Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Putnam County Restaurants






Harlem New York City’s own Country Haven: Memories of Snowdale Farm

Years before Victor Hugo Green first issued The Green book as a travel guide for African-Americans, Augustus and Mary Moran ran advertisements in The New York Age to invite travelers to vacation at Snowdale Farm in Towners, NY. It offered “all the conveniences of city life, yet having all the pleasures of a mountain resort…” They catered exclusively to African-Americans.
Located off “Dykemans Road” (CR 62), the Morans hosted many city-dwellers from Harlem, lower Westchester and from as far away as Houston, Texas for overnights, long weekends and conferences. They operated year-round and offered farm-to-table meals, horseback riding, hiking, and fishing among other outdoor sports. Eventually the Morans installed a swimming pool and tennis courts and hosted large Decoration Day and 4th of July gatherings with fireworks.

Snowdale advertising as it appeared in The New York Age, July 27, 1929

During the 1920s, Snowdale Farm was among a number of Putnam County hotels offering recreational tourism. The Morans advertised only in metropolitan newspapers and boasted that Snowdale was easily reached by the State Highway from New York City and New York Central trains that ran directly to Brewster.

Augustus, known as A.J., and his wife Mary were both of African-American lineage and came to Putnam County around 1918 and raised their family at the farm. They suffered hardship in 1924 when their 9-year-old son Elbridge, was kicked in the head by a horse. He died a few days later and The Brewster Standard reported that his Big Elm District school mates served as pallbearers. The Morans other children, Robert and Sue, grew up at Snowdale and the farm remained in the family for another generation.

The Moran’s hosted many notable guests and oftentimes their visits would be published in the society pages of The Age. Some interesting guests include:

  • Dr. E. R. Alexander, a prominent medical specialist at Harlem Hospital who also served on the Medical Committee of the NAACP; he was the only African-American in his graduating class at the University of Vermont School of Medicine and was eventually elected to the New York Academy of Medicine
  • Members of the Entre Nous Bridge Club of White Plains
  • Mrs. Cecelia Cabaniss Saunders, General Secretary and legendary fundraiser, along with committee members of 137th Street YWCA, New York’s first black YWCA branch

    Above: Cecelia Cabaniss Saunders The New York Age, 1/27/1923

  • Rev. William Lloyd Imes, then leader of St. James Presbyterian Church and pioneer in race relations
  • Stafford Neilson, an immigrant chauffeur who became one of the first black officials of the Harlem Unit of the Taxicab System running green and silver model K Checker cabs
  • Rev. & Mrs. Adam Clayton Powell and family; the Reverend was the founder of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and grew it to the largest Protestant congregation in the country; he was also an author, activist and father of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
  • Dr. Eugene Perry Roberts and family; Dr. Roberts was one of New York’s earliest black physicians receiving his M.D. in 1894, appointed as the first black assistant medical examiner in 1898; a founding member of the National Urban League; appointed to the New York City Board of Education in 1917

In the 30s, Snowdale served as the headquarters for the Berkshire Rod and Gun Club. Members included Assemblyman Robert W. Justice, James H. Hubert of the New York Urban League, and Levi Florance of Carmel. By 1934, this group had 60 members and 40 members in its ladies auxiliary.

Above: Stafford Neilson, The New York Age, 1/1/1932

(Note: Unfortunately there aren’t any records or photographs of Snowdale Farm in the Putnam County Historian’s Collection. Research for this article was based on The New York Age archives available through

Following an emergency that had the building shut down, the Putnam County Health Department and Department of Motor Vehicles building has reopened.

Following an emergency that had the building shut down, the Putnam County Health Department and Department of Motor Vehicles building has reopened.

Full Volume Test for Indian Point Sirens Set for Wednesday, February 20th, 2019, at 10:30 AM

Full Volume Test for Indian Point Sirens Set for Wednesday, February 20th, 2019, at 10:30 AM

Entergy is conducting a full-volume test of the Indian Point siren system in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties on Wednesday, February 20th at approximately 10:30 AM.
During the test the sirens will sound for four minutes. WHUD Radio (100.7 FM) will test the Emergency Alert System immediately following the siren test.


County officials will use the siren system to alert the public during an emergency at Indian Point. A sample of the Siren Sounds can be found at our website.
In an actual emergency, all the sirens would sound at full volume for four minutes. Sirens are not a signal to evacuate; but to alert the public to tune to their local Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or TV station for important information. The EAS stations are listed in the booklet “Are you Ready ? Putnam County Indian Point: Emergency Guide,” which was distributed, as well as available online.

New Electronic Cards for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

eWic Debit Cards Create Easier Food Shopping for Putnam Families

BREWSTER, NY— Putnam County residents can now shop for WIC food using a new electronic benefit card. The card, which looks like an ordinary debit or credit card, allows a more discreet shopping experience and eliminates delay at check-out. The card also can ease the “roll-over” of unused benefits, so that shoppers can take full advantage of the nutritional benefits the WIC program provides.

“A well-balanced meal of healthy foods is an important part of caring for young children,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “This new technology will make the WIC program more accessible to families in our county who need extra assistance, without having to endure any stigma. This is a very welcomed change.” The first eWIC purchase occurred in Albany last April. The system started in Putnam last December as part of a planned roll-out across New York State.

“The importance of good nutrition for proper childhood development and overall good health cannot be emphasized enough,” says interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, who encouraged residents who think they may qualify for the program to get more information. For example, a family of four earning $46,000 a year can qualify for WIC benefits.

Residents can learn more about qualifying for WIC by going online at, or by calling or visiting one of the two Putnam County WIC offices. One is located at the main office of the health department at 1 Geneva Road. The second is at 121 Main Street in the Village of Brewster. Appointments are preferred, but not required. Call 845-808-1337 for the main office, or 845-808-1416 for the village location.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. Feel free to contact our Public Information Officer Barbara Ilardi with any questions at 845-808-1390.

Football Memories: A Brewster High School Throwback

As we approach Super Bowl LIII this weekend, here’s a throwback from Brewster High School’s football team.

70 years ago the Brewster Bears had a winning season of 5-1-1 and they were crowned County Football Champions.  Some of the great players that year included quarterback Jim Casey, left halfback Doug Ruffles and fullback Doug Scolpino.  This group and team photos are featured in the 1949 yearbook Resumé as part of the Putnam County Historian’s research library.

One of the earliest references to this team coined as the “Brewster Bears” can be found in an article in The Brewster Standard dated October 23, 1931 when the “Bears” clawed, blocked and tackled their way to beat Croton-on-Hudson 44-6. The full article can be found online through the archives available through the Brewster Public Library’s Links.

Thanks to a local estate sale donation by J. Rocco in 2016, the Historian’s Office has a number of BHS yearbooks from 1948-50 and 1952. You can also find assorted copies of Resumé from 1928 -2012 in the Local History collection of Brewster Public Library. Please be sure to keep them, and other local libraries and historical societies in mind if you have any old yearbooks or school photos to digitize or donate.

BHS 1949 Back row—G. Fox, D. Scolpino, G. Vetare, E. Ritchie, E. Farrell, E. Wunner, R. Herdman, D. Ruffles, J. Palmer, F. VanCougnett, H. Salmon, J. Casey, C. Bruno.  Middle row—D. Bruen, Q. Puglsey, J. Sterry, J. Mattioli, E. Schneider, J. Heinchon, N. Prisco, T. Mastrangelo, A. Polverari, D. Stevens, A. Forschner.     Front Row—Coach Opdyke, J. Markel, D. Newcomb, J. Folchetti, D. Smith, G. Foster, E. LaMere, N. Blackwood. 


Putnam County Remains a High Risk Radon Zone Test Your Home and Protect Your Health

BREWSTER, NY— Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States among non-smokers. For those who smoke, radon greatly increases the cancer risk. This naturally occurring odorless gas claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA designates January as National Radon Action Month and encourages all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon. Radon however is a concern year-round.

Radon can easily accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings. The natural decay of uranium leads to the release of radon in rock, soil and water. High levels of radon in homes usually come from the surrounding soil. Radon gas from the soil enters buildings through cracks and openings. The EPA has identified Putnam County as a “high risk” radon zone. However, the only way to know if you have high radon levels in your home is to test it.

“The good news is that you can perform a simple, at-home test to discover your radon levels, and elevated radon levels in your home can be corrected,” says Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “With the high rates of lung cancer in Putnam County, we absolutely must talk about radon and take it seriously. Radon-resistant construction can be utilized when building new homes but older homes must be tested. Remember, just because your neighbor’s house has safe levels of radon does not mean that your house is also safe.”

For $11, which includes the lab fee, the NYSDOH offers short-term radon testing kits. The test remains in the home for a few days and then the kit is sealed and mailed in for analysis. Results are typically returned to the homeowner within a few weeks. At-home radon test kits can also be purchased inexpensively at local home and hardware stores. If elevated levels are found there are various corrective measures, ranging in cost. To learn more about radon, order a test kit or discover mitigation options, visit the New York State Department of Health website or New York Radon Information website.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at or visit the social media sites on Facebook at and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.


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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. Feel free to contact our Public Information Officer Barbara Ilardi with any questions at 845-808-1390.

Utility Companies Ready

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell along with Legislative Chairman Joseph Castellano and Protective Services Chair Paul Jonke reviewed the utilitiy companies response plan including additional crews on stand by. “We don’t know what the final outcome of this storm will be but Putnam County stands at the ready” said County Executive Odell while reviewing the additional utility company crews that have been placed on standby.

Free Smoking Cessation Program Starts Today—Wait List Forming

The eight-week smoking cessation program, “Freedom From Smoking,” created by the American Lung Association and widely regarded as the gold-standard in quit-smoking programs, gets underway Tuesday, January 8, with the first session at the Putnam County Department of Health’s main office. Ten participants have registered and will begin their journey to a smoke-free life.

Quitting is not easy and it usually takes multiple attempts to quit for good. Every past attempt to quit should be viewed in a positive light and a step in the right direction. This program helps participants better understand their own relationship with tobacco, one of the necessary steps in the transition. By using proven tools and activities, smokers move closer to success and a smoke-free life.

If you are considering making this change, please call the health department at (845) 808-1390, ext. 43155. A waiting list is being kept for the next session, planned for later this year.

A Reminder – Passing a School Bus With Red Flashing Lights Is Illegal

Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley, and the entire Putnam County Traffic Safety Committee reports that the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Town of Carmel Police Department and the Town of Kent Police Department have received numerous complaints regarding motorists passing stopped school buses. Under New York State law, it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to discharge or receive students. School buses activate yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to discharge or receive students. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that a school bus is stopped and children are either boarding or exiting the bus. When red flashing lights are activated, traffic is required to stop in both directions on undivided highways, regardless of the number of lanes, to allow students to board or exit the school bus.

As school children, countywide, get ready to return to school from their holiday break, motorists are reminded that New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 1174(A) requires drivers to stop, from either direction, even on a divided highway, any time red lights on a bus are flashing. Flashing lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students. Most school bus related deaths and injuries occur while children cross the street after being discharged from the bus, rather than in collisions that involve school buses. Passing a school bus with red lights is not only dangerous, but it is illegal and punishable with fines ranging from $250 to $1,000. Five points may be assessed to one’s driver’s license, and penalties can also include possible imprisonment (up to 30 days for the first offense and180 days for a third or subsequent conviction).

The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being struck by a passing vehicle. Drivers should stop their cars far enough from a school bus to give students the space necessary to safely enter and exit the bus.

The Traffic Safety Board will be working with various agencies and stakeholders to insure that this law is enforced. We are asking community members to help gather information about those vehicles violating this law by getting license plate numbers, the location of the violation and a description of the car and motorists whenever possible. We need to work together to insure the safety of our children.