Category: History

Columbia County Historical Society – Two-Part Lecture on East Coast Lighthouses



The Columbia County Historical Society and Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society present a two part lecture series, on East Coast Lighthouses by Lighthouse Historian and Enthusiast, Bob Taylor.

Expert Lighthouse Historian Bob Taylor will deliver an illustrated slide show of Lighthouses along the Hudson River, beginning with the Statue of Liberty and continuing up the Hudson River to Lake Champlain.

In Lecture I, “Lighthouses of the Hudson”, Taylor will deliver an overview of current and former lighthouses along the Hudson River, including: Statue of Liberty, Little Red Lighthouse, Esopus Lighthouse, Saugerties Lighthouse, Hudson-Athens Lighthouse and others.

In Lecture II, “Lighthouse Tools & Machinery, and the Other East Coast Lighthouses: Icon of Maine”, Taylor will discuss early Lighthouse Tools and Machinery, and contrast to 21st century digital lighting and navigational technology. He will also provide a photographic tour of existing lighthouses on the North East Coast, ending with the coast of Maine.
rly-bird discount.

The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer conversation. Post-lecture, there will be a glass of wine or other beverage down the street at the CCHS Museum & Library.


Bob Taylor’s involvement with the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society (HALPS) goes back to 2002 and his hobby for more than two decades has been visiting, climbing and photographing lighthouses. He has traveled throughout the United States including the Great Lakes, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico and abroad looking at lighthouses and photographing them, most often on group tours. To-date he has photographed more than 1,200 lighthouses.

DATE/TIME: Saturday, February 15th, February 22, 2020 / 4 – 6pm

ADMISSION: $15 in advance
$15 for CCHS and Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society members
$20 for non-members (at door)

For advance tickets, visit

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



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Opening Reception: The History of the Census in Hudson at Hudson Area Library, Feb 6



The Hudson Area Library and the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History invite the public to the opening reception of their exhibition ‘The History of the Census in Hudson’ on Thursday, February 6.

Since ancient times, societies have kept counts of their population for various purposes. This exhibit examines the United States federal censuses that have been taken since 1790, the New York State censuses taken since 1825, colonial censuses that precede the American revolution, and the upcoming 2020 federal census. Focusing on Hudson from its founding and even earlier times, and includes original 1845 census books for the City of Hudson, displayed alongside maps, documents and images that illuminate the area’s growth and history. Additional information, regarding the 2020 census and its importance to Hudson and its inhabitants will also be on view.

The exhibition was developed in collaboration with the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History, an independent, not-for-profit study and research center devoted to collecting, preserving, and disseminating information relating to colonial New York under English rule. In the years spanning 1664 to 1773, New York province’s diverse European settlements and Native American and African populations fused into a cosmopolitan colonial territory with ties throughout the Atlantic World. The Institute is unique in focusing on this under examined 109-year period in American history.

DATE/TIME: Thursday, February 6, 2020 /  6pm – 7:30pm
Exhibit on display February 6 to March 31

Registration required and on a first come, first serve basis.
To register, email, Or call 518-828-1792. Registration forms are also available at the circulation desk in the library.

LOCATION: Hudson Area Library, Community Room
51 N 5th Street
Hudson NY 12534



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Christmas at Clermont: Open House, Dec 21

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The Clermont Mansion is opening it’s doors for the holidays with free admission on December 21. Explore the mansion at your leisure enjoying the holiday decorations with docents available to answer questions in each room. Cider and cookies will be available in the visitor’s center.

Saturday, December 21, 2019 / 11am – 4pm


The Clermont Mansion
87 Clermont Avenue,
Germantown, NY 12526



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Winter Celebrations: The Lights of Many Cultures at Martin Van Buren’s Home, Dec 6

Winter celebrations around the world are as varied and vibrant as the cultures they epitomize. One common thread through many of these celebrations is the presence of light. Light in its many forms is used to represent the hope for spring’s return, the importance of the sun in agricultural cycles, to welcome guests and remember loved ones, and symbolize the resiliency of the human spirit. Light brings people together.

The staff at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site invites the public to join them for “Winter Celebrations: The Lights of Many Cultures. The Garden Club of Kinderhook will decorate the first floor of Van Buren’s home. Park staff and volunteer docents will be available to explain both the history of the site and the meaning behind the decorations. The house will be open for tours from 12:30 to 3:30 both days, with a tour beginning every half hour.

The America of Martin Van Buren’s time was a rich tapestry of cultures with their own traditions, learning from each other and at times combining to form new traditions. The America of today is the same. Our celebrations represent the brightest parts of that tapestry – the ability to see our differences not as barriers, but as many lights illuminating the darkness.

The Friends of Lindenwald will provide light refreshments.

Friday, December 6, 2019 / 12:30pm – 3:30pm

Check in at the park visitor center fifteen minutes before the beginning of your tour.

Due to limited space, visitors are asked to reserve a spot on a tour in advance. Visitors may make reservations online at any time at or by phone Monday-Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm by calling 518-758-9689.

Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
1013 Old Post Road
Kinderhook, NY 12106





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Columbia County Historical Society Free Lecture, “Steamboat Days on the Hudson River”, Nov 20


The Columbia County Historical Society presents a Free Lecture – “Steamboat Days on the Hudson River” with Captain Stanley Wilcox, on Wednesday, November 20.

In those (Steamboat) days, it was a special occasion to take the eight hour trip from New York City to Albany on a magnificent vessel adorned with chandeliers, oil paintings, and brass rails.

Multi-level, three and four hundred foot long vessels churned up the Hudson River at nearly twenty miles an hour with paddle wheels slapping, steam billowing from their stacks, with thousands of people gathering at the rails to view the passing scenery. While these grand boats have long since vanished from the Hudson, they epitomized an era that for many made the Hudson River the center of the universe.

A story filled with greed, frustration, and courtroom drama may be found between the first steamboat’s appearance on the Hudson to the era of grand and opulent vessels. It began with the New York Legislature granting Robert Livingston a 30-year steamboat monopoly and ended with a decision from the US Supreme Court argued by none other than Daniel Webster.


U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Master Capt. Stanley Wilcox holds a Coast Guard Master’s license and has served as Senior Captain on the Spirit of Hudson for the past 12 years. He is co-author of Capt Stan’s Hudson River Book, with foreword by Riverkeeper. The book, now in its fourth edition, has stories and history on more than 120 sites along the Hudson River, with 200+ color photos. The Albany Times Union review described it as “..a beautiful book”. Capt Stan has taught “Hudson River Boating and Seamanship” for many years at Columbia-Greene Community College, and has been guest speaker on American Cruise Lines.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019: 7pm – 9pm

Free and Open to the Public

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


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