
Where: HSRC, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $7/Adult; $3/Child

Join us on for the Family Festival and Drummers' Summit. (This is an outdoor festival; if it rains, only the Drummers' Summit will be held [1-2:30 pm]). Our Fall Festival will have activities for the entire family on  the beautiful grounds of the circa 1832 Jacob Blauvelt House:

  • The art of blacksmithing with Peter Artin
  • Music by the Ramapo Fault Band.
  • Wool carding, quill pen writing and stencil art
  • Tours of the Jacob Blauvelt House and newly restored barn
  • Demonstrations of candle-making, sewing and quilting
  • Visits to the Lenape Longhouse
  • Tag sale of surplus/duplicate tools and books (proceeds to be used solely for the care of the HSRC collections)

The Drummers' Summit (1-2:30 pm) showcases demonstrations of rhythms and related dance forms across three Rockland-based ethnic traditions: West African (Ghanaian), Haitian, and Puerto Rican. Musicians invited this year include the Ghanaian drummer Jerry Dzokoto's students Christian Kutte and Morgan Greenstreet from Suffern's Chiku Awali African Dance and Drum Company; the NEA National Heritage Award-winning Haitian drummer Frisner Augustin and members of La Troupe Makandal; and the Puerto Rican conguero Danny Del Valle of the Rockland-based folk ensemble Brisa Tropical. This program is hosted by our consulting folklorist, Eileen Condon. Support for the program was provided to the Historical Society of Rockland County by public funds from the Folk Arts program of the New York State Council on the Arts, a New York State agency.

The Greatest Generation Gala Celebration

When: Sunday, September 18, 2011, 3:00 pm
Where: Lafayette Theater, Suffern
Price: $30/Adult; $15/Students and Seniors; $FREE/Veterans of World War II

If you've been waiting for a chance to see a rough cut of the documentary The Ghost Army, here it is! The Historical Society of Rockland County is hosting a special screening of the film, now in production and due for release next year. Thie event will also include music by the Stan Rubin Swing Era Big Band, led by Herb Gardner, as well as the Chorus of the Tappan Zee. The Greatest Generation Gala Celebration is a joint fundraiser of the Historical Society of Rockland County and The Ghost Army documentary. A limited number of premium tickets that include prime seating and an invitation to a post-screening reception are available for $100. Lafayette Theater features a rare vintage Wurlitzer pipe organ. Jeff Barker will play patriotic tunes as part of the festivities.

Historical Marker Dedication: Ladentown United Methodist Church

When: Saturday, August 27, 2011, 11 am  
Where: Ladentown United Methodist Church, 14 Ladentown Road, Pomona
Admission: $FREE

Built in 1865, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 in recognition of its mid-nineteenth century-ural religious architecture. The interior and exterior of the church remain essentially intact. The Historical Society of Rockland County has erected over 70 historical markers around Rockland County since 1980. For information about our Historical Marker Program, click here.

Rockland County History Conference

When: Saturday, September 10, 2011, 10 am-2 pm
Where: Fieldstone Secondary School, Thiells, NY  
Admission: $FREE 

The Historical Society of Rockland County invites everyone interested in Rockland County's history to join us as we present conversations by Rockland County historians, members of local historical groups. and people who work with Rockland's history on 'Why Rockland's History Matters." Present your questions about Rockland's history to Craig Long, Rockland County Historian, as well as historian for the Town of Ramapo, and the Villages of Suffern, Montebello, and Chestnut Ridge;
Marianne Leese, Senior Historian, Historical Society of Rockland County; and our special presenters:

  • Joseph Barbieri, Orangetown Historical Museum and Archives
  • Harrison Bush, Sloatsburg Historical Society
  • Wylene Wood, African-American Historical Society of Rockland County
  • Robert Knight, Clarkstown Town Historian
  • George Potanovic, Jr., Stony Point Action Committee for the Environment
  • Robert Protzmann, Genealogical Society of Rockland County
  • Representatives of the Historical Society of the Nyacks, the Stony Point History Roundtable, and Keep Rockland Beautiful

This free event is a great way for teachers, parents, students, Scouts and their troop leaders, or just those who love to learn their local history to meet Rockland's historians and others involved in teaching Rockland's interesting history.

Living Landmark Luncheon: Alfred Bristol

When: June 11, 2011
Where: The '76 House, 110 Main Street, Tappan
Price: $75/person

Alfred Bristol was born in Newark in 1911 and served in the South Pacific for five years in World War II. After returning home, he was encouraged by his sister, sister-in -law. and Paul Melone to move to Shanks Village, which he did in 1950.  Afterward he moved to Tappan, again, at the encouragement of his friend Paul Melone. He lived in the upper floor of the house that is currently the Tappan Library and then on Babcock Lane. During this time he helped Paul and Betty Melone's efforts to create the historic district of Tappan.  He was a Trustee or President of the Tappan Library continuously from 1963 until 1995. Throughout this time, he was also working in New York at Parke-Bernet galleries and then Sotheby's. Throughout his life he has been committed to his Rockland communities—first Shanks Village, then Tappan, and now Piermontby staying involved with his fellow residents and doing what he can to help out. To view a video of Living Landmark Award Winner Al Bristol, click here.

Inch by Inch, Row by Row: An Evening to Benefit Cropsey Community Farm

When:  June 4, 2011 – 4 to 8 pm
Where:  Rockland Country Day School – 34 Kings Highway, Congers, NY

In a landmark collaboration, the Rockland Farm Alliance, Rockland Country Day School, and Historical Society of Rockland County have come together to raise awareness about the rich history of our local farms, as well as to celebrate and benefit Rockland’s historic new addition to this farming tradition: Cropsey Community Farm. Join us for an evening of delicious food and wonderful entertainment with musical performances by John McDowell and Music for Farms and Billy Roues and Friends. Proceeds benefit the Cropsey Community Farm, a Rockland Farm Alliance project, and the other hosting organizations.

Evening Lecture: American Revolution in the Hackensack Valley

When: Thursday, June 2, 2011, 7 pm
Where: HSRC History Center, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $FREE (but donations are greatly appreciated)

Guest speaker Robert Goldberg presents the special lecture :The American Revolution in the Hackensack Valley," the third presentation in our popular series of Thursday evening lectures at the HSRC. Bob is a Trustee of the Historical Society of The Nyacks, as well as the producer of the popular Armchair Walking Tour lecture series, dedicated to the memory of John Scott, Rockland's great historian. Bob and the Armchair Walking Tours received a Rockland County Executive's Historic Preservation Merit Award in 2005.

Walking Tour: Thurgood Marshall In Rockland

When: Sunday, May 22, 2011, 2-3:15 pm
Where: Ramapo Central School District Administration Building, 45 Mountain Avenue, Hillburn (nearest cross street: 4th Street) - a white/beige building.
Price: $FREE, but reservations are required

In this informative walking tour, Dr. Travis Jackson describes the important civil rights event that took place in 1943 in Hillburn. In that year, Dr. Jackson was entering the fourth grade and Thurgood Marshall came to Hillburn to help in the desegregation the village's schools.

Evening Lecture: The Storming of Stony Point, July 15–16, 1779

When: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 7 pm
Where: HSRC History Center, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $FREE (but donations are greatly appreciated)

In late May 1779, a flotilla of British vessels with 6,000 soldiers on board and many tons of supporting equipment and supplies passed Hook Mountain and entered Haverstraw Bay. Overwhelmed, the forty American soldiers posted at Stony Point to guard the King’s Ferry crossing set fire to their blockhouse and fled upriver toward New Windsor to warn General Washington of the arrival of the British troops at the gateway to the Highlands. What ensued was a rapid and dramatic military escalation of fortification building at Stony Point and Verplanck’s Point by the British and the decisive American response to remove the British from control of the river.
Michael Sheehan, a historic site interpreter at the Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site and a member of the Lamb’s Artillery Revolutionary War reenactment group, presents this lecture on an critical moment in Rockland's history.

Evening Lecture: A History of Rockland by Postcard

When: Thursday, May 5, 2011, we began our very popular series "Another Thursday Evening at the HSRC" with our first guest speaker,  Larry Kigler
Where: HSRC History Center, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $FREE (but donations are greatly appreciated)

On this beautiful evening, almost 30 people joined us to listen to Larry Kigler present "A History of Rockland by Postcard." Larry is well known for his extensive collection of Rockland County postcards and for collecting all items related to Rockland County. He was available to answer questions before and after the presentation.

Performance: "All Shook Up"

When: Sunday, May 01, 2011,
Where: Antrim Playhouse, 15 Spook Rock Road, Suffern

This Jukebox Musical Comedy was built around a numer of songs made famous by Elvis Presley, It takes place in 1955, somewhere in middle America, where one girl's dream and a surprise visit from a mysterious leather-jacketed, guitar-playing stranger help a small town to discover the magic of romance and the power of rock-and-roll. Among the 24 songs featured in the score were the Elvis classics "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender," "Don't Be Cruel," "Can't Help Falling in Love," and, of course, the title tune.

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of Rockland County was held on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at the Museum, 20 Zukor Road, New City, New York at 6:00 p.m. in the Community Room.All members of the public were invited. The Nominating Committee offered the names of the following Historical Society members:

Trustees for a three-year term (Term 2014):

  • Clare B. Sheridan, Tappan
  • Winston C. Perry, Jr., Upper Nyack 
  • Patricia Cropsey, New City
  • Penny Leonard, Congers
  • Michael Davidson, Piermont 
Trustees for a one-year term (Term 2012):
  • James W. Cropsey, New City  (filling unexpired term of Lisa Levin, Montebello)

Officers Nominated for a One-Year Term:

President: Marianne B. Leese, Suffern
1st Vice President: Clare Bowes Sheridan, Tappan
2nd Vice President: Veronica DeMeo Boesch, Airmont
Treasurer: Donald R. Karlewicz, Chestnut Ridge
Secretary: Caroline R. Tapley, Piermont 

Trustees Continuing in Office

Term 2013

  • Veronica DeMeo Boesch, Airmont
  • Joseph R. Holland, New City
  • Jeffrey Keahon, Pearl River
  • Catherine M. Quinn, New City
  • Caroline R. Tapley, Piermont 

Term 2012:

  • Lawrence A. Codispoti, Airmont
  • Donald R. Karlewicz, Chestnut Ridge
  • Marianne B. Leese, Suffern
  • Dorice Madronero, Montebello

Rockland Authors and Illustrators Book Fair

When: Saturday, April 2, 2011 the
Where: HSRC History Center, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $FREE

The History Center galleries hosted of some of Rockland's most talented authors and illustrators for the the Rockland Authors and Illustrators Book Fair. Participants included Craig Long, the newly appointed Rockland County Historian, and representatives of the Historical Society of the Nyacks, as well as the children's book authors and Illustrators Elizabeth Sayles, Barbara Soloff Levy, Cindy Mauro Reisenauer, Laurence Pringle, Howard Whitehouse, and Betsy Franco Feeney. We were also joined by Arthur H. Gunther III, the longtime Journal News editorial page editor and author; the singer, songwriter, and humorist John Forster; the photographer George Potanovic Jr.; and the author Charmaine Gordon.

Annual Dinner 2011

When: Sunday, March 13, 2011
Where: The View on the Hudson, Piermont
Price: $100 per person

The HSRC presented the Lifetime Service Award to the Beckerle Family for their contribution to life in Rockland County and their service to the Historical Society of Rockland County. To view the video shown at the dinner, click here. This lovely evening included a silent auction, a live auction, a cash raffle, dinner, music and a delicious meal. The Historical Society of Rockland County is thankful to all those whose contributions to this evening made it our best Annual Dinner yet!

Family Program: "Stitched Together": Rockland's Ethnic Needlework Traditions

When: Sunday, February 27, 2011, 3-5 pm 
Where: HSRC History Center, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $FREE (Reservations are required)

Ita Aber, embroiderer and textile historian, will speak about and present samples of shkenazic, as well as Sephardic Jewish needlework, including Sabbath table linens, challah bread covers, prayer items, and clothing. Marion Dolhun and Patricia Wiszuk-de-Angelo show and tell about Ukrainian embroidered clothing, rushnyky (ritual towels), table linens, and Easter basket covers. Join us and bring in a sample of embroidery or other needelwork made by members of your own family or cultural tradition to enrich the discussion! Great for kids! Interactive and learning activities related to these traditions will be provided for children in the Society's Community Room. This program was hosted by consulting folklorist Eileen Condon. Support for the program was provided to the Historical Society of Rockland County by public funds from the Folk Arts program of the New York State Council on the Arts, a New York State agency.


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