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Below is a selection of books written by John Curran.
These books are also available for purchase by visiting the Peekskill Museum.
Peekskill – Images of America – John J. Curran 2005 – Arcadia Publishing 128 pages (9 ¼” x 6 1/2”) $22.50
Peekskill portrays the history of a small Dutch-style village that grew into a prosperous factory city, with scenic vistas that have always been a particular delight for photographers. Using many of the resulting photographs, Peekskill displays this delightful place, nestled into three surrounding hills where the Hudson River spreads into Peekskill Bay, approaching the Bear Mountain highlands. Peekskill also presents the prominent people of this community, who include Joseph Binney, owner of the company that later became the maker of Crayola products; Chauncey Depew, keynote speaker at the 1886 dedication of the Statue of Liberty; and George Pataki, former governor of New York State. For many years, Peekskill was the summer home of the NY Jets football team, and home to Elton Brand NBA star.
Peekskill’s African American History – A Hudson Valley Community’s Untold Story John J. Curran 2008 – The History Press 155 pages (9 ¾” x 6 ¾”) $22.50
The first African Americans of Peekskill had not choice in making the Hudson Valley their home. What they did choose was what kind of home to make of it—choices that were to shape both their community and the course of American history. Meet the African American sharpshooter who helped swing the balance of the American Revolution, revisit a stop on the Underground Railroad and catch a glimpse of Paul Robeson through the tumult of the 1949 concert riots. Then follow John J. Curran beyond the headlines and behind the scenes as he seeks out the people whose quiet, consistent contributions were no less dynamic in bringing about social change.
Old Peekskill’s Destruction – In the 1960s and 1970s By Urban Renewal, Fires, Riots and the Parking Authority – John J. Curran 2000, Reprinted 2013 – Merit Printing & Publishing 269 pages (11” x 8 ½”) $
“Senior citizens view the world through a richer lens that we younger people do. They see our lives through the prism of the past, observing not just what is, but what was as well ……..in few places is this more true than in downtown Peekskill. When longtime residents take a look at our downtown and its streets and buildings, they see not just the blocky and awkward buildings that dominate so much of our city’s skylines, but the graceful, souring structures that vanished just a few decades ago.” (Tony Seideman)
In the course of less than 20 years, public policy financed with public money and supervised by elected and non-elected public employees changed the face of Peekskill as well as other municipalities in the interest of progress. Urban Renewal and its ensuing re-vitalization efforts led to the destruction of much of the downtown area, without the foresight to actually accomplish the intended results. Here is the real story of that failure.
The Lincoln Society in Peekskill – Celebrating the 151st Anniversary of President Elect Lincoln’s 1861 Visit to Peekskill – February 18, 2012 – L. A. Augustowski – Merit Printing & Publishing 2012 16 pages (11” x 8 ½”) $15.00
Commerative booklet includes 44 professional photographs of the re-enactment of Lincoln’s visit and speech which was given at the Peekskill railroad station on his way to the presidential inauguration in Washington. Also covers the evening’s grand ball.