Barn Weekend – Aug 23 & 24

Weekend Event:  “In Celebration Of Barns” August 23rd and 24th Saturday August 23rd 1pm to 5pm The public was invited to a reception from 1:00 to 5:00pm at the Morey-Devereaux Barn, where framed photographs of barns taken by members of the Columbia County Photo Club were on exhibit. Also on display were several barn-themed short stories and exercises written by area children at the Austerlitz Historical Society’s first Children’s Writing Workshop on July 12th. Live music was provided by High Country, an old-time group from the Finger Lakes. Free!   Sunday August 24th 1pm to 5pm Doors opened at 1:00pm. Guests viewed framed photographs of barns taken by members of the Columbia County Photo Club, as well as barn-themed writings from local children. A brief annual membership meeting was held at 2:00pm, followed by Cynthia Falk’s featured presentation on barns. Ms. Falk, Associate Professor, Material Culture at The Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta, discussed her book, Barns of New York: Rural Architecture of the Empire State (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012), which “explores and celebrates the agricultural and architectural diversity of the Empire State-from Long Island to Lake Erie, the Southern Tier to the North Country-providing a unique compendium of the vernacular architecture of rural New York.” The talk was illustrated by a PowerPoint presentation of Ms. Falk’s collected photographic images. The presentation took place in the Morey-Devereaux Barn, whose features served as direct visual reference points. Refreshments were served and participants had another opportunity to view the photographs and examine on-site barns. Live music was provided by High Country, an old-time group from the Finger Lakes....
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AHS Receives Columbia County Heritage Award

The Austerlitz Historical Society is the proud recipient of a 2008 Columbia County Heritage Award. The award is given by the Columbia County Historical Society in honor of our extraordinary accomplishments in preserving the Town’s history. The award to the Austerlitz Historical Society was accepted by the Society’s Vice President, Denise Dunne. The award noted that although the Society has no paid staff, we continuously offer consistently high-quality programs and that we have set some very high goals; goals that we are well suited to meet entirely on volunteer support. The Columbia County Historical Society recognized the Austerlitz Historical Society, the Red Rock Historical Society, Peter Stott, and Priscilla Frisbee. “The unifying theme in this year’s awards is volunteerism, the societies and individuals honored today are inspirational role models for others in the county,” remarked Board President Russell...
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The Austerlitz Powderhorn – A Treasure Comes Home

The April AHS Board of Trustees meeting was winding down when Bob Herron mentioned a call he received about a fine 19th century powder horn with Austerlitz inscribed on it. It had been in an important show and was for sale. Were we interested? That got us on the edge of our seats. We already have a selection of 1830’s period items, but very few are actually from Austerlitz. As families died out or moved, their possessions were often divvied up or sold, and scattered across the country. Part of our Society mission is to collect and preserve artifacts from Austerlitz, and the powder horn could be used in education programs, another part of our mission. We decided to act quickly to add it to our collection before it was sold to someone else. Powder horns were very important to our early residents. They were the container for black powder (a mixture of sulphur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate or saltpeter) which was used as the propellant in firearms of the period. A good basic powder horn had to be a convenient size for a person to carry and might hold about a pound of powder. If the powder got damp or wet it would not ignite, so the powder horn had to be rain proof and sealed so it could be dunked in water while fording a stream or if a boat overturned. They were most often made from cattle or buffalo horn. These horns are sheaths that fit over the protrusions of bone from the animal’s head and have a network of material inside called pith, which was scraped out. After cleaning, a horn was dried and cured. The end of the narrow tip was cut off and a hole was drilled into the hollow part of the horn so the powder could be poured out. Then the area before the tip was sanded down, leaving a raised ridge of horn where the sling could be secured. The wider end of the horn is the butt, and this was trimmed so a plug, usually of wood, could be inserted. The plug was sealed into the butt to make it watertight and provided a place for a ring or fastener used to secure the other end of the shoulder sling. This was the basic, functional powder horn. From there they could be embellished with carvings, names, figures, dates, designs,...
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Aug. 24th 2013 – 1st Old Austerlitz Music Festival

Join us on Saturday, August 24 at Old Austerlitz, when the “First” Old Austerlitz Music Festival welcomes all those interested in old time music. Our beautiful property is located at 11550 State Route 22 Austerlitz NY. Click HERE to view our Music Festival flyer The day will be filled with opportunities to participate in both large group performances and small group music gatherings. Bring your instruments, your voices, your enthusiasm! Enjoy the company of fellow music lovers, singers and musicians. We cordially invite you to join in — or simply stop by and listen. The event is free and open to adults and children. In addition to a day filled with music, an old time Contra Dance will top off the evening. The cost for the Contra Dance is $10 per adult – children are free. 11:00am to 4:00pm — Gatherings for musical instruments and/or voice 4:00pm to 6:00pm — Jam Session in our new Barn 7:00pm to 8:00pm — Lessons in Contra Dancing for Beginners 8:00pm to 10:00pm — Contra Dance in the Barn – More program and schedule information will be forthcoming. Music and dance will take place in our large, newly raised barn, as well as in renovated Old Austerlitz buildings and on the Society’s lawn and grounds. We hope you will be able to join us for a day of music-making and dance! Sponsorship, Advertising and Underwriter opportunities are available for all events. Please call 518-392-0062 to inquire. A Special Thank You to our Underwriters who contribute to the success of our event! 1794 Heritage Circle Level – $1000 Robert & Luise Kleinberg Norma Edsall Alice Corbin Suzanne Mugler Anthony & Gail Cashen Historian Level – $500 Joseph & Connie Mondel Robert & Barbara Willner Robert Herron Benefactor Level – $250 Alice & Edwin Leason Michael Rebic & Jeff Harris John & Denise Dunne Rebecca Greer Aari Ludvigsen & Barbara Gaines Supporter Level – $100 Ellen G. Scott Donna & Joseph Santoro General Support Walter Smythe Corporate Underwriters – Advertising Support Click an image to visit the underwriter’s website Corporate Underwriters – Diamond Support – $1500 Click an image to visit the underwriter’s website Your name & logo displayed here for your $1500 contribution Corporate Underwriters – Platinum Support – $1000 Click an image to visit the underwriter’s website Corporate Underwriters – Gold Support – $500 Click an image to visit the underwriter’s website Your...
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May 18th 2013 – English Country Dance

ANNOUNCING…. The English Country Dance for Saturday Evening May 18th. In the newly raised Morey Devereaux Barn at Old Austerlitz 7pm to 8pm – beginner lessons and introductions 8pm to 10pm – live music and dancing Period attire suggested but not required. Beverages available. A donation toward the cost of the live band is suggested in lieu of an admission fee. Live music will be provided by Eric Martin on violin / viola, Larry Wallach on Harpsichord with calling / instructing done by Mary Jones. Please join us for an exciting evening! What is English Country Dance English Country dance has been around for hundreds of years. People love the beautiful tunes. Tunes are taken from ballads, operas or classical music. The music has a definite beat. It can be sweet and melodi or sometimes melancholy. Most dances feature live music. Others love the grace and elegance of the dance. Most people find an English Country Dance to be energetic and fun. A great way to get out and have a good time while meeting some new friends. Most of the steps of an English Country Dance involve walking or skipping and knowing the difference between left and right. Dancers move in specific “figures”. Sometimes you’ll hold the hand of your partner and sometimes you’ll move alone. Each step of the dance is led by a “caller”. Each step and movement is called in time to the music so you don’t need to memorize steps or figures. Just follow along with what the caller tells you to do. Come alone or come with a partner. Beginners are welcome. There will be lessons and introductions from 7pm to 8pm. Our dance is held in a friendly, informal atmosphere. No special clothing is needed, but if you have period attire and would like to wear it, please feel free. We recommend clean, soft-soled shoes or sneakers. Sponsorship, Advertising and Underwriter opportunities are available for all events. Please call 518-392-0062 to inquire. A Special Thank You to our Underwriters who contribute to the success of our event! 1794 Heritage Circle Level Underwriter – $1000 Robert & Luise Kleinberg Norma Edsall Alice Corbin Suzanne Mugler Anthony & Gail Cashen Historian Level Underwriter – $500 Joseph & Connie Mondel Robert & Barbara Willner Robert Herron Benefactor Level Underwriter – $250 Alice & Edwin Leason Michael Rebic & Jeff Harris John & Denise Dunne Supporter...
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Aug 26th 2012 – Austerlitz Woodworker’s Day

In honor of the many talented local residents who keep up a centuries-old tradition by continuing to craft items from native wood, the Austerlitz Historical Society is sponsoring Woodworkers Day on Sunday, August 26 from 10 am to 5 pm. More than a dozen artisans living in the town of Austerlitz—professionals and hobbyists alike—will show and discuss their handiwork as well as answer questions. Some will take orders for custom-made furniture and other one-of-a-kind items. A few will also demonstrate aspects of their craft. Pieces on display range from cutting boards, bowls and birdhouses to desks, tables, chairs and cabinets. An antique desk made by the grandfather of Robert Herron, a founder of the Historical Society, will also be exhibited. According to Gail Cashen, President of the Austerlitz Historical Society, “Austerlitz Woodworker’s Day is a special opportunity for the community to learn how talented our neighbors are and to actually see what they’re doing.” Professionals participating include Jeff All of All Woodwork, Reggie Brantner of J.C.Crew, Tim Hawley, Scott Mesick, Clarke Olsen of Clarke Olsen Design, Bryan Polhemus of Bear Woodworks, John Porritt, Steve Somlo, and Michael Walters. Amateurs who do woodwork as a hobby are John Dunne, Chris Landy, Dick Light, Howard Reznikoff and Stanley DeRuggiero. Austerlitz Woodworker’s Day will take place, rain or shine, in the newly restored barn at the rear of Old Austerlitz on Route 22, one mile south of the intersection with Route 203. Beverages and tours of some of the historic buildings on the site will be available. Admission is free and all are...
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April 2011 – Ethnic Pot Luck Supper

An Ethnic Pot Luck Supper is being planned for Saturday April, 9th, to be held at the Harvey House at Old Austerlitz. It is our hope that a major snow storm will be a rarity in April; that the prospect of being able to meet, after many months of shortened or fewer social activities, will cause our members to welcome this early April event. An Ethnic Pot Luck can provide some of our members the opportunity to prepare and share a meal associated with a nationality or culture and be a joyous and “tasty” occasion. Some of us may have relatives from Ireland, Germany, Spain, India, Sweden, China, etc. in our background. (Recently, I asked a neighbor if that was true of his family. He recalls asking his grandfather about his background and got the answer “I’m a Yankee”. In that case we could be enjoying a “Yankee Bean Soup”). Your dish can be one that you have enjoyed or found to be delicious in a cookbook, perhaps from Madhur Jaffrey’s “Invitation to Indian Cooking”. Our plan is to have those interested prepare a dish for at least 6 to 8 diners. Arrival with others, who have prepared dishes, between 5:30 and 6:00 pm would enable all guests to dine together at 6:00 pm. In addition we suggest that those preparing dishes bring the recipe so it can be shared. . The Harvey House is located on the Old Austerlitz site on State Route 22. Once you know your schedules, if you are interested in participating or have questions, call Connie Mondel at...
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May 16th 2010 – Antique Appraisal Day

NEW EVENT TO BE HELD SUNDAY MAY 16TH FROM 10AM TO 4PM Whether you have an old toy you played with as a child, a quilt that belonged to your great grandmother, an old wooden trunk at the foot of your bed or a treasured dinner service that belonged to your great aunt, come to Austerlitz Antique Appraisal Day and discover the value of your family heirlooms. Our appraisers are NOT able to appraise JEWELRY, STAMPS OR COINS. We LOVE pets! However, our insurance does not allow pets to be brought onto the grounds. Please make arrangements to leave your pets at home. Thank you for your cooperation. Austerlitz Antique Appraisal Day, sponsored by the Austerlitz Historical Society, will be held on Sunday May 16th from 10am to 4pm at Old Austerlitz Village, the home of the Austerlitz Historical Society on Route 22 in Austerlitz. Appraisals will be $5 for one item, $10 for two items or $15 for three items. There is a limit of three (3) items per person. Complimentary coffee will be provided. Lunch and other refreshments will be available for purchase. The 1794 Morey-Devereaux House and the 1780 Harvey House will be open for self-guided tours. The Austerlitz Antique Appraisal Day event features a panel of accredited appraisers who are experts in many different areas who will examine your item and give you a verbal estimate of its worth. Among the appraisal experts will be Rupert Fennell and Karl Gabosh. Our appraisers are NOT able to appraise JEWELRY, STAMPS OR COINS. Due to insurance restrictions, Historical Society staff cannot handle patrons’ objects. It is your responsibility to transport your object from your vehicle to the appraisal site and back to your vehicle. The Historical Society is not responsible for objects left unattended. No buying or selling of objects is permitted at the...
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May 2010 – Pot Luck Social

SATURDAY MAY 1ST AT 5:30PM Pot Luck Social Saturday May 1st 2010 5:30pm to 7:00pm @ Harvey House Old Austerlitz Village Rt 22 Austerlitz NY Please call 518-392-5874 to reserve your...
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2008 Historical Cemetery Walk

Just in time for the season of ghosts and ghouls, the Austerlitz Historical Society invites you to “Shadows from the Past: A Historical Cemetery Walk” on Saturday October 18th. Participants will gather on the Spencertown Green at 4:30pm (in front of St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church). There will be cider and donuts, then participants will follow a ghostly guide on a stroll the the Cemetery. Along the way they will meet the “shadows” of some illustrious residents of the Town of Austerlitz in years gone by and learn first hand about their lives and deeds. The event will also introduce the Society’s 2009 calendar, which features stories of some of the local forbears along with photographs of their homes and the gravesites where they now repose. Who knows…. you may meet some of those very people on the cemetery stroll. Admission to this intriguing event is by a voluntary donation to benefit both the preservation of the pre-revolutionary war church by the Friends of St. Peters and the Austerlitz Cemetery Preservation...
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