Jordan Copeland Joins the Scarsdale Historical Society Board

Jordan Copeland was recently elected trustee of the Scarsdale Historical Society and serves as the secretary. He attended Brown University, where he met his wife Lisa, and New York University School of Law. He worked as an attorney for eleven years, including ten as a public defender in the Bronx. He then switched careers, and is now in his seventh year as a fifth grade public school teacher in the Bronx. He has researched the history of Clason Point in the Bronx in order to help his students learn about their neighborhood, and often attends tours of the Bronx Historical Society.

Jordan has lived in the Edgewood neighborhood of Scarsdale since 2003. He has researched the history of the Arthur Manor and Edgewood neighborhoods, and gives a yearly tour of those neighborhoods. He is looking forward to helping the Society furthering its educational goals.

Preserving History: Digitization of the Scarsdale Inquirer Continues

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We are pleased to continue working with the Scarsdale Public Library to digitize issues of the Scarsdale Inquirer. Our latest grant will allow digitization of the issues from 1954 to 1977. Issues starting in 1901 are already online at news.hrvh.org. Here is the press release about the project:

Preserving History: Digitization of The Scarsdale Inquirer ContinuesScarsdale Historical Society and Scarsdale Public Library in Joint Effort

SCARSDALE, NY (May 5th, 2018)  In 2010 the Scarsdale Historical Society and the Scarsdale Public Library began a joint project to digitize back issues of The Scarsdale Inquirer, Scarsdale’s source for local news since 1901. Grants of over $50,000 given by the Historical Society funded the first two phases of the digitization project, covering the years 1901-1950. Now the Society has committed an additional $37,000 to continue the project through the year 1977. Anybody can access the digitized material at news.hrvh.org, an online resource housing historical newspapers as part of the Hudson River Valley Heritage (HRVH) service. You can also find links to the papers on the websites of the Scarsdale Historical Society and the Scarsdale Public Library. We anticipate full digitization through 1977 within a year.

Re-filming from the original papers and the generation of digital images for the project is being done by Hudson Archival, located in Port Ewen, N.Y. We are happy to continue working with this great local business for this part of the project. Generation of the metadata (METS/ALTO) necessary to put the images onto HRVH is being done by Digital Divide Data (DDD). DDD’s innovative social model enables talent from underserved populations to access professional opportunities and earn lasting higher income, including youth from low-income families in developing countries, as well as military spouses and veterans. 

The digitization of The Scarsdale Inquirer opens our history to students, researchers, and residents. In the past, access to back issues was available at the library in print and microfilm, with limited finding aids created by Scarsdale librarians. The creation of these indexes was very time intensive and did not allow for full text searching. Furthermore there is no index for the years 1958-1979. Once issues are put onto HRVH they are fully searchable and the content can even be found through Google searches.

“We are so grateful to the Scarsdale Historical Society for their continued support for this digitization project. The Scarsdale Inquirer is an important resource for our community and having online access will increase its availability exponentially.”
—Elizabeth Bermel, Scarsdale Library Director

Slavery in New York and Scarsdale

We have published a new article about the history of slavery in Scarsdale, Westchester County and New York City from the 1600s to 1865.

The article is related to our documentary, Scarsdale in the 18th and 19th Centuries: From Hardscrabble Farms to Gracious Estates, which premiered at the Scarsdale Public Library on November 29, 2017. Both the film and article were researched and written by documentary filmmaker Lesley Topping and Barbara Shay MacDonald, the Historian and Vice President of the Scarsdale Historical Society. 

Mrs. MacDonald’s interest in the subject began while she was researching the history of her historic home in Scarsdale, the Underhill House (c. 1687), where she lived until 1998. She recently discovered that in the 18th century a slave family probably lived in the house. The father was the family’s slave master, Thomas Hadden, who lived in Wayside Cottage across the street. His will, which frees the mother, “Wench Rose,” and her seven children can be read on our website.

Drawing on town records, regional censuses, and other sources, the article examines the historical pervasiveness of slavery in Scarsdale and throughout Westchester County and New York City and includes an extensive list of links and resources on the subject.

 A plaque, wreathed for Christmas in St. James the Less Cemetery in Scarsdale, commemorates the unmarked graves of fugitive slaves.

A plaque, wreathed for Christmas in St. James the Less Cemetery in Scarsdale, commemorates the unmarked graves of fugitive slaves.

Scarsdale’s 18th and 19th Century Heritage Homes

Scarsdale has a remarkable number of 18th and 19th century homes that have been beautifully restored and preserved through the years. To expand on our documentary film, Scarsdale in the 18th & 19th Centuries: From Hardscrabble Farms to Gracious Estates, we’ve created a new page on our website with photos and information on many of the heritage houses in the film, as well as some additional houses.

 The Wayside Cottage is one of Scarsdale’s oldest  houses. The date the cottage was built is unknown, but Caleb Heathcote, the founder of the Manor of Scarsdale, conveyed the land to Edmund Tompkins in 1717. 

The Wayside Cottage is one of Scarsdale’s oldest  houses. The date the cottage was built is unknown, but Caleb Heathcote, the founder of the Manor of Scarsdale, conveyed the land to Edmund Tompkins in 1717. 

Notice of 2018 Annual Meeting

THE SCARSDALE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2018 ANNUAL MEETING

Monday, February 5th, 7:30 p.m.  
Randy Guggenheimer’s residence
42 Butler Road, Scarsdale, NY

The purpose of the Meeting is to re-elect the following trustees:

  • Class of 2021 – 3 year terms – Barbara Shay MacDonald and Lucas Meyer

Continuing trustees are:

  • Class of 2019 – Randy Guggenheimer and Stewart Kagan
  • Class of 2020 – Seth Kaller and Michael Zeller

All members are cordially invited to attend the Annual Meeting.
If you have any questions, please contact us at (914) 723-1744 

Scarsdale in the 18th & 19th Centuries: From Hardscrabble Farms to Gracious Estates

We are pleased to present our new documentary video “Scarsdale in the 18th & 19th Centuries: From Hardscrabble Farms to Gracious Estates.” The video is hosted by Scarsdale Historical Society V.P. and Historian, Barbara Shay MacDonald and was produced and directed by Scarsdale native Lesley Topping. Ms. Topping is an independent filmmaker, producer and film editor whose work includes dramatic films, documentaries, and television programs.

Historical Society Documentary Premiering at the Scarsdale Public Library on November 29th

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The Scarsdale Historical Society has produced a new documentary video “Scarsdale in the 18th & 19th Centuries: From Hardscrabble Farms to Gracious Estates” which will be shown for the first time in the Scott Room at the Scarsdale Public Library on Wednesday, November 29th. The video is hosted by Scarsdale Historical Society V.P. and Historian, Barbara Shay MacDonald.

The documentary was professionally produced and directed by Scarsdale native Lesley Topping. Ms. Topping is an independent filmmaker, producer and film editor whose work includes dramatic films, documentaries, and television programs. She has edited award-winning films for the Cousteau Society, CBS, PBS, and A&E, and worked on many feature films. She also produces multimedia content for businesses and not for profits. Richard Westlein is a 12-time Emmy Award winning cinematographer and ABC cameraman.  His extensive credits include “One Life to Live”, “All My Children”, and many ABC programs, documentaries and commercials. He is a cameraman on “The View” and the owner of Jupiter Video that provides state of the art production equipment to many companies. Lesley and Richard are cousins and often partner on independent projects. 

The event at the Scarsdale Public Library will include a reception beginning at 7:00 p.m. followed by a screening of the documentary from 7:30-8:00.p.m. After the film, there will be an opportunity to ask questions of Ms. MacDonald and Ms. Topping.

See Hamilton in Scarsdale!

For one night only you can see incredible original documents written by Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson and more at the History Discovery Night, sponsored by the Scarsdale Historical Society and the Scarsdale Public Library. The event is on Tuesday, June 6th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Scarsdale Public Library, 54 Olmsted Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583.

The exhibit will include one of Hamilton’s most revealing love letters to Elizabeth Schuyler, Hamilton’s letter rallying to defeat Jefferson after Washington declined a third term, and a rare printing of the infamous Reynolds pamphlet—along with highlights from the Library’s local history collection.

You can also bring in your own documents, photographs, books, pamphlets, and other materials (except furniture) related to Scarsdale history to learn about preserving and sharing your items. Hear about local history resources available at the Library and the Historical Society, or ask the experts about preservation, digitization and housing or display options. Meet members of Scarsdale Historical Society, Scarsdale Library’s local history librarian Dan Glauber and historic document expert Seth Kaller.

Free and open to the public.
RSVP preferred to scaref@wlsmail.org.

History Discovery Night

See Rare Historic Documents & Bring Your Own to Show

Join us for an evening with members of the Scarsdale Historical Society, Scarsdale Library’s local history librarian Dan Glauber, and historic document expert Seth Kaller with his Alexander Hamilton Collection.

Bring in your own documents, photographs, books, pamphlets, and other materials (except furniture) related to Scarsdale history. Learn more about preserving and sharing your items, hear about local history resources available at the Library and the Historical Society, or ask the experts about preservation, digitization and housing or display options.

See highlights from the Library’s local history collection.

And also see incredible original documents written by Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson and more—including one of Hamilton’s most revealing love letters to Elizabeth Schuyler, Hamilton’s letter rallying to defeat Jefferson after Washington declined a third term, and a rare printing of the infamous Reynolds pamphlet.

Tuesday, June 6th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
SCARSDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY
54 Olmsted Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583
914-722-1300
scarsdalelibrary.org 
scaref@wlsmail.org

Scarsdale Historical Society Agrees to Sell Property; Cudner-Hyatt House to Be Protected

 The Cudner-Hyatt House, circa 1900.

The Cudner-Hyatt House, circa 1900.

The Scarsdale Historical Society has entered into an agreement to sell its property at 937 Post Road, including the Cudner-Hyatt House and the Quaker Meeting House to a local residential developer.  The sale is subject to a Historic Preservation and Conservation Easement which will ensure the preservation and protection of the Cudner-Hyatt House. 

The sale of the property is contingent upon the approval of an application to be filed for a subdivision limited to three lots.  The purchaser intends to relocate (or rebuild, if necessary) the Cudner-Hyatt House to a location on the property closer to Post Road and Lee Road.

The sale is also subject to a number of other contingencies, including the approval of an application to be filed with the Village Zoning Board of Appeals, approval by the Scarsdale Historical Society members and the approval of the New York State Education Department and the Attorney General’s Office.

“The Scarsdale Historical Society is very pleased to enter into this transaction and is thrilled that the Cudner-Hyatt House will be preserved for future generations.  This transaction will enable us to expand our efforts to preserve and make available to the public historical information about Scarsdale and Westchester in new and exciting ways,” said Randy Guggenheimer, Scarsdale Historical Society President.

The Scarsdale Historical Society will continue to preserve and make history easily accessible to the public through grants to digitize, preserve and catalog primary source material that is part of the Society’s collection as well as primary source material owned by other organizations.  The public will then have access to all of this material through the Society’s website (www.scarsdalehistory.org) and other digital platforms.  The Society will also continue and increase grants to promote, fund and encourage the publication of books and materials regarding Scarsdale’s and Westchester’s history and to fund and produce documentaries regarding Scarsdale’s architectural and cultural history.  The Society currently has a video tour of the Cudner-Hyatt House available for viewing on its website.  The Society will continue to hold and promote events to display items from the Corporation’s collection and engage the public to share historical items and primary source material with the community and respond to telephone, email and social media requests regarding Scarsdale’s history.   

About the Scarsdale Historical Society

The Scarsdale Historical Society exists to discover, preserve, and disseminate historical information as well as inspire others to learn about and contribute to the history of Scarsdale and the Central mid-Westchester region.

Scarsdale Historical Society Provides Grant for Scarsdale Public Library Renovation

The Scarsdale Historical Society has provided a $100,000 grant to the Friends of the Scarsdale Library to assist in the renovation of the Library. “The Scarsdale Historical Society is very pleased to be able to assist in this important community project. We look forward to continuing to work with the Library on developing a Scarsdale History area as part of the renovated library,” said Randy Guggenheimer, Scarsdale Historical Society President.

“We’re thrilled by this gift, which will immediately be doubled through a one-to-one match offered by two very generous donors,” said Library Board President Terri Simon. “The Historical Society’s commitment underscores community recognition of the Library’s enduring value not only as a repository of materials, but as an active place of research for Scarsdale now and for generations to come.” "The Historical Society and the Library have had a successful partnership for many years. We are grateful for the continued support and look forward to collaborating on many future projects," said Elizabeth Bermel, Director of the Scarsdale Public Library. 

The Scarsdale Historical Society has previously given grants to the Library for digitization of the Scarsdale Inquirer newspaper and for funding summer internships.  The Scarsdale Historical Society and the Library are working together on a “Bring Your Scarsdale History” event which will take place this spring.

About the Scarsdale Historical Society

The Scarsdale Historical Society exists to discover, preserve, and disseminate historical information as well as inspire others to learn about and contribute to the history of Scarsdale and the Central mid-Westchester region.

Notice of 2017 Annual Meeting

THE SCARSDALE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2017 ANNUAL MEETING

Monday, February 6, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. 
at Randy Guggenheimer’s house
42 Butler Road, Scarsdale, NY

The purpose of the Meeting is to re-elect the following trustees: 

  • Class of 2020 – 3 year terms – Seth Kaller, Michael Zeller 

Continuing Trustees are Randy Guggenheimer, Stewart Kagan, Barbara Shay MacDonald and Lucas Meyer

All members are cordially invited to attend the Annual Meeting.
If you have any questions, please contact us at (914) 723-1744

Mourning Lincoln by Martha Hodes

Martha Hodes, a professor of history at N.Y.U. and author of the critically acclaimed Mourning Lincoln (just selected as the winner of the 2016 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize), will be speaking at the Scarsdale Public Library on March 7 at 7 p.m. The book will be available for purchase at the event, and a book signing will follow the presentation. For details click here.

Scarsdale Treasures Underground

As we noted in our previous post you can find digital copies of historical treasures relating to Scarsdale at the Digital Public Library of America.

You can also find the real thing—163 year-old hand-drawn maps, Scarsdale's original 1845 New York State census records, and much more—stored away in the basement of the Scarsdale Public Library.

Yesterday we were treated to a tour of the local history room—appropriately named in honor of long-time Scarsdale historian Richard M. Lederer, Jr. We met with library director Elizabeth Bermel, reference librarian Daniel Glauber, and department manager Jennifer Friedman, to explore ways the Scarsdale Historical Society can work with the library to make their treasure-trove available to online.

 Detail of an 1851 map showing the mill dam, saw mill and bridge on the Bronx River.

Detail of an 1851 map showing the mill dam, saw mill and bridge on the Bronx River.

 The 1851 map includes a numbered index listing the property owners, acreage and how the land was being used.

The 1851 map includes a numbered index listing the property owners, acreage and how the land was being used.

  Appointment Letter from Daniel D. Tompkins, April 30, 1814

Appointment Letter from Daniel D. Tompkins, April 30, 1814

 The library has a set of of the four volume 1930 atlas of Westchester County published by G.M. Hopkins Co. The office of the Westchester County Clerk has already scanned their set and you can see it online   here  .

The library has a set of of the four volume 1930 atlas of Westchester County published by G.M. Hopkins Co. The office of the Westchester County Clerk has already scanned their set and you can see it online here.

 The 1845 census book contains a wealth of information, listing the names of all property owners and their answers to 48 questions—including where they came from, how much land they owned and even the specific crops they were growing.

The 1845 census book contains a wealth of information, listing the names of all property owners and their answers to 48 questions—including where they came from, how much land they owned and even the specific crops they were growing.

Scarsdale Treasures in the Digital Public Library of America

 Caleb Heathcote Buys the Richbell Farm by Gordon Samstag

Caleb Heathcote Buys the Richbell Farm by Gordon Samstag

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an all-digital library that aggregates metadata—meaning information describing an item—and thumbnail images for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. DPLA brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.

Here are a few of the items that turn up when you search the word "Scarsdale":

Digitization of Scarsdale Inquirer Archives

The Scarsdale Inquirer has covered our project to digitize the first 30 years of the newspaper.

"The Scarsdale Historical Society and the Scarsdale Public Library have joined forces to begin the digitization of back issues of The Scarsdale Inquirer. A much needed funding grant of $25,000 by the Historical Society fills a financial gap in the library’s budget and provides the impetus to begin the digitization process of the Inquirer’s back issues." 

Read the rest here.