Guilderland Historical Society


GHS 2017 Programs

"Creating a Heaven on Earth" will be the October GHS Program.

Ponder this:  soil is something to be redeemed and cultivating a garden can be said to be cultivating the mind. These were some of the thoughts of the early Shakers, part of our region?s unique history,  who went on to create a world -renowned seed and herb business in the 19th century.  Find out about Shaker gardening principles, which are still valued today, learn about the Shaker herb garden maintained on the local historic site of the first Shakers, and a culinary herb demonstration garden in the Shaker style.  

     A resident of Albany, Cathie Gifford has been an Albany County Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension since 1997.  She and her husband created a Shaker style culinary herb garden in 2003 and a formal knot garden in 2004 in the Master Gardener?s Memorial Garden which is located in Voorheesville.  Her interests and talks also extend to formal knot and Shakespeare gardens, the Shakers and their gardening legacy, bird friendly gardening and herb gardens in containers.  Cathie is retired from teaching music in public schools, singing classical music, and administrative work at UAlbany?s School of Social Welfare.  Gardening is still an active pursuit and a passion that she shares with her husband. 


September 21, 2017

The September program was "Baseball's Greatest Hit: Take Me Out to the Ballgame" presented by Tim Wiles.

Time Wiles presented a lively, fun evening describing the history of "Baseball's Greatest Hit:Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Using pictures and music he told the story of the 109 year old song familiar to almost all Americans, baseball fan or not.

Mr. Wiles, Guilderland Library Director since 2014, was formerly Director of Research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown. He co-authored a book about the song in 2008 at the time of its centennial.

"NYS Path Through History” Event

June 17, 2017 

         The Guilderland Historical Society and the Guilderland Garden Club held  an Open House at the 1802 Mynderse-Frederick House in Guilderland Center on Saturday, June 17, from 1-4 pm.  Tours of the House, decorated with flower arrangements provided by the Garden Club, were conducted by Historical Society members. Tours of the award-winning gardens maintained by the Garden Club were also available. 

     In addition, there was a display of items related to the historic 1860 Cobblestone Schoolhouse just down the road. 

     Though the Schoolhouse is not open to the public at present, visitors will be welcome to view the exterior, a masonry marvel, which is included in Cobblestone Landmarks of New York State. 

     The Historical Society will have publications for sale and offer a do-it-yourself driving tour of other local landmarks.
      Refreshments were served, courtesy of the Garden Club.  Members of both organizations were on hand to answer questions, and visitors were able to meet our new Town Historian, Ann Wemple-Person.

May 18th, 2017 

“The Hudson-Mohawk Region: Silicon Valley of the 19th Century” was Michael Barrett’s power-point presentation at the May 18 meeting of the Guilderland Historical Society. This program will provide a portrait of our area in a past era when its towns and cities were a national center for innovation, invention and a tremendous amount of manufacturing.

 Michael Barrett is the Executive Director the Hudson-Mohawk Industrial Gateway. This organization is dedicated to recording and preserving the industrial history of this area and educating the public. Knowledgeable guides offer tours to local sites and operate a museum located in  what had been the office of the Burden Ironworks in South Troy. Mr. Barrett has been involved with the Gateway for many years and often leads tours of Troy’s historic Oakwood Cemetery. He is a dynamic speaker and will make the subject come alive.

April 20th, 2017 

“1912: George Lunn and the Socialist Takeover of Schenectady” was the Guilderland Historical Society’s program Thursday, April 20 when Bill Buell will be telling the story of a historic political upset. A very well- known figure in his time, George Lunn not only served as Mayor of Schenectady, but also a term in Congress and a term as lieutenant-governor of New York. Lunn’s years as mayor had a big impact on Schenectady.

Bill Buell has been a Daily Gazette journalist since 1977 where he often covers stories of historical interest. With a degree in history from SUNY, he is a local historian in his spare time. He has researched Lunn’s years in Schenectady in depth and written about Lunn’s many accomplishments during his two terms in office in a book with the same title as his program.

March 16th, 2017

"A Night With Tom Thorpe" was the program for the Guilderland Historical Society's March 16 meeting. He is a talented musician who has performed throughout the Northeast and will be presenting a selection of pieces from his extensive repertoire that are some of his favorites. He is a singer, song writer and multi-instrumentalist whose wide range of performance includes folk, Irish, country and bluegrass.

February 16th, 2017 

“From the West Manor of Rensselaerwyck to Westmere: Three Hundred Years of Guilderland’s Place Names” was the Guilderland Historical Society’s February program.Using photographs from the society’s extensive collection Mary Ellen Johnson will describe the evolution of the names of our town’s communities. Some names are still in everyday use, others are obsolete, and still others are remembered only by old timers or local history buffs.

      Ms. Johnson has been reading, researching and writing about Guilderland history in the society’s newsletter “The Frederick House News” for many years. She was the co-author with Alice Begley of the Arcadia Press book Guilderland, NY. A retired teacher, she is a graduate of SUNY Albany.