Orange County History Conference

Date: April 16, 2011

Time: 9:00-5:00
Location: Albert Wisner Public Library, One Mcfarland Dr., Warwick, NY 10990 (845)-986-1047
Time: 9:00-5:00
Contact Hours: 7.5
Fee: $20 (includes lunch)
Cutoff Date: April 13, 2011

Immerse yourself in the history of Orange County. Look at the landscape the people first walked. Gaze in awe at the mammoth beasts they encountered and whose discovery influenced a nation only a few decades after so many died in the fight for independence. Hear its music. Tell its stories. See its historic sites. Learn about the Orange people who over the centuries have made the county what it is today. Meet the people who are preserving that legacy and help us to continue to do so in the 21st century.

9:00 Welcome – Orange County Executive Edward Diana [invited]

9:15 After the Ice Age: Life Returns to Orange County – Tom Lake, NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program Naturalist Once upon a time millennia ago, Orange County was a sheet of ice just as it was this winter only more so. The Ice Age created the landscape on which human settlement would occur. This talk will examine Orange County in the Late Pleistocene, from the end of the Ice Age through the arrival of the First Americans (ca. 15,000-10,000 years ago) through the material remains which still exist today.

Tom Lake works for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program as its Estuary Naturalist, where he shadows eagles, teaches the ecology of the estuary, and edits the Hudson River Almanac, a natural history journal now in its 18th year

10:15 Immigrants All: The Immigration Dimension in Orange County History – Richard Hull, New York University, Warwick Town Historian

Orange County is a culturally diverse entity. In some respects it is a melting pot and in others it is deeply divided and fractured along cultural, religious, and ethnic lines. This talk traces the origins of the major cultural and religious groups that settled here, from the pre-Columbian period to the present. We explore their distant origins, the conditions that motivated them to come here from their ancestral homelands, the ways in which they adapted to their new surroundings, the extent to which they acquired new cultural identities, the problems they encountered in their process of assimilation. Some immigrant groups sought to adapt while others resisted. How do we account for these differences in acculturation? How did the earlier populations react to newcomers? What is the demographic future?

Professor Richard Hull teaches at New York University where he has been honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award. He has received a Fulbright Fellow, Danforth Fellow and the United Nations Distinguished Citizen Award. Locally, he is the Town of Warwick historian, the recipient of the Orange County Revered Citizens Award in 2005, a Trustee Emeritus of the, Orange County Land Trust, a charter trustee of the Sugarloaf Community Foundation, a Board member emeritus of The Nature Conservancy, on the Advisory Board of the Warwick Conservancy, and Trustee emeritus of the Sugar Loaf Methodist Church. He is the author of numerous books including: People of the Valleys: A History of Warwick, 1700-2005.

11:15 So Many Brave Men: A History of the Battle at Minisink Ford – Peter Osborne, former Executive Director, Minisink Valley Historical Society

On July 22, 1779, one of the most lethal battles of the American Revolution based on the ratio of participants to people killed, occurred on a hill above Minisink Ford, New York, along the Delaware River north of Port Jervis. The battle was a disaster for the American militia units with more than one-third of the militiamen perishing in that conflict. The primary source documents tell the tale of the lives of these men from the surrounding areas, of the battles they fought, and of their dedication to freedom. These previously overlooked documents served as the basis for the book on the battle.

Peter Osborne presently is the Curator of Education and Special Events for the Red Mill Museum Village in Clinton. Prior to that he was the Executive Director for 29 years of the Minisink Valley Historical Society in Port Jervis. He has a decree in American History from Rutgers University and an interest in regional history and the Roosevelts. He is the co-author of So Many Brave Men: A History of the Battle at Minisink Ford.

12:15 Lunch with entertainment by the Hudson River Ramblers, Jonathan Kruk and Rich Bala

1:15 The Mastodons in Orange County: Then and Now
The Great Orange County Mastodon Discovery of 1801: Meaning for America – Joseph Devine

There once was a time when Europe was considered the most cultured of civilizations and America was a mere neophyte lacking the classical consciousness of a mature civilizations. But America had wonders Europe couldn’t dream of from the spectacular Niagara Falls to skeletal remains of when giants beasts roamed the land. The discoveries in Orange County astonished the world and impacted our infant republic. Hear this story and see what was discovered.

Joseph Devine is a retired IBM Senior Technical Professional who has dedicated recent years toward research in the field of local and American history.

Introduction to the Peale Museum of Discovery – Evan Galbraith

Evan Galbraith manages a family office, developing real estate properties throughout Orange County. The famous Montgomery Pond, where Charles Willson Peale exhumed mastodon bones, was bought by the family in the 1960s. In 2007, the family decided to explore the development of a museum to celebrate this incredible part of our national heritage.

Galbraith has a B.A. from Tufts University in Boston and a M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in New York.

2:15 Preserving the Past
Filming the Past, Timothy J. Englert, Development Specialist, Palisades Interstate Park Commission

“The Perkins Effect” and “The Harriman Touch”, two short films by PIPC Media on the history of the Palisades Parks, from its beginnings more than a hundred years ago to its current success amidst economic uncertainty. There will be a discussion about the PIPC’s treasure trove of archival materials, park preservation, and the films themselves following the screening.

PIPC Development Specialist Timothy Englert has been with the PIPC since 2007, and has worked to promote its history, write successful grants, publicize its 28 state parks and historic sites, and develop its substantial archives into films and other media. He is the co-founder of the Knickerbocker Ice Festival, which celebrates the history of the Hudson Valley’s world famous natural ice harvesting past, and has seen it grow from a handful of attendees in its first year to over 25,000 this past January. Prior to the PIPC, Tim’s career as a filmmaker included work in both television and the corporate world in New York and Los Angeles, as well as the commercial photography business in NYC. He graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in history, and was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship studying the history and construction of the acoustic guitar. He lives in Valley Cottage, NY.

Historic Preservation: Tool for a 21st Century Community – Julian Adams, New York State Historic Preservation Office

Historic Preservation has long roots in American History, although many seem to think it is a modern idea. Learn where the historic preservation movement began in the United States, how it developed philosophically and in practice, and what local communities and citizens can do to be a part of maintaining their character and sense of place.

Julian Adams is the Community Liaison and Certified Local Government Coordinator for the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), part of the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). A native of Georgia, he holds a Masters of Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia at Athens. He started New York State service in 1988, when he took a job in the SHPO’s Technical Services Unit, overseeing rehabilitations and restorations across New York State under federal and state programs. During a sabbatical from the SHPO in 1995-1996, he worked with the Historic Natchez Foundation in Natchez Mississippi, overseeing low income housing development in historic neighborhoods, working with the local preservation commission and planning department, and assisting in heritage education. In 2000 he was named head of the Technical Services Unit, overseeing all rehabilitations and restorations across New York State, a position he held until 2004. In 2005 he took a position as Sr. Architectural Historian/Historic Preservation Specialist with a nation-wide environmental consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas, working with military bases in their responsibilities under Federal Historic Preservation law. He returned to state service in 2006 as Community Liaison, Certified Local Government Coordinator, and OPRHP Agency Preservation Officer, assisting communities and municipalities across New York State with their preservation issues.

3:15 Orange County History Roundtable – Peter Feinman, Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, moderator

3:45 Orange County School/Historic Organization Collaborations, Peter Feinman, moderator

“Creating a Curriculum: The Museum Village/Newburgh CSD Collaboration,” Sarah Wassberg, Education Director, Museum Village

“Traveling Trunk: Reaching Out When They Can’t Bus In,” Ivy Tulin, Historical Society of Warwick

4:30 Teaching Orange County History Workshop, Peter Feinman, moderator