Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Columbia County Historical Society

  • Kinderhook, NY
  • http://www.cchsny.org/

Mission Statement

Founded in 1916, the Columbia County Historical Society Museum & Library collects, preserves, and interprets the history, heritage, and culture of Columbia County, New York, and serves residents of all eighteen towns and the city of Hudson.

A vital community resource, our collections include important and unique genealogical materials, archives, paintings, textiles, furniture and decorative arts relating to Columbia County's heritage.

We teach school children about Columbia County's rich heritage, we help new residents trace the histories of their properties, and those living elsewhere rediscover their Columbia County roots. We serve residents of all eighteen towns, the city of Hudson, and visitors from all over the nation.

The Columbia County Historical Society Library holds volumes on Columbia County and New York State history, genealogy, architecture, and decorative arts as well as manuscripts and photographs. In this archive are books, maps, architectural drawings, diaries, scrap books, personal correspondence, broadsides, business records, pamphlets, programs, ephemera, photographic prints, glass and film negatives, cased images, and albums.

In recent years, CCHS has sustained a range of programs: our award-winning magazine 'Columbia County History & Heritage'; recurring lecture series; annual field-trips for all county fourth-graders; and exhibitions in the museum galleries.

Main Programs

  1. School Groups
  2. Archaeological
  3. Dutch Fact and Fiction
  4. From Garden to Table
  5. Nelson Rockefeller - County Memories
  6. Luykas Van Alen House
  7. Exhibitions
  8. Columbia County History & Heritage Magazine
  9. "A Tale of Two Houses" - 2-part lecture series with Historic Hudson
  10. "Travel by Water and Land" 2-part Lecture Series with Historic Hudson
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Founded in 1916, the Columbia County Historical Society Museum & Library collects, preserves, and interprets the history, heritage, and culture of Columbia County, New York, and serves residents of all eighteen towns and the city of Hudson.

Our important research library contains world-wide genealogy records, with an emphasis on the Dutch who settled New York.

ruling year

1955

Executive Director since 2015

Self-reported

Lori Yarotsky

Self-reported

Keywords

Self-reported

#History #education # Culture # Genealogical Research

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Also Known As

CCHS

EIN

14-6021853

 Number

1451927321

Physical Address

5 Albany Avenue PO Box 311

Kinderhook, NY 12106 0311

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

History Museums (A54)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Single Organization Support (W11)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Education programs for adults, schooltrips for children, public tours and exhibits at all four historic properties and our award-winning magazine, Columbia County History & Heritage together present a centennial accomplishment and describe 100 years of results.

For one hundred years, thousands of people from all across Columbia County and beyond have enjoyed our exhibitions and education programs.

Our research library holds important and unique genealogical materials and hundreds of maps, photographs, and other archival material. From helping new homeowners in the county trace the history of their property, to teaching children about the special cultural history of upstate New York; we serve residents of all eighteen towns, the city of Hudson, and visitors from all over the nation.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

School Groups

In the spring and fall hundreds of Columbia County’s fourth graders visit the Luykas Van Alen House and participate in new hands-on (and bilingual) activities based on Dutch architecture and landscape. Students learn to identify vletchegen on a Dutch home and the purpose of murrankers.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 2

Archaeological

“Walk, Talk, and Explore,” the final event celebrating fifty years of CCHS ownership of the landmark Van Alen House included a special tour of the property with archeologist and principal investigator Matthew Kirk of
Hartgen Archeological Associates.

Visitors toured former archeological sites on the property, followed by a presentation and hands-on opportunity to inspect artifacts from digs conducted in 1998 and 2003.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

25,000

Program 3

Dutch Fact and Fiction

The New York Council for the Humanities helped to sponsor two guest lecturers for the 'Dutch Fact and Fiction' Summer Lecture Series. Jaap Jacobs, a scholar from Holland, spoke in July on the Hudson River and New Netherland colony.

In August, popular biographer Brian Jay Jones discussed the life of Washington Irving, author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$500.00

Program 4

From Garden to Table

In collaboration with the New York Council for the Humanities and made possible through its Speakers in the Humanities program, and with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, this revealing lecture by Peter G. Rose was followed by a Traditional Dutch Dinner in the historic Vanderpoel House using recipes from historically based cookbooks. The lecture explored in detail a particular 17th-century Dutch gardening- and cookbook, and helped those who attended to understand the kitchen gardens of early Dutch settlers
of the Hudson Valley, as well as the colonial diet and nutrition.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$1,500.00

Program 5

Nelson Rockefeller - County Memories

For a large and enthusiastic audience, in November CCHS presented a panel of four of former Governor Rockefeller’s closest associates, as well as Charles Holcomb, author of the memoir, 'Oreos and Dubonnet'.

As Columbia County was first among the state’s counties to endorse Rockefeller’s candidacy, this very personal look-back was especially appropriate.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$2,500.00

Program 6

Luykas Van Alen House

In 1964, the Columbia County Historical Society acquired a simple brick building a few miles from the center of Kinderhook village. The small house was built by Luykas Van Alen in 1737 and is exemplary of a style of vernacular architecture specific to the Hudson Valley.

For this reason, it was granted National Historic Landmark status on Christmas Eve, 1967. There are only 261 National Historic Landmarks in New York State, and the Van Alen House is one of ten designations connected to Dutch New York culture and heritage.

CCHS has been honored to take care of the Luykas Van Alen House for the past half century of its long life. Appropriately 2014 has been a year to celebrate this important property, and to reflect on our responsibilities to ensure its future well into a fourth century.

Long may it stimulate the imaginations of both the young and the old!

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 7

Exhibitions

Exhibitions feature the history and culture of Columbia County, New York, through objects and archives.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 8

Columbia County History & Heritage Magazine

Scholarly magazine published biannually by the CCHS on the history and culture of Columbia County, New York.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$7,500.00

Program 9

"A Tale of Two Houses" - 2-part lecture series with Historic Hudson

Not available

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Adults

Budget

Program 10

"Travel by Water and Land" 2-part Lecture Series with Historic Hudson

During Fall of 2016 we partnered with Historic Hudson to bring two public lectures:
Lecture One:
"All Roads to the River"
by Peter Cipkowski
Lecture Two:
"Before The Proprietors:
The Dutch Port
​Of Claverack Landing"
By Dr. David William Voorhees

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Adults

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Columbia County Historical Society collects, preserves and interprets the history, heritage and culture of Columbia County, New York, for its residents, visitors and those interested in history. Through collaboration with those served, the Society explores local, national and global history to enrich our understanding of today's world. We are committed to preserving and interpreting the history of Columbia County, New York.

    The CCHS serves residents of all eighteen Columbia County towns, the city of Hudson, and visitors nationwide with educational programs for adults, schooltrips for children, public tours and exhibits at all four historic properties.

    As part of our ongoing membership drive, we market our cultural and historical programs and notable lecture series online to an ever-widening audience via social media campaigns. It is our membership—including and especially member donations—that comprise the most stable aspect of our annual income.

    Our goal is to increase CCHS membership by 100% over the next several years, broadening both age and income demographics, (so that we are) also serving a majority of our county, and inspiring a multi-generational audience who will continue our legacy for the next one-hundred years.



  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Columbia County Historical Society is the largest historic organization in the county and one of the largest in the region, as well as a cultural anchor in the county. We are committed to preserving and interpreting the history of Columbia County, New York.

    The CCHS serves residents of all eighteen Columbia County towns, the city of Hudson, and visitors nationwide with educational programs for adults, schooltrips for children, public tours and exhibits at all four historic properties.

    Since 1916, thousands of people from all across Columbia County and beyond have enjoyed our exhibitions, historic properties, and education programs. Our research library holds important and unique genealogical materials and hundreds of maps, photographs, and other archival material, and has been an active part of the community for one hundred years.

    The Historical Society sustains a range of programs: our award-winning magazine; an ongoing lecture series on subjects relating to Columbia County and New York state history and culture: the Colony of New Netherlands; architecture and archaeology; annual field-trips for all county fourth-graders; and diverse exhibitions in the museum galleries.

    Our very special National Historic Landmark 'Luykas Van Alen House (c.1737) is shared with thousands of visitors and students who gain knowledge of 18th century Dutch colonial life in New York state. Each year, the Van Alen house also hosts hundreds of fourth grade students who learn about Columbia County's farming heritage and New York state's Dutch history.

    By targeting and inspiring our regional audience, we hope to solidify a much larger, fully-engaged member-base who will sustain our operations and help lead us to our second hundred years of preserving and interpreting Columbia County history and culture. This is the audience who will learn from and help us interpret the material in our collections. It is our membership—including and especially member donations—that comprise the most stable aspect of our annual income. Our goal is to increase CCHS membership by 100% over the next several years, broadening both age and income demographics, also regularly serving a majority of our county population, with the result that our cash-flow becomes less dependent on annual appeals and yearly fundraising benefits.

    As part of our ongoing membership drive, we market our cultural and historical programs and notable lecture series online to an ever-widening audience via social media campaigns.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    With the exhibition and interpretation of four historic properties and our diverse permanent collection, which is comprised of fine art, portraiture, NYS and Dutch Colonial furniture, costumes, objects, manuscripts and diaries, we can engage a broad-interest audience to bring our mission to the next century.

    Our Barbara P. Rielly Memorial Research Library contains rare volumes, diaries, correspondence, maps, photographs and comprehensive information on the history and culture of Columbia County, its founders, early settlers and native population.

    Published twice a year, our magazine, 'Columbia County History & Heritage' includes a wide variety of articles on the history and culture of our region. It is delivered to all CCHS members and distributed free to libraries, doctors' offices, local historical societies, visitor centers, government offices, new residents and many other locations.

    Our c.1850 Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse and National Historic Landmark c.1737 Luykas Van Alen House are toured each year by hundreds of Columbia County and Capital Region fourthgrade students, who learn about the history and heritage of Columbia County and New York State through hands-on experience with the architecture and the historic settings.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We will know we are making progress when younger generations remain engaged with our programs, our membership expands, and further regional projects and programming are inspired by our efforts and our example.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    We have restored four historic properties. We have collaborated on two lecture series with Historic Hudson, we have engaged generations of schoolchildren, we have installed dozens of educational exhibitions; we have published more than a decade of our 'History & Heritage' magazine; we have collected and preserved diverse material that will inform future researchers and future study.

    We have not yet made history and heritage a subject of interest for all residents of Columbia County, however by sharing our programming with various areas outside our specific headquarters and physical properties, we aspire to inform a wider audience of Columbia County history and heritage.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Founded in 1916, the Columbia County Historical Society Museum & Library collects, preserves, and interprets the history, heritage, and culture of Columbia County, New York, and serves residents of all eighteen towns and the city of Hudson.

Our important research library contains world-wide genealogy records, with an emphasis on the Dutch who settled New York.

Social Media

Funding Needs

Historic Property (CCHS owns four historic structures) maintenance, which require yearly upkeep projects. We have a small salaried staff (two full-time) with several part-time workers, to manage and program four historic properties, a research library and a diverse permanent collection. Lectures, exhibitions and other programming costs are high and are a drain to our modest budget.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Columbia County Historical Society Inc
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Columbia County Historical Society

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Lori Yarotsky

BIO


Lori Yarotsky was hired by the board of trustees after a three-month search following the July resignation of the former Executive Director.

Ms. Yarotsky's professional career has been in the for-profit fine art world holding positions as gallery director, specialist, educator, private advisor, and several related positions including a stint as global marketing director for the online startup, artnet auctions.

Along the way she has regularly involved herself in non-profit organizations leading fund-raising efforts and organizing exhibitions, most-recently doing pro-bono work with the Village of Valatie, the Valatie Free Library and the Valatie Economic Redevelopment Association in Columbia County, NY. While Lori has extensive experience with non-profit organizations on a pro bono and volunteer basis, she presents a different profile—with a keen awareness of positioning to a 21st century audience—than recent managers at CCHS.

As Executive Director of the CCHS, Lori will apply her experience in marketing and fundraising as well as her honed entrepreneurial spirit to meet the various challenges facing one of Columbia County's principal cultural institutions. She is particularly excited by our 2016 Centennial anniversary activities, which will be designed to raise the public profile of CCHS in the region, drawing visitors throughout the county and beyond.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"“I am thrilled to join the Columbia County Historical Society as Executive Director in advance of our forthcoming year-long centennial celebration, and excited by the opportunity to present the rich and diverse properties and collections of the Society in dialogue to a contemporary audience," said Yarotsky.

“The Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse represents a literary symbol, along with the very special Luykas Van Alen house, also an unique vernacular legacy of New York's earliest Dutch settlers; and the Vanderpoel House is an elegant example of early 19th century Federal style in upstate New York. Consolidated with our permanent collections and the Society's treasured regional genealogical research library, they help define the cultural DNA of Columbia County."

"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

James Guidera

Credit Agricole CIB

Term: Oct 2013 - Oct 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?