Bethlehem Historical Association

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The Greatest Show on Earth

Thursday, September 15, 2016   7:00 PM

Presenter: Tom Allison

 While researching his book on Hudson River steamboats, Tom Allison discovered that the Circus owes a lot to Albany and one man in particular, Gilbert Spalding.  Circus trains, bleachers, even the set up at every venue was his invention.  Allison will explore this fascinating local connection at the Bethlehem Historical Association’s meeting


Capitol  Hauntings

Thursday, October 20, 2016   7:00 PM  

Presenter:  Stuart Lehman

Does the night watchman who died in the Capitol fire of 1911 still make his rounds? Which two United States Presidents visited the Capitol after they died? Does the secret demon carved in stone hold a Capitol Curse? New York State?s iconic capitol building has its share of mysteries.  Stuart Lehman, Education Coordinator for the New York State Capitol, will explore these and other ghostly tales at the Bethlehem Historical Association’s next meeting.


Chilly Willy’s Winter’s Eve-How the Dutch Survived Winter

Thursday, November 17, 2016  7:00 PM 

Presenter: Shelby Mattice

Surviving winter is the topic for the November meeting of the Bethlehem Historical Association. Shelby Mattice, curator of the Bronck Museum, presents her talk Chilly Willy’s Winter’s Eve which looks at how the early Dutch settlers of the rural Hudson Valley survived the harsh reality that is an upstate New York winter.


Grave Stone Matters

Thursday, January 19, 2017     2:00 PM

Location: Delmar Reformed Church, 386 Delaware Avenue

Presenter: Joe Ferrannini

Joe Ferrannini of Grave Stone Matters is the speaker for the Bethlehem Historical Association’s January 19, 2017 meeting. Ferrannini is an expert on cemetery preservation and the conservation of stone monuments. He will share his passion for the history to be found in cemeteries.


Dutch Architecture and Furnishings

Thursday, February 16, 2017  2:00 PM

Location: Delmar Reformed Church, 386 Delaware Avenue

Presenter: Marilyn Sassi

Fort Orange was built by the Dutch at the same early date the English were landing at Plymouth Rock.  Nothing remains in either location from those first houses built circa 1620, however both the Hudson and the Mohawk Valleys contain a number of fine examples of Dutch architecture from the early 17th and early 18th centuries.   The focus of the lecture will be on the earliest houses that were built either as urban dwellings or rural homesteads.  Several of the homes that have been fully restored from the inside out highlighting their unique Dutch features.  The lecture will end with one of a kind examples of furniture these homes contained and illustrate how they differ in their designs and forms from their New England counterparts.


Marilyn Sassi is currently an adjunct instructor at Schenectady County and Hudson Valley Community Colleges. She has also presented series for U-Call at Union College.  Marilyn is the past curator of the Schenectady County Historical Society, the Fulton County Museum and the Van Alstyne Homestead Society.   In addition, she has had many years of involvement in the field of antiques.


Parker Dunn:  A Boy, His Bravery and a Bridge 

Thursday, March 16, 2017   7:00PM 

Presenter:  Mark Bodnar

How many folks have driven over Albany’s Dunn Memorial Bridge without a thought to the person it is named after? Historian Mark Bodnar shares the story of World War I Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Parker Dunn at the Bethlehem Historical Association’s March meeting.

(Note: The image at the top of the page is from the Albany Postcard Project. Visit their website for lots of fun postcards. http://www.albanypostcardproject.com/) 

The Meneely Bell Foundry

Thursday, April 20, 2017      7:00 PM

Presenter:  Michael Barrett 

The rich sound of a Meneely bell can be heard from several Bethlehem churches. Founded in 1826 in West Troy (now Watervliet), the Meneely Bell Foundry made over 65,000 bells before closing in 1952. Learn more about this iconic Capital Region company at the Bethlehem Historical Association on Thursday April 20, at 7 p.m. at the Cedar Hill Schoolhouse, 1003 River Road, Selkirk.  

Our speaker, Michael Barrett, is the Executive Director of the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway and the Burden Ironworks Museum in Troy.