Lincoln Depot Museum to Memorialize 150th Anniversary of President’s Death

Replica Coffin, Ceremonies, Lectures Will Take Place on Exact Date, Time Funeral Train Passed Peekskill 150 Years Ago.

Event Will Take Place 1:00-4:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday April 25th-26th At New Facility at 10 South Water Street, Peekskill, NY.

For Immediate Release
Friday, April 10, 2015
Contact: John G. Testa, Board President, at 914-760-9773

PEEKSKILL, NY — With a “you are there” intensity, two days of ceremonies, honors andLincoln Casket Event Graphic tributes taking place on the exact 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death and the location his funeral train passed is taking place on Saturday, April 25th and Sunday the 26th at The Lincoln Depot Museum at 10 South Water Street in Peekskill, NY. Adding to the event’s intensity will be an historically exact replica of the martyred president’s coffin made by Batesville Casket Company.

The coffin will be on display at the Lincoln Depot Museum from 1-4 pm each day. There will be a nominal $5 attendance fee. Museum members will get in free. Specific highlights will include speeches each day at 2:30 pm:

  • On April 25th, Jamie Malanowski will give a talk on Lincoln as Hero and Myth. Malanowski is author of And the War Came, Six Months That Tore America Apart, and Abraham Lincoln, Outlaw Hero. He has written for Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and The Washington Monthly.
  • On April 26th, John Muranelli will give a talk on The Murder Plot To Kill Lincoln. Muranelli is a leading expert and researcher on Ford’s Theater, the conspirators who assasinated Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth.
  • The Lincoln Museum Exhibit, Lincoln and New York: The Indespensable Relationship, will be on display.
  • Visitors will get to see the coffin that is an exact reproduction of the one that carried Abraham Lincoln to his final grave at a site his funeral train actually passed.

Lincoln Depot Silver PinIn 1861, Abraham Lincoln made his only stop in Westchester at The Lincoln Depot. The trip was part of Lincoln’s little known-but momentous whistle stop train trip to his inauguration. Over the course of the 1,600 mile trip, Lincoln stopped at scores of places and gave many brief speeches. It is estimated that on that trip, Lincoln was seen by more people than had ever witnessed an American president in history, and that the voyage itself played an important role in mobilizing public opinion for the trials to come. In April, 1865, the funeral train carrying his remains followed the same 1,600-mile route home, and had a huge impact as well.

The Lincoln Depot Museum is one of the only intact sites of the scores where Lincoln stopped and spoke on his way to and back from Washington. A multi-million-dollar facility, the 160-year-old building features an abundance of exhibits, including period Lincoln photographs, letters signed by Lincoln and Civil War era artifacts and ephemera. The event is being held by the Lincoln Depot Museum in cooperation with The Lincoln Society in Peekskill, NY.

“Trains have been rolling down these tracks for 165 years. You can stand at the Depot andOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA get a true and magnificent sense of what it was like to actually be present so long ago,” says Westchester County Legislator John Testa. As a City Councilman and, later, Mayor of Peekskill, Testa led the effort to purchase the Lincoln Depot Building and the property upon which it rested. He worked with then Governor George Pataki to secure more than $3 million in funds to transform what had become a leaky, neglected warehouse into a state-of-the art educational museum facility that would serve not just the city, but the entire region.

“Few people realize that Westchester County is one of America’s most historic regions,” Testa says. From the Colonial Era to the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and the present, amazing things have happened in this county.”

Plans are for the Lincoln Depot Museum to be a catalyst for heritage tourism and historic preservation for the entire region. Members of area historic groups are already thrilled about the fact that they’ll soon have a new place to meet and stage events.

Founded in 1903, The Lincoln Society in Peekskill is considered the oldest Lincoln Society of its kind. Recent speakers have included Pulitzer Prize winners Eric Foner and Debbie Applegate, as well as James McPherson, renown author of The Battle Cry of Freedom.

Lincoln’s connection to Peekskill grew out of the city’s status as a center of 19th-century manufacturing and the intensive political activity of many of its leading citizens in that era. He was invited to stop in the city by local luminary William Nelson, who served in Congress with Lincoln from 1846-1848.

This event marks the official opening of the Lincoln Depot Museum for the 2015 season and will be its first full year in operation. The museum will be open Saturdays and Sundays until December 19-20, 2015.

For more information, contact John G. Testa at 914-760-9773, or go to the organization’s web site at www.lincolndepotmuseum.org.

About Legislator John G. Testa

John G. Testa, a life-long resident of Peekskill, began his first term on the Westchester County Legislature in January 2010. Prior to his successful run for the District 1 Legislative seat, he served 3 terms as Mayor of Peekskill from January 2002 until December 2007. Before becoming mayor he also served a four-year term as a Councilman. From his first days in office Testa worked tirelessly to set the City on the path of economic stability. Peekskill flourished under this plan, increasing the city fund balance to its highest in history. During John’s tenure in office, the NY State Comptroller’s Office named Peekskill one of the most fiscally sound municipalities in the State; independent auditors proclaimed Peekskill as being in its best fiscal condition in over 30 years; and Moody’s Investor Service agreed to upgrade its bond rating, resulting in further savings. The plan he put in place was so successful that it enabled the City of Peekskill to pass three budgets in a row with a 0% tax increase. These fiscal skills will prove valuable to Testa as he works to put the brakes on what has been wildly escalating county spending and unchecked government growth. He has pledged his efforts to work to consolidate services, eliminate wasteful spending and improve efficiency. In addition to the fiscal conservatism that served Peekskill so well, Testa worked to promote the city, attracting investment, jobs and an increased tax base. Over $100 million of private investment came to Peekskill in the forms of new residential construction, retail space, and the redevelopment of historic structures. As Mayor, Testa led a successful battle to stop the unfair and unsafe plan to send sewage to the Peekskill plant from outside the sewage/water district. John’s roots are deep within the soil of Northern Westchester. His father’s family has lived here for more than a century and his mother’s family is nearing that mark. He is proud that he was born in Peekskill and has lived and worked here all his life and, with his wife Nancy raised their two children here.
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