On Saturday, July 2, 2016, an exhibit about Bash Bish Falls opens at the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society Museum at 8 Miles Road in Copake Falls, NY. The exhibit is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, July 2 through September 4, 2016.
The public is invited to a special preview reception on Friday, July 1, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the museum. Peter Cipkowski, President of the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society, will introduce the exhibit.
“Natural landmarks, like historic landmarks, tell local stories,” said Cipkowski. “Bash Bish has an alluring star-power that is fully part of the history of the Roe Jan community. This beautiful exhibit coveys that story.”
This summer’s exhibit celebrates the rich history of Bash Bish Falls – one of New England’s tallest and most dramatic waterfalls. Bash Bish Falls has been the Roe Jan region’s single biggest attraction for more than 150 years. Each year, an estimated 200,000 visitors make the hike to the falls to enjoy the natural wonder set against the cycle of the seasons. Famous visitors to the falls have included Herman Melville, Henry Longfellow, Henry David Thoreau, John Frederick Kensett and even baseball legend, Babe Ruth.
The exhibit presents the geology of the falls, early Native American mythology, the artists associated with the Hudson River School of Art who painted the falls, several commercial enterprises, and the efforts to preserve and protect this spectacular cascade. As part of the exhibit, visitors will also have the opportunity to see the original Bash Bish Inn guest registry that includes Herman Melville’s signature, as well as many other historical objects and images.
The Bash Bish Falls exhibit was curated by Greg Keffer, principal at Rockwell Group, and Darin Johnson, senior strategist to Old Sturbridge Village. Both Keffer and Johnson are proud residents of Copake Falls, NY and supporters of the historical society.
“As frequent visitors to the falls ourselves, Greg and I were eager to assist the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society bring the incredibly rich and lively story of Bash Bish Falls to our community and the thousands of visitors and campers who will come to Copake Falls and the Taconic State Park this summer,” said Johnson.
“Working with the historical society’s board and volunteers on the development of the exhibit has been such a rewarding experience,” added Keffer. “We wanted to partner with the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society on this exhibit, because its work in preserving and sharing our community’s history is so critical and meaningful.”