North Salem Historical Society

81 Keeler Lane, Post Office Box 31, North Salem, New York  10560

It is with a most heavy heart that we post here the obituary of our dear friend, neighbor, supporter, and long-time treasurer of the historical society, Tim Purdy.  In the coming months we will be preparing more information to share and to honor him - a gentle man and a true gentleman.

Thomas Lyon Purdy III

Thomas Lyon Purdy III (Tim) of North Salem, NY, died peacefully on June 29, 2024, at 88 years of age. He was born on June 28, 1936, the son of the late Thomas Lyon Purdy Jr. and Ellen Pierrepont Luquer Purdy. He lived in North Salem all his life except when his family moved to Florida and Texas during World War II, and for two years in Korea when he served in the Army. He is a graduate of the Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, CT, Proctor Academy in Andover, NH, and the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH. He also took courses toward a Masters of Agronomy at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. After college, Mr. Purdy returned to work with his father in the family office in Purdys, NY, helping to manage the family’s commercial farms in the Midwest. Mr. Purdy was the sixth generation of his family to be involved in the business. 

As a lifelong resident of North Salem, Mr. Purdy was involved in many town organizations. For several, including The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, the North Salem Historical Society, and the Chamber of Commerce, he served as Treasurer for many years. For another, Ivandell Cemetery, he was the President. For others yet, St. James Episcopal Church, the North Salem Improvement Society, and the North Salem Bridle Trails Association, he was a faithful volunteer for fundraisers and gatherings year in and year out. For perhaps 30 years, Mr. Purdy was in charge of the Christmas Eve bonfire at the town Christmas Tree. Mr. Purdy’s family had a longstanding commitment to the town, having arrived in the area in the mid-1700s.

Mr. Purdy was a wonderful man, an old-school gentleman of the best sort, a thoughtful listener and a solid giver of wise advice. He was dependable and loyal and kind. He was generous with his time. Above all, he was incredibly proud of his family, friends, and all of the many organizations and businesses to which he devoted his service year in and year out. Mr. Purdy will be sorely missed by all who knew him throughout his long and active life.

Mr. Purdy is survived by his younger sister Ellen Low Webster and her wife Shirlee Mae Bromley of Claremont, CA; his daughter Sophia Lyon Purdy of Sharon, CT, and her children Thatcher and Greta Meili; his step-daughter Bartley Inge Johnstone, her husband John Everett Scofield of Sharon, CT, and their daughter Everett Inge Scofield; and his niece Marilyn White Webster, of Conway, MA. Mr. Purdy is also survived by his companion of many years, Karen Stern of Greenwich, CT.

A memorial service will be held at St. James Episcopal Church in North Salem, NY, on August 3rd at 10:00am. Gathering to follow in the St. James Village Hall, 11:00am to 2:00pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, the North Salem Historical Society, Ivandell Cemetery, St. James Episcopal Church, the North Salem Improvement Society, and the North Salem Bridle Trails Association.

Thanks to all who braved the heat and joined us on Sunday, July 14, at our annual Strawberry Festival.  Our presenter, Sean Grady, on Life of a Militia Soldier in North Salem in 1774, was truly outstanding.  And the strawbery shortcake was "not bad at all" to quote a former trustee and fan of delicious food!

Sean Grady

from Living History

Oh what a night!

Our first Pop-Up Event - Friday evening, May 31, 2024

Beautiful setting

Perfect weather

Delicious food

Thank you all for coming and for your generous support

Helen and Bill Powers, Xenia von Lilien

Jacqueline, Lorraine, Nancy, Patty and Gigi in the background

Richard and Martin

Chick's Candy Store

Mary Ellen LaRocca, John Roach, Charlotte Harris and Chris Brockmeyer

A huge thank you to everyone who attended our Feb 9 Valentine Party

The event was sold out!

Chick Candy Store 

A room full of guests

Town Historian preserving a moment

The blonds ruled!

Last minute prep

Making new friends

You can make a donation any time by clicking here and using the down arrow to select


Can you smell the Gingerbread?  Oh what fun they had.  

If you are not a member we hope you will consider joining us.  If you want to receive our emails with information on our events and latest postings, consider joining our list-serve by signing up here:  Join List-Serve 

Our Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Supper was so much fun!  Fabulous food, beautiful setting at Vails Pavilion and lots of fun with our history trivia questions a la the popular NPR show, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!  

Martin and Nancy Aronchick, Lisa and Gary Windus, Roe Intrieri (back to us); Patty Kravit and Beverly Golisano in background

Several of you asked for recipes.  Here are Joan Stuadinger's recipe for the Broccoli Salad from Eating Well - Cranberry Almond Broccoli SaladAnd Kathie Collins' Corn Pudding - a family recipe.  Enjoy!

Gino Sermoneta, Jackie Kamenstein and Claire Champon

Kay Petroff, Peter vanScoy and Marianne Collins

Left to Right:  Chris Brockmeyer, Virginia Connolly, Owen Cocking and Xenia von Lilien

This wonderful website - Purdys Central High - was created by Pier V. Guidi (PCH class of 1962) in 2012.  It contains photos of all the classes that attended, their yearbooks, school trips, sports events, memorabilia and history of the school since its start in 1928.  

Pier has turned the website over to the historical society to ensure its continuation for all graduates and local history buffs to enjoy.  We are in the process of working with Pier to effectuate the transition (uninterupted, of course).  We are so grateful to him for the tremendous amount of work that he put into building the site, and now, with transferring the site to a more user-friendly platform.  

We will continue to collect memorabilia and add it to the website, so, we hope that you will help us in that regard.  If you have an item to share, please contact us or simply send a high-quality scan or image of the item.  Or, loan the item to us and we will happily make the digital copy/scan and return it to you if desired.  Needless to say, all donations gratefully accepted!

Thank you, Pier, for this labor of love.  His quote from the home page: "I did this in memory of, and the love of having spent my youth (1952 to 1966) in the hamlet of Croton Falls, Township of North Salem, Westchester County, NY." 

See our latest Nugget - Maple Acres  - below.  Visit our page History Nuggets to see all of them to date!

Maple Acres

In 1937 Jean MacFarlane mailed out her Fifth Season notice (June 1 to October 1) for a Farm Vacation for children aged three to eight -- a summer vacation at Salem Center on property right next to the town hall campus. The 26-acre farm with gardens, meadows and a brook belonged to Grace and John MacFarlane, Jean’s parents. The summer camp had a trained nurse and four trained teachers. A NYC pediatrician gave each child a physical exam.  An older group of boys aged seven to ten were also invited to fish, hike and swim nearby. 

Stay tuned for our latest bulletin - Maple Acres Farm!

Oh what fun they had making their own personal rendition of Lobdell Store.  Gingerbread House kits at the Library and an evening of pure delight!  Be sure to sign up next time!

Thanks to all who joined us at our Fundraising Cocktail party and 

our Annual Meeting.   

Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Helen Houghton and Paige DeLeo    photo by John White

Lesa Vogliano and Gene Colley    photo by John White



The weather could not have been more perfect

The puppet show was wonderful

The Tug-of-War was actually a kids event - one team being future Firemen and the other team future Horse riders!*

The music was delightful!

And the strawberry shortcake was, as a good friend of the Society once said

"Not Bad!" (It was a high compliment!)

All of our available trustees came together to make this 

A Special Day - for a Special Place !

*While our volunteer Firemen were not able to attend this year we reminded everyone how invaluable their contribution is to our town, how hard they work and they are all volunteers!  Maybe one or two of the young folks who won the Kids Tug-of-War for them will actually be a volunteer one day!  A big Thank You also goes to the members of the Bridle Trails Association who came -- maybe next year!

Thanks to all who attended our annual meeting, “Bringing Stories to Life!”  

Our First: The Grants, part 1, Jane Grant deMcCarty, interviewed by Tom Purdy

The Video is posted and so is the original Audio.  Soon we will post a text version with photos.

The video (14 minutes) is a shortened version of the original audio (1 hr, 6 minutes)

Go to our Historical Material page and scroll down to #5.  Audios of all the other tapes are now up as well.

 Coming next Spring/Early Summer

Cocktail Party at the Grant Schoolhouse building, now the beautiful home of the Kamensteins.  Invitations will be out next spring.

The Great Historic Lego Contest Winners

In the 16 to adult category:

Best Historical Construction—Jen Armbruster, The Purdy Homestead

Most Creative Construction—Liam Trageser, Keeler Lane Bridge

In the 9-15 year old category:

Best Historic Construction—Morgan Anderson, Quick Barn

Most Creative Construction—Olivia Anderson, Balanced Rock

In the 8 and under category:

Best Historic Construction—Drew Karam, Balanced Rock

Most Creative Construction—Jack and Blake Haugh, Keeler Lane Bridge

Most Architectural Construction—Dawson Anderson, Purdys High School.

Look who won our Raffle!  Actually, Patty Kravit won but she graciously turned the winning ticket over to her neighbor, Morgan Melkonian.  Morgan's so excited to begin her new adventure!

A big shout-out to Ashley Yozzo of Summit Farm for making this all possible.

Photos from our annual meeting October 2019 at Vails Pavilion

It was our 50th anniversary and another record crowd helped us celebrate

June 2019 at our annual Strawberry Festival draft horses and oxen were on hand from Rock Hill Farm:

The Seventh Graders had a wonderful history tour of North Salem:

We had the best chili ever on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at the White Elephant.  And the Raffle winner of the Horse-drawn carriage ride was....


Congratulations Virginia!

We had a full house on Friday, November 30, 2018 for our Winter in Upper Salem cocktail party.  

Due to the wonderful attendance and support for NSHS we decided to give all the proceeds from the wreath silent auction to the Organization of Choice (instead of a 50/50 share).  We thank everyone who participated.

 What a beautiful day and walk in the on Sunday, November 4, 2018.  We hiked through sections of Mountain Lakes Park and caught a glorious view to the north from a spot close to where the Port of Missing Men tavern once stood.  Afterwards lunch at the White Elephant where numerous photos were on display as well as one of the original Registry books.  Some 20,000 people traveled great distances to see this property in the early 1900s.  Now we know why! 

We periodically have an historical display in the Library conference room.  We are working on a new one and should have it up before the library reopens. 

We received a donation of benches from Therese Donahue, and trustee Peter Bliss has spruced them up with a fresh coat of stain.  See how perfectly matched they are for our patio with grindstone centerpiece:

Thanks to all who hiked through Mill Hollow with us.  What a wonderful day!  Here are some photos

  Archives:  Oh What Fun We Had.  Pig Roast 2017:

 July 16, 2017, Sunday:  Strawberry Festival - thank you CF Fire Department, Rob Fogle of Groundbreakers, Jack DeStories from Fairfield Auction, Hannah Holtzer our facepainter, Maggie and Martin our music ensemble and all who came and enjoyed the day!

Annual Meeting 2016:  Topic:  Croton Falls, guest speakers Bobby Tompkins, Ray Furlan and Drew Outhouse.


Cat Ridge Day 2016 and the newly restored receiving vault:

Strawberry Festival 2016:   Thank you to the Croton Falls Fire Department, 

Jo Ann Brown (spinner), Michael Blum (balloonist), Chez Leonard (hot dog stand)