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Additional Resources

Below is a listing of organizations and non-profit groups which focus on Westchester/Putnam/Dutchess County history. (For organizations spanning multiple counties, they are listed in the county they are based in.)

WESTCHESTER COUNTY

Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct
15 Walnut Street
Dobbs Ferry, NY USA 10522-2109

Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct is a private, non-profit volunteer organization formed to protect and preserve the Old Croton Aqueduct. The Friends work to raise public awareness of the Aqueduct and trail and to secure the resources that will enable this historic greenway to remain unspoiled in perpetuity.

Mount Pleasant Historical Society
One Town Hall Plaza
Valhalla, NY 10595

Tarrytown Historical Society
1 Grove Street, Tarrytown, NY 10591
(914) 631-8374
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday: 2-4 p.m.

Westchester County Historical Society
2199 Saw Mill River Road
Elmsford, NY 10523
(914) 592-4323

Founded in 1874, the WCHS is a member-based, not-for-profit agency which collects and preserves books and pamphlets, maps, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, and periodicals pertaining to the history of Westchester County.

Library Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am-4pm. Office Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9:30am-5pm. (NOTE: Only open to the public for research during library hours.)

PUTNAM COUNTY

Old Road Society of Philipstown

The Old Albany Post Road in the Town of Philipstown is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The 6.6 mile section of dirt road has been recognized as one of the oldest unpaved roads in the nation still in use.

Putnam County Historical Society
and Foundry School Museum
63 Chestnut Street
Cold Spring, NY 10516
(845) 265-4010

The Putnam County Historical Society was founded in 1906 by a group of prominent Philipstown residents. In 1960, the society acquired the Foundry School building, which was built circa 1830 and used for the education of the foundry's teenage apprentices and its employees' children. The purpose of the society is to collect, preserve, and present to the public historical and cultural materials pertaining to Putnam County, especially the Philipstown area, the West Point Foundry, and the Hudson Highlands.

The society is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 to 5. The library is open for research by appointment only. Call 845-265-4010 for more information.

Dutchess County

Bannerman's Castle Trust
P.O. Box 843
Glenham, NY 12527-0843

The Bannerman Castle Trust is a non-profit organization working with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Trust is dedicated to preserving and protecting Bannerman Island for the public to experience as an educational, cultural, historical and recreational facility for promoting heritage tourism.

Tours of Bannerman's Island are available through Pride of the Hudson.

Beacon Historical Society
Howland Cultural Center
477 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508
Mailing address:
PO Box 89
Beacon, NY 12508

The Howland Cultural Center was originally built as a library in 1872, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Society's mission is to discover, obtain and preserve whatever relates to the history of Beacon and to foster awareness, appreciation and interest in local history. The collections include several hundred photographs, archival materials, oral histories on videos of local men going to WW II (from original film), newspapers from 1852 to the present, and maps.

The Center is open Thursday from 10am–12pm, and Saturdays from 1pm–3pm. Research access is by written request.

Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society
PO Box 1248
Beacon, New York 12508

A group dedicated to restoration of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway.


BREAK NECK

Break Neck was a small collection of houses on the east bank of the Hudson, about two miles north of Cold Spring, through which the River-road runs to Fishkill Landing. Many of the best stone-quarries in this town were located there; also the brick-yard of Clark, Esq., and a short distance south of it, the brick-yard belonging to the estate of Daniel Fowler, deceased. These are the only places where brick was manufactured in this town. It takes its name from Break Neck Hill, at the southern base of which it lies. There was a dock, erected by the Harlem High Bridge Company, who rented from Messrs. Howard & Haldane, a few years since, their stone-quarries and the adjacent land, from which a greater part of the stone at this place was shipped.

Breakneck Quarry was known in the 1830s as Blunt's Quarry, then as the Highland Granite Company (owned by Howard and Haldane), then the Harlem High Bridge Company. Storm King granite was quarried from the south face of Breakneck Ridge to supply material for the Old Croton Aqueduct (built 1837-48). A rock mass near the top of the south face of Breakneck—known as Turk's Head, Anthony's Face, and Upper Anthony's Nose—was a noted tourist attraction until 1846, when it was dynamited by Captain Deering Ayers, bringing down 10,000 tons of granite with a single blast.

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This page last updated by Xydexx on January 10, 2010.