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Davenport House Remains Closed

"To date I have received no definite indication as to when the Town Museum will be able to re-open," declared Mrs. Cortland P. Auser, Curator of the Town of Yorktown Museum.

The Museum, which was to have opened on or about February 15, after the Christmas Toy Exhibit, remained closed because of inadequate sanitation facilities. Access to a septic system previously shared with an adjacent property owner was sealed because of excessive under-ground leakage.

It was hoped that aseptic tank would have been installed by the Westchester County Historical Society, owners of Davenport House, by May 13th, the anniversary of the Croton Heights Revolutionary War skirmish (click here for photos of the Davenport House).

Since Dr. and Mrs. Auser do not live in the Davenport House, where once they were custodians and co-curators, the Landmark House grounds are beginning to show an unkempt appearance with the grass growing tall about the millstones on the front lawn.

Inside the House are stored the artifacts of the Yorktown Museum and the books of the Museum Library. There have been inaccessible to townspeople for several months. No official action has been taken to prompt the owners to speed the installation of proper facilities, and so the museum remains closed.

Mrs. Auser did make it clear that scholars and historians may have access to the books by specials arrangement and at restricted times. Anyone needing to do such research should call her at 962-7282. She estimated that approximately, 1,000 people have been turned away in the period from February 15 to date. The majority of these potential visitors to the Town Museum have been the young people of Yorktown-school classes, BOCES groups, scout troops and dens.

In an efforts to serve the Town of Yorktown during the difficult period, Mrs. Auser, Mrs. Edward Lowery, Mrs. Harold Thorne and other members of the friends of the Museum have presented slide lectures, spinning demonstrations, and artifact exhibits at local schools and meetings of civic and social organizations in the town.

There will be an exhibit from the Town Museum on June 6 at The Thomas Jefferson School on Gomer Street.

Recent accessions of the Museum include a corn shredder and grindstone, gifts from Captain A. D. Clark, and three large farm sleds from Mrs. and Mrs. E. H. Robie.

Source: unknown author, The Yorktowner, Vol. 4 No. 30, May 28, 1970

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