Newsletters


NOTE: Since 2002 the Pittstown Historical Society has been publishing a bi-annual newsletter. The newsletters are posted online and hard copies mailed to our members in September and March. The newsletters cover a range of topics, all relating to Pittstown, past and present. Contributors to our newsletter include a wide variety of people, many of them descendants of early Pittstown settlers. Please get in touch with us if you want to share a story related to Pittstown’s past.

Click on the issue number to access the newsletter you wish to read

(NOTE: Some of these files are large and may take extra time to download)

ISSUE XXXVI, FALL, 2019
The Schaghticoke Fair 200th Anniversary (The 200th Anniversary of the First Rensselaer County Fair), by Chris Kelly, Pages 1 – 3
Clothing Collection Reviewed, by Lorraine Brownell, Pages 4 – 5
Akin’s Point: A Popular Beach in Pittstown!, Page 6
Robert Frost Recollected, by Sandra Jacon, Page 7
Pittstown Historical Society Collection Committee, Pages 8 – 9
Dunham Farm Recollections (Part IV), by Steve Dunham. Pages 10 – 12
Tomhannock Presbyterian Cemetery Restoration, Page 12
Valley Falls Historic District’s Early Mill Sites: Page 12
New Life for the Thompson Mill Site, by Maren Stein: Page 13

ISSUE XXXV, SPRING, 2019
Settlement of Pittstown (1788 – 1815), by Jessie Ravage: Pages 1 – 4
History of the Hillside Cemetery in Raymertown, by Maren Stein: Pages 4 - 5
Pittstowners Move West, by Connie Kheel: Pages 6 – 9
The Madigan Boys Go to War, by Chris Kelly: Pages 9 – 11
Pittstown Historical Society News: Page 11
Dunham Farm Recollections (Part III) by Steve Dunham: Pages 12 - 15

ISSUE XXXIV, FALL, 2018
The Threshing Barns of Pittstown, by Jessie Ravage with preface by Sandra Jacon: Pages 1 – 6
My Pittstown Connections, by Phil Gibbs: Pages 7 – 10
Maria Nutting’s Diaries (1876 – 1904), by Nancy Grilli: Page 11 – 13
Pittstown Historical Society News: Page 13
Dunham Farm Recollections (Part II), by Steve Dunham: Pages 14 – 15
What Is It?: Page 15

ISSUE XXXIII, SPRING, 2018
Dunham Farm Recollections (Part I), by Steve Dunham: Pages 1 – 3
Johnsonville Railroad, Past and Present, by Maren Stein: Pages 4 – 6
Pittstown Centinel: Page 6
43 Years as a Railway Postal Clerk, by Helen E. Goodrich: Pages 6 – 8
The Outhouse, by Joe Peck: Page 8
Pittstown Outhouses: Page 8 – 9
New Fees for Membership to the Pittstown Historical Society: Page 9
Honoring World War I Veterans for their Service, by Chris Kelly: Page 10
Biography of Sophus Djernes, Pittstown Veteran, by Chris Kelly: Pages 10 – 11
Pittstown Town Records, 1785: Page 12
Recent Donations to the Pittstown Historical Society: Page 13

ISSUE XXXII, FALL, 2017
Political Equality Club of Valley Falls, by Chris Kelly: Pages 1 – 5
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752-1783): Life in the Early Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 10), by Walter Auclair: Pages 5 – 7
Pittstown Historical Society News: Pages 7 – 9
The Mills of Factory Hollow, by Maren Stein: Pages 10 – 11
The History of the Johnsonville Volunteer Ambulance Service: Pages 12 – 13
Nancy Slocum’s Album of Poems (1834 – 1838): Page 13
Early Ketcham Quilt Donated to the PHS: Pages 14 – 15

ISSUE XXXI, SPRING, 2017
School Records 1844-1864 Nortonville School District #6: Pages 1 - 4  
Where in Pittstown was this Historic Farmstead Located?: Page 5
Pittstown’s Part in a Loyalist Kidnapping Plot, by Maren Stein: Pages 5 - 6  
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752-1783): Life in the Early Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 9). by Walter Auclair: Pages 7 - 9  
What’s Changed in Pittstown in 225 Years?: Page 9  
Dorah M. Gifford, Guardian of Pittstown’s Past: Page 10 - 15

ISSUE XXX, FALL, 2016
Hats off to Pittstown!, by Nancy Grilli: Pages 1 – 5  
Pittstown’s Farmsteads Honored in NYS Preservation Plan: Page 5  
Nellie Abbott and her Diaries. by Betsey Tromans: Pages 6 – 9  
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752 – 1783): Life in the Early Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 8). by Walter Auclair: Pages 9 – 11  
Gandy Dancers. by David H. McMahon: Pages 11 - 12  
Pittstown Historical Society News: Page 13

ISSUE XXIX, SPRING, 2016
Cornell Farm; A Bridge to the Past: Pages 1 – 4 & 12 – 14  
Local Loyalists. by Maren Stein: Pages 5 – 7  
500 Wreaths Honoring Veterans: Page 7  
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752-1783): Life in the Early Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 7), by Walter Auclair: Pages 8 & 11    
The Story of a Flat Iron: Page 14  
Raising Flax in Pittstown, by Timothy Holt: Pages 15 - 17

ISSUE XXVIII, FALL, 2015
Pittstown Landscape Artist; Rudy Helmo (1908-1986). by Joan Helmo Bondy: Pages 1 – 3
 Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752 - 1783): Life in the Early Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 6), by Walter Auclair: Pages 3 - 4  
Recollections of the Snyder Farm: Pages 5 – 7  
William and Lydia Shephard’s Pittstown, by Maren Stein and Constance Kheel: Pages 8 - 10  
Digging for History: Page 11  
Pittstown Historical Society News: Page 12

ISSUE XXVII, SPRING, 2015
Pittstown’s Town Offices Located in the Historic Tomhannock Methodist Episcopal Church: Pages 1 – 5  
Saving a New World Dutch Barn: Pages 6 – 7  
The Gibbs New World Dutch Barn and its Cultural Context, by Walter Richard Wheeler: Page 8  
Land Transfers in 1770s, by Maren Stein: Pages 9 – 10  
Holiday Wreaths Honoring Veterans: Page 10  
Pittstown Land Grants, by Charles Filkins: Pages 11 – 13  
Pittstown Historical Society News: Pages 13 – 14  
Exhibits on Display at the Town Hall Meeting Room: Page 14

ISSUE XXVI, FALL, 2014
The Historic Empie Farm: Pages 1 – 4
Pittstown Historical Society news Update: Page 4  
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752-1783): Life in the Dearly Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 5), by Walter Auclair: Pages 5 – 6  
Factors Leading to the American Civil War (Part 2), by Kenneth J. Miller: Pages 6 – 8  
Raymertown Cadet Band 1888 – 1894, by Sam Irving Reed: Pages 9 – 10  
St. Croix or Sancoick Road: What, When, Where and Why, by Maren Stein: Pages 10 – 12  
Tomhannock Methodist Church Cemetery, by Verna Hansen and Barbara Squires: Page 12

ISSUE XXV, SPRING, 2014
Of Cupolas, Lanterns, and Ventilators, by Eric Gradoia: Pages 1 – 5  
Pittstown Historical Society News Update: Page 5    
Ann Eliza Bleeker (1752 – 1783); Life in the Early Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 4), by Walter Auclair: Pages 6 – 7    
Mystery Photo: Page 7    
Thomas – Wiley –Abbott Farmstead: Pages 8 – 9    
25 Years on the Charlie Wiley Farm; Reflections, by Jill Thomas: Pages 9 – 10    
More on Pittstown Civil War Soldiers: Page 10 - 11  
Factors Leading to the American Civil War (Part I), by Kenneth J. Miller: Pages 11 - 13

ISSUE XXIV, FALL, 2013
A Project to Expand the Norton Cemetery: Pages 1 – 2  
Truth Stranger Than Fiction: The Tragedy and Triumph of Lany Wager Rose, by Warren Broderick: Pages 3 – 5  
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752 – 1783): Life in the Early Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 3), by Walter Auclair: Pages 6 – 8  
What Happened to Pittstown Soldiers in the Civil War, by Maren Stein: Pages 8 – 9  
Pittstown Boys Who Studied at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, by Neysa Carpenter Garrett: Pages 9 – 12  
Collections Room for the Pittstown Historical Society; Renovations at the Tomhannock Methodist Church: Page 13  
Update on Pittstown’s Historic Farmsteads: Last Page

ISSUE XXIII, SPRING, 2013
The Gifford Farm By Daniel Gifford: Pages 1 - 3, 8 – 11 & 13  
Palatine Immigrants to Schaghticoke and Pittstown, by Chris Kelly: Pages 1 – 2  
Pittstown’s Civil War Soldiers: Page 6  
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752 – 1783): Life in the Early Pittstown - Schaghticoke District (Part 2), by Walter Auclair: Pages 7 – 8  
Poem: Tomhannock Timeline, by Sandra Jacon: Page 12

ISSUE XXII, FALL, 2012
Ann Eliza Bleeker (1752 – 1783); Life in the Early Pittstown-Schaghticoke District (Part 1), by Walter Auclair: Pages 1, 2, 10 & 11  
Haskin Cemetery Restoration: Page 3  
The Railroad Control Tower in Johnsonville, by Frank W. Losaw Jr.: Pages 4 – 5  
The Stained Glass Windows of Pittstown’s Churches (Part Three), by Ned Pratt: Pages 5 -8  
Jonathan Read’s “Memorandom” Book & the War of 1812: Pages 9 - 10  
Pittstown Historian Turns 100: Page 13

ISSUE XXI, SPRING, 2012
Twenty Six Historic Farmsteads of Pittstown: Pages 1 – 3  
A Canadian Loyalist Adventure into a Mutual American Past, by Anne Elspeth Rector: Pages 3 – 5  
John E. Empie Sr.: Page 5  
The Tomhannock Upper School, by Ellen Wiley: Pages 6 - 7  
Isaac Snyder’s Pittstown Day Book, 1835 – 1855, by Timothy Holt: Pages 8 – 10  
Breaking Through A Brown Brick Wall, Part II, by Ronald Bachman: Pages 11 - 13

ISSUE XX, FALL, 2011
Pittstown’s Historic Farmsteads Honored: Pages 1 – 2  
Our Pittstown Connections from Across the Border: Prentis/Delong History, by CarolAnne Prentice Chepurny: Pages 2 – 5  
The Stained Glass Windows of Pittstown’s Churches (Part Two), by Ned Pratt: Pages 5 – 8  
Pittstown Historical Society Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War: Page 9  
Town of Pittstown: Participation in the American Civil War, by Bill Powers: Pages 9 – 12  
Breaking Through a Brown Brick Wall, Part I, by Ronald D. Bachman: Pages 13 - 15

ISSUE XIX, SPRING, 2011  
The Stained Glass Windows of Pittstown’s Churches (Part One), by Ned Pratt:  Pages 1 – 4  
Threshing Machine Demonstration: Page 4  
A Monument to My Pittstown Connection, by Lyle Denny: Pages 5 – 6  
Life and Legacy of Major Michael S. Vandercook, by Ronald D. Bachman: Pages 7 – 9  
Pittstown Historical Society Update: Page 9  
Our Ancestors: Who, When and Why They Came Here, by Maren Stein: Pages 10 – 11  
Harriet Lamb Abbott – Her Work Comes Home, by Cindy Parillo:  Pages 11 – 12  
Pittstown Historical Society Receives Grant: Pages 12 - 13

ISSUE XVIII, FALL, 2010
The Reed Farmstead: Pages 1 - 4  
Pittstown Historical Society Members Visit the Knickerbocker Mansion: Page 4  
Charlotte Lennox, Esteemed Novelist of the Colonial Era, by Walter Auclair: Pages 5 - 8     
Pittstown Historical Society News: Page 8  
Honoring the ‘Old Barn’, by Fred Stein: Page 9    
The Old Barn - In Memory of Chester Newcomb, by Richard Qua, 1993: Page 10  
Drawing of the “Old Barn”, by Stephen Levy, 1992: Page 11

ISSUE XVII, SPRING, 2010
In Plain Sight All Along: Revelations from the Simon Vandercook Estate Settlement Papers, by Ronald D. Bachman: Pages 1 – 5  
Pittstown’s Past is Very Present: Pages 5 – 7  
Reflections on Weather, by Maren Stein: Pages 7 – 8  
Early Quaker Settlers Promote Freedom of Religion: Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of the Town of Flushing to Governor Stuyvesant, December 27, 1657, by Joan and Tom Dater: Pages 8 – 9  
Crime and Punishment in Pittstown: Wife Beating, by Walter Auclair: Pages 9 - 11

ISSUE XVI, FALL, 2009
James Thompson & Co. Mill of Valley Falls Destroyed by Fire, by Dick Lohnes: Pages 1 - 2  
Gibbs Cemetery Restored by Descendants of the Gibbs Family: Page 3  
History of the Gibbs Family in Pittstown, by Phil Gibbs: Pages 4 – 5  
Gibbs Cemetery Restoration: Page 5  
Petty Crime in Old Pittstown, by Walter Auclair: Pages 6 – 7  
Isaac Singer – King of the Sewing Machines, by Angelika Glander: Pages 8 – 9  
The Rifenburgh House – Gone, But Not Forgotten, by Barbara Squires: Pages 10 – 11
Historic Farmstead Study Progressing: Page 11  
Colonel Royal Abbott’s House: A Mystery or a Misnomer, by Cindy Parillo: Page 12 – 13

ISSUE XV, SPRING, 2009
The Button Farm, Part 2, Simeon Button (1757–1836), Pittstown Farmer and Rensselaer County Justice of the Peace, by Walter Auclair, including excerpts from Button Account Book in the years 1797, 1799 and 1805:  Pages 1 - 6  
Bill of Sale for Pomp, the Slave, March 27, 1801: Page 7  
A Match Not Made in Heaven:
The Ill-Fated Marriage of Michael S. Vandercook and Betsey Robert Pickett (1826-52), by Dr. Ronald Bachman: Pages 9 - 14  
Hoosic Valley Students Publish Booklet on Area History: Pages 15 - 16  
Scholarship Honors Ellen Wiley, Pittstown Historian: Page 16  
Pittstown Historical Society Awarded Two Grants for the Study of 25 Historic Farmsteads in Pittstown: Page 17

ISSUE XIV, FALL, 2008  
The Button Farm, Part 1 (Getting to Know Pittstown’s Historic Places), by Walter Auclair: Pages 1 - 5  
Button Account Book and Ledger: Excerpts from 1848 Button Account Book and Simeon Button 1792-1821 Justice of Peace Ledger, including comments by Dr. Ronald Bachman: Pages 5 - 8  
Studying Secrets; The Underground Railroad, by Maren Stein: Page 9  
Geer Cemetery Restoration Work: Page 10

ISSUE XIII, SPRING, 2008
Pittstown Porches: Pages 1 - 3  
Rediscovering A Primary Source for Local History:
The Account Book of Simeon Button, Justice of the Peace and Merchant in Early Pittstown, by Dr. Ronald Bachman: Pages 4 - 6  
Escaping to Whitehall; Tracking the Underground Railroad, by Maren Stein: Pages 5 - 8  
More History of an Early Feed, Coal and Lumber Business (Wiley Bros./ Ryan & McMahon), by David McMahon: Pages 8 - 10

ISSUE XII, FALL, 2007
Valley Falls Post Offices Since 1891: Pages 1 - 3  
Historic Barns in Pittstown Receive Grants (Gilchrist barn and Sherman barn): Pages 4 - 6  
Who Makes History, by Maren Stein: Page 7  
Local is Important Based on lecture by Phyllis Chapman: Page 7  
Gambie Home: Page 8  
The Origins of Methodism in Tomhannock,
excerpts from the 1891 booklet “Celebrating the Centennial of Methodism in Pittstown: Pages 9 - 11

ISSUE XI, SPRING, 2007
Signs on NYS Route 7: Pages 1 - 5  
The Northern Turnpike in Pittstown Based on lecture by Ken Gottry: Pages 5 – 7  
Pittstown Town Historian to be Honored (Ellen Wiley): Page 7  
Pittstown Highway Road Scraper, Then and Now:Page 8  
Who’s/Whose History?, by Maren Stein: Page 9  
Norton Cemetery Association Cleans Up With State Grant: Page 10

ISSUE X, FALL, 2006
Moore Farmstead, including excerpts from 1876 -77 diary of Charles Wesley Gifford: Pages 1 - 4  
Success Story of an Early Pittstown Business (Wiley Bros.): Pages 5 - 6  
Tracking Old Farm Tractors, by Maren Stein: Pages 6 - 8  
More on Early Doctors, including observations on and excerpts from 1858-59 account book of Dr. R. S. Connelly: Pages 8 – 11  
Praise for Mr. Benjamin Bosworth (in 1880): Page 11  
History of Austin Farm, Revisited: Pages 11 - 12

ISSUE IX, SPRING, 2006
Johnsonville Bridge: Pages 1 - 3  
Topography is Destiny, by Maren Stein: Page 5  
Early Pittstown Doctors: Pages 6 - 9  
Did you Know, excerpts from newspaper articles in published in the early 1900s: Pages 9 - 10

ISSUE VIII, FALL, 2005
Austin Farmstead, including excerpts from 1797 – 1857 Isaiah Austin Account Book: Pages 1 - 3  
Abandoned Cemeteries Cared For: Page 5  
Family  Research in the Midwest Leads to Indians and Capital Region, by Maren Stein: Page 6  
Pittstown Agricultural Businesses of Yore: Pages 8 - 10

ISSUE VII, SPRING, 2005
Pittstown Corners Cemetery Tree: Page 1    
Early Records of the Pittstown Baptist Church, including excerpts from the Pittstown Baptist Church records: Pages 1 - 4  
A Grand Centennial Celebration in Valley Falls: Page 6  
The History of the Powder Mills Based on book by David McMahon and Anne Kelly Lane: Pages 7 - 8

ISSUE VI, FALL, 2004
Village of Valley Falls to Celebrate100 Years off Incorporation, by Dick Lohnes: Page 1  
Cartin Farm, including Cartin Barns Honored: Pages 4 - 5  
Charles & Ellen J. Sherman, including excerpts from 1865 diary: Pages 6 - 7  
Northern Turnpike Marker: Page 8

ISSUE V, SPRING, 2004
Sherman Farm with 1810 inventory list: Pages 1 - 4  
1880 Church Quilt: Page 6  
Silas S. and Arlina Brownell Herrington portraits: Page 7
Barbara Post, in Memoriam: Page 7  
Then and Now (Pittstown Telephone Company): Page 8  
News in 1704 and 1804, by Maren Stein: Page 10

Issue IV, Fall, 2003  
Silas S. Herrington Home with 1875 diary excerpts:  Pages 1 & 3  
More About the Vandercooks, by Maren Stein: Pages 1 & 4  
Pittstown Historic Farm Honored (Sherman farm): Page 4   
Historic Pittstown Barn Received NYS Preservation Award (Halford barn): Page 6

Issue III, Spring 2003
Hard Winter, you think? Read about the Winter of 1888 (excerpts from 1888 diary of Charles E. Sherman): Page 1
Old Cooksboro Cemetery: Page 3
Early Dutch settlers in Pittstown, by Maureen Stein: Page 3

Issue II, Fall 2002
The Valley Falls Library: Pages 1 & 3
How did Johnsonville get its name?: The lapse of the “Lick”.: Page 4

Issue I, Spring, 2002
Two Historic churches in Pittstown to close: Pages 1 & 3
Pittstown Historical Society receives Tax Exempt status: Page 1
Pittstown Historical Society, Twenty seven years old: Page 3
Myers Farm: Page 4