Schenectady County Historical Society Closed
All sites of the Schenectady County Historical Society will be closed to the public during this holiday week.
All sites are open, and appointments are required for the Library
On winter nights in our cold clime, a full moon illuminates vast expanses of deep snow on the flats. January brings the full Wolf Moon, named for wolf packs circling icy villages, their howls piercing the silence of the 18th century, adding a sense of eerie desolation to this frontier. Celebrate the Wolf Moon with a short illuminated walk in the woods of the Woestyne. Afterwards, we’ll make a fire in the Inn’s historic fireplace, and docents will share colorful stories and tall tales from our local area. Warm drinks will be served to fight off the night’s chill. Admission is $10 for people 12+, and free for members of SCHS and ADK-Schenectady.
This is a virtual program, presented on Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent to SCHS members before the presentation. Join us for a virtual presentation by Dr. Elizabeth George, discussing her recent publication, "A Frontier Place: The Transformation of Colonial Albany, 1756-1763." Colonial Albany’s location meant that residents experienced war and the military as a matter of daily life, taking an economic and psychological toll on the residents. Albany residents’ interactions with the British army ultimately transformed Albany’s insular backcountry culture and society. As the Albany region became less isolated and more connected to wider colonial and imperial communities, it resulted in a blurring of cultures that was a hallmark of the ever-westward New York borderland. Dr. Elizabeth George is Associate Professor of History at Taylor University. Her research and teaching interests include women and American history, public history, and the intersection of games and learning. Dr. George's publications include “ ‘A Frontier Place’: Albany and the New York Borderland, 1756-1763,” in the New York History Journal, “Life Lessons: A Game Takes Students to Renaissance Rome,” in Perspectives on History: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association, and “Intimate Enemies: Captivity and Colonial Fear of Indians in the Mid-Eighteenth Century Wars.” in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies.
The New York State Archives (NYSA) at the Cultural Education Center in Albany holds a diverse collection of state governmental records. Come learn about both familiar and obscure resources that will help you advance your New York research. A demonstration for using the Finding Aids on the NYSA website will be featured to assist researchers in locating records at NYSA that could be pertinent to your family history Jane Wilcox is a professional genealogist and host of “The Forget Me Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told.” She specializes in colonial and early statehood New York and the Puritans/Congregationalists in the New England colonies. This is an in-person program hosted at SCHS, 32 Washington Ave. Admission is free for members, otherwise $8 the day of the program. No advance tickets.
Our collections storage expansion is complete! The installation of moveable, compact shelving has increased our archives capacity by 65%. Even better, our historic portrait collection finally has the museum-quality home it deserves. Join us for a showcase of our new archival storage system as we toast the improvement with champagne! This event is free and open to all, but an RSVP is requested.
Julie Johnson will discuss common myths heard in museums and historic sites. This presentation will help you learn which famous stories are fact and which ones are fiction. Julie Johnson is a member of the Hendrick Hudson Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in Hudson, New York. She serves as a Correspondent Docent for the DAR Museum in Washington DC. Julie holds a Master of Arts degree in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from SUNY New Paltz. Her areas of interest include women’s studies and the American Revolution. She has worked at several museums, historic sites, and archives in museum education, collections management, and exhibitions. Julie became a Correspondent Docent for the DAR Museum in April of 2022 and is a big supporter of the museum’s exhibitions and outreach programs. This is an in-person program hosted at Mabee Farm Historic Site. Light refreshments and coffee will be served. Admission is free for members, otherwise $8 the day of the program. No advanced tickets.
This is a virtual program, presented on Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent to SCHS members before the presentation. Join us for a virtual presentation by Carlos Balsas, discussing his recent publication, "Industrial Policy in Eastern New York." Balsas will discuss urban industrial transformations occurring in NYS, and if recent major projects on former industrial sites in Upstate New York succeeded at creating long-term, well-paying and high-skilled jobs for their host cities and towns. It is argued that although it is difficult to convert former 20th century industrial sites to 21st century requirements, state and localities should not abandon existing industrially zoned land in favor of out-of-town greenfield industrial developments.
Ice cream in January? But in a time before refrigeration, life at the Mabee Farm was tough, and didn’t offer many sweet treats. Winter was the perfect season to make ice cream! In this family-friendly class, we’ll teach you how you can make a frozen custard the old fashioned way. And of course you’ll get a taste! Family-level members and higher are free. Just let us know you're coming below. Not a member? Admission is $10 for anyone over 5.
The Full Snow Moon of February marks the midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox. It’s a moment when the light begins to shift towards spring, even as we are deep in bitter winter's deep snows and scarce game. Celebrate the Snow Moon with a short illuminated walk in the woods of the Woestyne. Afterwards, we’ll make a fire in the Inn’s historic fireplace, and docents will share colorful stories and tall tales from our local area. Warm drinks will be served to fight off the night’s chill. Admission is $10 for people 12+, and free for members of SCHS and ADK-Schenectady.
During the 19th century, four major fires burned significant portions of Schenectady, changing the face of the City forever. Join City Historian Chris Leonard as he explores the causes of the 1803, 1819, and 1861 fires and the physical changes they wrought on the city. Leonard will also cover the largely forgotten rash of arson that took place from 1883-1886. Additionally, the talk will commemorate the 333rd anniversary of the burning of Schenectady in 1690, which occurs later in the week. Chris Leonard has served as the City Historian of Schenectady since 2018. He is also an SCHS Trustee, the Historian of the GE Plot, and a trustee of Historic Vale Cemetery. This is an in-person program hosted at SCHS, 32 Washington Ave. Light refreshments and coffee will be served. Admission is free for members, otherwise $8 the day of the program. No advanced tickets.