Cold Spring in the Time of Cholera

Armstrong to speak on 1830s origins of Chapel Restoration

Michael Armstrong, president of The Chapel Restoration, will speak at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Putnam History Museum about the Chapel’s role in cholera epidemic of 1832 that drove half of the population of New York City into the countryside and towns such as Cold Spring. His talk is based on a journal kept by the chapel’s 18-year-old English architect, Thomas Kelah Wharton.

Michael Armstrong (photo provided)

Michael Armstrong (photo provided)

Formerly known as Chapel of Our Lady, the Greek Revival-style Catholic church was completed in 1833 or 1834 on the banks of the Hudson. It was abandoned in 1907 when Our Lady of Loretto was completed on Fair Street, burned in 1927 and lay in ruins until the 1970s, when it was restored by a private group that included the actress Helen Hayes.

Armstrong, who until his retirement worked as the senior vice president for operations at U.S. News & World Report, has been the Chapel’s president since 2011. He is co-editor with Steven Walton, a professor at Michigan Technological University, of a forthcoming edition by SUNY Press of Wharton’s journals from 1832-34 and 1853, The Majestic Nature of the North.

To attend, please RSVP by calling 845-265-4010 or email shannon@putnamhistorymuseum.org. Admission is free for members of the Putnam History Museum and $5 for non-members. The museum is located at 63 Chestnut Street in Cold Spring.


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