Cummer Museum 829 Riverside Avenue Jacksonville, Florida 32204

Cummer Museum 829 Riverside Avenue Jacksonville, Florida 32204

Cummer Museum

829 Riverside Avenue

Jacksonville, Florida  32204

(904) 356-6875

cummermuseum.org

https://www.cummermuseum.org/

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-4:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday & Friday 11:00am-9:00pm/Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday 11:00am-4:00pm

Fee: Adults $10.00/Seniors and Students (with valid ID) $6.00/Children under 5 and Members Free

 

I recently went Jacksonville, Florida while visiting relatives and spent time at the Cummer Museum which is in the Five Points section of the City. This small museum by the water offers galleries full of interesting art as well as beautiful gardens to stroll through when you are finished.

There were some interesting exhibitions to visit when we were there. The ‘Lewis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection’ showcased the artist’s works from glasses and tableware to a series of his famous lamps. These colorful works were sometimes lit so that you could see the intensity of the colors in the glass design.

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The Louis Comfort Tiffany display

Another interesting exhibition in the museum was the ‘Innovation and Imagination: The Global Dialogue in Mid to Late 20th Century Art’ showing the shift of the art world innovations from Paris to New York following World War II. Pop Art, Cubism and Modern art were displayed and it showed a range of styles of the artists some borrowing from more famous counterparts.

We also enjoyed visiting the Permanent Collection of the museum. The Cummer Family Parlor showed the family’s taste in furnishings and decoration to their home. A lot of late Victorian furniture is shown here.

The small showing of works in the Ancient Art Gallery displayed art from the Greek and Roman worlds and a few small items from Egypt.

The Gardens were the one thing that stood out. On a beautiful day there is nothing like strolling through the pathways along the tree lined stone ways. Most of the gardens had been damaged during Hurricane Irene so there is a lot of rebuilding going on.

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The pathway leading from the museum to the gardens

Along the river though are the gardens designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead for the museum grounds. These gardens are currently being renovated but you can still see the traces being redone in their updated form.

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It is best to visit the museum on a nice day to enjoy both the inside and outside of the museum.

 

History of the Cummer Museum & Gardens:

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is the culmination of the civic, social and business involvement of a remarkable family. The Cummer’s came from a long line of lumber barons, whose business interests began in Canada before branching out to Michigan, Virginia and Florida. As early as 1890, Wellington Willson Cummer (1846-1909) recognized the value of Florida cypress and prolific stands of pine timberlands in the state. After relocating his family from Morley, Michigan to Jacksonville, Florida, he went on to found the Cummer Lumber Company in 1896. Among his many feats, Wellington built a railroad for transporting lumber from the low country of Florida to Jacksonville, where the mills and distribution centers were located.

His sons, Arthur and Waldo Cummer, along with his son-in-law, John L. Roe, all of whom came up through the ranks in the family business, assumed control of the company after Wellington’s death in 1909.

In 1902, Mr. and Mrs. Cummer began constructing a large English Tudor Revival house, replete with exterior half- timbering and richly carved interior paneling. Situated on Riverside Avenue, the home was part of the close-knit family compound of three houses with adjacent gardens and the construction of the Cummer house led to Mrs. Cummer’s masterminding of her gardens. The development of the gardens would remain her passion until the time of Mr. Cummer’s death, with her focus expanding to the establishment of city parks for public access to the open environments. Today, the Cummer Gardens are one of the most popular locations in the city and visitors enjoy their beauty.

(Taken from the Cummer Museum History website)

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Cummer Museum History website and I give them full credit for the information.

 

 

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World/New York University                         15 East 84th Street  New York, NY 10028

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World/New York University 15 East 84th Street New York, NY 10028

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World/New York University

15 East 84th Street

New York, NY  10028

(212) 992-7800/Fax (212) 992-7809

http://www.isaw.nyc.edu

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d1572637-Reviews-Institute_for_the_Study_of_the_Ancient_World-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I just happened to stumble across this museum on the way back from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw that they were having an exhibition entitled “A Wonder to Behold: Craftsmanship and the Creation of Babylon’s Ishtar Gate”. The exhibition is on the craftsman who created the ‘Ishtar Gate’ and the ‘Processional Way’ in the Ancient City of Babylon.

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Glazed brick art from the ‘Processional Way’

The small exhibition contains many examples of clay bricks that were used to build the decorative walls and pathways, artwork from the ‘Processional Way’ were displayed as well as smaller decorative art pieces from the time period.

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Some of the works in the exhibition

The exhibition also showed tablets from the time period, information on the digs on the site of Babylon and some of the recorded history of the civilization.

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There are interesting tablets on display

For two small rooms of gallery space, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World covers a lot of information on the time period. One nice thing about the museum is that you can see the whole exhibit in less than an hour and they do have a very nice gift shop.

The History of the Museum:

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World is a center for advanced scholarly research and graduate education, which aims to encourage particularly the study of the economic, religious, political and cultural connections between ancient civilizations. It offers both doctoral and postdoctoral programs with the aim of training a new generation of scholars who will enter the global academic community and become intellectual leaders.

In effort to embrace a truly inclusive geographical scope while maintaining continuity and coherence, the Institute focuses on the shared and overlapping periods in the development of cultures and civilizations around the Mediterranean basin and across central Asia to the Pacific Ocean. The approaches of anthropology, archaeology, geography, geology, history, economics, sociology, art history, digital humanities and the history of science and technology are as integral to the enterprise as the study of texts, philosophy and the analysis of artifacts. The Institute’s Director and permanent faculty determine particular directions of research but both historical connections and patterns as well as socially illuminating comparisons will always be central to its mission.

The public presence matches its vision, engaging both the public and scholars worldwide in the work and findings of its scholarly community. Exhibitions, public lectures, publications, digital resources and other programs reflect the Institute’s ideal of study that bridges disciplines and ancient peoples.

The creation of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University has its roots in the passion that Shelby White and Leon Levy had for the art and history of the ancient world, which led them to envision an Institute that would offer an unshuttered view of antiquity across vast stretches of time and place. It was founded in 2006 with funding from the Leon Levy Foundation.

Areas of specialty among the museum’s faculty include the Greco-Roman world, the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Central Asia and the Silk Road, East Asian art and archaeology, Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, ancient science and digital humanities.

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the museum’s website and I give them full credit for it.

Blairstown Museum 26 Main Street/ Friday the 13th Museum  27 Main Street Blairstown, NJ 07825

Blairstown Museum 26 Main Street/ Friday the 13th Museum 27 Main Street Blairstown, NJ 07825

Blairstown Museum

26 Main Street

Friday the 13th Museum

27 Main Street

Blairstown, NJ  07825

(908) 362-1371

http://www.Blairstownmuseum.com

Open: Sunday-Thursday Closed/ Friday & Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Free but a donation is suggested

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46308-d11627031-Reviews-Blairstown_Museum-Blairstown_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Blairstown Museum is a facility housing the history of the town of Blairstown and the surrounding area. The interesting part of this museum is that it is not run by the town but by a local couple, Janette and Frank Iurato, who moved to the area in 2013 and took an interest in the history of the town. The museum was founded in 2015 and opened in 2016. The museum is actually two different museums.

The first one is the Blairstown Historical Museum that covers the history of the town. This museum concentrates on the history of the founding of the town and the residents in it. While I was visiting, there was an interesting exhibition on the Blair Family who had married into the Charles Scribner Publishing family and a little history behind the two families. There was another exhibition on John Insley Blair, one of the residents and a self-made businessman and entrepreneur, for whom the town and the private school are named after.

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The Howell and Dutot exhibition

Another exhibition was on local resident, Robert Parsons Howell, who had moved to Havana, Cuba at the turn of the last century. The exhibition was on the development of the early railroads. There was an exhibition on the early resort history of the area by the Delaware Water Gap by Hotelier Antoine Dutot, who ran the Kittatinny Hotel resort in the late 1880’s. The last exhibition was on the history and creation of Victorian furniture. The exhibition discussed how it was created and how it developed.

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The museum has changing exhibitions

The second museum is across the street at 27 Main Street and that museum is dedicated to the movie “Friday the 13th” that was shot in the town in 1979. This part of the museum is dedicated to the first film and subsequent films. The couple is collecting artifacts from the films (which there were not much since it was shot on location). On display are items signed by stars of the first film, Adrienne King and Ari Lehman, picture stills from the film and what I thought was interesting were the bar stools from the luncheonette from the second scene of the film and the original ‘Diner’ sign from the Blairstown Diner before the restaurant’s renovation.

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“Friday the 13th” from 1980

What is also nice is that the Iurato’s have a small gift shop with items made by local artists that the have the iconic logo with the ‘Jason Mask’. This part of the museum opened on September 13th of 2019 and the ribbon cutting was done by various members of the cast and crew of the film.

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The ‘Friday the 13th’ exhibition

Both of the museum’s are still collecting artifacts so support their collections but the Iurato family has done a nice job preserving the history of the town and dedicating a whole new branch of the museum to the “Friday the 13th” franchise.

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The cast of the original 1980 film “Friday the 13th”

It is interesting as well to just walk around the town and recognize where the opening scenes of the film were shot. The museum is in the second scene of the film when ‘Annie’ does her walk around the town.

If you are a fan of the film, it is a fun place to stop by when visiting Blairstown, NJ.

 

The History of the Blairstown Museum:

(This information was taken from the museum’s website and I give them full credit for it)

When the Iurato family moved to Blairstown in 2013, they were surprised to find that the township did not have a museum honoring its founders. New residents did not have a central place where they could learn about the people and businesses that shaped the town’s past, how to be good stewards of Blairstown’s Historic District and the rural beauty left in their care.

Originally, the family’s intention for the property at 26 Main Street was to rent the first floor space to a business that would complement the Historic District’s businesses, add to the tourism appeal and increase the overall foot traffic of the area. They were overwhelmed by the amount of people that enthusiastically suggested they establish a museum.

Following eighteen-months of renovations, artifact collecting, historic research, networking with local historians and establishing a non-profit organization, the Blairstown Museum, located at 26 Main Street, opened to rave reviews. On October 1, 2016, nearly 600 people attended the Grand Opening Celebration. Since then, the Museum has offered hundreds of exhibitions, events, programs and tours and has received local, state and federal recognition.

Supported by “Friday the 13th” Franchise Fans, on September 13, 2019, the Museum opened a second location at 27 Main Street to house a year round Friday the 13th exhibition. The Grand Opening Ceremony was attended by Ari Lehman, Tom McLoughlin, Jason Brooks, Vincent DiSanti, Dave Brown and hundreds of fans.

The Museum’s Vision Statement:

In fulfillment of our mission, we have adopted the following Vision Statement: “The Blairstown Museum will be a vibrant social, cultural and economic centerpiece of the town and will be regarded as an entertaining and worthwhile tourist destination. The Museum will be a resource for residents, visitors, historians and educators. The Museum will preserve and catalog important objects and documents and will use those items to provide educational and cultural programs for the public.”

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The Blairstown Museum

The Museum’s Mission Statement:

The Blairstown Museum’s mission is to acquire and collect; research and document; protect and preserve and exhibit and promote the unique history and heritage of the Township of Blairstown for the benefit of residents and visitors. Founded by the Iurato family and managed by a group of dedicated individuals, the Museum is house in a 19th Century building, known as the last remaining structure of “Roy’s Row”.

As the only independent public museum in the Township of Blairstown, the Blairstown Museum is an IRS Certified 501(c)(3), all volunteer, non-profit charitable organization tasked with the responsibility of caring for thousands of items which illustrate the history of the township and its inhabitants, including former resident and founder John Insley Blair. In an effort to help foster heritage tourism throughout the region, our collections are used to interpret the area’s history through permanent and changing exhibits and to educate the public about our history through programs, resource materials and events.

Blairstown Museum staff are charged with providing professional care to the collection, employing standards established by the American Alliance of Museums for the storage, care and exhibit of artifacts in its custody. Historic exhibits are on display on a rotating basis throughout the year. We are committed to expanding the digital display of our collection, in a manner that makes it available as a teaching tool for students, teachers and historians.

Disclaimer: This information on the Blairstown Museum was taken from their website and I give them full credit for the information.

 

The Introduction of the film from 1980 “Friday the 13th”:

New York Aquarium  602 Surf Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11224

New York Aquarium 602 Surf Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11224

New York Aquarium

602 Surf Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11224

(718) 265-3474

http://www.nyaquarium.com

https://nyaquarium.com/

Open: Sunday & Saturday 10:00am-5:30pm/Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Adults $25.00/Children $20.00/Seniors $27.00 (see their website for more details on pricing and times)

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60827-d107414-Reviews-New_York_Aquarium-Brooklyn_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I have been to the NY Aquarium many times since it reopened after Hurricane Sandy and there have been many positive improvements in both the facility and the service. The new Ocean Wonders: Shark! exhibition which has opened up giving an interesting look at the underwater world of the many different types of sharks that dominate the deep.

It is not just a display but also a commentary on the conditions of the deep and the treatment of sharks around the world. There contributions as bottom dwellers cleans our oceans and benefits other fish. It was shocking what the treatment is of these animals in Asia when strip these animals of their fins for soup. I like how professionally the aquarium shows this in their displays and videos and doesn’t preach but offer solutions to the problem.

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The new shark tanks

That and walking through the tanks themselves in the darkened rooms with music makes for a fascinating and almost ominous trip into the ocean behind the walls with the sharks and other mammals and fish swim past you. There is also a small tunnel that you can climb under to watch the fish swim on top of you and past you.

In the Conservation Hall, you will learn all about the fish that dominate and keep our reefs vibrant and what happens when pollution takes over and kills them. Again the aquarium displays this in a positive way, shows how the animals keep the reefs healthy. I point out that there are a lot of colorful fish on display and it is fun to watch the small children yell out to them.

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The underwater tunnels is amazing!

There is a wonderful seal show during the day that you should not miss especially in the warmer months when you can sit in the stands and watch them perform with their trainers. They are more Native New Yorkers than most humans having been born at the aquarium and showing their own pride in their home and abilities.

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This is one of the best stops on the Coney Island Boardwalk

As part of the new building there are also several new eating establishments at the aquarium including the new Oceanside Grill that I have not visited yet (it was closed on my last visit) as well as The New York Bite food truck (which was also not opened). The most impressive restaurant is the Oceanview Bites on the second floor of the Ocean Wonders building. This beautiful new restaurant has an interesting but somewhat routine menu with prices usual to an aquarium but offer the most spectacular views of the ocean and of Coney Island. Do not miss just walking up to the restaurant in the circular pathway for the views alone.

The NY Aquarium is a treat in of itself and a great excuse to visit Coney Island. Don’t miss the rest of the island’s amusements and museums while you are there.

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The NY Aquarium

 

History of the New York Aquarium:

(this information is provided by a combination of the NY Aquarium and Wiki and I give them full credit for the information)

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States, having opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park in Manhattan in 1896. Since 1957, it has been located on the Reigelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island. The aquarium is operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) as part of its integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium, most notably the Bronx Zoo. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

As part of the WCS, the aquarium’s mission is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education and inspiring people to value nature.

The facility occupies 14 acres and boasts 266 species of aquatic wildlife. Its mission is to raise public awareness about issues facing the ocean and its inhabitants with special exhibitions, public events and research. The New York Seascape program, based out of the aquarium, is WCS’s local conservation program designed to restore healthy populations of marine species and protect New York waters, which are vital to the area’s economic and cultural vitality.

On June 6, 1957, the Aquarium opened at its new location in Coney Island. The new site of the New York Aquarium is the home of the WCS New York Seascape program, the society’s research and conservation program focusing on nearby rivers, harbor and ocean from Cape May, NJ to Montauk, Long Island.

The aquarium kept an orca briefly in 1968 and a narwhal in 1969. Both reportedly died of possible pneumonia. The aquarium’s beluga whales were transferred to the Georgia Aquarium in 2007 as part of a breeding program. In September 2011, the aquarium named its new electric eel Wattson and in March 2012, it launched a sea horse breeding program.

In October 2006, the New York Aquarium announced the finalists to a competition to develop a more inviting and visually prominent exterior for the aquarium. In March 2007, the winning design by firms WRT and Cloud 9 was selected, which featured an enclosure resembling a whale over the aquarium. However, in March 2008 that concept was scrapped due to concerns over the a new exhibit based on sharks was announced. The massive 784,000 US gallon exhibition, Ocean Wonders: Sharks! was originally scheduled to break ground in November 2012 and open in 2015. However, the New York Aquarium was significantly damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, which severely flooded the facility and shut down power. A small group of WCS staff who remained onsite during the hurricane were able to save 90% of the animals in the collection. As a result, the exhibition opened June 30, 2018, becoming the first major exhibition at the New York Aquarium to open after Hurricane Sandy.

Disclaimer: this history of the NY Aquarium is taken from Wiki and I give them full credit for this information.

 

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside  3 West Sunnyside Lane Irvington, NY 10533

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside 3 West Sunnyside Lane Irvington, NY 10533

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

3 West Sunnyside Lane

Irvington, NY  10533

(914) 591-8763

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48720-d3680157-Reviews-Sunnyside-Tarrytown_New_York.html?m=19905

 

Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside is open during the warmer months of the year, closing at the end of October. The house looks like a enchanted cottage with almost a fairy like appearance right on the banks of the Hudson River with the most spectacular views of the river valley and the Tappan Zee Bridge in the distance.

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Sunnyside at the end of the summer

The house was designed by architect George Harvey and reflects the Dutch Colonial Revival, Scottish Gothic and Tudor Revival influences with wisteria growing up and around it and a jagged crow stepped gable.

When walking through the home, you will see the study where Washington Irving conducted the business of the house and did his writing. To the other side of the house, you will see the living room and small dining room where the family used to entertain. The upstairs contains small bedrooms where Washington Irving, his brother, Ebeneezer and his five nieces lived on and off when they were living at the house. Washington’s brother’s business had failed and the family came to live with him. Two of the nieces never married and ran the home for their uncle.

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The bedroom at Sunnyside

The house is nicely furnished in the most modern decor of its time but is not an elaborate house. It is a home and not a weekend mansion and this ten acre estate was a once a  working farm. In the back of the house, there is an ice house and a barn show where the people who worked on the estate kept the house running.

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The study of Washington Irving

The view of the river is one of the most spectacular in the Hudson River Valley as its at the widest part of the Hudson River. You can see the cliffs of New Jersey on the other side with views of Nyack and the Tappan Zee Bridge in the background.

During the Fall season there are all sorts of activities going on at the estate and the tours are a very interesting look at life at that time.

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The Sunnyside Kitchen

The History of Sunnyside:

The estate was once the home of Wolfert Acker called Wolfert’s Roost and was part of the Manor of Philipsburg and this home was once a simple two room stone tenant farmhouse built around 1690.

The property came into the hands of the Van Tassel family, who were married into the Eckert family and owned it until 1802. That year, 150 acres were deeded to the family of Benson Ferris, one time clerk of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, whose wife, Maria Acker, was a descendant of Wolfert Acker’s.

In 1832, Washington Irving visited his nephew, Oscar Irving, who lived near the old stone farmhouse and was looking for a home at the time. He purchased the property on June 7, 1835 and would add to the property.

Irving wrote a story, “Wolfert’s Roost”, about Acker and the site. In a letter to his brother Peter, he described it as “a beautiful spot, capable of being made a little paradise…I have had an architect up there and shall build upon the old mansion this summer. My idea is to make a little nookery somewhat in the Dutch style, quaint but unpretending. It will be of stone.” He asked his neighbor to help him remodel the house and landscape the grounds in Romantic style adding a brook and waterfall.

The house became a major spot of people visiting the area to meet the author. In 1842, he was appointed to be the Ambassador of Spain and left the estate in the care of his brother and four daughters. He returned in 1846 and added to the home the ‘Spanish Tower” in 1847. This added four more bedrooms to the home.

Irving died in the house in 1859 of a heart attack at age 76.

The house was purchased from Lousi Irving by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and was restored for historic preservation. It was opened to the public in 1947.

 

Van Cortlandt Manor  5 Riverside Avenue Croton-on-the-Hudson, NY 10502

Van Cortlandt Manor 5 Riverside Avenue Croton-on-the-Hudson, NY 10502

Van Cortandt Manor

5 Riverside Avenue

Croton-on-the-Hudson, NY  10502

(914) 366-6900

Van Cortlandt Manor

My review on TripAdvisor (Manor and Pumpkin Blaze):

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47560-d116391-Reviews-Van_Cortlandt_Manor-Croton_on_Hudson_New_York.html?m=19905

 

A trip to the Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-the-Hudson is an interesting step back into the Colonial history of this country. During the summer, there is an interesting walking tour of the home offered usually from the end of July to Labor Day. Then the house is closed to prepare for the huge ‘Pumpkin Blaze’ during the months of October and November and then the house is shut down until the spring.

The house tour is interesting because it shows the home as a working farm and place of commerce for the family. This was not a weekend home for the family working in the City but crops being grown for shipping, vibrant gardens that supplied the house and a small tavern for travelers along the Albany Post Road as well as a place for shipping goods down the rivers.

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Van Cortlandt Manor

The home is furnished in the most modern furnishings of the time and you can see how the house reflected the needs of the family at that time. It was more of a home than a luxurious place to entertain. The furnishes are practical, very in fashion of the time and nicely decorated.

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The Dining Room

The tour of the kitchens and storage areas show that even in what was the modern era was not such easy living without servants. The estate was somewhat self-contained with animals and provisions being raised on the land and there is even an area where fabric such as flax and cotton where spun and made into clothing.

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The kitchen dining area

The upstairs bedrooms show that the linens were under lock and key even with the servants and that the rooms were well-appointed and comfortable. A lot of the family heirlooms still reside in the house and it gives you a perfect look at what life must have been like when the family lived here.

Don’t miss the gardens as well. Some have been over-grown because of the lack of volunteers but still you can see the beauty of the flowers and trees around the house. The house sits right on the cross between the Croton and Hudson rivers and even though it is now grown in, you can see that the house stood at one of the busiest sections of Upstate commerce.

During the months of Halloween, there are thousands of pumpkins that line the walks and beautiful displays to see along the paths of the estate and the river. Don’t miss this annual event every fall.

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The Pumpkin Blaze is amazing!

The History of the Van Cortlandt Manor:

By Royal Charter, Van Cortlandt Manor was originally a 86,000 acre tract granted as a patent to Stephanus Van Cortlandt in 1697 by King William III, stretching from the Hudson River on the west to the first boundary line between the Province of New York and the Colony of Connecticut, on the east, twenty English miles in length by ten miles in width in shape nearly a rectangular parallelogram forming, “The Manor of Cortlandt”. The massive holding was acquired by direct purchase from the Indians, in part by Stephanus van Cortlandt, a native born Dutch gentleman of New York and in part by others whose titles he subsequently bought, this tract together with a small tract on the west side of the Hudson River opposite the promontory of Anthony’s Nose, which he also purchased from the Indians.

The Manor House was built sometime before 1732 but was not any owner’s principal residence until a grandson, Pierre Van Cortlandt, moved there in 1749. At the time the manor house was on a 1000 acre portion of the original tract.

Pierre brought his family to the estate in 1749 and established the manor into it most vibrant days, according to some. During this period, the manor was operating an apple orchard, dairy farm, a bee house, a kiln, a tavern and a carpenter and blacksmith shops. Van Cortlandt Manor was a self-sustaining community while Pierre and his family resided in the estate. At this time, tensions leading to the Revolutionary War were building and the manor would become a place of wartime retreat. Pierre side with the colonies and the manor was used to assist the Continental Army, using its resources to make food and supplies. Pierre was involved with military legislature and his son Philip was a soldier for the Continental Army. Eventually Pierre and his family vacated the manor in the thick of war. The manor was ransacked by the British Army and left in poor standing. Philip, becoming a brigadier general by the war’s end, returned and along with his sister, Catherine, brought the manor back to working order.

Van Cortlandt Manor became an essential stop on the route from New York to Albany in the years that followed the war. The mills were once again thriving and provided the community and travelers with food, supplies and lodging. Pierre and his wife did not return until 1803 once the manor was in full working order again. The manor was passed down in the family until it was sold to a non-relative, Otis Taylor in 1945. By this time, the property had lost its luster and was not the flourishing estate it had once been.

In 1953, John D. Rockefeller Jr. purchased the property and began restoring the manor to previous prominence. In 1961, Van Cortlandt Manor became registered as a National Historic Landmark.

Disclaimer: This information on the history of the house was provided by Wiki and I give them full credit on the information.

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston 265 Fair Street  Kingston, NY 12402

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston 265 Fair Street Kingston, NY 12402

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston

265 Fair Street

Kingston, NY  12402

(831) 331-0866

https://kingstonvolunteerfiremensmuseum.weebly.com/

Open:  The hours vary by the season so please look to the website for the openings. School groups please call for an appointment.

Fee: Free but donations accepted

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48003-d3367598-Reviews-Volunteer_Fireman_s_Hall_Museum_of_Kingston-Kingston_New_York.html?m=19905

I was recently visiting Kingston, NY for an event and while walking around the downtown the doors of the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston was open for visitors. Even if you are not a fire fighter it is such an interesting museum on the history of fire fighting and the role the Kingston Fire Department had in the formation of the City of Kingston.

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The early horse drawn fire equipment

On the main floor is four pieces of equipment from various stages of the department. The engines are from the turn of the last century featuring horse drawn ladders and steam engines and then the latest equipment from the early teens and twenties from the automotive stage. Each piece of equipment has been carefully maintained and is in pristine shape. It is interesting to see how different each rig is at that stage of its history but how much has not really changed with the use of the equipment when fighting a fire.

One of the more interesting pieces in the collection is the beautifully detailed Parade piece from the late 1800’s (circa around 1890’s) which has gorgeous details and intricate craftsmanship work to it. This interesting piece of equipment was the pride of the department on parade day and is one of the few of its type in the country.

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The Fire Department Parade Piece

Along the walls is all sorts of pictures of old fires, men who were once members of the department, ribbons and awards, old systems for calling for firemen from the horns that used to sound the alarms to the more modern telegraph equipment to the current paging systems.

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The fire department equipment pieces

Upstairs you can visit the furnished headquarters of a firehouse circa 1890’s to 1920 with vintage furniture, decorations and composites of firemen long ago. There is even a mannequin of a fire fighter sliding down a pole that leads to the first floor. Here and there are more decorative equipment pieces, furnishings and awards.

The museum has a little something for everyone and if you are interesting in knowing more of the history of the fire service and want to hear the stories by members current and retired from the Kingston Fire Department, then the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum is the place to visit.

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Old decorations from fire equipment at the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum

 

History of the Museum and Fire Fighting in Kingston, NY:

Ulster County has a remarkable over 350 year history of noble fire fighting. See it up-close and personal at the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston.

When Kingston City Hall burned on June 4th, 1927, the third alarm was sounded from the building’s own bell tower before it crashed to the ground. Fire calls in Kingston today are answered through the 911 system with a three minute response time. Ever watched a TV show about firemen and their firehouse? The ‘squawk’ to a call is unmistakable.

Seven volunteer fire companies and the Exempt Association of Kingston recognized the importance of preserving and protecting firematic artifacts as well as establishing a meeting hall for volunteer fire organizations in Kingston and Ulster County. They were charged with finding a permanent home and signed a lease with the City of Kingston for Fair Street’s historic circa 1850 Wiltwyck Fire Station and the rest is history.

Walk through the large wooden doors to the home away from home of the 19th century firefighters.

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The old Kingston, NY firehouse that now houses the museum

Disclaimer: this information was taken directly from the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston pamphlet and I give them full credit for it. Please check out their website for more information.