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Germantown ������������������������������������������������

October 1 - 3 and 8 -10, 2010

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live. work. play.


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Contents “Theirs is a story of great hardship and deprivation, and we celebrate their strength and fortitude in making new lives in their new countries. We are their legacy.” ~ Alice Clark, The Palatine DNA Project photo by Jen Kiaba

Palatines of Germantown: Then and Now by Nan Eliot


Introductory Letters from: Nadine Rumke, Roy Brown, Senator Steve Saland, Assemblyman Pete Lopez


Can You Dig It? by Sarah Craig


A Brief History of Oktoberfest


Gala Palatine Concert Features World Premiere


Palatine History Weekend & Oktoberfest Schedule of Events

Getting at the Roots of the Palatine Legacy


A Look Back


BYU TV Visits Germantown’s 300th Anniversary Celebration


Stalking the Sun to Mark Germantown’s 300th Anniversay Gearing Up for the Big Celebration

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20 Contributors: Roy Brown, Sarah Craig, Nan Eliot, Jennifer Kiaba, Assemblyman Pete Lopez, Nadine Rumke, Senator Stephen Saland

Special Thanks: This Germantown 300 preview is published on behalf of the Germantown 300 Anniversay Committee by Rising Tide Communications, publishers of Hudson Valley Mercantile. All rights reserved.

Jim Gibbons: Publisher

Heather Gibbons: Creative Director

Germantown 300 Anniversary Committee The Germantown History Department The Columbia County Historical Society Cover photo by Jen Kiaba

hudson valley

Mercantile P.O. Box 178 • Red Hook, NY 12571 • 845-546-3051 •

Contents ©2010 Rising Tide Communications, LLC No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher.

Germantown 300

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Germantown 300

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The Town of

Germantown welcomes you

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Warmest regards,


    

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Fo� ove�half a centu�y,

Ge�m�ntown’s been ou� town.

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With offices and laboratories on three continents, you might say the world is our oyster. But Germantown is our pearl.

Happy Bi�thday,



the German Sanctity Church in 1712

Sunday Worship: 9 am Sunday School: 9 am (Sept.- May) Rev. David C. Tipple, Pastor 20 Church Ave., P.O. Box 115 Germantown, NY 12526 Church Office 518-537-6388

Congratulations, Germantown, on your 300th Anniversary.

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Palatines of Germantown then and now

by Nan Eliot

I n Columbia County, Germantown is looking closely into its

Palatine heritage as it prepares for a major celebration the first two weekends in October, when the town will mark its 300th birthday. The largest group of immigrants in Colonial times arrived in the Hudson Valley in October 1710. They landed at Germantown, first called East Camp, tucked into the southwest corner of Columbia County.

The largest group of immigrants in Colonial times arrived in the Hudson Valley in October 1710. They landed at Germantown, first called East Camp, tucked into the southwest corner of Columbia County. These hardy souls came from another southwest corner, in what is now Germany, called the Palatinate (Pfalz in German). Their story is one of indomitable courage and perseverance. In the early eighteenth century, Germany was anything but unified. There were many states, fiefdoms, and principalities, ruled by self-styled princes, dukes, and counts. The Palatine region was home to a disparate group of people. They were farmers, tradesmen, artisans, coopers, and craftspeople. Many were immigrants from other countries who sought work and the religious freedom offered by the Germans. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the Palatinate was devastated by almost constant wars between Protestant German States and Catholic France. The troops of King Louis XIV ravaged the area, and the winter of 1708-1709 was the cruelest in 100 years. Crops and vineyards were destroyed. Thousands of people were left destitute.

Looking North toward the Rip Van Winkle bridge from Germantown’s riverfront. photo by Jen Kiaba

Encouraged by an invitation from Queen Anne of England and The Golden Book written by a Reverend Joshua Kocherthal, in which he described America as a land of milk and honey, thousands of desperate Palatines fled down the River Rhine to the port of Rotterdam. There they sailed to England, and by October 1709, more than 13,000 of them were encamped in and around London. The British Government formed a Commission for the Palatines, which sent groups of the refugees to Ireland, Jamaica, and the American Carolinas. The largest group of Palatine refugees, however, remained in England. Enter a Scottish officer named Robert Hunter, who proposed a plan to the Government -- the Royal Navy needed hemp for ropes, lumber for ships’ masts, and pitch and tar from pine trees to seal their ships. The remaining Palatines could provide the labor to obtain these ‘naval stores’ in the Hudson Valley of New York, where pines grew in profusion. Hunter was made Governor of the New York colony, and the Palatine families were promised 40 acres of land and five Pounds Sterling in exchange for their passage, their board, and their labor in the new land. A contract was signed, and in late January 1710, twelve ships sailed from Portsmouth carrying 3,200 newly-indentured Palatines. About 470 passengers died on the voyage, and one ship, the frigate HMS Herbert, foundered off the coast of Block Island. Twenty-four hundred Palatine immigrants arrived in New York harbor in July 1710 and were landed at Nutten Island (now Governor’s Island). Governor Hunter had planned that the Palatines would settle some 100 miles north, and in late September; they sailed upriver. Six hundred ended up on the west side of the Hudson, near what is now Saugerties. The remaining 1,800 Palatines were landed on the east side of the river between October 4th and 20th. They were settled on the 6,000 acres Governor Hunter had just purchased from Robert Livingston, lord of the manor. Four small hamlets were established: Annsbury, near what continued on page 10 g

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back to 1621, when the Mayflower transported slightly over 100 people to our shores. Nadine has crafted her family tree on some ten feet square of heavy paper, proudly displaying her long lineage. It is truly a work of local art. During the Anniversary event, it will be exhibited at The Parsonage, home of the Germantown History Department and the oldest structure in town, built in 1746. Nadine’s research shows her Haber (Hover) family ancestors - mother, father, and 6 children - on the 1710 “Rotterdam lists” of passengers. One of the sons, Christian Hover, joined the failed Nicholson expedition to Quebec in 1711; he returned, married, and raised a family.

Nadine Hover Rumke’s family tree goes all the way back to the original Haber family of 1710. Her mother’s side goes back to 1621, when the Mayflower transported slightly over 100 people to our shores.

Nadine Rumke traces her lineage on a 10 sq ft genealogical chart created using family records kept by her brother; photo by Heather Gibbons.

is now called the Anchorage; Queensbury, near Sharpes Landing Road; Haysbury, around Lower Main Street; and Hunterstown, now Cheviot. There was little protection from the harsh winter weather, and little food. The land was suitable to grow pine, but not fertile for farming. Then it was discovered that the white pine trees along the river were the wrong kind of pine -- only pitch pine, growing six miles inland, was suited to naval stores. By their first spring in this new land, the Palatine settlers were bitterly disappointed with their lot. Arguments began between the Palatines and the Governor; Queen Anne and the British Government withdrew their support. Later in 1711, some 300 Palatines enlisted in the Nicholson Expedition to attack the French in Quebec during Queen Anne’s War. At Lake George, they learned of a failed naval attack and returned, unpaid, to East Camp. Many of the original settlers decided to leave, some northwest to the Schoharie Valley, where the local Indian tribes were reputed to be welcoming. Some went south and farmed land on the Beekman Patent near what is now Rhinebeck.

About 62 families remained in East Camp (designated Germantown in 1775), where they struggled to eke out a living. About 62 families remained in East Camp (designated Germantown in 1775), where they struggled to eke out a living. Their family names included Haber (which became Hover), Vinger (which became Fingar), Kuhn (now Coons), Schneider (now Snyder), Lasher, and Reiffenberg (now Rifenburgh). Many Palatine descendants still live in Germantown, and they have fascinating stories to tell. On her father’s side, Nadine Hover Rumke’s family tree goes all the way back to the original Haber family of 1710. Her mother’s side goes

Nadine’s house has been in the Hover family since it was built around 1860. The first deed lists Avaline Hover Phillips. At her death in 1884, the house was returned to Nadine’s great-grandfather, Alexander W. Hover (1820-1886). He and his wife, Catharine Clum (another Palatine descendant), had five sons. One of them, Charles Edgar Hover, was given the house as a wedding present in 1885. In the years since 1885, the house has been the repository of Hover family memorabilia, photos, legal records and papers, clothing, and “gossip quilts” (created in quilting bees while the women gossiped, often aboard small boats paddling in the Hudson River). Nadine’s late brother, C. Alexander Hover, became intrigued with their heritage. He scribbled his research notes on scraps of paper, which Nadine is now compiling into a book, “so the information won’t be lost,” she said. There are photos of Nadine’s father, Leland Proseus Hover - RPI graduate, civil engineer, builder - when he was instrument man and surveyor on a team building ten miles of the Chicago and Northwest Railroad from 1909-1913. He told stories about travelling on the wagons, shooting rattlesnakes, bathing and doing laundry in streams. Later, he built many buildings, bridges, and dams in our region, including the Schoharie Dam and the Germantown Cold Storage building at the foot of Main Street, where local fruit farmers stored their apples. Nadine is Co-Chair of the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration. She is particularly happy abut the October 2nd seminar with Palatine genealogical and historical experts. “One of the speakers is the Reverend David Jay Webber, a Germantown Central School graduate and Palatine descendant who is an expert on Palatine history,” Nadine said. “It will feel like a family reunion.”

Helen Coons Henderson...remembers hearing about the Palatines’ early days from her father...”They scrabbled and starved half the time. There are stories of them eating grass in 1712.” Helen Coons Henderson, a delightful 98 years young, grew up on the family farm on Camp Creek Road, land that has been in the family for generations. She remembers hearing about the Palatines’ early days from her father, James Snyder Coons. “They scrabbled and starved half the time. There are stories of them eating grass in 1712!” The family, which had originally settled in Hunterstown (now Cheviot), moved to Snyder’s Corners in North Germantown in 1712.

Germantown 300 The land was divided among the sons, who each built a house. The early Palatine houses had only one and one-half storey’s the ground floor (called the attic) was for sleeping and storage, and the cellar room below was the kitchen and living room. “Everybody lived in the kitchen,” said Helen. “Back then,” said Helen, “it certainly was the survival of the fittest. In 1712, when Governor Hunter ran out of money, Robert Livingston extended credit to the Palatine families which continued into the 1720’s.” A Debtors List Helen M Coons photo from old Coons family was maintained, listing the tools, album, photo courtesy of the Germantown grain, corn, and other staples they History Department. bought. Some Palatines got jobs at the mills operating along the Roeliff Jansen (Roe Jan) river, where grain was milled for beer and cooking. The 6,000 acres for Palatine settlements were not deeded over to them until 1740, when Helen’s Snyder ancestors received their parcel. Helen’s grandmother, Malvina Snyder, married Josiah Coons, who was born in the basement of Teviotdale (now a historic site on Wire Road) in 1849, where his father Phillip was a tenant farmer. Helen’s great uncle, William H. Coons, lived on Camp Creek Road, considered Snyder land, one mile from the Hudson River. Snyder and Coons descendants have married each other twice, and the two families remain close. They celebrate Thanksgiving together every year Palatine-style, with a feast of fresh pork and root vegetables, cooked according to recipes more than 100 years old. In his Germantown office, Peter Fingar, an eighth generation Palatine descendant, proudly displayed “Descendants of Johannes Finger,” his family tree, printed on 29 pages. Johannes Finger (or Fingar, probably “Vinger” in the original German) was born in Germany in about 1700. He and his family survived the difficult voyage, arriving here when Johannes was only 10. He was married in 1725 to Catharina Hess in the Linlithgo Reformed Church; they had 12 children. “Everyone wanted to have plenty of children in those days,” explains Peter, “because they were needed Peter Fingar. Photo submitted. to help with the work.” There was no family discussion of the Palatines while Peter was growing up - he heard more about his mother’s family, the Rockefellers. “From its inception, this was an agricultural community,” he said. “We were farmers and fishermen. My father and uncle were successful fruit farmers, with 120 acres between them.” Seventy years ago, the men of the town maintained what might now be called a “man cave,” in a building on Main Street just east of Church Avenue. “It had spittoons, a wood stove, and chairs. The men from the town would spend evenings enjoying cigars and playing Euchre,” Peter said.

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“From its inception, this was an agricultural community, ... We were farmers and fishermen.” ~ Peter Fingar He remembers long trips to Hudson for supplies when he was a child. “Then, Northern Boulevard was a main highway, and the Roe Jan Bridge was originally 100 yards to the east,” Peter added. In the early 1800’s, the town was divided into eleven “Road Districts,” and a “roadmaster” for each was required to maintain the roads. The roadmasters issued reports to the highway commissioners before each town meeting. Over the years, generations of Palatine families have contributed to the welfare of Germantown and the Mid-Hudson Valley. Nadine Rumke was a beloved music teacher at Germantown Central School, and her brother, C. Alexander Hover, established the Hover Foundation, a nonprofit foundation which helps Germantown non-profit organizations. Grant recipients include the Germantown Fire Company, The Parsonage (Germantown History Department), the Germantown Library, and the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration. Helen Coons Henderson assists Mary Howell, Columbia County Historian, with research. Her relative Joan Snyder, the widow of Palatine descendant Glenn E. Snyder, was recently re-elected to the Germantown Town Council for a second term. She has been particularly active in helping senior citizens in Germantown. Peter Fingar, the retired President of the Fingar Insurance Company, was a member of the Town Council, and a long-time volunteer serving with the Lions Club, the Germantown Reformed Church, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, and Columbia Memorial Hospital. He remains active in local politics. Nadine Rumke, in her early 80’s, Helen Coons Henderson, 98, and Peter Fingar, 80, are exemplars of the energetic Palatine spirit. They and many other Palatine descendants, with names like Lasher, Cooper, Sheffer, Potts, Kline, Moore and Craig, will join hundreds of local residents, tourists and visitors, to celebrate Germantown’s 300th Birthday during the first two weekends of October 2010. Were those original settlers able to join in the celebration, they would undoubtedly be proud of what their Palatine descendants continue to accomplish in “East Camp.” This article is republished with permission from The Columbia County Historical Society. It first appeared in the May 2010 issue of Columbia County History & Heritage magazine.

d END NOTES: Information for this article was obtained from the Germantown History Department; from Alvin Sheffer, a Palatine descendant and historian; and from interviews with Nadine Rumke, Helen Coons Henderson, and Peter Fingar. The following web-sites were consulted for background,,,,, www., Special thanks to Jeremy Smith, co-chairman of the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration and Town Council member; Mary Howell, Columbia County historian; Richard Coons; and Dea Archbold. About the author: Nan Eliot, a long-time resident of Germantown, was Director of Tourism Marketing for the NYS “I LOVE NY” program, and the proprietor of The Eliot Group, an international tourism marketing service with offices here and in England. Recently retired from her “semi-retirement” job at Merritt Bookstore in Red Hook, she has discovered that she, too, may be a Palatine descendant, through her mother’s German ancestors, the Reuter family.

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Welcome to the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration! In October 1710, the largest group of migrants in Colonial times, Palatines from the southwest region of Germany, arrived in Germantown -- then called “East Camp.” Our 300th Anniversary Celebration honors their courage and perseverance. Our small town of fewer than 2,000 people has come together to create two weekends of history, culture, entertainment and family fun. Many volunteers gave untold hours of their time and raised every penny of funding we needed. Germantown is full of talented, hard-working people who care. Thank you to Germantown’s businesses who donated funds and services. Thanks to the Germantown Economic Development Committee, which donated ArtSpace on Main Street for our Palatine Information Center. It’s open the weekend before the Celebration, September 25-26, and both weekends of the Celebration: the Palatine Heritage Weekend October 1-3, and the Palatine Oktoberfest October 8-10. Our volunteer staff will introduce visitors to free Celebration information, tourist maps and guides, and the Hover Collection -- memorabilia, clothing and furnishings from generations of my family, the Hovers. Perhaps visitors will make a small purchase of our colorful Commemorative Merchandise. There is an Art Gallery of sculpture, stained glass, and paintings by six local artists. You’ll also see paintings and dioramas about the Palatines by student artists from Germantown Central School. A small viewing area will show the Palatine Projection of historic and contemporary images, and the Oral Histories of Palatine descendants. Thanks to Marguerite Riter, Town Historian, and the Germantown History Department for producing the Palatine History Seminar at The Reformed Church on October 2nd. Pastor David Tipple and The Reformed Church also provided the Church for the Gala Palatine Concert on October 3rd, featuring the world premiere of Harold Farberman’s Palatine Cantata. George Sharpe, Event Coordinator, and his team have outdone themselves producing an extravagant 3-day Palatine Oktoberfest -- music, dancing, crafters, demonstrations, a Teen Dance, food and drink, free parking, free admission, free wagon rides, and FREE FIREWORKS! Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to the incredibly supportive Town Board, our sponsors and all who donated funds, services, and hard work to make it all happen. Happy Birthday, Germantown!

J. Nadine Rumke, Chair Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee

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In October, 1710 a group of Palatine refugees fleeing war, poverty and religious persecution arrived on the banks of the Hudson River looking for a chance to start anew. In the years that followed this hearty band overcame great hardships as they struggled to build a community and insure a better life for their descendants. In time that community flourished and produced some of the finest fruit and produce grown in the Hudson Valley. Many of those Palatine descendants still live and work in this bucolic community founded by their ancestors. This October Germantown celebrates the 300th Anniversary of the arrival of the Palatines in the Hudson Valley. We invite our neighbors from near and far to join in the celebration and enjoy the beauty of our town and the magnificent Hudson River. Whether you attend our History Weekend (Oct. 1-3) or Oktoberfest (Oct. 8-10) or both, we’re sure you’ll come away with a new appreciation for the beauty and history to be found in our unique community. This celebration has been made possible through the efforts of hundreds of community volunteers and dozens of local businesses. The hard working, can-do spirit that characterized those early Palatine settlers is alive and well in Germantown today. Details are available on the town website: Come and join in the celebration!

Roy D. Brown Supervisor, Town of Germantown

Dear Friends, As we celebrate the 300th anniversary of Germantown, we celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of those who came before us. We reflect on a people who left their homes and families in the Old World in search of freedom and opportunity. Seeking freedom of religion - Freedom of speech - A chance to start a new life full of promise - The promise of America. In this year, may we honor all who have contributed to making this place a community. May we be ever mindful of our rich, shared history and continue - as one people - to secure a bright and prosperous future. In this 300th anniversary, may we give thanks. Blessings on the people of Germantown. Respectfully,

Pete Assemblyman Pete Lopez – 127th AD

Dear Residents of Germantown: Congratulations! The story of the settlement of the German Palatines in the Hudson Valley is truly inspiring. The original settlers of what is now Germantown, overcame remarkable obstacles in their fight for freedom and survival from oppression. It brings to mind how courageous these people were. How wonderful it is that we can enjoy the fruits of their labors and be inspired by their example to be purposeful and strong in our own lives. Through their hard work and vision we have a little of the Rhine River right here on the Hudson River. Glückwunsch to Germantown! May our descendants enjoy a similar joyous celebration 100 years from now. Sincerely,

Stephen M. Saland Senator

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Germantown Happy 300th Birthday

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can you

dig it? The Parsonage dig site. photo by Jen Kiaba

Anniversary, the Parsonage – the oldest building in Germantown – has become the site of an archaeological dig to help discover more about the town’s past. Now holes systematically cover the front yard, and the soft ‘tink-tink’ of tools slowly chipping their way through long-untouched rocks and dirt can be heard, laying bare their historical secrets for those willing to find them. The dig officially began in October 2009. Alvin Sheffer, local history buff, was the man who really got the ball rolling. He contacted Dr. Christopher Lindner, Professor of Archaeology at Bard College, and together with Donald Westmore, President of the Germantown Library, they obtained a support grant from Hudson River Bank and Trust Company Foundation. The goal of the operation was to discover whether the main door used to be in the front left corner of the Parsonage. The current door leads to the second floor, a section built in 1967. Lindner has received ample support not only from the town, but from Germantown Central by Sarah Craig School (GCS) as well. Teacher The United States and its citizens Susan Raab and her first grade live in a very fast paced society, where class lent their aid to the cause, as most of our time is focused on the now did other elementary school classes and planning for the future. Citizens, from GCS. even those from the small, rural town “It’s a chance to really of Germantown, often don’t have begin to get information out to Students at work at the dig site over the summer. photo by Christopher Lindner the luxury of taking a breather and the community as a whole, but recollecting the past. particularly into the school. I’ve ...the soft ‘tink-tink’ of tools But in Germantown, the 300th worked with four of the slowly chipping their way through already Anniversary of the town’s colonization Germantown teachers in the spring is upon us, a perfect incentive to long-untouched rocks and dirt can and some in the fall (last), and there commemorate the forming of the been community participants. be heard, laying bare their historical have community many of us now call home. It’s not a college dig over here, it’s In 1710, what we know today as secrets for those willing to find them. a community dig with the college Germantown – a Columbia County serving to focus things,” Lindner said. Hudson River town – was the landing spot for the largest single migration The initial dig turned up some very interesting results. The biggest to New York. Roughly 3,000 Germans endured a harrowing months-long of these discoveries were large slabs of stones that were unexpectantly journey to seek religious freedom and new beginnings in the new world. revealed in the trench that was dug in front of the current-day Parsonage’s For the better part of the next three and a half decades, the settlers window - where the original Parsonage door is believed to have been. adapted to their new home and formed a community, enamored of the Lindner’s theory is that these stones made up a retaining wall that stood beauty and practical benefits of the Hudson River. next to the door. This evidence leans in the favor of the door actually In 1746 the Parsonage was built for the reverend of The First having been part of the original Parsonage. Reformed Church in Germantown. Perched atop a hill, the Parsonage is Most would wonder about the rationale behind the hard work and a religious symbol that undoubtedly drew many people to gather under dedication to literally “unearth” a door that may or may not have been a its roof in fellowship. part of the original Parsonage. But it’s not a fascination with doors that Fast forward to the present day. The Parsonage is no longer the drives Lindner, but the events that took place around the entryway. “It home of a holy man, but instead the location of Germantown’s History shows us where people spent time, where they interacted. For me that’s continued on page 17 g Department and Garden Club. In honor of Germantown’s 300th

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The overall consensus of the students is that their participation in the dig is a great learning experience...

Bard College archaeology professor Christopher Lindner measuring large slabs of stone buried in the front yard of the Parsonage in Germantown, to determine whether they formed a patio in front of the original house’s cellar door, now a window.. Photo by Jen Kiaba.

Pottery fragments from the mid-1700s, originating in England and China, that archaeology volunteers excavated prior to installation of a monument to the 1710 Palatine immigrants from the Rhineland.. Photo by Jen Kiaba

very important,” said Lindner. “I’m not interested in doors, I want to know where the people were, what they were doing and where they were doing it. So that’s why we focus on that.” Many other finds have been recovered from the earth surrounding the Parsonage. Last October’s dig, was joined by another in the spring, and turned up various pieces of mismatched pottery, the handle of a spoon or knife, a whetstone, a smoking pipe, and many other various items. Artifacts from the dig are on display at the Germantown Library. In July, a new phase of project Parsonage began. “We haven’t left the area where we were digging in the fall and spring, but we’re going to intensify our excavation,” said Lindner. A grid was set up: two parallel lines every ten feet in which students would

dig 2.7 square feet to get a sample. The students came not only from Germantown Central School, but Red Hook, Athens, Poughkeepsie, and Onteora as well. As part of a Hover Foundation scholarship, these students each earned four college credits for their participation in the program. According to Lindner, the new summer objective was to figure out the frequency of artifacts distributed across the lawn. The overall consensus of the students is that their participation in the dig is a great learning experience, both about archeology and about Germantown’s history, though not about Germantown today. Emily Fecht, who lives just down the road from the Parsonage, admitted, “I didn’t even know what the Parsonage was until this.” Some students do prefer the four free college credits to the project’s historical significance. “I can see where it’d be a great thing for someone interested in local history or whose ancestors were Palatines,” said one would-be archaeologist from Onteora, “but it’s not really my bag.” However, he did go on to brag that his hole at the bottom of the hill is the envy of the group because of its shade and lack of pesky rock obstacles. The summer workforce found a plethora of artifacts to add to the Parsonage collection. Several types of pottery characteristic of 1700s were discovered. Now the group has collected enough shards from the same piece that can be fit together so the original pattern may be partially recreated. In addition, other significant finds include a cufflink initialed with an “F” and a woman’s wedding ring. The Germantown Library artifact exhibit will soon be joined with an online counterpart. Eventually, there will also be a traveling exhibit, which will include pieces from the library’s exhibit. The exhibit will travel to schools, libraries, and historical societies in the area. Lindner admits it could take years before he’s satisfied enough to finish with the Parsonage time he is exploring through the dig. Going forward he would like to have dig crews at different locations in Germantown. Two possible sites are Sharpe’s Landing and Rockefeller mill – considered the location of Germantown’s first mill – which is now the west main street area. Lindner is enthusiastic about the 300th Celebration and about what his discoveries are able to contribute. He hopes that people will continue their interest in their roots and not let it fade once the 300th festivities end. “For me, it’s the beginning of something, it’s not marking the end of the century, it’s marking the beginning of a much greater interest in local history,” said Lindner. “And I hope that more care will be taken with history to preserve it, to preserve places and artifacts and records and so forth.”


About the Author: Sarah Craig graduated from Germantown Central in 2007 and is currently a senior at Ithaca College pursuing a degree in Journalism with Creative Writing and English minors.

Professor Christopher Lindner is Director of the Bard Archaeology Field School, Visiting Professor of Anthropology, and Archaeologist in Residence at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Dr. Lindner received his B.A. from Hamilton College, his M.A., from the University of Cincinnati, and his Ph.D. from SUNY Albany. Dr. Lindner has been Director of the Guinea Community Archaeology Project of the Dutchess County Historical Society since 2001, and has directed archaeological overview and assessment for the National Parks Service at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park since 2003. He is past President of the New York Archaeological Council -- the state’s professional organiztaion -- and Vice President of Hudson River Heritage. Articles by Dr. Lindner have been published in Hudson River Valley Review, Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut, and Archaeology of Eastern North America. He is also coeditor of “A Northeastern Millennium and A Golden Chronograph”. Dr. Lindner’s professional interests include geomorphological impacts on archaeological sites; experimental analysis of prehistoric artifacts; history of land use in the Hudson River basin; and historical archaeology of rural 19th-century African American communities. For more information, visit photo by Jen Kiaba

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Oktoberfest a brief histor y of







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Food is traditionally a big part of Oktoberfest celebrations around the world with such traditional hearty fare as Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages), Brezn (Pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Kasspatzn (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Blaukraut (red cabbage) and more. At Germantown’s Oktoberfest, October 9 & 10, there will be more than 21 food vendors. Look for: treats from Otto’s Market; BBQ fare from ‘Cue to Go; fall favorites like apple crisp from Crazy “Bout Crisp; tamales from Block Factory Tamales made with Eger Brothers vegetables; pork-chop-on-a-stick and ‘Wicked Good Chips’ from The Red Barn; delectable chocolate desserts from Taste Budds; ice cream, shakes, sundaes and floats from Supreme Cream; pizza from Palatine Park Pizza; kettle corn and fried dough from Holiday Enterprises; traditional German fare from the Oktoberfest Committe, including knockwurst, bratwurst, sauerkraut, apple strudel; and so much more!

n History source:; photo: ferris wheel in Munich, Oktobefest, photo by Andreas Steinhoff.

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he Oktoberfest is a two-week festival held each year in Munich, Germany during late September and early October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, attended by six million people each year! It has inspired numerous similar events using the name Oktoberfest in Germany and around the world, many of which were founded by German immigrants or their descendants. The original “Oktoberfest” occurred in Munich, on October 18, 1810: For the commemoration of their marriage, Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen organized a great horse race (the marriage took place on October 12; the horse race on October 17, therefore, there are different dates named as being the first Oktoberfest). German-Americans are the single largest ethnicity in the United States, correspondingly, there are hundreds of large and small Oktoberfest celebrations across the country, with the largest in Cincinnati, Ohio. Germantown held an Oktoberfest celebration annually from 1979 to 1998, but hasn’t held one since. It is hoped that 2010 will mark a new beginning for what will once again become an annual Community event.


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Galafeatures Palatine Concert world premiere

The Gala Palatine Concert on October 3rd celebrates and recognizes through music, the 1710 arrival of the German Palatines in “East Camp,” now known as Germantown. Through performances by local musicians and the world premiere of The Palatine Cantata, a new work by renowned composer and conductor Harold Farberman, the concert also celebrates the vibrant musical life of a town marking its 300th Anniversary. The free, hour-long concert will begin with a group of selected hymns sung by the Southern ColumHarold Farberman. Photo submitted. bia County Community Chorus, led by Donna Diehl. Rev. Kenneth L. Walsh of Kingston’s Old Dutch Church will accompany them on the organ. Later in the program, Rev. Walsh will perform German Organ Music by Bach and Walther, with spoken commentary. He has performed widely, including a command performance for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and he has also served parishes in five states. Germantown’s Grupetto Quartet will play selections from Handel’s Water Music Suite. The Quartet embodies the chamber-music tradition of players getting together to perform music for their own enjoyment. They also play at weddings and other community events. Madera Vox Instrumental Group, a classical crossover group of four conservatory-trained musicians, will play Five Children’s Songs by Chick Corea. With an unusual combination of instruments and voice, the group performs innovative arrangements of popular music, works commissioned for them, and masterworks from the woodwinds repertory. Their original children’s program, Black Bear’s Hudson Valley Tale, was recently recorded on CD. The Palatine Cantata — A New Land, A New Beginning is a commissioned work by Harold Farberman, who is known worldwide as a classical composer and conductor. He has conducted orchestras such as the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Stockholm Philharmonic. A Juilliard School of Music graduate as a percussionist/tympanist, he was the youngest player ever to work fulltime with the Boston Symphony. After

12 seasons, he resigned to devote himself to composing and conducting. Maestro Farberman has composed orchestral works, chamber music, concertos, ballet music, song cycles, film scores and operas. He wrote the music for the Oscar-winning documentary The Great American Cowboy. His opera, The Song of Eddie, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Diamond Street, his one-act comic opera, premiered at the Hudson Opera House and Diamond Opera Theater in 2009.

Maestro Farberman has composed orchestral works, chamber music, concertos, ballet music, song cycles, film scores and operas. He wrote the music for the Oscar-winning documentary The Great American Cowboy. Harold Farberman has lived in Germantown for over 20 years. He is the founder and director of the Conductors Institute at Bard College and directs the graduate program in conducting at the Bard Conservatory of Music. The Palatine Cantata will be performed by tenor Patrick Layton, soprano Megan Weston, 8 musical instruments, and the Southern Columbia County Community Chorus. Maestro Farberman, who created both the music and text, will conduct. The Gala Palatine Concert will be held on Sunday, October 3rd, at 3 p.m. at The Reformed Church, 20 Church Avenue, Germantown. Admission is free, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information about the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration, visit or telephone 518-537-6687, ext. 308.


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Palatine Heritage Weekend k October 1-3 Both Weekends The Palatine Information Center Main Street, Town Center Open Sat.-Sun., 9/25-9/26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Open Fri., 10/1, noon-5 p.m.; Sat., 10/2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 10/3, 11am-5pm Open Fri, 10/8, 3-7 p.m.; Sat., 10/9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 10/10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free information on: all Celebration events; tourism; local businesses and merchandise. Brochures, maps and guides. 300th Commemorative merchandise for sale: ball caps, t-shirts, sweatshirts, golf shirts, tote bags, posters, buttons and fridge magnets. Two newly republished books: “History of 18th Century Germantown” and “Early Times in Germantown.” Price range $25-$27. Gallery of Germantown Art: Paintings, sculpture and stained glass by six local artists: Julia Aneshansley, Dea Archbold, Marie Cole, Donald Crews, Kurt Holsapple and Helen Sacco. Gallery of Student Art from Germantown Central School: Palatine-themed drawings, paintings, dioramas and more. The Hover Collection: One Palatine family’s multi-generational memorabilia. Quilts, furnishings, clothing, books and a 6-foot-long family tree. Palatine Video Theatre: Palatine descendants’ Oral Histories and the Palatine Projection, a series of views, photos, drawings, and designs. Will also be seen at the Oktoberfest, Oct. 8-10, on 900 sq ft “screen.”

Oral Histories & Historic Documents The Germantown Library, Palatine Park Road Palatine descendants’ oral histories, old photos, documents and maps. The Palatine Analemma Palatine Park, Palatine Park Road An original sculpture designed by Palatine descendants Dea Archbold and Kurt Holsapple. A work in progress, created between the 2009 winter solstice (December) and to be completed on the winter solstice of December 2010. It is an astrological figure in the form of an extended figure 8, constructed of local stone, which marks the transit of the sun each year -- just as it passed over 18th century Palatine farmers. The Palatine Archaeology Project Germantown History Department The Parsonage, Maple Avenue The oldest structure in Germantown, first built in 1746. Excavation of historic artifacts took place over the summer of 2010 under the direction of Professor Christopher Lindner, Archaeologist in Residence at Bard College. Bard and Germantown Central School students, teachers, and Germantown History Department volunteers participated. Some of the many thousands of found artifacts are beautifully displayed at the Germantown Library. The Palatine Monument The Parsonage, Maple Avenue A magnificent bronze plaque inlaid on a massive stone which bears the names of the Palatine families who came to East Camp (now Germantown) in 1710, and stayed in the area. Many of their descendants still live here. Funded by the Hover Foundation.

Historic Driving Tours of Germantown Self-guided driving tours. Instructions and maps available at Palatine Information Center.

Palatine Heritage Weekend Friday, October 1 6:45 pm Exhibit Featuring K-6 Students’ Palatine Projects & presentation on the History of the Palatines presented by Susan Raab & Devin Overington. Germantown Central School Cafetorium 7 pm Performance: “Palatines Arrive in Germantown in 1710” an original play Germantown Central School Cafetorium Written by Columbia County Historian, Mary Howell and performed by Germantown Central School Elementary Drama Club, with music and Palatine-era costumes created by Adrienne Westmore, professional costumier.

Saturday, October 2 8:30 am-3:45 pm Palatine History Seminar Germantown Reformed Church, 20 Church Avenue “Aspects of Palatine History: The Palatines in Germantown” featuring leading Palatine historians, authors and genealogists. 8:30 - 9:30 AM Registration, with Refreshments 9:30 AM - 3:45 PM Seminar Speakers Hank Z. Jones, Philip Otterness, David Jay Webber, and Alice Clark

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Palatine Oktoberfest k October 8-10 Palatine History Seminar (continued) Fee $35 with lunch; $25 without. Pre-Registration strongly suggested.

Palatine Oktoberfest

4-5 pm Palatine Analemma Monument Dedication The Parsonage, Maple Avenue Dignitaries, Hover Foundation representatives and Town leaders will officiate. Limited parking. Transportation to and from The Parsonage and the History Seminar will be provided.

FREE Admission and Parking; FREE Tractor and Horse Drawn Wagon Rides; Farmers Market; Craft, Food (more than 21 vendors!), and Game Vendors; Music and Displays; The Palatine Projection on 900 sq ft screen

Sunday, October 3 8-11 am Anniversary Breakfast & Ecumenical Worship Service Christ Lutheran Church, Intersection of Church Avenue, Cemetery Road, and Lasher Avenue, Viewmont 3 pm Palatine Gala Concert Germantown Reformed Church, Church Avenue A free musical celebration of the Palatines and Germantown’s vibrant musical life today. Performances by the Southern Columbia County Community Chorus; German Organ Music and commentary by Rev. Kenneth Walsh; Handel’s Water Music Suite by the Grupetto Quartet, and Chick Corea’s Five Children’s Songs performed by the Madera Vox Instrumental group. World Premiere of The Palatine Cantata - A New Land, A New Beginning, composed and conducted by Harold Farberman, with tenor Patrick Layton, soprano Megan Weston, eight musical instruments, and the Southern Columbia County Community Chorus.

All Weekend

Friday, October 8 5 pm Wagon Parade down Main Street to Palatine Park Honoring Local Businesses, Farmers, and Students and Staff from Germantown Central School. Grand Marshall, Hugh McLean, a lifelong resident and volunteer of Germantown. 5-11 pm Palatine Park Bonfire, refreshments and live music by local band, Grass Fed‒a Bluegrass Quintet.

Saturday, October 9 All Events at Palatine Park 11 am-11 pm Day-long family fun featuring: Farm Exhibits, Demonstrations on Fire Safety, Sparky the Fire Dog, Petting Zoo, Crafters and Food Vendors, Wine and Palatine Beer, Bounce Houses, Games, Dancing, History Exhibits, German Food Sales and more!

1-3 pm Live Music: The Higgins & Smith Bluegrass Band; Presentation for kids by the Department of Environmental Conservation. 3:30-5:30 pm Live Music: Mike O’Leary, Acoustic Guitarist 6-7:30 pm Teen Dance with Mountain Music DJs Town Garage 7;30 pm

FANTASTIC FIREWORKS DISPLAY!! 8-10:30 pm Teen Dance continues Town Garage

Sunday, October 10 11 am-7 pm Day-long family fun featuring: Best Apple Pie Contest (11 a.m.), Visit from Smoky Bear (noon); Farm Exhibits, Petting Zoo, Crafters and Food Vendors, Bounce Houses, Games, Dancing, History Exhibits, German Food Sales and more! 1-5 pm Live musical entertainment with the Joe Ungar Band – Oompah German style! 7 pm Closing Ceremony

1-3 pm Live broadcast by 98.5 The Cat

Please check: for updates!

Photos by Jen Kiaba. L to R: view of the Hudson and Catskills from Germantown riverfront; Germantown Reformed Church;

Otto’s Market storefront; monument at Palatine Park; Germantown view; The Parsonage, the oldest building in Germantown.

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getting at the

of the Palatine legacy


alatine descendants from around the country will be flocking to Germantown for the town’s 300th Anniversary Celebration. They’re particularly excited about hearing Hank Z. Jones, Jr., one of the four “Palatine Professors” who will be speaking at the Palatine History Seminar on Saturday October 2nd. Jones is one of only 50 Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists worldwide, and is arguably the most prominent in his field. He is also known as a dynamic, entertaining speaker -- not surprising, as Jones spent 25 years as a film and television actor prior to entering the field of genealogy.

Jones is one of only 50 Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists worldwide, and is arguably the most prominent in his field. Jones has been actively climbing family trees since the age of eight, and since his graduation from Stanford, has specialized in tracing 18th century German emigrants. He has published many books on the subject, including “The Palatine Families of New York - 1710” (winner of the Donald Lines Jacobus Award for “Best Genealogical Work of the Year”), “More Palatine Families”, and the new 3-volume “Even More Palatine Families”. His bestseller, “Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy”, a study of how intuitive nudges and serendipitous events sometimes influence our genealogical searches, is now in its 9th printing. It was dramatized on NBC’s “Unsolved Mysteries” series

Jones has appeared in almost 500 national TV commercials and has been featured on more than 300 network TV shows. and continues to appear on cable TV. A recent TIME Magazine cover story on genealogy quoted Jones. In his earlier performing career, Hank Z. Jones acted in many films, among them eight Walt Disney Studio movies such as “Blackbeard’s Ghost,” with Peter Ustinov, Dean Jones, and Suzanne Pleshette. Jones has appeared in almost 500 national TV commercials and has been featured on more than 300 network TV shows. His credits include roles in “My Three Sons,” “Love Boat,” and “Mork and Mindy.” Jones’ recent book, “Memories - The Show-Biz Part Of My Life” is rife with his off-the-wall experiences working with major stars such as Henry Fonda, Robin Williams, Bob Hope, Ringo Starr, and Elvis Presley. Jones is also a singer-songwriter, who co-starred on ABC-TV’s Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, wrote Mel Tormé ’s hit “Midnight Swinger,” and recorded albums on RCA and Capitol Records. His newest CDs are currently released on Epitomé Records. Hank Z. Jones is truly a Renaissance man. Jones recently commented on his upcoming appearance in Germantown, “After nearly 50 years of chasing all 847 Palatine families who arrived in 1710, documenting over 600 of the families in their ancestral German homes and then writing and lecturing about them, it’s such a thrill for me to see the wonderful celebration you are planning at Germantown.”

Germantown 300 The Palatine Seminar, “Aspects of Palatine History: The Palatines in Germantown,” takes place Saturday, October 2nd, at the Reformed Church, Church Road, in Germantown. There are three other distinguished “Palatine Professors” participating in the seminar: Philip L. Otterness, Professor of History/Political Science at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina; Pastor David Jay Webber, an expert in Palatine history, theology and genealogy; and Alice Clark, who heads up the Palatine DNA Project, is a Palatine descendant herself. For more information on these “Palatine Professors” see below. The doors open at 9 a.m., and the Seminar begins at 9:30 a.m. The day-long seminar includes a luncheon prepared by members of the Church. The fee is $35 including lunch, or $25 without lunch.

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Books by Hank Z. Jones and other “Palatine Professors” may be purchased at the Seminar. The Seminar registration form may be found at, where full information on the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration is available. For additional information, call 518-537-6687 ext. 308.

 Illustration by H. Gibbons created using public domain portraits source:

The Palatine Professors Philip L. Otterness is Professor of History/ Political Science at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. Previously, he worked for eight years in the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, travelling around the world and taking part in trade negotiations. Professor Otterness’ general research interests are in the history of early modern Germany and colonial America, and he has written extensively about 18th Century German migration to colonial New York. His book, “Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York” (Cornell University Press), won the Dixon Ryan Fox Award from the New York State Historical Association for the best manuscript on the history of New York state. Otterness has also published articles in “New York History” and “Pennsylvania History”. Currently, he is working with students doing research, based on primary sources, on the political, social, and cultural history of the Carolina backcountry during the time of the American Revolution. Pastor David Jay Webber, a Germantown Central School graduate and Palatine descendant who is an expert on Palatine history, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and a Master of Divinity degree concentrating in Historical Theology. For eight years he served as a professor of Church History in a theological seminary in Eastern Europe, and has done additional study in European and American political and social history. Pastor Webber brings to his genealogical research a specialized knowledge of those secular and religious influences that impacted the communities

and countries in which our ancestors lived, and that gave shape to the civil and ecclesiastical documents in which their stories are told. Genealogical and historical articles that Pastor Webber authored have been published in various journals, including the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, The Winegar Tree, Ellis Cousins Newsletter, the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, Lutheran Quarterly, Lutheran Synod Quarterly, and the Lutheran Sentinel. His work has also been referenced or cited in: “More Palatine Families” by Henry Z Jones; “Even More Palatine Families” by Henry Z Jones and Lewis Bunker Rohrbach; “Lasher Lineage” by Eileen Lasher Powers; and “Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume 22: William Bradford” by Ann Smith Lainhart and Robert S. Wakefield. David Jay Webber has served as a speaker or presenter for numerous local and regional genealogical societies, at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference, and the Palatines to America National Conference. He is a member of the Arizona Council of Professional Genealogists, Palatines to America, the Slovak Heritage & Folklore Society International, and the Governor William Bradford Compact. Alice Clark grew up in Germany and Haiti as the child of a U.S. diplomat and is fluent in Russian, French and German. She earned a BA in Russian from Hanover College, an MA in Russian History from Indiana University, and an MA in Economics from George Washington University. Clark re-

cently took an early retirement after a career in international banking, having worked in Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York, Paris, Chicago and Moscow. Descended from a dozen different 1710 Palatine emigrant families, Clark has been working on genetic genealogy projects for several years, currently running two, including the Palatine DNA Project. The Project’s stated mission is to encourage “participation by all men (and women) who have a direct ancestral line – either all male or all female -- to a man or woman whose surname appears in the index of The Palatine Families of New York 1710 by Henry Z. Jones, Jr., and who lived in the Palatinate area in the early 1700s. The goal is “to reunite these families, whether they came to America, remained in Germany or were sent elsewhere in the British Empire.” Through the Palatine DNA Project, Clark hopes to “determine family links between and among the families that left Germany in 1708/09 and traveled to Holland, then to England and finally to the far corners of the British Empire, including America. Theirs is a story of great hardship and deprivation, and we celebrate their strength and fortitude in making new lives in their new countries. We are their legacy.” For more information on the Palatine DNA Project, visit:

Background: Early map of Palatine Town or the Camp. Courtesy The Germantown History Department.

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A Look Back

Happy Birthday Town of Germantown 1609 - 1959. September 13, 1959 Hudson Champlain Celebration. This is the Germantown float for the parade held in Hudson.

Snapshot of the Germantown float with Lorinda Bohnsack in back seat of car. From left, Ingrid Haraldson, Gwendolyn Von der Osten, Linda Fingar. AJ’s white caddy.

1896 Lasher Homestead on East Canp Rd., Germantown. L to R: Ben F Lasher(in carriage), Strowbridge Lasher, Mrs Strowbridge Lasher, Beulah Lasher, Mrs Ben Lasher Sr and Lester Lasher. May the colt and Kit the horse..

Residence of Stanley W. Lasher, former owner of Germantown Telephone Co. on Main Street, East of Central House, Germantown, NY. Present owner is Peter Finger, whose mother Lorinda Rockefeller Fingar was Mrs. Lasher’s niece.

Background: Early map of Palatine Town or the Camp. Courtesy of The Germantown History Department.

All images courtesy of the Germantown History Department, located in the Parsonage at 51 Maple Avenue, Germantown, NY. The mission of the Germantown History Department is “to collect, preserve and share the artifacts and the oral, documentary, personal and physical histories of the communities of Columbia County. The history of Columbia County remains alive in the memories of its older citizens, in official and family documents, in artifacts and buildings and other monuments still standing on the landscape. The goal of the Department is to keep this history alive by recording these memories, researching and interpreting these documents, collecting these artifacts, and by visiting, exploring and photographing these buildings and other landmarks before they are lost. By involving local people and institutions in its work, the Department aims to foster a sense of pride in the community and in our collective past and future.” To learn more, visit their website at

Germantown 300

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This is the ‘Grandjula Store’ when operated as IGA by William Stier (right) and brother Benjamin (left). Little League baseball team in front. L to R: George Desmond, Warren Bohnsack, Robert Rider, Bud Bohnsack, Nelson Kenney, Alfie Rifenburg, Lewellyn Helsy, Bud Weeks, Foster Coons, Don Rockefeller. Names from Bob Rider.

Germantown Reformed Church on Church Avenue. Founded in 1728; present building erected in 1880.

Date on building is 1894. Cheviot, NY.



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Germantown 300

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Farm. Fresh. Food. Columbia County cradles the secret to delicious food — local farms and farm-fresh foods of every kind. Foodies and gourmands from all over come for our many country and farm markets, as well as our many community-supported agriculture (CSA) farms, including Roxbury Farm, one of the largest in the nation. You can enjoy a great meal, with everything from gourmet dining to rustic country diners. And while you’re here, take in the arts and cultural offerings, seasonal festivals, historical sites, antiques shopping and great outdoor activities. Come visit Columbia County. You’ll never know where you’ll find yourself.

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Germantown 300

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Germantown 300

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visits Germantown’s 300th Anniversary Event

Germantown’s 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee was delighted to hear from The Generations Project, a series running on BYU TV, about including Germantown’s Palatine Heritage Weekend, October 1-3, in one of their episodes. BYU Television is a cable/satellite television channel operated by Brigham Young University. The network reaches more than 40 million cable and directto-home satellite subscribers in the United States alone. It broadcasts nationwide via Dish Network and DirecTV, and streams both domestic and international content over the internet through its website, http:// The Generations Project is a reality series about identity. It follows real people as they try to connect with their ancestors by traveling the country in search of clues. An episode airing in their new season beginThe Generations Project...will tell the story of two sisters, Heidi and P.J. Fox, descendants of two Palatine brothers who arrived in East Camp (now Germantown) in 1710. ning January 2011, will tell the story of two sisters, Heidi and P.J. Fox, descendants of two Palatine brothers who arrived in East Camp (now Germantown) in 1710. John Christopher Fox (Fuchs) was a list-master on one of the original ships. He and his brother Johann William Fox (Fuchs) settled in Queensbury, one of the four hamlets in what was then East Camp (now Germantown).

The Fox sisters will be welcomed to The Parsonage, home of the Germantown History Department, by Town Historian Marguerite Riter. They will be filmed discussing their ancestry with Hank Z. Jones, the eminent Palatine genealogist and lecturer, and Nadine Rumke, Chair of the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee. They will see the Palatine Monument, which lists the names of the 1710 migrants, including their ancestors’ name which was then Fuchs. There are still members of the Fuchs family in Germantown today. On October 2nd, the sisters will be filmed attending the Palatine Seminar − Aspects of Palatine History − at the Germantown Reformed Church, 20 Church Avenue. The Seminar begins at 9:30 a.m., preceded by registration and refreshments from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Mr. Jones will give two presentations. He is the author of many best-selling books, including Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy, which was dramatized on NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries, and is still seen on cable television. Other speakers are Professor Philip Otterness, historian and author of Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York; Pastor David Jay Webber, a Germantown native and Palatine historian; and Alice Clark of The Palatine DNA Project, who will give a presentation and offer DNA testing to members of the audience. Pre-registration for the Palatine Seminar, which costs $35 including lunch, or $25 without, is strongly encouraged. People from 11 states and Ontario, Canada, plus many from the local and regional area, have already registered. Further information on the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration, and a Seminar Registration Form, can be found at; or telephone 518-537-6687, ext. 308.



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Germantown 300

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stalking the sun to mark Germantown’s 300th Anniversary unique stained glass designs. Kurt Holsapple, a Fine Arts graduate of SUNY Alfred, is an expert cabinetmaker and woodworker. Both artists exhibit frequently at ArtSpace, Tivoli Artists Co-op, and other galleries in the area.

Practical astronomy was crucial to the Palatine farmers. “They had to be very aware of where the sun was in the sky, when to plan for the harvest,” says Archbold.

The Palatine Analemma at Palatine Park. Photos by Jen Kiaba.

Just beyond the lakeshore in Palatine Park, (affectionately known in Germantown as “Lake George South”), the sun casts a sharp shadow of a bare spruce pole installed there on the first day of winter, the winter solstice, in 2009. About 12 feet tall, the pole has three knobs below the peak, turned from red elm. Every day, the pole’s shadow moves, but the pole is still. It is called a ‘gnomon,’ (no-mon), and it is the first step in an “analemma” sculpture being created by two Germantown artists, Dea Archbold and Kurt Holsapple, as their contribution to the town’s 300th birthday this year – the Palatine Analemma. An analemma is an ancient design marking the positions of the sun through the seasons of the year. “It will be in the shape of an elongated figure 8,” Holsapple explained. “The long loop marks the path of the sun from autumn through spring; the short one marks the summer, when the sun is high.” Archbold and Holsapple are marking the shifting positions of the gnomon’s shadow at the same time each week. The markings will eventually create a pattern for a low stone wall in the precise shape of the analemma -- which has appeared for generations on antique globes of the world. Dea Archbold went to SUNY Buffalo. After a long apprenticeship in the ancient art of stained glass, she creates and sells

Archbold and Holsapple, third cousins, are tenth-generation descendants of the original Palatine settlers who came to Germantown in 1710. The Analemma and the earlyOctober birthday celebrations will honor the Palatines, their often harsh lives, and their endurance. Holsapple explains: “We’re not clearing the land, as they did.” The sculpture “will probably look very much like a dry stone wall, which our ancestors used to mark their pastures and meadows. In a way, we’re doing what they did.” Practical astronomy was crucial to the Palatine farmers. “They had to be very aware of where the sun was in the sky, when to plan for the harvest,” says Archbold. Holsapple adds, “We want to mark, in stone, the actual time of the Palatines’ arrival and other significant events in Germantown history. The height of the sculpture will vary, reflecting changing angles.” Many people from around the region and the nation are coming to enjoy Germantown’s 300th birthday bash the first two weekends in October. By that time, the Palatine Analemma will be nearing completion, due on the winter solstice in December. Visiting the Analemma will be a meaningful highlight of the Palatine celebration, and the unusual stone sculpture will hopefully mark this moment in time for generations to come.


Original text courtesy of “Palatine Packet,” published by the Germantown and Saugerties Historical Societies, Vol. 1, No. 3, April/May 2010.

Happy 300th Birthday Germantown from WATERTIGHT Plumbing & Heating, Inc.



Germantown 300

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Germantown 300

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Dove Cottage Artists are Celebrating the

300 Anniversary th

Hudson Valley watercolor by Gretchen Kelly

of the Palatines’ arrival in Germantown

Two Sundays: October 10 & 24 noon-4 p.m.

enjoy art created for Germantown’s 300 Celebration by 12 local artists Water colors, Acrylics, Oils & Assemblages Refreshments first Palatines to arrive in NYC, acrylic by Helen Sacco

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Gerald Kufner, MD, Kingston Neurological Associates, Director, NDH Stroke Center Gerald Kufner, MD, Neurological Associates, NDH Stroke When it comes to a stroke, time is ofKingston the essence. Come learn about stroke riskDirector, factors, symptoms, and Cente available treatments couldto save a life. time is of the essence. Come learn about stroke risk When itthat comes a stroke,

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Dr. Barbara Chat-Aryamontri, MD, Medical Director, NDH Sleep Center Does your child snore? Come learn about children and sleep disorders, including when it’s time to get tested and what symptoms to look for.


Dr. Barbara Chat-Aryamontri, MD, Medical Director, NDH Sleep Center Thursday,Does October 14th snore? Come learn about children and sleep disorders, including your child tested and symptoms toFOR look PAINFUL for. NON-OPERATIVEwhat TREATMENT MUSCULOSKELETAL

CONDITIONS Thursday, October 14th Richard Dentico, MD, Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County and NDH Bone and Joint Center


Come learn about the most current treatments for musculoskeletal pain disorders including: osteoarthritis, spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis, and sciatica. Treatments include exercise as medicine, interventional/injection procedures and more.

Tuesday, Richard OctoberDentico, 19th MD, Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County and NDH Bone an Come learn about the most current treatments for musculoskeletal pain disorde PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS AND UPDATE osteoarthritis, spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis, and sciatica. Treatments include ex Scott Kahn, MD, Hudson Valley Urology Associates interventional/injection procedures more.signs and symptoms of Prostate In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness month, Dr. Kahn and will discuss Cancer, as well as cutting edge treatments.

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Scott Kahn,Outpatient MD, Hudson Valley Urology Associates Roufia Payman, Director, Nutrition Education at NDH Ms. PaymanInwill discuss to prepare and enjoy healthy meals utilizing bestwill localdiscuss ingredients for and sy honor ofhow Prostate Cancer Awareness month, Dr. the Kahn signs your health.Cancer, A portion as will well also be diet options. asdedicated cutting gluten edge free treatments.

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Hank Schmidt, MD, PhD, FACS, HQMP-Surgical Oncology Significant controversy prevails around the Outpatient role of diet and supplements in breastat cancer Roufia Payman, Director, Nutrition Education NDH development. This presentation will review the clinical evidence that should be considered when making Ms. Payman will discuss how to prepare and enjoy healthy meals utilizing the be recommendations for lifestyle modification in patients at risk.

your health. A portion will also be dedicated gluten free diet options. Tuesday, November 16th



Peter Zakow, MD, HQMP- Division of Cardio Thoracic Surgery Learn about options for valvular heart disease and the importance of prevention, detection of symptoms Hank ofSchmidt, MD, PhD, FACS, HQMP-Surgical Oncology and management this disease.

w w w. h e a l t h - q u e s t . o rg / n d h

Significant controversy prevails around the role of diet and supplements in breas Thisatpresentation willare review clinical that should be c Alldevelopment. Lectures begin 6:30 pm and heldthe in the NDHevidence Lower Level recommendations for lifestyle modification patients at risk. Conference Room. Registration is required.inCall 1-877-729-2444.

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Germantown 300

Page 39

gearing up for the big Celebration Germantown is buzzing with preparations for its big 300th Anniversary Celebration in October. Many of the town’s most talented people have been hard at work for almost two years, devising effective fundraising and marketing tools to support the two big weekends of history, entertainment and family fun. Perhaps you’ve seen the colorful 300th Anniversary banners along Main Street and Palatine Park Road. The original 300th Anniversary Celebration logo was designed by Adrienne Westmore, a graphic designer. Larry Osgood, a retired television producer and writer who is the Treasurer and main fundraiser for the 300th Anniversary Celebration, assisted with editorial and graphic reviews, production and planning. The logo was first used to create the 300th Anniversary Committee letterhead for fundraising and other activities. The ship used in the logo design originated with an etching of a barque, one of the merchant ships that would have brought the Palatine migrants across the seas to New York. Other, smaller boats carried them up the Hudson River, where they landed at East Camp (now Germantown) and West Camp (now Saugerties) in October 1710. To create the banners, Karin Janson, Senior Graphic Designer for the Culinary Institute of America, worked with Adrienne and Larry to convert the design into digital form for printing. G-Tel Teleconnections in Germantown contributed their services to properly place and hang the banners. The banners serve three functions -- fundraising from local businesses to produce them, publicity for the event, and supporting the community spirit that makes it all possible. Visit and you’ll see the Power Point presentation created by Devin Overington, a Germantown Central School student, for the 300th Anniversary Celebration. Devin’s father Martin, a lighting and stage designer for big-name talent in New York City for 15 years, now commutes from Germantown to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he trains students at their Lighting Research Center. Fourteen-year-old Devin has been absorbing digital

The ship used in the logo design originated with an etching of a barque, one of the merchant ships that would have brought the Palatine migrants across the seas to New York. skills and learning from his Dad since he was very young, and has put his talents to work for school and community theatre projects. Devin’s 300th Anniversary presentation has been used very effectively to raise funds from local businesses, foundations, and individual donors. An array of “Germantown 300th” commemorative merchandise, featuring a colorful fireworks design, has been produced by Gelinas Graphics of Clermont, with oversight by Nadine Rumke, Chairman of the 300th Celebration. Golf shirts, sweatshirts, and baseball caps have been created in a wide range of bright colors. Two tote bags have been created, one with an illustration of The Parsonage, the town’s oldest building (1746). Otto’s Market, Main Street, and First Niagara Bank at the corner of Main Street and Route 9-G, are sales outlets. Sales will continue up to and during the October Celebration weekends. For more information on the Germantown 300th Anniversary Celebration, visit or telephone 518-537-6687, ext. 308.

Germantown 300 Commemorative Guide  
Germantown 300 Commemorative Guide  

Comprehensive guide to Germantown's 300 Anniversary Celebration.