Thursday, March 31, 2011

Theodore Sly, Orange County Historian retiring

Theodore Sly, Orange County Historian for the last twenty-four years is retiring effective April first!

He has been a great asset to the County and the historical/prehistoric community!

Thanks Ted, for your great service to us all!

Monday, March 28, 2011

NYSAA 95th Annual Meeting documents are now posted

Since the NYSA website is STILL offline, they have posted the various documents on their Facebook page. The preliminary meeting schedule is now up, as well as details about two field trips. Please visit the Facebook site for updates on the meeting. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March Meeting

Wednesday night, Kevin got a call from the Methodist Church, informing him that the church was not available for our meeting!  Thank you, Ted Sly, Orange County Historian for offered us the 1841 Court House. We also wish to express our appreciation to Orange County Building & Grounds Department personnel for opening and closing the Court House for us on such short notice.

Gary discussed the plans for future Dutchess Quarry Caves tour in addition to giving some background on the importance of the cave for tonight's guests.

Harry draws special raffle winner as his brother Avi witnesses. Fred was delighted to win Gary's freshly crafted rainbow obsidian side notched point! Avi picked Walter's ticket for the 50/50.

VP Chuck introducing Professor Barry Kass, who presented a colorful talk on ancient "Civilizations of the Mediterranean" illustrated with slides of his recent expeditions to major sites.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Orange County History Conference

Orange County History Conference

Date:        April 16, 2011
Location:   Albert Wisner Public Library
                One Mcfarland Dr.
                Warwick NY 10990
Time:        9:00-5:00
Fee:         free ($10 for lunch,  Make check payable to IHARE and mail to;
                IHARE, PO Box 41, Purchase, NY 10577)
Cutoff Date:    April 9, 2011

Immerse yourself in the history of Orange County.  Look at the landscape the people first walked. Gaze in awe at the mammoth beasts they encountered and whose discovery influenced a nation only a few decades after so many died in the fight for independence.  Hear its music.  Tell its stories.  See its historic sites. Learn about the Orange people who over the centuries have made the county what it is today.  Meet the people who are preserving that legacy and help us to continue to do so in the 21st century.

9:00    Orange County Executive Edward Diana [invited]

9:15    After the Ice Age: Life Returns to Orange County
          Tom Lake,  NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program Naturalist
Once upon a time millennia ago, Orange County was a sheet of ice just as it was this winter only more so.  The Ice Age created the landscape on which human settlement would occur.  This talk will examine Orange County in the Late Pleistocene, from the end of the Ice Age through the arrival of the First Americans (ca. 15,000-10,000 years ago) through the material remains which still exist today.
Tom Lake works for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program as its Estuary Naturalist, where he shadows eagles, teaches the ecology of the estuary, and edits the Hudson River Almanac, a natural history journal now in its 18th year

10:15    Immigrants All: The Immigration Dimension in Orange County History
            Richard Hull, New York University, Warwick Town Historian

Orange County is a culturally diverse entity. In some respects it is a melting pot and in others it is deeply divided and fractured along cultural, religious, and ethnic lines. This talk traces the origins of the major cultural and religious groups that settled here, from the pre-Columbian period to the present. We explore their distant origins, the conditions that motivated them to come here from their ancestral homelands, the ways in which they adapted to their new surroundings, the extent to which they acquired new cultural identities, the problems they encountered in their process of assimilation. Some immigrant groups sought to adapt while others resisted. How do we account for these differences in acculturation? How did the earlier populations react to newcomers? What is the demographic future?

Professor Richard Hull teaches at New York University where he has been honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award.  He has received a Fulbright Fellow, Danforth Fellow and the United Nations Distinguished Citizen Award.  Locally, he is the Town of Warwick historian, the recipient of the Orange County Revered Citizens Award in 2005, a Trustee Emeritus of the, Orange County Land Trust, a charter trustee of the Sugarloaf Community Foundation, a Board member emeritus of The Nature Conservancy, on the Advisory Board of the Warwick Conservancy, and Trustee emeritus of the Sugar Loaf Methodist Church.  He is the author of numerous books including: People of the Valleys: A History of Warwick, 1700-2005.

11:15    So Many Brave Men: A History of the Battle at Minisink Ford
            Peter Osborne, former Executive Director, Minisink Valley Historical Society

On July 22, 1779, one of the most lethal battles of the American Revolution based on the ratio of participants to people killed, occurred on a hill above Minisink Ford, New York, along the Delaware River north of Port Jervis.  The battle was a disaster for the American militia units with more than one-third of the militiamen perishing in that conflict.  The primary source documents tell the tale of the lives of these men from the surrounding areas, of the battles they fought, and of their dedication to freedom.  These previously overlooked documents served as the basis for the book on the battle.

Peter Osborne presently is the Curator of Education and Special Events for the Red Mill Museum Village in Clinton.  Prior to that he was the Executive Director for 29 years of the Minisink Valley Historical Society in Port Jervis.  He has a decree in American History from Rutgers University and an interest in regional history and the Roosevelts.  He is the co-author of So Many Brave Men: A History of the Battle at Minisink Ford. 

12:15    Lunch with entertainment by the Hudson River Ramblers, Jonathan Kruk and Rich Bala

1:15    The Mastodons in Orange County: Then and Now
    The Great Orange County Mastodon Discovery of 1801: Meaning for America
    Joseph Devine

There once was a time when Europe was considered the most cultured of civilizations and America was a mere neophyte lacking the classical consciousness of a mature civilizations.  But America had wonders Europe couldn’t dream of from the spectacular Niagara Falls to skeletal remains of when giants beasts roamed the land. The discoveries in Orange County astonished the world and impacted our infant republic.  Hear this story and see what was discovered.

Joseph Devine is a retired IBM Senior Technical Professional who has dedicated recent years toward research in the field of local and American history.

    Introduction to the Peale Museum of Discovery - Evan Galbraith

Evan Galbraith manages a family office, developing real estate properties throughout Orange County. The famous Montgomery Pond, where Charles Willson Peale exhumed mastodon bones, was bought by the family in the 1960s.  In 2007, the family decided to explore the development of a museum to celebrate this incredible part of our national heritage.

Evan has a B.A. from Tufts University in Boston and a M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in New York.
2:15    Preserving the Past

    Filming the Past: History of the Palisades Parks
    Timothy J. Englert, Development Specialist
    Palisades Interstate Park Commission

"The Perkins Effect" and "The Harriman Touch", two short films by PIPC Media on the history of the Palisades Parks, from its beginnings more than a hundred years ago to its current success amidst economic uncertainty. There will be a discussion about the PIPC's treasure trove of archival materials, park preservation, and the films themselves following the screening.

PIPC Development Specialist Timothy Englert has been with the PIPC since 2007, and has worked to promote its history, write successful grants, publicize its 28 state parks and historic sites, and develop its substantial archives into films and other media. He is the co-founder of the Knickerbocker Ice Festival, which celebrates the history of the Hudson Valley's world famous natural ice harvesting past, and has seen it grow from a handful of attendees in its first year to over 25,000 this past January. Prior to the PIPC, Tim's career as a filmmaker included work in both television and the corporate world in New York and Los Angeles, as well as the commercial photography business in NYC. He graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in history, and was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship studying the history and construction of the acoustic guitar. He lives in Valley Cottage, NY.

    Historic Preservation: Tool for a 21st Century Community
    Julian Adams, New York State Historic Preservation Office

Historic Preservation has long roots in American History, although many seem to think it is a modern idea.  Learn where the historic preservation movement began in the United States, how it developed philosophically and in practice, and what local communities and citizens can do to be a part of maintaining their character and sense of place.

Julian Adams is the Community Liaison and Certified Local Government Coordinator for the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), part of the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).  A native of Georgia, he holds a Masters of Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia at Athens.  He started New York State service in 1988, when he took a job in the SHPO’s Technical Services Unit, overseeing rehabilitations and restorations across New York State under federal and state programs.  During a sabbatical from the SHPO in 1995-1996, he worked with the Historic Natchez Foundation in Natchez Mississippi, overseeing low income housing development in historic neighborhoods, working with the local preservation commission and planning department, and assisting in heritage education.  In 2000 he was named head of the Technical Services Unit, overseeing all rehabilitations and restorations across New York State, a position he held until 2004.  In 2005 he took a position as Sr. Architectural Historian/Historic Preservation Specialist with a nation-wide environmental consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas, working with military bases in their responsibilities under Federal Historic Preservation law.  He returned to state service in 2006 as Community Liaison, Certified Local Government Coordinator, and OPRHP Agency Preservation Officer, assisting communities and municipalities across New York State with their preservation issues.   

    Orange County History Webguide: History at Your Fingertips
    Sue Gardner, Town of Warwick Deputy Historian, Warwick Historical
    Society Archivist, and Local History Librarian, Albert Wisner Public
    Library Warwick

3:45    Orange County School/Historic Organization Collaborations
    Peter Feinman, Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education 

    Creating a Curriculum: The Museum Village/Newburgh CSD Collaboration
    Sarah Wassberg, Education Director, Museum Village

    Traveling Trunk: Reaching Out When They Can’t Bus In
    Ivy Tulin, Historical Society of Warwick

    Bringing the Civil War to a Fifth Grade Classroom
    Jim Meaney, Civil War Living Historian 

4:45    Teaching Orange County History Workshop,
    Peter Feinman ,Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, 

3/19     Hudson Valley History Conference -  Mahopac Library
4/16     Hudson Valley History Conference -  Warwick Library
4/30     Hudson Valley History Conference -  Catskill High School
5/7     Hudson Valley History Conference -  Dutchess Community College
5/14     Hudson Valley History Conference -  BOCES, Port Ewen
6/28-7/3 Winning the War, Winning the Peace: A Field Study of the American Revolution Teacherhostel - West Point to Saratoga
7/18-22  MOHAWK VALLEY Teacherhostel
9/10     Hudson Valley History Conference  - Rockland TBD

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

“The Civil War – An Artist’s Perspective”, by member Kevin Storms

An Artist’s Perspective on the Civil War
Commemorates Sesquicentennial at
Ellenville’s Gallery Link
 Ellenville, NY: Ellenville’s Gallery Link proudly presents “The Civil War – An Artist’s Perspective”, an exhibition of multi-media works by Pine Bush artist Kevin Storms. The show is part of Ellenville Public Library & Museum’s 2011Civil War Sesquicentennial programming, and will be on display from March 2ndthrough April 27th, 2011.  “We’re really excited about this installation of Kevin Storms’ work,” said Community Relations Coordinator for the library, Asha Golliher.  “Kevin is not only a dedicated artist, but his portrayal of people who fought in and were affected by the Civil War, along with his Civil War scenes, really touch us and remind us of the very human side of this pivotal moment in our nation’s history.”
 Kevin’s artwork is a reflection of his travels, from water fowling marshes to Civil War battlefields. He takes a deeply personal interest in everything he paints. One especially poignant example of this is the painting, “The Battle at Walnut Mountain”, based on an annual re-enactment that takes place in Liberty, NY. Kevin played the part of a Civil War Correspondent, (who represented the war through illustration) and was moved by his experience to create this work.
The natural world and American history are infinite wells into which he reaches for insight and motivation. Kevin feels that the creation of art is a way to understand life and history, as well as a way to communicate that understanding.  This is especially true of his Civil War images; whether a still life, landscape or visual rendering of a local hero, his works bring us into intimate contact with the war, offering us insight and greater self-knowledge.

Kevin demonstrated artistic talent at a young age, and was encouraged to become an artist. An avid student of both American and natural history, these subjects became the focus of his artwork, and a lifelong passion. Kevin found that his hunting and fishing experiences also strongly influenced his art.  Kevin met master Wildlife Artist John Hamberger, and became his student. It was under Hamberger’s tutelage that he learned the valuable lesson of “going to the source” and studying a subject matter “in real life”. The study of classical artworks by the masters was also an important part of his training.

Following the path of earlier sporting artists, the pursuit of game and the natural world became profound sources of inspiration and deeply integrated with his creative expression. Recently, he has begun to explore abstract art as a new venture in self expression. Several of these abstract pieces are included in the Gallery Link exhibition.

Past exhibitions of Kevin’s work include: Windham Civil War Music and Art Heritage Festival;  Ashokan Center Civil War Days;  Greene County Arts Council;  Orange County Government Center;  Orange County 1841 Historic Court House;  New City Public Library;  Orange County Community College;  North Jersey Highlands Historical Conference;  Middletown, NY Veterans’ Center; Gettysburg History Meets the Arts Festival, Gettysburg, PA; The Gettysburg Historical Art Gallery, and The Civil War Fine Art Gallery, both in Gettysburg, PA; The Lincoln Society, Peekskill, NY; The Ulster County Civil War Round Table meeting, Kingston, NY; New York State Archaeological Association Annual Meeting. 

There will be an Artist’s Reception at The Gallery Link for Kevin Storms and “The Civil War – An Artist’s Perspective” on Saturday, April 16th, from 11:30am-1:30pm.  The reception will be immediately following “Civil War Wives” a presentation by author and historian Carol Berkin scheduled for 10:00am in the library’s Community Room. The public is most cordially invited to attend.  

The Gallery Link is located in Ellenville Public Library & Museum, 40 Center Street, Ellenville, NY, 12428, and is open during library hours. For more information, please call (845)647-5530 or go  

Lynne "Asha" Golliher
Community Relations Specialist
Ellenville Public Library & Museum
Ellenville, NY  12428
Serving residents in the Ellenville School District and the Towns of Wawarsing and Rochester - we're your public library!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ed Lenik speaking on "AMERICAN INDIAN ROCK ART ON THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER" in Waverly, NY at 2pm on Saturday, April 30th.

"AMERICAN INDIAN ROCK ART ON THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER," will be presented by archaeologist, rock art specialist, nationally recognized author and Orange County Chapter memberEd Lenik at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) at 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY at 2pm on Saturday, April 30th.

In the last half of the nineteenth century, petroglyphs were discovered on several small islands within the lower Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Three petroglyph sites occur near Safe Harbor in Lancaster County: one on Walnut Island upriver from the Safe Harbor Hydroelectric Dam, a second group on Cresswell Rock a mile and one-half up river from Walnut Island, and a third group on Big and Little Indian Rocks and other smaller rocks below the dam. In Maryland about three miles below the Pennsylvania state line, the Bald Friar petroglyphs were located on several small islands in the river. Three distinct styles of images occur within these sites.

The Walnut Island, Cresswell Rock and Bald Friar petroglyph sites are now submerged under lakes created by the Safe Harbor and Conowingo Hydroelectric Dams. The petroglyphs below Safe Harbor Dam are extant. Beginning in the 1860s and continuing into the twentieth century several efforts were made by several researchers to record the glyphs and salvage specimens of the carvings. This presentation will illustrate the various images at these four sites, trace their history and suggest an interpretation of the origin and meaning.

General admission will be $6, SRAC members and students $4 which will include free admission to the SRAC exhibit hall. For more information, visit

Deb Twigg
Executive Director
Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC)
P.O. Box 12
Sayre, PA 18840
H - (607)565-2536
C - (607)727-3111