News & Announcements
Boscobel Named Best Place to Picnic
Just in time to launch new food service by Hudson’s Hil’s Café & Market!
Readers of Hudson Valley Magazine, in their annual survey for The Best of the Hudson Valley, voted Boscobel as The Best Place to Have a Picnic. Although typically known as a historic house museum from the Federal period, a venue for special events, exhibitions, lectures and more, word is apparently spreading that Boscobel has picnic tables, bistro tables, chairs and grassy lawns overlooking a jaw-dropping spot for one of, if not the best, panoramic views of the Hudson River and its Highlands.
With this in mind, Boscobel decided to offer their visitors an essential picnic amenity – a freshly- prepared, daily-delivered selection of sandwiches, salads and snacks prepared by Hudson Hil’s Café & Market of Cold Spring, NY.
According to Boscobel’s Executive Director Steve Miller, “Visitors can now plan to purchase food and beverages at Boscobel before or after they purchase their admission ticket. They can then head out on the grounds for a picnic experience like no other. Even if they didn’t plan to picnic, rather than leave the property in search of food, they can find a delectable variety right inside our Carriage House. Visitors may even find a picnic basket and/or blanket in our Gift Shop.”
Hudson Hil’s is a small restaurant in Cold Spring NY, only 1.5 miles from Boscobel. Their mission is to create a high-quality dining experience with a casual atmosphere, while integrating New York State products into their menu to help support local small businesses. “We pride ourselves on offering exceptional food with friendly service, says Owner Hilary Hayes.
In 2010, Garrison residents Bob and Hilary Hayes planned to open a restaurant that would take advantage of the Hudson River Valley’s bounty. At the time, Bob was at home with their young children and Hilary was commuting to Wall Street as an equity analyst. A classically trained chef, Bob wanted back in the kitchen, and Hilary wanted more time with their children. By February 2011, they found themselves welcoming more than 150 guests to the gala opening of their new Hudson Hil’s Café & Market, which features only the freshest ingredients from New York organic farms.
Another tasty offering: Boscobel visitors are entitled to a discount at Hudson Hil’s Café & Market. Monday through Friday, present your receipt (for Boscobel admission) to your server at Hudson Hil’s, and receive 10% off your in-restaurant dining. (Offer good only on the day of your visit to Boscobel.) Spend the day! Enjoy stories of the Hudson Valley with an outdoor audio tour, stroll the gardens and grounds, tour the mansion, picnic for lunch or…take a break at Hudson Hil’s…then come back to hike the Woodland Trail and take in the sunset views. Perfect for Metro North day trippers, too.
Friends of Boscobel Membership Campaign Planned for Fall
Steven Miller, Executive Director of Boscobel House & Gardens announced plans last week for a fall membership campaign. The revitalized Friends of Boscobel program will enjoy new status as a committee of the Boscobel Board. The structure will expand museum benefits and enhancements for existing and future Friends of Boscobel. The plan is part of Board-directed development initiatives that will include annual fundraising solicitations and other customary support activities, the benefits of which will be especially directed towards Boscobel’s educational endeavors. To this end, Boscobel created the new position of Museum Educator which is now filled by Lisa DiMarzo, an experienced regional museum education professional.
Boscobel has long welcomed members as Friends of Boscobel. The Friends are appreciated for their support of the historically acclaimed mansion, its collections, programs and land, which boasts one of America’s great views. Indeed, the scenic vista of the Hudson River and its Highlands is iconic and a stunning attraction in its own right. But, it is the landmark Boscobel mansion that commands attention far and wide as one of the country’s finest and most important homes documenting the Federal period in our nation’s history.
Speaking of the integration of the Friends of Boscobel into Boscobel’s proactive development program, Miller noted that, “We have long been deeply appreciative of the role members play as partners in our work to preserve, celebrate and assure a viable future for an extraordinary American legacy. The Friends of Boscobel members program not only supports the work of the staff, board of directors and volunteers, but participants enjoy our wide array of programs and activities as well. We look forward to greatly expanding this valued group as an integral part of our development activities. We are also very pleased that Board member and Vice President Alex Reese, whose mother was a long time Director of Boscobel and who founded the Friends of Boscobel, has agreed to serve as the initial Chairman of this Friends of Boscobel Committee. Donna Blaney, our highly experienced Marketing & Events Manager is the staff liaison.”
Hudson Valley Magazine Selects Boscobel for Photo Shoot
Hudson Valley Magazine, the glossy, regional monthly, staged its fall fashion shoot at Boscobel this week. Its editors envisioned a fairy tale theme and felt “what better place than Boscobel” for a beautiful, enchanted setting? The shoot features one model elegantly portraying characters such as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Watch newsstands for their September 2013 edition.
Boscobel Thanks Garden Club with Donation
The Philipstown Garden Club, a member of the Garden Club of America, has been lovingly tending to Boscobel’s Herb Garden since the 1960s
To show appreciation for all of their efforts and contributions to the Hudson Valley environment and most specifically to the maintenance and upkeep of Boscobel’s Herb Garden –one of its most appealing visitor attractions– Executive Director Steve Miller presented the PGC with a check for $2,000 this past spring. It continues Boscobel’s annual support of the Club.
Miller stated, “Our partnership with the Philipstown Garden Club is deeply valued. Every Tuesday when I look out my office window, I see their members diligently tending what is certainly an endearing part of Boscobel’s outdoor ‘exhibits.’ Our visitors find the Herb Garden a special treat as there are few, if any, like it in the area. The Philipstown Garden Club is a leading contributor to what makes Boscobel so unique and inviting. We thank them for all their hard work and dedication to our garden’s health and beauty.”
Senator Selects Boscobel for Press Conference
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will visit Boscobel House & Gardens in Garrison, NY on Friday, June 7th at 3pm to announce her legislative initiatives to protect and promote the natural beauty, historic resources and economic potential of the Hudson River Valley. The Senator will announce her introduction and sponsorship of legislation that will help promote recreation and tourism in the region while showcasing the Hudson Valley’s unique role in American history and development.
Boscobel was selected by the Senator’s office as it exemplifies all of the things they are trying to accomplish with the legislation. Area organizations involved with the legislation, such as the Hudson River Valley Greenway, Scenic Hudson, area land trusts, museums, arts and tourism groups, as well as area elected officials will be invited by the Senator’s office. The public is welcome.
Military Families Get FREE Admission to Boscobel this Summer
Active duty military and their families can enjoy free admission at Boscobel House & Gardens, plus more than 1,800 other museums nationwide, from Memorial Day until Labor Day 2013 through the Blue Star Museums program.
Blue Star Museums is collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Monday May 27, 2013 through Monday, September 2, 2013.
The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members.
Girl Scouts Select Boscobel as Venue for Annual Event
Girl Scouts Heart of The Hudson has selected Boscobel House & Gardens as the venue for their annual Alumnae Association Gathering on June 9, 2013 which will include alumnae ceremonies with remarks from Ms. Janet Hasson, President and Publisher, Journal News Media Group, an Afternoon Tea, garden strolls and a tour of the mansion.
In selecting the perfect location, Ms. Kim Barnett, Volunteer Alumnae Steering Committee Chair & Volunteer Service Unit Manager for East Fishkill area Girl Scouts said, “We considered many venues for this event, but chose Boscobel House & Gardens because the historic nature of the property and breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley seemed a fitting backdrop for an event that celebrates the memories and traditions of Girl Scouts and its founder, Juliette Gordon Low.”
Steven Miller Appointed as Executive Director of Boscobel
Following an extensive national search, the board of directors of Boscobel House & Gardens has selected Steven Miller of Morristown, New Jersey to be the historic site’s new executive director.
Miller has forty-two years of accomplished museum experience with distinguished institutions throughout the northeast. In addition, he has been a museum consultant, writer, trustee and educator. Most recently, he was executive director of the Morris Museum and the Bickford Theatre in Morristown, New Jersey (2001 – 2011). Prior positions include the Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vermont and the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio. Miller is a member of the boards of trustees of ArtPride New Jersey and Historic Deerfield, Inc.
He also serves on the American Alliance of Museums’ accreditation visiting committee and is a regular contributor to its Museum magazine. Miller holds a BA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York and an International Graduate Certificate, Principles of Conservation Science from the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome, Italy. Miller is married to Jane Pelson Miller, deputy director of philanthropy with the Nature Conservancy at its New Jersey office. They have two children, a son, Andrew, of Washington, DC, and a daughter Katherine who is a student in NYC.
Speaking of his new appointment, Miller said: “I am delighted to be joining the dedicated and enthusiastic team of staff, volunteers and directors who have made Boscobel a renowned cultural landmark. This charming mansion, which is unique for its stellar collection, the beauty of its landscape, and a breathtaking view of the Hudson Highlands, is truly a natural and historic American treasure. I will enjoy working with everyone to collaboratively sustain past accomplishments while assuring a bright future for generations to appreciate.”
Barnabas McHenry, president of Boscobel, announced that the board of directors welcomes Steven Miller as executive director. “Steven brings us a wealth of experience in the successful management of museums in the northeast. We are indeed fortunate to have attracted him to Boscobel.”
New Grounds Audio Tour Debuts Opening Day
Boscobel’s highly-regarded docent staff has been and will continue to delight its visitors with stories of the lovely, early 18th-century Federal mansion. However, on April 1, 2013, the new audio tour — the only one of its kind in the Hudson Valley — will entertain guests with dramatic tales of the Hudson River Valley as they stroll the grounds of Boscobel, admiring one of the most inspiring and historic views in America.
The new tour (produced by Narrowcasters and written and co-produced by Antonia Bryan) tells three different stories: how Boscobel was saved, how the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain were saved and how our independence itself was saved during the Revolutionary War – all by people who acted decisively and courageously in the Hudson River Valley.
The heart of the tour is a series of interviews with people who, starting in the 1960s, helped save Boscobel and jumpstart the environmental movement. They are introduced on the tour by Kurt Rhoads and his wife, Nance Williamson, Garrison residents and notable actors who have performed leading roles in many performances of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival at Boscobel.
Barney McHenry, Boscobel’s President and also lawyer and trusted advisor of Lila Acheson Wallace (of Reader’s Digest fame and Boscobel’s benefactor), is introduced first on the tour. Mr. McHenry helps tell the story of how Mrs. Wallace, together with local historian Ben Frazier (plus others) helped save Boscobel from demolition in 1955 and rebuild it in 1961 on its current site overlooking the Hudson River.
Noted military historian and former West Point cadet and officer, Col. James Johnson provides expert commentary about our War for Independence, and other notable individuals such as Pete Seeger, Bob Boyle, John Cronin, John Adams, Bobby Kennedy, Jr., Al Butzel and more tell Boscobel’s visitors compelling (and some hair-raising!) stories about how our country’s environmental movement was born here in the Hudson Valley and has since gone global. They tell how Scenic Hudson blocked the destruction of Storm King Mountain, how Bob Boyle created the Riverkeeper program which caught Exxon tankers dumping oil into, and then taking clean water from, the Hudson. The tour’s captivating storytellers all have first-hand knowledge about what happened; they were witnesses, as well as participants of history.
The new grounds audio tour at Boscobel will be included in the paid admission fee and will be available upon arrival and until one hour before closing time. Visitors will receive a color, keepsake brochure which includes a detailed map of the grounds, a numbered list of stories, along with a small, lightweight audio player. (Special equipment will be available for the hearing impaired, and a downloadable app is in the works.) There are three hours of stories to choose from, and visitors may listen to as many or few as they want. And if time is short, visitors can return to Boscobel for a discounted fee to listen to the rest.
Relax on one of the new benches at Boscobel, and experience the history of the Hudson Valley as you’ve never done before…with a guided tour on a path through history that includes views just as mesmerizing as the stories you’ll hear.
“I’ve driven by many times, but…”
Although located in Putnam County, New York since John F. Kennedy was president, the question “What is Boscobel?” is commonly overheard. As with many tourist attractions, the sites that are well-known worldwide are usually lesser-known by its neighboring counties, towns and states. Think of all those New Yorkers who have never enjoyed a Circle Line Cruise or visited the Statue of Liberty. Often, the most astonishing attractions are in your very own backyard…
Boscobel is a historic home declared as “one of the most beautiful homes ever built in America” by Nelson A. Rockefeller in 1961 and as “one of America’s great examples of Federal architecture” in Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine in 2009. Built in 1804, Boscobel was rescued, restored and then reinterpreted to its current lavish, Downton Abbey-esque presence.
Open to guided tours by day and to many other special events and attractions in the off-hours throughout the season, Boscobel is host to Turtle Walk in the spring, Shakespeare performances in the summer and Big Band concerts in the fall. You might say Boscobel is a museum and so much more.
During its annual respite January through March, Boscobel plans a year of events to help fulfill its mission of providing its 25,000 to 30,000 visitors with experiences rich in history, culture and the environment. In 2013, guests will enjoy informational lectures, sip and savor fine food and drink, discover the art of socializing during the 1800s and get goose bumps on investigative ghost tours. Brand new this year, will be an audio tour of the magnificent grounds with local celebrity narrators such as Pete Seeger, as well as a brand new series of events in December which promise an illuminating visual treat, accompanied by festive & fun holiday happenings.