Columbia County Historical Society Lecture, “The Impact of Railroads on the Village of Chatham”, Apr 9


As the Village of Chatham celebrates its 150th birthday this year, the Columbia County Historical Society (CCHS) Volunteers present “The Impact of Railroads on the Village of Chatham,” an illustrated lecture by Chatham Village Historian, Gail Blass Wolczanski on Tuesday.

Join Chatham Village Historian Gail Class Wolczanski in an illustrated lecture on why commerce, industry, and people were drawn to Chatham and its role as a railroad center in the region.


Gail Blass Wolczanski is a native of Chatham who was appointed Chatham Village Historian in 2006 upon retiring from 33 years of teaching. Her 2009 book about the village is titled “Around the Village of Chatham,” which was published as part of the “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing. For the past 12 years, Wolczanksi has been President of the Chatham Village Historical Society, whose mission it is to save village history and display it in a 1814 farmhouse for which they are raising money to restore. Wolczanski also works with the school district giving tours and acting as a resource for local history projects, in addition to fulfilling requests across the country for village information. Over a decade, her column “Historical Ramblings” in the Chatham Courier offered glimpses into events and people that made village history.

As the Village of Chatham is celebrating its 150th year, Wolczanski’s latest project is making it a memorable one for the community, who prioritized wanting a commemorative history book to honor its birthday. Wolczanski has worked on a colorful photographic history in the sequence of a walking tour, which has been very well received.

Building on her family history in Chatham with the research garnered from her newspaper columns and both the 2009 and 2019 publications, Wolczanski has considerable knowledge about her hometown that she enjoys sharing with those interested.

Prior to the lecture, which is open to the public, the CCHS Volunteers will hold a regular meeting at 6:30pm. Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to attend the meeting and can check the CCHS Volunteer Lecture webpage – New volunteers are always welcome and training is provided. Volunteer opportunities exist in many CCHS operations, including at the c. 1819 James Vanderpoel House, the 1737 Luykas Van Allen House, the c. 1850 Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse, and the CCHS Museum & Library. The volunteers meet on a regular basis to discuss projects and other opportunities to support the organization.

DATE/TIMETuesday, April 9, 2019 / 7pm – 8:30pm

Van Buren Hall
6 Chatham St.,
Kinderhook, NY 12106



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