Sunday on the Hudson with the Historical Society

 On the banks of the Hudson, a buzzing crowd of ladies and gentlemen gathered

By Alison Rooney

 On the banks of the Hudson, a buzzing crowd of ladies and gentlemen gathered, most attired in white, to sip, stroll, gaze close-up at the river, and partake of good company.  A piece of history? Not exactly, but connected to our history even though this timeless, pastoral scene unfolded just this past Sunday. The Putnam County Historical Society (PCHS) held its Annual Lawn Party this year at Dock House, the historic (circa 1793) Garrison’s Landing home of William Burback and Dr. Peter Hofmann.

Doris Shaw presents a chromo-lithograph to Bill Burback

The green drapery of the many willows gracing the riverside property provided both shade from July’s strong sun and an elegant backdrop to the festivities, which had been postponed from Saturday because of inclement weather.The lively art of conversation was the activity of the day, as close to 200 guests mingled, looked over the silent auction items, and listened to remarks by Cold Spring’s David Duffy, PCHS Vice President. On display at a welcome table were reproductions of the publication “Garrison’s Landing,” originally printed in 1966, “the history written by Jean Saunders, designed by Joe Chapman, its cover clad in the wallpaper of William Galligan,” who had a nearby store. The covers of the reproductions, a number of which were offered for sale, were made with material preserved from Galligan’s store, and supplied by his son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Mim Galligan.” Carinda
(L-R) Seamus Carroll, Claudio Marzollo, Richard Shea
Swann, Director of the neighboring Garrison Arts Center, noted “it’s awfully generous of Garrison Art Center’s Board President [Mr. Burback] to host this event for another worthy local organization.”  Admiring the home and grounds, she added “it’s wonderful that this home belongs to members of the – they have saved this spot -it’s incredible to think of this as a ferry site.”
PCHS Exec. Director Mindy Krazmien and Outreach Coordinator Kendall Ingenito
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef was on hand, greeting many friends, calling the event “a wonderful opportunity for people to come together on the Hudson River, to discuss not only our county, but our country, and to support the Historical Society.”
In attendance as well, was the historically significant “Game Table.” The accompanying description stated “the story goes that Abraham Lincoln, en route to West Point, arrived at Garrison at 3 am that morning. Samuel Sloan, president of the Hudson River Railroad, on which President Lincoln traveled to Garrison, awaited him by playing cards at the Dock House, with ferry owner Henry
Councilwoman Betty Budney

White Belcher, who was responsible for transporting Lincoln across the Hudson River for a strategic meeting with General Winfield Scott. The game table Sloan and Belcher (and, perhaps, Lincoln) played cards on was given to the PCHS by the Belcher family.”  Funds raised from the occasion will go towards the Historical Society’s many activities, which include exhibitions, lecture programs and the maintenance of archives of documents from this region so rich in history.The PCHS is located at 63 Chestnut Street, in Cold Spring, and their current exhibit, “Seasons and Light: Photographs of the Hudson Highlands by Richard Saunders,” runs through July 25.  Call 265-4010 or visit for exhibition hours and more information. Photos by A.Rooney

Hosts Bill Burback and Peter Hoffmann at the “Storied Game Table”

One thought on “Sunday on the Hudson with the Historical Society

  1. Best picture ever of Bill Burback and Doris Shaw. Lovely day, lovely setting, all in a good cause.