Upcoming events

2017-2018 Schedule.  Unless otherwise noted the programs are held at on Sundays at 2 PM at the East Greenbush Library. Due to seating limitations, prior registration is required.

To register for a program please call the East Greenbush Library at: 518-477-7476 x4 or

to register on line, visit their website at: http://eastgreenbushlibrary.org/events/


If you have suggestions for future programs and speakers, or for outings, please let us know. We are particularly interested in topics that focus on the Greenbush Community or at least with a Rensselaer County connection.


September 17, 2017"A Republic If You Can Keep It: The Constitution Then & Now"  by Ken Kiser




When Benjamin Franklin was asked if we had a monarch or a republic, he replied, "A republic, if you can keep it." The presentation will examine what we have done through amendments, laws, court decisions, and customs to keep it. The origins of the Constitution, the participants at the Convention, and the compromises they made will be examined.  Ken Kiser is a board member and a retired history/political science instructor from Highland Community College in Illinois.


Past Programs

2016 - 2017

September 18, 2016

Kateri Tekakwitha: Lily of the Mohawks. Jack Casey, local author spoke on Kateri Tekakwitha. a 17th century Indian woman from the village of Ossernenom, now Auriesville.  Kateri is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church.

October 15, 2016

Tour of the Bronck House Museum. The Bronck Museum complex includes the eleven remaining structures that once comprised the Bronck family farm. The land was purchased from the local Mohican tribe in 1662 by Pieter Bronck, a Swede and his Dutch wife Helletje Jans. Pieter built the first dwelling on the farm in 1663.

November 13, 2016  

Saint John Honeywood: poet-painter-odd duck - Steve Trimm   Steve Trimm portrayed a fellow who lived in our region in the late 1700s. Many of Mr. H.'s social and political observations, serious and funny, were written down in 1798 and echo uncannily in 2016.   

 January 8, 2017

Steamboats on the Hudson.  J. Thomas Allison spoke on the significance of the Hudson River Steamboats.  They were big business and played an important part in the growth and wealth of this region. 

March 19, 2017  

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. Phyllis Chapman, in period costume, portrayed Anne Sullivan and her work with Helen Keller.

April 9, 2017

The Apple of Your Eye and Its Ever Improving Qualities from A to Z.  Long-time apple grower, Ray Lemka, provided a history of apple production and its significance in the American culture.. .

May 21, 2017

Wild Women of Rensselaer County Rensselaer County Historian, Kathy Sheehan presented the program on numerous women from Rensselaer County who made an impact on our county, state and nation and their legacy is still in evidence today. 

June 4, 2017

Edmonia Lewis Bobbi Reno,  East Greenbush Town Historian, discussed the life of Edmonia Lewis, born to an African-American father and a Chippewa mother and rose to become an internationally recognized sculptor.

2015 - 2016

September 13, 2015       

Virtual Tour of the Schuyler Mansion State Historical Site. The Mansion in Albany’s south end was the home of Revolutionary War Major General Philip Schuyler.  It was once and 80 acre estate and site of elegant events.

October 24, 2015            

A visit to the Rensselaer County Historical Society for the current exhibit “Scenic Overlook.” Then a walking tour of Troy’s Underground Railroad lead by County Historian Kathy Sheehan and who discussed the roles of Harriet Tubman, Charles Nale, and Fredrick Douglas, during this tragic period.

November 8, 2015           

“G.I. Gantter’s Infantry.”  The dramatic story of WWII as told by his nephew,  and historian, Steve Trimm. Ray Gantter was an Army Sergeant when he and his platoon clawed their way through the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Nazi Germany. Ray Gantter’s account is told in his memoir book “Roll Over Me.”

January 10, 2016              

“Riot in Greenbush -- The Anti-Rent War Renewed.” The story of East Greenbush farmer, William Witbeck who was tried for murder of Rensselaer County Deputy Sheriff Willard Griggs in an anti-rent incident in 1869.  Presented by Jill Witbeck Knapp, his great great granddaughter.

March 13, 2016                 

“A Mohican Understanding of Papscanee Island.”  Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Mohican Tribe, Bonney Hartley, discussed the history of the tribe in the area prior to the arrival of Europeans and the importance of the island to the tribe. Information the tribe’s current status and customs was provided. 

April 10, 2016                     

“Reburial of the Remains of the Schuyler Slaves.” Lisa Anderson, curator of bioarchaeology at the NYS Museum, the program presented the research that has taken place on the skeletal remains of individuals unearthed in Menands in 2005.  The remains of the 13 individuals will be reburied in St. Agnes Cemetery in June 2016.

May 22, 2016                      

Jim Finke will speak on growing up in Greenbush in the 1940s/1950sHe is looking for audience participation with memories and/or memorabilia.

2014 - 2015

September 14, 2014

“The Hudson-Mohawk Region: Silicon Valley of the Nineteenth Century.” P. Thomas Carroll described how the region’s developments in transportation, and investment banking changed a dominant rural-agrarian lifestyle of its residents with a modern urban- industrial way of life.

October 4, 2014

Grant’s Cottage Tour

November 9, 2014

“Oliver Clarke, Civil War POW and Caretaker at Grant Cottage.” Steve Trimm, drawing on Oliver’s 40 page hand written account at Andersonville prison, brought the Union Veteran back to life.

February 1, 2015

Clifford Oliver Mealy, historic re-enactor portrayed Solomon Northup, a black violinist from Saratoga who was lured off Broadway and sold into slavery in 1841.  The film “12 Years a Slave was based on Northup’s story.

March 8, 2015

“Celebration of Women’s History Month.” Women of the 19th Century, portrayed by Greenbush Historical Society members, told stories of the Suffrage Movement and the struggle for Women’s Rights.

April 12, 2015

“Victory Turned into Mourning.” Stuart Lehman commemorated the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s funeral train through New York.

May 31, 2015

“Fort Crailo.”  Historian and speaker Shirley Dunn discussed her latest research and book. 

2013 - 2014

September 8, 2013          

“Early Settlers.”  Glenn Hankle, using documents provided information on previous owners of property in the town.

October 2, 2013                

Tour of New York State Capitol.

November 17, 2013        

“Erie Canal.” Tom Ragosta’s presentation gave a brief description and history of    the original and enlarged Erie Canal and its relationship to present day Watervliet.

January 5, 2014                                   

“Ulysses S. Grant.” Steve Trimm portrayed Grant as he was in early 1885, penniless and dying of cancer but determined to live long enough to finish his memoirs.

March 16, 2014                                   

“Women’s History Month.” Greenbush Historical Society members will portray women and their interesting stories.

April 13, 2014                     

“Hudson River Lighthouses.”  David Chinery discussed the history of lighthouses along the Hudson River.

June 1, 2014

“Metal Detecting for History in Our Area.” John Lewis and Tim Myers discussed techniques of metal hunting and some of their fascinating finds.

2012 - 2013

September 23, 2012

“Clara Barton.” Phyllis Chapman portrayed Clara Barton with tales from her childhood, her service during the Civil War and her work to establish the Red Cross.

November 18, 2012

‘The History of the Shakers in Our Area,” was presented by Marily Sassi.

January 20, 2013

“The Gospel Train.”  Tom Lindsay and Michael Eek presented a musicological/historical program of American spiritual and religious songs from the Civil War era to the Civil Rights era.

March 17, 2013                 

“The Historical Society of Early American Decoration.”  Lynne Richards gave a lecture with included examples of country painting, stenciling on tin and wood, theorem painting, pontypool painting , reverse painting, and Victorian flower painting.

May 19, 2013

“Citizen Edmund Charles Genet.” Patricia Riley Perrella presented on program on her research on Edmund Charles Genet: An American citizen extraordinaire.