Klyne Esopus Museum

Klyne Esopus Museum


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The Making of the
Klyne Esopus Historical Society Museum


(1969 - 1993)

by Mary E. Polhemus

1965 The Ulster Park Reformed Church closes after 138 years. Marion Sahler strongly objects to the plan by the Mid-Hudson Classis of the Reformed Church to raze the historic building.
1969 Ruth Ford researches the history of the congregation and building. She and Edwin Ford call a meeting at the town hall to save the building. The Ulster Park Church Historic Committee is formed.An organization meeting is held at the home of Marion Sahler. The committee title is changed to the Klyne Esopus Historic Preservation Committee.
1970 The Mid-Hudson Classis agrees to give the church property to the Preservation Committee if they incorporate. The committee name is changed to the Town of Esopus Historical Society. The Town of Esopus declares the church building a historic site. Incorporation papers are prepared for the Klyne Esopus Preservation Historic Committee.
1972 The group is incorporated after two years of work.
1974 New York State returns the incorporation papers as flawed. They are rewritten.The deed to the property is received and presented to Marion Sahler.
1975 The first Board of Trustees is elected.
1976 IBM provides the first grant to replace the roof.
1977 The church building is declared a historic site by the Ulster County Historic Site Commission and the Ulster County Legislature. The organization's name changes to the Klyne Esopus Historical Society.
1978 Membership in the society increases from 15 to 51.
1979 500 letters are mailed for the first fund drive. $1,000.00 is raised.
1981 Work begins on incorporation under the New York State Board of Regents as a "museum." The name is changed to the Klyne Esopus Historical Society Museum.
1983 Sales tax exemption received.
1984 Provisional Charter as a museum is received from New York State.
1986 Renovations on the building are completed using funds raised by the Society and grants from IBM, New York State and the Heritage Task Force.
May 17, 1986 The Klyne Esopus Historical Society Museum has its Grand Opening ceremony.
Sept. 8, 1986 New by-laws and a Museum Policy are written by the Board of Trustees.
Nov. 21, 1986 Absolute Charter awarded to the Museum by the New York State Board of Regents. Society has 350 members.
Nov. 2002 The membership approves major revisions to the by-laws. While retaining its official name, the Klyne Esopus Historical Society Museum, the museum begins doing business as the Klyne Esopus Museum.
Apr. 2003 A terrace is constructed in front of the museum funded by subscriptions to Legacy Bricks. Melinda Terpening, Vivian Wadlin and Mary Brechter completely redo the Museum's exhibits in accordance with professional museum guidelines.
2004 Boy Scouts renovate the restroom and paint the storage buildings. First Recognition Dinner honors museum founders. The 100th Anniversary of Esopus resident Alton B. Parker's presidential candidacy is celebrated. A major exhibit is mounted at the Museum and a play is produced by the Parker Elementary School from Cortland, NY. Parker was born in Cortland. Additional land is purchased for parking and a picnic grove.
2005 Esopus Goes to War, 1941 - 1945 the 2005 exhibit remembers the sacrifices Esopus made in defense of freedom.