topical talks

These videos of recent Historic Red Hook presentations as well as programs from earlier years offer interesting insights into Red Hook’s local history. Our thanks to videographers Fred Cartier, John Vincent, David Miller and Channel 23 PANDATV.

Documenting Doughboys: Sources for Information on WWI Service Members at the National Archives. World War I and Federal Census expert Constance Potter shares her knowledge on how to research WWI service members using records from the National Archives and Records Administration, where she worked for 30 years. July 15, 2018

Tales from the Ancient Documents with Will Tatum. County Historian Will Tatum shares riveting tales of old Red Hook drawn from the Ancient Documents Collection. These surviving records of the Dutchess County Courts of Common Pleas and General Sessions contain stories ranging from the lamentable to the comedic. The cases concern incidents from Red Hook or involved Red Hook residents, along with a few additional tales from other parts of the county. June 24, 2018

Remembering the Great War: From the Western Front to the Home Front, As part of the Dutchess County Historic Tavern Trail series, Town Historian Emily Majer shares tales of Tivoli from the era of World War 1. June 8, 2018

Marriage and Mischief: What Was a Skimelton?  Dr. Thom Wermuth, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of History at Marist College, shared his take on an early Hudson Valley custom of celebrating new marriages with mischief. The “skimelton,” originally an 18th century form of vigilantism aimed at adulterers, became, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, a raucous, nighttime serenading of a newly married couple by uninvited guests, usually their neighbors. April 29, 2018

Uncovering the History of Your House With Echo Valley Farm as a case study, Assistant Town Historian Emily Majer walks the audience through the process of investigating the life of an old house. She confirms that researching your home is a great way to explore the history of your community, see how your house fits local architectural patterns and learn about the people who lived there before you. Oct. 29, 2017

Historic Tavern Trail. Dutchess County Historian Will Tatum regales with tales about the stills and speakeasies of the Prohibition era in Red Hook. Sept 8, 2017.

Ward Manor: Progressive Paradise, Assistant Town Historian Emily Majer shared the story of Ward Manor (now part of Bard College) which was by turns a 19th century country seat, an eccentric's hideaway, the model estate of a wealthy orphan and finally, from the late 1920's through the 1950's, a 'haven for the aged' and summer camp for youth, run by the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor. Feb. 27, 2017

Public Health Comes to Red Hook and Rhinebeck,  One of the country’s few nursing historians, Professor Sandra Lewenson of Pace University, explores a pioneering WWI-era nursing service that delivered quality health care to Red Hook and Rhinebeck, raising questions about public health today and how the past can inform the present. Jan. 31, 2016

A Historical Perspective on Changing Land Use Patterns in Red Hook Farming. Through aerial photos and personal anecdote, Chuck Mead of Mead Orchards, Inc. and Julie Hart of the Dutchess Land Conservancy, present a bird’s eye view of Red Hook’s changing landscape and farms over the last 80 years. April 19, 2015.

Building Faith: John Bard, His College and the Episcopal Church, Dr. Bruce Chilton, Bard's Chaplain, sheds new light on Bard's namesake and Red Hook's ecclesiastical architecture. Feb. 15, 2015

Civil War Voices, David Miller, Mike Frazier, Elizabeth Clarke and Christopher Klose read letters to and from Civil War soldiers, November 10, 2013.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!  Red Hook Observer, Kristofer Munn and Christopher Klose examine newspapering in Red Hook. October 13, 2013

The Red Hook Library: Eight Sides to a Story, presented by historic preservationists Olivia and Christopher Brazee, uncovers the story of Red Hook's unique octagon building, built by a local tobacco baron, inspired by a phrenologist, photographed by Margaret Bourke-White and more. Apr. 28, 2013

A Cultural History of Women of the Town of Red Hook: 1850-1950, Red Hook High School teacher Jen Huber talks about women involved in the development of the Red Hook community. March 10, 2013

Searching Genealogy Records in Colonial New York and New England, Egbert Benson Historical Society presentation by genealogist Marny Jackson, Feb 10, 2013

Ready-Made Red Hook: Catalogue Houses in the Early 20th Century, Egbert Benson Historical Society presentation by historic preservationists Olivia and Christopher Brazee. Mail-order kit homes sold through the catalogues of companies such as Sears Roebuck were an important influence on the architecture of Red Hook. Oct. 29, 2011

Chanler Chapman: They Threw Away the Mold! Wint Aldrich, Richard (Buz) Gumere and friends recall the life of longtime Barrytown resident, Chanler Chapman. January 27, 2001

Old Time Farming, Egbert Benson Historical Society meeting with farmers Peter Bulkely, Sid Mead and Claude Potts, November 22, 1994.