Past Quarterly Programs Special Events

May 19th 2012 Bob Herron’s 85th Birthday

View the flyer by clicking HERE

What: DVD Premiere and Bob’s 85th Birthday Party
When: Saturday, May 19th 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Where: Morey-Devereaux House @ Old Austerlitz Village
Attire: Don your fanciest outfit as the media will surely be out in full force!
Donation: $20 per person

Your $20 contribution includes delicious treats, fine beverages, and a DVD to take home. This is a great opportunity to visit with friends and neighbors and celebrate Bob in “his house.”

Please call (518) 392-0062 or click {encode=”[email protected]” title=”Party Reservation”} to reserve your place. Bring your friends too!

Past Quarterly Programs

Feb 19th 2012 Quarterly Program

Sunday February 19th at 2PM – Harvey House on the grounds of Old Austerlitz.

“An Architectural History of Columbia County, from the 17th Century to the Present” is the topic of a program sponsored by The Austerlitz Historical Society on Sunday, February 19 at 2 pm. The speaker is Roderic Blackburn, who has been involved with historic architecture in this area for 25 years. His talk will be illustrated with a slide show of images of all the period styles, their features and functions.

A regular contributor of articles on historic houses to The Magazine Antiques and Berkshire HomeStyle Magazine, Dr. Blackburn has also written a number of books in this field, including Dutch Colonial Homes in America, Great Houses of New England and Old Homes of New England, all published by Rizzoli International. He is co-author (with Ruth Piwonka) of A Visible Heritage, the history of Columbia County as experienced through its art and architecture.

Dr. Blackburn has served on the board of trustees or staff of a variety of historical museums and societies, including the Albany Institute of History and Art, the New York State Museum, the Shaker Museum, and the Columbia County Historical Society, among others.

His talk will include comments on renovation and restoration of historic buildings followed by a question and answer period. Guests are invited to bring pictures of houses or features they’d like to know more about.

The location for this special event is Harvey House, one of eight buildings that comprise Old Austerlitz Village, a living history museum on Route 22, one mile south of the intersection with Route 203. This program will also serve as the quarterly membership meeting of the Society. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

The Austerlitz Historical Society is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization. For more information, check the website at, call 392-0062 or send an email to [email protected]

Past Quarterly Programs

Nov. 20th 2011 Quarterly Program

Sunday November 20th @2pm: Genealogy Lecture with Gail Cashen
Genealogy is more than just identifying one’s grandmothers and grandfathers and where they came from. What really matters is the stories. Sometimes there is no one in the family living to tell the stories, but some of that history can be learned from the cemeteries and the historical records. Gail Cashen is an absolutely amateur genealogist who started with some photos of her mother’s family to identify and now spends rainy days and evenings looking into the genealogy of families of folks who live in the Town of Austerlitz. On November 20 she will share a few of the stories she has discovered and show you a bit about how she has learned them. Do you know a Rundell or a Mesick or a Varney? Have you ever heard of Timothy Woodbridge? Come to hear the stories.

Following the talk and demonstration, there will be a brief membership meeting to which all are invited and then we will enjoy some refreshments. We’ll meet at 2:00 p.m. at the Harvey House on the grounds of Old Austerlitz.

Past Quarterly Programs

Aug. 21st 2011 Quarterly Program

Native Landscape:

Introduction to the Rare and Endangered Plants of the Berkshire Taconic Region

Our speaker, Wanda Halten, is Owner and Educator of WANDAK FARM SERVICES. Following Wanda’s presentation we will have a brief business meeting and election of Trustees followed by light refreshments. All are welcome. August 21st, 2PM at the Old Austerlitz Church on Rt. 22 Austerlitz.

Past Quarterly Programs

May 15th 2011 Quarterly Program

FREE and open to the public

Church and Schoolhouse Transferred to Austerlitz Historical Society

The Quarterly Meeting will be held at the Austerlitz Church on State Route 22 at 2pm on Sunday May 15th.

On December 31st, 2010, the legal documents were signed to transfer the deed of the Church and Schoolhouse officially into the possession of the Austerlitz Historical Society!

This is a momentous and joyous occasion for the Society and its members!

Join us as we celebrate the acquisition of the deed to the church and schoolhouse with a historical review of the buildings complete with guest speakers and a reception.

Past Quarterly Programs

Aug 15th 2010 Quarterly Program

Sunday August 15th – 2pm at St. Peters Church Spencertown
Free and open to the public

Have you ever wondered about how to find information about your ancestors? Does the story of Uncle Jim’s life have a missing link in your family? We have a lecture just for you! The Austerlitz Historical Society will hold its’ annual meeting this Sunday August 15th at 2pm at St. Peters Church in Spencertown. The meeting is free and open to the public. Our guest speaker will be Michelle LeClair. Michelle’s talk will focus on tips and tricks on how to use the latest genealogy research tools to help find out about your ancestors and family history. She will lead a very informative and educational discussion about the world of genealogy.

Michelle is a local resident who graduated from Chatham High School and the College of Saint Rose. Her passion for genealogy began in 8th grade when she was doing a school project researching family information. She interviewed many family members and learned a lot of information for her project. At the age of 12, she was hooked and has been doing research ever since. For the last 2 years, Michelle has volunteered at the Silvio O. Conte National Archives in Pittsfield, Mass. She leads a class there that focuses on French and Canadian history. She was named Volunteer of the Year after having volunteered 320 hours of service to the National Archives.

After the lecture by Michelle, the Society will conduct a brief business meeting and the election of Board of Trustees members for a 3 year term will occur. The New Prospective Board members include: Dorothy Bakker, Roy Carney, Donna Peterson, and Michael Rebic. Members who are returning to the Board include Wendy Diskin, Rebecca Greer, Richard Light, Sue Mugler, Howard Reznikoff, Marlene Murdock, Robert Herron, Norma Edsall, Robert Kleinberg and Lynn O’Connell.

Past Quarterly Programs

Apr 17th 2010 Quarterly Program


Matthew McKeeby, The Berlin Limner, will give a presentation titled, “The Life of Limner: Folk Art Painting, Portraits, and Decoration in the Northeast” on Saturday April 17, 2010 at 4pm. The presentation will be held in the Harvey House on the grounds of Old Austerlitz Village, the home of the Austerlitz Historical Society on Route 22 in Austerlitz. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the presentation. This event is part of the Society’s “Odd Saturdays” program and is free and open to the public.

What is a limner you ask? A limner is simply an artist or painter, although the term has come to be used specifically in reference to painters in the North American Colonies who worked during the 18th and 19th centuries. Limners once travelled the countryside providing any and all painting services. The Berlin Limner has revived that tradition, offering a range of classic American folk art reproductions, originals, and decorative services.

Since the late 1980’s Matthew McKeeby has been crafting the very best quality oil-on-canvas reproductions of the works of great American folk artists, specializing in the world of Edward Hicks and the decorative painting style of Rufus Porter. About his work, Matthew says, “I really enjoy connecting with folks who enjoy the American folk art aesthetic and recreating the feeling of life in that earlier period. There was a real sense of limitless possibilities then, so much to be learned. Of course, just making art is a joy too.”

Matthew is a current resident of rural Berlin, NY. He grew up near Binghamton, NY and also lived in southeastern Pennsylvania. He has a BA in English from the University Of Pennsylvania, an MAT English from Union College and is a Teacher of English and Theatre at Averill Park High School. He is an Advisor to APHS Off-Broadway Players and Director of over thirty productions. He is self-taught as a painter in the limner tradition; all types of utilitarian and decorative painting in the manner of mid-19th century artists. You can find out more about Matthew at his website or by phone at 518-658-0987.

Past Quarterly Programs

Feb 21st 2010 Quarterly Program

Austerlitz Historical Society Quarterly Membership Meetings are held on Sundays at 2 pm and are free and open to the public. At our meetings, speakers discuss local crafts, landscaping, history and many other items of local interest.

Upcoming Meetings
This Sunday, February 21st at 2:00 PM is the next Quarterly Membership Meeting of the Society. The meeting will be held at St. Peter’s Church in Spencertown, New York.
Our guest speaker will be Ann-Eliza Lewis. Ann-Eliza is the Executive Director of the Columbia County Historical Society in Kinderhook NY. She will share information on the current programs of the Columbia County Historical Society. She will be displaying the Columbia County Quilt that was commissioned by the CCHS in honor of the Hudson Fulton Quadricentennial Celebration. Each square of the quilt depicts a Columbia County Town. The quilt is made of squares crafted and donated by the Town and City Historians of Columbia County.

Ann-Eliza will also moderate a discussion/answer session about what our two Society’s can do to collaborate on a more effective basis. Lively audience participation is encouraged! Light refreshments will follow. If you have questions, please call us at 518-392-0062 or send an email to [email protected]

Past Quarterly Programs

Nov. 15th 2009 Quarterly Program

Sunday, November 15th at 2:00 PM is the next Quarterly Membership Meeting of the Society. The meeting will be held in the Harvey House on the grounds of Old Austerlitz, Route 22, Austerlitz NY.

Our guest speaker will be John Porritt, an English craftsman with an extensive knowledge and collection of Windsor chairs. Porritt, who recently relocated with his wife and daughter from England to Spencertown, NY, has had a decades-long fascination with Windsor chairs. Although he is a native of England, he has a special fondness for the American Windsor chair styles, and taught himself to craft the chairs after visiting the United States in 1985 and viewing them at various museums.

For his presentation on Nov. 15, Porritt will show about 10 chairs from his own collection, including an early 19th century British Windsor chair designed with American and French influences. He will talk about the history of Windsor chairs, their design and techniques for making them, as well as talk about his craft.

A regular AHS business meeting will be held after the presentation, followed by light refreshments.

Past Re-enactments

2013 Napoleon Encampment and Re-enactment

Imagine this: The year is 1805. You’re in the small town of Austerlitz. Suddenly, a troop of French cavalry ride into the Village square surprising the Russian and Austrian soldiers. Skirmishes break out around the Village Square.

French and Coalition regiments of the Napoleon Era will descend on Old Austerlitz, the home of the Austerlitz Historical Society, for an Encampment on the weekend of May 18-19. There will be battle scenarios, demonstrations, live music, skirmishes and cavalry. Visitors will be able to wander around camp and interact with re-enactors and their families in this living history event.

Saturday will be capped off with a traditional English Country Dance in the newly erected 1794 Morey-Devereaux Barn from 8pm to 10pm.

Bring a picnic lunch and plan to stay for the day.

RAIN OR SHINE – Adults $5 – under 12 FREE


Saturday from 11am to Noon – ,The Four Seasons Quintet are Roger Allen on guitar, Janine Budesheim on violin, Betsy Fry on clarinet, Gail Griffith on concertina and Terry Klein on euphonium . These fine local musicians will be playing a program of music and songs of Bonaparte and 1790 – 1830, appropriate for kids and grown-ups alike. To get in touch with them, {encode=”[email protected]” title=”Email Four Seasons Quintet”}

Sunday from 10am to 2pm – Ampersand This group interprets music from the folk and old-tyme American traditions on modern instruments with treasured songs and lively instrumentals. The core of Ampersand is Beth Lawton and Dick Hogle, whose duo work shines with the spark of vocal harmonies and a shared musical sensibility. The Ampersand name is particularly appropriate since the whole of this group is definitely more than the sum of its parts!

The English Country Dance for Saturday Evening May 18th.
In the newly raised Morey Devereaux Barn at Old Austerlitz
7pm to 8pm – beginner lessons and introductions
8pm to 10pm – live music and dancing
Period attire suggested but not required. Beverages available.
A donation toward the cost of the live band is suggested in lieu of an admission fee.

Sponsorship, Advertising and Underwriter opportunities are available for all events.
Please call 518-392-0062 to inquire.

A Special Thank You to our Underwriters who contribute to the success of our event!

1794 Heritage Circle Level Underwriter – $1000
Robert & Luise Kleinberg
Norma Edsall
Alice Corbin
Suzanne Mugler
Anthony & Gail Cashen

Historian Level Underwriter – $500
Joseph & Connie Mondel
Robert & Barbara Willner
Robert Herron

Benefactor Level Underwriter – $250
Alice & Edwin Leason
Michael Rebic & Jeff Harris
John & Denise Dunne

Supporter Level Underwriter – $100
Ellen G. Scott

Other Underwriting Support
Walter Smythe

Corporate Underwriters – Advertising Support
Click an image to visit the underwriter’s website

Corporate Underwriters – Diamond Level Support – $1500
Click an image to visit the underwriter’s website
Your name & logo displayed here for your $1500 contribution

Corporate Underwriters – Platinum Level Support – $1000
Click an image to visit the underwriter’s website

Corporate Underwriters – Gold Level Support – $500
Click an image to visit the underwriter’s website
Your name & logo displayed here for your $500 contribution

Corporate Underwriters – Silver Level Support – $250
The Lofgren Agency
Dells’ Plumbing, Heating & A/C, Inc.

Corporate Underwriters – Bronze Level Support – $100
Valley Energy
Kinderhook Bank

Corporate Underwriters – Other Level Support
Kleeber Agency Insurance

Logistic Support for our Cavalry Camp


Visit the Brigade Napoleon website – click here

We LOVE pets! However, our insurance does not allow pets to be brought into the festival. Please make arrangements to leave your pets at home. Thank you for your cooperation.