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A Tribute To Life On The Lake

Lake Oscawana - A Tribute to Life on the Lake

Brewster, NY:  Just in time for summer fun, the Putnam County Historian’s Office has announced HC851 The David & Kathryn Bisbee Collection, featuring hundreds of unique Putnam County postcard views, with a special focus on the history of Lake Oscawana in Putnam Valley, and the debut of the documentary, “Lake Oscawana: A Tribute to Life on the Lake”.

A few years ago, David and Kathryn Bisbee, former Lake Oscawana residents and seasoned collectors, consulted with Town of Putnam Valley Historian, Dan Ricci, and decided that the Historian’s Office would be the future home of their extensive collection.  David’s postcard obsession started one day while Kathryn was antiquing and came across a charming historic postcard of their favorite lake in Putnam County.  From that day on, David amassed a collection of approximately 400 postcards of historic hotels, summer fun, and life on Lake Oscawana along with over 400 more postcards of Cold Spring, Garrison, Indian Lake in Putnam Valley, Surprise Lake as well as Iona Island, part of the Bear Mountain State Park, maps and more.   The Bisbee’s were recently honored with the Preserving Local History Award at Putnam County Day 2022 in recognition of their amazing contribution.

To help celebrate the Bisbee’s important collection, the postcards have been digitized and incorporated into a historical documentary narrated by Ricci and produced by the Historian’s Office, available on Putnam County’s YouTube channel.  Lake Oscawana was a premier resort area for summer vacationers in the late 1800’s through the early to mid-1900’s with numerous resorts and hotels, swimming, boating, visits from baseball legends like Babe Ruth and Lou Gherig, and was home to two YMCA camps and even a murder!

This summer, the Historian’s Office will continue digitizing and cataloguing the collection, providing digital copies to Putnam Valley Historical Society and posting the images to Putnam County’s history collection on New York, a portal for learning more about the people places and events that contributed to the making of New York State, in partnership with Southeastern NY Library Resources Council.

How to see it:

“Lake Oscawana: A Tribute to Life on the Lake”, a historical documentary narrated by Ricci and produced by the Historian’s Office, is available by this QR code or at Putnam County’s YouTube channel:

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    68 Marvin Ave.
    Carmel, NY 10512

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Welcome to the Putnam County Historian’s Office and Archives! We are located in Brewster, New York, in the lower Hudson River Valley region.

Our local government office preserves, interprets, and promotes the history of Putnam County. New York’s Town and Village Historians have been serving public history since 1919, in part to document World War I Veterans back into civilian life. 

Putnam County Office Building

40 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel, New York 10512

© 2005 - Putnam County Online

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