Each year, the Department of History offers public outreach programs to educate and entertain county residents and visitors.
Our primary series are the Dutchess County Historic Tavern Trail and Highlights of Dutchess History.
This series explores the many stories that emerge from over 330 years of the documentable past of Dutchess County. Many of these tales have emerged from the Ancient Documents Collection, the records of the Dutchess County Court of Common Pleas from 1721 into the 1830s, which is available at our digital archives project.
For more information, and to sign up for the Dutchess History Dispatch newsletter, visit:
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The Historic Tavern Trail brings history and local cuisine together, while introducing the community to iconic locales, with each installment held at a different historic location. Our 2023 series is a re-launch of this popular program, focused on building partnerships between the local history community and food and beverage industry sites across Dutchess County. All programs are free to attend: you will have the opportunity to make a donation to the local historical society partner.
"The Red Hook Steam Cidery Company Raid, 1926" at Rose Hill Farm, 19 Rose Hill, Red Hook, NY April 14th, 6 PM, with Historic Red Hook. Dutchess County Historian William P. Tatum III will explore the Prohibition history of Red Hook through the story of the Red Hook Steam Cider Company Raid, originally located on Route 9 south of the Village of Red Hook. Incorporated as a legitimate business in 1926, county and federal officials raided the site the following year, discovering two large stills and an intricate operating plant. Aside from being a fascinating story by itself, the Red Hook Steam Cider Company is a great way to tie into the long and exciting history of cider production in Red Hook
Foster's Coach House Tavern, 6411 Montgomery St, Rhinebeck, May 19th, 6 PM. Explore the bootleg culture of northern Dutchess with County Historian Will Tatum. Beginning with the pre-war drinking and partying habits of local residents, this presentation will explore how Prohibition did and did not change behaviors and attitudes during Dutchess County's dry years. Contact Foster's directly at 845-876-8052 to make dinner reservations for after the program, which will conclude by 7 PM.
Foster's Coach House Tavern, 6411 Montgomery St, Rhinebeck, October 13th, 6 PM. Celebrate spooky season with stories of ghosts and ghouls in Dutchess County across three centuries! Learn about how ghost story telling has changed, sample some popular tales from decades past, and see if the County Historian will share some of his experiences with you. Contact Foster's directly at 845-876-8052 to make dinner reservations for after the program, which will conclude by 7 PM.