Hyde Park’s new town historian plans for the future

Hyde Park’s history has found a new guardian with Carol Kohan’s appointment as town historian.

Kohan, a Hudson Valley native, worked for the National Park Service for 38 years, starting and ending her career at the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites in Hyde Park, according to a news release from town hall.

“I’m looking forward to working with the town to discover what historical resources exist in this community and being able to share them with the public,” Kohan told the Observer.

She said her first order of business would be to find out what historical records exist in the town, with help from the library, the historical society, of which she is a member, and other agencies.

“I would like to have a page on the town website basically giving that information and links to the places so people could go there and know where to search for information,” she said.

Kohan is also a member of the Hyde Park Visual Environment Committee and is a volunteer at the Staatsburgh State Historic Site. Her professional career has included the research, collection, management and protection of significant historical resources throughout the East and Midwest.

Kohan worked at multiple posts including Curator and Acting Superintendent at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, Midwest Regional Curator based in Omaha, and Superintendent of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch, Iowa. She then returned to Hyde Park as Deputy Superintendent, the town’s release said.

“With a history as rich as the one Hyde Park possesses, we are indeed fortunate to have a historian with the credentials, skill set and love of history that Ms. Kohan brings to the position,” said Town Supervisor Aileen Rohr.

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