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2022-2023 Speaker Series 

Presentation begins at 7PM

Bethlehem Public Library, 

451 Delaware Avenue, Delmar

This event is free and open to the public.

Registration is recommended as seating is limited.

Registration opens March 12

Call 518-439-9314 or click below to register.

Bethlehem Library

April 12, 2023

Steamboat Navigation on the Hudson

by Mark Peckham

The Hudson River was yesteryears Thruway. Steamboats dominated Hudson River travel after Robert Fulton’s North River (the Clermont) traveled from New York City to Albany in 1807 in a record 32 hours. Local Historian Mark Peckham will share information on the fascinating history of the steamboats that navigated the Hudson River during the 19th and mid-20th century.

Mark Peckham was with the NY State Division for Historic Preservation for over 30 years. He has since retired from his position as the Director of the Bureau of Historic Sites and Parks and the agency’s representative on the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Previously he served as the Community Preservation Services Bureau Director, National Register Coordinator and Executive Secretary to the NY State Board for Historic Preservation. Before joining the Division, Mark was employed as an architectural historian for the City of Seattle’s Office of Urban Conservation and as an architectural historian for a preservation architecture form in Albany, NY.

A recording of the talk is now available here:

Sept. 14, 2022 Michael Barrett  Hudson Mohawk Gateway - Silicon Valley of the 19th Century

Many scholars agree that the Capital District is one of several “birthplaces of the American industrial revolution.” Nineteenth Century entrepreneurs consciously used the cutting-edge technology of their day to transform the dominant rural-agrarian lifestyle into an infrastructure devoted to advancement of industrial enterprise. 

Oct. 12, 2022 Ian Mumptom The Schuyler Museum- Coping with Life's Necessaries

The Schuyler family enjoyed many luxuries as part of their refined lifestyle, but what might their hygiene practices have looked like? How did their practices differ from or align with those of other residents of 18th century Albany? 

Nov. 9, 2022 Ted Hilscher Barns of the Hudson Valley

The talk gave an introduction to identifying and understanding the barns and associated outbuilding of the Hudson Valley. The presentation included information on local barns still found in the town of Bethlehem.

November 30, 2022 Marilyn Sassi The Many Faces of American Folk Art

Marilyn explores the “golden age” of American folk art from 1830 to 1850. In folk art, the most common, workaday objects are decorated turning them into true artistic expressions. 

February 8, 2023 John S. Pipkin  Albany Rural Cemetery

John discussed the 467 acres cemetery as a nature preserve, open-air art museum, architectural primer, history classroom and genealogy archive.

March 8, 2023 Jack McEneny The Irish in Albany

The Irish in Albany title speaks for itself. Between 1825 & 1850 six of his great grandparents were born in Ireland and came to the US and two were born in Albany of Irish Immigrants who then lived the rest of their lives in Albany, NY.  

A recording of this talk is now available here: