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Harmony Hall Board crafts plans 10th anniversary year!

Winter is a quiet time for visitors, which makes it a useful time for planning. This year, on April 24th, FOHH will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the issuance of our charter by the New York State Board of Regents and we plan to make it a busy one. From our signature Highlands Bluegrass Festival to our ongoing restoration of the mansion's first-floor interiors, we are setting some high bars for the year ahead, including the launch of a new brand and website. We hope you will make it a point to put a visit to Harmony Hall on your calendar as we prepare to celebrate a jubilee year.

Hundreds flock to Harmony Hall to celebrate a Victorian Holiday

FOHH was thrilled to welcome several hundred guests to the Sloat mansion this year to celebrate a Victorian Holiday with us. This year's celebration was our ninth and one of the best attended yet. As usual, the mansion was decorated for the holidays, and guests were invited to see and enjoy a number of restoration tasks that were completed this year including repairs to the period plaster walls, a fresh initial coat of paint and a renovated bathroom that is now handicap accessible as well as beautiful. We wish to take this opportunity to thank the many people who contributed so much to this year's event. Because that would be a very long list, we will simply say that we are indebted to the members, friends and business supporters, who not only set the stage for a wonderful event but are essential to helping us to see through the gradual restoration of Harmony Hall. We are also grateful to all of those people who came out to support the event. Guests this year came from as far away as Pennsylvania and Connecticut to see the mansion and enjoy the celebration. We are especially grateful to those who provided refreshments, baked goods, crafts and decorations, or made it a point to visit our Holiday Shoppe, leave a donation, advertise in our event program, donate a raffle item or participate in our Restoration Raffle by purchasing tickets. Net proceeds from this event, which offers free admission to the house, are dedicated to the Harmony Hall Restoration Fund. Finally, we would like to wish one and all a wonderful holiday season, and a happy and healthy 2017. We look forward to welcoming you back to the house in 2017 as we begin a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of FOHH and the 170th birthday of Harmony Hall!

Mystery and mayhem were the themes of this year's Halloween Happenings at Harmony Hall...to everyone's delight!

It was a night of fright...and fun! Guests to the Sloat House on October 29th were treated to the usual great hospitality you can expect from a Harmony Hall fundraising event, but the fun didn't stop there! Everyone became a member of the cast of a murder mystery in the mansion that included the discovery of a body in the library! Those who didn't take a part were invited to be investigators. Those who were really on their game won prizes donated by DaNina and Marcello's restaurants in Suffern, Outback and Sutter's Mill restaurants in Airmont, Hayward's Deli and Character's Resturant in Sloatburg, and Colonial Florists of Suffern. Our thanks to all of these great local business partners and to those members who helped to gather the prizes. Kudos also go out to FOHH members Andrea and Ed, who planned the party and the murder!

FOHH wins prestigious award for restoration leadership!

We are excited and proud to announce that Friends of Harmony Hall ~ Jacob Sloat House have been awarded a 2016 Rockland County Executive's Historic Preservation Merit Award for our work at Harmony Hall. The Preservation Leadership Award is presented each year to individuals, groups and government agencies that have displayed outstanding leadership or continuing conribution to the preservation of the historic resources in Rockland County. FOHH was nominated for this year's award by Peter Bush, who is an avid preservationist and was a founding board member of FOHH. Peter's early leadership efforts helped to engage the interest of the Town of Ramapo, who purchased the mansion in 2006 as part of a town open space and preservation initiative, effectively saving Harmony Hall from demolition. Mr. Bush, who is the great-great grandson of Jacob Sloat, continues to play a critical role in the restoration of the mansion as an active and generous member of FOHH and as a preservation mentor to the board.

FOHH President Barbara Berntsen accepted the award on May 15, 2016 during a country supper sponsored by the Historic Society of Rockland County on the grounds of that organization's historic Jacob Blauvelt House. In addition to thanking Mr. Bush for his nomination, Ms. Berntsen thanked County Executive Ed Day for his support of local tourism, and of the important historic and cultural resources that help to define Rockland County. She also thanked FOHH member and HSRC President Clare Sheridan, former FOHH board member and Rockland County Historian Craig Long, and the Supervisor and Town Council of Ramapo for their vision and their continuing contributions to the Harmony Hall preservation effort. FOHH also congratulates the John Green Preservation Coalition of Nyack, who shared this year's Preservation Leadership Award with FOHH.

There was never a better time to become a member of Friends of Harmony Hall ~ Jacob Sloat House! For more information, click here.