Class Visits | Girl Scouts | Adult Tours | Saunders History Contest

Class Visits 2008-2009

School groups are invited to visit PCHS for our new program about the West Point Foundry, which operated in Cold Spring from 1818 through 1911.

PCHS-FSM EducatorThe foundry was a pacesetter in America’s Industrial Revolution. Best known for supplying the United States government with ordnance, including the Parrott gun, a cannon whose accuracy turned the tide of the Civil War, the foundry also produced some of the nation’s first steam engines, locomotives, and ironclad ships. During its heyday, the foundry employed between 500 and 1,500 furnace men, blacksmiths, carpenters, office and machine shop workers, and others. After operations ceased, the site fell into disuse; the foundry buildings gradually were demolished, and the forest reclaimed the site, which also became a dumping ground and victim of industrial contamination.

Our educators lead school groups on a tour of the museum and a hike through the ruins in Scenic Hudson’s adjacent West Point Foundry Preserve. Students learn about the history of the foundry through critical looking exercises at objects, paintings, and prints in the museum. Students build on this foundation during the hike, where groups will discuss the manufacturing process by analyzing natural resources and extant ruins.

To arrange for a class visit this fall or next spring, contact Kendall Ingenito at or (845) 265-4010, ext. 12.

Girl Scouts

Eileen Charbonneau at the PCHS-FSMCome explore local history at the Putnam County Historical Society, located at 63 Chestnut Street in the Village of Cold Spring. Girl Scout programs are offered by appointment on weekday afternoons and weekends. Choose a program from the list below, or work with our educator to design a series of Heritage Patch programs. Programs run about one hour, and cost $3 per child. Adult chaperones are free. Call 845-265-4010, ext. 12, or email for more information.


Introduction to Knitting: Learn about the transformation of wool, (from sheep shearing to yarn) and the historic uses of yarn in the 19th century. The program culminates in a simple hands-on project such as finger-knitting or weaving.

19th century Schoolroom: Explore what life was like for schoolchildren over one hundred years ago. We will use quill pens, slate chalkboards, and get active with a traditional parlor game.


Let’s Knit!: Learn how to use needles and yarn to start a beginner scarf project. Scouts will also learn about how yarn is made and its historical uses.

Village Walking Tour: Curious about the history of the streets and buildings we see every day? Scouts will learn about the origins of six historic locations in Cold Spring, including the home of Emily Warren Roebling, a prominent woman in Cold Spring’s history.

Scrapbooking, Then and Now: View scrapbooks from early settlers of Putnam County, then start your own scrapbook (or make a history page for an existing scrapbook) using supplies provided by the museum.

Adult Tours

Tour groups are always welcome at the Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry School Museum. A museum docent will lead groups through the history of the West Point Foundry and the Hudson Highlands. Call 845-265-4010, ext. 12, or email for more information.

Jean Saunders History Contest

PCHS has sponsored the Saunders History Contest for over 20 years. The contest is named in honor of Jean Saunders – teacher, historian, and the first curator of the Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry School Museum.

Students are encouraged to submit original research projects focusing on an aspect of the history of Garrison, Putnam County or the Mid-Hudson Valley. The contest aims to increase student awareness of the rich history of our region, and to foster a lifelong love of history and research. To these ends we encourage students to conduct research at the Historical Society, area libraries and cultural institutions.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2008 Jean Saunders History Contest:

1st place - Sunken Mine Road by Alexander Glorius

2nd place - Butterfield Family by Sarah Diebboll and Carolyn Schaefer

3rd place - West Point Foundry by Matthew Forlow and Ryan Koval