Tag Archives: Crailo Historic Site

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.