Historical Society of Shawangunk & Gardiner

2016  Programs and Society Information

Most meetings will be held in the Town Hall Community Room at 14 Central Ave, Wallkill, NY

Free to all - Light Refreshments Served

2016 Spring Programs
The Birds Of Home

Date -
March 2, 2016  at 7 PM
PlaceShawangunk Town Hall Community Room
14 Central Ave Wallkill

Bill Fiero will be talking about 'The Birds Of Home', discussing the rich bird life of New York. Bill is a birding enthusiast, traveler and photographer who enjoys sharing his experiences of the natural world with others. He lives in Walden with his wife, Jayne.

History of African American and Italian American Resorts in the Catskill Mountains”

Date - April 6, 2016  at 7 PM

Shawangunk Town Hall Community Room
14 Central Ave Wallkill

The Catskill Mountains have long been a fashionable summer destination for vacationers of many different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.  This presentation will focus on the history of African American and Italian American resorts, from their origins as small boarding houses in the 1920s and 30s, to their dramatic growth in size and popularity after World War II, and their ultimate decline in the final decades of the twentieth century.  Laura Miller will share a PowerPoint presentation with historical photos, postcard images, and newspaper advertisements that help illuminate the fascinstory of these resorts.

The Gunks-Ridge and Valley Towns Through Time

Monday May 2, 2016  at 7 PM
Gardiner Town Hall

2340 US-44, Gardiner

Ron Knapp and Michael Neil O'Donnell will present a program on The Gunks-Ridge and Valley Towns Through Time at Gardiner Town Hall.
Their new book The Gunks-Ridge and Valley Towns Through Time ranges across the ridge from Sam's Point in Warwarsing to Joppenberg in Rosendale.

The Shawangunk Mountains (The Gunks) are renowned for stunning landscapes on and off the ridge in a region that has remained a favorite destination for visitors since the middle of the 19th century.  A highlight of the book are nearly a hundred pairs of photographs taken approximately a century apart.   In addition to presenting information about the fabled Lake Mohonk and Lake Minnewaska hotels, the book puts a spotlight on the economic and social changes over the past century in the towns of New Paltz, Gardiner, and Rosendale in the Wallkill Valley and to a lesser extent locations in the Rondout Valley. 

While Knapp was responsible for the text, Michael O'Donnell shepherded the striking visual content from idea to reality with photographic contributions by Gardiner residents: Fred Gerty, Susan Lehrer, Michael Neil O'Donnell, and Carol Rietsma.

A book signing will follow the talk and all proceeds for the sale of the book benefit the Mohonk Preserve.

A companion website can be visited at

June 1, 2016  6 PM to 8 PM

Historical Society of Shawangunk & Gardiner
Annual June picnic on the lawn of the Andries DuBois House in Wallkill

·       Location:
Andries DuBois House
75 Wallkill Avenue
Wallkill NY 12589

·       Tours of the 1759 Historic House

·       Bring a covered dish to share.

Drinks, plates & eating utensils

Saturday  June 25, 2016 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (rain or shine)

11th Annual  Garden Tour

Sponsored by the Historical Society of Shawangunk & Gardiner

Self-guided driving tour of local Gardens

A map and descriptive brochure will be provided with your ticket.

For advanced tickets ($15) call or visit:

·       Freda Fenn at 845-895-3986

·       Wallkill River House 845-895-1410
35 Wallkill Ave. Hamlet of Wallkill NY

·       Pine Bush Public Library 845-744-3375
227 Maple Ave. Pine Bush NY

Tickets on the day of the tour will be available
At the Andries DuBois House 75 Wallkill Ave. Wallkill
From 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

On the day of the Garden Tour visit the
Andries DuBois House for a plant sale


Summer and Fall Programs and Events

Saturday July 9, 2016  11 AM

Hudson River Maritime Museum Tour 

Meet at Maritime Museum by 10:45 am. 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, N.Y.   (845)-338-0071

Tours begin at 11 am:
Museum and Restoration Work -
2 groups: 1 group starts at the museum, the other starts with the restoration work, then switch.  Total time for both tours is 2 hours.

Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance, $15.00 per person; $10.00 per child under 12

Contact: Donna:  845-851-8105                     Last Date for Tickets: July 5th

 Plan an afternoon along the Roundout.

There are so many other things to do once the tours are finished.

Area Attractions near the Hudson River Maritime Museum and the Rondout Historic Waterfront District

 Walking Distance

The Rondout Historic Waterfront District is full of things to see and do, all within easy walking distance of the Museum

Cultural Organizations
The Trolley Museum of New York
The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture & History
Arts Society of Kingston

For more information on waterfront businesses including restaurants, coffee shops, antique shops, boutiques, and art galleries.
Please visit
http://thekingstonwaterfront.com/discover-downtown/ for more information.

Hudson River Cruises
Rondout Lighthouse
Esopus Meadows Lighthouse

15 Minutes Away (or less!)
Kingston Point Beach and Rotary Park
Forsyth Nature Center
Ulster Performing Arts Center
Senate House State Historic Site
Friends of Historic Kingston and the Fred J. Johnston Museum
Volunteer Fireman's Museum


Wednesday September 7, 2016   at 7 PM

"How Walden Became a Factory Town"

Location: Shawangunk Town Hall

Mary Ellen Matise explores the development of a sparsely populated 19th century backwater on the Orange/Ulster County line from a farming economy to one of the leading manufacturing villages in the Hudson Valley.  Early grist mills saw new life as cotton and woolen mills in the 1820's and 1830's, and later flourished as the site of three of the most prosperous and influential pocketknife factories in North America.


Saturday October 1, 2016  at 9 AM

“Workshop—Build a “Faerie House”

Location: Shawangunk Town Hall

Make a Faerie House as seen in a special article in the Country Garden Magazine. Base of the house, construction materials and tools will be provided.

Workshop is limited to 10 people—$35

Contact Freda Fenn—845-895-3986 for reservation


Wednesday October 5, 2016  at 7 PM

“History of NY Covered Bridges”  CANCELLED

Location: Shawangunk Town Hall

New York State, at one time was home to over 300 covered bridges. Many which crossed major rivers like the Mohawk, Delaware, and the Hudson. Many more crossed streams, creeks, and brooks.

Donna Freeland of the New York Covered Bridge Society will explore the construction of bridges of early American life made of wood and the abundance of wood, the speed at which a wooden bridge could be constructed and the availability of a local labor force to construct them. This made wooden bridge building the preferred choice of bridge building in America from the Colonial era until the 1860’s. Since most of the rural road building during the mid 19th century was the responsibility of town governments, they in turn relied heavily on the local expertise and resources. Most early wood truss bridges were simple Kingpost or Queenpost trusses, which were easy to fabricate and erect, and could be used for crossings up to around 50 feet in length

Wednesday November 2, 2016  at 7 PM

“A Night with the Bordens”

Location: Knight of Pythias House
5 Main Street, Wallkill NY

More Information


 Saturday November 12, 2016  at 2 - 4 PM

Benefit TEA $20

Location: Shawangunk Town Hall Community Room

For tickets ($20) contact Freda Fenn, 845-895-3986 or Carolyn Crowell, 845-895-3933


Wednesday December 7, 2016  at 6 PM

Location: DuBois House at 75 Wallkill Avenue in Wallkill

Christmas Pot Luck Party

· Wine, Cheese and finger foods

· Bring your favorite dish to share

· Utensils, plates etc. provided



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