Tag Archives: Troy

53rd Annual Greens Show At Rensselaer County Historical


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The Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) will present the 53rd Annual Greens Show this December 3rd through the 6th. This year¹s version of the longstanding tradition transforms twelve rooms of the 1827 Federal-style Hart-Cluett House into “A Christmas Celebration of the Hudson¹s Gifts.” Members of the Van Rensselaer Garden Club incorporate fresh trees, greens and flowers to create beautiful history-inspired displays that are truly a feast for the senses. The 2009 Greens Show theme was inspired by this year¹s Quadricentennial celebration and features splendid arrangements that evoke Henry Hudson, the Dutch heritage of our region, and the natural beauty of the Hudson River.

The RCHS Greens Show will also offer a number of new features this year, including a special tour and lunch package, the new exhibit, “Uncle Sam: The Man in Life and Legend,” and the unveiling of the commemorative Hart-Cluett House print recently commissioned by RCHS from George E. Shear of ARCHistration.

The Greens Show is open to the public from Thursday, December 3 ­ Sunday, December 6, 2008, from Noon-5:00 pm daily. Admission to the Greens Show is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and children over five. Admission is free for children under five.

Highlights of the 53rd Annual Greens Show include:

Troy¹s Treasurers, Tour & Lunch, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons.
RCHS and Daisy Baker¹s Restaurant have partnered to offer a Greens Show tour followed by a delicious three-course luncheon for groups of 4 or more ($25/person). Call 272-7232 x17 for more information or reservations.

Holiday Arrangement Demonstration & Sale, Thursday 2-4 pm, Friday ­ Sunday 1-4 pm.
Learn how the Van Rensselaer Garden Club members create their unique holiday arrangements.

Wreath Display and Silent Auction, 12-5 pm daily.
Visit the Carriage House to view and place bids on one of 50 wreaths decorated by Van Rensselaer Garden Club members.

Free Family Night, Thursday, 5-8 pm
Make family memories together during the Greens Show Family Night. The Show will be open until 8:00 pm and admission is free beginning at 5:00 pm. Family night activities include self-guided tours of the Hart-Cluett House, craft activities for kids, and holiday stories under the big tree in the Front Parlor. Photos with Santa will be available in the Toy Room for $10.

Candlelight House Tour, Friday 5:30-8 pm
See the Hart-Cluett House as you¹ve never seen it before! RCHS staff members will lead guided tours of the house on the evening of Friday, December 4th, from 5:30-8 pm. The admission fee for this special tour is $10.00 per person

Lecture by Michael Halloran on Saturday at 2pm entitled Thomas Cole¹s Mythical River: Hudson River School paintings viewed from the bottom of the Poestenkill Falls.

Music and Merriment during the Victorian Stroll , Sunday, 2-4 pm
On Sunday, December 6th during the Victorian Stroll, harpist Lydia Zotto will perform seasonal music in the Front Parlor from 2 to 4 pm. This is the fifth year that this talented young musician has been part of the Greens Show.

Rensselaer County HS’s Uncle Sam Exhibition


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The Rensselaer County Historical Society and Museum (RCHS) will become the new home for Uncle Sam and his story with the opening of its new permanent exhibition Uncle Sam: The Man in Life and Legend on Wednesday, November 11, 5-7 p.m., at 57 Second Street in Troy.

Samuel ‘Uncle Sam’ Wilson (1766-1854) is undoubtedly Troy¹s most famous son. Arriving in Troy in the late 18th century and participating in the community¹s early growth and success, he was also a witness to the expansion of our nation and the development of our national identity.

The Historical Society’s exhibit examines both the real man and the national symbol using objects from the museum¹s collections, including archeological artifacts from the site of one of Sam Wilson¹s houses and historical prints and images of our national symbol. Visitors will be able to see how the story of Uncle Sam evolved and learn how this real person and national icon continue to impact us today.

Fittingly, Uncle Sam opens on Veterans Day, November 11, 2009. The opening is free and open to all. A modern Uncle Sam will make an appearance at the event and RCHS encourages attendees to wear their Uncle Sam inspired attire. The event will also be the official launch of the Rensselaer County Historical Society¹s online Uncle Sam Resource Center.

Photo: WWI Recruiting Poster: ³Uncle Sam Wants You² by Montgomery Flagg. Provided by the RCHS.

Presentation On The Poesten Kill Thursday


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John Warren (yours truly) has written the first history of the Poestenkill ­which flows through the center of Rensselaer County and enters the Hudson River at Troy, will offer a book talk and signing this Thursday (October 22nd, 6:30 to­ 8 pm) at the Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy (57 Second Street, Troy). The event is free and open to the public. Copies of The Poesten Kill will be available for purchase at the event. The Poestenkill has been home to American Indians who hunted, gathered, fished and farmed along its shores, frontier Dutch farmers and traders, colonial tradesmen, merchants, millers, and lumbermen, and nineteenth century iron, steel, textile, and paper workers.

Rensselaer County Historical Society Hosts Walking Tours


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The Rensselaer County Historical Society will offer walking tours of historic downtown Troy on Saturday mornings, leaving from the Market Table at the Troy Farmer’s Market at 10:30 am. The topics will vary each week ­and include the Underground Railroad, the history of Troy’s fire and police departments, and more.

The tours are being led by Historical Society staff and frequently incorporate historic photographs and readings from letters and diaries. The tours last approximately an hour. Cost: $5 for not-yet-members of the Historical Society; free for Society members.

HISTORY WALK: People, Place & Progress
Saturday, September 19, 10:30 – 11:30 am
This introduction to Troy history and architecture looks at how the city evolved from its initial founding in 1789 as a village to its 19th century heyday and on into the 20th century. The sites of many important events will be discussed along with some of the people who made the name Troy known around the world.

HISTORY WALK: Jacob Vanderheyden and the Village of Troy
Saturday, September 26, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Before Troy was Troy, it was known as Vanderheyden, after Jacob Vanderheyden, the Dutch farmer who laid out the streets and alleys of what is now the city of Troy. Explore the one square mile area in the city’s downtown historic district where the early settlement of Troy took place.

HISTORY WALK: “To Protect and Serve”
Saturday, October 3, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Firehouses, church bells, and night constables – and a dash of murder and mayhem. This walking tour focuses on the colorful history of Troy’s municipal police and fire departments, from their volunteer origins to today’s public servants.

FAMILY HISTORY WALK: History Underfoot and Overhead
Saturday, October 10, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
History is everywhere in Troy. Families with kids ages 5 and up will enjoy this interactive walk through Troy’s past. We’ll look at the buildings around us for clues that tell us about the past and get hands-on with history. You’ll come away saying “I never knew that about Troy!”

HISTORY WALK: Troy’s Amazing Architecture
Saturday, October 17, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
This walking tour uses Troy’s rich 19th and 20th century built environment to explore and learn about a range of styles and types of buildings. You’ll never see it the same way again!

HISTORY WALK: Underground Railroad Walking Tour
Saturday, October 24, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Troy was a hotbed of abolitionist activity in the 19th century. This walking tour will highlight the sights associated with the African American community in the first half of the 19th century. Included will be sites associated with the famous rescue of escaped slave Charles Nalle by thousands of Trojans and the now famous Harriet Tubman.

HISTORY WALK: Murder and Mayhem
Saturday, October 31, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Who knows what ghosts might haunt the streets of Troy? You will, after taking part in this walk through the more colorful stories of Troy’s past.

Rensselaer County Historical Society May Close


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The Rensselaer County Historical Society has announced that they may be forced to close due to economic hardship. I will reprint here the message they sent:

We Need Your Help!
Keep the lights on and history alive!

To our members and friends,

As you may have read in [yesterday’s] Times Union, RCHS is currently experiencing severe financial difficulty. The organization been running annual deficits for several years, and despite special efforts, the situation has now become critical. In a matter of weeks RCHS will no longer have funds available to meet its basic operating needs. 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.

If we must close,

· our loyal and hardworking staff will be furloughed. Together these professionals have over 74 years of service to our community.

· exciting new educational initiatives, popular public programs, and long-planned exhibits would cease or be cancelled. The loss to our community – both economically and psychologically – would be incalculable. RCHS collections hold over 60,000 items of decorative arts, furniture, paintings, and sculpture. None of these items would remain available to the public. More importantly, an even greater number of documents relating to our past would be completely inaccessible. The utility bills alone for maintaining these collections are almost $6,000 a month.

· RCHS efforts as a major catalyst in highly visible efforts to use the historic fabric of our county to stimulate economic development will be curtailed. We hope to be able to continue serving – in fact inspiring – our community through these efforts.

We are beginning a public campaign to “keep the lights on and history alive!” As in the past, we are grateful for your active interest and suggestions regarding strategies to ensure RCHS’s survival. We also urgently need your personal assistance in providing immediate financial support during this financial crisis.

Our plan is to take the next three to four months to develop – in partnership with our supporters – a new business plan for RCHS, designed to ensure its long-term sustainability. We are fortunate to have Rachel Tooker, a very experienced and energizing Transitional Executive leading this effort. The dedicated members of the RCHS board are prepared to join Rachel to discuss our finances and future plans in detail. Please give us a call if you have questions or suggestions for us.

In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help RCHS:

Help us to spread the word about RCHS and its positive impact on the community.

Distribute RCHS membership and program brochures to your clubs and community organizations.

Hold a brunch or get-together and make a group donation to RCHS.

Give an RCHS membership as a birthday present or gift to a new neighbor.

Volunteer to help with an RCHS program or project.

Send us your ideas for making RCHS sustainable and an even more valuable part of the community.