Programs

Programs are held at Our Lady of Fatima Church Hall (Alexandar Road, Delanson) at 7:00PM unless otherwise noted.


Monday, March 20, 2017 --- 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York State

by: Anna Marie Collins
Anna Marie Collins has been in the teaching field for over 50 Years, and is presently working as a History Supervisor in the Master's program at Union College in Schenectady.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State, three years before the passage of the 19th Amendment. New York State is home to the first-ever Women's Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls, on July 19 and 20, 1848 and organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Sixty-nine years later, on Nov. 6, 1917, women in New York State won the right to vote. Three years later, the 19th Amendment was ratified, granting all women the right to vote as protected by the United States Constitution.

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Monday, April 17, 2017 --- "Stand Tall" Author - Everett Rau

by: Everett Rau
Everett Rau still lives and farms on the land where was born in 1919, near Altamont. He learned how to farm "in the good old way" from his Civil War veteran grandfather and has spent many years sharing his knowledge with local historical society. Ev's personal story is an American saga of farming - and living - in twentieth century America. In his memoir Ev Rau reminisces about his life in the Upstate New York village of Altamont, along with stories of farming, working for General Electric during World War II, rising and failing in his own business, and finally becoming a local icon through his deep knowledge of antique tools and early farming techniques. With the help of author Laura Shore, Rau has written his life story in a book entitled, "Stand Tall - Against The Odds". The book is his story of personal triumph over adversity, but all also a vision of a farming life that focuses on family, community, and a commitment to health and the environment.

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Monday, May 15, 2017 --- Town of Duanesburg Schools

by: Rebecca Watrous
Becky Watrous has lived in Bramans Corners with her husband, Mark Weinheimer, since 1992. They have spent much of that time restoring and researching their circa 1800 farmhouse which once belonged to David and Josephine Miller. Before her recent retirement, Becky was the Education Director at Historic Cherry Hill, a house museum in Albany, for almost 35 years. There she helped to create a variety of programs for schoolchildren, families and adults by drawing on the extensive family collections saved by Philip Van Rensselaer and four generations of his descendants from 1787-1963. Becky's volunteer project at DHS has shifted her focus from education to curatorial work and from family to community history. She enjoys the new challenges and the chance to learn more about her own town's history.

Last year volunteer Becky Watrous undertook a fascinating project to organize Duanesburg Historical Society's collection of school records. Working at the archives under the direction of DHS board member Pat Van Buren, she began the project by unpacking a large box which contained records spanning over 100 years of school history. These including such diverse items as 19th century photographs of students and teachers at one-room schoolhouses; a baseball scorebook from 1916; a handmade junior prom program; a 1954 newspaper article on the polio epidemic; high school yearbooks; booklets making the case for a central school system; and recent school building plans. During the spring, summer and fall, Becky sorted, catalogued and rehoused the collection in acid free folders and boxes. At the same time, she began to piece together a chronology of Duanesburg schools from the one-room schoolhouse to the Union Free School District, the Duanesburg Village School through to the centralization of the district and the building of the elementary school. The project will continue as new school items come into the DHS collection.

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Monday, June 19, 2017 --- Mariaville Telephone Company

by: Clyde Cullings
In 1994 Mr. Cullings co-authored and published a book with his cousin, Mrs. Kathryn Dawn Soper, entitled Mariaville Memories, which is about the Cullings family.


The Cullings family ran the Mariaville and South Schenectady Phone Company, the first rural phone company in Schenectady County, out of their home in Mariaville. Clyde's grandparents, Clarence Alava Cullings, and Minnie Cullings first ran the company. C. A. Cullings was the lineman, manger and treasurer, while his wife, Minnie, was the chief operator, president, and bill collector. Clyde's father, who ran both the Mariaville garage and the Mariaville bus company, and was also chief of the Mariaville fire department, eventually assumed responsibility for the operation of the telephone company. He was assisted by his wife, Marge, and their children, Joanne, Clyde, and Nancy. When Nancy Cullings was 8 years old she became the world's youngest telephone operator while her brother Clyde, Jr. followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and became a lineman at the age of 13. Clyde Jr. will share some memories of his family and the telephone company they ran.

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Monday, July 17, 2017 --- Annual Picnic @ Shafer Park

by: Duanesburg Historical Society

In July the Duanesburg Historical Society has its annual picnic, where we welcome Society Members, Guests, & Friends (Everyone!). As usual the picnic will be at Shafer Park, on Monday July 17th at 6:00 p.m. (Rain location: Bishop Scully Hall in Delanson)

The DHS will be providing sliced sub sandwiches. Please bring your own flatware, drink & utensils as well as a side dish or dessert to share.

Please call Pat Van Buren at 895-2632 to let her know you will be attending so that we'll know how many guests to plan for.

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Monday, August 21, 2017 --- World War II Mine Sweeper Memories

by: Don Holmes
Donald S. Holmes is the president of Stochos Inc., provider of statistical process control consulting and training services. Holmes has retired as a professor from the Graduate Management Institute at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Holmes has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and an ASQ-certified quality engineer.

Before he founded Stochos, Donald S. Holmes was a statistician and business logician at the General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York.

Working in GE's operations research and synthesis group, he consulted internally for the company as a quality control engineer, and pioneered factory process simulation. He also launched innovative training programs, including a management problems analysis course offered to hundreds of personnel each year.

Donald Holmes of Duanesburg will talk about his experiences as an officer during WWII aboard an Admirable-class US Navy minesweeper, the USS Strategy (AM-308), a rare opportunity to hear firsthand from WWII veteran.

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Monday, September 18, 2017 --- Mariaville ~ Part II

by: Lorrie Runnels
Lorrie hails from Litchfield County, Connecticut and continues to consider herself a dyed-in-the-wool New Englander. In November of 2003, Lorrie and Rick bought the historic circa 1830 Silas Marsh house in Mariaville. After extensive cosmetic and some structural renovations to the home they were able to realize their dream of operating a business offering hospitality in the form of the Mariaville Lake Bed and Breakfast, which opened in July 2004. Lorrie has also worked at the public library since 2000 and climbed the ranks to manager at the local branch. As innkeepers, both Rick and Lorrie are quite knowledgeable about the area, and Lorrie will share some of that knowledge, especially about Mariaville, with the society.


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Monday, October 16, 2017 --- Joe Merli & His Legacy

by: Pat Payst
Robert P. "Pat" Payst is a lifelong resident of Duanesburg and a '62 graduate of Duanesburg Central School. Pat and his wife, Karen, live on the farm that Pat and his family grew up on. The farm was at one time 160 acres, but is now 99.5 acres, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Macomber Stone House, the only stone house in the town of Duanesburg.

Joe Merli & His Legacy

Joseph J. Merli made history tangible through objects. He fixed things no one else could, and he sought to preserve the industrial heritage that built America.

Mr. Merli worked on displays at the Altamont Fair and at the village’s archives and museum; he helped with the restoration of the historic train station for the Altamont Free Library. But, most central to his mission in life was assembling the Canal Street Station Railroad Village with a locomotive, a diner, a general store — all to illustrate the values of a bygone way of life

Pat Payst met Joe Merli in the early 90's after Pat was laid off from his machinist job at Schenectady's General Electric. Joe offered Pat a job, and the two gentlemen clicked with one another because they both understood precision manufacturing techniques. The two men would learn from one another, and improve their techniques and skill sets, like welding, for example. Pat came to understand Joe's disregard for the amount of time it would take to a job with accuracy, and authenticity, and his joy in the satisfaction of a job well done.

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Monday, November 20, 2017 --- Palatine Migration ~ Part II

by: Donald Martin
Donald Martin has lived in Duanesburg for 45 years after his marriage to Shirley Fidler. Many of his ancestors were the first settlers in the Schoharie Valley, including many Palatine Germans. Don has worked six years and many hours at the Old Stone Fort research library helping visitors form all parts of the USA and Canada find their Palatine German roots.

Society member Don Martin has presented to the historical society before, about his travels in India, the Anti-Rent Wars, and most recently last year about the Palatine German settlers in Schoharie. This years presentation is a continuation following last year's program, where we learned about the almost unbearable hardships that the Palatine Germans had to endure, from their war torn homeland on the border with France, to England, and finally on to New York in 1710, as well as where they went after arriving in New York. You may be surprised to learn that if some of your ancestors have been in this area for 200 years or more you probably have many Palatine German ancestors.

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Monday, December 18, 2017 --- “What’s In Your Attic?” & Christmas Party

by: Society Guests and Members who enjoy doing Show & Tell with their Attic Treasures

“Share What’s In Your Attic?” Artifacts &/or Memories from your family history. Also the Annual Christmas Party, so please bring a friend and a plate of finger food to share.

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