Guilderland Historical Society


2018 GHS Programs

 October 18th, 2018 

"Albany's Deutschtum: Before and After the Great War" by Christopher White

This program was an informative overview of the rise of the German-American community in Albany, New York and its decline in World War I.

Christopher White is a genealogist, gravestone conservator and independent historian with a special focus on local (Albany) German-American history.He holds a BA and MA in History from the University at Albany. His writings include a Masters Thesis "From Acceptance to Reunification: Das Ende von Albanys Deutschtum". His blog is "Finding Your Past: Genealogical Gleanings with the Albany Gravedigger"

September 20th 2018

Riot in East Greenbush - The Anti-Rent War Renewed presented by Jill Witbeck Knapp

The program is based on Ms. Knapps book, The Time for Redemption, a non-fiction work about the death of Rensselaer County Deputy Sheriff Griggs, during an anti-rent incident in 1869. The incident captivated the Capital District in 1869 and 1870, as documented in over 300 pages of newspaper articles.  

A native of Latham, NY, Ms. Knapp received a BS from Cornell in General Agriculture and MS in Agronomy. She received a Ph. D. in Agronomy from Purdue where her research focused on Wheat production. 

She has had numerous and varied career positions from Horticulturist at Hancock Shaker Village, to Executive Director of Conservation Districts of Iowa, Agriculture Program Leader at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County, and adjunct Professor at Ramapo College in New Jersey. From 2005 to 2013, Jill was the Executive Director of the Hudson Mohawk Land Conservatory. 

After she returned to the Albany area in 2005, Jill became interested in her family history. Over the past decade, she amassed a significant volume of information on the Whitbeck family. The result of this research is her non-fiction book, The Time for Redemption, the story of her great, great grandfather who was charged with the murder of a Rensselaer County, NY Deputy Sheriff during an anti-rent incident in 1869.

Path Through History

The Public was invited to visit the 1802 Mynderse-Frederick House and Gardens 1-4 pm on Saturday, June 16th when the Guilderland Garden Club and the Guilderland Historical Society sponsor an Open House in observance of New York State's Path through History weekend.

The beautiful gardens created by the Garden Club were on display with members on hand to answer questions. Inside the house, Historical Society members gave house tours. There was a photo display honoring the Guilderland Center and McKnownville fire departments, both celebrating their centennials in 2018.

This year there are two additional places in Guilderland Center to visit.  Just West of the Mynderse-Frederick House, the 1860 Cobblestone School will be open where a member of the Historical Society was on hand to tell about the one room school when it was in session educating the youth of Guilderland Center.

The Guilderland Fire Department brought out their 1924 "Village Queen", the first piece of equipment in the Town of Guilderland capable of pumping streams of water two or three stories high. It was instrument in fighting several major fires..

February 24th, 2018 -  Mynderse-Frederick Open House

In lieu of a regular February meeting, the Guilderland Historical Society plans to host an Open House and tours of the Mynderse-Frederick House on Saturday, February 24th from 2-4pm.

You do not need to be a member to attend. We look forward to community members stopping by. There will be refreshments and there is ample parking available. If you have a question, please contact

January 21st, 2018

Guilderland's First Hundred Years

Guilderland Historical Society members were cordially invited to attend a presentation by Mary Ellen Johnson, President of the Guilderland Historical Society, at the Guilderland Public Library, 2228 Western Avenue, on Sunday January 21st at 2:00 pm.

Mary Ellen presented her program "In the Beginning: Guilderland's First Hundred Years". She discussed the first days of settlement of Guilderland until about 1825.  

March 15th 2018  7:30 pm

" Glorious Victory that took 70 Years: The Fight for Women's Suffrage in New York State" with Stuart Lehman

2017 marked the Centennial of the Constitutional Amendment granting women the right vote in New York State. This historic vote occurred 3 years before  the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and played a major role in the success of the National Amendment.

The New York State Capitol was the epicenter of the suffrage battle in New York State. Suffragists and anti-suffragists lobbied the Legislature in support of their positions every year from 1854 to 1917.

This one hour program will explore this historic struggle and its outcome through  images from both suffrage and anti-suffrage sources.

Stuart W. Lehman works with the Office of General Services as an Assistant  Curator for the New York State Capitol. He conducts research into the history of the Capitol Building. He develops Capitol education programs and tours, including "living history" programs. He previously worked at the Bureau of Historic Sites at Senate House, Herkimer Home and Schuyler Mansion. On weekends he participates in Revolutionary War re-enactments as a Colonial Doctor. He lives in Guilderland.

April 19th 2018  7:30 pm

"Troy's Tiffany Treasures" with Michael Barrett 

Troy is said to have more Tiffany Glass per square mile than any other city in the world. This illustrated lecture covers the life and work of Louis Comfort Tiffany and several of his illustrious employees in their production of some astonishing works of art in glass.

Michael Barrett is Executive Director of 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 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  the subject come alive! 

May 17th 2018  7:30 pm

The Rapp Road Community History

Stephanie Woodward and Beverly Bardequez from the Rapp Road Historical Association, will discuss the history and importance of this unique African-American Community, which thrived until 1971 when the Washington Avenue Extension was built.

Everyone is invited to join Historical Society members 7:30 pm for this free program and for the social hour following at the Mynderse-Frederick House, 451 Route 146, Guilderland Center. For information or directions call 518 861-8582.