Pawling Chamber of Commerce Attractions


Historic Akin Free Library And Museums

The Akin Free Library is a distinguished example of eclectic late Victorian design. The building, begun in 1898 and completed in 1908 combines Renaissance Revival and Neo-Greco details, with a three-story central tower topped by an ornate cupola and an arched entrance portico. The Akin Free Library continues as a cultural and architectural focus of the rural community of Quaker Hill. The library retains a high degree of integrity of design and materials. The building was nominated in 1991 as a national and state registered historic place. The library is especially useful as a reference library for the period around the 1800’s. It contains rare volumes, history, ledgers, and genealogy of this section of Dutchess County. Quaker History and biography, children’s literature, rare natural history books and literature make up the collection. 

The Gunnison Museum of Natural History is located on the lower level of the library. Its collection covers all phases of natural history. The birds, bird eggs and mineral sections are outstanding and complete information on each item is provided in all areas. 

The Historical Society Museum is housed on the second floor and was founded in 1910. Quaker Hill memorabilia, farm and kitchen implements and Mizzen Top Hotel items and ledgers are part of the collection. The Quaker Hill and Pawling Historical Society also maintain the Kane House in the Village of Pawling and the Quaker Meeting House (1764) on Quaker.

The Pawling Farmers Market

Pawling and its environs have a rich agricultural tradition. Since its founding in the mid-1700s, orchards, livestock and fields of corn and vegetables have been a fundamental part of life in Pawling. In early 2008, a group of residents approached the Town and the Chamber of Commerce with the proposal of creating a weekly farmers market in downtown Pawling. Thus began what is now known as the Pawling Farmers Market, bringing local produce and crafts to the center of town. Aligned both with the centuries-old tradition of "market day" and the recent popularization of local, healthy foods; the Pawling Farmers Market serves as a gathering spot for residents and a regional attraction. The Pawling Farmers Market runs from mid-June until the beginning of October.

The Thomas E. Dewey Center

The opening of The Center marked a more than 50 year period of collecting items related to Dewey by local resident Stan Mersand. Stan worked for the Dewey family during the 1950’s. Later on, as Stan began a 38 year career teaching history, he continued to be interested in Dewey and started collecting anything related to Dewey, his family, his public life, and his political career. He has amassed one of the largest private collections known to exist. Approximately half of the collection is on display in the 1,000 square foot Center, and new items are being acquired on a continuous basis. The Center contains maps, large wall posters, pins, buttons, badges, books and reference material, rally tickets, convention related items, pictures (over 1,000 are owned by the Center) and Dewey’s personal letters (over 600 are on display and rotated throughout the year). Many of these items are the last known to exist or something that has never been seen before by political items collectors, dealers, or the public.

On display are items related to his run for the governorship. Memorabilia related to his 1944 nomination and campaign as the Republican candidate for the presidency, are on display, including several very unusual and rare items. The section dealing with the 1948 campaign against Harry Truman again includes many rare and very hard to find items. By design, The Center does not include the infamous Chicago Tribune newspaper that has Dewey winning!

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