A New Station Then and Now

 

 

A Stroll Down Town Then and Now

 

 

 

American Victorian Women

 

 

 

 

Bill Clinton Our Neighbor

 

 

 

 

Chappaqua Garden Club 80 Bloomin’ Years

 

 

 

Girl Scouts in New Castle

 

 

 

Horace Greeley His Times

 

 

 

 

I Had a Farm in Chappaqua

 

 

 

New Castle’s Beginnings Our Founding Farms

 

 

 

Notable Neighbors in New Castle

 

 

Our Quaker Heritage

 

 

 

Sears Roebuck Homes in New Castle

 

 

 

 

Sept. 11, 2001 A Tribute To Heroes

 

 

 

 

The Chappaqua Schools

 

 

 

The Disasters of New Castle

 

 

 

The Hilltoppers

 

 

 

 

Transportation in New Castle

 

 

 

Walking the Woods on Greeley’s Homestead

 

 

 

 

 

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A New Station Then and Now

Date of Exhibit: 2002

Description: This exhibition discusses the development of the train station in the town of Chappaqua, and the role of Gabrielle Greeley Clendenin in its establishment. In 1901, Chappaqua faced a divide between the “Outlanders” and the native Chappaqua residents regarding a new railroad station. The “Outlanders” sought a station surrounded by beautiful scenery in “Greeley’s Swamp,” while the natives wanted it to be placed on the old site, in the bustling heart of the village. Gabrielle Greeley Clendenin, Horace Greeley’s youngest daughter, and her husband, Rev. F. M. Clendenin, offered land for the new station on Greeley Avenue and soon enough, 400 out of the 600 residents of Chappaqua signed a petition to support this site. The station opened on June 14th, 1902, and later on, a parking area was added on the west side as automobiles became common.

Key Words: Chappaqua Railroad Station, Gabrielle Greeley, Rev. F. M. Clendenin, Greeley’s Swamp, Outlanders, Natives, Greeley Avenue, Petition, Train Station

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Please email director@newcastlehs.org for a downloadable PDF version of the exhibition.

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A Stroll Down Town Then and Now

Date of Exhibit: 1998

Description: In 1885, town officials asked Gabrielle Greeley Clendenin, Horace Greeley’s daughter, if a road could be built through the family farm. This road would create a more direct route from Chappaqua to Pleasantville by connecting King Street to Bedford Road (now, Route 117). In 1902, The Clendenins agreed to donate the land and soon enough, South Greeley Avenue was created. Beginning in the late 1920s, the village developed further, including the building of The Horace Greeley School (now Bell Middle School) on South Greeley Avenue and the Route 120 Bridge over the railroad tracks. In the 1930s, King Street’s stretch of houses gradually changed as well: the houses were converted to a dancing school, a funeral parlor, a winter shop, a bakery, and real estate offices. “The Top of the Hill,” now the intersection between Bedford Road and King Street, once contained The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and the District Four School, but which were converted to a restaurant and a Town Hall. Old general stores on Lower King Street were converted to modern grocery stores, drug stores, and shops. This exhibition explores the many changes that occurred in the layout of Chappaqua from the late 19th century through to the present.

Key Words: Route 117, Route 120 Bridge, Gabrielle Greeley Clendenin, King Street, Bedford Road,  Top of the Hill, South Greeley Avenue, Bell Middle School, Pleasantville, Chappaqua, Down Town Chappaqua, Chappaqua History, New Castle History

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American Victorian Women

Date of Exhibit: 2004

Description: This exhibition examines the changes and development of American women’s fashion in the second half of the 19th century. In the second half of the 1860s, as women became more involved in activities outside the home, fashion shifted to allow for greater mobility, which led to the development of the “walking dress.” However, in the 1870s, aesthetics for women’s bodies shifted to a flattened pencil-shape, and the resulting clothes became highly restrictive, enabling the women who wore to take only small steps. From the 1880s to 1890s, another shift in trends saw women begin to wear bustles, a structure worn to create a framework and fuller shape underneath dresses and skirts as well as to prevent it from dragging. Dresses had multiple layers which weighed over ten pounds; therefore, bustles only slightly increased mobility. And finally, in the 1890s the hourglass figure figure was introduced, characterized by balloon-like sleeves and widened skirts, which gave the appearance of two separate pieces joined in the middle. The exhibition also includes the Greeley Wedding Veil, worn first by Gabrielle Greeley Clendenin and then by her descendants, as well as various Victorian accessories.

Key Words: Women’s Clothing, Bustles, Walking Dresses, Train Dresses, Hourglass Figure, The Greeley Wedding Veil, Victorian, Women’s Fashion, 19th century fashion,

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Bill Clinton: Our Neighbor

Date of Exhibit: 2004

Description: In November 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, purchased a Colonial house once named “Little Brook Farm,” located on Old House Lane in Chappaqua. The Secret Service was granted a headquarters at the Bedford Road Firehouse of the Chappaqua Fire Department, close to the Clinton’s home. Since the beginning of their residency, the Clintons have dedicated much time to visiting locations in the community such as Horace Greeley High School, Robert. E. Bell School, and the New Castle Historical Society. They have also visited other local businesses such as Lange’s Little Store, Aesop’s Fable, and Squires. The Clintons are seen in town frequently–appearing at the Douglas Grafflin Elementary School on election days to marching in the annual Memorial Day Parade. This exhibition explores the relationship of the Clintons to Chappaqua and their involvement in the community.

Key Words: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Colonial House, Little Brook Farm, Old House Lane, Chappaqua, Secret Service, Bedford Road Firehouse, Memorial Day Parade, New Castle Historical Society, The Clintons

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Chappaqua Garden Club 80 Bloomin’Years

Date of Exhibit: 2008

Description: The Chappaqua Garden Club, founded at the home of Mrs. Henry Van Praag in 1928, has dedicated its time to enhancing the beauty of Chappaqua by landscaping, funding plantings, and carrying out flower shows, plant sales, and trips to gardens. In the 1940s to 1950s, the club placed flower boxes in the Greeley School (now the Robert E. Bell Middle School) and plantings around the Roaring Brook School. In the 1970s to 1980s, the Club was responsible for the landscaping of the New Town Hall, the library landscaping, and the trees at the train station. Since then, the Club has donated trees throughout downtown Chappaqua and Pocket Park. This exhibition celebrates the Garden Club and its important role in beautifying the town, which continues on to this day.

Key Words: The Chappaqua Garden Club, Mrs. Henry Van Praag, Town Hall, Chappaqua Library, Flower Boxes, Bell Middle School, Flower Shows, Plant Sales, New Town Hall, Library Landscaping, Chappaqua Clubs

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Girl Scouts in New Castle 

Date of Exhibit: 2007

Description: This exhibition explores the role of the Girl Scouts in Chappaqua and their service to the community and the country at large. In 1937, The Chappaqua Girl Scout Council first registered with the National Council, creating the New Castle Girl Scouts. Over 300 girls joined the first year and began to carry out community service by hosting annual fund drives and raising money for U.S. troops fighting in World War II. In 1961, a development project for the popular Girl Scout camp called “Edith Macy,” was funded by cookie sales. Girl Scout traditions live on today as troops participate in community service and activities such as square dancing, sing-alongs, camping, parades, cookie sales, and strive for their Gold Award.

Key Words: Chappaqua Girl Scout Council, New Castle Girl Scouts, Edith Macy, National Council, Community Service, Gold Award, Girl Scout Cookies, Camping, Parades, Girl Scouts of America, Chappaqua History, New Castle History

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Horace Greeley His Times

Date of Exhibit: 2002

Description: This exhibition details the life and times of one of New Castle’s most celebrated residents, Horace Greeley, who made his country home in Chappaqua from 1853 until his death in 1872. Greeley was the founder and editor of the New York Tribune, an enormously influential and well-respected newspaper in an era when most papers were either scandal sheets or political “organs.” Greeley was also deeply involved in the major issues and events of his day. He championed women’s rights and labor unions, and attacked slavery. He was a founder of the Republican Party and played major roles in the nomination, election, and re-election of Abraham Lincoln as President. And in 1872, he himself ran for president, against Ulysses S. Grant. The exhibition also explores the music, clothing, and popular activities of the period.

Key Words: Horace Greeley, The New Yorker, The Whig Party, The New York Tribune, New Castle, Grant, Republican Party, Election, Abraham Lincoln, President, Chappaqua History, New Castle History

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 I Had a Farm in Chappaqua

Date of Exhibit: 1999

Description: This exhibition examines the homes that Horace Greeley built in the town of Chappaqua for himself and his family, and how he balanced working on them with working on his paper. Greeley, founder and editor of the New York Tribune, and later a candidate for president of the United States, started to acquire property in Chappaqua for a summer home in 1852. He and his wife, Mary, bought 25 acres to start and later expanded their holdings to about 78 acres, located near the railroad station and including much of what is now the downtown village. The Greeleys’ first home was the House in the Woods, a relatively small house located near the “brawling brook” at the southern boundary of the property. In 1864, the Greeleys moved to a bigger home, the present Horace Greeley House on King Street, and before their deaths in 1872 they built the even larger Side Hill House, near what is now the front entrance of the Robert E. Bell Middle School. Greeley was by necessity a gentleman farmer. Although he lived within walking distance of the Chappaqua railroad station, the total trip to the downtown Tribune office took over two hours, so he couldn’t commute daily. Instead, he would come up on Friday night, spend Saturday here, and return to the city on Sunday to prepare the Monday issue. He nonetheless spent much time, effort, and, especially, money trying to turn the land into a productive farm.

Key Words: The Horace Greeley House, Horace Greeley, Mary Greeley, House in the Woods, Brawling Brook, King Street, Bell Middle School, Chappaqua, Victorian house, New Castle Farmland, New York Tribune, Chappaqua History

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New Castle’s Beginnings – Our Founding Farms


Date of Exhibit: 2013

Description: Over 350 years ago, Westchester County was occupied by the Wappinger Confederacy which consisted of nine Native American tribes. New Castle was populated by the Sint-Sincks, Tankitekes, and Siwanoys. In 1696, Quakers arrived in New Castle and established a settlement there. Colonel Caleb Heathcote purchased all of present New Castle from both European settlers and Native peoples for 100 pounds. Eventually, the railroad arrived in New Castle, which made the transportation of agricultural products to NYC markets easier and faster than ever before. This exhibition looks at the farms which comprised the roots of the community of New Castle, and how they grew and developed from their origins to today.

Key Words: Westchester County, Wappinger Confederacy, Native American Tribes, Sint-Sincks, Tankitekes, Siwanoys, Quakers, New Castle, Colonel Caleb Heathcote, New Castle History, Native Americans in New York, Westchester Native Americans

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Notable Neighbors in New Castle


Date of Exhibit: 2014

Description: New Castle has a lot of pride for its talented and recognized residents who have made significant contributions to American culture and society. These residents include Eric and Justin Stangel, who became writers for The Late Show with David Letterman, George Gershwin, who composed “Rhapsody in Blue” in 1924, and Marc Randolph became the founder of Netflix. Notable politicians and others involved in government who resided in Chappaqua include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Andrew Cuomo. Suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, who was instrumental in the passage of the 19th amendment, also made her home here in the early 20th century. Famous actors and actresses include Ben Stiller, Vanessa Williams, and Betty White. Learn about these residents, and many more, in this exhibition.

Key Words: New Castle Residents, Famous New Castle Residents, New Castle Actors, Famous Actresses from Westchester, Politicians from Westchester, Artists from Westchester, Authors from Westchester, Famous people from Westchester County, Famous New Yorkers, The Clintons

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Please email director@newcastlehs.org for a downloadable PDF version of the exhibition. A full list of notable residents is also available.

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Our Quaker Heritage


Date of Exhibit: 1998

Description: The first European settlers in the New Castle area were mainly members of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers. They believed that every human being shared a part of the divine spirit – which they referred to as the Light Within. As a result, they also believed that all people were equal regardless of race or sex, and that taking part in war was sinful. In the early 1730s, Quaker families began to make their way into what was then northwest North Castle and would later become New Castle. By 1753, the local Quakers were significant in population, and built a small meetinghouse of their own in an area of North Castle they called Shapiqua. Abel Weeks, John Cornell, and Moses Quinby were appointed by Purchase Meeting to supervise the construction. The meetinghouse became the nucleus of the first village of Chappaqua. Enlarged after the Revolution, the Chappaqua Friends’ Meeting House still exists, together with several of the early Quaker homes along Quaker Road. This exhibition illustrates the importance of the Quakers to the development of New Castle and their legacy.

Key Words: Quaker Heritage, Religious Society of Friends, New Castle, Shapiqua, Abel Weeks, John Cornell, Moses Quinby, Central Meeting House, The Chappaqua Mountain Institute, Chappaqua Quakers, Westchester Quakers, Quakers in New York

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Sears, Roebuck Homes in New Castle

 

Date of Exhibit: 2008

Description: This exhibition looks at a method of home construction that developed in the first half of the twentieth century and became popular throughout Westchester County. From 1908 to 1940, Sears Roebuck and Company sold about 100,000 homes through its modern catalog, which had to be assembled from a kit. People would choose from over 400 designed models and could meet with salespeople in 1 of the 48 sales offices in the country to modify their orders. The kits were shipped by railroad boxcars, constructed, and when finished, the key characteristics of the houses included narrow windows in the front of the entrance, two floors of living space, porches, and unique chimneys. These homes were very prevalent in Westchester County, particularly in New Castle and Pleasantville.

Key Words: Sears Roebuck and Company, Modern Catalog, Railroad Boxcars, Westchester Houses, Westchester County, Saw Mill River Road, New Castle, Pleasantville, 20th Century Homes in New York

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Sept 11, 2001 A Tribute To Heroes

Date of Exhibit: 2004

Description: After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, a historic chapel, St. Paul’s Chapel at Ground Zero, offered its help to New York City. The Chapel was converted to a 24-hour a day refuge which provided food and rest for the heroic firefighters, police, and emergency workers. Every surface of the church’s interior contained beautiful cards, banners, art, and messages sent to New York from people all over the world to show their love, support, and prayers during the tragedy. This exhibition pays tribute to those brave people who risked so much to save others as well as to those who offered help and support on such a tragic day in our nation’s history.

Key Words: 9/11, World Trade Center, St. Paul’s Chapel, Heroes, Ground Zero, Refuge, Emergency workers, church, New York, Tragedy, Westchester aid For 9/11, New Castle 9/11

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Please email director@newcastlehs.org for a downloadable PDF version of the exhibition.

 

 

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The Chappaqua Schools

Date of Exhibit: 2003

Description: This exhibition describes how the education system developed in Chappaqua from its humblest beginnings to its place today.The beginning of the New Castle education system dates back to 1795, when the State Legislature passed an act to support public school education. At this time, the Westchester County Board of Supervisors gave the Town of New Castle 61 pounds (around $7,000 dollars today) to fund this. New Castle operated eight common school districts, which remained largely the same for nearly 100 years. Early schools were minimal, usually in one room houses, and remained limited and small even until the 1920s; some students even decided to attend high school in Mount Kisco or Pleasantville. In 1926, the district voted to build the Horace Greeley School, which is now named Robert E. Bell School, after the district principal. In 1962, Grafflin School was established and named after Douglas G. Grafflin, who succeeded Bell as principal and pushed forward efforts to establish a library program and a focus on the arts and music.

Key Words: New Castle Education System, Westchester Public Schools, New Castle Board of Supervisors, Town of New Castle, Horace Greeley High School, Robert E. Bell School, Grafflin School, Seven Bridges Middle School, Pleasantville, Mount Kisco, 20th Century Schools NY

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Please email director@newcastlehs.org for a downloadable PDF version of the exhibition.

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The Disasters of New Castle

Date of Exhibit: 2003

Description: Learn about the disasters, both natural and man-made, which affected the New Castle community in the 20th century in this exhibition. One of the first recorded disasters in New Castle was the Cyclone of 1904, which started west of the Hudson River and hit Chappaqua’s Quaker Street with high winds and hail that destroyed houses, killed animals, and shredded furniture and wagons to pieces. Soon after, the Great Train Wreck of 1907 occurred due to the inability of the work crew to finish installing a new switch before the train arrived in the Chappaqua station. The engine hit the loose switch, bending rails and tearing up ties, and finally landing on its side; luckily, there were no serious injuries. The Floods of 1955 and 1975 poured through downtown Chappaqua and damaged stores as a result of a poor drainage system, which was later fixed in the 1980’s. Tropical Storm Floyd of 1999 gave heavy rains and wind which wreaked havoc on the infrastructure of the town, damaging the dam, the bridge over the Saw Mill River, and the roads.

Key Words: Quaker Street, The Cyclone of 1904,  Hudson River, The Great Train Wreck of 1907, The Floods of 1955 and 1975, Tropical Storm Floyd, Saw Mill River, Drainage System, Westchester Natural Disasters, Natural Disasters NY, 20th Century Natural Disasters, NY Train Crashes

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Please email director@newcastlehs.org for a downloadable PDF version of the exhibition.

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The Hilltoppers

Date of Exhibit: 2000

Description: Discover the grand mansions of early twentieth century Chappaqua in this exhibition on the the “Hilltopper” estates.After the New York and Harlem Railroad began to provide fast and convenient transportation between the city and northern Westchester, affluent New Yorkers began to establish country homes in New Castle. Among the first of these was Horace Greeley, who started buying his Chappaqua farm in 1852. But there were only a few such owners until the early 1900s, when wealthy city businessmen bought up former farms to assemble into large estates, where they built imposing mansions to match. They were known locally as “hilltoppers,” because many of them chose to place their homes on the crests of hills, with commanding views of the surrounding countryside.

Key Words: Country Homes, New York and Harlem Railroad, Westchester, Hilltoppers, New Castle Farm Estates, Horace Greeley, Roaring Brook Farm, The Orchards, Westchester Countryside

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Please email director@newcastlehs.org for a downloadable PDF version of the exhibition.

 

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Transportation in New Castle

Date of Exhibit: 2004

Description: This exhibition further considers the development of methods of transport in Chappaqua, and its growing connections to New York City. 350 years ago, the Tankitekes tribe occupied parts of New Castle, and their trails set up the pathways for later major roads such as Route 100. When the Europeans and Quakers arrived, roads began to be built including Quaker Road (Route 120). Many of these early roads were likely used by Washington and Hamilton during the American Revolution. The New York and Harlem Railroad made its way to New Castle in 1846, which prompted industrial development and provided transportation to New York City. The introduction of cars in the early 1900s furthered the growth of New Castle dramatically. By 1943, the Saw Mill River Parkway was built, allowing for easier and faster access to New York City.

Key Words: Tankitekes, Route 100, New Castle Roads, Quaker Road, Route 120, The Saw Mill River Parkway, New York and Harlem Railroad, Industrial Development, New York City, Railroad, Quakers, Westchester Railroads

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Please email director@newcastlehs.org for a downloadable PDF version of the exhibition.

 

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Walking the Woods on Greeley’s Homestead

Date of Exhibit: 2002

Description: This exhibition details the land that once comprised the Greeley estate and what it looked like in his time and today. Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the New York Tribune, and later a candidate for president of the United States, started to acquire property in Chappaqua for a summer home in 1852. He and his wife, Mary, bought 25 acres to start and later expanded their holdings to about 78 acres, located near the railroad station and including much of what is now the downtown village. Greeley’s land contained scenic woods, a brook, a barn, a dam, rustic bridges, homes, and outbuildings.

Key Words: Greeley’s “House in the Woods,” Rehoboth, Horace Greeley House, Greeley Farm, Greeley’s Homestead, Acres, Downtown Chappaqua, Barn, New Castle History

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Please email director@newcastlehs.org for a downloadable PDF version of the exhibition.

 

 

 

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