Upcoming Speakers

Copake Falls School House 1916

Copake Falls School House 1916

Local historian and author, Howard Blue, will present Part II of his PowerPoint program on Copake’s History at the Roe Jan Historical Society in Copake Falls on Sunday, May 18 at 2:00 PM.

Blue’s Copake History program is based in part on interviews of local residents from whose family albums he was allowed to copy old photos. Among the topics in Blue’s new presentation are the Mohican Indians (the town’s and county’s first settlers). He will also discuss Copake’s Civil War era bond issue that helped buy out from the draft some of Copake’s young men. He will also talk about Copake’s early sports activities & venues including Copake Falls’ Holsapple baseball field, and the town’s summer camps. You can see some of Blue’s stories and slides on the “Copake History” Facebook page.

The presentations of Part I of Blue’s program were seen by standing room only crowds at the Roe Jan library. So persons planning to attend the May 18th presentation should come early to be guaranteed a seat. The forthcoming program will discuss the Mohican Indians of our area, and the  decades long struggle between the Livingston family and their tenant farmers (including a “civil war” that was fought in Copake in 1812.)

This latter topic will include the leadership role among the tenant farmers of Benjamin Birdsall Jr. & the role of Martin Van Buren in representing the tenant farmer cause.

Howard will also discuss:

A. The languages that have been spoken in Copake.
B. Why many area residents initially remained loyal to the British cause.
C. Two hitherto little known Revolutionary War skirmishes fought in Copake.

NEXT: Annual Meeting at Swiss Hutte

Please join us for our annual meeting on June 20 at 6 pm at the Swiss Hutte. Our speaker is David Saums, formerly of Hillsdale, who will give a presentation on the Harlem Division of the New York Central Railroad. David brings a wealth of information and memorabilia on this subject.

The summer exhibit will celebrate the history of our railroads. Please contact the society if you have photographs, artifacts, and other resources you would like to loan to this exhibit.


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