Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

A masterful storyteller takes over the Lincoln Depot

And an art reception 30 years in the making

After the long, hot heat wave this week, kids and adults alike are ready for a break in the comforts of the Air Conditioner. The Peekskill Herald has you covered with a family friendly event and an art reception to keep you cool, collected and refreshed. 

“Lincoln on the Hudson: Tales of the President and the River” with Master Storyteller Johnathan Kruk at the Lincoln Depot Museum 

In the middle of the 19th century there was a six foot four inch tall man, a little stooped in the shoulders who wore a black a long black coat most of the time, a black vest, a bow tie, and always wore a black stovepipe hat. The man, who became one of the most recognizable figures in American history, was born in a log cabin on a homestead in America’s western frontier. For most of the man’s childhood and teenage years, he worked on the farm in the rural west. 

Replica of the Gollaher cabin at Knob Creek where Lincoln spent his early childhood. Located at Abraham Lincoln National Historical Park (NATIONAL PARK PLANNER)

Life was difficult and hard on the frontier during the early 1800s. Living in poverty, doing farm chores, building fences, splitting rails for fences, and reading by the light of the fireplace is what most days looked like. School was a rarity as the farm needed constant tending. At most, the young boy attended only about one year of school in total, but educated himself by reading borrowed books. When he was nine years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. His father  eventually remarried and moved his family farther west, settling in Illinois. 

At age seventeen, the boy left the homestead and found work as a navigator on a ferry boat, a store clerk, a militia soldier, a surveyor, and a postmaster. At age 25 he was elected to the local government in Springfield, Illinois. Once there, he taught himself law, opened a law practice, and earned the nickname “Honest Abe.”

Abraham Lincoln, Congressman-elect from Illinois at age 37. Digital file from original photo. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

“Honest Abe” went on to become elected to one term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847-1848. It was there that he met a New York Congressman from Peekskill, NY named William Nelson. Abe tried to become a U.S. Senator, he lost not once, but twice. But that did not keep him down. Honest Abe picked himself up by his boot straps and sought an even higher office. It was the debates he had against Stephen Douglas about the enslavement of people, called the Lincoln-Douglas debates, that drew national attention and put him on a national stage. It was those debates that helped him win the presidential election two years later in 1860.  

On February 19, 1861, less than two weeks before he was inaugurated as President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln made a very brief stop in Peekskill on his way to Washington DC to be inaugurated as the President, at the behest of his old friend William Nelson. 

Abraham Lincoln statue as imagined he would have looked standing in front of the crowd in Peekskill in 1861. Photo Credit: Lincoln Depot Museum Facebook Page

This Saturday, June 22 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, at the Lincoln Depot Museum, Master Storyteller – Jonathan Kruk, will tell the story of Abraham Lincoln’s three recorded visits to the Hudson Highlands in “Lincoln on the Hudson: Tales of the President and the River.” 

The first story Kruk will tell is the speech Lincoln made in Peekskill noting how the fine people there will lift him through the trying days ahead.  The second story Johnathn Kruk will tell is the story of when Lincoln toured the West Point Foundry near Cold Spring in June of 1862 where he ruffled the feathers of General Winifred Scott. The third story Johnathan Kruk will tell is Lincoln’s final visit to the Hudson Valley when his funeral train passed  through Peekskill in 1865.

The stories will be lively, intriguing, entertaining and may even feature a skit with up to eight children helping to act it out.

Not only is this a family friendly event, but an event you do not want to miss. 

Jonathan Kruk is one of the tri-state premier storytellers. He is best known for his solo shows of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “A Christmas Carol.”  He has been featured on The Today Show, The Travel Channel, CBS Sunday Morning, and the BBC.

Kruk has eight award-winning recordings, and two books, “Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley,” and “Legends and Lore of the Hudson Highlands.”  

The Lincoln Depot Museum special event admission fees are $10 Adult / $5 Youth / $20 Family. Lincoln Kids & Families is brought to you by the Friends of the Lincoln Depot Museum. For more information, contact:  [email protected] 

Coulter D. Young IV: 30 Year Retrospective at H-Art Gallery 

On Saturday, June 22, 2024, from 3pm to 5pm the opening reception for Coulter D. Young IV: 30 Year Retrospective will occur at the H-Art Gallery at Steel Imaginations at 1 South Division Street above the Hudson Valley Chamber of Commerce in the center of the downtown. Coulter’s works have been on display starting with the 25th annual Open Studios on June 1, 2024. 

Coulter D. Young Photo Credit:

Coulter Young is a multifaceted artist, illustrator, curator and educator based in Beacon, NY. Coulter’s work has seen the pages of numerous publications, including the American Spectator, Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine, and Chronogram. Coulter’s artistic footprint extends to collaborations with the Latin Grammys, moe., Sony 550, and TransWorld Snowboarding, among others.

Coulter D. Young image of Pete Seeger and the Hudson River Photo Credit:

Coulter’s experience includes illustration, set design, oil painting, assemblage, art curation, and leading community-based art projects. As a member of the Garrison Art Center and an art educator teaching Pre-K through 8th grade at the Garrison School, Coulter actively contributes to the art community. He has also shared artistic insights as a guest lecturer and visiting artist at The Harvey School in Katonah, NY, and as an artist-in-residence at Covenant of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT.

For more information contact Wilfredo Morel at [email protected] or email Coulter Young at [email protected]

Visit the Peekskill Herald Events Calendar Features and the Peekskill Herald Event Calendar to see more local events.

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About the Contributor
Dave Mueller
As a Peekskill native, Dave is thrilled to be working with the Peekskill Herald showcasing featured calendar events. A 1999 graduate of PHS, he remembers reading and enjoying the original weekly print edition of the Peekskill Herald every Thursday. He especially liked the political stories, local features and sports coverage when it was written by Peekskill Runner columnist Jack Burns who always managed to weave history into the running times. An avid hiker, he enjoys exploring the local trails as well as the concrete ones in his job as a conductor for Metro North Railroad. He’s a former teacher and co-founder of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, where he frequently can be found with his Koda. He’s happy to be part of the Herald’s growth as the source of local news for Peekskill and looks forward to highlighting a few of many of the events and happenings in Peekskill and the surrounding communities. Reach Dave at [email protected]