By Lindsay Hand
Think you know everything there is to know about Chappaqua? Think again! Ever wonder about that old building on Quaker Street or where you can download music for free? There are countless things about Chappaqua and its resources, past and present, which many people don’t know. Here’s a list of ten things about Chappaqua that even the Quakers would find interesting.
10. Download free music using Freegal. There is a library of thousands of songs available through Sony. Just visit chappaqualibrary.org, click on “Freegal,” and then the link to sign in with your library card number. You are limited to three downloads per week, but can add songs to a wish list to download the following week. The music can be put on an MP3 player or an iPod. It’s a quick and easy way to download free music!
9. Find 58,000 free online video tutorials for computer programs. Flustered by the complications of today’s technology? Visit the library website and click on the link to Lynda.com for instruction on programs such as Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver and more.
8. New Castle’s worst disaster occurred on Quaker Street
On July 16, 1904, a tornado zoomed down Quaker Street, stopping in front of the Quaker Meeting House. There were a few fatalities and five houses and three barns were completely destroyed. The damages totaled $100,000, which is the equivalent of approximately $2.4 million today.
7. A liberty ship was named “Chappaqua” During World War II, a liberty ship was name “Chappaqua” because of the large number of war bonds sold here. Liberty ships were slow cargo ships that were fast to construct and very reliable.
6. The original Horace Greeley School was in the Current Robert E. Bell School building.
The Horace Greeley School was built in 1928 after a fire devastated the Chappaqua Mountain Institute on Quaker Street in 1908. It was renamed the Robert E. Bell School when the new Horace Greeley High School was built in 1957. The three elementary schools were built in a 20-year period around this time as well.
5. You can borrow museum passes to visit many area museums for free. These passes include the following: the American Museum of Natural History, the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim Museum, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Bruce Museum, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Katonah Art Museum, the Neuberger Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society and the Stepping Stones Museum for Children.
Follow the same steps used to get to Freegal and you’ll find “Museum Passes.” As with the other online resources, you need to be a library cardholder in order to borrow
4. The Library site has a special link for birding enthusiasts.
The link, through Cornell University, is called the Birds of North America. Click “Online Resources” (the first option) on the library website to get started.
3. The Quaker Meeting House was an important asset during the American Revolution.
The Quaker Meeting House was used as a hospital for some of Washington’s wounded soldiers after the Battle of White Plains on October 28, 1776.
2. The Library has 100 Reference Books online. At the library website, click “CREDO REFERENCE.” This site helps you search through many reliable sources and databases all at once. Just follow the steps to the login page, and type in your card number.
1. A major town Industry in the 19th century was pickle production. A large number of local orchards produced vinegar. In 1848, when the railroad first came to Chappaqua, farms began to grow and ship “cash crops.” The abundance of vinegar and other products led to the creation of cider mills, a pickle factory and a barrel factory.
So, next time you’re sitting around somewhere, you can pop out a random “Did you know?” and wow them with your knowledge of the Town of Chappaqua, known to the original Native American inhabitants as “Shapiqua.” Who knew?
Thank you to the Chappaqua Library, www.chappaqualibrary.org, and the New Castle Historical Society, www.newcastlehs.org. for providing such interesting background and resources about Chappaqua.
Lindsay Hand is a freshman at Horace Greeley High School. This is her second article for Inside Chappaqua.