Westchester County Historical Society’s Annual Meeting will Celebrate County Parks System’s 100th Anniversary

The Westchester County Historical Society 148th Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, June 12, 2021, from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, at the Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park, 201 Hawley Road, North Salem.  The program includes a brief business meeting with the election of trustees, the presentation of the Sy Shulman Award, and an illustrated talk on the unique history of Westchester’s Park System. Light refreshments will be served. The public is welcome to attend.


The Ninth Annual Sy Shulman Award will be presented to two honorees, Dr. David Osborn and David Thomas. This award is given to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a strong commitment to historical research, historic preservation, or the teaching of local history, and has elevated the public’s appreciation of the history of Westchester County.  The award is named for former WCHS trustee Sy Schulman, who was the county’s chief planner and planning commissioner during the 1960s. Throughout his life in Westchester, he championed the cause of preserving and promoting the history of the county.  


Dr. David Osborn has served as site manager of St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, In Mount Vernon, since 1999.  He directs a sweeping array of public and educational programs, and oversees operations at the important National Historic Landmark and a unit of the National Park Service, located in Mt. Vernon.   


David Thomas, President and Founder of the Friends of the African-American Cemetery in Rye, has spent over a decade protecting, preserving and relating the story of the sacred burial grounds first established in 1860 for the free Black families in the towns of Rye, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale and Port Chester.  Mr. Thomas has shared his knowledge and passion about this history with numerous historic sites, historical societies, and preservation-minded organizations in Westchester and beyond. 


The 100th Anniversary of America’s First County Parks System, a digital presentation on the extraordinary work of the 1922 Westchester Parks Commission, will follow the awards ceremony. Highlighting the remarkable vision and work of the 1922 Westchester Parks Commission, WCHS Co-Director and New Rochelle City Historian Barbara Davis will discuss the extensive network of open space, natural oases, scenic roadways, and the abundant areas for recreation that the Commission established within its first decade. Beginning with the Bronx River Parkway Commission and resulting in the amassing of thousands of acres of property  enjoyed today, the program is richly illustrated with images from the collections of WCHS and the County Archives collections.  


For more information and to purchase tickets, at $30 per person, call the WCHS Office at (914) 231-1401, or visit westchesterhistory.com


Established in 1874, the Westchester County Historical Society is one of the oldest historical societies in America and the only organization that collects and promotes the countywide history of Westchester. The Society’s comprehensive and accessible collection of books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, maps and atlases, and images pertaining to the history and genealogy of Westchester County is housed in the state-of-the art temperature- and humidity-controlled environment of the Westchester County Records Center located at 2199 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford, NY, 10523.