That’s how Nada Davis, Pawling’s community volunteer extraordinaire, describes her 82 years on this earth (the last 58 in the Pawling area). She will tell this to you quickly, and with great certainty.
Trained as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, she moved to Wingdale in 1954 and worked at the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center for 20 years. She then moved to Danbury Hospital, and retired in 1994. After raising her family on Quaker Hill for 27 years, the move closer to town happened in 1985, and she has lived at her current location ever since.
So, now that the personal material has been covered…let’s talk about Nada, the former President of the Historical Society of Quaker Hill and Pawling. She volunteered for this illustrious organization before The John Kane House was under The Society’s banner, and when it was purchased in 1981, Nada was instrumental in organizing, organizing and more organizing of important papers and textiles, a skill that was acquired through a grant from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, when professional curators were brought in to teach the Preservation Committee, of which she was a member, how to handle and document the society’s treasures.
She doesn’t remember saying “yes” to the all important position of President, but she says that “they” tell her she took over that role in 1999. She went about the task of bringing all the historical sites (the Oblong Meeting House, a part of the society since 1934, Aiken Free Library, since 1910 and the John Kane House under one banner with a new logo and name change which more accurately included ‘Pawling’ in the society’s title. This new moniker better represented the significance of the village of Pawling in the town’s history and culture. Under her leadership, the three historical sites began regular visiting hours during the months of May to October, with historical society volunteers acting as tour guides between the hours of 2-4 every Saturday and Sunday. The sites continued to open with guided tours, by appointment, almost any other day of the week.
Nada admits that other than her superb organizational skills and life and career skills as an efficiency expert, she knew nothing about curating and museum management. She pulled The Society together none-the-less, and last year stepped down as President, though she is still on the Board and acts in a consulting capacity. She also still runs the tag sale, but insists that this year will be the last one under her supervision! She is and will remain completely invested in The Society’s survival.
With all the time donated to The Historical Society of Quaker Hill and Pawling, one would think there would be time for little else. But somehow, Nada manages to fit in volunteer time at the Pawling Library and the Resource Center, where she also serves on the Board (as the oldest volunteer, she says proudly). The Program and Property Committees have the benefit of her expertise.
And then there are her hobbies…like gardening, and reading and knitting…for her seven grandchildren and…the Chamber… and Christ’s Church… for “anybody really”, she says. She likes to keep busy and very matter of factly, tells me she is never bored!
But even after having moved on to discuss how she spends her more relaxing down time, she managed to circle back to her first love…The Historical Society. She wanted to make a pitch for its membership drive and to let me know that The Society is always looking for volunteers and, of course, that all monetary contributions are “gratefully accepted.”
So, Nada, this is for you…because this is so important to you still…
Donations to the Historical Society of Quaker Hill and Pawling may be sent to:
PO Box 99, Pawling New York 12564
And more information about this wonderful organization may be found on: