History Room Programs

Only the most recent five History Room Program announcements are shown here. Go to History Room Programs Archive for complete listings.


Posted: October 16, 2019
Adults, Fundraising, History Room, News, Programs

Second Hudson History Bus Tour by Popular Demand!

Program Description: Our bus tour of the historic buildings, people, scandals, and moments in Hudson’s history is having a fall edition! This is not a repeat of the first tour and will include more anecdotal information and specific stories from history. The bus for this tour is smaller with comfier seats and has windows that allow for  better viewing. It is a fundraiser in support of the Hudson Area Library’s History Room. Ticket purchases will support the preservation, archiving and digitizing of items in the library’s special collections pertaining to the histories of the City of Hudson, and towns of Greenport and Stockport.

Date/Time: Sunday, November 10, 1-4pm

Registration/Tickets: Tickets are $60 and seating is limited UPDATE: The bus is full!

The tour begins and ends at Hudson Brewing Company at 99 South 3rd St. in Hudson and members of the tour will receive a free drink ticket as part of the tour cost. The bus will leave at 1pm and travel through the streets of Hudson. Tickets are $60, in honor of the library’s 60th birthday. Seating is limited. To register email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518-828-1792 x101, or visit the main desk in the library.

Leading the tour is inimitable library History Room researcher John Craig (a Hudson fixture and according to the Gossips of Rivertown: “a tenacious researcher”). He will be accompanied by former Hudson Mayor Richard F. Tracy, who will also drive the tour bus. These two gentlemen will regale tour-goers with the real history of Hudson, the oldest city in the United States.

Established by whalers and merchants from Nantucket and New Bedford, Hudson has had many incarnations: as a safe harbor for maritime commerce, an industrial city with foundries, mills, cement plants, and factories; and then as a city valuing its history and historic architecture attracting retailers, writers, and other artists to the city. Hudson today is a city of many communities with economic, cultural, and racial diversity, that are debating through democratic means how the city should be defined, how it can best take care of its residents, and how it can thrive in its next iteration today and in the future.

Brenda Shufelt, the library’s program director said, “From my experience at the Hudson Area Library, especially in planning our History Room talks and exhibitions, locals, new residents, and visitors love the history of Hudson. It seems everyone who has a connection to Hudson values its amazing, colorful, and rich history. All are welcome on this tour, which will prove to be informative and entertaining!”

The Hudson Area Library History Room houses a special collection that pertains to the history of the City of Hudson, Greenport, and Stockport; as well as Columbia County and New York State. The History Room also hosts the Local History Speaker Series at the library, offering free monthly talks on diverse topics related to the history of Hudson, Greenport, Stockport, and Columbia County.

The History Room hours are Tuesdays 4 – 6pm and Saturdays 10am – 12pm, during which people can visit and browse the extensive collection of city directories, yearbooks and local history books; and research items in the archival collection. The public can also request information on local history that volunteers will research. Appointments outside of regular hours are available upon request. For more information email reference@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518-828-1792 x100, or visit the main desk in the library.

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Posted: September 9, 2019
Adults, History Room, News, Programs

Tales from Hudson’s Crypts: The Tour with Kelley Drahushuk

A scene from a Tales from Hudson’s Crypt tour w/ Kelley Drahushuk

UPDATE: THE TOUR IS CANCELED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER AND IS RESCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 12-1:30PM. IF YOU ARE REGISTERED PLEASE EMAIL PROGRAMS@HUDSONAREALIBRARY.ORG TO CONFIRM YOUR ATTENDANCE FOR THE NEW DATE.

Program Description: Our annual Tales from Hudson’s Crypts: The Tour with Kelley Drahushuk, which highlights the graves of figures from Hudson’s history is coming soon! The tour is very popular and is limited to 30 participants so register now if you are interested.

Date/Time: Sunday, October 27, 12-1:30pm.

Location: Cedar Park Cemetery. Meet in the parking lot of the main house.

Audience/Registration: This tour is open to all. Registration is required. Email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518-828-1792 x101 or stop by the main desk of the library. A donation of $10 is suggested by not required.

Kelley Drahushuk’s talk at the library, Raising the Dead: Tales from Hudson’s Crypts, was so popular we began this tour and it has become an annual event. Kelley will return this year to act as our tour guide and will be adding new graves and new stories to her tour.

Donations will support the archiving of the library’s History Room collection based in the history of Hudson, Greenport and Stockport.

Attendees will meet in the cemetery office parking lot promptly at 12pm. As this is a walking tour, wear appropriate footwear & dress for the weather & conditions. We may encounter uneven ground, semi-steep hills, and mud and will not always be sticking to the paved pathways.

The tour will finish with cider and Trixie’s Oven cookies. And don’t forget to then join the Hudson Trick or Treating and Halloween Parade! Trick or treating begins at 2pm and the parade kicks off at Public Square (7th Street Park) at 4pm.

Long-touted as “a virtual treasure trove for historians and enthusiasts of American funerary art”, the Hudson Cemetery includes over 10,000 grave sites for a wide range of interesting and notable individuals, including the Proprietors and their ancestors, war heroes, famous artists, paragons of industry, disaster survivors and much more. Learn about the history of the original cemetery, more recent history and discoveries as well as its current layout. All attendees will receive a free map of Cedar Park with highlighted sites discussed in this presentation—do your own walking tour and make new discoveries!

Kelley Drahushuk is a long-time resident of Hudson, NY with family history in the city dating back to the 1800’s. She, along with her husband Alan, own The Spotty Dog Books and Ale, now in its 13th year of operation on Hudson’s Warren Street in the former CH Evans Hook & Ladder building. She has served on the board of the Hudson Area Library and continues as a member of the History Room Committee. She earned a BS from Rochester Institute of Technology in Industrial Engineering. Two adorable children, a very chill cat and two noisy guinea pigs keep her quite busy.

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Posted: September 1, 2019
Adults, History Room, News, Programs

Local History Talk in Collaboration w/ Hudson Hall

Program Description: 

The History of Hudson’s Merchants & Whalers by Carl Whitbeck, part of the Hudson Area Library’s Local History Speaker series and being done in collaboration with Hudson Hall as part of their Hudson’s Merchants & Whalers series, will cover the commerce of Hudson from the time of its inception as a city in 1785 to the early 1960’s and through to the present. Mr. Whitbeck, a local resident whose family has deep roots in the area, will be displaying and discussing items from his own extensive local history collection.

Date/Time: Thursday, October 17, 6-7:30pm

Audience/Registration: UPDATE: This event is currently filled. A wait list will be formed the evening of the event in case of any openings. Reservations are encouraged. For more information and to reserve a seat visit: Hudson Hall Merchants & Whalers Please note: As this is a free event, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the talk to ensure your seat. 

Established by whalers and merchants from Nantucket, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island, Hudson has had many incarnations: as a safe harbor for maritime commerce, an industrial city with foundries, mills, cement plants, and factories; and then as a city valuing its history and historic architecture attracting retailers, writers, and other artists to the city. Hudson today is a city of many communities with economic, cultural, and racial diversity, that are debating through democratic means how the city should be defined, how it can best take care of its residents, and how it can thrive in its next iteration today and in the future.

Mr. Whitbeck is a partner at Whitbeck, Benedict and Smith in Hudson, where his work covers a variety of areas: municipal and public authorities law, real estate and land use, environmental law, employment law, and commercial law and economic development, among others. He is the Athens town attorney and has served as corporation counsel for Hudson. His civic involvement includes serving on a number of community boards in the area. A Hudson native, Mr. Whitbeck received his B.A. from Williams College and his J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University.

Photo Credit: Postcard image from the Hudson Area Library’s Hudson City Postcard Collection.

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Posted: August 25, 2019
Adults, History Room, News, Programs

Local History Talk on Slavery in New York during the Colonial Era

Two Men Pointing at a Boy by Jan Luyken, c. 1711, Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Program Description: The library, in collaboration with the  Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History and the Gotham Center for New York City History, presents the latest in its Local History talks:Slavery and Dutch-Palatine Farmers: How did middle class farmers in Colonial New York interact with slavery? by Travis M. Bowman. In New York State slavery existed for 200 years and recent interest and research, particularly focused on the Hudson Valley area, confronts this reprehensible fact.

Date/Time: Thursday, September 12, 2019, 6-7:30pm

Usually considered a Southern issue, slavery played a surprisingly large role in colonial and revolutionary era New York. Mr. Bowman will examine how slavery evolved in New York under the Dutch, British, and American systems of government and how the institution was utilized at a local and personal level among middle class farmers in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys.This lecture is an opportunity to learn how slave labor led to the prosperity of many families in the region and also may have eventually influenced the abolition movement.

Travis M. Bowman is the Senior Curator of the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, where he is responsible for the research, care, and exhibition of the collections at New York State’s historic sites and parks.

A question and answer period and refreshments follow the talk. For more information email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518-828-1792 x101, or visit the main desk in the library.

The Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History is an independent, not-for-profit study and research center devoted to collecting, preserving, and disseminating information relating to colonial New York under English rule. In the years spanning 1664 to 1773, New York province’s diverse European settlements and Native American and African populations fused into a cosmopolitan colonial territory with ties throughout the Atlantic World. The Institute is unique in focusing on this under examined 109-year period in American history.

The Institute maintains a collection of original, digital, and/or paper copies of primary source manuscripts, books, maps, and illustrative materials, as well as a library of secondary resources that provide scholarly context to the primary sources. The Jacob Leisler Institute is an open resource for both scholars and the interested public.

The Gotham Center is a university-based research and educational center, devoted to advancing scholarly and public understanding of New York City’s rich and living past. The organization was founded in 2000 by Mike Wallace, Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College and The Graduate Center, CUNY, after his landmark work Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, co-authored with Edwin Burrows, won the Pulitzer. For nearly twenty years, it has been the one academic institution devoted exclusively to promoting this critical field of study.

The Hudson Area Library History Room houses a special collection that pertains to the history of the City of Hudson, Greenport and Stockport; as well as Columbia County and New York State. The History Room also hosts the Local History Speaker Series at the library, offering free monthly talks on diverse topics related to the history of Hudson, Greenport, Stockport, and Columbia County.

The History Room hours are Tuesdays 4 – 6pm, Saturdays 10am – 12pm, and by appointment, during which people may visit and browse the extensive collection of city directories, yearbooks and local history books; and research items in the archival collection. The public can also request information on local history that volunteers will research. Appointments are available upon request. For more information email reference@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518.828.1792 x100, or visit the main desk in the library.

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Posted: July 15, 2019
Adults, History Room, News, Programs

Ballroom Dance Classes at the Armory

Melissa Raigani & Andrew Resto Photo by JD Urban

Program Description: The City of Hudson Senior Center and the library present Ballroom Dance with Andrew Resto. This series of dance classes focuses on dances of the Motown era. Class attendees do not need to attend with a partner. Beginners are welcome. The 4-week class series ends with Motown Madness, a dance party on Saturday, September 14, 7-10pm featuring DJ Philip Grant.

Date/Time: Fridays, August 23 & 30 and September 6 & 13, 5:30-7pm

Registration: Classes are free and registration is on a first come/first serve basis. To register please visit the main desk at the library, call 518.828.1792 x101, or email programs@hudsonarealibrary.orgFor this series of dance classes Andrew will focus on dances of the Motown era including Swing, the Jerk, the Pony, and the Mashed Potato. Class attendees do not need to attend with a partner. Beginners are welcome. The classes are free and open to the public. Registration is on a first come/first serve basis. To register please visit the main desk at the library, call 518.828.1792 x101, or email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org.

Sher Stevens, director of the City of Hudson Senior Center stated: “I think as seniors we’ve lived through different decades of music. Our swing dances have celebrated the music of the 30s and 40s. In September we will get down to the Motown music of the 50s and 60s, which represent some of the great musical moments of our past. And because music transcends the ages we have people from 3 years old on up at our dances so all are invited!”

Andrew Resto is a professional certified Bronze level dance instructor who has trained in the Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire systems. He has taught in ballroom studios in Hollywood, New York City and in upstate New York.

DJ Philip Grant, who will spin for our Motown Madness Dance at the Armory, is formerly of WGXC’s Solid Gold Soul Radio Show and currently works as a news announcer for the radio station.

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Only the most recent five Adult Programs are shown here. Go to Adult Programs Archive for complete listings

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