Somers Historical Society Teacherhostel™

Date: July 15, 2008

Locations:Elephant Hotel, 335 Route 202 (at Route 100), Somers, NY
Contact Hours: 6
Cost: $25
Cutoff Date: June 15
Click here for registration form

This program can be combined with other IHARE programs for teachers who need additional contact hours to submit for professional development credit

9:00 – Welcome and Introductions
9:30 – Somers Circus History

This session will focus on the evolution of the American circus in the area, the early menageries, and Somers’ integral role in this. The history of the Elephant Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, will be discussed. We will explore various artifacts related to the history of the menageries and circus, and debunk some of the myths associated with Somers.

Materials: Somers Its People and Places circus chapter; Bandwagon article; True False Test

10:30 – Tour Somers Historical Society Museum, Third Floor, Elephant Hotel
11:00 – Somers Local History

This session will focus on the history of Somers, from its incorporation in 1788 through present, and the social and economic factors which influenced its evolution.  We will explore use of historical resources.

Materials: Somers Its People and Place Overview, Somers Remembered; Somers, A Walking Tour; Scharf’s History of Somers.

12:15 – Lunch, travel to Wright Reis Homestead
1:30 – Visit Wright Reis Homestead, tour house & grounds

This session will introduce the Wright family in Somers, and focus particularly on the life of Carolyn Wright Reis, an early 20th century design student, farm manager, collector and philanthropist.

Materials: The Wright Family Legacy workbook, Somers Confederates pamphlet

3:00 – Visit Mt. Zion Methodist Church and Burial Ground, built 1794

This session will focus on Mt Zion Church, its history and significance in Somers, and the local community which thrived along Primrose Street until the New York city reservoirs effected its demise. We will touch on issues of preservation, diversity, interdependence, and community.

Materials: Mt. Zion and Rural Homesteads flyer

For further information contact IHARE at 914-939-9071 or email us at: