Woodbury Historical Society

Rushmore Memorial Library


The Rushmore Library

The Gatehouse

Calendar of Events

Town History

Local History Files

Local Genealogy Files

Picture Gallery


Meeting Minutes


Won't you consider becoming a member of the Historical Society? We can't do our work without your continued support! CLICK HERE to download the Woodbury Historical Society Membership and Donation form. Thank you!

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Historical Society

543 Route 32
PO Box 30
Highland Mills, NY 1093

The Gatehouse
224 Smith Clove Rd.
Highland Mills, NY 10930
(next to Falkirk
Golf Course)




Welcome to the
Woodbury Historical Society

The Woodbury Historical Society (WHS) is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the NYS Board of Regents in 1984. The purpose of the Historical Society is to collect and preserve the heritage of the Town of Woodbury. The Society serves as a source of information for those who are interested in our local history.

If you would like to become a member of the Woodbury Historical Society or if you'd like to make a donation, CLICK HERE to download the Woodbury Historical Society Membership and Donation Form.

543 Route 32 • P.O. Box 30 • Highland Mills, NY 10930
Phone: (845) 928-6770

E-mail: historian@woodburyhistoricalsociety.org

Hours: 2PM - 4PM Tues., 7PM - 9PM Thurs., 10:30 - 12:30PM Sat.
or call for an appointment at (845) 928-6770 or 928-6479

Meetings, which are open to the public, are held on
the first Saturday of the month at 2PM

Neil Crouse, President • June Menkins, Vice President
Millicent Treloar, Secretary • Herman Galberd, Treasurer

William Doyle • Ted Jones • Fred Lindlaw
Robert Curtis • Robert McCue • Gene Sklar
Pat Reynolds • Alex Prizgintas • Sandy Hawthorne
Viktor Prizgintas

Leslie Rose, Archivist, Permanent Trustee,
Town Historian (845) 928-6479


Is it time for you and your family to renew your commitment to the Woodbury Historical Society?

We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our many supporters. Please CLICK HERE to renew your Membership in the Woodbury Historical Society. And if you are new to the Historical Society or to Woodbury, we welcome you to join us. We cannot do what we do without your amazing support!

"Woodbury, Orange County"
— by Sheila Conroy & Nancy Simpson

Woodbury, OrangeCounty

The Woodbury Historical Society is pleased to announce the introduction of
written by Sheila Conroy and Nancy Simpson.

This is the newest book in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series and is a pictorial history of our very own Central Valley, Highland Mills and Woodbury Falls.

The cost for each book is $23.78, including sales tax. If you need the book shipped, the cost per book is $27.82 (cash or check to "Woodbury Historical Society" - no credit cards).

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go toward the work of the Woodbury Historical Society. 
For more information, to order books in person or by phone, please call (845) 928-6770.

Where are you located?
Rushmore Memorial LibraryThe Society is located in the historic branch of the Rushmore Memorial Library, located at the corner of Weygant and Route 32, in Highland Mills, NY.  The Rushmore Memorial Library building was built in 1923 by the Charles E. Rushmore family so that the Town could have a public library.  Mr. Rushmore was a promnent and wealthy attorney who worked in NYC and lived in Woodbury — he was one of our first commuters.  He lived from1856 to 1930.  Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota was named for him which is an interesting story in itself, but you will have to contact or visit us to find out more.

Do you have information to help people prepare a family tree?
Even though all vital records (birth and death records) are in the Town Clerk's office, the Historical Society has a complete set of burial records from the Cemetery of the Highlands which is available to the public, subject to statutory restrictions.

Do you accept donations? What can be donated?
Yes, donations are accepted, subject to the approval of the Trustees and based on the Deed of Gift Policy. Generally, documents and memorabilia relating to the Town of Woodbury are gratefully accepted.

Do you have regularly scheduled meetings?
Yes. Meetings are scheduled for the first Saturday of each month and begin at 10:00AM. Information of interest is posted on Channel 22.

Do you have material to help school children with local history reports?
Yes. The local fourth grade Social Studies curriculum includes a section on local history. WHS has developed a program to assist the students compile the information they need for their report.

What is the Proctor Gatehouse and the Gatehouse Committee?
GatehouseTo appreciate the importance of the Gatehouse Committee, a brief history of the building is needed. In the early 1900's, many wealthy people saw Woodbury as a desirable location to build a vacation estate. Among the rich and famous who settled here was F.F. Proctor who earned the title of the “Dean of Vaudeville” and who devoted more than 50 years to the theatrical world. At the height of his career, Proctor owned more than 53 theatres along the east coast. In 1912, Proctor built his estate, Proctoria, on 1142 acres of land in Central Valley. He constructed five large homes, various barns, and “The Gatehouse” which marked the impressive entrance to the estate. Following Proctor's death in 1929, the estate was put up for sale, finally being acquired by the United States Military Academy (West Point). All the buildings, except the Gatehouse and small Carriage House directly behind, were destroyed so the lands could be used for military and parachute maneuvers.

In 1973, the U.S. Government deeded the Gatehouse to the Town of Woodbury to be used for youth activities. Until the 1990's, the Parks Commission used the Gatehouse for small group activities and the Boy Scouts used The Carriage House. However, budget restraints made it impossible for the Parks Commission to make major renovations to the building and the fate of The Gatehouse was unclear.

In 1996, the Woodbury Town Board crafted an agreement by which the complex would be renovated by using only private funds. The Woodbury Historical Society, which was in need of additional space, and the Boy Scouts, who needed meeting rooms, worked jointly to achieve this goal. WHS will use The Gatehouse for a museum and for special children's projects. The Boy Scouts will use The Carriage House for their troop meetings.

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