"BASE BALL" & HARNESS RACING AT GOSHEN
Goshen, NY – Project funding from the Southeastern New York Library Resource Council has been approved for the creation of a joint exhibit and public programming to be presented by the Goshen Public Library & Historical Society and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.
These two outstanding organizations jointly present “Base Ball at the Orange County Driving Park: Celebrating Baseball and Harness Racing in Goshen, NY.” Beginning in mid-May, the Library and Museum will each open an exhibition and host a series of family-friendly crafts, reading programs and adult lectures highlighting the intersection of baseball and harness racing history in Goshen. The celebration will culminate with a large community event on June 11th centered on a live vintage baseball game played at Goshen Historic Track. The day’s program will include harness racing activities, crafts and giveaways.
In 1863 Edwin Dikeman, a village pharmacist who once worked as a harness maker and for whom the Dikeman Fire Company is named, helped establish the Monitor Base Ball Club. “The fine spot selected as their playing ground,” a correspondent for the Goshen Democrat noted, was the Driving Park. The diamond laid out on the infield of the track was used into the 20th century and hosted teams from Orange County, New York City and the tri-state region.
Across the country, trotting tracks like the one at Goshen which was established in 1838, became ubiquitous fixtures of local communities with 870 active tracks built by 1900. The open spaces provided by the infields of these driving parks were perfect for “base ball,” which grew in popularity after the Civil War. So it is that these two American-born sports once literally shared common ground.
"Base Ball at the Orange County Driving Park: Celebrating Baseball and Harness Racing in Goshen, NY," is supported in part with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the New York State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and provided by a competitive sub-award grant by the Southeastern New York Library Resource Council. The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums by advancing, supporting and empowering America’s museums, libraries and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Its vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow on Facebook and Twitter.
Further announcements of the project’s activities will be forthcoming. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame located at 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY, is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. For further information on admissions, educational programming and room rentals, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.