Children from the Maple Ridge Church Communities joined Seeger and his banjo on stage to sing the well-loved song “If I Had a Hammer,” engaging hundreds of people to join in the uplifting melody Seeger wrote more than 60 years ago with Lee Hays. Behind Seeger and his band of roving children were about a dozen construction workers from Timber Framers in yellow T-shirts and white hard hats who all paused from swinging their own hammers to listen and even sing. Later, tightrope walker Philippe Petit, a Shokan resident famous for once walking a wire across theTwinTowers, walked across the beam, unfurled the American flag and balanced a small wooden dowel on his chin.
Museum Director Patrick McDonough referred to the museum as “an important cultural anchor for revitalization,” and was delighted to step in as director during what he considers to be a pivotal time for the Rondout. He said the barn would be outfitted with electric and utilities and ready for visitors by November and added that the museum will display antique tools and host boat-making workshops and lecture series in the new structure by spring.
“To see the [tug boat] Mathilda lit up at night is great,” said McDonough, “but to see this barn with its beautiful vertical wood siding lit up at night, well, aesthetically it’s going to be a visual asset along the creek.”