All lectures will be preceded by a brief meeting of the Pittstown Historical Society
Meetings are free and open to the public
Refreshments will be served following each lecture

All meetings will be held at the new Town Offices in Tomhannock at 7:30 PM

For further information about the meetings contact:
Connie Kheel (518) 686-7514 or email:

Spring, 2019

March 21: Eastfield Village

Eastfield Village is one of Rensselaer County's hidden gems – an extraordinary group of antique buildings in East Nassau that recreates an early American Village. Historian Peter Schaaphok will tell the story of Eastfield Village and how Don Carpentier, its founder, collected and rebuilt over 20 late 18th to early 19th century buildings which were moved from locations throughout the Northeast. Schaaphok has served for many years as Petersburgh town historian as well as town councilman and supervisor. He is currently the president of Friends of the Historic Eastfield Foundation and owner of a manufacturing business in Hoosick.

April 18: From Plank Roads to Horse Boat Ferries: Traveling through Rensselaer County in the 19th century

Learn of the many ways people traveled throughout Rensselaer County in the early 19th century. Historian Kathy Sheehan will present an illustrated lecture featuring maps, letters and photographs from the Rensselaer County Historical Society archives. Sheehan will explore the early turnpikes, plank roads, covered bridges and the stories of crossing the Hudson River, our main highway to the outside world. Sheehan is the Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian and Registrar of the Rensselaer County Historical Society.

May 16: The Anti-Rent War: 1839 to 1869

The Anti-Rent War (1839 – 1869) will be the subject of a lecture by historian Michael Barrett. He will talk about the turbulent pre-Civil War period in which armed resistance, terror, imprisonment and strife swept across 16 counties of upstate NY. The Anti-Rent movement protested the leasehold property that the landed aristocracy refused to relinquish. Barrett, who is presently serving as the Executive Director of the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway and the Burden Iron Works Museum in Troy, has lectured extensively and is a member of numerous local historical societies.

June 20: Expert in Historic Dress to Review a Pittstown/Hoosick Family’s Vintage Clothing Collection

A collection of men and women’s clothing and accessories dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s will be the topic of conversation. Clothing and textile expert Connie Frisbee Houde will examine and comment on over two dozen pieces from the collection. The entire collection was assembled and preserved by descendants of the Baker and Cottrell families. Houde, long-time Curator of Clothing and Textiles at the New York State NYS Museum, has looked extensively at textile and clothing collections across NYS, assisting organizations with the care and identification of their clothing and textile collections.