Thursday, May 11, 2017

Celebrating Our Heritage - Happy Birthday Reis Park!

On Saturday, April 29, 2017 the library put together a wonderful collaborative celebration to honor Carolyn Wright Reis and celebrate the 50th anniversary of her legacy—the bequest of her farmstead and its contents to the Town of Somers which became Reis Park.  This program plan presented our local history in an appealing, multi-generational way.
Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk

The focus of the day was the prominent local historical figure Carolyn Wright Reis, who, upon her death, donated 84- plus acres of farmland to the Town of Somers and is the land on which the library was built in 1982 after being moved from another location.  Her bequest was made with the stipulation that this land be used by the Town of Somers for recreational and educational purposes.  Mrs. Wright Reis was also one of the earliest members of the Somers Library's Board of Trustees.

Perhaps Carolyn played a hand in the weather that day as we had sunny skies and warm breezy temperatures.  The day started with historical storytelling by master storyteller, Jonathan Kruk and a new sign dedication at the Mt Zion Church.  

After that, there were plenty of places for people of all ages to have fun and to explore.  The library front yard had face painting, old fashioned games, storytelling and balloon art.  The Wright-Reis Homestead was open for tours. Also at the homestead, there was a meet the Muscoot Farm animals exhibit as well as a special exhibit inside the house.  Under the park pavilion, local authors displayed their books. There was also a concert on the park stage with musicians Scott Urgola and Fred Gillen, Jr. As the day began to wind down, we had, of course, a birthday cake and closing remarks by town and other local officials.

This collaborative program with the Somers Library and the Somers Historical Society was made possible with funding from the Westchester Library System's mini-grant initiative supported by Entergy and Con Edison.  Additional support is being provided by the Friends of the Somers Library, Somers    Library Foundation, Somers Custom Framing Shop and Somers Historical Society.  Special thanks to the Somers Parks & Rec and the Somers Police.

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