New Castle Trivia 1-11-19

Question: What was the name given to the marauders who raided Chappaqua farms during the Revolutionary War?
Answer: Cowboys and Skinners
New Castle Trivia, in collaboration with the Town of New Castle eNewsletter.
Learn more by visiting the NCHS’s core exhibition, The Story of New Castle, at the Horace Greeley House, Tues-Wed-Thurs-Sat from 1 pm – 4 pm.
Image Courtesy of the Westchester County Historical Society.

New Castle Trivia 1-3-19

Question: The arrival of the railroad to New Castle in 1846 permanently changed the local economy. In the rocky, hilly ground of New Castle, two kinds of market farming proved especially rewarding. Which were they?

Answer: Dairying and fruit production. The chief crop was apples.

New Castle Trivia, in collaboration with the Town of New Castle eNewsletter.

Learn more by visiting the NCHS’s core exhibition, The Story of New Castle, at the Horace Greeley House, Tues-Wed-Thurs-Sat, from 1 pm – 4 pm.


New Castle Historical Society launches an updated, online version of the self-guided tour, “Walking Horace Greeley’s Farm.”

by Erin Rosen
Horace Greeley High School Senior Experience Student
New Castle Historical Society Intern

Did you know that you can see an oak tree that was standing when most of downtown Chappaqua was Horace Greeley’s farm?  Or view a concrete barn that Greeley designed in the 1850s? How about looking off the edge of a ravine that was once spanned by bridges?

Chappaqua has more hidden secrets than one might imagine. The New Castle Historical Society has recently updated a walking tour that transports you to the days of Horace Greeley!

Walking Horace Greeley’s Farm” takes you through the 78 acres of downtown Chappaqua that once were Greeley’s farm. Come walk with us and learn about the legacy that his family had on Chappaqua. Now with both online and physical versions, you can always have history at your fingertips!

While on the tour, you’ll look at historic photos while comparing them to the views you see today.  Notice what our hometown looked like in the 1800s and 1900s, and see how much has changed! The tour starts at the Horace Greeley House and then heads south through the Greeley Woods, and finishes back at the Greeley House. Comfortable walking shoes (there are some moderate hills and pebbly paths) are suggested.

The walk takes about 50 minutes. Check out the new online version of the tour at, stop by the Historical Society to pick up a self-guided tour map, or call the Society to schedule a guided tour today (914-238-4666).

Throwback Thursday – Newspapers

Hello again and welcome back! I’m here with your weekly installment of Throwback Thursday. This past week I ran across newspapers that are part of our collection. Newspapers are great ways for historians and researchers to date an event, read opinions about events in the past, and for notices and records of deaths, births, marriage, and much more.

We here at the New Castle Historical Society try to curate our newspaper collection to newspapers and articles that relate to the Town of New Castle, whether by having an article about Horace Greeley, or an article reporting on New Castle. Of course, we have copies of Horace Greeley’s newspaper, the New York Tribune.

Since there are many different kinds of newspapers in the archive, this week we’ll look at examples from our Frank Leslie’s Illustrated collection. This newspaper was known for having illustrations about current events, and as such would have issues that discussed Horace Greeley, as shown below:

“New York-Horace Greeley at Home-Mr. Greeley Receiving a Delegation from the State Central Committee of Liberal Republicans at his Farm at Chappaqua”


“The Winans Steam-Gun, Recently Captured near the Relay House, by Major-General Butler’s Command.-From a Sketch by our Special Artist-“


“The Funeral at Cincinnati, May 30 1972”

Throwback Thursday – Songbooks

Hey everyone! Sorry about the lack of TBT last week; I am back with a vengeance! As I continue to organize and work through the collections at NCHS, I found a stack of songbooks! In a time before ipods, tvs, and even radios and record players, the only way people could listen to music was for someone to be physically playing the instrument or singing in front of them. Songbooks were a way for music lovers to experience the most popular songs of their day, and to enjoy them from the comfort of their piano bench. They were (and continue to be used) to teach children how to play instruments, at parties, and for an evening’s entertainment.

“The Red Mill”






“No Wedding Bells for Me”



“Her Soldier Boy”



“William Jerome and Andrew Mack’s Latest Songs”



“The Newlyweds and their Baby”



“Will You Remember”


Throwback Thursday – Electronics

Good afternoon! This is your intern Nina with the second installment of Throw Back Thursday! This week I decided to get a bit retro and look at the various electronics that NCHS has accumulated over the years. In a time before people were able to use their phone to listen to the latest podcasts, or use an Ipod that is smaller than a credit card, listeners used personal radios, walkmans, and even radios that the whole family gathered around to use! This was a time when one had to listen in to a channel and could not pick what he/she wanted to listen to and even had to wait for a certain time of day to hear their favorite series! In a time when we can now download what we want to listen to or have hundreds of channels and options at our disposal it’s important to remember what we did in the past, and how we listened to entertainment as a collective, instead of now where our entertainment is personalized and catered to our varied tastes.

In our collection we have several walkmans, a tape deck, a portable record player, and even a bicentennial transistor radio! Come down to the Historical Society and see for yourself!

Cassette Recorder

Portable Record Player


Portable Record Player


Tape Walkman




All Transistor Radio

















Throwback Thursday – Historic Postcards

Good afternoon, everybody! My name is Nina, and I am the new archival intern for the New Castle Historical Society! I have been working through the collections here, and while rifling through our extensive postcard collection I found some neat items for the first in our Throwback Thursday series.

Many of us have only seen photos of the past in black and white, and thus we imagine that our ancestors’ past in hues of gray. Obviously we know better, but it’s hard to visualize the vibrant colors of the past since many of us have never seen it. Luckily for us, photographers and postcard producers would colorize their photos and cards, so that those vivid hues and tints were widely available to those who could not experience first-hand. We can enjoy these photos and postcards and imagine what our ancestors might have experienced: what scents they sniffed, what colors they saw, and what textures they might have touched! Looking at these items we can take a glimpse into the past.

Another aspect of seeing these images is to guess where these places were. Many who live in Chappaqua today might not know where Greeley dam is, or about how the forest looked before civilization encroached on the natural world. Maybe you recognize each of these places, and what is currently in their location! If not and you’re interested to know more, you can always come to the New Castle Historical Society and Horace Greeley house to learn more!

All of these items are available to view, in person, in the archives and collections of the New Castle Historical Society. For more information or to schedule an appointment for research, please call (914) 238-4666 or email us at
















Come celebrate Richard Laster’s new memoir: … And It Went So Fast!

Source: The Chappaqua Public Library

Richard Laster Book Launch!

**Mr. Laster was instrumental in securing the Horace Greeley House for the New Castle Historical Society.**

Richard-LasterCome celebrate Richard Laster’s new memoir

…And It Went So Fast!

Wednesday, June 24, 7:30 pm

Author talk sponsored by the Chappaqua Library (195 South Greeley Ave.)

This fascinating life story—which starts when Richard Laster, age 14, fled his home in Vienna to escape Hitler’s invasion of Austria—is full of memorable twists and turns on his route to America and eventually becoming “the most memorable man” at General Foods. All this is reflected during a span bounded by the outbreak of World War II in Europe followed by Pearl Harbor, V-Day, the growth of suburbia, Silicon Valley and the numerous sociological changes in America. And It Went So Fast is also loaded with well-tested nuggets of business advice, including the evergreen value of goal-setting. Introductions by Senior Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe of Temple Beth El and Clinton Smith, President, New Castle Historical Society and former Chappaqua Town Supervisor Free admission. Coffee and refreshments served. Book signing by the author. All monies collected will go to benefit the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.