Local History

The Roe Jan Historical Society – Harbinger of History

By Published On: August 19th, 2019

For over forty years the Roe Jan Historical Society has made its mission to preserve and celebrate the stories and traditions of our local area. After being founded in 1974, the society has successfully kept the community connected with its past through exhibitions featuring historic pieces from the towns of Hillsdale, Copake, Ancram, Taghkanic, and Gallatin. Members of the society meet once a month throughout the year to discuss exhibit ideas and how to better the public’s knowledge regarding the vast, yet somewhat hidden, history of the surrounding towns and villages.

photo courtesy of the Roe Jan Historical Society.

This summer, the Roe Jan Historical Society has touched upon a very special part of our area’s history, and one that has had a profound impact on locals far and wide. Beginning on July 6 and currently running each weekend from 2-4 pm until September 15, the historical society has proudly presented their exhibit entitled The Hidden History of the Roe Jan Region. Featuring presentations in diverse media platforms and panels chock full of fascinating historical accounts, The Hidden History of the Roe Jan Region rekindles the rich and profound history that has cultivated our hometowns for over a century. Both for people who have spent their entire lives in the area and for newcomers looking to learn more about why this region is so unique, the exhibit encapsulates stories from Columbia County’s history in eclectic fashion.

Anyone remember the many visits baseball legend Babe Ruth paid to Copake Falls? How about the time director Martin Scorcese shot part of his first feature film in nearby Copake? With each new piece in the exhibit there is more to discover, like the famous basket makers of Taghkanic Hills and, of course, everything you need to know about the beloved Roeliff Jansen Central School, the folklore surrounding its namesake, and why it has come to define much of the twentieth century in Columbia County. Stop by before the summer ends to reminisce or learn a few new things about this area we call home.

For information on this exhibit and others visit the historical society’s website roeliffjansenhs.org