Tag: Austerlitz

Austerlitz History Center Salutes “Pop” Sweet w/ New Exhibit

The Austerlitz History Center in Spencertown has a new exhibit on the life and career of George R. “Pop” Sweet, the Famed Fiddler of Fog Hill. The Sweet exhibit will remain on view for the remainder of 2022.

In 1930, from the remote Fog Hill section of Austerlitz, Pop Sweet launched a career as an old-time fiddler and square dance caller that brought him wide renown in Columbia, Dutchess and Berkshire counties. There was hardly a hamlet where Pop Sweet and his Huckleberry Pickers did not play during the 1930s into the 1950s. Granges, fraternal lodges, dance halls, restaurants, taverns, campgrounds and even barns all resonated with the joyful sounds of Pop’s fiddling and calling.

Sweet’s fame extended beyond the local region. He was called by the founder of the National Folk Festival “the best caller in the United States,” a title he earned at the Philadelphia Festival in 1943 when he was selected as the best square dance caller out of a nationwide field of more than 130.

The Austerlitz History Center’s exhibit traces Sweet’s musical career and features a soundtrack that includes recordings of Pop’s fiddling and calling from 1947 that are now housed in the Library of Congress. Explored as well is Sweet’s colorful persona as a genuine backwoods character: a hunter and trapper, pursuer of the “Black Beast of the Berkshires,” and long-time Groundhog Day forecaster.

Accompanying the exhibit is a richly researched book on Sweet’s life written by Tom Moreland, Austerlitz Town Historian. It includes a detailed chronological review of Pop’s square dances, listing more than 300 appearances in more than 150 venues scattered among some 70 localities.

The Austerlitz History Center, 812 Route 203 in Spencertown, will be open on Saturdays from 9-11 am, or at other times as arranged with the Town Historian (tmoreland@austerlitzny.com). The Center’s permanent exhibits cover the history of the Austerlitz area from its settlement in the 1750s to the 21st century.

DATES/TIMES: Saturdays / 9 – 11am for the remainder of 2022

LOCATION: The Austerlitz History Center
812 Route 203
Spencertown, NY 12165

MORE:
https://austerlitzny.com

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Columbia County Historical Society Lecture: “The Bicentennial History of the Town of Austerlitz,”, Oct 16

As Austerlitz celebrates its bicentennial this year, the Columbia County Historical Society (CCHS) Volunteers present “The Bicentennial History of the Town of Austerlitz,” a free illustrated lecture by Town of Austerlitz historian, Thomas H. Moreland, on October 16.

Established in 1818, Austerlitz has a rich history. Moreland will discuss The Indian Deed of 1756, the first settlers and settlements, the Spencertown Proprietorship (1757-72), and title disputes.

Thomas H. Moreland has been the Town Historian for Austerlitz since 2016, after serving several years as chair of the Research Committee of the Austerlitz Historical Society. In June 2018, the Old Austerlitz Historical Society published Moreland’s book — ‘The Old Houses of Austerlitz.’ Based on six years of original research, the book contains the first full history of the Town of Austerlitz, an area first settled in 1757 as the proprietorship of Spencers Town, and a monograph, by Michael Rebic, on the local architectural styles in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Most of the book is devoted to individual histories of each of the 168 extant buildings in the Town of Austerlitz that appear on the 1888 atlas map of the town. These buildings –157 of them houses– date from as early as the 1760s.

Additionally, there are some 20 short articles on aspects of Austerlitz history, such as the turnpikes and old roads, schools, and huckleberry picking, as well as on famous and infamous Austerlitz residents, ranging from Edna St. Vincent Millay to Oscar Beckwith – AKA the “Austerlitz Cannibal.”

DATE/TIME:
Tuesday, October 16th, 2018: 7 – 8pm

LOCATION:
Van Buren Hall
6 Chatham Street,
Kinderhook NY 12106

ADMISSION:
Free

MORE:
www.cchsny.org
facebook.com/cchsny
twitter.com/cchs_ny
www.oldausterlitz.org

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2018 Autumn in Austerlitz Festival, Oct 7

pumpkinsThe Old Austerlitz Historical Society‘s 22nd Annual Autumn in Austerlitz Festival is scheduled for Sunday, October 7.

The event features a wide array of live demonstrations from sheep shearing to butter making, antiques, live music, entertainment for children, unique vendors, silent auction, quilt raffle and a variety of hot and cold foods to satisfy your hunger including the community soup station featuring over 6 home made soups.

Check out www.oldausterlitz.org to see the list of vendors, exhibitors, and entertainers.

DATE/TIME:
Sunday October 7th, 2018: 11am – 4pm. Rain or Shine.

LOCATION:
Old Austerlitz Village
11550 State Route 22
Austerlitz, NY 12017

ADMISSION:
$7 for adults. Children under 12 are free.

MORE:
www.oldausterlitz.org
facebook.com/aushistorical

 

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The 19th Annual Blueberry Festival in Old Austerlitz, Jul 29

The Old Austerlitz Historical Society‘s annual Blueberry Festival is this Sunday. This ever-popular event features early 19th Century craft demonstrations and wares, antiques, live music and entertainment, magic act, activities for children, animals, birds of prey, sheep-shearing, plus many unique and highly talented craft vendors, artisans and a special fiber art area. There will be blueberries galore and a blueberry pancake breakfast, in addition to a wide selection of tasty food items and baked goods.

Check out www.oldausterlitz.org to see the list of vendors, exhibitors, and entertainers.

DATE/TIME:
Sunday, July 29th, 2018: 9am – 4pm
Blueberry Pancake Breakfast: 9am until 11:30am
Rain or Shine

LOCATION:
Old Austerlitz Village
11550 State Route 22
Austerlitz, NY 12017

ADMISSION:
Adults: $8.00
Children under 12: $4
Please note that there is an additional charge for both adults and children for the pancake breakfast.
No Pets

MORE:
www.oldausterlitz.org
facebook.com/aushistorical

 

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Audubon Bird Walk at Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Steepletop, Jun 3

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay inspired many people with her nature poetry. To honor her legacy, Larry Federman from the Audubon Society will conduct a bird walk at Steepletop, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s farmhouse home in Austerlitz, New York.

The walk is intended to inspire visitors to learn more about birds and help to protect the wildlife and the magnificent habitat that surrounds us.

DATE/TIME:
Sunday, June 3 2018, from 7:30am – 9:30am
Meet at the Visitors Center at Tamarack Cottage by 7:15am

LOCATION:
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Steepletop
440 East Hill Road
Austerlitz, NY

ADMISSION:
$10
Reservations recommended. Call Steepletop to reserve.

MORE:
Wear your hiking attire, bring your binoculars
www.millay.org
info@millay.org
518-392-3362

 

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Jeff McKinney is a Realtor in Columbia County, NY. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.