Sparse funds confront Lincoln funeral train events

HUDSON–April 19-25 is full of free events planned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, but some events face cancelation unless money is found to cover their costs, warned Gene Shetsky, Hudson mayor’s aide.

“I hate asking for money,” Mr. Shetsky said at an update meeting in Hudson April 3. But the estimated cost for the Hudson and Stuyvesant events together has run to $8,400.

Planners hope to fund the events by donations, t-shirt sales and grants. Those wishing to donate should make out checks to CEDC Lincoln Funeral Train and mail them to Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), 4303 Route 9, Hudson, NY 12534. The donations are tax deductible. The t-shirts commemorating Lincoln’s funeral train are on sale for $20. Mr. Shetsky is handling their sale at 518 828-7217 or .

Major donations so far include grants of $400 from the City of Hudson Common Council’s Arts, Entertainment, and Tourism Committee (AET) and $200 from Columbia County Tourism, Mr. Shetsky said at the April 3 meeting. These funds will go into the common pool for all the events. In addition, at an April 1 meeting of the AET, Carol Osterink reported that the committee expects $1,000 from another source specifically for the event she is leading, a re-enactment of the funeral train’s Hudson stop the night of April 25.

The AET agreed to the $400 grant at the April 1 meeting, which Mr. Shetsky and Ms. Osterink both attended. Alderman Ohrine Stewart (4th Ward), chair of the committee, said the Lincoln commemoration “is a good event, but the budget is high.” This year the AET has only $15,000 to use for grants to support special events, and there are several qualified events. Common Council President Don Moore asked how much of the $8,400 would cover specifically Hudson happenings and received the estimate of $3,000, $2,000 without Ms. Osterink’s event. A Regimental Balladeers Concert on April 19 alone is expected to cost almost $1,000. Alderman Henry Haddad (3rd Ward) suggested the AET make a grant of $400, with the option of granting more later. The motion passed.

Last year the AET granted $20,600 for 14 events, according to a spreadsheet circulated by Mr. Moore. Individual grants ranged from $400 to $3,300.

For the Lincoln memorial, specific events include:

  • April 19 (Sunday), 3-4:30 p.m., 77th N.Y. Regimental Balladeers concert at the Presbyterian Church (Warren and 4th Streets)
  • April 22 (Wednesday)—Movie “Lincoln” at the Fairview Cinema. Adults $8, Seniors $6. (All other events listed here are free)
  • April 23 (Thursday) 10:30 a.m. Lecture on the Gettysburg Address by Ted Hilscher, Columbia Green Community College; 4-5 p.m.—Readings at the Hudson Library (State and 4th Streets) from books about Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, organized by Operation Unite
  • April 24 (Friday)–April 26 (Sunday). Exhibit of the Emancipation Proclamation, things Lincoln was carrying on him when he was shot, and other pertinent items, at the Daughters of the American Revolution museum at 113 Warren Street in Hudson. For more information call Pat Fenoff, Hudson city historian and collections manager for the DAR Museum at 518 828-0034.
  • April 25 (Saturday) noon—multiple events at the Stuyvesant waterfront; 8:45 p.m.—a re-enactment of the ceremony performed when Lincoln’s funeral train stopped in Hudson in 1865. Ms. Osterink said about 60 people will perform, including 35 women singing dirges accompanied by 20 torches. The re-enactment will assemble at Basilica Hudson, followed by crossing the railroad tracks near the station to the Dunn warehouse area.

For more information, one can also contact Richard Anderson (518-758-6433), Ann Songyallo (518-610-2300), and

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