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New Exhibit Takes Chappaqua Residents Back in TIme

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - The New Castle Historical Society is taking Chappaqua residents back to a land before nail salons and when gas was only $0.19 per gallon.

“A Stroll Down Town: Then and Now,” the historical society’s latest exhibit went live on Feb. 14. Building on its previous display, “A Walk Down King Street,” the exhibit offers residents an opportunity to see what their hometown was like at the turn of the 20th century.

“Basically what we did was to take that exhibit, and upgrade it and expand it,” said History Society President Al Hutin. He created the display with his wife, who painted and drew renderings of buildings when the historical society did not have pictures available.

The 81-year-old lifelong Chappaqua resident drew off much of his own knowledge and experiences when assembling the exhibit. Hutin is a fifth-generation resident of the hamlet, with his mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother lived in Chappaqua before him.

“I went to school next door to the A&P,” said Hutin, recounting his experience in Chappaqua. “I remember going over there after school, and if I had a couple cents I’d go over there and buy penny candy.”

Before-and-after pictures lined the walls of the Horace Greeley House, showing the change in business services and how small groceries and general stores became super markets and specialty shops.

“Some of them moved, but some of them are right where they always were,” said Hutin.

Notable differences between Chappaqua then and now include King Street business extending on the far side of the railroad tracks, and a Chappaqua hotel that existed on King Street that was often frequented by Horace Greeley himself.

Some of the exhibit may feel like déjà vu for residents who experienced the recently-completed Route 120 bridge construction. The exhibit shows photos of the 1930 bridge dedication when it was originally built.

The exhibit will remain open to the public every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Horace Greeley House on 100 King St.

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