Friday, January 27, at 7:30 at the Starr Library, The History of Ferncliff Forest

  1. Knick Staley is the Secretary and Treasurer of Ferncliff Forest. Knick will tell us about the history of Ferncliff Forest Inc. From the Suckley Family to current day. Locatedon Mount Rutsen Road in northern Rhinebeck, Ferncliff Forest Game Refuge and Forest Preserve is a 200 acre forest known as the second-best old growth forest in the Hudson Valley. The forest is available for hiking, camping, mountain biking, skiing, fishing, and picnics at no charge. Along the 4 miles of trials are the remains of hand-dug wells, cisterns, root cellars and old foundations. And, of course, it has the historic fire tower that offers great views of Rhinebeck and the surrounding area. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, February 24, at 7:30 at the Starr Library, The History of the Bluestone Industry

Robert Donaldson, the author of Chronicles of Ulster: Volumes I and II, is a graduate of Marist College and the SUNY at New Paltz.  He is retired from Rhinebeck High School where he taught law and European History. Relying on information from 19th Century news articles, mostly from The Kingston Daily Freeman, New York City and Port Jervis newspapers, state journals, articles found on the internet, along with records from the Town of Kingston and Ulster County archives, local author Robert Donaldson will discuss  the origin, growth and decline of the bluestone industry in Ulster County, New York, including information about the people who developed the bluestone trade, as well as those who worked the quarries.  He will also present information about John Fletcher Kilgour, the Bluestone King, and his role in the growth of the bluestone industry in Orange County. Refreshments will be served.


Friday, March 31, at 7:30pm at the Starr Library, The History of Old Time Radio


Ron Gabriel will lecture on The Golden Age of Radio. We will learn about the massive impact the coming of radio had on American society starting with the first radio broadcast in 1906 as well as the importance of the formation of the four major radio networks. The various genres of radio programs, how the networks “time-slotted” radio programs to attract a specific audience segment in each time-slot, and how the migration of radio shows to television came about in the early 1950’s. Refreshments will be served.


Friday, April 21, at 7:30 at the Starr Library, If Maps Could Talk…

Bill Jeffway will give a talk and invite discussion, “If maps could talk ~ what sayeth the 1802 Turnpike Map of Rhinebeck?”  The map (2-feet x 18-feet) reflects that portion of the Ulster and Delaware Turnpike between Rhinebeck and Salisbury, CT. He will also examine innovative ways online digital versions of old maps are evolving as ways to teach a broader history.  Bill is co-chair of the Milan Bicentennial Committee and founder of History Speaks, an effort to make local Hudson Valley history more present and engaging. Refreshments will be served.

Saturday, May 20, at 2:00pm at Stone Church, The History of Stone Church and Cemetery

Michael Frazier will lecture on the history of Stone Church and take us on a tour of their cemetery.

Saturday, June 10, at 2:00pm at the Rhinebeck Cemetery, Meet Some of Rhinebeck’s Famous Former Residents as you Tour the Cemetery, A Joint Program with the Friends of Rhinebeck Cemetery.

Historian Steven Mann will take us on a tour of the cemetery where you will meet residents such as Daisy Suckley, Debbi Dows, Laura Delano and Levi P. Morton, among others, who will tell you stories about their lives. Reception will follow at the Kane Barn at 54 Mill Rd.