The Peekskill Museum commemorates its 75th anniversary in 2021, and it is asking the people of Peekskill for help.
The Herrick House, 124 Union Ave., Peekskill, is an authentic 146–year–old Victorian that, since 1946, has been home to the Museum.
The house was obtained by prominent Peekskill resident and Field Library Trustee Chester Smith, who, by dint of dedication and foresight, established the Peekskill Museum.
The Herrick House is a treasure trove of artifacts, photos, maps, and local memorabilia, reflecting the history of Peekskill and local surrounding communities.
Major renovations were made in the 1990s, but continuous upkeep and maintenance is required.
To mark its Diamond Anniversary, the Peekskill Museum has created a Maintenance Building Fund. The goal is to raise $25,000 for exterior painting and repairs. Museum Board past President Calvin Schlick has pledged $10,000 in matching funds to kick off the fundraising campaign.
Operating on an austerity budget, the not-for-profit organization (certified 501(c)(3) by the IRS) has no paid staff, and receives no funding from the City of Peekskill.
To stay solvent, the museum must rely entirely on donations and an occasional grant. For locals curious about Peekskill’s history, the museum has fashioned a series of 75th Anniversary programs and activities. All events will be subject to Covid restrictions, with either virtual or possibly in–person programs, if conditions permit.
Our prominent Peekskill People gallery, located on our main floor, is open for viewing.
During March, we will host a theatrical reading of an original play by local historian John Curran. “Ride to the Rescue Along the Hudson” is a historical narrative documenting early Dutch settlers and their conflict with British landlords.
April will focus on Museum founder Chester Smith, highlighting his many accomplishments and contributions benefitting Peekskill.
The month of May will be one of the most significant programs hosted in 2021.
We will host a rededication of the Revolutionary War cannon on the front lawn of the Museum. The event will honor the contribution of local African American soldier John Peterson in the war for Independence.
The cannon was called to notice and dedicated in the 1990s by local resident Kay Moshier, a descendant of John Peterson. The event rededication will be held primarily outdoors to accommodate distancing guidance.
Events planned for the latter half of 2021 include our June Garden Tea Party and a gala event in the fall featuring prominent history–making figures from Peekskill.
Our Anniversary year will culminate with an evening soiree in and around the vintage property, with entertainment and refreshments.
Follow us on our website or Facebook (see below), or visit the museum Saturdays 1-4 p.m. or by appointment.
The Museum Gift Shop features publications focused on African American residents, contributions of Jewish business owners during a thriving period downtown, and a history of how Peekskill streets were named.
If you are interested in making a contribution to the Building Maintenance Fund, please send your tax-deductible donation to Peekskill Museum, PO Box 84, Peekskill, NY 10566 — or join as a member and receive our email blasts to stay current on our events.