A Great Loss for the Austerlitz Historical Society

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Robert Herron, one of the original founders of the Austerlitz Historical Society. Bob continued to be an active member and strong presence in all aspects of the society. He will be sorely missed.

A Memorial Service will be held on August 17th at 12:30 pm, on the grounds of the Austerlitz Historical Society.

Famed Columbia County Auctioneer, Preservationist and Philanthropist Dies

Robert Herron (August 3, 1927—June 29, 2019)

Known by many as the “Mayor of Austerlitz,” Robert Herron of Austerlitz, NY died on Saturday, June 29th, 2019 at the age of 91.  A life-long resident of Austerlitz and well-known expert on American antiques, auctioneer and local philanthropist, Robert “Bob” Herron was born on August 3rd, 1927 to Mary Varney—a descendant of an old New England family which settled in Austerlitz by the end of the eighteenth century—and William C. Herron, whose family moved to Austerlitz in the mid-nineteenth century.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy who later attended the University of Denver, “Bob” Herron began collecting early American furniture as a young boy and later ran a highly-successful auction house. One of the premier auctioneers in New England, in 1997 the New York Times wrote that Herron had found “one of the few major discoveries of the year”—an important collection of early American furniture which brought antique dealers and connoisseurs from across the country to the small hamlet of Austerlitz.

Continuing his family’s long tradition of serving the community and fostering its civic life, Herron and his good friend, Richard Mugler, Jr., were responsible for the preservation of the local schoolhouse, the Austerlitz Church, a number of houses in the hamlet and the establishment of the Austerlitz Historical Society. A generous benefactor, Herron donated both funds and land to the Historical Society, which now boasts a collection of late 18th and early 19th century buildings and a local history collection. In 1987, the New York Times—along with a number of other media outlets—reported on the restoration of his early house.

“Bob” also made substantial donations to community organizations, most recently to the Columbia County Land Conservancy and for the building of the hamlet’s new firehouse.

Known for his keen eye, “sharp as a tack” mind, and unfailing wit up to his death, Herron will be missed by his family, friends, neighbors and colleagues and the many volunteers he recruited in his life-long quest to preserve the best of this country’s and Columbia County’s history.

He is preceeded in death by his brother, William Lee Herron (1922-2007), and survived by his nieces Ruth Horak, Janet DeMonaco, Janet’s husband Louis, and his nephew William Jr.’s widow Cheryl.

A memorial service will be held on the grounds of the Austerlitz Historical Society, at a time to be determined this summer. For further information, please check the historical society’s web site or call 518-392-0062.

Memorial Donations may be made out to the Austerlitz Historical Society or the Austerlitz Cemetery (please indicate your preference), and sent to :

The Austerlitz Historical Society-PO Box 144- Austerlitz, NY 12017

Special Events

July 7-Celebrating the Installation of Historic Markers

Town Historian- Tom Moreland

The Town and Historical Society are hosting events this Sunday in connection with the installation of markers in Austerlitz and Spencertown celebrating their designations as Historic Districts on the National Register of Historic Places. These designations bring honor to the communities, and the placement of the markers warrants a celebration.

These two related events will be informal affairs with brief remarks, a few photos, and then some refreshments at the old Town Hall.

Specifically: At 3 pm we gather at the Austerlitz Historical District marker, which is being installed on the Dan and Shani Palladino property, formerly Sally Light’s, at 11622 Route 22 (east side). Brief remarks will be made, surely including reflection on the sad loss of Bob Herron, and a photograph or two taken for the historical record.  

At 3:30 pm. we gather at the Spencertown Historical District marker, being installed just outside the old Town Hall. Again, brief remarks and a few photos. After which we enjoy some refreshments at the old Town Hall.

Special Events

Revolutionary War Reenactment

May 17th, 9:00 am-12:00pm


Past Workshops

Fly Tying/Casting Workshop

June 9th & June 15th 10:00-2:00 at the Austerlitz Historical Society

Fly Tying Workshop
Morey-Devereaux House
June 9th, 10-2
June 15th, 10-2
Join Bill Newcomb, noted fly
tyer and trout fisherman in this interactive workshop. Bill will
entertain you with the
fascinating lore of trout fishing as well as the rich history of the men and women who fished in this area, as you learn to tie a
fly and cast a rod.

” Not as complicated as you
think” Bill Newcomb

June 9th- Learn to tie a fly
that catches a fish!

June 15th – Learn how to cast a rod that will catch that fish!

Cost: $25.00 per session.
Space is limited .
Call 518-392-0062 to register.
Snacks and beverages provided Bring a bag lunch or Lunch can be pre-orderd and picked up
at an additional cost.

Blueberry Festival

The Blueberry Festival

Due to the ongoing restrictions and the limitations as to the amount of people we can have on our property, The Blueberry Festival has once again been cancelled for 2021. Instead, we will host smaller events this season (the Barn Sale being the first).
We are very hopeful that with more and more people getting their vaccine shots we will be able to hold our festival in the fall. We will expand this festival and the theme will be WILD AUSTERLITZ: Autumn in Austerlitz. The “Wild” refers to nature appreciation, hunting, fishing, camping, kayaking, bicycling, birdwatching, archery, traditional crafts, etc. If your club, organization, or business would like to participate, please contact Margaret Hover at [email protected]

This ever-popular event features early 19th Century craft demonstrations and wares, antiques, live music and entertainment, magic act, activities for children, animals, birds of prey, sheep-shearing, plus many unique and highly talented craft vendors, artisans and a special fiber art area.  There will be blueberries galore and a blueberry pancake breakfast, in addition to a wide selection of tasty food items and baked goods.


Adults-$8.00 Children under 12-FREE

No pets-Please

There is an additional charge for the pancake breakfast.

Pancake Breakfast 9:00 am-11:30

$8.00 Adults —– Children under 12 – $4.00

2019 Exhibitors

As of 7/19/19, the Artisans, Crafters, Artists participating in this year’s festival are:

As of 7/19/19, the Fiber Arts Vendors

As of 7/19/19, the Market Vendors participating this year are:

Interested in becoming a vendor? Call 518-392-0062 or email [email protected]

As of 7/3/19, the Non-Profit Organizations participating this year are:

Master Gardeners – Cornell Cooperative Extension Columbia & Greene Counties – Hudson, NY

The Spencertown Academy Arts Center

2019 Entertainers

As of 7/19/19, the Entertainers & Musicians participating this year are:

Omer Black Magician

Alan Chartock and the Berkshire Ramblers – Great Barrington, MA

Roger The Jester

Thomas Hooker Hanford- Musician and Story Teller for Children and Families

As of 7/19/19, the Special Exhibitors/Demonstrators participating this year are:

Special Events

Community Tag Sale at Austerlitz Historical Society

On Sunday June 9th, The Austerlitz Historical Society will host a Community Tag Sale . Come look for bargains or rent a table and space and sell your own items. Tables can be rented inside the barn or on the lawn. Call 518-392-0062 to reserve a space.

Inside Barn-$25.00
lawn space – $20.00

Current Events

Book Club Meets at the Historical Society

A group of book lovers have begun to meet every 5 weeks in the Morey Devereaux house. The readers come together to share tasty sweets, coffee and teas as they discuss the chosen selection .Please email Anne at [email protected] if you are interested joining us.

Past Calendars

2019 Calendars Now Availible!

The 2019 Calendars- The Old Houses of Austerlitz are now available and can be purchased for $10.00 dollars at the Spencertown Country Store or The Chatham Bookstore. They may also be purchased from the historical society at the Morey Devereaux House. Please call 518-392-0062 to arrange a pick up time.

Current Events Past Holiday Events

Holiday Open House

On December 1st from 1-4 pm the Austerlitz Historical Society will open it’s doors and celebrate the season . The Morey Devereaux House will be decorated for the holidays with fires lit and refreshments served . As a thank you to all our members and volunteers, we will have wreath making in the barn (reservations needed for wreath making) and The Gift Shop will be open,  offering a 10% discount to all members and volunteers. All are welcome to stop by for a visit and stroll through our unique gift shop.

Austerlitz Historical Society- 518-392-1667 or [email protected]


Gift Shop Opens at Old Austerlitz

Jeff Harris, neighbor and member of the historical society proposed the creation of a permanent gift shop to be located in the Harvey House. Jeff a designer, offered to undertake the entire project. All revenue would go back to the historical society. From inception to its finished state, Jeff has filled the shop with a creative mix of the new and the old, including the work of local artist and crafters. A store to delight the young and not so young.

Hours: Closed for the 2019/2020 Fall and Winter season. Will be open during Autumn in Austerlitz on September 28th and on December 7th when the Morey-Devereaux will have an open house from 1-3.