|Society News of Note...
2015 marks the 180th anniversary of the formation of the Zoological
Institute in the Elephant Hotel, a capital stock company arguably the most
significant development in the history of the early American circus. The
Elephant Hotel was given the designation of National Historic Landmark by the U.S.
Dept. of the Interior, in large part, because of the formation of the Institute in this
A menagerie ledger from our collection from that era is the foundation of an article entitled
"The Names in the Ledger: Harlequins, Horses and Howdahs" written by former Somers
resident and Society volunteer Beverly Brigandi. Look for it in the winter issue of The
Westchester Historian, the scholarly quarterly published by the Westchester County
Beverly also wrote an historical romance, Kicking Sawdust, based on the same ledger and
dedicated it to the Society. Such an honor..thank you! The book is set for publication this
During the coming months, look for other events to commemorate this anniversary of the
Voices of the Hudson Valley; Bringing New Technology to Old Stories for 21st Century
Somers Historical Society was one of only five institutions in the Hudson River Valley chosen to
participate in this innovative, three-year, prototype,oral history project. The purpose of the
project, was to facilitate an institution's ability to share archival oral history interviews with wider
audiences by converting those interviews from 20th to 21st century media platforms.
The Voices project was funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and
Library Services (IMLS) and was awarded to
The Sound and Story Project of the Hudson Valley,
Greater Hudson Heritage Network,
Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College
Southeastern New York Library Resources Council.
These four organizations are providing training, technical equipment and support services.
Other participants with Somers Historical Society are Hudson River Maritime Museum, New
Rochelle Public Library,
Nyack Library and Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites.
Hear Jonathan Kruk, Master Storyteller of the Hudson Valley, introduce some of our stories from
the project here.....
LISTEN to the stories at any of these websites: SoundCloud,
Sound and Story Project,
RECORD your own story to participate in "A Year of Sounds and Stories" or listen to more stories
on a new mobile phone application.
Society Receives 2014 Award of Excellence from Greater Hudson Heritage Network
Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) awarded Somers Historical Society an "Award of
Excellence" at its annual meeting held at Marist College. The award was given in the Education
category for the Society's Student Historian Program. According to the GHHN, "...The 2014
Awards for Excellence program seeks to recognize and commend exceptional efforts among
GHHN members. Awards are made to projects that exemplify creativity and professional vision
resulting in a contribution to the preservation and interpretation of the historic scene, material
culture and diversity of the region.."
Greater Hudson Heritage Network is a regional service organization formed to advance and to
advocate the preservation and interpretation of the area’s historical, ethnic and cultural heritages.
The organization promotes professional standards of excellence and fosters cooperation among
member organizations and individuals through education, information and assistance.
Follow the Student Historians blog at somershistoricalsocietyinterns.blogspot.com.lj