SOMERS, N.Y. - The Somers Historical Society recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. In the society’s 60-year history, it has worked diligently to preserve the expansive wealth of local history, including collections that celebrate the town of Somers and its legacy as the “Cradle of the American Circus.”
In conjunction with the town of Somers, Town Clerk Patricia Kalba and the Mexican Shack, a long-time corporate sponsor, the society celebrated its Diamond Anniversary with an exclusive one-time showing of estate diamond jewelry. Highlights of the collection included Caroline Wright Reis’ engagement, wedding and five year anniversary rings. To complement the collection and in acknowledgement of National Archives Month, Reis’ wedding announcement and marriage certificate from Nov. 14, 1908, were also on display.
In addition to this showing, the museum, located on the third floor of the Elephant Hotel, which explores both early circus and Somers town history, was open to the public who attended the celebration. Historical Society Vice President Grace Zimmermann gave brief remarks and welcomed guests such as Supervisor Rick Morrissey; Councilman Anthony Cirieco; Travis Hopkins, grandson of Ferd Hopkins Jr. a founding member of the society; and Doctor A. H. Saxon, Ph.D, a noted scholar of PT Barnum, who surprised the society with a generous birthday gift—a joyous clown that brightened the rainy afternoon.
The affair mirrored the organization it celebrated well: a small but hearty gathering of community members who took the time to recognize and celebrate their local history.
All photos by Tabitha Pearson Marshall, except where noted