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March 16, 2014  - Press Release



Press Release from Coldengham Preservation and Historic Society               Joan Buck Smith, Vice President

Announcing the second Annual “ Colden Day” at the Ruins on Sunday May 4, 2014 from 1 to 4 pm. It will be held at the site of the Colden Mansion at the corner of Stone Castle Road and Rt. 17K in Coldenham, NY. (Rain date is Sat. May 10) The public is invited to celebrate the establishment of the Society by joining our membership list.

Our Mission Statement: to raise the public awareness and promote the appreciation of the history and legacy of Cadwallader Colden, Lt, Gov. of Provincial New York, and family;  To develop the Colden Mansion Ruins site into a heritage park, through preservation of the natural and built environment including Colden Mansion Ruins, Colden Family Cemetery and Colden Canal. We have received our charter from the New York State Education Department.

 Free tours of the stabilized ruins will be conducted by Historians Suzanne Isaksen and Robert Williams. Under-the-tent  displays will include the mansion photo time-line, the Colden family and other occupants, the Colden Cemetery, Jane Colden’s “Native Plant Sanctuary “ bulletin and plant samples, Colden Family descendents, and the natural history of the site.  There will be a children’s table with children’s crafts/coloring materials.

For more information go to the website: Or send an email to



Nov 17, 2013 - 2 PM Invitation to a Colonial Tea! 

The Coldengham Historic and Preservation Society invite the public to a “Colonial Tea”.  It will be held on Sunday Nov.17 from 2-3:30 pm at the Historic Patchett House, 232   Ward Street in the Village of Montgomery.  The Wallkill River School is pleased to host the afternoon celebration.  Part of the mission of the Coldengham Historic and Preservation Society is to raise public awareness and promote the appreciation of the history and legacy of Cadwallader Colden, Lieutenant Governor of Provincial New York, and family.  Displays of the Colden Mansion Historic site, Colden genealogy, Colden Family Cemetery displays and general Colden History will be on display.  Colden family descendents will be available to discuss their research.

Colonial foods will be available to sample.  The program is free to the general public. Membership forms will be available for those who would like to join.  We are pleased to let the community know we have received our Provisional Charter from the New York State Education Department.

Meeting Notices - 2012 Schedule of meetings

  • May 20, 2012 Minutes Coldengham P&HS

 Brian Altonen opened meeting.

  Attendance: Brian Altonen, Joan Buck Smith, Marion Brown, Robin Assenza.

 We met outside as there was an event at WRS.

 We went over the developer’s proposals for the land around the cemetery.  Joan went to the Pl Bd office and was told the developers are planning to pull out, Town is awaiting written confirmation.  This would be good news for the cemetery.

 Minutes of previous meeting were read

 Brian to look into a Colden Book to have for sale.

 Harold may have set up an account, possibly PayPal.

 About General Montgomery Day on Sept. 8:  We could use space from Historic Montgomery Assoc in front of Montg Museum if we had anything to sell.

 We are still waiting for confirmation of Provisional status from State and their response.

 Brian’s reminders: Identify and tag living and dead Osage Orange trees at site; another rough mapping and review of site; Colden’s Botany Book (Brian is making progress on pre-draft work) when complete it could be sold.; Need to have plans for sale, public events, etc.

Next meeting set for June 24 because Father’s Day falls on our regular meeting date.

Meeting adjourned.  Refreshments inside thanks to Shawn Dell Joyce.

Submitted by Joan Buck Smith

  • Coldengham Historic and Preservation Society   Minutes April 15, 2012

Attendance: Joan Buck Smith, Harold VanAken, Mary Ellen Matise, Brian Altonen, Robert Williams, Robert Wiggins, Robin Assenza, Juliann Hansen via Skype. 

Brian Altonen opened the meeting at Robert Williams home on Factory Street. 

Minutes distributed and read. 

Bob Williams gave an update on Delaware Water Gap Park.  He needs more letters to be sent in and forward copy to Adv. Council on Historic Preservation., att. Carolyn Hale.  Address in his last email. 

Joan will go to Planning Bd office to check on development proposed around Colden Cemetery area.  The Arbuckle House (Pete Mathieu’s) rear addition may be tied in to Colden Estate.  The ruins of Louis Hawkins Farm at end of Maple Ln.was discussed Granddaughter Edna Twomley claimed her foundation was the original Colden House.  Joan will ask for copy of Developer’s plan and the status. 

Get list to Montgomery Town Board add those who could go on Colden  property: Mary Ellen Matise, Gail Yeaple, Harold VanAken.  Take off: Joe Devine and Frank Gillespie. 

Bob Williams gave a tour of the Lemma Crabtree home and historical facts.  Resfreshments were served. 

Respectfully submitted,

Joan Buck Smith


  • Coldengham Historic and Preservation Society Minutes March 18, 2012 

    President Brian Altonen opened the meeting. 

    Robert Williams reported on Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the vandalism and destruction befalling the historic homes in that area.  He asked us to write to our Congressmen, the Dept of Interior, etc.  Bob will email more information to us. 

    Minutes from previous meeting were distributed, read, corrected and accepted. 

    Brian reported the packet was mailed out to the State with our Provisional Charter Application.  He enclosed his personal check for $100 as we don’t have a treasury yet. 

    Brian told us to check his website for Botany/Ecology info (Linnaeus) (Field guide: Jane and Cadwaller) plant info. 

    Discussion on gardens.  Samuel Bard sent his son John to live with the Colden’s and may have gotten info on plants from Colden.  Bard College may have a garden as well as Kosiosko’s Garden at West Point. 

    We need to find out the status of the proposed development on Pete Mathieu’s property.  Is either historic structure to be demolished?  If so, could developer be asked to save part of it for an interpretive center at the Colden site.  It could be relocated to on the old roadway next to Mansion site.  

    Brian is to email or contact Suzanne for new names added to list to Town Board for ability to sign insurance waiver to go on site.   

    New member: Adam Schenkman. 

    Joan and Marion developed a Mission Statement and Brian will email it to everyone for comments.  It can then be adopted at next meeting. 

    Gail had a draft Brochure for us to comment on that she is proposing for Colden Mansion Ruins.

    Mary Ellen handed out invitation to celebrate COL. Thomas Wilson Bradley Day on Sat. Mar. 31, 2012.  Also on Mar 31 special guest Chuck LaRocca talks about his upcoming new book on the 124th NYS Volunteers in the Civil War.  2 to 4 pm. 

    Attendance: Joan Buck Smith, Andrew Dalton, Barbara Kidney, Robert Williams, Marion Brown, Mary Ellen Matise, Robin Assenza, Robert Wiggins, Gail Yeaple,  Juliann Hansen ( via Skype), Brian Altonen.

    Next meeting will be Sunday April 15 at Bob Williams historic Crabtree House on factory Street.

    Respectfully submitted, Joan Buck Smith

  • February 19. 2012 Sunday @ 2PM - Wallkill River School, 232 Ward St (17k), Montgomery, NY 12549


  • January 15, 2012 Sunday @ 2PM - Wallkill River School - 232 Ward ST. Montgomery, NY 12549
    • Minutes

      Coldengham Preservation and Historical Society Minutes Jan. 15, 2012

      President Brian Altonen opened the meeting. 

      Attendance: Brian Altonen, Joan Buck Smith, Mary Ellen Matise, Robin Assenza, Marion Brown, Julie Hansen via Skype, Andrew Dalton, Barbara Kidney, Robert Williams. 

      Minutes from Dec. 18 meeting were distributed, read and accepted. 

      Brian has received all notarized signatures but Suzanne and she will get hers in this week.

      Orange County Historic Grants Program provided funding for the preservation of historic structures, sites, artifacts, and archives.  Brian will contact Suzanne about applying for money to fill in wells and cisterns on site. 

      Meeting dates set so far for this year: Feb. 19, Mar. 18, Apr. 15, May 20, June 24, July 15 all at 2 pm at Wallkill River School.  Bob Williams volunteered his home on Factory St for a meeting. 

      Brian is still trying to contact OCCC and hasn’t heard from Marist yet.  Hudsonia would charge us $150 per hour, so we are trying to find “free assistance” through colleges and use Hudsonia as needed for consultation.  Mary Ellen  suggested contacting Winterthur in Delaware or Rutgers for suggestions.  Robert Williams  has a contact there. 

      Barbara Kidney suggested we need experts to oversee the “amateurs” like herself who are in the field.  She said that’s why we need professionals like Hudsonia to oversee whatever we can do ourselves.

      Brian will ask Suzanne to contact grant writer Karron Barnes to seek grants we could apply for this spring.

      Brian will contact Hudsonia Director Eric Kiviat.  We should outreach with like-minded agencies/groups.  A suggestion: the Karpellis Museum in Newburgh could be asked for display space at some time in the future.

      Mary Ellen suggested we work on a five-year plan with goals/objectives.  We will work on this over the next few meetings.  The following is a start: paperwork submitted to state, archeological surveys, contact with other groups/ outreach, more visitation at site, wells/cisterns filled for safety.

      Andrew Dalton volunteered to go into the schools as Joe Devine did.  Bob Williams will work with him.  (Andrew has education background).  Harold has most of Joe Devine’s work. 

      Barbara suggested website should be updated with at least upcoming meeting dates and minutes.

      Brian will set up a format for a general outline of a meeting agenda. 

      Meeting was adjourned. 

      Submitted by acting secretary, Joan Buck Smith


  • July 17, 2011 Sunday @ 2PM - Wallkill River School - 232 Ward St, Montgomery NY


  • June 25, 2011 Sunday @ 2PM - Wallkill River School - 232 Ward St, Montgomery NY


  • April 17, 2011 Sunday @ 2PM - Wallkill River School - 232 Ward St, Montgomery NY

    The Coldengham Preservation & Historical Society will meet on Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 2 PM at the Wallkill River School, 232 Ward Street (Route 17K) in the Village of Montgomery. 
    There will be no speaker but if
    anyone would like to they can  present regarding their own Colden or non-Colden activity. This could be informal with or without the projector or screen. Let us know if anyone is interested in presenting to the group and if you would need a projector.
  • March 27, 2011 Sunday @ 2 PM -  - FREE

A Powerpoint presentation about a local Town of Montgomery Revolutionary War soldier who brought America’s War of Independence to a thrilling conclusion. <MORE Information>

  • January 9, 2011
This is a reminder that the Coldengham Preservation & Historical Society will meet on Sunday, January 9, 2011, at 3:00 PM at the Wallkill River School, 232 Ward Street (Route 17K) in the Village of Montgomery. 
This is a very important meeting, in that we will elect our first officers and trustees.  You also will have the opportunity to learn more about our new committees (and which you might like to join) and take part in planning speakers and activities for the year.
I also will be bring the two journal volumes that the Society will be purchasing.  They are part of a three-volume set (the middle volume is still to be located) that was offered to us by a manuscript dealer in New Jersey.  Purchase price is $100.00, and two members have stepped forward to contribute $20.00 each (and at least one other member expressed an interest in contributing).  If you wish to contribute to the purchase of these volumes, please let me know.  The journals were written by a descendent of Cadwallader Colden Sr., and Cadwallader Colden Jr.
PLEASE NOTE:  Since it is January and weather can be somewhat exciting this time of year, I will send out an e-mail late Sunday morning if the meeting has to be rescheduled.  Some of our members travel a distance, and I'd rather reschedule than put anyone at risk.  If you have any doubts, please feel free to call me at 845-641-0463.
Looking forward to a great meeting on Sunday!
Best regards,
 Suzanne Isaksen


  • December 9, 2010
I have been asked by Joan Buck Smith, chair of the Nominating Committee of the Coldengham Preservation & Historical Society, to forward to you the slate of candidates for the Board of the Coldengham Preservation & Historical Society.  According to our newly-passed bylaws, this information should be forwarded to all for consideration at least 30 days prior to the vote.  This vote will be held at our next meeting on Sunday, January 9, 2011, beginning at 3:00 PM at the Wallkill River School.
The slate of candidates is as follows:
Frank Gillespie - President (term of 1 year)
Brian Altonen - Vice President (term of 1 year)
Suzanne Isaksen - Secretary (term of 1 year)
Mary Ellen Matise - Treasurer (term of 3 years)
Juliann Hansen - Trustee (term of 3 years)
Robin Assenza - Trustee (term of 2 years)
Robert Williams - Trustee (term of 1 year)
Attached you will find statements from all candidates except Bob Williams.  I will forward his statement as soon as it is available.
Please note that nominations also will be accepted from the floor at the meeting.
Best regards,
Suzanne Isaksen
Temporary Chair