Letter: Rockland Historical Society Seeks Support

After the demolition of Teaberry, the HSRC are asking supporters to join them at Tuesday's town board meeting so they can demonstrate, in person, concern for the Vanderbilt/Budke House


Editor's note: The following letter can also be found on the Historical Society of Rockland County's website.

Dear HSRC Members and History Enthusiasts:

Please will you join us in attending the Clarkstown Town Board Meeting on December 11th at 8:00pm?   The demolition of Teaberryport has sounded a warning that the HSRC and the public must become more involved in the preservation plans for historic structures. 

Throughout 2012, the Historical Society of Rockland County hosted bus trips through historic Rockland County.  During these trips, we visited many important places in our Preserve America County with the excellent leadership of our municipal historians.  Hundreds of our members and friends experienced these trips and were informed and entertained.

On our October 13th trip through Clarkstown, led by Clarkstown Historian Bob Knight, trip-goers were shocked and saddened to see two important historic buildings appearing to be in states of dis-repair.   

The first of these was known as Teaberryport, at 312 Strawtown Road.  Sadly, this sandstone dwelling (one of the oldest in the county) was demolished by its owner, United Water, on November 27, 2012.  Despite efforts from the community to work with the town of Clarkstown and United Water to preserve it, this dwelling was left vacant and unmanaged allowing the elements to infiltrate it and undermine its stability. This historic pre-revolutionary sandstone dwelling has been lost forever due to neglect.   

It is our serious concern that a similar fate will befall the second house we observed:   The Vanderbilt / Budke House located on Germonds Road.   This is the 2nd oldest house in Rockland County, and is currently owned by The Town of Clarkstown.  In addition to being one of the oldest in the county, this house was previously owned by one of the most important Rockland Historians, George Budke – whose papers are now housed at the NY Public Library. 

As an organization whose mission is to preserve history, The HSRC must inquire about the plans that are in place to ensure the prevention of further deterioration of the Vanderbilt/Budke house.  We hope you will join us in this inquiry.

The HSRC understands the economic climate presents challenges in all areas of the public and private sector, however, we feel strongly that some simple steps must be taken to prevent the further deterioration of the stability of this historical building and as a result would reduce the long-term costs to maintain, preserve and ultimately restore this building.

Please will you join us in attending the Town Board Meeting, so that we can demonstrate, in person, our concern for the Vanderbilt/Budke House and request, with us, the details about what plans are in place for the short-term AND long-term maintenance and preservation of this historic building.

Meeting Details: 

  • Date:  December 11, 2012 at 8:00pm                        
  • Place 10 Maple Avenue, New City, NY  10956 – Auditorium


The Board of Trustees of the Historical Society of Rockland County

P.S.  If you cannot attend the meeting, call or write Supervisor Gromack and let him know you are concerned.  His contact information is: 

Supervisor Alex Gromack

Town of Clarkstown

10 Maple Avenue

New City, NY  10956

Office Phone:  845-639-2050
Fax:   845-634-5456
Email: a.gromack@clarkstown.org

To read the HSRC’s mission statement, click here:  http://www.rocklandhistory.org/page.cfm?page=13

To see a list of the HSRC’s Board of Trustees, click here:  http://www.rocklandhistory.org/page.cfm?page=33

CBSheridan December 10, 2012 at 03:17 PM
If you cannot attend the meeting, a letter or email of support would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, Clare Sheridan, President, The Historical Society of Rockland County
Tyler Durden December 10, 2012 at 03:30 PM
If you'd really like to preserve the heritage and history of the area give it back to the native Lenape people. If they weren't displaced buy us, these "historical" buildings wouldn't be here to begin with. History does not begin with European encroachment.
Lady Madonna December 10, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Why should it be government's role to protect Clarkstown's heritage and history? Battlefields and real landmark sites, ok. but old houses? Really? This should be the responsibility of private (donor) funding.
Jim Monroe December 12, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Preservation is just and necessary for the future generations. As the song lyric states: "Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got til its gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot" "Big Yellow Taxi" as written by Joni Mitchell In order to fully understand our future as a community and as human beings, we must first learn from our past. These buildings are art history and must be recognized as such. BTW, shame on United Water for demolishing Teaberryport.


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