Festival of Toys
Warwick, NY (WHS) – The Warwick Historical Society’s 2015 Festival of Toys has been awarded Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s 2016 Awards for Excellence! The program recognizes and commends exceptional efforts that exemplify creativity and professional vision resulting in a contribution to the preservation and interpretation of the historic scene, material culture and diversity of the region.
The 2016 Award for Excellence will be presented at the Network’s Annual Conference on Friday, October 28 at the Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Planning is well underway for the 2016 exhibit. Festival of Toys Season 2 will include nostalgia toys donated by Warwick residents; increased interactive exhibits and hand-on activities, and additions and improvements to the train display. This year the UAME Church on Forester Avenue will be transformed into a workshop where children young and old will have the opportunity to make their own wooden train sets and airplanes and handmade dolls!
The Society hopes to involve the community by seeking loans and donations of toys such as Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets, as well as any antique toys or dolls residents. Please call 845-986-3236 if you have anything you would like to contribute. The Festival of Toys was conceived following the donation of Virginia Cameron Farnsworth Samson’s dollhouse. The dollhouse, built in 1916, is a replica of the Wisner Manor House that still stands in what is now known as Wickham Woodlands.
The dollhouse joined a significant collection of toys, games, dolls and children’s furniture at the Warwick Historical Society. Local resident, Al Buckbee then approached the Society with a generous offer to build a “S-gauge” model train display, with replicas of Warwick’s historic buildings and surrounding orchards and landscapes.
Supporting its mission to “preserve and celebrate the vibrant history of the Town of Warwick and its people, and engage our communities through a variety of programs aimed at developing an understanding and appreciation of our unique historic heritage,” Society members, volunteers and local residents set to work to tell the story of Warwick’s past by sharing the fond childhood memories of its residents.
Enchanting model trains zipped around the display of Downtown Warwick in the great room at the A.W. Buckbee Center. Volunteer train conductors told the story of the birth of the railroad in Warwick to the over 1,000 visitors who came through the doors. Many residents were unaware of the significant role Warwick played, as the hub for shipping milk to New York City.
Visitors marveled at the model locomotives of the Lehigh and Hudson River Railway from more than 50 years ago that hummed along among familiar Warwick sights such as the The 1810 House, The Old School Baptist Meeting House, and The Shingle House on nearly 150 feet of track. The display featured almost 200 square feet of exhibition space, making room for trains, bridges, and tracks.
The Warwick Historical Society plans to host its annual Festival of Toys at the Buckbee Center, 2 Colonial Ave., in the days before and after Thanksgiving.
The timing is important, according to the historical society, because its members want to take advantage of the fact that the most popular day for U.S. museums is the Friday after Thanksgiving. And that’s because families are together, often with two or three generations, enjoying time shared with loved ones.
Railroads and replicas
The highlight of the event will be a model railroad set up professionally with scale model replicas of historic Warwick properties.
The Great Room of Buckbee Center will be transformed into a toyland of days gone by.
Families and train buffs will enjoy the magic of lights and sounds of railways going through historic Warwick in miniature.
Visitors will also delight in the dolls, toys and doll houses owned and brought to life again by the volunteers of the Society.
Period garments from the clothing collection will be on display as well.
Where George hoisted a grog
After viewing the exhibit patrons are invited to cross the street to visit Baird’s Tavern, where General George Washington was known to quaff a grog or two.
End the tour with cider, cookies and a craft project for the children. Beautiful holiday wreaths, decorated by society volunteers, will be on display and available for purchase.
Essential information• Tickets are available by calling The Historical Society at 845-986-3236 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.