Travel Channel star and “Mysteries at the Museum” host Don Wildman stopped by the Putnam History Museum

Travel Channel star and “Mysteries at the Museum” host Don Wildman stopped by the Putnam History Museum in Cold Spring last week.  While there he took in some of the great West Point Foundry history on exhibit.  Wildman, a Hudson Valley resident, was in Cold Spring to meet Mary Jean Cerbini, 5th grade teacher at Austin Road Elementary School in Mahopac, and Jennifer Cassidy of the Putnam County Historian’s Office, to review the Museum’s local history collection with Executive Director Cassie Ward.  Cerbini and Wildman are developing a project to incorporate Putnam County artifacts into local history lessons.

While at the Museum, Wildman spent time speaking with museum visitors about his television work and world travels including his recent trip to Honduras for a new, still to be named series on the Travel Channel.

The Putnam History Museum has limited winter hours but exhibit viewing and the research library are available by appointment and select Saturdays. It is located at 63 Chestnut Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516. Call 845-265-4010 or visit for more information.

Pierson Cemetery Stones

Mahopac, NY — It was a special family reunion of sorts when former Mahopac resident Brad Smith recently visited his ancestor’s family plot at the now abandoned Mahopac Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, located off McMahon Place, the site of the original 1826 Methodist Church.

“My great grandparents, Nelson and Johanna Pierson, immigrated around 1880 from Sweden and settled in Mahopac. They were dirt poor but invested in a family plot but could not afford a headstone,” Smith says of the shady northeast corner of the cemetery. Until recently, the Pierson family plot had been simply marked off by iron rods with no family name or headstones to commemorate the lives of his great grandparents and approximately 5 other family members buried there.

Smith, now living in Connecticut, reached out to the Putnam County Historian’s Office to find out about cemetery records and tips on how to start arrangements for a family headstone. During this exchange he noted that two of his great uncles who served in World War I are buried there. Arthur Nelson Pierson served in Battery D and Charles Oscar, or Oscar Charles as everyone knew him, served in the 49th infantry in France. He also wanted to see to it that their graves be marked with flags in honor of their service.

A short time later, Brad arranged for free government issued granite headstones for both unmarked graves of his great uncles through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Lorraine Hanner from Hillside Memorials then worked with Carmel Town Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt to secure approvals to set the headstones in the cemetery.

Recently, while attending his Mahopac High School 50th reunion weekend, Smith was joined by Allan Warnecke, former Putnam County Historian, and Mike Troy of the Putnam County Cemetery Committee to visit the new stones marking Arthur’s and Oscar’s graves. Warneke was able to regale the group with a story of the last Pierson family member burial that took place in 1969 when the cemetery had been neglected and had become so overgrown that Albert Pierson’s casket had to be carried over a stone wall. Since then, the cemetery has been cleared and is maintained by the Town of Carmel with support from Putnam County. Smith hopes to raise funds to set a Pierson family stone to commemorate all of his ancestors buried there. In the meantime, Warnecke, who places an American Flag at each Veteran grave in that cemetery every Memorial Day, will add the Pierson brothers to his list.

Brad Smith’s new contribution of the Pierson family members buried at the Old Methodist Cemetery will help build on the last listing done in 2002 by Karl H. von Ahn for his Eagle Scout Project while in Troop 1, Mahopac, NY, housed in the research library of the Historian’s Office

Christmas comes early to the Office of Senior Resources’ Friendship Center at Philipstown

Seniors in Philipstown were delighted this past Monday by an early delivery of Christmas gifts from the parishioners of Our Lady of Loretto Church in Cold Spring, NY to the Senior Friendship Center at Philipstown.  Santa Claus size sacks of goodies including Christmas cards with gift cards inside, hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, toiletries, home office supplies, puzzles and games were unloaded by the Church’s Youth Group and other adult volunteers and put on display in the Center’s Crafts Room for the senior to come in and choose from.  Lucia Grandetti, Coordinator of Religious Education, explained that the parishioners of Our Lady of Loretto Church decided to dedicate the gifts from this year’s annual Advent Giving Tree to the seniors of the community and they were extraordinarily generous in their giving.  Not only were seniors who attend the Friendship Center able to enjoy this generosity, but the OSR staff also prepared gift packages for homebound seniors sent along with their home-delivered meals.

public hearing will be held before the County Executive of the County of Putnam January 8th at 4:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m Regarding R#301

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a public hearing will be held before the County Executive of the County of Putnam at Room 300 of the County Office Building, 40 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, New York 10512 on the 8th day of January 4:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. concerning:

A LOCAL LAW Amending Chapter 145 of the Putnam County Code Entitled “Electricians, which was adopted by the Putnam County Legislature on December 18, 2019 by Resolution R#301.                                                                                                                                                 

This Local Law amends Chapter 145 of the Putnam County Code, which is entitled “Electricians” by amending several definitions of terms, expanding the composition of the board and the     qualifications of its members, amending the application period for licensing, amending the section regarding hiring, supervision and responsibility of master electricians, by amending notification requirements for change in employment and by allowing the shelving of licenses for journeymen.

Copies of the Local Law are available at the Office of the Putnam County Legislature, Room 313, 40 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, New York 10512.

At the aforesaid time and place all persons interested in the subject matter thereof will be heard concerning same.  Comments will also be accepted via regular mail submitted to the above referenced address, electronic mail to, and facsimile to (845)808-1901.

This Local Law shall take immediately upon filing with the New York Secretary of State.

LINK TO RESOLUTION: Amending Chapter 145 County Code Electricians Putnam County Legislature on December 18, 2019 by Resolution R-301



Grand opening of the fully renovated senior citizens center in Carmel

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, was joined by county Legislators, state lawmakers, members of her administration and county employees for the grand opening of the fully renovated and expanded senior citizens center in Carmel.

The Carmel Friendship Center, housed in the Donald B. Smith Government Campus on Old Route 6, opened Thursday, Dec. 19 after an 18-month renovation.

“This facility was once a school and now it’s a senior center, the circle of life,” County Executive Odell said to the dozens of seniors who attended. “The challenges of the structure took us a little longer than anticipated. As a school, the building had narrow hallways and small classrooms.  We knew that you guys wanted some space, you wanted to walk in comfort and be able to enjoy each other’s company while doing yoga, tai chi or shooting some pool, whatever you really want to do. Now you have the space to do it. “

The bright and airy 6,000 square foot Friendship Center now includes a restaurant-sized dining room where more than 100 seniors can be comfortably served, an exercise room for yoga, tai chi and Zumba dancing, a game room with a billiard table, and a cozy sitting area where seniors can relax around a gas fireplace.  A nutrition office, Medicare counselor and case worker will also be on site.

Before the renovation, the building housed a smaller senior center and several administrative offices. During the renovation, the senior citizens center was housed at the Knights of Columbus in Carmel.

“This was very high on my priority list when I took office and I know that my fellow legislators feel the same way,” Odell said.  “We recognize and appreciate our seniors. They are our teachers, they’re our mentors, they’re our grandparents and they’re our neighbors. You guys are important to this county for everything that you’ve done and everything you continue to do with your volunteering. It was very important that we build you a space that you could appreciate and that you wanted to come to.”

Michael Cunningham, Director of the Office for Senior Resources, noted that this was a big year for the office.

“We celebrated our 50th anniversary this year,” he said. “We also opened up, just before the year began, our Friendship Center in Philipstown. And now we are here to celebrate the opening of the Carmel Friendship Center.

“One of the worst things for seniors is isolation or loneliness,” Cunningham said. “What we are trying to do is make sure that by offering these services, with good nutrition and a lot of activities, we prevent that. If you look at the name of this facility, we call it the Carmel Friendship Center and that’s what we’re all about.”

IT Systems Specialist Job Opening

The Putnam County Office of IT/GIS seeks a qualified candidate for the position of IT Systems Specialist. Responsible for installation, maintenance and relocation of servers and associated peripheral equipment, management of the physical environment, configuration and administration of physical and virtual server complexes, including installation of operating systems and support software.
Minimum requirements include a combination of education and experience as follows:

a) Bachelor’s Degree in computer science, IT or closely related field and two (2) years of primary function as server administrator, inc. installation, operation, maintenance, problem-diagnosis of servers, must inc. exper. with Windows server 2012 and 2016, Azure and MS structured query language (SQL server) plus experience with associated equipment, SharePoint admin., Active Directory including Azure AD, Anti-Virus, M365 and MS Exchange;


b) Bachelor’s or AA degree, or 60 college credits and four (4) years of experience involving as noted above;

c) H.S. degree and six (6) years of experience involving as noted in (a).
To view a detailed description of this position as well as apply for this position, please visit

Environmental Health Aide Job Opening

The Putnam County Department of Health is seeking a highly motivated person to work part time in our Environmental Health Division ($17.71/hour, 25 hours per week).

Typical work will include engineering field inspections, sample collection, data management, complaint investigations and other related inspections in environmental health.

Driver’s license required.  Use of personal car may be required for field work with mileage reimbursement at the applicable IRS rate.

Send application/resume to the Putnam County Personnel Department, Attn: Jan Miller 100 Old Rt. 6, Bldg. 3, Carmel, NY 10512 or via e-mail to   by January 10, 2020.

Putnam County Welcomes 49 of its Newest American Citizens at the December 11th Naturalization Ceremony

Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti Swears in 49 New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremony on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at Putnam County Historic Courthouse

Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti hosted a Naturalization Ceremony on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Putnam County Historic Courthouse, Carmel, New York. Clerk Bartolotti administered the Oath of Allegiance to 49 new citizens from 30 different countries.

The Naturalization Ceremony opened by the posting of the colors by American Legion Post 1080 Color Guard. The Honorable Thomas Zugibe of the 9th Judicial District served as the officiating Supreme Court Justice and offered court remarks. Honorable Joseph Castellano, Putnam County Legislative Chairman, offered welcoming remarks. Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr., led the opening prayer. Art Hanley, Deputy Director of the Putnam County Veterans Affairs, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Ms. Carolyn Robinson from the Transplant Support Team, was the guest speaker. Isabella Ciatto, a senior at Carmel High School, presented the gathering with beautiful renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner” and God Bless America.”
After the ceremony, a coffee and cake reception was held to welcome our newest citizens.

Pictures of Ceremony

Thirty (30) Nations



For further information, call:
Office of the Putnam County Clerk at 845-808-1142 Ext. 49301

Putnam County Revised Budget Transfer

Public safety has always been the Putnam County Legislature’s first priority, but faced with unexpected overtime costs and budget manipulations by the County Sheriff’s Department, the Legislature took a stand to protect taxpayers.

In its December meeting, the Legislature voted overwhelmingly against a last-minute Sheriff’s Department request to transfer $121,115.11 in funds to cover overtime for the road patrol. The money requested had been allocated during the 2019 budget process to cover Sheriff’s Department expenses in 40 different spending categories, not for overtime.

“Public safety is our top priority,” Legislature Chairman Joseph Castellano said. “There has certainly been an increase in overtime and we don’t know why it is going higher and higher every year. We definitely need to have a better conversation with the Sheriff’s Department about that.  Moving money from 40 different budget lines to cover a portion of this overtime is concerning to me, and it should be to all of us.”

The Sheriff’s deputies who worked the overtime have been paid but, in a nearly unanimous vote, the Legislature expressed its displeasure at the Sheriff’s Department’s budget maneuvers.  Only Legislator Nancy Montgomery voted in favor of the transfer.

“No elected official can exceed the budget expense line without consequences,” Legislator Neal Sullivan, who couldn’t attend the meeting, wrote in a statement Castellano read. “The practice of transferring funds from one line to another should be used solely for extenuating circumstances. The systemic use of transferring money to cover overtime has become a major concern. Policies and procedures need to be put in place so we can work together to make sure we are not continually dealing with this.”

The discussion came up as part of an end-of-year budget reconciliation.

“This is not a public safety issue, this is a respect for taxpayers’ issue,” Legislator Paul Jonke said. “We gave him the parameters within which he needed to work.”

Legislator Ginny Nacerino said it was time for the Sheriff’s Department to take a more realistic approach to budgeting.

“It is our job to be good stewards of taxpayer money, and I take that job very seriously,” Nacerino said. “This transfer is not openly transparent. It begs the question of why in the twelfth month of this year there is so much left in these lines and whether these 40 lines were overinflated. We can’t operate like this. It is not best practice.”

“This really boils down to proper planning,” Legislator Carl Albano said. “We should have an idea where the budget is going and it should be in the ballpark. Surprises at the end of the year shouldn’t go down like this.”

“I’m not in favor of moving money around to cover road patrol overtime that has already been incurred,” Legislator Amy Sayegh said. “When we approve the budget for books and postage and furniture it should be used for those purposes and not overinflated to pay for something else down the road. It is understood that we need to pay the deputies for the work they performed and they deserve to be paid. What I have a problem with is deficit scheduling.”

“Moving forward we need policy and procedure to improve the process,” Legislator Toni Addonizio said. “We need more transparency and openness moving forward.”

Just in time: Local History Holiday Gift Guide

BREWSTER, New York — Looking for a unique holiday gift that promotes hometown pride and supports a great cause? Well, look no further! The Putnam County Historian’s Office has curated a gift guide in support of local history, and related historical societies, non-profits and museums. These gifts include T-shirts, mugs, historical prints suitable for framing, books on local history and historical fiction, and the all-important membership packages that help keep these organizations up and running during their pursuit of preserving Putnam County’s rich history.

The organizations include: Boscobel, Carmel Historical Society, Kent Historical Society,
Landmarks Preservation Society of Southeast, Patterson Historical Society, Putnam History Museum in Cold Spring, Putnam Valley Historical Society, and Southeast Museum in Brewster.

“The Local History Holiday Gift Guide not only provides great gift tips but important information on each organization and their mission,” says Jennifer Cassidy of the County Historian’s Office. “Supporting them with the purchase of a T-shirt, book or membership package, all aid their missions of preserving and presenting Putnam’s past.” Complete contact information for the Historian’s Office, societies, and museums is included in the guide.

Book highlights from the guide include: “Vignettes of Patterson’s Past”, a collection of Patterson’s histories by the Society in a hardback book illustrated with maps, photos and more; “History of Putnam County, New York”, by William S. Pelletreau, the quintessential linen bound, local history book reprinted by Landmarks Preservation Society; and the respective societies offer Bicentennial profiles of Town of Kent and Historic Carmel, Mahopac & Mahopac Falls.

Mugs and a wonderful selection of local history books and exhibit catalogues are available at Putnam History Museum while the Southeast Museum offers iconic reprints of the village of Brewster from 1867 and 1870 as well as local historical fiction titles by Putnam County author Deborah Rafferty Oswald.

Know someone who loves baseball? The Putnam Valley Historical Society has a limited run of rare images of Babe Ruth playing baseball at Lake Oscawana, suitable for 8” x 10” framing.

2019 Putnam County Gift Guide – County Historian


The guide can also  be viewed online at the Historian’s website and a limited amount of printed copies are available upon request by calling 845-808-1420 or emailing