An Invitation from Win
Perry, President of the Historical Society of the Nyacks:
Our new exhibit, opening Saturday, February 2,
from 1:00 to 4:00, is called Nineteenth Century Treasures: a quilt, a diary, a coverlet, a notebook...." (The ... signifies many other items in our collection are also
there for you to see.)
The quilt is the Nyack Star
Quilt, which was signed by a group of local girls, mothers and a
grandmother,and was likely auctioned or raffled to raise money in support of
young men who were leaving to fight in the Civil War to preserve the union and
end slavery. We are showing it again by popular demand.
The blanket is a coverlet
that was made in 1834 for Peter T. and Leah Stephens. It's the sort woven by
itinerant weavers, often with a loom mounted on a wagon bed, usually using wool
yarn spun by the owner. This one is unusual, being blue on blue, rather than
the more common blue and white. Peter T. Stephens was a wealthy farmer in West
Nyack with a grand sandstone house. He was also a judge and served a term as
Supervisor of the Town of Clarkstown. A news article states that he and his son
produced 40,000 gallons of cider one year, and he frequently exhibited his
produce and animals at the county agricultural fair.
The diary is loaned by
Betty Perry and was handwritten by Bertha Frost, in 1881-1895. She was also a
farmer in West Nyack, but at the other end of the economic spectrum. She took
over the family farm as a teenager on the abdication of her father (a
"gentleman of leisure") and managed it throughout her life. She and
her mother sold eggs, butter and farm animals and took in roomers to eke out a
basic existence. They were Friends (Quakers), referred to Sunday as first day,
and were also vegetarians. She identifies herself as from Nyack-on-Hudson and
tells about coming to town, sometimes on foot, to go to the library or catch
the Chrystenah to Manhattan. She also traveled by horse and buggy and the
Nyack-Tarrytown ferry to visit relatives in Pleasantville.
The notebook is one the
Society was given that is apparently by Robert Hart and records details about
life and history in South Nyack between 1799 and 1855. Among the items that
Hart considered worth recording are the history of how the Cornelison farm
comprising most of South Nyack was subdivided, how many shad his sons caught
each year, the death dates of prominent citizens, events in the history of the
Nyack Presbyterian Church, and the details of running his farm.
Please come visit us and see the exhibit at our mini-museum in the
basement of the Depew House, 50 Piermont Avenue, adjacent to the Nyack Library.
It will be open every Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 through March. Refreshments will be served at the
opening. More information may be
had by calling 845-358-0552.