drugs and their effects

“CROTON HEIGHTS—FROM THE REVOLUTION TO 1920s LAND DEVELOPMENT”

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017
 
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Title: “CROTON HEIGHTS—FROM THE REVOLUTION TO 1920s LAND DEVELOPMENT”
Location: Yorktown Community Center (Nutrition Rm), Commerce St., Yorktown Hts.
Description: By Nancy Truitt who has led the Croton Heights Community Association for a number of years. Croton Heights is a community just south of Yorktown Heights and north of the Croton River. During the American Revolution the “Nasty Affair at Pines Bridge” occurred there at what is known as the Davenport House. Several 1700 era houses still remain there. The hamlet started in the 1700s as a rural community and in the 1920s it got caught up by a Real Estate Visionary with “strong minded women” who realized that the Taconic Parkway would open up the Yorktown area. This is a community of distinction with a unique and interesting history.
Start Time: 19:30
Date: 2017-09-28

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BEAR MOUNTAIN BRIDGE--- BRIDGES OVER THE HUDSON

Posted on: May 7th, 2017
 
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Title: BEAR MOUNTAIN BRIDGE— BRIDGES OVER THE HUDSON
Location: Yorktown Hart Library, 1130 Main St. Shrub Oak
Description: By Henry J. Stanton, a member of the board of the New York Bridge Authority and a 40 year veteran of New York State and local transportation agencies. When the Bear Mountain Bridge opened in 1924 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, the first large bridge built to carry automobiles and the first to rely on auto tolls to pay for its construction. It opened the floodgates to an era of American bridge construction. The presentation takes a look at the history of the Bear Mountain Bridge, the historical significance of the site it occupies and the other unique crossings that followed creating the society and prosperity of the modern Hudson Valley.
Start Time: 19:30
Date: 2017-06-15

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HORACE GREELEY AND FAMILY

Posted on: March 7th, 2017
 
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Title: HORACE GREELEY AND FAMILY
Location: Yorktown Community Center (Nutrition Rm.), Commerce St., Yorktown Hts.
Description: By Gray Williams, New Castle Town Historian and a Trustee of New Castle and Westchester County Historical Societies. Horace Greeley, the editor of one of the foremost newspapers, the New York Tribune, bought property in Chappaqua in 1852. He moved into a larger house later which is now the museum and headquarters of the New Castle Historical Society. Greeley ran for U.S. President against Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Nationally, Greeley was a famous journalist and political leader. In New Castle, he and his family made lasting and significant contributions. Join us for an interesting presentation about a Westchester individual important in our history.
Start Time: 19:30
Date: 2017-04-20

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Hunterbrook Rock Shelter

Posted on: March 2nd, 2017
 
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Title: Hunterbrook Rock Shelter
Location: Peter Pratts Resturant
Description: The Hunterbrook Rockshelter is a prehistoric site in our backyard which illuminates the science of archaeology and the deep past in the Lower Hudson Valley.

In 1976 Roberta Wingerson of MALFA (Museum and Laboratory For Archaeology) excavated a small cave of glacially tumbled boulders in Yorktown, not far from the Croton Dam. Her discoveries shed light on stone tool types as an indicator of culture and age, the local landscape of thousands years ago and the importance of small scale explorations by trained avocational archaeologists.

John Phillips is the Naturalist at Croton Point Park Nature Center and President of the Louis A. Brennan Lower Hudson Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association.

Start Time: 19:30
Date: 2017-05-16

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MILDRED E. STRANG AND HER IMPACT ON LOCAL SCHOOLS

Posted on: March 1st, 2017
 
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Title: MILDRED E. STRANG AND HER IMPACT ON LOCAL SCHOOLS
Location: Yorktown Hart Library, 1130 Main St. Shrub Oak
Description: By Mary Anne Ruvo, team leader of Yorktown Historic House Tours and active in the community . Who was Mildred E. Strang? She was born and raised in Yorktown and dedicated her life as a teacher, educator, and administrator and leader here for 39 years. She started her career in 1928 with 500 students and retired in 1969 with an enrollment of over 5000 students with six new schools built during that time. The district went from a small town agricultural community in 1930 to the population explosion in the 1960’s. Ms. Strang’s influence was ever present. She was a phenomenal woman and referred to as “a leader among her peers”. Hear about her lasting impact on the community and its schools.
Start Time: 19:30
Date: 2017-03-16

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THIRTY YEARS NOT A SLAVE

Posted on: January 10th, 2017
 
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Title: THIRTY YEARS NOT A SLAVE
Location: Yorktown Hart Library, 1130 Main St. Shrub Oak
Description: By Howard Husock, Contributing Editor, City Journal, Manhattan Institute. This is the story of William Voris in Rye. In the early 19th century, The Hudson like the Ohio River divided slavery from freedom. New York had banned slavery but New Jersey at the time did not. It appears that William Voris had fled Bergen County and relocated in Westchester. Mr. Voris of Rye became among the nation’s wealthiest African-American business owners at that time. This is a story of what could happen when blacks had the chance to be free and to benefit from economic opportunity. Mr. Voris is buried in the Rye African American Cemetery.
Start Time: 21:30
Date: 02-16-2017

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THE STORY OF THE NIMHAMS

Posted on: December 4th, 2016
 
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Chief Nimham was a key player in the 1700s. He contested the Phillipse's deed to the Phillipsburg Manor, led a group with Roger's Rangers during the French and Indian War and traveled to England to argue against some of the land grants. His son was a captain of a company with the Continental Army. 

On August 31, 1778, the Nimhams and fifty of their fellow Wappingers were surrounded then killed by Loyalist, British Dragoons and Hessian Soldiers under the command of Lt. Colonel Simcoe, the villain of TV's "Turn" series, in the Battle of Kingsbridge Cortlandt Ridge in what is now Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. 

"The Story of the Nimhams" will be presented by Alfred (Stone-Heart) and Edward (Wolf) Conley.  The brothers are descendants of Chief Daniel Nimham and are members of the Schanghticoke First Nation.  November is Native American month.  

 

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The Chain That Saved the Colonies

Posted on: September 25th, 2016
 
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Title: The Chain That Saved Colonies

Description: To stop the British invasion of the New England colonies during the American Revolution, Peter Townsend manufactured a Great Chain for the Continental Army at Sterling Forest. It was placed across the Hudson River at West Point. Join Doc Bayne for an eye-opening lecture & PowerPoint presentation on this historic event.
 

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The William Hazard Field Family (second part)

Posted on: February 17th, 2016
 
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We continue our history of the Field family of Mohegan Lake….

William Bradhurst Osgood Field

wbo field

William Bradhurst Osgood Field portrait from the President’s Gallery at the Grolier’s Club

Photograph courtesy of The Grolier Club of New York

William and Augusta had a daughter Mary Pearsall Field in 1868.  Their son William Bradhurst Osgood Field (WBOF) was born in Switzerland in 1870 and died in Mohegan Lake in 1949 on the large estate he had assembled over the course of his lifetime.  Field owned some 50 acres on the corner of Strawberry Road and Lexington Avenue, with his holdings on Lexington reaching down almost to Route 6.  Adjacent to his property, his sister Mary owned 19 acres with 1,100 feet fronting Main Street in Mohegan.

Field was a renowned collector of books, coins, crucifixes, art and Indian artifacts.  His collection was “said to be unrivaled in the richness of its English and American nineteenth-century caricature and illustrated books.  His coin collection, an important one specializing in Massachusetts issues of the seventeenth century, is at the museum of the Numismatic Society of America…he had 3,500 original watercolors of Edward Lear, the English traveler and humorist.” NYPL Collection

Mary Pearsall Field and William Bradford Osgood Field Growing up in Mohegan Lake

wbo and mary field

William Bradhurst Osgood Field  / Believed to be Mary Pearsall Field

WBOF spent his summers swimming in Mohegan Lake and exploring the forests and streams with his sister Mary.  He recalled it as a place full of fun and family, some who came up from the city for overnight stays, and others visiting from nearby, like his Uncle Gus and his relatives in Peekskill.

His sister Mary and he warmly remembered a house filled with music, their father William playing the piano and singing “the old tunes of the Civil War period Nellie Bly, Old Dan Tucker, Old Folks at Home….” 

When they ran out of room in their house, the overnight guests stayed at various boarding houses and hotels in the area (including the Jones Hotel across the lake, Fry’s Hotel in Jefferson Valley, and the St Nicholas at Mohegan).  Chief among these was next door at a building, razed in 2016, known as “The Barracks” and, more formally London’s Studio Apartments.

barracks2

Recent photo of the London’s Studio Apartments / The Barracks, prior to demolition.

WBOF found the Barracks was a loud place, the husband and wife’s quarrels easily heard throughout the neighborhood, the husband Emerick shouting out commands from his perch on the porch to his wife who would be toiling in the garden.  WBOF recalls:

Next door was quite a large house owned by Emmrick [sic] Crawford who ran a boarding house where the family who was not staying with us boarded.  Rachel, his wife, was a remarkably fine woman of her kind.  They had three children.  As time went on the boarding house ran down.

I bought the house to get away from the noise. And gave it to my mother.  During the time it was a boarding house it was very celebrated for its excellent food [Mrs. Crawford was the cook.] NYPL

mohegan lake map 1893

Mohegan Lake 1893 Julius Bien & Co – After William’s death and just prior to WBOF purchasing the property

The building was sold by Emerick and Rachel Crawford to Field in 1902 and his estate sold in 1950 to Emma London (hence London Apartments).  As the name might imply, it was also most likely used as an ad hoc dormitory for the Mohegan Lake School, situated across Main Street.

There was endless space to explore in the neighborhood:

A footpath led to “Over Yonder” that was after the name of a small house built by my sister where she could go …..Then on through a rustic gate, through a swamp and so on to Strawberry Hill Road, down to the mysterious place known as Peter Gales, a curious old hermit who lived in a house…..over Oregon.

In the same unpublished 1945 memoir, held by the New York Public Library, Field recalls his neighbors:

General Daniel E Sickles who lost a leg at Gettysburg and shot a man in Washington.  [A Civil War general, a post-war diplomat (including Minister to Spain under President Ulysses S Grant) and, the acquitted assassin of the son of the author of “The Star Spangled Banner”, Philip Barton Key II.]

Dr Bailey, USA [United States Army] who told me stories about the Indians and fighting on the Plains.  He brought me an arrow from one of the chiefs, called Crazy Horse. His brother afterwards became the clergyman at St Mary’s Church.

To be continued…..

Note: We are indebted for help on this article to the staff at the Manuscripts and Archives Division. The New York Public Library. Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations., for use of the William B. Osgood Field papers.  as well as Patrick Raferty of the Westchester County Archives.  Materials in this article may only be used with the permission of the supplying institutions.

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The William Hazard Field family of Mohegan Lake

Posted on: December 17th, 2015
 
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The following is via the Research and Preservation sub committee of Yorktown Historical Society.

This week we begin a new series exploring the world and properties of the Field family of Mohegan Lake.  You may be more familiar with their relations – the Field family of Hunterbrook’s Fieldhome and Peekskill’s Field Library.  The Fields eventually owned almost all the land between Strawberry Road and Route 6, including Westfield Farm.

The Field family was established in Yorktown by the 1740s in the Hunterbrook area, the main Field family farm is the site of the Fieldhome today.  It was to there that William Hazard Field (1833-1888) was brought at the age of one in from New York City, to live with his Aunt Jerusha after the death of both his parents.  William settled in Mohegan in the 1850s. He married Augusta Currie Bradhurst (1846-1919)  Both are pictured below. He built his home on the corner of Route 6 and Lakeland Street, back in the day when Mohegan Lake was well kown as a summer resort area.

W H Field       Augusta Field

(New York Public Library)

There were quite a few illustrious relations that preceeded the generation of our study but perhaps the most famous would be Samuel Osgood.

Samuel Osgood (1748-1789) was a member of the Continental Congress, first Commissioner US Treasury and Postmaster General under George Washington.  He fought in the battles of Lexington and Concord and was a delegate to the Continental Congress. They are also related to Cyrus Field who was responsible for laying the first trans-Atlantic cable.

hazards

(Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

The Fields main residence was Manhattan, they treated Mohegan as a summer residence which was becoming more common.  Lake Mohegan in the 1870s was still very much inhabited year round by farmers and dairymen, with the summer boarders only just coming into vogue.  William Hazard Field’s source of income is unclear, however the Field family had a successful pharmacy, commercial drug business and real estate businesses in Manhattan.  A newspaper obituary states that he went to West Point but did not graduate, “[He] lived 4 or 5 years in Europe traveling and collecting books.  He was never actively engaged in business, his life spent in study and travel.

field tax receipt

(New York Public Library)

 

To be continued…..


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