Video Presentations

Finnish Line:

A Retrospective of Peter Oley,

Beloved Coach and Teacher

A Zoom Presentation

April 25, 2021

This Presentation is devoted to the coaching and teaching career of Peter Oley, one of Irvington’s most prominent citizens of the past half century. 
Former runners, students and colleagues share the memories and photos of Coach Oley, who taught at Dows Lane elementary school for 36 years and coached the
Irvington High School track and cross country teams for 50 memorable years. 


In addition to the Video Presentation, we include the stories and thoughts of many of the friends, colleagues, students and team members who were inspired

by Coach Oley.

Stories of  Cyrus W. Field,

Amzi L. Barber and the Creation of  Ardsley Park

A Zoom Presentation

March 28, 2021

In the late 19th Century, the wealthy elite of New York looked to the lower
Hudson Valley as a country refuge from the City.  Cyrus W. Field, who laid
the first telegraph cable across the Atlantic, created a country estate – “Ardsley” – that eventually extended over 600-acres from the Hudson River to the Saw Mill River along the border of Irvington and Dobbs Ferry.  After suffering losses in the
stock market, Field was forced to sell, and his Ardsley estate was ultimately

purchased by the “Asphalt King”, Amzi L. Barber.  Barber, a founding member of the Ardsley Casino (built in 1896), used the land he purchased to develop

Ardsley Park. 


IHS Board Trustee Chet Kerr tells the stories of Field and Barber and how their vision left its imprint on today’s neighborhoods along the border of Irvington and Dobbs Ferry

The Old Croton Aqueduct in Westchester County

A Zoom Presentation by

Tom Tarnowsky

A Zoom Presentation

January 24, 2021

The Croton Aqueduct allowed New York City to grow far beyond the limits of its own meager water resources by tapping the Croton River north of the City to supply 330,000 people with pure and wholesome water.  A deadly cholera epidemic in 1832 convinced suffering citizens of the need for the prohibitively expensive solution of building a 41-mile long brick tunnel from northern Westchester to the center of Manhattan.  The rest is history.  The initial Croton project guaranteed the rapid growth of the City, and subsequent water projects have allowed this exponential growth to continue, even to the present day.

Women’s Rights Goes

to the Hoops

The Story Behind the Triumphal Irvington High School Girls’ Basketball Program

A Zoom Presentation

December 6, 2020

       The story of the Irvington High School Girls Varsity Basketball team is one of unparalleled success, which began shortly after the advent of Title 9 in 1972.  The Irvington Historical Society is proud to present a webinar featuring legendary Irvington Coach Gina Maher (whose career as the head coach began in1975), two of her former All-Star players (BJ (Toolan) Constantine and Kathy Behrens), and former coach/teacher/team photographerCarol Dyer.  They will discuss the changes they’ve seen since the advent of Title 9, the reasons for the extraordinary success of the Lady Bulldogs, the role the sporthas played in their lives, and the impact the team has had on Irvington.

Myths and Realities:

The Long Road to Women’s Suffrage

A Zoom Presentation

November 13, 2020

Professor Berkin examines some of the myths that have arisen about
the origins of the movement for women’s rights and for suffrage in particular.
She broadens the picture to include 18th- and early 19th-century proponents of equality, and suggests why and how the fabled 1848 Women's Rights Convention at
Seneca Falls, N.Y, came to overshadow this earlier history of women’s activism --
which 100 years ago culminated in the 19th Amendment.

Because of a technical problem, Professor Berkin’s slide presentation was
not fully displayed during her talk.  Her slides can be found here.




Additional articles about the role of Irvington women who
supported Women’s Suffrage can also be found here and here

Legacies 2020

Irvington Historical Society’s

Virtual Fall Benefit

A Zoom Presentation

October 18, 2020

This documentary film records the memories of 11 men and women who
lived in Irvington in the mid 20th century.  It is the latest part of the
ongoing Legacy Project, whose goal is to construct a picture of
Irvington years ago through the stories of its people.

Nature’s New Deal

Franklin Roosevelt and the Hudson

Valley During the Great Depression

A Zoom Presentation

September 20, 2020

Franklin Roosevelt grew up on the banks of the Hudson River, and during the Great Depression his New Deal work programs provided jobs to tens of thousands of New Yorkers. This presentation traces this history – from FDR’s childhood home just north of Irvington to the halls of Washington, D.C.  – to illustrate how Roosevelt’s experiences in the Hudson Valley greatly influenced many of his later New Deal conservation programs. Drawing from his book, Nature’s New Deal, Dr. Maher will focus on Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and its impact on both the natural environment and local communities of the Hudson Valley region.

The Stearns Property
And the Race to Save

The Irvington Woods

A Zoom Presentation

July 19, 2020

For over 130 years, the Stearns Property – the 99-acre estate of open lawns, pastures, and woodlands – extended from North Broadway to Mountain Road through the very middle of Irvington.  Expanded growth in the Village in the 1970s and 1980s, however, put this property at serious risk of development.  In response, a group of dedicated Village residents worked tirelessly to protect and preserve the eastern sections of this
property as part of the Irvington Woods, and today it is the home of the
O’Hara Nature Center, one of the most beautiful spots in Irvington.

The Tiffany/Matthiessen Estate
Gifts to the Village

That Keep Giving

A Zoom Presentation

June 14, 2020

       Between 1863 and 1945, the 62-acre estate just to the north of Historic Downtown Irvington was largely owned by three families, each of which left an indelible imprint on our Village.  These remarkable families – the Tiffanys, the Dunhams and the Matthiessens – lived widely celebrated lives.  Their ties to Irvington were strong, however, and each contributed remarkable gifts to the local community that continue to enrich our Village today. This talk will highlight those individuals, and the legacies they left.

The Founding of Irvington:
Creating A Thriving Village
From Farmland

A Zoom Presentation

May 17, 2020

         In 1849 Justus Dearman and his family made the decision to sell their farm with the hope of creating a completely new Village.  Building on the arrival of the Hudson River Rail Road, in ten short years the rolling pastures of the Dearman Farm became a thriving community of homes, small businesses and industry.  This talk will highlight the individuals who made this possible, and the steps they took to create the foundations of the Village of Irvington as we know it today.