News & Announcements
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.
Boscobel House & Gardens Voted “Best Place for a Wedding” by readers of Hudson Valley Magazine
Boscobel has, once again, been voted as a Best of Hudson Valley ® winner by Hudson Valley Magazine readers. This year for the category, ”Best Place for a Wedding.” Boscobel will be featured along with other winners in the October issue of Hudson Valley Magazine and to celebrate, will be participating in Hudson Valley Magazine’s gala Best Of event open to the public on September 27, 2012 at The Grand Hotel in Poughkeepsie, NY.
For tickets and more info, visit www.hvmag.com
Boscobel Receives Commendation
The Garden Club of America Zone III Commendation for Historic Preservation was presented to Boscobel House & Gardens by the Chairperson of the GCA’s Garden, History and Design Committee, Barbara Benge Kehoe (Mrs. Robert) of Winnetka, IL (also a member of the Garden Guild of Winnetka) at the Annual Zone III Awards Dinner on June 13th at the Thayer Hotel in West Point, NY. Boscobel board member, Mr. Frederick Osborn III, received the commendation on behalf of Boscobel.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Osborn thanked the Philipstown Garden Club for their original design and plantings of medicinal, culinary and household herbs and plants in the herb garden next to Boscobel’s federal period Orangery which the garden club members have continued to enhance and maintain since 1964. The framed award and the plan of the current garden are both displayed in the Orangery.
As thanks for the Philipstown Garden Club’s hospitality during the three-day Annual Meeting of the 22 clubs of GCA Zone III, the visiting clubs made a gift of $300 toward the construction of period benches to be installed beneath the two large pear arbors in the Herb Garden at Boscobel. Friends of Boscobel have made donations to the furnishings of the Herb Garden as well.
New Venetian Carpet Installed
During midwinter when Boscobel is closed to visitors, the stairways and landing carpet runners were replaced with an early-19th-century, 100% wool, reproduction Venetian carpet. Visitors on Opening Day, April 1, were welcomed in the Entry Hall by the new carpet, which uses the former carpet’s color palette to remain in harmony with the decorated interior of the largest open space in the mansion.
The carpet was produced by one of the industry’s most notable and last surviving U.S. textile mills, Family Heirloom Weavers, which reproduces original designs from the 18th and 19th centuries and adapts them for 21st century use. Family Heirloom Weavers produce woven ingrain carpets, coverlets and runners for private residences, museums, even Hollywood movie producers. Their name is linked to the homes of such famous people as Washington, Lincoln, Monroe, Jackson, Grant, Buchanan, Twain, the Wright Brothers…and, of course, States and Elizabeth Dyckman.
During a two-day visit, craftsman Rick Clanton of IngrainCarpet.com, a specialist in ingrain and Venetian carpet installation, used staples and carpet tacks with great precision to install the new carpet.
A bill of sale exists showing that Elizabeth Dyckman purchased 37 yards of carpet and an additional 3 yards in 1808 from Andrew S. Norwood, a known carpet merchant and later importer in New York City. In comparing the yardage used to the receipt, the only place Mrs. Dyckman could have used this quantity of carpet together was on the staircase and landings.