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SUMMER EVENTS UPDATAE

As you might well have imagined, the Austerlitz Historical Society will be cancelling our scheduled summer events. This is a time when we have, universally, been forced to look at what was once taken for granted with a new perspective, as we make our way through this difficult, historic period of 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 activities on the lawn which would easily allow for social distancing.

Time will tell us how to go forward.

POSTPONED TO 2021

The Flea Market and Tag Sale 6/13/20

The Blueberry Festival 7/26/20

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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:

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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.

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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]

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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.