October 23 Program Cancelled

It seems to have become a CHS tradition: The pumpkin festival we had hoped to offer this fall didn’t come together in time, and rather than present something we’re not satisfied with we’ve decided to cancel. We’ll do our best to get a special event together for the community sometime soon!

As we go into planning mode for next year, there won’t be much activity here at our blog. If you’d like to be notified when we have news to share, drop us an e-mail or comment to this post and we’ll add you to our e-mail list.

Thanks for your interest and your support.

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August 28: Arts & Crafts, Tag Sale, Bake Sale…and more!

The Canaan Historical Society concludes its summer season on Saturday, August 28 with an open house featuring work by local artists and crafters, a bake sale and a tag sale. The sales will open at 8 am and run until 4 pm; the Meeting House museum will be open while the sales are in progress. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Works on display and offered for sale will include paintings, photographs, jewelry, handmade signs, tie-dyed shirts, and hypertufa planters. Tag sale vendors will feature books, housewares, antiques, old tools, plus-size women’s clothing, Star Trek TNG action figures, rubber-stamp-making supplies, life-size cardboard talking Smeagol and Gollum from Lord of the Rings, handmade antique country benches, a vintage toy farm set, and much more.

At 3 pm the winning ticket will be drawn for the painting of the Meeting House donated by Canaan artist Robert Fair. (See You Can Win the Meeting House.) Tickets are available for purchase until the time of the drawing. Proceeds from the drawing, the bake sale, table fees, and refreshment sales will support the Meeting House maintenance and repair fund and other Society activities.

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August 21 Program: The Hudson & Berkshire Rail Road; Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Canaan Historical Society will be held on Saturday, August 21, beginning at 2 pm. Elections will be held to fill a number of open positions on the board.

Following the business meeting there will be a presentation on the Hudson & Berkshire Rail Road, the first railroad east of the Hudson River in New York State.

Presenters will be Ed Englehardt, Amtrak engineer #3; W. George Cook, retired engineering manager of Conrail; and Dale Flansburg, retired IBM manager and “railroad collector extraordinaire.” The presenters offer the following preview of their program:

“This will be a review of the earliest experiment of rail road track construction with the flat bar rail. We will display several pieces of this lightest rail that carried revenue passenger and freight trains in New York, being only 10 pounds per yard. This rail was later given the slang name of Strap Rail, and we’ll discuss the fable of ‘snake head’ which was likely a newspaper invention. We can also show the second generation rail which replaced the wood rail with the flat bar spiked to it. Discussion will review our on-going research into the nature of this construction of this track and rail and why it failed in 11 years.

“Maps will be shown of the exact location of this line from Hudson to West Stockbridge through Pleasant Valley, half being removed in 1865, only 29 years after beginning service. The other half from Chatham to Hudson existed to the mid 1950s with part of the line still operating to ADM in Upper Hudson, NY. We will touch on its construction dates and nature of operation. A few years after it was completed, a second railroad [was] built directly next to it which took much of its traffic account better rail and end points. The H&B was used to construct this competitor eastward to Pittsfield, and then it used that new line to access Pittsfield with its own trains. The history will continue showing how and why it failed and was taken over by this competitor which became the major national system of the Boston & Albany, and now CSX.”

Light refreshments will be served following the program. Admission is free.

The Canaan Historical Society’s Meeting House museum is open Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm during July and August. It is located at 13 Warner Crossing Road, just east of County Route 5, in Canaan, New York. To request additional information, please leave a message at (518) 781-4605 or e-mail canaannyhs@gmail.com.

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The Society’s summer season concludes on August 28 with an outdoor multi-vendor tag sale and bake sale at the Meeting House. Local artists and artisans will show jewelry, paintings, photographs, and hypertufa planters. Among items offered by our tag sale vendors will be Star Trek TNG figures, rubber-stamp-making supplies, life-size cardboard talking Smeagol and Gollum from Lord of the Rings, women’s plus-size clothing, handmade antique country benches, a vintage toy farm set, and much more.

Mike Slattery will preside at the grill, selling burgers (meat and veggie) and hot dogs. Chilled gazpacho and beverages also will be available.

At 3 pm the drawing will be held for the painting of our Meeting House done for us by Canaan artist Robert Fair. (See June 30 post “You Can Win ‘The Meeting House'” in the links under the News category at right, above.)

As of Monday, August 9 all available artist and vendor spaces have been reserved. To be placed on the waiting list for space, please contact Sue Connolly at (518) 781-3148.

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Membership Form

Please print this page and mail with your contribution to the address below. Thank you for your support!

__ Regular $10.00         __ Family $15.00               __ Junior Member $1.00

__ Business $25.00       __ Benefactor $50.00        __ Life (payable one time) $200.00

__ Memorial Membership $100.00 or more
Name of honoree:_____________________________________

Additional donation:____________

Name______________________________________________ 

Address____________________________________________

__________________________________________________ 

Phone #____________________________________________ 

E-mail_____________________________________________
___ Please send newsletters as PDF e-mail attachments rather than paper copies

The Canaan Historical Society does not share its mailing or e-mailing lists
with other organizations.

Please send checks/money orders payable to:
The Canaan Historical Society
c/o Tammy Flaherty, Treasurer
13 Warner Crossing Road
Canaan, NY 12029

IRS TAX STATUS: Deductions may be taken by donors for bequests, contributions, devices, legacies, transfers or gifts to the Society, to the extent allowable by law.

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Contact Us

Canaan Historical Society
c/o Tammy Flaherty, Treasurer
13 Warner Crossing Road
Canaan, NY 12029

E-Mail:  canaannyhs@gmail.com

If you’re registered with WordPress.com, comment to a post.

Phone:  (518) 781-4605
Normally the only time someone is present to take calls is Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm during July and August; the answering machine is checked, but not always on a daily basis (though we try).

The building is open during the week in summer only for repairs, maintenance, or occasional office work. The phone is disconnected during the off-season. (We’re pinching pennies wherever we can.)

For questions during the summer about upcoming programs, leave a message at (518) 781-4605 and your call will be returned; please specify the best time to reach you. During the off-season, please contact us by e-mail or post.

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Schedule Change: August 14 Program Moved to August 7

The program on Freemasonry, described in another post, has been moved from August 14 to August 7. As of this writing August 14 is an open date.

Although we have no speaker scheduled, the Meeting House will be open from 1 to 4 pm as usual. Please feel free to stop by, chat, and explore the collection of items from Canaan’s past.

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August 7 Program: The Freemasons and Unity Lodge #9 (originally scheduled for August 14)

The public is invited to hear Michael Slattery, newly-installed historian of Unity Lodge #9 (and CHS board member), speak on the Freemasons, the oldest fraternal organization in the world.

Mr. Slattery will briefly explore the European origins of Freemasonry and its growth in America, and will describe the structure of the organization and the levels or degrees of Masonry. The main focus of his address will be Unity Lodge #9 of New Lebanon, which has been meeting in this area for more than 220 years.

The free program begins at 2 pm, and light refreshments will be served following the address. The Canaan Historical Society’s Meeting House and museum, located at 13 Warner Crossing Road in Canaan, NY, is open from 1 to 4 pm Saturdays during July and August.

For information on future programs, please click the “Programs” link under the Categories heading in the right-hand column, above. The full schedule for the season in listed in the bottom post. (Please note that since the program on Freemasonry, described above, has been moved from August 14 to August 7, August 14 is an open date as of this writing. There will be no speaker; however, the Meeting House will be open from 1 to 4 pm as usual.)

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July 31 Program: Geocaching – A Historical Treasure Hunt

A sample small geocache, containing a pencil, a logbook for finders to sign, batteries and toys, and a "travel bug"

The Canaan Historical Society will present an introduction to the family-friendly sport of geocaching, with a local-history focus, on Saturday, July 31 at 2 pm. The event is free and open to all.

Geocachers hide waterproof containers of various sizes in places accessible to the public, note the latitude and longitude with a GPS (global positioning system) unit, and post the locations online. Using the posted coordinates, other players attempt to track down the hidden caches. The containers may be smaller than a fingertip or larger than a five-gallon bucket, easy to locate or challenging enough to stump all but the most determined hunters. They may contain an assortment of trinkets for swapping; “travel bugs” that may be tracked online as they move to caches across the country or around the world; or, in the case of “micro-caches,” nothing more than a log for finders to sign. As of the date this was written, there were 303 caches hidden within a ten-mile radius of zip code 12029 (Canaan, NY), and 538 within a ten-mile radius of zip code 01201 (Pittsfield, MA).

Christopher D. Parker will be the afternoon’s geocaching guide. Mr. Parker has been ‘caching since 2006, and for the past five years has organized an annual Easter egg hunt held at different locations in or near Columbia County. He has participated in ‘caching events with the New York Capital Region Geocachers, Western Massachusetts Geocachers, and CapNY Geocachers.

Those planning to attend Saturday’s program may wish to visit www.geocaching.com and explore the site beforehand. Bring your GPS receiver, if you have one, and be familiar with its basic functions. Mr. Parker will provide handouts, but to conserve paper he would appreciate having a rough idea of how many people plan to attend; please let us know using contact information for the Society, listed below. Experienced ‘cachers as well as those new to the sport are invited to attend.

Mr. Parker’s presentation begins at 2 pm. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served following the program. The Canaan Historical Society Meeting House museum, located at 13 Warner Crossing Road in Canaan, NY, is open from 1 to 4 pm Saturdays during July and August. Call 518-781-4605 (answering machine, checked early every morning), e-mail CanaanNYHS@gmail.com or visit canaannyhs.wordpress.com for additional information.

For information on upcoming programs, click the “Programs” link, under “Categories” at right above.

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July 24 Program: Mennonite History and the Mennonite Community in Columbia County

The Canaan Historical Society welcomes Crist Byler, owner of the Canaan General Store, to its speakers series on Saturday, July 24 at 2 pm. He will speak on the history of the Mennonite Church and the Mennonite community in Columbia County.  The public is invited to attend.

The Mennonite Church was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1525. It broke not only with the Catholic Church but with other churches involved in the the Protestant Reformation over its practice of favoring adult or “believers” baptism rather than infant baptism, and because of its rejection of state control over the church. The first Mennonites in the New World arrived in America in 1683, having been offered refuge from persecution by William Penn, a firm believer in religious freedom.

The Hudson Valley Mennonite Church was founded in June 2006, when, in response to local interest, seven families from the congregation in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania traveled here to form a new congregation.

Mr. Byler’s presentation begins at 2 pm. Light refreshments will be served following his address. The Meeting House and museum, located at 13 Warner Crossing Road in Canaan, NY, is open from 1 to 4 pm Saturdays during July and August. Programs begin at 2 pm; there is no admission charge.

For information on upcoming programs, click the “Programs” link under “Categories” at right, above.

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July 17 Program: Share the Spirits!

Gold Medal: 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Gold Medals, 2009 and 2010 Chicago International Review of Spirits. Best in Class: Vodka, 2009 New York State Spirits Awards. Gold Medal: 2009 Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Competition. Harvest Spirits in Valatie, NY has received an impressive array of awards.

On Saturday, July 17, the Canaan Historical Society welcomes Harvest Spirits co-owner Derek Grout, who will speak about the creation and growth of the first farm-class distillery in New York State. The company is an offshoot of Golden Harvest Farms, a third-generation apple grower whose year-round farm stand is a familiar sight to those who travel Route 9 in northern Columbia County.

In addition to using their own apples, the distillers have developed relationships with and employed the products of other area farmers. One such collaboration earned them another award this year: when the pear crop of Fix Brother Farm in Hudson was damaged by hail, the pears were pressed by Eger Brothers in Hudson and the cider delivered to Harvest Spirits for finishing in their 100-gallon German copper still. The end result, a pear brandy, received a bronze medal in April from the American Distilling Institute at their sixth annual brandy conference and competition.

Harvest Spirits’s current offerings include Core Vodka, Cornelius Applejack, Apple brandy, and the above-mentioned Pear brandy. Other products made from local fresh fruits are being readied for sale.

Mr. Grout’s presentation begins at 2 pm. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served following his address. The Canaan Historical Society Meeting House and museum is open from 1 to 4 pm Saturdays during July and August.

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