HAVE A BLAST!
Friends of Taconic State Park will celebrate the completion of its furnace stabilization project at Furnace Fest on Sunday, November 10th from Noon to 2pm at the Copake Iron Works historic site in Copake Falls. All are invited for lunch, music and other celebratory activities.
The furnace stabilization project was undertaken this past June following the completion of the group’s furnace cover project. The furnace cover helped protect the historic structure, but long years of exposure to the wind, rain and snow, as well as the ravages of weeds and scavengers, had severely weakened the four arches of the furnace, as well as its interior. The stabilization work was made possible by a loyal supporter who extended an interest free loan to the Friends to help fund the $110,000 project.
While the stabilization project is complete, the fundraising is not. The group is working now to raise the final $18,000 needed to payback the interest free loan. Supporters of the project include New York State Parks champion Dr. Lucy R. Waletzky and more than 300 individuals and businesses.
This past August, the Friends were able to undertake the repair and stabilization of the foundation and walls of the Ironworks Engine House located directly across from the furnace. The work was funded entirely by an anonymous $50,000 gift to Friends of Taconic State Park. In making the gift, the donor noted that “the engine house repairs may not have the appeal of the furnace stabilization, but they are just as important to the site. I commend you for your commitment to the preservation of this historic treasure and hope my gift will serve as a catalyst for other grants to your organization.” Engine House repairs and stabilization were completed in late September.
Repairing old structures is not all Friends of Taconic State Park has accomplished during the past year. In addition to offering monthly lectures, tours, and outdoor activities, the group opened a new trail connecting the Bash Bish Falls to the Copake Iron Works. This new “Bash Bish Connector” was carried out by several volunteers with invaluable assistance from Park staff.
Interpretive signage is next on the group’s list of must-do projects. A $500 contribution from the Copake Falls Day Committee will help fund this vitally important effort.