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Dear Friend,

Like many other local organizations here in Philipstown, we depend on the time and generosity of our volunteers and donors. We were founded as a volunteer-run organization in 1906, and managed ourselves that way for nearly 90 years. Scores of men and women dedicated thousands of hours to what was long known as the Putnam County Historical Society. Faced with limited space and even more limited funds, they managed to collect, preserve, and put on display the objects, artifacts, artwork, and documents that tell the story of the rich history of our town through the centuries.

Today, through the efforts of a small professional staff—still supported by those volunteers and donors—we have organized and catalogued our collection so that it can be mined by historians, residents, students, and others with an interest in our past. Our current exhibition, Summer Afternoon: Fashion and Leisure in the Hudson Highlands, 1850–1950, features many items that were either donated by former volunteers or were gathered from the community by our volunteers. It has delighted hundreds of visitors. The accompanying catalogue significantly contributes to the scholarship on recreation and fashion in our community over 100 years.

Our plans for 2013 are ambitious. We hope to mount two exciting exhibitions as well as collaborate with Scenic Hudson on the expected reopening of its West Point Foundry Preserve. We are expanding the quantity and quality of the programs we provide to local schools—each year we serve hundreds of Philipstown students—and we hope to preserve our substantial public opening hours.

Unfortunately, like other local organizations, our revenue from government sources has decreased dramatically—40 percent over the last four years. This loss represents a real threat to our ability to continue to pursue our mission. We depend more heavily than ever on support from our individual donors to maintain our museum, lecture hall, genealogical resource, research library for students and scholars, and social network. We strive to keep a flame of passion afire for the things that make this place special—our storied past, the natural splendor of the Hudson River Valley, and our commitment to small-town community.

We need your support to ensure the future of local history! We are grateful for your past donations and ask that you again consider a contribution, the most generous you can manage, to the Putnam History Museum today. (Given uncertainty in Washington over potential tax law changes that could affect the deductibility of charitable gifts, many tax planners recommend giving as much as possible in 2012 when full deductibility is assured.) Thank you.

Sincerely,


David Duffy,
Board Chair

Mindy Krazmien,
Executive Director