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

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