Hyde Park Historical Society
4389 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Open: Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm/Monday-Friday Closed/Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm
My review on TripAdvisor:
The Hyde Park Historical Society is going through a type of rebirth as it has reopened with a fresh approach towards not just the history of Hyde Park, NY but the area in general and life here over the last two hundred years. The society is taking a new direction and revamping their efforts on the displays and on the history and activities of the museum. The museum is housed in what was once the Hyde Park, NY Fire Department building.
The museum is broken down into sections by displays. When you enter the museum there is an display of bicycles and recreation items that would have been used over the years. This activity changed the social life of both men and women of that era.
Next to it was the history of the Hyde Park Fire Department with pictures of companies of fire fighters and all sorts of memorabilia. There are pictures of former fire companies including the ones that were once housed in the museum building.
The Hyde Park Fire Department:
Across from that, there is a display called “Daily Life” which was the history of the town with homes and businesses in the area at that time. There were all sorts of pictures of prominent families and their day to day activities.
Daily life in Hyde Park, NY for the Middle class members of the community
Luxury items of the Gilded Age
There was all sorts of objects from the bills of sale of homes, household items and there is an wonderful display of accessories from the Victorian era.
The front room of the museum is dedicated to life of the middle to upper-middle class of Hyde Park around the turn of the last century. There is all sorts of clothing, pictures and artifacts from schools, the boy scouts, area schools and there are even sleds and skates from winter recreation sports played on the Hudson River. There are all sorts of athletic equipment, clothing based on sporting or activity event and accessories that were used and worn when participating in all seasonal activities.
Life in Hyde Park, NY
Every day life in Hyde Park, NY
There is a small display from the semi-professional baseball team that used to be located in Hyde Park with pictures, equipment and uniforms. It seemed that semi-professional baseball was a big entertainment and community event in years past in Hyde Park, NY.
The Hyde Park baseball team
There are also items in a small war display that is circa WWI. Many artifacts were donated by families whose members fought in the war.
The second small room in the back is dedicated to communication equipment from WWII and pictures of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was the President at the time as well as a prominent member of the community. The Roosevelts had lived in the Hudson River Valley for generations.
There are several important pieces of war time equipment located here.
There is also a display of farm equipment showing off the areas agricultural past and present. This is still a major farming area as you head north of Rhinebeck, NY.
The back room is dedicated to clothing and wardrobe items like dresses, hats and spinning items.
There are a few portraits of local residents as well.
This shows the change of clothing from when Dutch women would spin their wool for clothing to buying ready to wear items in the local department and specialty stores that dotted towns like Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie.
The display also shows the manner of dress went from the Victorian era to the Jazz Age and the changes in just ten years.
Hats from various ages
Here and there are other items that relate to daily living and a prosperous life in Hyde Park, NY. The museum is well lit and very well organized and signed so it makes viewing the displays a pleasure. It is a treasure trove of artifacts and information and insights to the life of Rhinebeck NY at that time. This display was on the Hype Park School System.
Everyday life in the schools in Hyde Park and Rhinebeck, NY
The History of the Hyde Park Historical Society:
(From the museum’s pamphlet):
The Hyde Park Firehouse:
As indicated by the engraved stone lintels over the engine bays, the firehouse that the museum is housed in was built in 1905 for the Eagle Engine Company founded in 1845 and the Rescue Hook & Ladder Company (1866), separate companies whose volunteer members included Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The old Hyde Park Firehouse serves as the museum
Designed by Poughkeepsie architect William Beardsley, the Renaissance Revival style brick building features a cast iron cornice and a bas relief decoration above the third story windows.
You can find all sorts of items at the museum. It contains lots of local pictures and artifacts. In the Textile Room, you can find a hat box labeled Mrs. James Roosevelt, a spinning wheel and period apparel.
In the Research Room, you can search your family and friends’ history, look at local tools of trade and maps of Dutchess County in the 1700’s.