Bethlehem Historical Association

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History Hikes and Paddles

Our town historian, Susan Leath, has been leading cemetery walking tours and history paddles 

for several years.

Check back to see the 2020 schedule.  
Descriptions of past outings are below.   

The Bethlehem Historical Association partners with the Town of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation Department to sponsor these events.  To register please go to  http://www.townofbethlehem.org/ and look for the Recreation Registration button on the left.   You can also call the Parks and Recreation Department at 439-4955 if you have registration questions.  You can also email Town Historian Susan Leath with questions, [email protected]

 

Hike with the Town Historian: Saturday January 11, 2020

Winter History Hike at Henry Hudson Park 

Saturday January 11, 2020 


Join Town Historian Susan Leath and bundle up for a brisk winter walk around Henry Hudson Park. See what the leaves on the trees have been hiding all summer long like the Nicoll Sill House and Follywyck. After the walk, we will adjourn to the nearby Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum (our home!) for warming drinks and an informal slide show of Cedar Hill and Hudson River history. 


Meet near the large picnic pavilion at 10 AM. Please pre-register for this one through the Bethlehem Parks Department. 
https://register1.vermontsystems.com/wbwsc/nybethlehem.wsc/splash.html 

2019 Cemetery Tours 

Historic Cemetery Walking Tours

Presented by Town Historian Susan Leath


Come explore two of Bethlehem’s historic cemeteries with town historian Susan Leath. Learn fascinating family stories and their connection to Bethlehem history while walking in these quiet, green spaces.


Bethlehem Cemetery was established in 1865, yet the folks buried here, like Revolutionary War veteran Christian Bender and his wife Elizabeth Cramer, touch history back to the 1700s. Nathaniel and Rhogenia Adams, early residents of the Delaware Turnpike, are also here. Many other family stories will be explored including Blanchard, Haswell, Slingerland and Van Allen.


Elmwood Cemetery, also known as Bethlehem Rural Cemetery, was established in 1860 on land transferred from the First Reformed Church. Noted families include Becker, Lasher, Myers, Selkirk, and Schoonmaker. One family story sure to be highlighted is that of Garrett Niver who lost his life at the Battle of Little Big Horn.


Bethlehem Cemetery

286 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar.
(Use Kenwood Avenue entrance and gather near the garage.)

Saturday, May 4, 10 AM

And

Saturday, September 21, 10 AM

10 AM


Elmwood Cemetery

922 US Route 9W, Selkirk.
(Gather neat the fountain on main driveway.)

Saturday. July 13, 10 AM - Rescheduled for August 10 10 a.m.

And

Saturday, October 5, 10 AM


2019 History Paddles 

2019 History Paddles were held on numerous dates.  Times vary due to when high tide is.  

Paddles start at Henry Hudson Park Kayak Launch

DATE: Sunday afternoon, June 2

DATE: Monday morning July 8

DATE: Friday evening August 2

DATE: Saturday afternoon September 14


General Information

Join Town Historian Susan Leath for a guided kayak paddle along the Hudson River and Vlomankill. Learn about Bethlehem’s historic river connections from the unique perspective of actually being on the water. Experience the historic Nicoll-Sill House, Winne’s dock, Parda Hook and, if the creek is passable, the waterfall on the Vlomankill.


Participants must bring all of their own gear, including personal floatation device, and be proficient paddlers. Ms. Leath will provide the history info, but is not a boating instructor.

 

2019 Winter History Hike

We had a great time on a very cold morning - about 30 people showed up! Thank you to all who helped put this together, especially Dawn and Kathy for having hot chocolate and hot coffee ready when we got back to the schoolhouse!


A Winter History Hike at Henry Hudson Park

Saturday, January 12

10 AM

Join Town Historian Susan Leath and bundle up for a brisk winter history hike around Henry Hudson Park. See what the leaves on the trees have been hiding all summer long like the Nicoll Sill House and Follywyck. After the walk we will adjourn to the nearby Cedar Hill Schoolhouse Museum (home of the Bethlehem Historical Association) for warming drinks and an informal slide show of Cedar Hill and Hudson River history.

Meet near the large picnic pavilion at 10 AM. Check back here for weather related cancellations, BethlehemHistorical.org. 

Please pre-register with the Bethlehem Parks Department.  townofbethlehem.org  518-439-4955

Questions: email Susan at [email protected]


Cemetery Tours for 2018 

Historic Cemetery Walking Tours

Presented by Town Historian Susan Leath


Come explore two of Bethlehem’s historic cemeteries with town historian Susan Leath. Learn fascinating family stories and their connection to Bethlehem history while walking in these quiet, green spaces.


Bethlehem Cemetery was established in 1865, yet the folks buried here, like Revolutionary War veteran Christian Bender and his wife Elizabeth Cramer, touch history back to the 1700s. Nathaniel and Rhogenia Adams, early residents of the Delaware Turnpike, are also here. Many other family stories will be explored including Blanchard, Haswell, Slingerland and Van Allen.


Elmwood Cemetery, also known as Bethlehem Rural Cemetery, was established in 1860 on land transferred from the First Reformed Church. Noted families include Becker, Lasher, Myers, Selkirk, and Schoonmaker. One family story sure to be highlighted is that of Garrett Niver who lost his life at the Battle of Little Big Horn in South Dakota.


Bethlehem Cemetery

286 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar.
(Use Kenwood Avenue entrance and gather near the garage.)

Saturday, June 9, 10 AM

And

Saturday, October 6, 10 AM

10 AM


Elmwood Cemetery

922 US Route 9W, Selkirk.
(Gather in the main driveway.)

Saturday. June 30, 10 AM

And

Saturday, September 22, 10 AM


Tours are free, but please pre-register with the Bethlehem Parks Department.  Wear your walking shoes. Walks are usually rain or shine. If there is unusual weather and a cancellation is necessary, visit BethlehemHistorical.org the morning of the walk for information. For more information, please contact Susan Leath, Town Historian, [email protected]


History Paddles 2018

2018 History Paddles 


DATE: Thursday evening June 28

TIME: Arrive in time to unload and be on the water by 6:00 PM
(High tide is predicted for 5:43 PM AM)

PLACE: Henry Hudson Park kayak launch, Free

AND

DATE: Sunday evening, July 15

TIME: Arrive in time to unload and be on the water by 6:00 PM
(High tide is predicted for 7:20 PM)

PLACE: Henry Hudson Park kayak launch, Free

AND

DATE: Saturday morning, August 4

TIME: Arrive in time to unload and be on the water by 9:30 AM
(High tide is predicted for 9:41 AM)

PLACE: Henry Hudson Park kayak launch, Free


General Information

Join Town Historian Susan Leath for a guided kayak paddle along the Hudson River and Vlomankill. Learn about Bethlehem’s historic river connections from the unique perspective of actually being on the water. Experience the historic Nicoll-Sill House, Winne’s dock, Parda Hook and, if the creek is passable, the waterfall on the Vlomankill.


Participants must bring all of their own gear, including personal floatation device, and be proficient paddlers. Ms. Leath will provide the history info, but is not a boating instructor.

In case of inclement weather, check the Bethlehem Historical Association’s website at BethlehemHistorical.org for cancellations. Info will be posted the day of the paddle by 1 hour before launch time.


History Hikes 2017

Centered on local parks, History Hikes explore Bethlehem’s hamlets. Town historian Susan Leath will provide a wealth of historic information as we walk about these historic areas, each with its own unique character. All take place on a Saturday morning beginning at 9:30 am. Please pre-registration so we know how many to expect.


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: April 8,

Meet at the memorial to start a walk in the Slingerlands Historic District. The history of the hamlet and its lovely Victorian homes will be discussed as we walk along New Scotland Road and Bridge Street. Learn about the old Home Lawn Hotel, Slingerland Printing Company and the Ironweed House.


Henry Hudson Park: May 13 - RESCHEDULED for June 24

Meet at the gazebo for a loop through the park on the shores of the Hudson River and along Lyons and Barrent Winne Roads. Catch a glimpse of the historic Nicoll Sill House, the water fall on the Vloman Kill and the Gov. Glynn Mansion. Learn about the days of ice harvesting, steam boats and summer homes.


Selkirk Park: June 10

Beginning at the Selkirk Park, hikers will walk along Thatcher Street and Maple Avenue and learn about American Revolution veteran James Selkirk, one of Bethlehem’s oldest family run business Lehmann’s Garage, and the West Shore Railroad. Enjoy a mix of old and new architecture with Victorian era homes amid the ranch styles of the 1950s.


Delmar Four Corners: July 8

Beginning at Bethlehem’s Town Hall, the walk highlights historic Adamsville and the Four Corners. Find out about the Adams Hotel, Paddock Place and the passenger station on the old D&H Railway. The route is level on the sidewalks of Delaware, Kenwood and Borthwick Avenues.


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: August 5
(see above)


South Bethlehem Park: September 9

Meet in the parking lot for an exploration of South Bethlehem, now a quiet hamlet, once a bustling community with a hotel, stores and station on the West Shore Railroad. Take in the Onesquethaw Creek, Baumes-Snyder House and the Methodist church. The route is on sidewalks with one steep hill up from Willowbrook Avenue to Bridge Street.


Normanskill Farm Park: October 14

Meet at Albany’s Normanskill Farm Park parking lot, for a walk along the yellow brick road and over the Normans Kill to the hamlet of Normansville. Look at the historic Whipple bridge, the remains of Pappalau’s ice house and wonder about the days when visitors to Hinkel’s Hotel enjoyed a sandy beach and boat rides. The route includes unpaved trails as well as Rockefeller Road. Finish with a stop at the Education Center.


Delmar Four Corners: November 4

(see above)


DETAILS: All begin at 9:30 A.M. and will last about an hour to an hour and a half. The hikes are free; however please pre-register through the Bethlehem Parks and Recreation Department using their mail-in registration form or through their online system found at townofbethlehem.org.

In case of inclement weather, check the Bethlehem Historical Association’s website at BethlehemHistorical.org for cancellations. Info will be posted by 8 AM the day of the hike. Questions about the tour can be directed to Susan Leath, [email protected]

History Paddles 2017

2017 History Paddles

DATE: Saturday morning, July 29

DATE: Thursday evening, August 24

PLACE: Henry Hudson Park kayak launch, Free

General Information

Join Town Historian Susan Leath for a guided kayak paddle along the Hudson River and Vlomankill. Learn about Bethlehem’s historic river connections from the unique perspective of actually being on the water. Experience the historic Nicoll-Sill House, Winne’s dock, Parda Hook and, if the creek is passable, the waterfall on the Vlomankill.


Participants must bring all of their own gear, including personal floatation device, and be proficient paddlers. Ms. Leath will provide the history info, but is not a boating instructor.


In case of inclement weather, check the Bethlehem Historical Association’s website at BethlehemHistorical.org for cancellations. Info will be posted the day of the paddle by 1 hour before launch time.

History Hikes 2016

Centered on local parks, History Hikes explore Bethlehem’s hamlets. Town historian Susan Leath will provide a wealth of historic information as we walk about these historic areas, each with its own unique character.   All take place on a Saturday morning beginning at 9:30 am. Please pre-registration so we know how many to expect.


 Henry Hudson Park: April 9

Meet at the gazebo for a loop through the park on the shores of the Hudson River and along Lyons and Barrent Winne Roads.  Catch a glimpse of the historic Nicoll Sill House, the water fall on the Vloman Kill and the Gov. Glynn Mansion. Learn about the days of ice harvesting, steam boats and summer homes.


Delmar Four Corners: May 14

Beginning at Bethlehem’s Town Hall, the walk highlights historic Adamsville and the Four Corners.  Find out about the Adams Hotel, Paddock Place and the passenger station on the old D&H Railway. The route is level on the sidewalks of Delaware, Kenwood and Borthwick Avenues.


Normanskill Farm Park: June 18

Meet at Albany’s Normanskill Farm Park parking lot, for a walk along the yellow brick road and over the Normans Kill to the hamlet of Normansville.  Look at the historic Whipple bridge, the remains of Pappalau’s ice house and wonder about the days when visitors to Hinkel’s Hotel enjoyed a sandy beach and boat rides. The route includes unpaved trails as well as Rockefeller Road.  Finish with a stop at the Education Center.


South Bethlehem Park: July 16

Meet in the parking lot for an exploration of South Bethlehem, now a quiet hamlet, once a bustling community with a hotel, stores and station on the West Shore Railroad.  Take in the Onesquethaw Creek, Baumes-Snyder House and the Methodist church.  The route is on sidewalks with one steep hill up from Willowbrook Avenue to Bridge Street.


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: August 6

Meet at the memorial to start a walk in the Slingerlands Historic District.  The history of the hamlet and its lovely Victorian homes will be discussed as we walk along New Scotland Road and Bridge Street.  Learn about the old Home Lawn Hotel, Slingerland Printing Company and the Ironweed House. 


Selkirk Park: September 10

Beginning at the Selkirk Park, hikers will walk along Thatcher Street and Maple Avenue and learn about American Revolution veteran James Selkirk, one of Bethlehem’s oldest family run business Lehmann’s Garage, and the West Shore Railroad.  Enjoy a mix of old and new architecture with Victorian era homes amid the ranch styles of the 1950s.


Delmar Four Corners: October 1
(see above)


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: November 5
(see above)

History Paddle 2016

DATE: Thursday July 7, 6:30 PM

TIME: Arrive in time to unload and be on the water by 6:30 PM

Henry Hudson Park boat launch

Free

Join Town Historian Susan Leath for a guided kayak paddle along the Hudson River and Vlomankill.  Learn about Bethlehem’s historic river connections from the unique perspective of actually being on the water.  Experience the historic Nicoll-Sill House, Winne’s dock, Parda Hook and, if the creek is passable, the waterfall on the Vlomankill.


Participants must bring all of their own gear, including personal floatation device,  and be proficient paddlers.  Ms. Leath will provide the history info, but is not a boating instructor.    High tide is predicted for 7:46 PM.


In case of inclement weather, check the Bethlehem Historical Association’s website at BethlehemHistorical.org for cancellations.  Info will be posted by 5 PM the day of the paddle.


Questions about the tour can be directed to Susan Leath, [email protected]


History Hikes 2015

Centered on local parks, History Hikes explore Bethlehem’s hamlets. Town historian Susan Leath will provide a wealth of historic information as we walk about these historic areas, each with its own unique character.   All take place on the second Saturday of the month beginning at 9:30 am. Pre-registration required.


Normanskill Farm Park: April 11

Meet at Albany’s Normanskill Farm Park parking lot, for a walk along the yellow brick road and over the Normans Kill to the hamlet of Normansville.  Look at the historic Whipple bridge, the remains of Pappalau’s ice house and wonder about the days when visitors to Hinkel’s Hotel enjoyed a sandy beach and boat rides. The route includes unpaved trails as well as Rockefeller Road.  Finish with a stop at the Education Center.


South Bethlehem Park: May 9

Meet in the parking lot for an exploration of South Bethlehem, now a quiet hamlet, once a bustling community with a hotel, stores and station on the West Shore Railroad.  Take in the Onesquethaw Creek, Baumes-Snyder House and the Methodist church.  The route is on sidewalks with one steep hill up from Willowbrook Avenue to Bridge Street.


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: June 13

Meet at the memorial to start a walk in the Slingerlands Historic District.  The history of the hamlet and its lovely Victorian homes will be discussed as we walk along New Scotland Road and Bridge Street.  Learn about the old Home Lawn Hotel, Slingerland Printing Company and the Ironweed House. 


Delmar Four Corners: July 11

Beginning at Bethlehem’s Town Hall, the walk highlights historic Adamsville and the Four Corners.  Find out about the Adams Hotel, Paddock Place and the passenger station on the old D&H Railway. The route is level on the sidewalks of Delaware, Kenwood and Borthwick Avenues.


Henry Hudson Park: August 8

Meet at the gazebo for a loop through the park on the shores of the Hudson River and along Lyons and Barrent Winne Roads.  Catch a glimpse of the historic Nicoll Sill House, the water fall on the Vloman Kill and the Gov. Glynn Mansion. Learn about the days of ice harvesting, steam boats and summer homes. 


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: September 12
(see above)


Selkirk Park: October 10

Beginning at the Selkirk Park, hikers will walk along Thatcher Street and Maple Avenue and learn about American Revolution veteran James Selkirk, Bethlehem’s oldest family run business Lehmann’s Garage, and the West Shore Railroad.  Enjoy a mix of old and new architecture with Victorian era homes amid the ranch styles of the 1950s.


Delmar Four Corners: November 14
(see above)


DETAILS:   All begin at 9:30 A.M. and will last about an hour.  The hikes are free; however you must pre-register through the Bethlehem Parks and Recreation Department using their mail-in registration form or through their online system found at townofbethlehem.org.

In case of inclement weather, check the Bethlehem Historical Association’s website at BethlehemHistorical.org for cancellations.  Info will be posted by 8 AM the day of the hike.

 Questions about the tour can be directed to Susan Leath, [email protected]


The History Paddle Returns for 2015

DATE: Saturday, August 22

TIME: Arrive in time to unload and be on the water by 9 AM

Henry Hudson Park boat launch

Free

 Join Town Historian Susan Leath for a guided kayak paddle along the Hudson River and Vlomankill.  Learn about Bethlehem’s historic river connections from the unique perspective of actually being on the water.  Experience the historic Nicoll-Sill House, Winne’s dock, Parda Hook and, if the creek is passable, the waterfall on the Vlomankill.


Participants must bring all of their own gear and be proficient paddlers.  Ms. Leath will provide the history info, but is not a boating instructor.    High tide is predicted for 9:43 AM.


In case of inclement weather, check the Bethlehem Historical Association’s website at BethlehemHistorical.org for cancellations.  Info will be posted by 7:30 AM the day of the paddle. Questions about the tour can be directed to Susan Leath, [email protected].


A History Paddle for July 2014

NEW! 

History Paddle

Thank you - we had a great time.  We'll do it again next year! 

Below is a view of the falls on the Vlomankill. 

History Hikes 2014

Centered on local parks, History Hikes explore Bethlehem’s hamlets. Town historian Susan Leath will provide a wealth of historic information as we walk about these historic areas, each with its own unique character.   All take place on the second Saturday of the month beginning at 9:30 am.


Delmar Four Corners: April 12

Beginning at Bethlehem’s Town Hall, the walk highlights historic Adamsville and the Four Corners.  Find out about the Adams Hotel, Paddock Place and the passenger station on the old D&H Railway. The route is level on the sidewalks of Delaware, Kenwood and Borthwick Avenues.


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: May 10

Meet at the memorial to start a walk in the Slingerlands Historic District.  The history of the hamlet and its lovely Victorian homes will be discussed as we walk along New Scotland Road and Bridge Street.  Learn about the old Home Lawn Hotel, Slingerland Printing Company and the Ironweed House.  


South Bethlehem Park: June 14

Meet in the parking lot for an exploration of South Bethlehem, now a quiet hamlet, once a bustling community with a hotel, stores and station on the West Shore Railroad.  Take in the Onesquethaw Creek, Baumes-Snyder House and the Methodist church.  The route is on sidewalks with one steep hill up from Willowbrook Avenue to Bridge Street.


Normanskill Farm Park: July 12

Meet at Albany’s Normanskill Farm Park parking lot, for a walk along the yellow brick road and over the Normans Kill to the hamlet of Normansville.  Look at the historic Whipple bridge, the remains of Pappalau’s ice house and wonder about the days when visitors to Hinkel’s Hotel enjoyed a sandy beach and boat rides. The route includes unpaved trails as well as Rockefeller Road.  Finish with a stop at the Education Center.


Selkirk Park: August 9

Beginning at the Selkirk Park, hikers will walk along Thatcher Street and Maple Avenue and learn about American Revolution veteran James Selkirk, Bethlehem’s oldest family run business Lehmann’s Garage, and the West Shore Railroad.  Enjoy a mix of old and new architecture with Victorian era homes amid the ranch styles of the 1950s.


Delmar Four Corners: September 13
(see above)


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: October 11
(see above)


Henry Hudson Park: November 8

Meet at the gazebo for a loop through the park on the shores of the Hudson River and along Lyons and Barrent Winne Roads.  Catch a glimpse of the historic Nicoll Sill House, the water fall on the Vloman Kill and the Gov. Glynn Mansion. Learn about the days of ice harvesting, steam boats and summer homes.

History Hikes -2013 - New Locations Added

Centered on local parks, History Hikes explore Bethlehem’s hamlets. Town historian Susan Leath will provide a wealth of historic information as we walk about these historic areas, each with its own unique character. All take place on the second Saturday of the month beginning at 9:30 am.  See below for how to register.


Delmar Four Corners: May 11 and November 9 NEW!

Beginning at Bethlehem’s Town Hall, the walk highlights historic Adamsville and the Four Corners. Find out about the Adams Hotel, Paddock Place and the passenger station on the old D&H Railway. The route is level on the sidewalks of Delaware, Kenwood and Borthwick Avenues.


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: June 8

Meet at the memorial to start a walk in the newly recognized Slingerlands Historic District. The history of the hamlet and its lovely Victorian homes will be discussed as we walk along New Scotland Road and Bridge Street. Learn about the old Home Lawn Hotel, Slingerland Printing Company and the Ironweed House.


South Bethlehem Park: July 13

Meet in the parking lot for an exploration of South Bethlehem, now a quiet hamlet, once a bustling community with a hotel, stores and station on the West Shore Railroad. Take in the Onesquethaw Creek, Baumes-Snyder House and the Methodist church. The route is on sidewalks with one steep hill up from Willowbrook Avenue to Bridge Street.


Normanskill Farm Park: August 10

Meet at Albany’s Normanskill Farm Park parking lot, for a walk along the yellow brick road and over the Normans Kill to the hamlet of Normansville. Look at the historic Whipple bridge, the remains of Pappalau’s ice house and wonder about the days when visitors to Hinkel’s Hotel enjoyed a sandy beach and boat rides. The route includes unpaved trails as well as Rockefeller Road. Finish with a stop at the Education Center.


Henry Hudson Park: September 14

Meet at the gazebo for a loop through the park on the shores of the Hudson River and along Lyons and Barrent Winne Roads. Catch a glimpse of the historic Nicoll Sill House, the water fall on the Vloman Kill and the Gov. Glynn Mansion. Learn about the days of ice harvesting, steam boats and summer homes.


Selkirk Park: October 12 NEW!

Beginning at the Selkirk Park, hikers will walk along Thatcher Street and Maple Avenue and learn about American Revolution veteran James Selkirk, Bethlehem’s oldest family run business Lehmann’s Garage, and the West Shore Railroad. Enjoy a mix of old and new architecture with Victorian era homes amid the ranch styles of the 1950s.

History Hikes 2012

Centered on local parks, History Hikes explore four of Bethlehem’s hamlets. Town historian Susan Leath will provide a wealth of historic information as we walk about these historic areas, each with its own unique character.


Henry Hudson Park: May 12 and Sept 8

Meet at the gazebo for a vigorous and hilly loop through the park on the shores of the Hudson River and along Lyons and Barrent Winne Roads. Catch a glimpse of the historic Nicoll Sill House, the water fall on the Vloman Kill and the Gov. Glynn Mansion. Learn about the days of ice harvesting, steam boats and summer homes.


Slingerlands Fire Fighters Memorial Park: June 9 and Oct. 13

Meet at the memorial to start a walk in the newly recognized Slingerlands Historic District. The history of the hamlet and its lovely Victorian homes will be discussed as we walk along New Scotland Road and Bridge Street.


South Bethlehem Park: July 14 and November 10

Meet in the parking lot for an exploration of South Bethlehem, now a quiet hamlet, once a bustling community with a hotel, stores and station on the West Shore Railroad. Take in the Onesquethaw Creek, Baumes-Snyder House and the Methodist church. The route is on sidewalks with one steep hill up from Willowbrook Avenue to Bridge Street.


Normanskill Farm Park: August 11 and December 8

Meet at Albany’s Normanskill Farm Park parking lot, for a walk along the yellow brick road and over the Normans Kill to the hamlet of Normansville. Look at the historic Whipple bridge, the remains of Pappalau’s ice house and wonder about the days when visitors to Hinkel’s Hotel enjoyed a sandy beach and boat rides. The route includes unpaved trails and a long, uphill walk on Rockefeller Road. Finish with a stop at the Education Center.