Categories
News

$20,000

That is our goal – to raise $20,000 this summer for the operating expenses of Old Austerlitz. As many of you know, the Blueberry Festival has been cancelled this year due to Covid-19. The festival is our primary fundraising event of the year—we had expected to raise $33,000.

We are asking all of our members and friends to consider making a donation of any amount. The good news is that we have received our first donations amounting to $1,020 – we will keep you posted as donations come in.

Donations can be mailed to the Austerlitz Historical Society, PO Box 144, Austerlitz, NY 12017 or better still, while you’re thinking about it; you can make an immediate donation via our Donate tab. We thank you in advance for caring about and supporting our wonderful community organization. The names of donors will be listed on our website.

What are we doing with the money?

The funds will be spent on the maintenance of the buildings, hourly wages for our part-time employees, utilities, insurance premiums, gas for our lawn mowers, office, kitchen and bathroom supplies, etc… Any additional money will be used for our programming and special projects.

When will we open?

We are taking a leap-of-faith and planning for an August 1st opening of Old Austerlitz. Of course, this will depend on the progress we make in NY State regarding the virus and an okay from the government.

The opening means that our buildings, new art gallery and shop will be open to small groups of people – fortunately our expansive grounds allow for visitors to spread out and to view Old Austerlitz self-paced. And please remember that members and their guests are permitted, even now, to walk about the grounds and take a peek at the new exhibits being created and the new Austerlitz Bicentennial Bell, the tower is nearing completion; just remember to follow social distancing guidelines.

Categories
News

SUMMER EVENTS UPDATE

As you might well have imagined, the Austerlitz Historical Society will be cancelling some of our scheduled summer events due to the pandemic. This is a time when we have been forced to look at things with a new perspective as we make our way through this difficult time. AHS continues to look to the future and prepare for a time when we will once again be able to welcome visitors. We’re currently in the midst of creating exhibits and exploring the possibility of setting up outdoor activities which would easily allow for social distancing.

POSTPONED until 2021:

The Flea Market and Tag Sale 6/13/20

The Blueberry Festival 7/26/20

Categories
News

History Goes On

Even during these difficult times, work at Old Austerlitz goes on. Tim Hawley is creating a base to display a beautiful weathervane. Clarke Olsen is working on rustic wood stanchions for the barn exhibit, and Francene Samuels will soon begin scraping and painting the south side of the Austerlitz church.

One of the things we discovered when reviewing the period rooms in the Morey-Devereaux House is that our collection of lighting sources was woefully inadequate. Here is a recent acquisition:

Whale oil lamp by Roswell Gleason at Old Austerlitz

What is it?

It is a pewter whale oil lamp created by Roswell Gleason (1799-1887). Gleason set up shop in Dorchester, MA and created this piece circa 1825. His wares were in high demand and he sold his works up and down the east coast. And here is a portrait of the rather elegant Mr. Gleason:

Edward_Dalton_Marchant_-_Roswell_Gleason_-_1977.825_-_Museum_of_Fine_Arts.jpg

As lighting was primarily provided by candlelight or oil lamps during our period, we are also looking for brass candlesticks. Of course, if you happen to own a few and would like to donate them—we wouldn’t refuse. We’ve seen a few appropriate pairs in the $45-$75 range, if you’d like to sponsor their purchase, that would be appreciated too! We are using the wonderful handmade beeswax candles made by Frances Culley of Spencertown.

If you’d like to help with some of our projects we need someone to help research the making of butter—all you’d need is a home computer. We plan a butter exhibit and would like to explain the butter making process from colonial times to about 1930. We’d also like to research butter making items that we can acquire for our collection.

brooms2.jpg

Another way to contribute is to scour your basement and/or barn for old worn-out brooms—yes, you read that correctly. We would like to collect antique and vintage brooms and whisk brooms for our display on broom making. If you are interested in any of these projects contact me at [email protected]

Categories
News

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.