Ever heard of a terquasquincentennial? It’s likely a word you might not have heard and probably can’t pronounce, but today the Brewster Public Library unveiled Brewster at 175: Truth, Lore, and Outright Lies - a new exhibit presented in conjunction with the library, Southeast Museum, and the Putnam County Historian’s Office, in honor of the 175th anniversary (terquasquincentennial!) of the village’s founding.
In 1948, the citizens of Brewster selected August 8-14 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Samuel S. Brewster and his brother Walter F. Brewster’s purchase of a large piece of land from Gilbert and Sarah Bailey in the Town of Southeast. In 1848, $8,000 bought them the land "with a view to the completion of the New York Central Railroad, the development of Tonetta Brook for waterpower and the reopening of iron mines."
Although the village was not officially incorporated until 1894, seventy-five years ago the residents and friends of the Village of Brewster recognized the anniversary of the 1848 land purchase with parades, celebrations, a commemorative plate, journal, and the book, "Brewster Through the Years 1848-1948."
Both engaging and informative, the exhibit looks beyond the headlines of the village’s significant history, focusing on legends and lesser-known stories that have played an important part in Brewster life for nearly two hundred years. Exhibit visitors will encounter tales including a 32-karat diamond, gypsy tricksters, and a man who thought he was a horse. Additionally, viewers can interact with some of Brewster’s key figures, locations, and events by playing “Three Truths and a Lie.” Brewster at 175 offers a vibrant and irreverent view on local history that’s appealing to all ages.
“This is a fun way to explore local history and we are pleased to partner with Southeast Museum and the Historian’s Office to make this attractive exhibit available to our patrons,” said Gina Loprinzo, Director of the Brewster Public Library.
Brewster’s own father-daughter-duo, Ross Alvord and Nuala Alvord, partnered on this project. Ross volunteered his research time and writing, while his daughter Nuala, who is a student at the College of the Atlantic and a summer intern at the Putnam County Historian’s Office, contributed her great artistic flair.
“Engaging the public in the history of Brewster in such a vibrant and interactive format is genius," said Deborah Oswald, museum educator at the Southeast Museum. "Celebrating the 175th anniversary of Brewster should be fun, informative, and accessible to all, and this exhibit checks all the boxes. Such a creative exhibit."
Brewster at 175 can be seen at the lower floor of the library during normal library hours.