Local History Speaker Series: Ruth Piwonka

visible heritageThe History Room Committee is pleased to welcome Ruth Piwonka to the library on Saturday, November 15 at 3:30pm as a guest speaker in the Local History Speaker Series.

Piwonka will offer a presentation focusing on early Dutch settlers in and around the Hudson area called “Before Hudson: the Dutch at Claverack and other locales along the ‘east side of the river’, c1614-1783”. The talk will focus particularly on the period from 1649 through 1715. In addition, she will cover other events and individuals affecting the area until the coming of the New Englanders after the Revolution.

Ruth Piwonka is the Kinderhook municipal historian for both the Town and Village of Kinderhook. She has researched and written about the region’s history and its historic architecture for thirty years and is especially interested in the Hudson Valley’s Dutch cultural heritage. Her publications include A Visible Heritage, Columbia County, NY: A History in Art and Architecture; Wooden Churches: Columbia County Legacy; After Church: Artists in Mid-twentieth Century Columbia County, NY; Mount Merino: Views of Mount Merino, South Bay and the city of Hudson; A Portrait of Livingston Manor, 1686-1850; Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776; The Landscape of Montgomery Livingston (1816-1855): a Catalogue of His Works. In addition to her work as municipal historian, Piwonka is also an activist for the organization Scenic Hudson providing her expertise in the historical significance of Columbia County and its architectural structures. In 2013, she was awarded the Alice P. Kenney Memorial Award by the New Netherland Institute for her contribution in research and writing on the Dutch colonial experience in North America.

The presentation will be held on the first floor of the Hudson Area Library, with wheelchair access on the northeast side of the building. Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Light refreshments will be served.