The Peekskill Museum. I've lived in Peekskill for three years now, and I'm embarrassed to confess that before a few weeks ago I had never visited the Peekskill Museum. I'm doubly embarrassed because I'm actually a historian myself and very interested in our area's past. And I'm triply embarrassed because, had I not been invited to give a book talk there recently, I still might not have visited this wonderful local attraction and resource.
It was on my list, of course. Every time I walked by that beautiful house on Union Avenue, I thought, "Soon. I must visit soon." Visiting does take a bit of planning (the Museum is only open a few hours on Saturdays or by special arrangement), and since it's a block off the main drag of South Street, it doesn't necessarily attract weekend strollers. But still, it really is part of downtown Peekskill.
The building that houses the Peekskill Museum is itself impressive and full of history - the former Herrick family home, built in 1878. Once inside, you're immediately swept back in time, passing through the many eras of Peekskill's long, historically important and colorful past. There's more there than I can begin to describe (check out the Museum's website), all lovingly curated by the Museum's staff. If you're lucky enough to get a tour from Peekskill historian/author John Curran, our city's past will be brought to life for you so vibrantly that you'll feel that you're actually living it yourself.
My favorite part of the Museum is the map collection. I love looking at the maps and photos of downtown Peekskill, comparing then and now. The place I live in on North Division Street - now an artist loft - is in all the old photos, going back decades. It's been through many transformations and many tenants. There have been many before me and will be many after me. We're all just part of the continuum of history.
The Museum is open tomorrow (Saturday) from 1-4. Maybe I'll see you there!
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