Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Century House Historical Society

Back in May, I was asked to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Century House Historical Society, a local not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose goals are to maintain the Century House and Widow Jane mine on the A.J. Snyder Estate in Rosendale, NY and to preserve the fascinating history of the local Rosendale Cement District.

The Century House (dates to 1809)

I happily accepted since I strongly support their mission as a resident of the Town of Rosendale and as a geology professor with a strong interest in the local geologic history. One of the things I'd like to do over the coming year is delve into the extensive historical archives of the Century House Historical Society.  There's a real story (many stories, actually) to be told regarding the important history of the natural cement industry in this area.

The Widow Jane Mine

So, anyway, I thought I'd post a little about the Society since we can use all the help we can get in preserving and maintaining this local history.  As our website says:

"Everything you see around you: maintenance of over twenty acres, the care of our buildings and collections, and our outstanding educational programs are all accomplished by volunteers. We have no wealthy benefactors but we do have a bank mortgage, insurance costs, and an array of other expenses. Our income is derived from fund raisers, programs, membership dues, and donations."

How can you help?

* Come for a visit or to one of our neat events ("like" The Century House Historical Society on Facebook for notifications of upcoming events).

* Donate money (tax deductible) to help us preserve the history of this unique area. 

* Volunteer to help out.  If money's tight, we can always use volunteer help with maintenance and cleanup of the site.

* Become a member. It’s only $15/year for an individual or $25/year for a family. See the website for more details.

Here are two of our upcoming events in July (more to come in August):

Taiko Masala - Traditional Japanese drumming inside the Widow Jane mine.  Imagine the sounds of powerful drums reverberating off the rock walls of mine, immersing you in their primal sound.  Sunday, July 14, at 3:00 pm.  Tickets are $20 at the door and bring a folding chair.

Taiko Masala from last year's show in the Widow Jane Mine

DaDa Spill - DaDa Spill is a take off on the term data spill that means a breach in security.  This artistic event, on Sunday, July 28 at 3:00 pm, is described as a "multi-media installation, performance and crowd project" that will take place in the cool and vast interior of the Widow Jane Mine.  $10 for adults, kids free.

Museum & Mine - You can also stop by any Sunday (except July 21 when we're closed due to the Rosendale Street Festival) when volunteer docents will be at our small, but interesting, museum and you can walk down and enjoy the cool (even on the hottest summer days) Widow Jane Mine.

I plan to be at both of the above events (and others).  Stop by and say hello!

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