Tappantown Historical Society
The Tappantown Historical Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1965 and permanently
chartered by the New York State Board of Regents to preserve, protect and enhance buildings and
sites in Tappan's 85 acre historic area, and to perpetuate Tappan's heritage of architecture and
As a member you share in our educational programs, plant sale, Colonial Day, guided walking
tours and historical data file. You will receive our quarterly Newsletter and annual journal "The
Drummer Boy." You will be joining over 200 other members in making this society one of the most
active groups engaged in preservation.
Our activities include: supporting Local Law #4-1965, which established the Tappan Historic Area
and legislates matters of concern therein, the publication of a full length book on Tappan's history,
and offering a consulting service relating to exterior appearances of structures and grounds to the
residents of Tappan's Historic Area.
|A view of the Old '76 House and Main Street in Tappan in mid-19th Century.
|Tappantown Historical Society, PO Box 71, Tappan, NY 10983
BEGINNINGS OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION IN TAPPAN
Historic preservation was initiated in 1964 when the Tappan Civic Association formed a Steering
Committee composed of Paul Melone, John Alison, and Tom Lehrecke, to investigate the possibility of
special zoning to protect the historic structures and limit permissible types of construction in the heart of
Tappan. The committee was formed none too soon, for a month later builders filed an application to erect a
two-story office and a one-story commercial structure on land directly in the back of the present Tappan
Over the period of a few weeks, the Steering Committee collected 1,055 signatures out of 1,376 registered
voters in Tappan. A historic zoning law was proposed , and for the next ten months the advantages and
disadvantages of historic zoning were discussed at meetings. [...] The historic zoning proposal was
officially approved at a Town Board meeting on December 28, 1965.
The Tappan Historic Areas Law created a Board of Review consisting of residential property owners in the
Town of Orangetown, appointed by the Town Board for a five-year term of office.
The Tappan Historic Areas Law is a boon to property owners. It assures them the continuing enjoyment of
the surroundings of the tract - an original inducement to their having settled there. And, property owners
outside the Historic Area benefit in like measure, for they are assured that the general character of Tappan
will be maintained through provisions of the law.
The Civic Association project to establish the Historic Area created such interest that it gave rise to the
Tappantown Historical Society, a group dedicated exclusively for the preservation of Tappan's heritage. It's
first general membership was held on November 15, 1965, and it's first president was J. Wesley Pullman.
(excerpts from "Tappan 300 Years: 1686-1986" published by the Tappantown Historical Society in 1988)
BECOME A MEMBER
If you are interested in local history and appreciate the charm of Tappan's historic district, it's time
to join the Tappantown Historical Society.
To save the past for the future, Tappantown Historical Society needs your support and active
participation. Members are invited to attend the Society's monthly business meetings on the first
Tuesday of the month at the Carriage House at George Washington's Headquarters (DeWint
House) at Tappan, 20 Livingston Avenue at 7:30 PM.
To become a member or renew your membership please complete the form below, print and mail
with your check to:
Tappantown Historical Society, PO Box 71, Tappan, NY 10983