Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Special thanks this Veterans Day to Rich Hungerford, who for the past month has done a tremendous job in gathering and posting information on 20th C. veterans from the Hilltowns on this site!

Big SKY in New York. I took this looking towards the Catskills. Not too far from home. Eric Chamberlain 

  • Eric says: "I took this looking towards the Catskills. Not too far from home." Eric is one of our newest and most enthusiastic participant in this site. For more of his beautiful photos click on "Helderberg Landscapes." Eric has also contributed and number of photos to "Then and Now."    


How about making Albany Hilltowns a tourist destination! Like Rensselaerville, every hamlet could have a designated historic district. Within each historic district there could be an antique store or two, a bed and breakfast, a country cafe. People from the city, down state, and yes, even The Big Apple, would want to come to the Albany Hilltowns for a getaway weekend and make the tour. It would make the hilltowns more than just bedroom communities. We could have have special hilltown weekends. We could be make the hilltowns like Vermont. Revive the resorts. Make the hillltowns a tourist destination once again. Trade on our heritage, on our old buildings. It would require the towns working together. Can they do this? I think they can.
There are a couple of things that could be done immediately without waiting for the towns to act:
  • Creation of a Hilltowns Tourist Association to promote tourism in the Hilltowns. Members would be the local restaurant owners, farmers markets, vineyard, llama farm, etc. Someone would have to contact all possible members and call a meeting to move this idea forward.
  • Inventory historic buildings in the Hilltowns starting with the individual hamlets. We would need a volunteer for each hamlet. There could also be historic districts elsewhere along Helderberg Trail where there are small concentrations of historic homes. And elsewhere with towns. This would help preserve the rural look we all love.
Once they see scenes like the one below, they will be coming back for more!


"Then and Now" is proving to be very popular. Not only are people looking at the pictures, but there are even a few people contributing pictures. Soon I will split this page up so there is a separate page for each town. Here are more "Then" photos that might be suitable of accompanying "Now" photos. In some cases the buildings are gone, but in which case a "Now" photo of the site makes a strong statement about the loss of our heritage.


I just uploaded an interesting story sent to me by Marty Duell on his memories of life on West Mountain in the 1950's.
"After I got out of the Air force in early 1960”s I went back to Leona and Cliff’s. Then they had water and electric. They were all setting on the floor and the table and chairs were gone! What happened I asked?" ...

  • Capital District Genealogical Society

The Capital District Genealogical Society will meet at Saturday Nov 21, 2009, 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. At the Colonie Town Library, 629 Albany-Shaker Road, Loudonville. The computer group will meet at 1 P.M. with tips on using your computer for genealogical research. The topic for the 2pm meeting will be Cemetery Restoration. The meeting is free and open to the public.

  • Albany-Schoharie Plank Road

Albany-Schoharie Plank Road operated from 1850-1867. It ran from Schoharie east through the town of Wright and the town of Knox and Guilderland, reaching the Western Turnpike. Here is a link to a personal recollection of a young boy seeing a regiment from Schoharie camping in Altamont on their way to Albany, then on to Gettysburg. Wives, mothers, children accompanied them to Albany to see them off and many never returned.


AMVETS vehicle in Memorial Day Parade

AMVETS vehicle in Memorial Day Parade

" Antique Motor Vehicle" page has still not found anyone to help identify any of these vehicles.


Albany County Hilltowns History and Genealogy Facebook group, is a sister site to Please join us.

No comments:

Post a Comment