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The original item was published from 10/15/2018 2:04:00 PM to 11/16/2018 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: October 15, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Neuhaus celebrates “Mastodon Day” with fourth graders at Willow Avenue Elementary School in Cornwall


Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus spent part of Monday morning meeting with fourth-grade students at Willow Avenue Elementary School in Cornwall to celebrate “Mastodon Day.”

Debra Gilson and her class invited Neuhaus to visit after learning the history of mastodons in Orange County. Neuhaus declared Monday, October 15th “Mastodon Day” in Orange County during his meeting with two fourth-grade classes in the auditorium at Willow Avenue Elementary School.

“I always enjoy my visit with Ms. Gilson’s fourth graders and it’s wonderful that ‘Mastodon Day’ has become an annual event,” Neuhaus said. “The fact that the students at Willow Avenue Elementary School have taken such an interest in mastodons and the rich history of Orange County is impressive. The schoolchildren, the faculty and the staff were gracious hosts and it was great to return to the school for this fun and interesting event.”

Neuhaus was joined at the event by Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana and Historian Johanna Yaun.

Mastodons have a rich history in Orange County. Thirty-eight skeletons have been found since 1780, making Orange County the unofficial capital of exhumed mastodons in the U.S. Mastodons, which are distantly related to elephants, inhabited North and Central America approximately 10,000 years ago.

Three years ago, Gilson’s class sent Neuhaus hand written letters, asking him to visit their classroom and make a “Mastodon Day” in Orange County. The County Executive obliged and has been delighted to accept Gilson’s invitation to return to Willow Avenue Elementary School the every year since. Neuhaus presented each of the students with a proclamation certificate declaring another “Mastodon Day” in Orange County.

“The County Executive has graciously accepted our invitation to visit the school every year and we are appreciative of that,” Gilson said. “For him to come to our classroom and spend some time with us certainly made it a special day for our students. We want to thank Mr. Neuhaus for investing his time in us.”

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or


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