350th Anniversary Hudson River Celebration

Shown above riding in the parade are Chairmen Sam Vassallo, Robert Friend and AI Jacob in rear of car; with AI Granovsky on left front and Jules Fisher on right. AI and Jules were Publicity and Program Chairmen respectively.

Shown above riding in the parade are Chairmen Sam Vassallo, Robert Friend and AI Jacob in rear of car; with AI Granovsky on left front and Jules Fisher on right. AI and Jules were Publicity and Program Chairmen respectively.

In 1959, towns and villages along the Hudson River were preparing to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the river’s discovery by English explorer Henry Hudson. The Village of Croton- on-Hudson was no exception and many local residents and CIVIC organizations quickly volunteered for various committees to plan what turned out to be a week-long celebration.

Robert Friend was selected as the General Chairman; with Sam Vassallo and AI Jacob as Co-Chairmen; Recreation Department Supervisor Angelo “Doc” Acocella was in charge of children’s activities; Ernest Archer was in charge of the block dance; Ray McCaffrey in charge of the Yacht Club water show; along with many other citizens supervising the publicity, refreshments, souvenirs, etc.

Hillary Reiter, Gretchen Kellerhouse, Betsy Kelly, Patricia McIntyre, Jeannette King and Donna Reynolds

Events Committee

There were discussions of how to defray some of the costs involved in such a large undertaking. It was decided that funds would be solicited over a three-day weekend by a number of Croton’s “fair maidens” dressed as Dutch girls who would stroll around. the village and train station with donation cups in-hand “selling” Booster tags. In the picture are Hillary Reiter, Gretchen Kellerhouse, Betsy Kelly, Patricia McIntyre, Jeannette King and Donna Reynolds. Mrs. Kelly was the General Secretary and Mrs. McIntyre the Tag Day Chairman.

On Friday, August 14th, a celebratory service was held at Temple Israel with Rabbi Fishbein, Father Charles Bidgood from Holy Name of Mary, and Reverend Frederick Gotwald from Our Saviour Lutheran Church, tracing the history of their houses of worship.

On Sunday the historic Bethel Chapel was open to the public and later in the afternoon the Croton Yacht Club held an open-house with boat rides for the children.

Four of the race winners are shown above: Taylor Reed, Linda Slaving, Jacqueline Barrett and Kevin Monahan.

Four of the race winners are shown above: Taylor Reed, Linda Slaving, Jacqueline Barrett and Kevin Monahan.

On Tuesday, August 18th, the Rotary Club held a Play Day for youngsters that included relay races. Prizes and refreshments were provided by the club.

A historical display of Croton photos and artifacts was open for the public to view by Village Historian Marian Graves along with an extensive array of local Indian tools and weapons belonging to Croton resident Alfred Kroll. Shown below are Mrs. Graves, Mr. Kroll and Mayor Fred Dorner.

Mrs. Graves, Mr. Kroll and Mayor Fred

Mrs. Graves, Mr. Kroll and Mayor Fred

The Municipal Building was also the scene of a flower show put on by the local Garden Club.

Shown below looking over one of the arrangements are Mrs. Arthur Morton and Mrs. Helen Moeller.

Mrs. Arthur Morton and Mrs. Helen Moeller

Mrs. Arthur Morton and Mrs. Helen Moeller

Among those visiting the historical display were David Pomeroy and Bill Stanke who enjoyed a”hands-on” time with a few of the Indian relics on display.

David Pomeroy and Bill Stanke

David Pomeroy and Bill Stanke

 

 

 

At dusk on Thursday the 20th of August, the local playgrounds enjoyed an “historical” closing for the summer season by dressing like Dutch girls and Indians. Prizes were awarded for the best Dutch girl and Indian boy and all the youngsters enjoyed roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over the camp fires. We are hoping that someone might recognize one or more of the youngsters in this great picture:

Dutch Girls and Indians

Dutch Girls and Indians

Below are five well-dressed Dutch girls enjoying roasting their marshmallows. Left to right are: Roxanne Harper, Anne King, Rita Duquette and Pauline Duquette.

Left to right are: Roxanne Harper, Anne King, Rita Duquette and Pauline Duquette.

Susan Danna, Fred

Susan Danna, Fred Keys, ??, Joseph McGrath, Dick Mills and Eleanor Antonucci.

On Saturday evening, August 22nd, a parade of floats formed along Benedict Blvd and preceded to Maple Street where it turned left and ended at the Fire Department Bazaar grounds at Riverside Avenue. The color guard led the groups on their march. Those identified are: Susan Danna, Fred Keys, ??, Joseph McGrath, Dick Mills and Eleanor Antonucci.

The Queen of the week-long celebration was Peggy Adams, shown here riding in the parade along with two young Colonial gentlemen: the young man on the left is Mark Henderson and the young man on the right is unidentified. Does anyone out there recognize him?

Peggy Adams with two colonial gentlemen

Queen Peggy Adams with two colonial gentlemen

From left to right are: Kay Parker, Ruth Hokanson, Lelia Edwards, Blanche Lawson, Jean Beach, Anna Heckman and Rita Devins.

Eastern Star representatives

The Eastern Star was represented by these beautifully clad ladies. From left to right are: Kay Parker, Ruth Hokanson, Lelia Edwards, Blanche Lawson, Jean Beach, Anna Heckman and RitaDevins.

Star-spangled Wagon

Star-spangled Wagon

Looking very patriotic in their star-spangled wagon drawn by two horses was a group representing the Lions Club: William Munson dressed as “Uncle Sam”, Mrs. Frank Vassallo, Mrs. John Fallon and Mrs. William Fyfe

A model of Bethel Chapel was built by David Felmeth for Asbury Methodist Church to enter in the parade of floats. The young men in colonial costume are Roland Gilligan, Donald Buck, Eric Henderson, Daniel Baker, Kevin Fellmeth and Lawrence Buck.

Bethel Chapel Model

Bethel Chapel Model

 

 Croton Historical SocietyContributor: Croton Historical SocietyThe Croton-on-Hudson Historical Society was formed in 1972 and is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The primary mission of the organization is the collection and preservation of Croton-on-Hudson historical materials and making them available to the public.