Rhinebeck Historical Society
                  Calendar of Events

UPCOMING PROGRAMS                                                  (SAVE THESE DATES)

Friday, February 23, 7:30pm at the Starr Library, World War I and the End of the Gilded Age with Don Fraser
Don Fraser, the Educator at Staatsburgh State Historic Site (Mills Mansion), will explore how the extravagances that characterized the Gilded Age withered away in the cataclysm of the Great War. Society hostesses changed their bejeweled gowns for Red Cross uniforms. Staatsburgh’s Ogden Livingston Mills quit his job as a New York State Senator to serve in France as an Army captain. And a tornado of social changes – including votes for women, labor-saving inventions and the income tax – swept away the Gilded Age and ushered in a new era. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, March 23, 7:30pm at the Starr Library, The History of Lionel Trains
Ron Gabriel will explore the history of the Lionel train Company with the major focus on Joshua Lionel Cowan, the founder of the company. Lionel trains were not the original intention of the founder and we discover that the trains came into existence, accidentally, as a by-product of an advertising campaign. The history of Lionel trains is described in parallel to American history in the 20th century. Lionel will survive the Great Depression, “by the skin of its teeth”. Lionel will play a part in America’s war effort during World War II. The post-war years would be Lionel’s, “Golden Age.” Following that period will be the slow decline, with many mistakes and mis-steps by the company, which will lead to the destruction of the original Lionel train company. We will focus on Joshua Lionel Cowan throughout the narrative. There will be an operating display of antique trains. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, Apr. 27, 7:30pm at the Starr Library, Palatine Architecture
Don McTernan, museum curator/historian and Bob Hedges, timber-framer/historian, will examine traditional Palatine design and construction techniques evident in selected regional buildings. Siting, plans and function will be illustrated and discussed. Regional Palatine architecture is an esoteric and enigmatic subject, owing largely to its melding with Dutch folk architectural traditions at an early date. The mid-Hudson region possesses a wealth of surviving vernacular dwellings, barns and outbuildings which should be carefully studied and documented before they are lost. Refreshments will be served.


Board meetings are scheduled for the third Thursday of every month at 4:00pm.  Board meetings are open to the membership.  They are held in the History Room of the Starr Library.  It is best to contact a Board Member to confirm the location and time.   NO BOARD MEETING IN AUGUST.