September 15, 7:30 pm, in-person, Mynderse Frederick House
Guilderland as a Summer Retreat, presented by Jeff Perlee, Albany County Legislator and member of Guilderland Historical Society
From farmland to suburbia is the conventional understanding of the trajectory of Guilderland’s growth. But in between there was a period when our town was best known as a summer retreat, a place of leisure and country pleasures for some of New York State’s most powerful families. In this presentation we will trace the origins of the summer house movement and resort and leisure development throughout the town, from the earliest retreats along the Normanskill to the rise of the resort and “summer colony” in Altamont to the creation of the Albany Country Club and attendant cottages in McKownville. Along the way we’ll meet some of the wealthy and powerful men -- and women -- who called Guilderland home, for at least part of the year, when they were not otherwise occupied running the affairs of the Empire State and the nation. Finally, we’ll highlight the ways that the “Summer Colony” period impacted the development of the Town as we know it today.
What's New with the Old Stuff at the Altamont Fair, presented by Doug Cornwell.
Mr. Doug Cornwell will speak about the work of the Historical Preservation Committee of the Fair, which is comprised of 14 volunteers working year round in twice weekly meetings to inventory the holdings and research the history of the Fair. Doug will focus on a selection of the most unusual and unique items from the seven museums located on the fairgrounds, especially those items with local ties.
Mr. Cornwell resides in Rotterdam but was born and raised in Schoharie County. After attending Schoharie Central School, he attended SUNY Cobelskill and the University at Albany. He served as a U.S. Army Infantry Sergeant in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star.
"During the mid-1960's I started a small antique shop in a garage on our family farm along Route 443 in West Berne," Mr. Cornell explained, adding that he has been involved with the purchase, appraisal and sale of antiques for more than 30 years, including more than 500 antique auctions and shows in NY, CT, MA and VT.
February 24, 7:30 pm, via Zoom only (details below)
Guilderland's Historic Roadside Markers, presented by John Haluska
On Thursday, February 17, the Guilderland Historical Society will hold its first meeting of the new year via Zoom. Mr. John Haluska will give a presentation on the historic roadside markers in the Town of Guilderland. He will talk about the origin of the markers that were first placed in the 1930's, which markers have been lost, and those that remain. He will describe his own preservation efforts -- John has been repairing and repainting the Town's markers for several years -- and he will even discuss ideas for potential new markers. These roadside signs are perhaps the most visible daily reminder of the many changes wrought by the inexorable passage of time in our Town. Come hear John for a refresher course on the history of the Town of Guilderland!
March 17, 2022, 7:30 pm, via Zoom
Preserving Family Photographs and Documents, presented by Marrietta Carr
Photos, letters, diaries, and other important documents are cherished pieces of a family’s history, but they can also be a challenge to preserve and maintain for future generations. Preserving your family papers will assist relatives and friends (current and future) in tracing and understanding your family’s history and connections to local and community history. Marietta Carr, librarian and archivist at the Schenectady County Historical Society, will give a presentation on preservation techniques you can use for your family’s archives, including storage, handling, digitization, and organization on Thursday, March 17, at 7:30 pm via Zoom. Marietta joined the staff of SCHS in 2019 and has worked in archives, museums, libraries, and historical societies for over 10 years. Her archival preservation experience ranges from colonial land agreements to 20th century maps, and includes books, photos, recordings, and digital materials.
May 19, 2022, 7:30 pm, via Zoom
Researching our 1889 Altamont home, originally built for James Bleecker Groot, presented by Bill Johnson
How does one learn about the history of an Altamont home? Bill and Kathy Johnson bought their Altamont home in 1986 and were curious for many years about it original owner. Finally, in 2020, they embarked on an exploration and now know quite a bit about the history of their home and its original owner, James Bleecker Groot, who a few years later built another summer home in Altamont, now the Altamont Manor, and sold his original summer home. Come and hear what we've learned in the process, and also learn about the sources of information that you might need to explore to learn about the local history of your home.
Zoom recording link will be posted soon