With cooler temperatures closing in, Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison bids adieu to the summer with a bang — literally.
Musket firings, artillery demonstrations, and drills are just some of the activities history buffs can enjoy at the historic site’s Military Reenactment Day on Sunday, August 24. During the site’s main presentation, dubbed “The Dyckman Family at War: An Encampment of Soldiers from the American Revolution Through the Civil War,” reenactors demonstrate what military camp life was like during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. The 6th New York Independent Battery will also fire its powerful Parrott gun — which was famously produced at the West Point Foundry in nearby Cold Spring — to commemorate the Civil War’s 150th anniversary this year.
Guests can also tour the gardens, hike the scenic Woodland Trail of Discovery, and nosh on a picnic lunch in the Carriage House.
Those looking to further broaden their understanding of U.S history — or, at the very least, historical interior décor — can venture inside the museum, where collections and displays abound. Each piece, from furniture to drawings and prints, is a token of founder States Morris Dyckman’s adoration for his wife (and, it should be noted, his soft spot for extravagant living).
A bit of backstory: Dyckman, a Revolutionary War loyalist, began building his home in 1804, but died two years into the project. His wife, Elizabeth Corne Dyckman, took construction into her own hands, and within four years it was complete and ready for elegant furnishings. Much of what is on display are pieces from England that Dyckman had acquired. Story goes that Dyckman named his home after the Boscobel estate in Shropshire, England, which got its name from the Italian phrase bosco bello, meaning “in the midst of fair woods.”
Despite the fact that the house itself has undergone several alterations, the Boscobel estate is a highly revered — and accurate — visual reference for the architecture and decorative arts of the Federal period, in addition to being a popular tourist attraction.
Of course, Boscobel is well-known as the home of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, the region’s only resident Shakespeare company. Held for more than 25 seasons, the summer festival brings more than 60,000 people to the Boscobel grounds each year. Read more about this year’s fairs and festivals here.
If you go…
What: Military Reenactment Day
Where: Boscobel House & Gardens, 1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $5, free for children under 6
Details: 845-265-3638; www.boscobel.org