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The purpose of this society shall be to gather and preserve information, objects, and resources relating to the history of Fishkill, including the Van Wyck Homestead, and to encourage a knowledge of the Hudson Valley, including its role in the American Revolution.
The Fishkill Historical Society is an organization of 12 volunteer trustees, approximately 30 actively volunteering members and many dues paying members. The historical society is headquartered at the Van Wyck Homestead Museum in Fishkill. The museum is open to the public for tours that are led by volunteer docents on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4, June-October.
In addition to the museum being open for tours the historical society organizes other events as well including lectures/presentations, costumed interpreters, book signings, historical dramatizations, craft vendor sale, holiday open house and other events as opportunities arise. All of the historical society's activities hold volunteering opportunities as well as the "behind-the-scenes" work related to maintaining and cleaning the museum and its grounds.
The museum building was first built in its current spot in 1732. It was used as an Officer's Headquarters at the Fishkill Supply Depot during the Revolutionary War. The founding members of the historical society organized when the original plans to build Interstate-84 called for demolition of the building in 1962.
The house is an example of 18th Century Dutch style architechture. The building bears its original flooring, mouldings, many of the doors, the open hearth kitchen and fire places. The museum exhibits include Fishkill's role in the Revolution, notable people of Fishkill and interpreting aspects of 18th century family and farming lifestyle. The public can also enjoy self-guided tours of features on the grounds.