Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Second House Museum

Erika here! I recently was on vacation in Montauk New York and took a trip to their local historic site the Second House Museum (more info here
What I thought was interesting was the similarities between Second House and the Wright Reis Homestead. Both are relatively small structures, and both house artifacts from a large span of time in history. While Second House organized it's rooms by time period, choosing to display artifacts from similar time periods together, the Wright-Reis Homestead is organized more as if we stopped by to visit Caroline, this is what her house would probably look like. A mix of different times and objects from many different people and places. I just thought it was really cool that both houses have the same goal to show the properties history, but do it in equally successful and incredibly different ways.
Some cool Second House pictures:

An ice-cream maker
 Their stove, looks a lot like our summer kitchen! Many of the same artifacts and some cool new ones, old-fashioned toaster!
 Some gorgeous china, specially ordered by one of the houses owners for entertaining.

Monday, July 29, 2013

GHHN Behind the Scenes Networking Event

Burial Site of the Fishkill Supply Depot

Monument created by the Daughters of the American Revolution in late 19th century marking the Fishkill Supply Depot grave site. It was later moved to the Van Wyck Homestead. 
 The Greater Hudson Heritage Networking event at the Van Wyck Homestead was informative and I learned a great deal about the Fishkill Supply Depot. The depot was a key location during the Revolutionary War where key supplies for the war effort were dropped off and stored for the Continental Army. The Homestead itself served as the officers headquarters for the Continental Army with General Israel Putnam being the first general to use it. In addition, many notable figures of the war visited this location at least once including George Washingtion and Marquis de Layfayette. I also learned about how the supply depot served as a hospital where the sick and wounded were treated. In addition, it was burial ground for soldiers that died from their injuries or disease. Interestingly enough, grave site was considered just a local legend until in 2007, an archaeological dig was conducted in the surrounding area of the supply depot and about 300 unmarked graves of Continental soldiers were discovered. However, the land that the grave site was on was at risk of being developed to build houses. In response, the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot group was founded with the mission to preserve the burial site. At the event, I learned more about the work the group was trying to accomplish including the goal of getting the U.S Congress to amend the Battlefield Protection Act to include the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

I had the opportunity to meet some of the members of the Fishkill Historical Society and the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot. I also had the chance to see the area where the graveyard is located. In addition, I got to see the various rooms in the homestead as well as the artifacts that were found around the homestead that were put on display. 


Saturday, July 20, 2013

project update

For the Sound and Story project that I am working on I have listened to a few interesting audio files of a Mr. McElroy sharing some intriguing experiences that he's had. He witnessed the assassination of President Mckinely in 1901 and describes the strong impact it had on him. He also talked about going to the Danbury Fair with William Bailey in 1908 and how they encountered a snake on the road on their way back. Mr. McElroy then mentions how Mr. Bailey ended up killing the snake with a whip and later put it on his hat for good luck.

I also reviewed some of the ideas for the stories that are going to be submitted for the project. Some of the stories include a few of Mr. McElroy's experiences as well as the story called "No N's Allowed", which is about Mr. Johnson one of the first African-Americans to own a Harley Davidson dealership in Somers. In addition, I started looking for some photos to go along with them. I also had the opportunity to look at the list of items including photos and other objects that are part of the Somers Historical Society collection and found some interesting items like the Elephant hotel guestbook from the early 20th century and posters from World War II.

July 2013:  I was recently at the local library and decided to do a little more research on Carry's clothing; however there was only one book available on historic clothing styles and it detailed 18th Century clothing. While I really needed a 19th century clothing book, I looked through the 18th century clothing book and found a reference to dressmakers.  It stated that "Dressmakers in Europe often sent dolls in the latest clothing styles to the colonies. These dolls were called moppets".  It showed the dolls being stored in similar boxes found at the Homestead, like the one in the upstairs parlor with the clothes pin dolls.  From looking at the photos in the 18th century book,  it seemed like the small porcelain dolls that are packed away at the Homestead might be the same kind of dolls that are in this book. While it's a different time period, it seemed like there were dolls, clothing, and storage packages similar to those used in the 19th century as well.  It was an interesting  find!  (Book Reference:  Historic Communities:  18th Century Clothing by Bobbie Kalman - I'm looking to see if this author and/or others have books available for 19th century clothing too).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another Introduction

Hi, my name is Jasmine Alfonso. This is my second summer with the Somers Historical Society and I am a Junior at the University at Albany studying History and Psychology. Since being with SHS I have been working on a Civil War project, last summer researched and compiled a list of over 200 people from Somers and the surrounding towns who enlisted and fought in the Civil War. Currently I am working on compiling more information about each individual and ultimately we want to try and trace each Somers soldier to their living relatives and put markers on their grave to acknowledge the services they provided. This year I have also begun helping out at the museum as a docent, I am still learning but it's been really interesting learning more about the museum. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hello, this is Lucy. I haven't written in a while but I'm writing now. I recently made a website for the new History Club we are going to have at the high school. Here is the link:

Please check out the photos on the site. They are from when we were at the third floor museum last Thursday.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cradle sketch and actual cradle Athena refers to in her posting.  
Calendar from Somers Protective Association, 1921, Lucy referred to in her post about Caroline Wright Reis and the Somers Protective Association.

Hi all,

Though I am not officially a "SHS intern blogger," I wanted to share some pictures I have taken and blog to say how thrilled I, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Timone and Mr. and Mrs. Wittmann,  are to have you join the Society as student interns this summer.!! We hope you enjoy the experiences uncovering parts of Somers history, as much as we do your discoveries, and that you never loose your inquisitive natures or your senses of humor!!     (And if you go off to college, you will come back again or stay with us indefinitely, if you are local)    Here are a couple pictures from our Summer  kick-off party. ( Sorry I didn't get everyone's picture!)    

  Super Moon that night!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hi, my name is Athena and this is my first year as an intern with the Somers Historical Society and it has been a great experience.  During one visit to the Elephant Hotel where the museum is located, Mrs. Zimmerman, Mrs.Timone and I looked through oodles of Carry`s sketches, pastels and water colors and found one in particular of a woman leaning over a cradle which looks exactly like the one in the upstairs parlor! Truth be told, we think it is the same cradle and are very exited to share the excitement with others and the public.

The 4th of July celebration was also a wonderful experience.  Giving tours of the Homestead was a learning experience and it was exciting to share this experience with so many Somers residents and watching the fireworks from the lawn was fun too!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Another Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Madeline Zimmermann and I’m one of the returning interns. I am a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Animal and Poultry Sciences. I hope work in animal genetics and breeding. Having said that, you’re probably wondering why I’m interning with the Historical Society. Quite simply, I’m here for the history that's too often forgotten. The fact of the matter is there’s not much agriculture around here, which is fine except it means that not many people understand or appreciate the barns and what’s in and around them. I find that really sad. Once upon a time we relied on agriculture to keep us alive. We still do even though people often forget when it’s no longer prevalent in the immediate area. Last year I found some really beautiful pieces of equipment lying neglected in the barns and cleaned some of it up, but I’ll get to that later. For now, I’m just checking in to say hello!

Monday, July 1, 2013


Hello my name is Gabriel Osorio. I am returning intern and a recent college graduate from the University of New Haven with a bachelor's degree in History. Previously I worked on a project involving a collection of antique military items that belonged to the Bailey family. It involved identifying the items as well as figuring out the connection these items had to the family through research. I also had the opportunity to visit West Point last summer to receive assistance from military historians to identify the items in the Bailey collection.
This year I hope to get involved with the Sound and Story Project, a program of the Sound Foundation that is currently being sponsored by the Somers Historical Society and other organizations. It involves digitizing the audio recordings of interviews with locals in the Hudson Valley and making them more accessible to broader audience whether it’s through podcasts or even cell phone tours. Interestingly enough, I had the chance to listen to one audio recording of a man who knew William Bailey, which happened to be a person I came across through my research from my previous project.