Sports Museum of Dutchess County in Poughkeepsie, NY Tel: 845-632-1570
Traveling on Route 9, north from Fishkill, NY or south from Pougkeepsie or Wappingers Falls, NY:
At the intersection of Route 9 and Route 28*(Old Hopewell Road) turn west towards Hughsonville and New Hamburg. Pass Hughsonville Fire Department, and Route 9D intersection. Look for the Carnwath Farms sign in the middle of the fork in the road. Use caution here and go straight onto Wheeler Hill Rd. When you come to the stop sign, go towards the left and continue on Wheeler Hill. Carnwath will be on the right side (pretty much straight in front of you, since the road curves there to the left.) Follow signs to the Sports Museum.
The Sports Museum of Dutchess County was conceived in the mind of the late Charles R. "Mr. Average Bowler" Howroyd in 1973. He envisioned a complex dedicated to sports and discussed this dream with several county legislators and sportsmen. In January 1974, the group met and took the first step. Committees were formed to look into sites, financing, publicity and membership. Slowly and painstakingly, the group moved forward, submitting a tentative charter to the State Education Department in the summer of 1974. However, this paper work was permitted to expire.
In the spring of 1987, we again submitted paperwork to the State Education Department for a charter. In April of 1988, we were issued a provisional charter. In August of 1988, we were recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. A final determination was made on December 31, 1992, that we were entitled to the exempt status.
In 1994 and again in 1999 we applied for a five-year extension to our original Provisional Charter which was granted. From the very beginning the organization actively worked to procure a building which we could use as a permanent museum. We had many leads but they did not materialize until this year, 2005. We now have a home at the Carnwath Farm in the Town of Wappinger which has allowed us to apply for a Permanent Charter.
However prior to a permanent home, the museum has presented Dutchess County sports history to the county residents through exhibits at various activities within the county. These include Sportsmen Shows, the Dutchess County Fair, the Dutchess County Balloon Races, state festivals, malls and numerous town community days. While we were located at the Ball Park Tavern, we held numerous open houses on weekends that were open to the public. During the week, we were open by appointment for any group that was interested.
Our displays include Baseball Hall of Fame members Eddie Collins and Dan Brouthers, celebrities such as Chuck Connors and Whitey Ford, who played for baseball teams in Dutchess County; recent baseball players Austin Knickerbocker, Elmer Steele, Wes Westrum and Ricky Horton; and Melio Bettina, who was the 1939 lightheavyweight champion of the world. We have put together displays on tennis, golf, bowling, soccer, dartball, figure skating, speed skating, baseball and basketball.
In 1977, the Sports Museum of Dutchess County initiated a Hall of Fame where active sports oriented people could be recognized for their contributions to sports rather than for their accomplishments. To date we have inducted over 200 sportsmen and sportswomen into the hall. The inductees are given special plaques to commemorate the occasion of their induction and are awarded Life Memberships in the organization. The museum maintains a permanent display of the inductees.
The museum is governed by a Board of Trustees which meets the third Thursday of each month and is comprised of 22 sports-minded men and women. Membership is open to everyone interested in preserving the vast sports history of Dutchess County and strive to ensure sports continue in Dutchess County.
We are finally on our way to our long-term goal to have a museum open to the public, where the rich sports history of Dutchess County can be displayed. This will include a library, meeting rooms, artifacts and a display of all the various sports Halls of Fame in Dutchess County.