The Klyne Esopus Museum, located in Ulster Park, New York, is housed in a former Dutch country church built in 1827. The museum offers a variety of exhibits about the culture, commerce and history of The Town of Esopus.
Article IX, Section 6, Paragraph f of the Museum by-laws requires that the Presidents, as part of their duties, provide a State of the Museum Report at the annual meeting.
PRESIDENT’S STATE OF THE MUSEUM REPORT
Presented at the Annual Meeting January 21, 2007
The state of the Museum is good. In 2006 we paid all our bills and continue to have strong financial reserves thanks to the efforts of our departing Treasurer Ralph Ellis.
Trustee and long-time member Daniel Terpening continues as the Chair of the Capitol Campaign Committee raising the money to pay off the mortgage on the property. Please support him in his efforts on behalf of the museum.
Our major events, the Annual Recognition Dinner, the Strawberry Festival, the Fireman’s Picnic and the Turkey Dinner, were successes. These are a primary source of our operating revenue and we encourage members and their friends, acquaintances, neighbors and even strangers they meet on the street to join us.
The 2007 exhibit First Responders of Esopus was a huge success from two perspectives. First it brought new visitors to the museum and second, it was the first exhibit which depended on photos and artifacts loaned to the museum specifically for an exhibition.
On November 19th, the Klyne Esopus Museum hosted a workshop meeting of the Ulster Historic Alliance. Our topic was Gaining Publicity for your organization’s events. This Museum is a strong supporter of the Alliance as it allows smaller museums to share information and best practices. Our particular effort is to get museums in the area to recommend each other. Visitors can be asked which way they are headed and we can mention Ulster County museums along their route.
We ended 2006 with exactly 150 annual members and 49 life members. So far 70 members have renewed for 2007. The membership year is January thru December. We depend on membership dues to hold events and keep the museum open.
The 2008 exhibit will be titled: Then and Now. It will be an exhibit of old and new artifacts and photos. The Museum received a $500.00 grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council to hire a professional photographer to take the present-day photos of old postcard and photo scenes. We are also looking for artifacts for the exhibit. For example, I have an old candlestick telephone use by my Grandfather who was a town resident. It will be placed with a cell phone for then and now. We have a glass milk bottle from Yesse Farms which will be placed with a modern container. If you have any old items with a modern counterpart, please consider loaning the item to the museum for the 2008 exhibit. We’d like to see your old photos, as well. We open on the third Sunday in May.
The museum is set to work with the town on two major historical events. In 2009 New York State will celebrate the Hudson-Fulton Quadra centennial. The Town of Esopus had some major events for the 1959 celebration. The museum’s exhibit for 2009 will include the current celebration as well as the history of past celebrations.
In 2011, the Town of Esopus will celebrate its 200th anniversary. The Museum will also be working with the town on this milestone and we will be looking for some ideas for exhibits and events.
The State Education Department encourages towns to use the local historical societies to identify candidates for the town historian position. In light of the upcoming events the Klyne Esopus Historical Society will play a role in a search committee established by the town to find a Historian. If you know of anyone interested in the position of town historian, let us know.
Finally, two members of the board and executive committee have chosen not to return. Ralph Ellis who did a fantastic job of organizing our finances during his four years on the board wants to begin enjoying his personal life. Ralph has been involved in volunteer service most of his life. Many organizations, including the Klyne Esopus Museum, are better for his participation. Some only survived because of his dedication. As president, I know the many hours Ralph has spent serving the Museum and on behalf of the membership I would like to thank him.
Mary Brechter has chosen not to return. Mary was always there. She supported every program. We can especially thank Mary for the fine exhibits she mounted over the past three years: 2004: Alton B. Parker of Esopus, 2005: Esopus Goes to War and 2006 First Responders of Esopus. Those were wonderful exhibits. They took a lot of energy to put together and they truly “exhibited the pride of Esopus.” The Museum will miss Mary’s dedication and I will miss working with her on our exhibits and as thoughtful member of the executive committee.
We sorely miss Peter McGowan who suffered a stroke this past year. Peter was the driving force behind our speakers program. As Membership Committee chair he worked tirelessly to promote the museum and gain new members. We pray that he will return to the board.
With these departures and Peter’s leave of absence, we must fill their positions. Please consider accepting the position of Treasurer, Chair of the Museum Committee, Chair of the Membership Committee or Chair of the Programs Committee. We need your help in Exhibiting the Pride of Esopus.
Alexander F. Contini