About the Friends of Lindenwald
The Friends of Lindenwald was established on January 17, 1984 as a non-profit organization whose purpose is to stimulate interest in the history of President Martin Van Buren, the politician and farmer, the preservation of his home Lindenwald and to generate sustained appreciation of the rich heritage and history.
We support and conduct such other activities pertaining to the structure and grounds at Lindenwald as may be useful. We provide a common meeting ground for those who are interested in the history of Lindenwald and Martin Van Buren and assist in the planning of special events at the Lindenwald site. We also review and comment on park planning documents and projects and receive and discuss regular reports from Park Superintendent/ Site Manager and provide its membership with special program benefits.
In addition, we conduct fundraising projects and capital campaigns for the purposes of sustaining the corporation's overall mission. We support the mission of the National Park Service and the purpose of the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.
We promote the literature, art and history associated with the Lindenwald site and educate the general public in the values associated with the site. We encourage, promote and sponsor year round educational and recreational opportunities at the Martin Van Buren Nature Trails to increase awareness of President Van Buren and Lindenwald and engage in Federal, State and Local legislative activities that support historic preservation and land conservation.
Lindenwald, The Estate of President Martin Van Buren
- In 1974, the Lindenwald National Historic Site, later renamed the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, was established.
- In spring 1977, Lindenwald was described as a deteriorating old brick mansion with a muddy driveway and overgrown grounds. That situation soon began to change.
- Between 1977 and 1982, National Park Service professionals and outside consultants and contractors furthered the restoration of Lindenwald and the organization of its collections. The ultimate goal during this period was a full restoration and opening of the mansion in time for the 1982 bicentennial of Martin Van Buren’s birth.
- A “Bicentennial Preview,” to be held during October, November and December 1982 was planned. Festivities opened with a parade and concerts. On Oct. 1, the National Park Service “previewed” part of the first floor, with Van Buren's furniture and possessions in view to suggest its appearance during his residency there.
- The Columbia County Historical Society established a Bicentennial Committee in preparation for the celebration. The committee helped to sponsor a walking tour of Kinderhook, a Van Buren ball, a picnic and a parade Aug. 14 and 15. That evening, the ball was held in a tent on the grounds, with 400 people, most of them in period costumes, attending. The Sunday picnic drew 1,500 people.
- The Friends of Lindenwald formed out of the MVB Bicentennial Committee of 1981-82. Albert Callan was chairman; Burns Barford, vice-chairman; Bob Thomas, treasurer; Jane Mills, secretary; and Ruth Piwonka, director. This same group of people applied for incorporation as Friends of Lindenwald and for a tax-exempt status.
- The Friends of Lindenwald raised money to donate a life-size statue of Martin Van Buren that is now located next to the bandstand on the Kinderhook Village Green. The statue was dedicated on July 14, 2007.
- In 2013, the Friends of Lindenwald took possession of 78 acres of land just 200 yards north of Lindenwald. The Martin Van Buren Trails have well-marked paths that traverse stands of white pine, maple, elm and birch.
- The Friends of Lindenwald continue to work to benefit the legacy of the nation's eighth president, Martin Van Buren, and to maintain the MVB trails as a healthy outdoor recreation space.
- Al Bellenchia
- Gregg Berninger
- Karrie Allen Buratto
- Jerome Callahan
- Janice Fingar
- Mark Leinung
- Adam Miller
- Jane Miller
- Ann Scharoun
- David Sullivan
- Kari Van Buren
- Megan O'Malley: Site Manager/Non-Voting Member