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Recap: Victorian Holiday 2022!

The Friends of Harmony Hall’s Victorian Holiday event is the perfect signature

venue to celebrate the numerous accomplishments of a most productive 2022!

The well attended four-hour event welcomed many new guests. As Barbara Berntsen, vice-president and financial secretary Marianne Carroll dressed in period costume mingled among the crowd, they caught a plethora of gratifying positive comments about the Harmony Hall restoration project and the day’s program! The live music, arranged by multi-talented board member Stephanie Hand, founder of Hudson Valley Wind & Brass Ensemble, was exceptional. Flute solos by Stephanie and Nancy Surridge were described by enthusiastic guests as classy and tasteful. Vocalist Stacy Tirro presented holiday tune favorites with an exuberant joy! The wonderful acoustics and aesthetic beauty of the Harmony Hall double parlor continue to impress guests and musical artists alike! Board President Andrea LaMantia presented a reading of the beloved poem A Visit from Saint Nicholas - 1823 attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, with Santa and Mrs. Claus honored and attentive audience members.

Guests were treated to our signature hot mulled cider and sweet treats as they

enjoyed shopping in our Ye Old Holiday Craft Shoppe. Board member Jane Kral’s

meticulously handcrafted novelty kids’s hats, cat toys and accessories are always

big sellers. Harrison Bush, 96 years young, founding member of the Friends, Sloat

descendant, and Sloatsburg Village Historian organized and sold a wide variety of

baked treats as he greeted many well-wishers amidst the festive and elegant holiday house decor. Numerous talented children enjoyed doing crafts with Corrine McConville, owner of Character’s Restaurant, Jessie’s Bagels, Marcello’s Restaurant, Rhodes North Tavern, Rococco’s Salon and Boutique, Village Blend, and Video Magic donated raffle prizes and festive baskets that adorned the entrance hall. The recently revealed Jacob Sloat office history display was of interest to many, especially a copy of the highly detailed 1854 Rockland County map which was donated in 2021 by Sloat descendant Philip Deloria. Interesting discussions ensued with guests regarding Jacob Sloat, the house architecture, and the vital importance of preserving the important history of this corridor.

The highpoint of this year’s event was the reveal of the recently restored three story elliptical staircase, window, archway, and restored plaster walls. This significant restoration progress speaks to the beauty and function of Harmony Hall in 1848 and the prospects of future events. Described by former board trustee and engineer Noel Jablonski as “The heart of Harmony Hall” at the time of the staircase’s discovery in August 2007, under a circa 1977 overbuilt. This

dramatic feature of air and light evokes the promise for future restorations at Harmony Hall! This amazing restoration was made possible by new events at Harmony Hall this year including the highly successful Grateful Dead Tribute

Concert produced by board trustee Kathy Goldman.

Memories of the day were captured by the talented photographer and board member historian Geoff Welch. The day concluded with guests gathering on the front porch to welcome the arrival of the large in number and glorious voices of the Suffern High School Chorus. This annual village-wide caroling visit is much appreciated and welcomed in Sloatsburg!

The Friends of Harmony Hall remain grateful in our sixteenth year for this year’s increased membership, well attended events, restoration progress, exciting plans for 2023, and the significant favorable press coverage we received in print, on television and radio including the November 30th Hudson River Radio broadcast of “Let’s Talk History” with host Jennifer Lorenzo featuring Jacob Sloat’s descendant Peter Bush.

The Friends of Harmony Hall extend our sincere wishes for a Joyous Holiday Season to you and yours!

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