The public is invited to hear Mary Altobelli talk about the importance of the Dutchess Quarry Caves, a paleolithic site preserved by natural factors for 10,000 years, at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, at the 1915 Erie Station in Historic Downtown Chester, 19 Winkler Place.
Her talk will follow the Chester Historical Society's annual meeting and election of 2020 officers, to begin at 2 p.m.
Altobelli, a Chester resident, artist, and teacher, is the former artistic director at the Poughkeepsie Journal and the Times Herald-Record, and past-president of the Chester Historical Society. She will discuss the importance of the Dutchess Quarry Caves as part of an interactive discussion with the audience on how to preserve the site.
The cave complex, located on the western flank of Lookout Mountain in Goshen, is listed on the State of New York and National Register of Historic Places. This land was purchased by Orange County in 1848 for use as a "poor farm." Several years ago, the county agreed to protect the caves.
"The Dutchess Quarry Caves remain, when all is said and done, the only site in New York State that sample virtually the entire range of human history in the northeastern United States," writes Robert E. Funk in "Archaeological and Paleoenvironmental Investigations in the Dutchess Quarry Caves, Orange County, New York."
Refreshments will be served at the talk. Seating is limited.
The snow date for the meeting and talk is Sunday, Jan. 19.
For more information call the Chester Historical Society at 845-469-2388 (Tuesdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m.), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ChesterHistoricalSociety.com.