On SATURDAY October, 27, 2007 at 11:00 AM, the Lincoln Society in Peekskill dedicated the new Lincoln statue and monument at the Lincoln Train Depot Museum in Peekskill. Former Governor George Pataki, Peekskill mayor John Testa, Lincoln Scholar Harold Holzer, sculptor Richard Masloski and other dignitaries and citizens were on hand as a beautiful sculpture of our 16th president was unveiled and dedicated to commemorate president elect Lincoln's stop and speech in Westchester County in 1861.
All photos by Paul R. Martin III unless otherwise noted. Read the Journal News Article
Martin Ginsburg and sculptor Richard Masloski share a quiet moment before the ceremony.
Mayor John Teata and Martin Ginsburg
Harold Holzer signs a book for Tony Czarnecki
Mayor Testa and Harold Holzer
The 79th NY waits for the ceremony to begin.
Citizens sought shelter from the rain as they waited for the program to begin.
More than 200 people braved a cold windswept rain to participate in the dedication of a new Lincoln Statue on the grounds of the future Lincoln Depot Museum in Peekskill, New York. The life-size, full standing figure of Lincoln, created by noted sculptor Richard Masloski, was placed near the exact spot where President Elect Lincoln addressed the citizens of Peekskill on February 19, 1861. A generous grant from then New York State Governor George Pataki is restoring the 100 plus year-old brick depot as part of Patakiís New York Heritage Trail Project. Funding for the statue was provided by local real estate developer, Martin Ginsburg. The Lincoln Society in Peekskill who commissioned the statue, worked for many years with the Governor, local politicians and developers to secure the property and the grants for the museum and the statue.
Mayor John Testa, Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, Former Governor George Pataki, Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, Westchester County Legislator George Oros, and sculptor Richard Masloski were all in attendance. Members of the 79th New York Infantry re-enactment unit under the command of Gary Lehning were the color guard. Lincoln Society members and hundreds of interested citizens huddled beneath a temporary awning and spread out across a rain-swept gravel tarmac to view the ceremony.
Lincoln Society members.
Governor George Pataki addressed the crowd.
Harold Holzer described Lincoln's speech at the train depot and placed it into historical context.
Keynote speaker Harold Holzer remarked on Lincolnís reliance upon New York State during his run up to the election, from the importance of his Cooper Union Speech in February 1860 to "The news that sent Springfield into celebration was this message telegraphed from the Empire State: ĎNew York will more than meet your expectations.í " Holzer also stated, "that in the four bloody years that followed, no state provided more men, more material or more treasure to preserve the Union and end the blight of human slavery than New York"
The 79th New York Infantry Regiment.(L-R) Lenny Witrock from New Milford CT, Lt. Gary Lehning from Carmel NY, Tom Bierly from New Fairfield CT and Ralph Langham from New Fairfield. The 79th also portrays the 11th Connecticut Regiment.
Sculptor Richard Masloski.
The statue and museum commemorate the only stop that Lincoln made in Westchester County during his trip from Springfield, Illinois to Washington, D.C. for his inaugural in 1861. Invited by Peekskill attorney, William Nelson, a former colleague of Lincoln in Congress, the President Elect stepped off the train, walked across the yard and onto a prepared platform erected on a baggage car. A crowd of over 1,500 citizens, including an honor guard of cadets from the nearby Peekskill Military Academy, greeted Lincoln when he arrived. After a brief welcome and introduction by the Honorary Nelson, Lincoln addressed the excited crowd:
"Ladies and gentlemen. I have but a moment to stand before you, to listen to, and return your kind greeting. I thank you for this reception, and for the pleasant manner in which it is tendered to me by our mutual friend. [Congressman Nelson]
I will say in a single sentence, in regard to the difficulties which lie before me and our beloved country, that if I can only be as generously and unanimously sustained as the demonstrations I have witnessed indicate I shall be, I shall not fail.
But without your sustaining hands, I am sure that neither I nor any other man can hope to surmount these difficulties.
"I trust that in the course I shall pursue, I shall be sustained not only by the party that elected me, but by the patriotic people of the whole country."
Following his brief speech, Lincoln shook hands as he headed back onto the train, and stood and waved from the rear platform as the train pulled away from the station for the rest of his journey.
Pataki, Testa, Holzer, Ginsburg and Masloski prepare for the unveiling.
Governor Pataki and Martin Ginsberg are presented a model of the sculpture by Testa and Masloski.
The Lincoln Society in Peekskill was founded in 1903, and is the oldest Lincoln Society in the country. They commemorate Lincoln's stop in Peekskill every year with an Annual Parade and Dinner Dance. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday February 9, 2008. The parade begins at the Lincoln Exedra Memorial on South Street at 10:00 a.m., where a flag-raising and wreath- laying ceremony takes place, followed by the march through downtown Peekskill to the Lincoln Depot Museum site. More ceremonies including a re-enactment of Lincolnís speech and a 21-gun salute are held at the Museum with refreshments capping off the morningís festivities. The Society re-gathers that evening at the Colonial Terrace in Cortlandt at 6:30 p.m. for a black-tie gala reception and dinner dance. This yearís guest speaker will be Thomas Craughwell, author of the critically acclaimed, "Stealing Lincolnís Body." Historical artifacts and artwork will also be on display. Re-enactors in uniform and civilians in period dress, along with the general public are all invited to both the parade and dinner. For more information please contact Lincoln Society Board Member Paul R. Martin III at 914-245-8903
Bugler, Bob Frese and The 79th NY prepare for a final salute.
Masloskiís sculpture captures Lincoln with his left hand above his chest, symbolizing his words were spoken from the heart. His strong right hand firmly grips a railing connecting two vertical posts aligned north and south, as he stoically attempts to hold the Union together while the coming winds of civil war tug at his coat-tails.
Sculptor Richard Masloski and Lincoln.
Sculptor, Richard Masloski
Photo by Rory Glaesman, courtesy The Journal News.
Bob Frese and Ralph Langham.
The 79th New York Infantry Regiment with SUV Bugler, Bob Frese and friend.(L-R) Lenny Witrock from New Milford CT, Lt. Gary Lehning from Carmel NY, Tom Bierly from New Fairfield CT and Ralph Langham from New Fairfield. The 79th also portrays the 11th Connecticut Regiment.
Lincoln Society president Carolyn Geisel with Don Feldman and Sybil Canaan.
Tony Czarnecki shares a moment with Harold and Mrs. Holzer.
| 2015 Dinner Dance | 2015 Exedra Ceremony | 2014 Dinner Dance | Celebration 2005 | Parade 2006 | Statue Dedication | Parade 2007 | Thomas Craughwell | Harold Holzer | Celebration 2008 | David Blight | 150 Gettysburg | Lincoln Statue | Lincoln's Speeches | A Nation Mourns: | Celebration 2010 | Events Schedule | Great Links | Contact Us | Lincoln Depot Museum | FAQ Page |