Sunday, June 30, 2013

Doll Wrapping Preparations

Hi, this is Lucy again. I just wanted to share some of the work we did in preparation for the Fourth of July house showing. Erika and Athena both showed me how to wrap fragile dolls.

And here is some antique doll clothing:

Hey this is Erika Panzarino! I've been volunteering at the Homestead for five years. Most of my blog posts will be about the things we're working on there. Leading me to my first entry:

Independence Day!!

During the Independence Day celebration we had the house open for tours, and each of us became experts on a specific room to discuss. We met with many community leaders and long-time Somers residents, some of whom remembered the house from field trips when they were younger, and others visiting for the first time! After a long week of preparation it was so wonderful to show everyone the exciting things we've been working on. 

Thank you to all who came to visit the Homestead and a special thanks to those who generously donated to the Adopt An Artifact program!

For those of you who couldn't visit us yesterday, here is some more information:

Our Student Historians have identified to be in need of preservaton or restoration. We invite you to read the stories behind these discoveries and find an item that inspires you. By “adopting” them, you will help us to preserve and share these incredible pieces of history. Once restoration is completed, each item will be displayed with the names of its benefactors. Many of these artifacts are from Caroline’s family and friends, and we encourage you to honor your loved ones in this unique way. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.

The items we are currently hoping to restore are:
Portrait of Samuel Wright

Kitchen Lights

The Grey Seymour dress
The Saddle
The Caroline Wright-Reis blackboard
the Workbench table
and the William H.Wright reunion picture (Photos to come!)

This is Lucy. I found a truly amazing site created by the NY State government that hods digital archives. Here is the link:
NYC Records

Here is a fun world War Two Poster for you:
Air Raid Instructions 
Hello, this is Lucy. I wanted to mention the window that was cracked as an act of vandalism. I hope we can raise funds to fix that soon, especially because she was the secretary in a Somers Association that was dedicated to stopping acts of vandalism in 1919. Here is the article, all typed up. It is easier to read than the original. You will notice William Bailey was in this association too.
Lincolndale, Thursday.—The annual meeting of the, Somers Protective Association will be held at the town hall Lincolndale, on Saturday." next, July 19th, at 8 o'clock. The presence of all interested in the upholding of the law in the town of Somers is expected. The object of the association, recently organized, is to put a stop to many acts of firebugs and thieves who have endangered and damaged much property in the town in the past, apparently with little effort being made to stop the practice. The new association is offering rewards and taking other means of putting a stop to lawlessness. The temporary officers are: President, Dr. Antonie P. Voislawsky; Vice-Presidents, Dr. W. P. Healy, Albert L. Voris, Charles T. Tompkins, George Turner, F. T.
Hopkins, Jr., James B. Crane, William Bailey; Treasurer: Caroline Wright Reis; Secretary, Edwin Tatham.
The link is below:
Somers Protective Association 

NOTICE: She was the only woman participating since it was 1919. She was truly ahead of her time.
This is Lucy with another interesting article. It is called "Slide Lecture Set in Somers." This one is from 1985 and is about the Somers Historical Society. I copied the text down here:
On Sunday, March 3, at 3 p.m.,
the Somers Historical Society will present Matthew J. Mosca, architectural preservationist and paint historian, in a lecture and slide exhibit at the Elephant Hotel, Somers. "Color and Form" is an examination of the use of color in 200 years of America's history. Included in the slides will be interior scenes of George Washington's Mount Vernon, the George Read II House in New Castle, Delaware, and Hope Lodge, near Philadelphia. Mr. Mosca will also show slides of the Wright-Reis Homestead as he discusses this Somers legacy. The society was delightfully surprised at Mr. Mosca's analysis of Carrie Wright's homestead. The wood graining paint Mr. Mosca considers a rare find. The Wright farm was left to Somers citizenry by the late Caroline Wright Reis, who died in 1967. Supervisor Wayne Van Tassel and the other members of the Wright-Reis Administration Board are considering some necessary repairs on the 18th century home and have expressed the desire to maintain the historic integrity of the homestead. Reis Park and the Library location are all part of the Caroline Wright Reis legacy. The Somers Historical Society is most fortunate in securing Mr. Mosca's services. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Mosue of
Elmer Galloway Rd., Somers. The public is cordially invited. Refreshments will be served.
I cleaned the text up a bit because it is difficult to read in the original. Here is the link if anyone wants to see the actual newspaper page:
 Slide Lecture Set in Somers

IMPORTANT: I wonder which wood graining paint Mr. mosca was talking about and why it is such an important find in the Reis house. Does anyone know if we can find Mr. Mosca's notes from his analysis on the Homestead. I am wondering if he found anything that we missed. Also, his findings might become important if we try to make the house a landmark.
Hello, This is Lucy. I found an article recently about the person who lived in the Reis house after Caroline's death. I thought I might share. Here's a quote:

Rob Lux, a construction worker and volunteer firefighter in Somers, lucked out last year when a friend mentioned that the local historical society was looking for someone to live in the Wright-Reis Homestead, a charming farmhouse built in 1867.
Now the homestead is the place he calls home. It has character, historical significance and breathtakingly low rent. Of course, every living arrangement has its drawbacks: In Mr. Lux's case, he has to share his bathroom with visitors, 500 of whom toured the home last year.
Here is the link:
Interesting Article Here 

Unidentified Object

Hello again. This is Lucy posting about an unidentified object we found in the upstairs parlor. It was sitting on the small shelf in the corner as a weight. I think either Erika or Athena suggested it was for dates, but the numbers don't quite work with this hypothesis. For example, this machine would then be able to go up to over 12 months. Take a look and get back to me if you have any ideas.

This is Lucy! We found an old Astronomy chart used for reading stars. I am not sure who it belongs to yet, but it is still very usable. From now on all of my posts will be in yellow, so you can find them easily. The chart really is quite beautiful.

Lucy's first post

This is Lucy Kirichenko , posting on the blog for the first time!
I wanted to share a link to Somers history! I found this by accident on a website that lets the user look through old Westchester newspapers. There I found an article about a lawsuit Caroline Wright Reis was in. Click on the link below and look at the column to the far right!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Welcome! This is the official blog of the 2013 Somers Historical Society interns! We are a diverse group of individuals, ranging from 6th grade to recent college graduate, and have an equally diverse range of projects we hope to accomplish this summer. Follow our progress as we make new discoveries, learn more about our local history, and attend different networking and education events to learn more of what we can do to help the Society take care of the incredible collections and properties that exist so close to home.