The Journey begins...

My photo
The National Park Service is sponsoring programming that will commemorate the 150 anniversary of President-elect Abraham Lincoln's trip from Springfield, Illinois to Washington, DC, on February 11-23, 2011.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Onward to the Big Apple

Albany, NY to Peekskill, NY to New York, NY

We loaded the van and drove from Albany to Peekskill, New York, for a late morning event. Peekskill wasn’t on the original itinerary. But Tim Good had received a call from a gentleman in Peekskill asking if we could squeeze in a program there. He said sure. Then there was a long pause on the other end of the phone. “Do I have to fill out a form?” No, Tim replied, you don’t have to fill out a form!

The Peekskill event was a great stop for several reasons. (The weather, however, wasn’t one of them. A frigid wind blew through town the whole time. On top of that, I seem to coming down with a chest cold.)

A good-sized crowd was waiting for Mr. Lincoln at the modern train station. Many citizens were gathered, with people milling around members of color guards. A train whistle announced the arrival of Mr. Lincoln. He made his way down to the crowd. Then a parade of people began striding briskly to the old train depot. It was wonderful to see a color guard from the U.S. Military Academy from West Point, NY (which is in the area). Several Civil War living history groups were represented: the 150th New York Regiment, 79th NY, 11th Connecticut, and a Yorktown (I believe) student re-enactment group. Sons of Union Veterans members and some Boy Scouts were present.

At the old train station there is a statue of the president-elect standing at the rail, complete with his top hat on his head. It’s one of the tangible reminders of Lincoln’s inaugural journey that we have found along the way. There is also an active Lincoln Society in Peekskill that has kept the memory of Lincoln alive and well in the area.

The program at the depot lasted about 35 minutes. The blistering cold temperatures had us shivering. Snow was piled on the ground. Several dignitaries spoke. The president-elect made a few brief comments.

They are working on a Lincoln Depot Museum renovation. I think it’s a great idea. It will provide a permanent place where visitors can make a connection to Lincoln’s inaugural journey and the Civil War era. One of the men in line said they have a lot of Civil War related artifacts they can put in the museum, including items from the Grand Army of the Republic (a post-Civil War veterans’ organization) members. Currently, the interior of the depot is vacant—except on this day, because everyone sought shelter inside to escape the biting winter wind. The hot chocolate was a huge hit!

Then we drove on to the “Big Apple,” New York, NY.

Fritz and Spirit presented their standard program at Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site tonight. They reported that it went well and there were about 100 people in attendance.

But I have become ill. So I didn’t venture out to the program. My main concern is not to get everyone else sick.

1 comment: