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Clarkstown Boy Scout Helping Paint Picture Of Hometown's History

Boy Scout Carrington Gregori and Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann put their heads together and came up with the idea of displaying local artifacts in Town Hall. Gregori is helping to gather objects and is building the display cases. Photo Credit: Town of Clarkstown/Facebook
Boy Scout Carrington Gregori, left, Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann and town historian Bob Knight, right, examine an item that will be displayed for the town's 225th anniversary celebration. Photo Credit: Town of Clarkstown/Facebook

CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- A stereopticon.

A milk bottle from the Strawtown Dairy.

A wagon used by the Knickerbocker Ice Company.

Individually, these objects might not mean much, but together, they paint a picture of the way life used to be in Clarkstown.

Carrington Gregori, a 16-year-old Boy Scout and student at Clarkstown High School, is helping to gather the artifacts for his Eagle Scout project.

He and local officials, including Supervisor George Hoehmann, were at Town Hall recently to accept donations or loans of historical objects that will be displayed as part of the town’s 225th anniversary celebrations this fall.

They ranged from photographs of the old Rockland County Courthouse and a cobbler’s mold to an ox yoke and vintage firefighting equipment, Gregori said Tuesday.

Clarkstown was incorporated in 1791 after it separated from Haverstraw.

Things the town has been doing during its year-long celebration include building a history section on its website, coordinating with the school district on essay and art contests, and hosting tours of historic sites, such as the John Green House in Nyack and the 1739 Vanderbilt-Budke House.

Gregori, who is one badge and a review away from attaining Scouting’s highest rank, also will be building glass-fronted wooden cases so the objects can be attractively displayed.

There’s a lot more to Scouting nowadays than pitching tents, tying knots and helping older folks across the street. Merit badges are now awarded for things like good citizenship and personal management (i.e. making a three-month budget and sticking to it).

Scouts build lots of stuff, too, Gregori said – like pergolas and benches … lots of benches.

“There’s a joke in Scouting that you aren’t an Eagle Scout until you’ve built a bench,” he added, laughing.

So when Gregori called Hoehmann looking for ideas for an Eagle Scout project, and the supervisor suggested the artifact project, he thought it was unique.

Besides, the Scout added, “I really like my hometown and thought it would be fun to know more about it.”

Gregori said he will get some help with the woodworking part of the project from an assistant Scoutmaster who does that sort of thing professionally.

The project has to be finished by the end of September because anniversary celebrations are taking place Oct. 5 in Town Hall, he said.

A graphic designer on the town’s anniversary committee is working with Gregori to make signs for the displays and a brochure detailing the town’s history.

Artifacts can be dropped off with Gregori, or at Town Hall, until the third week of September. Gregori suggested contacting Town Clerk Justin Sweet by calling (845) 639-2010, the town’s public information officer, Erika Moschetti, at (845) 639-2000, or the supervisor’s office at (845) 639-2050.

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