Saugerties Historical Society
For a number of years this was the website for the Saugerties Historical Society.
The content is from the site's 2008 archived pages.
The current website for the Saugerties Historical Society is at http://saugertieshistoricalsociety.org/ where you will find all the latest information regarding events, membership, etc. The Dutch barn which is located on the property is perfect for all events ranging from weddings to baby showers.
Special events, including historical reenactments, History Day, seasonal concerts and historical displays on the front lawn, are available throughout the year.
Kiersted House Museum
119 Main Street
Saugerties, NY 12477
Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4PM
Memorial Day - October & by appointment
Headquarters of the Saugerties Historical Society and the home of the Society's museum, the Kiersted House is an exceptional example of 18th century building practices. It is listed on the New York State and the National Register of Historic Places.
ABOUT THE SOCIETY
The Saugerties Historical Society is a source of local information, art, and memorabilia. Exhibitions of colonial and recent history include Saugerties themes as well as those of regional interest such as History Day each October and authentic Hudson Valley colonial militia reenactment.
The Saugerties Historical Society partners with local schools in the education of American and local history. Hands-on activities such as scrubbing clothes on a washboard, spinning wool and writing with a quill pen encourage students to experience colonial life. The Saugerties Historical Society aims to bring pride and knowledge of community through education and preservation.
The Kiersted House is a community center. Each summer, concerts, such as those with the Saugerties Community Band are presented on the beautiful lawn and gardens of the house.
The Saugerties Historical Society regularly hosts various community clubs and organizations. The Kiersted House and grounds are available to suitable organizations for special events.
The Saugerties Historical Society welcomes all to experience history while visiting the Kiersted House.
The Kiersted-DuBois House is listed on the National and New York State Register of Historic Places.
MISSION OF THE SOCIETY
The mission of the Saugerties Historical Society shall be to provide coordination of all things historical in Saugerties; to be involved in the research, collection, preservation, dissemination of information about, and productive re-use of the historical archives and material culture of the community; to make the historical resources of the community available to the public through education, exhibition and interpretation; and to secure the safe management and protection of such resources that may come under its jurisdiction.
As an early member of the Historical Society, I enjoyed the company of engaged local citizens who were focused on improving the historical literacy of the residents as a way to bring pride and a sense of place to everyone. Populated by local merchants, clergy, local political leaders, educators, and interested residents, the society was a place where I felt we were involved in the common good while learning about our local roots. Our official discourse often wandered into the philosophical as a number of members were professors and educators. I recall fascinating conversations in which the meaning of life, the existence of reality, and the meaning of nothing interplayed with quest for knowledge in general. We read a treatise entitled "In Search Of Nothing" online that lead to an in depth and lively argument between those who felt that an understanding of "nothing" was critical to the acceptance of reality, if we accept that nothingness is the absence of everything. And in a humorous aside, we agreed to post signs to this effect in the old school house on New Post 90 Road where long ago village elders sided with the Revolution.
The Kiersted House was saved from demolition in 1955 by Charles and Inez Steele. Through the generous efforts of volunteers in cooperation with the Town and Village of Saugerties, the Saugerties Historical Society acquired the house in 1998.
The earliest recorded owner of the stone house was Hiskia DuBois, c. 1727. Doctor Christopher Kiersted (1736-1791) purchased the houes from Hiskia’s son, Daniel.
The stone house was built in sections with the east wing being the earliest, c. 1727. Subsequent additions to the west end included the parlor and the joining of a stone outbuilding to the main house in 1800. Preservation of the interior of the Kiersted House is evident in the original wide plank floors, 18th century glass-paned windows (some bearing family inscriptions), much original iron hardware and century old concrete floors with inlaid design.
In early 2003, during a planned restoration the house was spruced up with great care to respect the historic elements. The wooden doors and frames were carefully cleaned to expose their original grain and features. The floor planks were also cleaned and patched aesthetically. The stone work in the fireplace required additional care and some of the original stones had to be replaced. An antique pro carpet cleaning NYC service was enlisted to clean and restore the rugs and carpets, many of which were the originals and some of the more worn items were moved away from highly trafficked areas. The drapery and linen items were also restored or replaced with replicas.