Shakin’ at the Akin: Akin Free Library brings Pawling back up the hill with open jam sessions.

The Akin Free Library will be holding “open jam sessions” and invites area musicians to bring their acoustical instruments, voices, or any other kind of musical talent for an evening of fun and community. The jam sessions, called the “Shakin’ at the Akin,” will be held the first Sunday of every month starting September 2, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The program is free. There is no formal audience, but people are welcome and encouraged to come listen. It is an open and casual atmosphere. Additionally, the venue has great acoustics. The Library is located at 378 Old Quaker Hill Road, Pawling, NY.

The Akin Free Library, at once a building of historical significance and an unexpected museum of natural history, is already far more than meets the eye. When it opened its doors in 1908, there was luxury hotel where Christ Church now stands called the Mizzentop. Summertime city folk who were visiting and local residents alike would enjoy music, lectures, and relaxation at the Library. It contributed to the leisurely yet enriching atmosphere on Quaker Hill.

In 1934, however, the Mizzentop Hotel was torn down. Shortly after in 1936, Akin Hall, now Christ Church on Quaker Hill, was moved to its present location.

While Pawling maintains an active community with events like the Fireman’s Carnival, Art East Dutchess, and programs at the Pawling Free Library, Akin Free Library has remained relatively solitary, quiet. Today, the area is a quiet, residential area.

“Music has broad appeal,” said Matthew Hogan, Executive Director of the Akin Hall Association. “A jam session will draw a variety of people to play music, as well as people who might listen.”

The Akin Hall Association makes it part of its mission to “further culture and benevolence for the Quaker Hill area and the town of Pawling.” It provides top-achieving, local Pawling High School students with scholarships for college.

The jam sessions are meant to further this mission of developing the community. Residents and visitors are invited and encouraged to participate.

If you are interested in joining or want more information, contact Matthew Hogan at 607-684-3785, or email