Merchant of the Week: The New Castle Historical Society

October 26, 2012
by Rob Greenstein

I wanted more details about their biggest event of the year – the 45th Chappaqua Antiques Show.

Betsy Towl, Executive Director
New Castle Historical Society
Horace Greeley House
100 King Street, Box 55
Chappaqua, NY 10514

How long has the museum been part of our community, and what are your hours of operation?

The New Castle Historical Society was formed in 1966 and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the State New York.  The Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1:00 - 4:00. Appointments may be made for other hours or for group tours.  It’s a beautiful house.

What is your mission?

Our mission is to discover, collect, preserve, and communicate the history of the Town of New Castle.


Tell me about the 45th Chappaqua Antiques Show and this year’s Honorary Chair.

The 45th Annual Chappaqua Antiques Show is the Society’s largest fundraiser.  This year it will be held on November 3rd and 4th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Westorchard Elementary School, 25 Granite Road in Chappaqua.  The Antiques Show is one of the most highly-anticipated events in the Northeast.  This year the Show will feature extraordinary merchandise from more than 50 quality dealers, a design consultant, appraisal advice, a gourmet café, luscious desserts, and a multiple raffle drawing of luxe goods and services. This year’s Honorary Chair is Dr. Kenneth Jackson, longtime Chappaqua resident, historian, and ultimate New York-ologist. Dr. Jackson is also the author of the new Second Edition of The Encyclopedia of New York City.  Signed copies of this wonderful book will be available at the Show.

A popular feature of the Show again this year will be Certified Appraiser Jon Felz who will be on the stage both days of the Show to provide verbal appraisals of your treasures for a nominal charge.  Interior designer, Cami Weinstein, will be available for free design advice for those unsure how to mesh antique and modern elements in their homes to add depth and interest.

The Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to our 1st annual Holiday Stroll being run in conjunction with both the New Castle Historical Society and the Chappaqua Chamber Orchestra.  Tell me a little about your yearly community Tree Lighting.

The Open House and Annual Holiday Tree Lighting on December 1st at the Horace Greeley House marks the beginning of the holiday season in New Castle.  The Open House from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. features tours of the Museum decorated for the season.  Children of all ages are invited to come and create a Victorian craft as a special gift for the holidays.  They will also have an opportunity to make old-fashioned holiday ornaments to hang on the tree in the Parlor.  The Holiday Tree Lighting celebration starts at 4:30 p.m.  Members of the Chappaqua Chamber Orchestra, the Madrigal Choir, and the Chappaqua Singers walk down Senter Street from their concert at Bell School.  The choral groups will perform holiday selections for everyone.  As darkness falls, the Society’s spruce tree will be lighted.  Everyone is then invited to the Community Center for refreshments provided by New Castle’s Teen Alliance and a visit by that jolly old elf, Santa.

When is your annual host the “Castles of New Castle” house tour?

The 10th “Castles of New Castle” House Tour will be held on Thursday, May 16th.  The Historical Society will showcase a variety of beautiful area homes that vary in size, location, style and year of construction.  These homes provide wonderful examples of the architectural richness of our community and when combined tell a terrific story about the history of New Castle and its residents from the 1800’s to the present.


How can members of the community support your organization, and what are some of the benefits of membership?

The community can support the New Castle Historical Society and the Horace Greeley House by becoming members.  Membership allows the Society to provide educational tours to Chappaqua school groups and conduct programs for children and adults.  Also this year the Society has been active in developing and presenting new programs and exhibits depicting the history of New Castle.  All of these activities, as well as the upkeep of the Horace Greeley House, are made possible by the partnership of our members.  Membership information is available on the Society’s website:

Tell me about your Education Committee, and research at New Castle Historical Society.

The Society’s Education Committee works in conjunction with the Chappaqua Schools to provide students with a unique perspective on New Castle’s history.  This fall Society members researched and then installed exhibits in the three elementary schools featuring artifacts from the early schools.  This fall all second graders visit the Horace Greeley House to learn about early Chappaqua and the Greeley family.  Programs are also available for middle school students studying the local ecological system and our exhibit committee has worked with the HGHS History Club on mini-exhibits at the Museum.  High school students can also do independent research for their AP courses using our extensive Archives.

Tell me about your museum shop, and some of your products?

The Museum Shop at the Horace Greeley House features a number of exclusive Chappaqua items—Afghans in three colors, mugs, bowls, embroidered towels and potholders, too.  There is a large selection of notecards of historic homes in town as well as postcards of New Castle, items of the Victorian era and wonderful gifts for children.

Any volunteer opportunities at The New Castle Historical Society?

The Society welcomes volunteers!  There are many ways to get involved.  Volunteers are always needed at the Chappaqua Antiques Show, the “Castles of New Castle” House Tour, and the Museum.  One can assist upcoming exhibits, help out in the Archive or help with school tours.  The possibilities are endless!

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