The Algonquin people we know as Lenape Esopus lived, fished and grew crops along the “river that flows both ways.” Their encampments beside the Hudson left traces of their life here long ago. As a young man in the l930’s and 1940’s, Norm Bohan wandered the banks of the Hudson off River Road in Ulster Park, often discovering and collecting American Indian artifacts near the family property. Norm went on to attend the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and completed a distinguished career as a Navy Commander. Over the years his interest in archeology and the Native Americans who once lived here grew, as did his collection.
Upon his retirement from the Navy, Norm and his wife Fran settled in their home on the River Road. Norm became an active member and a President of the Klyne Esopus Historical Society Museum. The Bohans invited SUNY New Paltz archeologists and students to conduct the “Datum” dig on their property. Following Norm Bohans’s death, the family graciously donated his collection of Indian artifacts to the Klyne Esopus Museum. Late in the fall of 2013, the remainder of the Datum collection was conveyed to the Museum for conservation and display. Some of these artifacts have been processed for display in the 2015 season.
“The First People” exhibit is part of the Museum's ongoing mission to preserve, interpret and present the history of the Town of Esopus.