Bethlehem Historical Association

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2019 Events

2019 Silver Tea Canceled due to school house renovations.   

Due to continuing renovations at the Cedar Hill Schoolhouse, we will not be having our Silver Tea this year.  We are looking forward to a grand re-opening of the museum in May.  Stay tuned!

2019 Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum Schedule and Exhibits

Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 PM. 

Exhibits include All in a Day's Work and  Bethlehem's Native American Connections.  Plus displays of hats from our collection and schoolhouse memorabilia. And don't forget the toll gate and outhouse! 

What did we use before plastic?

highlights the many different kinds of containers found in our collection. 

Annual Ice Cream Social: 

Sunday June 9, 2019 1 - 4 PM

Please join us for our annual Ice Cream Social, Sunday afternoon June 9.  Stop by between 1 and 4 pm for a free Sundae (courtesy of Stewart's Shops) and a look at our latest exhibits and ongoing renovation project in the "back room" of the schoolhouse. 

A Spring Afternoon Tea

Saturday, April 13, 2019 1 PM 

Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum

A fundraising event featuring

Fashion Hats and Bonnets

By Phyllis Chapman of Vintage Visitors Productions

Followed by a selection of tea sandwiches and fancies. Please RSVP by March 29 as seating is limited to 50.  $20 per person.

"A perfect time to show off one of your favorite hats!"

More info from Vintage Visitor :  “Topping it Off- Vintage Hats and the Heads that Wore Them” Phyllis Chapman presents a lighthearted frolic of vintage hats and headgear of men and women. So much more than mere headcoverings, they have been flirtatious, subdued, dignified, businesslike, extreme, and even ridiculous (more than once!) This fun romp through millinery and haberdashery includes reproduction and vintage Victorian and Edwardian hats for the audience to try!

2018 Events

The Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum opens for the season on Sunday May 6, 2018.  Regular hours will be Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 pm through October 28. 

Two exhibits are featured. One presents more than a dozen wedding dresses from our collection including examples from the 1860s through the mid-20th century. Wedding related items from the Clapper, Blessing, Myers, Haswell, Babcock and Mosher families are also be featured.  

Another plots all of Bethlehem’s 15 one-room schools on an 1866 map and includes photos of students as well as the buildings, several of which are still standing today.

Saturday April 14, 2018: Afternoon Tea Fundraiser 
featuring the talk Wedding Dresses and Their Stories

You are invited to an Afternoon Tea featuring Connie Frisbee Houde's talk Wedding Dresses and Their Stories followed by an elegant tea service with sandwiches and fancies.  In addition, more than a dozen wedding dresses from the our clothing collection will be on display including examples from the 1860s through the mid 20th century. Wedding related items from the Clapper, Blessing, Myers, Haswell, Babcock and Mosher families are included. 

Cost is $20 per person with checks payable to Bethlehem Historical Association 1003 River Road Selkirk, NY.   All funds raised are in support the storage and display of our collection. 


Happy Birthday Bethlehem!  


225 Years!

Join us on Sunday afternoon June 10, from 1 to 4 pm at the schoolhouse, as well celebrate 225 years of the town of Bethlehem with our annual Ice Cream Social. Free and all are invited!!  There will be cake!

A Beer and Pretzels 

Fundraising Event

For the Bethlehem Historical Association

Thursday, October 4, 2018 6:30 PM

Place: Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum,

Thank you!  We had a wonderful evening, made a little money for BHA and were all inspired to make beer!

Beer was a vital part of our local history, if not in Bethlehem, certainly in nearby Albany, originally known as Beverwyck. The first Patroon, Kiliaen van Rensselaer himself, was all too aware of the importance of beer. He wrote in June 1632, “As soon as there is a supply of grain on hand, I intend to erect a brewery to provide all of new Netherland with beer, for which purpose there is already a brew kettle there…” Beer brewing and drinking in the 1600s only grew from there!

Learn more of this vital history, and enjoy a cold brew at the same time, at our Beer and Pretzels fundraiser. Educator, local historian and beer enthusiast Richard Muggeo  will share his insights during his talk Beer, Brewers and Beverwyck.  Tickets are $10 each. This entitles the bearer to one beer, or if preferred, wash your pretzels down with a choice of non-alcoholic beverages.  Linda Schact, 518-767-2924 or email [email protected]


Pop UP

On September 30, 2018 from 2-4 pm, the Bethlehem Historical Association Museum will host another "pop up" centering on the concept of "then and now." Two former educators will display artifacts from long ago and ask visitors to match these items with artifacts/pictures of current comparable items. They will also have some toys from yesteryear for visitors to play. Join us for an afternoon of educational fun and tour the museum which proudly displays the Town of Bethlehem's history!

Annual Silver Tea

Sunday, December 2, 2018

1 to 4 PM

Over the River and Through the Woods

Holiday Open Houses

Monday, December 3 from 3 to 7 PM

Sunday, December 9 from 1 to 4 PM

The Bethlehem Historical Association invites one and all to celebrate the holidays at the Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum. This year our talented team explores the theme “Over the River and Through the Woods” in their Christmas decorations. 

Sunday, December 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. is our Annual Holiday Silver Tea. A BHA tradition for over 30 years, enjoy sweets and treats and, of course, hot tea and coffee.

Stop by Monday, December 3 from 3 to 7 p.m, or Sunday, December 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. for our Holiday Open House. Sweets and treats and festive punch combine for an enjoyable afternoon.

2017  Events

Summer Exhibit Opening Day and Ice Cream Social

Sunday, June 11, 2017  1-4 PM        

Open Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 PM 

June 11 through October 29. 

The Bethlehem Historical Association's Cedar Hill Schoolhouse museum currently features Bethlehem 100 Years Ago. 

Bethlehem 100 Years Ago takes a particular look at what our town was like during World War I. Highlights include the Woman’s Land Army farm in Selkirk and the WWI veterans that honored their fallen comrades annually as part of the Last Man’s Club. Our center exhibit area recreates a kitchen scene circa 1917. Military memorabilia is also be featured.

World War I Table Top War Games
July 23 and September 24, 2017

You are invited to participate in something completely different.  Sunday, July 23rd, the Bethlehem Historical Association will host a World War I tabletop battle to coincide with their summer exhibition about Bethlehem's participation in that war a century ago.  

 Players of any age (under 12 with an adult) should show up at the Cedar Hill School on Route 144, about 2 pm Sunday afternoon, to command a battleship of the US Navy, or one from the Imperial German High Seas Fleet.  The ships are tiny, but the rules are easily learned, and give a very good idea of what battle in the mists and smoke of the North Sea was like.  

On Sunday afternoon September 24th, 2-4 pm, there will be another tabletop war-game, again, easily to learn and for all ages. This time players will take to the skies over the Adriatic Sea as pursuit planes and bombers of Italy's Regia Aeronautica. They’ll battle it out with the fliers of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppen.  The tiny 1/144 scale planes are a colorful reminder of just how drab modern air combat has become.  And how impersonal. Perhaps you will have time to learn a few interesting facts about Italy's famous ace Francesco Barraca, or Austria's Godwin Brumowski.    

For further information or to reserve a spot at the table, please call Robert Mulligan at 439-3802.

"Sammy Doughboy Remembers"

A Beer and Pretzels Fundraising Event

Date and Time: Thursday, September 28, 2017  7 PM

Location: Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum,

1003 River Road, Selkirk

Presenter Robert Mulligan explores the life of World War I era soldiers in his illustrated talk “Sammy Doughboy Remembers.” Images are drawn from the New York Times Rotogravure section, taken and published during the war. These pictures, together with the narrated comments, explain what the typical soldier from New York state saw and experienced during his time in the army, and while overseas. Questions are encouraged, and there will be a small display of World War I relics as well.

Tickets are $10 each. This entitles the bearer to one beer, or if preferred, wash your pretzels down with a choice of non-alcoholic beverages.  

NOTE: In the picture above, douoghboys receive donuts from a Salvation Army 

Silver Tea and Christmas Open House

Twas the Night Before Christmas

at the Bethlehem Historical Association’s annual
Silver Tea and Holiday Open House

December 2017

 The Bethlehem Historical Association invites one and all to come to the Cedar Hill Schoolhouse for our annual Silver Tea and Holiday Open Houses. Enter into the holiday spirit and enjoy the schoolhouse decorated in Victorian splendor with the theme Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The Silver Tea is Sunday, December 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors will enjoy tea from our elegant silver service accompanied by treats and delicacies. 

We have two Open Houses this year: Monday evening December 4 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon December 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. Both open houses feature light refreshments and a time to experience our wonderful decorations.

2016 Events

Annual Membership Meeting May 19, 2016

Business includes the election of officers and trustees, presentation of the president's annual report and presentation of the budget for the upcoming year.  Enjoy a special dessert buffet after the meeting!

Summer Exhibit Opening Day and Ice Cream Social – June 12, 2016 1-4 PM

The Bethlehem Historical Association celebrates the opening day of our summer exhibit Parade of Fashion 1860s to 1960s with a free ice cream social.

Over the winter, BHA did a complete inventory of their textile and clothing collection and re-discovered a treasure trove of apparel and accessories for men, women and children. This year’s summer exhibit, Parade of Fashion 1860s to 1960s, highlights these wonderful items.  (NOTE: It was a great summer – with a record breaking attendance!)

Blacksmith Shop Visit with Jim Moran Saturday June 25, 2016 10 AM

Blacksmith Jim Moran will be demonstrating at the forge at Norman's Kill Farm Park.  Last fall he gave an excellent talk at the schoolhouse which left us all anxious to see him in action.

Annual Holiday Silver Tea --  Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sunday, December 4, 2016   1 – 4 PM 

Members and Friends of the Bethlehem Historical Association are invited to our annual Silver Tea which features a full hot tea service as well as coffee, punch, and a wide assortment of holiday goodies. As a special treat, Sinterklaas will join us between 1 and 3. 

Holiday Open House Monday evening, December 5 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Every year for more than 20 years, the creative volunteers at BHA have transformed the The Cedar Hill Schoolhouse for the Christmas season.  This year our theme is Walking in a Winter Wonderland . All are welcome to experience the lavish decorations and enjoy the generous refreshments.

2015 Events

Call for 1960s Era Photographs

What was Bethlehem like 50 years ago?  Certainly a lot has changed since the Bethlehem Historical Association was organized in 1965. 

As part of our golden anniversary celebration, BHA is creating a photo display of 1960s era Bethlehem.  And we need your help. Do you have snapshots taken in Bethlehem from the 1960s?  We?re looking for pictures from all over town including Delmar, Slingerlands, Elsmere, South Bethlehem, Glenmont, and Selkirk.

Digital scans are preferred, but a high quality copy will work as well.  Please do not send us originals as your photo will not be returned to you.  Include your name, address and email and a short description of where and when the photo was taken.  Identify any people and include any other info you would like to share.

Email digital copies to [email protected]  Paper copies can be mailed to the Bethlehem Historical Association, P.O. Box 263, Selkirk, NY  12158. You can also bring them to our regular meeting on Thursday March 19, 2015   7 pm

The display entitled, Bethlehem Circa 1965, will premiere at our regular meeting on April 16, 2015  at the Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum. From then on, it can be viewed by appointment until we open for the summer season on June 14.  The museum is open Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 June 14 through Labor Day September    . 

Antique Appraisal Day - April 18, 2015 10 to 2 Bethlehem Town Hall

This year our professional appraisers are Russell Carlsen, proprietor auctioneer of Carlsen Gallery Inc. Antiques in Greenville. Deirdre O’Callaghan, owner of Partridge Hill Antiques and Lynne Phelps, a specialist in antiques and costume jewelry.

Each item will be appraised for $6 each or three items for $15.  All proceeds will benefit the Bethlehem Historical Association and especially its efforts to preserve artifacts relating to the Town of Bethlehem. In addition, there will be an opportunity to purchase quilt raffle tickets.


Genealogy Workshop 2015 - May 12, 7 PM at the library

Are you researching a Bethlehem family?  Join us at the Bethlehem Public Library, Tuesday May 12 at 7 pm, to learn about local resources. Presenters are town historian Susan Leath and BPL librarian Frank Somers.

Dinner & Annual Meeting at the Mansion at Cedar Hill – May 21, 2015

Our Fiftieth Anniversary Dinner Meeting will be at the Mansion at Cedar Hill on Thursday, May 21.  Doors open at 5:30, dinner is served at 6:30 with the annual meeting to follow. The cost is $20 per person. 

First Day of Museum Opening and Ice Cream Social - Sunday, June 14, 2015 1-4 PM

(museum open Sundays 2-4 throughout Summer)

Summer Exhibit 2015 - Highlights

The Cedar Hill Schoolhouse museum highlights a variety of exhibits this summer.

  • Circa 1965 looks back at the Town of Bethlehem during the era in which the organization was founded.  It features photographs and memorabilia from around town as well as colorful posters from the Slingerlands Players. 
  • One Hundred Years Difference: Clothing from 1865 to 1965 explores 100 years of changing clothing styles.  

The adjacent Toll Gate building features 
  • What’s All the Buzz, a look at bee keeping. The exhibit continues thru August 30, 2015 with the museum open Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 PM. 
  • Mid Century Bethlehem exhibit at the library Celebrate BHA's 50th anniversary and Archives Month by visiting the Bethlehem Public Library and enjoying an exhibit of Bethlehem images from the 1950s and 60s.  The show continues until October 31, 2015. 

Our annual Silver Tea is Sunday Dec 6 and Monday Dec 7

Cozy Plaids and Sparkling Lights is the theme.  Come Sunday for the Silver Tea and tea time treats.  Enjoy the decorations on Monday along with punch and cookies. Both days are 1 to 4 PM and are free and open to the public.

2014 Events

January Field Trip to Schuyler Mansion – January 16, 2014

On site Tour of Schuyler Mansion 32 Catherine Street, Albany

Led by Heidi Hill & Michelle Navigliano 

Instead of a regular meeting at the schoolhouse, we are trying something new in January - a trip to Schuyler Mansion.  The date is January 16, 2014, 2 pm.   About 25 of us visited Schuyler Mansion.  Going on a "field trip" was a nice change of pace.   

Annual Meeting (Preceded by Membership Dinner) Thursday, May 15, 2014 7:00 PM

First Day of Museum Opening and Ice Cream Social Sunday, June 15, 2014 1-4 PM (Museum open Sundays 2-4 throughout Summer.)

“Annual Holiday Silver Tea” A Williamsburg Christmas

Sunday, December 7, 2014 1- 4:00 PM  & Monday, December 8, 2014 1- 4:00 PM Presented by B.H.A. Members for the Town and Friends

Earlier Events

Winter 2013

The Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum will be open Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 PM on February 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2013. Bring the family. Admission is always free. Featuring our winter exhibits: Toys from the Attic and Ice Harvesting on the Hudson plus a "touch table" where you can examine old and new objects.

Ice Cream Social June 23, 2013 1-4 PM

Summer Exhibit Summertime in the Park

Museum will be open Sundays through September 1 2-4 PM

Annual Holiday Silver Tea

Sunday, December 8, 2013 1- 4:00 PM & Monday, December 9, 2013 1- 4:00 PM

Opening Day of the Summer Exhibit and Ice Cream Social

Sunday June 23, 2012   1-4 PM

Annual Holiday Silver Tea Sunday December 2, 2012 1-4 P.M. and Monday December 3 1-4 PM


Annual Holiday Silver Tea - Sunday, December 4, 2011 1-4:00 PM


 Annual Holiday Silver Tea - Sunday, December 5, 2010 1-4 PM 

Annual Holiday Silver Tea -Sunday, December 6, 2009, 1-4:00 PM