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.



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


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:


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.


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]

Current Events


As we settle in for the remainder of the long winter and welcome spring we are actively exploring new possibilities.
Listed below are some of the projects planned for this year. We will send out further information as details are finalized.

Autumn in Austerlitz presents: WILD AUSTERLITZ -Celebrating the bounty of our area. OCTOBER-3rd.

Special Events

Flea Market -June 13th, 9-3.

The Austerlitz Historical Society will host a Flea Market and Tag Sale on the site of Old Austerlitz. Though vendors will take the majority of spaces, we will once again we offer members a table for $15.00 (while supplies last ) to sell household items only. There will be baked goods, coffee and food trucks on the premises.

Whether you have household items to get rid of or are a flea market vendor, call or email us for more information.

Past Holiday Events


On December 7th from 1-3 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 a wreath decorating activity (reservations needed) in the Morey-Devereaux house and the Gift Shop will be open, offering a 10% discount to all members and volunteers. Stop by for a visit, decorate a wreath and stroll through our unique gift shop. Reservations for the wreath decorating activity are needed by 11/25/19.

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

Past Autumn In Austerlitz Festivals

2019 Autumn in Austerlitz

Saturday September 28th 11-4 pm

Adults-$7.00 Children under 12- Free No pets please

This year’s Autumn in Austerlitz Festival is held on Saturday, September 28th, 11-4 pm. Rain or Shine. Admission is $7 for adults and children under 12 are free. With attendance averaging at well over 750, the event features a wide array of live demonstrations from sheep shearing to butter making, antiques, live music, entertainment for children, unique vendors, silent auction, quilt raffle and a variety of hot and cold foods to satisfy your hunger including our community soup station featuring over 6 home made soups.

During the summer, we start listing our Crafters, Food Vendors and Entertainers who will be participating in the year’s festival. Please check back for updates. If you’d like to see the vendors that have been at past Autumn in Austerlitz Festivals, please visit our archives page by clicking HERE

Autumn in Austerlitz began in 1997 as a home grown festival to raise money for the Austerlitz Historical Society to expand their educational programs.

Vendor space for our 2019 festival is now OPEN. If you are interested in applying to become a vendor please contact us by email at [email protected] or by calling 518-392-0062.

Following is a list of our 2019 participants as of 9/10/19:

Crafters and Vendors:

Liz Hamann-Studio Potter
Bonnie White Folk Art, Canaan, NY
Buddy’s Buck Horn’s Creations,Tivoli NY
BH Upcycled Designs, Bristol, CT
Moonfaerie Designs, Willington,CT
The 19th Century Tinsmith – Ballston Lake, NY
A&R Maben Woodcarvings, Acra,NY
Shaker Reproductions & Wood Turnings – Stephentown, NY
Pamela Dalton,Scherenschnitte, Harlemville,NY
Joy Newton, West Granby,CT
Ton Kenny Wood Bowls, Chatham,NY
Ballston Spa Apiaries, Ballston Lake,NY
Fly Tyer – Bill Newcomb, Hillsdale, NY
Antiques At 7 Oaks- Judy Yaroschuck- Nassau, NY
O’Boys Soap Company, LLC – North Chatham, NY
Carolines Scottish Bakery, North Adams, MA
Pond View Woodworking, Freehold, NY
Little Em’s Diaper Cakes and More, Red Hook , NY
Quilting by Diane Lill and Margie Quinn, Canaan and Austerlitz, NY
Glass by Gail-Gail Chamberlain, Valatie, NY
Root and Tuber Works, Spencertown,NY
Jacqueline Rogers,Children’s Book author and Illustrator
Hudson Valley Fiber Arts, Pine Plains, NY
Sandy’s Crafts and More, Austerlitz,NY
Olde Chatham Kettle Corn, Chatham,NY
Lady and the Thread, Kinderhook, NY
Looming Madness, Mahopac, NY
Country Primitives, E. Chatham, NY
Beaver Mills Antiques, Valatie, NY
Salt and Stone Pottery, Clark Mills, NY
The Austerlitz Volunteer Fire Company’s BBQ

Children’s Area
Bubble blowing
Pumpkin Carving
Magic Show-In the Music Tent
Corn Husk Doll Making
Corn Kernel play area
Wanda Halton’s -Crafting with Natural Materials.

Special Exhibitors/Demonstrations:

NEW – Ed Simonson and Friends-OLD MACHINES
NEW- Antique Tractors
NEW- Windsor Chair Making with John Porritt
Wild Goose Chase NE, New Lebanon, NY
Wanda Halten – Heritage Poultry Breeds, Canaan, NY
Berkshire Hills and Dales Spinning Guild – Lee, MA
Blacksmithing in the Forge
Tin Smith-Walter Fleming-Ballston Lake, NY
Cider Making

Guitar, Vocals and more from Howard Lieberman
Omer Black- Magician

An eclectic mix of Old English music.


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