There’s a lot of history to the town of Pawling – a lot of significant history, dating back to the time of our early Quaker settlers, and running through the town’s role in the Revolutionary War. It makes one wonder why Pawling isn’t more often recognized for its interesting past; for a small town, it has a great deal to share.
Yet as it happens, Pawling may soon be receiving a bit of notice as a featured location on a new historical documentary series called Revolutionary Voices: A Last Muster Film, which is being produced by Verissima Productions and is in the talks to air on PBS. The series – which is hosted by internationally-recognized genealogist and “photo-detective” Maureen Taylor – sets out to explore the stories of several individuals from the time of the American Revolution, whose lives were marked by patriotic undertones, and who lived long enough to be photographed in the mid-1800s.
The Pawling episode is constructed around the life of a Quaker woman named Molly Ferris Akin, who lived on Quaker Hill at the time of the Revolution, and whose favoritism for the Colonies stood in direct conflict with her faith’s humble, neutralist attitudes. Her subsequent marriage into the Akin family marked her part in a local shift from economic modesty to financial prosperity among the Quakers of Pawling.
The on-location shoot for this project took place in the town of Pawling on Tuesday, July 9th, at a hand-full of historical sites. A small group of filmmakers – which included a producer, cinematographer, sound technician, and content advisor – staked out the Oblong Meeting House, John Kane House, and Akin Free Library to gather material for the segment. Ms. Taylor conducted interviews with several local history aficionados, delving into Molly Ferris’ world and life story while tying her past into the larger picture of Pawling today.
There is no set broadcasting date for this project as of yet, as the production is still gathering funds before it can move into post-production. Nonetheless, this is an exciting opportunity for us locals to learn more about the history of our town, and for a wider audience to experience all that the town of Pawling has to offer. To learn more about this project – or about Verissima Productions and the work of Maureen Taylor – visit the film’s website, at http://www.lastmusterfilm.com/.