Annual event held at historic Douglas Road home

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

The lawn of a historic Douglas Road estate Saturday evening (July 12) drew fans of balmy summer evenings, buffet fare, stunning views of the Hudson River, Philipstown’s rich heritage, and — most of all — the Putnam History Museum.

With a theme of old-fashioned summer white-or-stripe apparel and the genteel game of croquet, the event, a fundraiser, occurred at the home of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Randy Florke, an old-house renovator who works as a real estate and design executive in New York City at The Rural Connection Inc., a company he founded.

Bill Hicks, chairman of the Putnam History Museum Board of Trustees, succinctly summed up the evening’s agenda: “Eat, drink, play croquet!”

The Florke-Maloney property, Lower Windwolde, lies off Lane Gate and Moffatt roads, just outside Nelsonville and Cold Spring, and the recently-wed couple, their children, and two dogs mingled with party-goers — the dogs romping across the lawn and stealing attention and/or napkins. Attendees included Philipstown Town Board Members John Van Tassel and Nancy Montgomery, Cold Spring Trustee Cathryn Fadde, and New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef.

In brief remarks Florke and Maloney greeted their guests and spoke of the importance of supporting such community organizations as the PHM. Florke said he relied on it when trying to piece together their circa-1920 home’s past. Without the museum “you wouldn’t be able to have access to that.” Moreover, he added, “understanding your history helps with your future.”

PHM Board Chairman Bill Hicks, Sean Patrick Maloney, Randy Florke, and PHM Executive Director Mindy Krazmien Photo by L.S. Armstrong
PHM Board Chairman Bill Hicks, Sean Patrick Maloney, Randy Florke, and PHM Executive Director Mindy Krazmien — Photo by L.S. Armstrong

Acknowledging the applause and best wishes offered the pair, Maloney praised Florke for turning the property into a wonderful home, through dedication, vision, and hospitality. “You elected to Congress the wrong member of this marriage,” he joked to the crowd. However, “as a politician, I’m used to taking credit for the work of others!” On a more serious note he told everyone that “you’re always welcome here.”

Donations from local restaurants — the Garrison Café, Angelina’s, Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill, Le Bouchon, and Riverview — helped with the affair, according to PHM Executive Director Mindy Krazmien.

Formerly called the Putnam County Historical Society and Foundry School Museum, the museum is located on Chestnut Street in Cold Spring, in a building that once served as a school for West Point Foundry families.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Armstrong was the founding news editor of The Current (then known as in 2010 and later a senior correspondent and contributing editor for the paper. She worked earlier in Washington as a White House correspondent and national affairs reporter and assistant news editor for daily international news services. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Areas of expertise: Politics and government