Ice House Under Construction

On Tuesday morning construction began on the Ice House of the Brinckerhoff House Historic Site.  Several months ago the Ice House was moved from the property of an old farm which used to be directly across the street from the Town Hall of East Fishkill.

When it was built in the 1870’s its purpose was to store ice over the spring and summer months for the farm.  Probably for a dairy farm, this ice probably helped to keep milk cold.

Inside of the ice house will soon be an exhibit of ice harvesting and the ice industry in the Hudson Valley during the nineteenth century.   There will also be local history of the farm which the ice house came from.  Once the roof is complete, the display cases from the 1785 unfinished attic, which used to hold the Civil War diary of Richard T. Van Wyck, will be moved to the ice house to hold this new display.

Here are some pictures from Wednesday morning.  In this shot is also the red 1820 One-Room School House which was moved from where the corner of the Taconic Parkway and Beekman’s Road intersects.  Behind the tree is the ice house.

 Ice House Under Construction 1

This photograph shows the front of the ice house.   Notice how the doors go up and down the whole façade.  At the peak of the roof there is a hook in which a pulley would be used to move heavy mounds of ice and milk up and down from the shelves inside.

Ice House Under Construction 3

From this angle, behind the tree is the 1885 Carriage Barn which was moved from the “John Jay” house which was owned and occupied by Van Wyck’s for many centuries.

Ice House Under Construction 2

Renovations, Research, and Recognition

In the upcoming months, the East Fishkill Historical Society will be updating you on the renovations of the Brinckerhoff House Historic Site.  The recently moved 1870 Ice House, which was moved from across the road of Town Hall, will be getting a new roof, and the large unfinished attic will be cleared from its old display.  Once the roof of the Ice House is fixed, we will install an exhibit of the ice industry in the Hudson River Valley.

We are also due for a detailed, yet brief, update on the research of Sergeant Clinton J. Peterson of the 369th Infantry of World War I.  The resources are abundant: in newspapers, and through personal diaries and scrapbooks.  A narrative and exhibit is definitely in the works, and his personal possessions are under good care in our Collections Room.  As a matter of fact, we just ordered new archival material, such as extra large newspaper boxes to store newspapers, maps, and indenture documents.

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The East Fishkill Historical Society does not only serve as an organization which preserves our local history, but we also want to encourage those in our community, who are interested and who have time, to get involved.  Our team at the Brinckerhoff House Historic Site is active, and we are slowly receiving more and more recognition from the public and the press.  A couple of weeks ago, the Directors of Mid Hudson Historic Destinations, Roy Jorgenson, and Lynn Eberle, invited the Southern Dutchess Press to the Brinckerhoff House to talk with our Curator, Michael Barootjian, and our Director, Malcolm Mills.  A few months ago, Michael finished designing and creating a brochure for MHHD, and they launched 20,000 to 27 different historic sites and cultural centers in the Mid Hudson region.

The Harlem Hellfighters: Our U.S. Army’s 369th Infantry in World War I

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Set up in the East Fishkill Historical Society, Michael Barootjian, a curator, has begun to preserve primary documents which relate to Sgt. Clinton Peterson’s life in and after World War I.

The East Fishkill Historical Society was recently donated a diary of Sergeant Clinton Peterson of New York City’s 369th Infantry.  The diary was written by Peterson when he was in France, and it is titled, “Somewhere in France.”  Along with the diary, various items relating to his life and his wife’s life are now included in our collection.  The documents which we possess are rare and full of information about Peterson’s family, and life after World War I, but his war diary was written during World War I.  Currently, the Director of the East Fishkill Historical Society, Malcolm Mills, is transcribing Peterson’s diary, and other members, including myself, are working with the other various documents.  These documents were folded and were not protected or kept the right way for generations and decades, but we have put in much effort to ensure their conditions.

If interested in helping further research please contact Michael Barootjian at barootm@gmail.com