Tag Archives: Crailo Historic Site

St. Nicholas Day at Crailo Historic Site Dec 6th


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The Feast of Saint Nicholas, by Jan Steen, 1660sCrailo State Historic Site in the City of Rensselaer will host a St. Nicholas Day Open House on December 6, 2013 from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm.  For the Dutch settlers of this region The Feast of St. Nicholas was a day of celebration with favorite food and treats.

Children checked their shoes, left out the previous night, for presents from Sinterklaas. In Washington Irving’s History of New York (1809), Sinterklaas was Americanized into “Santa Claus” (a name first used in the New York press in 1773) and helped popularize today’s Christmas traditions. Continue reading

Peter Rose Authors New Cookbook, Crailo Event Planned


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Peter Rose CookbooksMixing food and history in a celebration of Dutch and American Christmas traditions, award-winning food historian Peter G. Rose’s new book, Delicious December: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats: A Holiday Cookbook (Excelsior Editions/State University of New York Press, 2014), provides more than one hundred tried-and-true recipes. For planning purposes, complete menus and recipes for the parties that might happen between the feast days are also provided.

Rose draws on traditions that date back to the Middle Ages as well as her own reminiscences of her native country, and she suggests many ways to incorporate these true Dutch treats into American celebrations. The public is invited to join the Friends of Fort Crailo and Crailo State Historic Site at the Rensselaer Public Library for their Annual Meeting and lecture on Sunday November 16 at 4:30 pm.  After a brief business meeting, Peter Rose will present “Joyful Traditions: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents and Treats.” Continue reading

Harvest Faire At Fort Crailo September 13th


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Crailo Historic SiteOn Saturday, September 13th, Crailo State Historic Site and the Friends of Fort Crailo present Harvest Faire, an outdoor event free to the public (a nominal donation is asked to enter the museum exhibit), and part of the Hudson River Ramble. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held on Sunday, September 14th. The festivities run from 11 am to 4 pm.

Crailo’s grounds set the scene for 17th- and 18th-century re-enactors, music, and demonstrations. Among the re-enactors are 17th-century Dutch settlers, a rope-maker and tinsmith, and Native Americans with a recreated wigwam. This year will also include demonstrations of wheat threshing. Continue reading

Summer Sampler History Camp at Crailo


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Crailo Historic SiteCrailo State Historic Site has announced its annual Summer Sampler History Camp for kids. This year’s Summer Sampler takes place August 4-8 from 10 am to 12 pm each day.

Participants can pick and choose the days to attend, from just one day up to all five. Each day will include activities, crafts to take home, and a snack.  Historic reproductions, interactive games and exploration of the river’s edge will bring a different theme related to Crailo and the area’s rich history to life each day: Continue reading

Yankee Doodle Band Concert at Crailo


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Crailo Historic SiteCrailo State Historic Site has announced that the historic Yankee Doodle Band will be performing in Crailo’s riverside park in Rensselaer, NY on July 10 at 7:00 pm.  Bring chairs or blankets and a picnic dinner and join us for the patriotic and stirring songs of the Yankee Doodle Band as the sun sets over the Hudson River.  This event is free to the public.

Organized in 1928 the Yankee Doodle Band has played all over the country from Miami to New Orleans to Hawaii.  Members of the band range in age from their teens to their 90’s and will play a blend of Sousa marches, Broadway show tunes, popular hit songs, and music from the movies. Continue reading

Lecture: Rise and Fall of Dutch Tiles, 1600-1900


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delft dutch tile with sloopOn Saturday, May 31, 2014 Crailo State Historic Site will host a lecture by Frans Klein entitled “Rise and Fall of Dutch Tiles, 1600-1900″.

Klein is a graduate of the University of Delft and the University of Leiden with a degree in Art History.  He currently owns his own business in the Netherlands and is in the United States only briefly.  He is the author of Tegel ABC: Tile Tales, which will be available after his talk.  The public is invited to bring Dutch tiles to the lecture, and he will date and provide information about them. Continue reading

New Interpretations At Crailo State Historic Site


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Crailo Historic SiteMay 14th is the opening day of Crailo State Historic Site’s 2014 season.  Crailo’s exhibit “‘A Sweet and Alien Land': Colony of the Dutch in the Hudson River Valley,” uses archaeological finds from Crailo, Fort Orange, Schuyler Flatts, and other Dutch sites to tell the story of the colonists of New Netherland more than 350 years ago.

In addition, tours this year will include the enslaved people brought to the colony by the Dutch as part of Crailo’s ongoing effort to highlight the diverse people of New Netherland.  This new research and interpretation is in conjunction with the Gilder Lehrman Center and Yale Public History Institute. Continue reading

Enslaved in Rensselaer County: Slavery at Crailo


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SK-A-285On Saturday, February 22nd from 11:00am-4:00pm Crailo in Rensselaer, NY will explore the lesser-known world of those who were enslaved by the Van Rensselaers and the history of slavery in New Netherland and New York.

Crailo will be open for special open-house style tours, featuring new interpretation of the cellar kitchen focusing on the role that enslaved people played at Crailo.  Continue reading

Holiday Celebrations at Crailo, Schuyler Mansion


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image003(4)On Saturday January 4, 2014 Crailo State Historic Site will welcome visitors for its annual Twelfth Night Celebration from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm.  Twelfth Night was one of the traditional holidays celebrated by the Dutch and English colonists of early New York.  Twelfth Night was the final holiday of the season and was marked with unsurpassed feasting and revelry.

Featured during the event will be decorations, hearthside cooking demonstrations, seasonal music, seventeenth century reenactors, the Jolly Toy lady, and refreshments.  In addition the Marketplace Museum Shop will be open, with a selection of unique items. Continue reading

Dutch Concerts to Benefit Crailo Historic Site


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On Sunday June 7 and Sunday June 14, specially researched and custom designed Dutch concerts will be performed by two different musicians groups at the First Presbyterian Church at 38 Broadway in the city of Rensselaer at 3pm. The public is invited to take part and enjoy one very high style concert and, in contrast, one concert for the common folk. The concerts will benefit the Crailo Historic Site.

The first on Sunday June 7 features classical Dutch music of the Golden Age. Musicians of Ma’alwyck perform this Dutch repertoire on clavichord, traverso flute, cello, and violin-instruments popular in the first half of the seventeenth century. Director of Musicians of Ma’alwyck, music historian and virtuoso, Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz has researched and arranged a program fit for the Dutch wealthy middle
and upper classes of the first half of the seventeenth century. The popular regional musical group researched documents at Yale and in the Netherlands in order to present this concert.

The Bells and Motley Consort of Olden Music presents the second concert steeped in seventeenth folk tradition from the Netherlands and Flanders which will be held on Sunday June 14. John and Sondra Bromka, the musical couple that make up this distinctive group, have lived in the Dutch and Belgian countryside studying and teaching music of an earlier time. The instruments used in all of Bells and Motley’s performances are antique or created as authentic reproductions of early musical instruments. John has made many of the instruments himself and audience
members will be introduced to a different look and sound of music–a look and sound enjoyed by the common person of Holland and Flanders in the 1600s.

Gauging from the multitude of paintings depicting Netherlandish culture, music and dance was an important part of life in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from rollicking village peasants on upwards. In truth, no part of Europe offers better documentation of the arts of musical pastime than the Netherlands during these years, thanks to the skilled and ambitious painters, musical publishers, and composers of this region. Artists’ images leave such a rich legacy of vivid musical scenes that we can almost hear the paintings come to life, be it a village celebration with festive bagpipes, or an intimate indoor scene including the gentle lute.

Crailo State Historic Site will add ambiance to the musical events by offering images of select Dutch paintings and staff members in historic costume.

These concerts are offered as a historic musical experience and to help ring in the Quadricentennial Commemoration and the upcoming permanent exhibit debut of A Sweet and Alien Land: Colony of the Dutch in the Hudson River Valley at Crailo State Historic Site on July 4 and 5 from 11am to 5pm.

Both concerts will be held at 3pm at the First Presbyterian Church at 38 Broadway just a block north of Crailo. Concert goers are invited to the lawns at Crailo following the concert for a reception of Dutch and Flemish cheeses, mustards and pretzels. Drinks will also be served. We plan to offer a sneak preview of Crailo’s very special Marketplace Museum Shop during the receptions.

Tickets are $22.50 per person per concert or just $17.50 per person per concert if purchasing the series. Child tickets are $12.00 each. Checks may be made out to Friends of Fort Crailo and receipt of your check secures your place at the concert or concerts. Checks may be mailed to Friends of Fort Crailo, 9 ½ Riverside Avenue, Rensselaer, NY 12144. For more information please contact Crailo at 518-463-8738.

Friends of Fort Crailo is a not-for-profit educational organization that supports the research and interpretive projects at Crailo State Historic Site. Crailo State Historic Site is one of 35 state historic sites and 176 state parks administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. For further information about New York State Parks and Historic Sites, go to www.nysparks.com.

State Archaeologist Paul Huey on Crailo Historic Site


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State Archaeologist Paul Huey from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will speak at at East Greenbush Community Library, 10 Community Way, East Greenbush, NY, Sunday, April 19 at 2:00 pm. Huey will concentrate on Crailo in the 17th century, explaining what archaeological excavations and documents have revealed.


Important archaeological discoveries have been made at Crailo at various times recently. According to Huey, “In 1974 when the sewer line was installed under Riverside Avenue and in 2007 and 2008 when we excavated for a gas line from the street to the house. We have discovered that Indians lived on the site as early as the 1400s. Dutch pottery and other artifacts discovered in 1990 and in 2008 support the interpretation that this was the location of the home of Domine Megapolensis in 1642, which was a different, earlier structure from the present house.”

Call the State Library at 518-477-7476 to register for this free talk.