The Albany Times Union is reporting today that the beleaguered Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) is losing the interim executive director, Rachel Tooker, less then six months after she took the post. Members of the organization, including Renssealer County Historian Kathy Sheehan, (who also serves as the society’s Registrar) touted her as the leadership necessary to steer the non-profit back to solvency. She will be moving to California where her partner has taken a museum job.
In March, RCHS sent an e-mail warning of dire consequences for the society: “What may have seemed – even ten years ago – a reasonable endowment with sustainable cash reserves has now dwindled to the point where we are no longer able to pay our bills. Without an immediate and substantial infusion of funds (upwards of $150,000), it appears that we will be required to close our doors while we work to implement a prudent fiscal strategy.” No communication with members, supporters, or the press suggested Tooker would be leaving before the Times Union’s report today.
According to the Times Union, “Tooker said the historical society has charted a new course that will help it correct its financial difficulties. The New York Council of Nonprofits will provide managerial leadership for the historical society.”
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The Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) will host the Times Union’s 2009 Best Local Artist and Historian Len Tantillo for a dinner cruise on board the Captain JP II, leaving from Troy and sailing south to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. The event will take place on Sunday, July 19th, 2009 from 3 to 9PM; the cost is $85.00 per person for RCHS Members, $95.00 per person for non-menbers.
Tantillo, a noted Hudson River artist and historian, will narrate the often complex relationship that Henry Hudson had with his crew and the various Indian tribes that they encountered on their trips ashore. Scenic highlights and historic landmarks will be pointed out on the west and east side of the river including Papskanee Island in the Town of Schodack, the reputed place that Hudson dropped anchor and traded with the Mahican Indians. Guests will also be treated to a dinner buffet of salmon, roast turkey and prime rib along with a array of vegetables and desserts.
Guests will board at 3PM at the foot of State Street in Troy. Free parking is available dockside. The boat will leave promptly at 3:30 and return to the Troy dock at approximately 9PM.
To purchase tickets for the trip, please visit www.rchsonline.org/tickets.htmlor call (518) 272-7232, extension 12.
Photo: “A View of Troy, New York, 1847″ by Len Tantillo – “This painting of Troy, New York, depicts the Hudson River city as it might have appeared in the mid 19th century. The image was based on a number of period drawings, photographs and maps from the collection of the Rensselaer County Historical Society”