Friday, July 16, 2010


Last fall Rensselaerville Historical Society started a pilot project to scan and upload their genealogy books to RHS Genealogy Files on the Helderberg Hilltowns wiki site. Half of the books have now been scanned and the pages are ready to upload. We need about 25 volunteers to help us. This can be done from your home computer whenever you have an extra hour or so to help us. No time pressure, no deadlines. Please contact [[mailto: Hal Miller]] if you can help. Eventually we would like to upload all Hilltown Historical Societies files to the site.
The Hilltowns Genealogy on the Berne Historical Project site has recently been updated recently. There are about 80,000 individuals. If you or your ancestor is from the Hilltowns and should be included but is not, let me know. Also, the files have much more information than what is posted on line. I will be glad to run off an ancestor or descendant report.
Many thanks to Betty Fink for researching and creating biographies of Hilltown families from information in Landmarks of Albany County. Recent biographies include the families of:
  • Jacob Hochstrasser (1730) of Germany who was the first supervisor of both the towns of Rensselaerville in 1790, and of Berne when it was broke off Rensselaerville in 1795.
  • Alexander Mackey of New Paltz who was in the Revolutionary War who with his brother William were among the early settlers of the town of Rensselaerville.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hilltown organizations should have "Eat Local Dinners"

Below is a posting I made on my Helderberg Hilltowns Facebook site along with a response I got this morning that I want to share with you:

Harold Hal Miller

Harold Hal Miller Those of you who live in the Hilltowns; please encourage your local organizations to buy local, especially when planning fundraising meals. We need to put our money where our mouths are, and buy local produce to feed our mouths and those that come to our fundraisers. Make your organizations proud to advertise that the meals they serve are from local farmers.

11 hours ago ·  ·  · Flag
Kathleen E Moore July 2 at 8:08am Report
Our church, Emmanuel Baptist in downtown Albany, has begun

a tradition of having "100-mile potlucks" once or twice a

year; people are encouraged to bring dishes made with food

from within a 100-mile radius. This has helped to raise

consciousness about the abundance, variety and quality of

locally-produced food. I know of some other churches in the

area that are doing the same thing.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

For Farmers and Local Folk

The Knox Conservation Advisory Council is planning its first annual Helderberg Hilltowns Fall Festival for October 9th from 10 am -3pm. There will be live music, activities for children, farm vendors, crafts, and more. They are seeking farm, craft, and other vendors from Berne, Knox, Westerlo, and Rensselaerville. Those interested in participating should contact Cheryl Frantzen, Chairperson, at 872-1199, 573-5949, or by e-mail at
  • HELDERBERG HILLTOWNS ASSOCIATION -The third meeting of the Helderberg Hilltowns Association was held on Monday, June 28. The following agenda items were discussed:
- Update on data gathering activities
- Update on Helderberg Market activities
- Updates on projects from last meeting:
Fall Hikes - Chad Jemison
Turkey Hunting classes - Jack Milner
Weekly Coupons - Michelle Catalano
Genealogy Day - Jane McLean
- Discussion of supporting activities for agriculture
Farm Tour
Farmers Market
Store front off the Hill
Month-to-month featured agricultural activities
Heather Ridge Farm
The Heldeberg Market - a new, low-cost service that markets Hilltown farmers' and home industrialists' goods online to customers throughout the Capital Region launched in June.
To take advantage of this service visit theHeldeberg Market web site. For more information please contact owner, Sarah Avery Gordon at 518-669-3446 or Sarah Gordon.
Marketing help from Sarah Gordon - I would be more than happy to host a community message board, announcements, maps that guide customers to local farm, home and commercial businesses, or other items that would help get the message out about goods and services available in the Hilltowns. I could integrate these features into the Heldeberg Market website. I think that coordinating in this manner could be very beneficial to a wide range of efforts in the Hilltowns, given that I will be pursuing widespread marketing, outreach, and awareness raising activities throughout the Capital District. Coordinating efforts would increase public exposure and create something like a one-stop virtual window into the Hilltowns.

Sarah Avery Gordon
Sarah Avery Gordon Environmental Consulting, LLC
D/B/A Heldeberg Market
371 Hamilton Street, 2nd Floor
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 669-3447
Sage Consulting
SAGEnvironmental Consulting
Heldeberg Market
Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs
Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs - now has a page on this site. This an active club with approximately 30 members from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo area. We meet almost every Wednesday at The Highlands Restaurant on Route 156 (1670 Berne Altamont Road, Altamont, NY 12009) in Knox. For details about club activities and the procedure for joining with us (we are always looking for new, active members), please contact our secretary, Zenie Gladeaux at 872-1469.
On May 19, 2010, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary at the Octagon Barn in Knox. As part of the celebration we gathered historical information from many sources. The articles and pictures below will give you a detailed history of the club and an idea of our current projects.
Thanks to John Eberfeld for postings on the Kiwanis Club.