Fenway Donegan, Class of 2025 Presents His Research

Inaugural O'Neill Fellowship

On Friday, September 8, JHC hosted the inaugural Margaret Nolan O’Neill Fellowship Presentation. The fellowship was established in 2022 in memory of Maggie O’Neill, who studied Political Science and Government at Columbia University. The purpose of this academic opportunity is to advance scholarship in American History and foster respectful dialogue of topics relevant to the evolution of our nation, the shaping of its democracy and place in the global arena.

This year’s first O’Neill Fellow, Fenway Donegan, Class of 2025, presented his resulting work titled “Mere Occupants – Transfer and Seizure of Land During Rye’s First Century” to a mesmerized, capacity crowd. Supervised by two Columbia professors, Lynne Breslin and Robert Amdur,  Fenway’s initial focus was the impact of forced land transfers and confiscation laws in the Revolutionary period  – the removal of property used by the fledgling American government as a means to punish political dissidents and raise needed funds for the war effort. He expanded his study to encompass the seizure and transfer of Indigenous Munsee lands prior to that period for a more comprehensive overview of Rye’s early history. Photos and video can be found here.

September 29, 30 and October 1

Friendship Through Japanese Arts and Culture

The Jay Heritage Center is honored to share news that it will be displaying a rare internment camp painting by master sumi-e painter and great post-war abstractionist Koho Yamamoto at the 1838 Jay Mansion this September. The display will be added to a weekend-long collaboration called Friendship Through Japanese Arts and Culture made possible through a dynamic partnership with the Japan Society of Greater Fairfield County (JSFC) and the Topaz Museum in Delta, Utah. The event supports JSFC’s dedication to building knowledge and mutual understanding between Japanese and Americans through educational, cultural and philanthropic programs.  The weekend will kick off with the dedication of a Higan cherry tree allée that is to be planted as part of the Jay Estate Gardens and also include a spectacular flower show hosted by International Ikebana New York. The painting exhibit and flower show will be open to the public as part of New York State Park’s Hudson River Valley Ramble weekend and complement the Jay Heritage Center’s annual family fall festival, Jay Day. Read more here.

October 1 from 12 - 4pm


Jay Day is our classic fall family festival! Enjoy live a cappella performances by the Yale Spizzwinks, stomp your feet to music by Citigrass– plus custom silhouette portraits, face painters, pony rides and a petting zoo from Bronx Equestrian. Stilt walkers and jugglers provide super photo ops for the whole family! Guests snack on nibbles from food truck vendors like Crazy Taco Mex, Leila’s Empanadas, and Jimmy’s Soft Serve ice cream, and they learn about archaeology with Dr. Eugene Boesch. Admission is $50 per family or $20 per individual for ticketed activities. BUY ADVANCE TICKETS HERE!

For more info, email Meredith Slater at mjslater.jhc@gmail.com. 

See the whole schedule of activities here

The Jay Estate in Rye was home to one of our nation's greatest peacemakers, John Jay...

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