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Your Membership Dues at Work: Spotlight on Conservation Projects at the NCHS
To Protect, Preserve, and Make Publicly Accessible
Your support of the New Castle Historical Society is crucial for us to continue our work of preserving New Castle’s history for future generations.
Your membership gift enables us to take on preservation projects, such as the conservation of a rare American Sampler, created by New Castle resident Abigail Underhill in 1800.
The above sampler is considered rare due to its excellent condition and age. The NCHS was able to conserve the sampler through generous funding from our members and grant funding from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network Conservation Treatment Program.
The maker, Abigail Underhill, created the sampler while she attended 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 New York’s first co-educational boarding and day school. The Textile Conservation Workshop, located in South Salem, New York, completed the delicate conservation of this exquisite piece.
In addition to conserving and housing Abigail Underhill’s sampler, we currently preserve over 3,500 local artifacts and objects related to New Castle’s history for the public trust. Due to your support, we are able:
- to provide environmentally controlled conditions for these artifacts in our headquarters, the Horace Greeley House, a preserved local historic landmark,
- to work with a trained archivist to organize, catalog, and assess these objects four times per month,
- and to make these objects available for public research and viewing.
Not only do we utilize these historic artifacts for research, but we also share them with our visitors by displaying them in rotating exhibitions and education programs.
Due to your generosity, and funding through several grant programs, we’ve been fortunate to conserve dozens of books, ledgers, and paintings over the past decade alone. In addition to the conservation of these smaller historic objects, the historical society also manages a member-funded program to preserve and conserve all of New Castle’s local family graveyards.
In the next two years, the historical society plans to conserve Horace Greeley’s umbrella, several historic letters, and a memorial book presented to the Greeley Family by the Common Council of the City of New York upon Horace Greeley’s death in 1872. In addition to these conservation projects, we plan to begin the process of digitizing our 1,000+ historic photograph collection—with the ultimate goal of making these available to the public through an online database.
Your participation in our membership program makes it possible for us to protect, preserve, and make publicly accessible these historic treasures. We are halfway through our Museum Membership Month—having raised $4,800 of our $30,000 goal. This is a great start, but we still have a long way to go! You may join or renew here: https://www.newcastlehs.org/join-support/membership/
We hope you will consider joining or renewing your membership in the historical society today—as we advance our pursuit of preserving local historical treasures, large and small.
Cassie Ward, NCHS Executive Director