My name is Ned Moran and I am a retired New York City Firefighter and Director of Avalon Archives, a musical museum located at Tilly Foster Farm Museum.
I have been in and around Putnam County since 1947 and have owned a home in Kent Cliffs for over forty (40) years.
Some years ago, I donated eight historical church windows to the Putnam Historical Society and to George Whipple’s Preserve Putnam Foundation. When George came to my home to pick up the windows, he became aware of my valuable collection. He had been to a few of my exhibits when I had a small gallery in Kent cliffs in the mid 1990’s.
In mid 2009, George invited me to bring my extensive collection to Tilly Foster Farm Museum to create an attraction for historical tourism in eastern Putnam County. Because I was a member of the community and loved Putnam County as much as anyone, I was happy to bring Avalon Archives to the Farm, I knew it would draw tourists.
Since coming to the Farm four years ago, thousands of Putnam residents and tourists have been to the museum. Especially popular is out section on musicians connected to Putnam County (we have a film clip of Bob Dylan and banjo legend Earl Scruggs playing music together in a house in Kent Cliffs). 80% of the visitors are from outside Putnam County and 99% of them leave with a smile.
The Museum has received Certificates of Recognition from the Putnam County Historian’s Office, Mental Health Services of Putnam County, New York State Senate and a Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community from the United States Congress.
In addition, we have received letters of appreciation from George Fischer Middle School, Putnam Valley High School, Carmel High School Art Students, the Rye Art Center located in Westchester County, Putnam Arts Council and Kent Historical Society, among others.
The Museum is staffed by volunteers who have contributed more than three thousand (3,000) hours to the Farm open every weekend for the past four years at no cost to the County while bringing in tourist dollars and providing a free and a one-of-a-kind attraction for Putnam residents. Tourism generates revenue while protecting Putnam from overdevelopment; our open spaces are Putnam’s greatest asset.
George Whipple has supported Putnam County in spirit and deeds all of his life. Meredith Whipple, the Executive Director, the farm hands, the folks at the tractor and antique machinery museum, and Avalon Archives all support each other and work collectively for the betterment of The Farm and Putnam County. George’s mother spent a month renovating and beautifying the guest cottage.
I would ask Tony DeNoia, who lives on The Farm, and has worked for the Benedict Family and Putnam County about his impression of what Mr. Whipple has done for Tilly Foster Farm Museum instead of Ann Fanizzi, who lost her bid to run The Farm and later lost her frivolous lawsuit against Mr. Whipple in an effort to discredit his name.
I would to invite you all to visit the museum, in small groups please, and welcome the opportunity to show you around and answer any questions you may have regarding Avalon Archives and Tilly Foster Farm Museum.
Ned Moran, Director.