Crazy Quilt 6-22-21

In the fall of 2020, the New Castle Historical Society received a donation of a family quilt from Dorinda Dodge. The quilt was made between 1894 – 1895 and most likely had multiple individuals add their creative touch. The conservation of the quilt by the Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem was made possible by Betsy Towl and contributions made in Memory of Toni Hutin. The quilt will be on display at the Horace Greeley House thru the summer.

Known as a “crazy quilt” this was a popular style in the mid-late 19th century. According to Cindy Brick:

“Crazy quilt really seems to have sprung from a combination of factors begun by the Industrial Revolution. By 1850, American companies were manufacturing good-quality fabrics that were colorfast more often than not. (Consistently colorfast fabrics were not generally available until later in the 19th century, when washday blues, mourning blacks and Turkey reds appeared.) Fabric prices moderated. Thanks to higher-paying factory jobs, women could actually afford to buy cloth, instead of going to the trouble of weaving it – an option they often took in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Also, sewing machines, which had been used by commercial sewers for years, became increasingly affordable for the average family, thanks to the advent of the “layaway plan.” Family sewing was accomplished more quickly, giving the average woman time for more genteel pursuits, like embroidery and lacemaking”.

The Civil War changed all that. Fabrics, if they were available at all, skyrocketed in price – especially for the South, which had few factories of any kind. Women’s extra energy went toward their families, instead of fancywork. Exhibitions, called sanitary fairs, became a popular way of showing off one’s skills, as well as collecting quilts, shirts and funds for soldiers. It is from this period, at a Sanitary Fair in Cleveland, Ohio, that the first published mention of Crazy quilts appears”.

New Castle Trivia, 8-30-19

Question: In the 1920s, successful businessmen built mansions located on top of hills in Chappaqua, which served as the basis for the name given to them: Hilltopper. The Douglas Grafflin Elementary School occupies a site where a Hilltopper Mansion built by Sigmund Neustadt once stood. What was the name of the estate and mansion?

Answer: Southerleigh

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

Recreating historic gardens at the Greeley House.

This garden was created by Lauren Fischer for her Girl Scout Gold Award project in the Summer of 2019.

Historical gardens:

In the 1800s, many homes had several gardens, each which served a different purpose:

Kitchen gardens were used for the house’s cooking, and were usually kept near the kitchen. By growing their own vegetables and herbs at home, people had easier access to a wide range of food, such as mint and parsley. Intended for a similar purpose, medicinal gardens included herbs that were able to treat a wide variety of ailments. For instance, feverfew could treat headaches and fever, and marigolds could be made into a poultice to help prevent infections. Ornamental gardens were designed to look beautiful, just as they are today. Some of the flowers planted were different, however. Two of these included in the Greeley House garden are phlox and hollyhock; in the mid 1800s, hollyhock was considered somewhat old­fashioned, and would have been planted in what was known as a “grandmother’s garden”.

At the Greeley House, several beds have been planted to reflect what gardens of the 1800s looked like and what plants they included, though these beds are not grouped by purpose. Plants include lavender, yarrow, sunflowers, horehound, dill, and others, along with the plants listed above.

Preparing for the historic gardens, June/July 2019.
Planting, June/July 2019
August 2019

New Castle Trivia, 8-23-19

Question: In the early 1890s, Gabrielle Greeley Clendenin and her husband, the Reverend Frank Clendenin, moved into a concrete barn built by her father, Horace Greeley, and converted it into a house. What was the name given to this house?

Answer: Rehoboth

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

New Castle Trivia, 8-16-19

Question: The largest company in Chappaqua itself was the Chappaqua Shoe Factory on North Greeley Avenue, which employed both men and women, and even children as well. From what year to what year did this business exist?

Answer:  1885-1900

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

New Castle Trivia, 8-9-19

Question: The largest industry in Chappaqua in the Gilded Age was an eyeglasses manufacturer which, from 1874-1888, was one of the foremost manufacturers in the United States. What was the name of the manufacturer?

Answer: Spencer Optical Manufacturing Company

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

New Castle Trivia, 8-2-19

Question: The building in Millwood now occupied by Ana’s Nail salon was, in the post-Civil War period, a general store owned by whom?

Answer: George Allen

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

New Castle Trivia, 7-26-19

Question: An agricultural machinery dealership occupied the largest building in Chappaqua, which was specifically built for that purpose. What was the name of the man who had it built?

Answer: Edward S. Quinby

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

New Castle Trivia, 7-19-19

Question: In the post-Civil War period, three men with the surname Tompkins owned stores in Chappaqua. What were their first names?

Answer: Wright, Charles, and Amos

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

New Castle Trivia, 7-12-19

Question: In 1881, a railroad system was extended through New Castle – what was the name of that railroad?

Answer: New York and Northern Railroad

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

New Castle Trivia, 7-5-19

Question: During the Civil War, anti-draft riots abounded and many places, such as Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune office, were attacked – and the office was nearly burned. It has been told that rioters even reached his home in Chappaqua and threatened to burn it, leading to his wife, Mary Greeley, stockpiling gunpowder and threatening to blow up the house if they tried. When did these anti-draft riots occur?

Answer: July 10-15, 1863

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