Parks & Recreation
John Seamon and his brother George were the owners of Seamon brother Funeral Home, founded by heir father, Henry, in 1873. The brothers built the present Saugerties Furniture Mart building and operated a funeral-furniture business until 1904. In 1907, John purchased the Egbert Cooper property and deeded it to the Village on August 7, 1909, ďfor use as a park, a breathing place, open and free at all times to every person.Ē
The Parcel, purchased for $10,000 abutted the former Martin Terwilliger grist mill and included the custodianís home, occupied prior to 1875 by E. Seiger. In 1922, Johnís sister, Henrietta Seamon, established a Memorial Fund which has since been used to maintain and enhance the Park through the Village of Saugerties and a Park Board.
Other benefactors followed. The Childrenís Statue in the front of the Park home was purchased with pennies collected by the children many years ago. In 1929, fireplaces in the picnic area were built by the Camp Fire Girls and their mentor, Maude Washburn. Cast bronze fountains and plantings of fl owering shrubs and trees added to the beauty of the site and in 1965 the Saugerties Rotary Club and other citizens proclaimed a Chrysanthemum Festival to add to the awareness and appreciation of the site.
In 1971, a group formed The Little Sawyer Association and constructed a replica of a pre-Revolutionary War grist mill adjacent to the Park. A modern cast aluminum sculpture was donated by the international sculptor, Ezio Martinelli, in 1979. The Village added to the fall festival by creating plantings of mums on Village streets each year. The Chrysanthemum Festival continues as one of the major fall events of Saugerties, a varied and beautiful display of the Park and its breathtaking view of the Catskill Mountains.
John Seamonís love for his Village and his vision of a beautiful park overlooking the mountains has been achieved. It endures in the continued cooperation of a wide range of citizen organizations that combine each year to make the Chrysanthemum Festival both an appreciation and a celebration of Seamon Park.
A beautiful, hilly park in the Northeast corner of the Village of Saugerties . . . Seamon Park is beautifully landscaped throughout the year. It really shines in early October (in 2006, October 1st to be exact), when the Mum Festival features an incredible variety and number of chrysanthemums, as well as interesting art displays, musical entertainment, and food booths.
In December, the Park is lit up with a dazzling array of Christmas lights.
Come see why Seamon Park is the place of choice in Saugerties for wedding pictures, taking the kids for a swing or a slide. Whether taking in the flower beds, shrubs and trees, or taking in the great views of the Catskills from the high points in the park, you'll commune with nature no matter which way you turn.
A Word about Mums and Mum Care
Chrysanthemums were one of the earliest cultivated perennials on record. A cousin of the common daisy, it was cultivated by Oriental gardeners nearly 2,000 years before being introduced in Europe in the 17th century. The name Chrysanthemum, given by European botanists, means "golden flower".
Today, there are over 1,000 varieties of mums in a galaxy of tints and shades.
Chrysanthemums are not difficult to grow. They require good drainage and thrive in enriched soil. The plants should be propagated in the Spring by taking cuttings three or four inches long from new stems, cutting below a leaf node. Expert growers recommend that roots be dipped in a stimulant and planted in vermiculite, keeping the soil moist, but the foliage dry. New roots will be noted in three or four weeks. Gently loosen a cutting or two to examine the root. When the roots are one-half to one inch long, the cuttings can be moved to a garden plot. Likewise in the springtime, existing plants from the previous season may be divided into segments and carefully replanted in well-mulched, fertilized soil.
Summer care of mums can be extremely simple. Mulch to lessen disease, minimize weeding, and to conserve moisture. Since the plants are shallow-rooted, water if the foliage shows signs of wilting. It is best to water early in the day in order that the leaves may dry before nightfall.
To encourage branching of the plants, pinch off new growth by one-half to one inch. "Pinching" should be started when the plants are four to six inches high and should continue until mid-July.
After heavy frost, the plants should be cut off to four to six inches, destroying the discarded foliage to prevent disease. Plants should be covered with a protective material such as hemlock or spruce branches or a layer of pine needles. Leave are not recommended.