Tag Archives: Albany

Albany Institute Free For President’s Day


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The Albany Institute of History & Art will offer free admission to the galleries on Monday, February 19, 2018 from 10 am to 5 pm.

Current exhibitions include: Well-Dressed in Victorian Albany: 19th Century Fashion from the Albany Institute Collection (extended through May 20, 2018); Paintings of Addy®: Dahl Taylor’s Original Illustrations for American Girl; The Hudson River School: Landscape Paintings from the Albany Institute: Spotlight: Albany & Anti-Suffrage; The Fashionable Portrait; Ancient Egypt; and Traders & Culture: Albany and the Formation of American Identity. Continue reading

Underground RR Conference Set For Albany Mar 9-11


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Underground RR ConferenceThe 17th Annual Underground Railroad Public History Convention is set for March 9-11, 2018, at the Cultural Education Center and Albany Capital Center and The Visitors Center of Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Convention will include workshops, round tables, exhibits, vendors, art exhibitions and raffles. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in period attire. Continue reading

Stephen Lang Named For State Archives and History Award


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Stephen LangThe New York State Archives Partnership Trust has announced Stephen Lang as the winner of the 2018 Empire State Archives & History Award.

Stephen Lang, award-winning stage and film actor, writer, and producer and star of His Dark Land, will receive the 2018 Empire State Archives and History Award from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust.

The public is invited to hear Lang speak about his career as an actor and history enthusiast, interviewed by friend and nationally prominent Lincoln Scholar Harold Holzer on October 25, 2018 in Albany.

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Putting Technology To Work for History


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hear about here logoVictor Cardona, an attorney who lives in Guilderland, has developed a way to blend the capacities of smart phones, geolocation technology, and podcasts into a new tool for promoting history.

HEAR about HERE features brief historical descriptions of historic sites and buildings that can be accessed with a smartphone with HEAR about HERE’s app. Just tap the screen and a narrator’s voice comes up with a description based on that spot on a Google map. It is meant for tourists and anyone interested in history. Continue reading

History of Here: Pine Hills Neighborhood in Albany


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the history of hereAlbany writer Akum Norder’s new book, The History of Here: A House, the Pine Hills Neighborhood, and the City of Albany (Excelsior Editions, 2018) follows Albany’s Pine Hills neighborhood through more than one hundred years of change.

At its heart is the story of Norder’s 1912 house and the people who built and lived in it. As Norder traced their histories, she came to see the development of her house, her street, and her neighborhood as a piece of Albany’s story. In the lives of its residents, their struggles and triumphs, she saw a reflection of twentieth-century America. Continue reading

Upper Hudson-Mohawk Decorative Arts Symposium Set For May


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Mabee Farm in Rotterdam The Decorative Arts Trust has announced they will host the Spring 2018 Symposium, The Upper Hudson: Four Centuries of Craft and Commerce from May 2-6, 2018.

The program combines behind-the-scenes tours of the area’s noteworthy museums and historic sites, special visits to private collections, and lectures by leading scholars and experts on topics concerning the decorative arts, conservation, and historic preservation. Continue reading

A Baker’s Dozen: An Albany Fable


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Baas throwing the Ugly Old Lady out of his bakery, One Dutch legend grew up around the Oranje village baker who lived and ran his bakery on Pearl Street. It was this baker, Wouter Albertz vanden Uythoff commonly called Baas (Boss), who first baked the St. Nicholas cookie that so excited the children. Wouter Albertz vanden Uythoff used a cookie cutter to cut the images of St. Nicholas so only he could make the familiar cake.

Baas was Dutch from his big feet to his round bald head. Everything that was Dutch was right and everything else was wrong and that was all there was to it. He prided himself on his work, convinced that he was the best baker to ever live, and he probably wasn’t too far wrong. Everything he made was excellent and very decorative. Everyone wanted his cakes and cookies. Continue reading

A Short History of Christmas for New Yorkers


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Albany children singings hymns to St. Nicholas on the Eve of the Feast of St. NicholasThe tale of St. Nicholas is an old fable from mid-Europe that was popular in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. St. Nicholas was the patron saint of children, merchants and sailors and the patron saint of Amsterdam and was brought by the Dutch to the new world, which for the Dutch was Nieuw Nederlandt (New Netherland). Many of the American traditions on Santa Claus originated in the Dutch settlement of New Netherland along the Hudson River between New Amsterdam (New York City) and Oranje (Beverwyck-Albany). The other colonies were English.

The image of Santa, with his round belly and long white beard leaving presents for children in shoes left by the door and stockings hung by the fireplace, was the image of Dutch St. Nicholas. The tradition that Santa was dressed all in fur with high boots, smoked a long-stemmed Dutch pipe and rode in a sleigh with reindeer certainly never originated in either England or America. Continue reading

Feast of St. Nicholas: An Albany History


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Early Santa (Sint Nikkolas) with a long stemmed Dutch pipe.  In 1628, Dutch Dominie Jonas Michaelius organized a religious body called the Collegiate Church in New Amsterdam (New York City). Services were held in a large room over the grain mill.

In the Spring of 1633, Dominie Edwardus Bogardus succeeded Michaelius and built a plain wooden church on the banks of the East River at 33 Pearl Street. In 1642, under Director General Kieft, the Collegiate Church built a new stone church at 4 Bowling Green which was named St. Nicholas Church, which is said to be the oldest Protestant Church in America.

By the mid-1600s, an active open-air market operated daily in good weather all along Oranje’s (Beverwyck-Albany) one main intersection where Jonkers (State Street) met Handelaers (Market Street and later Broadway) Street. In the middle of the intersection was the Dutch Church, the center of the village both physically and socially. Several hundred inhabitants, mostly Dutch, were huddled in small dwellings surrounding the church. Fort Orange was located just south of Jonkers and a ferry took people across the Hudson to the eastern section of Rensselaerwyck. Continue reading