Category Archives: News

Fall Lecture : Religious Faith and Seafaring in Early America

November 5, 2017
Dobbs Ferry Public Library
2 p.m.

In this presentation, Laura Chmielewski will explore intersections of religious faith and maritime enterprise in early America. The religious habits of merchants, seafarers, and traveling people of faith inflected their lives in a variety of ways that impacted trade practices, shipboard relationships, and even pastimes and hobbies.

We will explore the spaces and places of their religious activity and how ships and cities became the most powerful engines of religious coexistence and diversity in early America.

Dr. Laura M. Chmielewski is Associate Professor of History at State University of New York at Purchase. She is the author of “The Spice of Popery: Converging Christianities on an Early American Frontier”; “The Atlantic Experience: Peoples, Places, Ideas” (with Catherine M. Armstrong) and “Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet: Exploration, Encounter and the French New World.”

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Embarkation of the Pilgrims, by Robert Walter Weir

May 21, 2017 – Reception for essay contest participants

Come applaud the Dobbs Ferry High School 9th Grade participants in the Why Monuments Matter essay contest at a reception in their honor!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Mead House
12 Elm Street
Dobbs Ferry

Essayists, their families and friends are cordially invited to attend!

Awards will be presented at 3:00pm

Refreshments to follow

All Dobbs Ferry residents and history buffs are welcome!

Please come! Be informed, involved, and inspired!

2017 Lecture Series: The History of Aviation in Westchester County

On Sunday, June 11 at 2:00PM at the Dobbs Ferry Public Library, 55 Main St., Kent Patterson will present a lecture on The History of Aviation in Westchester County.

Mr. Patterson, who is a Dobbs Ferry native and the author of the new book Westchester County Airport: Images of Aviation, will recount the fascinating history of aviation in Westchester County.

The first airport in the country was a seaplane base at Rye-Cove, which was built in the early 1920s. Other early airports were situated in Armonk, Croton, and our own Dobbs Ferry, at Willow Point, the location of a seaplane base in the 1930s and 1940s.

Before World War Two, the pros and cons of building a county airport were hotly debated, but the issue was not decided until the onset of the war, when the Army determined that an airfield was needed in the county for defense purposes.

Rye Lake was chosen as the optimal location, and an airfield was accordingly constructed. After the war, the transition was made from military airfield to county airport.

With that transition, Westchester County Airport enjoed commercial success almost from the beginning of its operation.

Copies of Mr. Patterson’s book will be available for purchase and signing.

The Dobbs Ferry Historical Society Presents the Spring 2017 House Tour!

Sunday, June 4th, 2017, 1-4pm

This year we are happy to offer a walking tour of homes on Broadway and Clinton Avenue. All the homes are connected to James Jennings McComb and the establishment and expansion of the Masters School.

Start at the Wilde House on Broadway. This home was built by James Wilde, Jr. as his retirement home. Eliza Masters and her daughters began their new school in this home called Kirk Knoll.

As the new school grew it needed more room. James Jennings McComb’s daughters attended her school. When Kirk Knoll became too small for the school, Eliza Masters thought about moving to Irvington. She was asked by J. J. McComb to stay in Dobbs Ferry. He asked what would keep her here. She asked for the land owned by P.J.Armour across Broadway. So McComb purchased the lots. He continued by erecting buildings for her school. His home was 29 Clinton Avenue before he built Estherwood for his family.

Again in the 1920’s the school needed more room for dormitories. Sarah Masters, now the head of the school, bought and rented houses along Clinton Avenue. These would include The Lindens at 70 Clinton, the Dobbs Ferry Woman’s Club at 54 Clinton and the Satterlee house at 34 Clinton. Also included in her expansion were homes that have now been demolished, Windy Brow, Thornloe, and Bonny Brae.

Please enjoy this walk through history on Broadway and Clinton Avenue.

Tour starts at the Mead House at 1pm. Participants should plan to arrive at the Mead House at that time to pick up their badge(admission ticket) and map/brochure.

Tickets are $40. Click below to purchase in advance using PayPal, or buy your ticket at the Mead House at 1pm on June 4th.

Note: for quantities larger than 1, be sure to hit the Enter key after updating the quantity, otherwise, you will only be ordering a single ticket. Or, click Add to Cart once for every ticket you wish to order.


High School Freshman Essay Contest

To foster and inspire an appreciation of the long and rich history of the Village of Dobbs Ferry, the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society, in conjunction with the Dobbs Ferry School District, is sponsoring an essay contest.

The essay topic is Why Monuments Matter. Click here to download a PDF outline containing essay parameters, deadline, and submission instructions.

This contest is open for 9th grade students enrolled in Dobbs Ferry High School.

A reception will be held at Mead House on May 21 to honor the contest participants.

Spring 2017 Lecture Series

Sunday, March 26 at 2:00 PM
Dobbs Ferrry Library, 55 Main Street

Westchester author Carol Brier will speak about her recently published book, Mr. Jay of Bedford: John Jay, The Retirement Years 1801-1829.

Ms. Brier will talk about the later years and legacy of Westchester statesman, John Jay. After serving his country in many varied roles, the last as governor of New York, Jay took up residence at his beloved farm at Bedford in 1801, At the farm he turned his attention to his crops and livestock, family, friends, compatriots, and servants, free and slave. We will learn about the technological advances of the day (such as Hudson River steamboats and the Erie Canal), about Jay’s continuing literary and political pursuits, his close friendship with novelist James Fenimore Cooper, and his participation in an important debate on the authorship of George Washington’s Farewell Address.

Admission is free, and all are welcome.
Carol Brier has written many articles about John Jay for various historical publications. She is the author, publisher and administrator of the JOHN JAY FORUM, a blog devoted to researching John Jay and his family, with information about books, articles, manuscripts, pamphlets, events and links. Her 2016 book, Mr. Jay of Bedford, John Jay, The Retirement Years 1801-1829 was published by Heritage Books and contains much new scholarship.

2017 Annual Clara Mead Eggnog Party

Come join us for the Annual Clara Mead Eggnog Party!

Taking place Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 2:00pm at

the Mead House,

Open to one and all; come visit with friends and neighbors to welcome in the New Year!

Downloadable PDF brochure


Irvington in the Movies – A New History Film Series

Turn back time and hop aboard the Twentieth Century Limited, also known as the Hudson River Line, with Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic North by Northwest.

Shown for the first time on the big screen in Irvington’s Town Hall Theater, the film will be introduced by local historian Thom Johnson with a brief lecture titled “North by Northwest Through Irvington and Beyond.”

This event is the debut installment of a new History Film Series, being co-sponsored by the Irvington Historical Society and the Town Hall Theater, that will feature classic movies that include scenes of Irvington.

Date: Thursday, December 8
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: 85 Main Street (Town Hall Theater)
Tickets: $15 at and include
complimentary beer and wine; popcorn and snacks can be purchased during the show.

North By Northwest (1959)

Irvington Historical Society Fall Fundraising Benefit

On Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, the Irvington Historical Society is hosting their annual Fall Fundraising Benefit.

Taking place at at the historic Carmer Octagon House (on the Aqueduct in Irvington), the benefit will feature tours of this historic mansion as well as the reinstated 19th Century Lord & Burnham greenhouse.

For tickets, go to