Greetings from the New Castle Historical Society!

2017 is off to a great start at the Horace Greeley House! Below, please find a quick list of some of our recent endeavors and planned activities:

Grant Award: The NCHS has been awarded $2,500 in grant funding from the Hudson River Valley Greenway Program and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area’s Heritage Development Grant Program for a core exhibition project. Our core exhibition will present a comprehensive overview of New Castle’s history set within the context of the greater Hudson River Valley and New York State historical narratives. This semi-permanent exhibition is set to open February 2018.

Grant Applied: We have applied for a Greater Hudson Heritage Conservation Grant to conserve a rare American sampler in our collection. Abigail Underhill, a New Castle resident, created this sampler while attending the Nine Partners Boarding School in 1800. The school, located in Dutchess County, opened in 1796 to serve Quaker families in the area, and was NY’s first co-educational boarding and day school.

New Audio Tours: With the help of Uni-Guide, a web-based software application that provides audio tours of historic sites and museums throughout the USA, we have launched a self-guided audio tour (available for download on any smartphone or tablet) in the Horace Greeley House Museum. Future plans include creating a similar self-guided walking tour of Horace Greeley’s former farm.

Greeley Family Heirloom – Recent Arrival: Earlier this month, the Greeley House welcomed home Horace Greeley’s “Favorite Chair.” The wing chair, seen below in a photograph at Rehoboth from around the turn-of-the-20th-century, may well have been a family heirloom. Mary Greeley, Horace Greeley’s wife, likely brought this family piece with her when she moved from Connecticut, to New York City, and then later to Chappaqua in the 1850’s. Mary’s father, Silas Cheney, was an important furniture maker in Litchfield, Connecticut, and it is possible that he built the wing chair. According to family tradition, this was Horace’s favorite chair. The chair is a gift of David Chamberlin in honor of Barbara Stahl Edwards.

Votes for Women: 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State. New York State awarded this right to women three years before the 19th Amendment expanded it nationwide. In honor of this significant anniversary, we are hosting a Women’s Suffrage Celebration Garden Party on Friday, September 15th, and opening a special exhibition exploring the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the life of Carrie Chapman Catt, a leading suffragist and a former New Castle resident.

Ice Cream Social and Summer Games: We would also like to invite everyone to join us at the Greeley House for our first annual “Ice Cream Social and Summer Games” celebration on Wednesday, June 21st, from 12 pm – 2:30 pm. Celebrate the end of the school year and the official start to summer by making your own historic ice cream and by playing Colonial and Victorian games with us!

As always, please feel free to call or email me with any of your ideas for the NCHS. It is my personal and professional goal to ensure that all of us at the NCHS are providing you – our members, supporters, and community – with engaging and useful historical services and programs.

Enjoy the spring everyone!


Cassie Ward

Cassie Ward
Executive Director
New Castle Historical Society