IMG_0033 furnace night

Friends of Taconic State Park was established in the fall of 2008 when several neighbors and friends of the 7,000-plus-acre park began meeting to discuss how they could help to promote recreational, historical, educational and cultural activities within it. There are currently about 195 dues-paying members of Friends, with that number growing daily!

The designation in 2007 of the Copake Falls Iron Works Historic District by the National and State Registers of Historic Places, including 18 acres around the iron works site, was one of the key motivating factors in the establishment of the Friends group.

It is the longterm goal of the Friends of Taconic State Park, headquartered in Copake Falls, NY, to restore the Copake Iron Works to the condition of its operating heyday in the 1880s, including the re-creation of the narrow gauge railroad that circumnavigated the ironworks. It is our intent to create a pre-eminent site of historic iron-making and a national destination for tourists. We estimate that this project will take 20 years and $50 million to complete–a daunting goal, but well worth it and in our opinion, achievable.

The first phase of this multi-phase plan was to cover the historic Copake Iron Works Furnace (seen up top, at night). We’re raising funds to continue improvements to the former Iron Works site. Your membership (join us now) is helping us reach that goal.

The Friends 2018 Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Friends of Taconic State Park is composed of up to eleven men and women who serve in various capacities (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Members-at-Large). They are elected for staggered terms at the Friends’ annual meeting held, according to our by-laws, every summer. Our current Board:

  • Brian Boom, President
  • Jim Mackin, Vice President
  • Deborah Cohen, Treasurer
  • Virginia Martin, Secretary
  • Robin Bruce, Member at Large
  • Rita Jakubowski, Member at Large
  • Paul Schlesinger, Member at Large
  • Frost White, Member at Large
  • Milbrey Zelley, Member at Large

Our Historic Mission

The Copake Iron Works was established in 1845 along the Bash Bish Brook at the base of the Taconic Ridge, and has a rich background. For more on our historical mission, and our history committee, plus links to a bibliography of articles on the ironworks, click here.

The Friends’ Bylaws

The Friends of Taconic State Park by-laws were drafted by the ad-hoc committee that formed the group. The by-laws were ratified at our inaugural annual meeting on July 28, 2011, by unanimous vote, and can be read at this link (pdf).