Historic Cherry Hill

Historic Cherry Hill "Turning history upside down."
Historic Cherry Hill tells a story of America through the lives and experiences of one Albany household. Built in 1787 for Philip and Maria Van Rensselaer, Cherry Hill was lived in until 1963 by extended family, enslaved people, descendants, and servants—who left artifacts, documents, and stories behind.
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BEHIND-THE-SCENES RESTORATION TOUR This tour highlights the exciting plans and progress of the museum's restoration work. Tours are offered on Wednesdays at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00pm and on Saturdays at 2:00 and 3:00pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and college students, and $2 for children 12-17. ARCHITECTURE HUNT FOR FAMILIES This learning-to-look activity investigates the architecture of the 1787 house and reveals some of the preservation issues facing the museum. This activity is offered on Saturdays between 1:00 and 2:00 (please come no later than 1:40pm) for families with children between the ages of 6 and 11. Cost is $2 for adults and $1 for children ages 6-11.

Mission: Historic Cherry Hill invites visitors and researchers to explore American history through the unique lens of one Albany household and, through intimate encounter with the past, encourages audiences toward new perspectives on their own stories and place in history.

01/02/2020

The New Year card seems like it might be a more recent invention—a sign of our community’s growing multiculturalism to wish a happy new year and catch friends who celebrate religious holidays and friends who do not. But the New Year card is actually much older, and one of the first types of greeting cards sent—the Valentine’s Day card being the “first.” Only after Louis Prang perfected chromolithography in the 1870s did Americans start sending out Christmas cards and then other holiday greetings.

Among the many thousands of objects in Historic Cherry Hill’s collections are the beautiful holiday greetings the Rankins received from the 1870s through the 1960s, including this spy glass, which extends to see the waters ahead and sends New Year greetings.

What waters will we navigate in the year ahead?

May you always spy happiness in the New Year!

For many years and occasions—but especially the holidays—the Rankins gave each other books, including small “gift books”...
12/21/2019

For many years and occasions—but especially the holidays—the Rankins gave each other books, including small “gift books” like these which fit in the palm of your hand.

“Made bread finished cards (3) water main burst in town so could not wash.” So Emily wrote in her diary, December 20, 19...
12/20/2019

“Made bread finished cards (3) water main burst in town so could not wash.” So Emily wrote in her diary, December 20, 1944. Anyone else doing bake, cards, laundry into the holidays?

Seen here, the exact type of washing machine Emily Rankin purchased for the South Kitchen, which is part of our interactive or “please touch” space in the house. Filled with the exact types of objects the Rankins had after they renovated the kitchen.

Holidays during wartime are truly about the spirit of the season, where war-time rations and family on the warfront chan...
12/18/2019

Holidays during wartime are truly about the spirit of the season, where war-time rations and family on the warfront change or outright prohibit holiday traditions. Included here are some of the holiday cards Rankins received in wartime.

Another snowstorm, another cold front.Electric blankets first replaced hot water bottles and bed warmers around 1912, wh...
12/17/2019

Another snowstorm, another cold front.

Electric blankets first replaced hot water bottles and bed warmers around 1912, when their use was limited to treating the infirm. Twenty years later, the first electric blanket came out for residential use, but it wasn’t until after World War II that they became popular. As the war was ending, General Electric started marketing the “Automatic Blanket,” promoting their expertise in heating flight suits for residential use as electric blanket. Lots of products and technology developed for wartime use were popularized in the postwar era—plastics, plywood, and blankets—and the Rankins were among the millions who purchased them.

By sight and by sound. The two senses unite when learning to read, both in this 1886 first reader by Appleton’s and toda...
12/09/2019

By sight and by sound. The two senses unite when learning to read, both in this 1886 first reader by Appleton’s and today, when early readers learn a combination of sight words (words they just recognize) and phonics (sound combinations they use to “sound-it-our” or blend words).

Appleton’s doesn’t include what we know is the third component to literacy and learning—writing—but our copy does. The teacher knew the importance of co-learning reading and writing skills, so our copy has letters on the back pages, written by little Eddie Gould (the Rankins’ cousin and Herbert and Elmendorf’s peer). And of course, Appleton’s couldn’t include the fourth component—support at home—but this one was a gift from Eddie’s mom.

In the nineteenth century, as women became more associated with the private sphere and home life as “angels of the house...
12/06/2019

In the nineteenth century, as women became more associated with the private sphere and home life as “angels of the house,” some decorating manuals even advised women on dressing to match their homes. Even as late at the 1980s (!) there’s examples of books suggesting women think of decorating their homes like choosing makeup—find the palette that looks best on you.

In that spirit, we think we found the perfect dress in our collections, in a color that suits us well. It’s truly the perfect dress to celebrate and thank everyone who supported our #givingtuesday campaign to #paintityellow. Thanks to all of you, we raised $4,821 toward our effort to paint the house and finish our restoration project. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, always.

Busy day for us on Instagram. First Friday of the month means @usnatarchives is hosting an #archiveshashtagparty. With a...
12/06/2019

Busy day for us on Instagram. First Friday of the month means @usnatarchives is hosting an #archiveshashtagparty. With a theme like #sweaterweather, we upstate New Yorkers are ready! We have a bunch of paintings and papers, but we’re sharing shawls here. Albany winters have pretty much always been cold and snowy, but “sweater weather” itself only came about when people started wearing actual sweaters in the 20th century. So we’re sharing shawls from our collection, all of which belonged to one of the five generations at @historiccherryhill. Check our stories for a few other garments and documents, because #nyloveswinter. Most of the time.

#archivessweaterweather #fromthearchives #fromthecollection #fashionhistory #costumehistory #costumecollection #historicdress #shawl #upstatelife #upstateny #albany #albanyny #discoveralbany @ Albany, New York

Exactly two hundred years ago in 1819, Albany's most notable portraitist Ezra Ames (1768-1836) recorded charges for this...
12/06/2019

Exactly two hundred years ago in 1819, Albany's most notable portraitist Ezra Ames (1768-1836) recorded charges for this portrait of Solomon Van Rensselaer (1774-1852) and its gilt frame, which cost $30 and $20 respectively. Our second-generation patriarch, Solomon oversaw troops on New York's "western frontier" in the War of 1812, and his successes fostered notoriety and respect among New York Federalists, leading to his election to Congress in 1818 and appointment as Postmaster General of Albany that same year. Depicted in his dress uniform, the painting reinforces his public image as general and gentleman.

It’s Victorian stroll season in the Capital Region. Dressed in cloaks and bonnets, top hats or topcoats, or parkas and s...
12/05/2019

It’s Victorian stroll season in the Capital Region. Dressed in cloaks and bonnets, top hats or topcoats, or parkas and snow boots, Saratoga Springs and Troy are celebrating the season in style. Like this vintage Christmas card, we wish “complements of season to you all.”

We're still tallying donations that came in through our own website, but it looks like we might have made our goal, and ...
12/04/2019

We're still tallying donations that came in through our own website, but it looks like we might have made our goal, and we have you to thank for it. For such a small museum, we have a great and supportive community, and for that, we are grateful.

With just under two hours left to Giving Tuesday, we’re 75 percent of the way to our goal for the day. Many thanks to al...
12/04/2019

With just under two hours left to Giving Tuesday, we’re 75 percent of the way to our goal for the day. Many thanks to all our supporters who ran individual fundraisers and to each and every one of you who donated. Together we raised $3,700. If you’ve been thinking about donating or want to do one more feel-good thing today, let it be this. Let’s open the rest of those paint cans.

The yellow really pops at a distance, but if you zoom in, you’ll be able to see how rough the current paint job is, and ...
12/03/2019

The yellow really pops at a distance, but if you zoom in, you’ll be able to see how rough the current paint job is, and what we mean when we say that paint is preservation. Hearty thanks to everyone who has donated so far. #GivingTuesday continues, and we’re about 65% of the way toward our goal. Help us make it to the end!

https://www.facebook.com/donate/420889495529165

12/03/2019

Did you see the Times Union article about Mayor Kathy Sheehan's new home in Arbor Hill? Her preservation project had a little of everything--delays, surprises, new challenges, and cost overruns. Sounds familiar.

Preservation is a passion project and requires commitment, but its an effort with real community benefits. It restores a sense of place, and builds pride. Think of the alternative, with abandoned and decrepit buildings. We thank Mayor Sheehan for joining us for #GivingTuesday to help our preservation efforts. Will you join us too?

Donate here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/420889495529165/

And if you want to read more about the Mayor's preservation efforts, see the Times Union article: https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Albany-mayor-makes-Arbor-Hill-neighborhood-home-14867187.php

#GivingTuesday starts right now. Starting at exactly 8AM EST (5AM for anyone PST), Facebook is matching donations made t...
12/03/2019

#GivingTuesday starts right now. Starting at exactly 8AM EST (5AM for anyone PST), Facebook is matching donations made to fundraisers until they reach $7 million. That means a gift you make now could have double the impact for Historic Cherry Hill. See our fundraiser on our page! https://www.facebook.com/donate/420889495529165

Snowy view of Historic Cherry Hill circa 1890. Enjoying the snow day?
12/02/2019

Snowy view of Historic Cherry Hill circa 1890. Enjoying the snow day?

Facebook is matching #GivingTuesday donations made to U.S. nonprofits starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow. If you're giving to H...
12/02/2019

Facebook is matching #GivingTuesday donations made to U.S. nonprofits starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow. If you're giving to Historic Cherry Hill or anywhere else this year, you can double your gift if you make it early. Last year, all $7 million of Facebook's match were met in just 20 minutes! Set your alarms and see you online then!

Do you still have last year’s holiday cards? Years before? We do! One more thing the Rankins saved were holiday cards se...
12/01/2019

Do you still have last year’s holiday cards? Years before? We do! One more thing the Rankins saved were holiday cards sent to them over the years by friends and family. This December, we’re sharing some of them from the 1880s-1930s, like this sweet little hat box that opens to a Christmas greeting, and of course a hat. Truly the thought that counts.

With Thanksgiving behind us, we're counting down to our  next big celebration: 3 DAYS left until #GivingTuesday. We're r...
11/30/2019

With Thanksgiving behind us, we're counting down to our next big celebration: 3 DAYS left until #GivingTuesday. We're raising money to paint the house this year, with the bright yellow paint on the house rising like the dawn of a new day for Historic Cherry Hill. Whether you can share a pint ($17) or give a gallon ($137), every little bit always counts over here.

Looking for one-of-a-kind gifts? Our gift shop has work by local artists for something special and uniquely Albany.
11/30/2019

Looking for one-of-a-kind gifts? Our gift shop has work by local artists for something special and uniquely Albany.

Our kind of rush.Historic Cherry Hill is open for tours tomorrow, November 30, at 1, 2, and 3.
11/29/2019

Our kind of rush.

Historic Cherry Hill is open for tours tomorrow, November 30, at 1, 2, and 3.

11/26/2019

Ask and you shall receive! Last week we said one of the best ways to help Historic Cherry Hill on #GivingTuesday was to like, share, and even start your own fundraiser. Six supporters started fundraisers and Giving Tuesday is still one week away. Can we count on your support next Tuesday?

Start your own fundraiser to repaint Historic Cherry Hill and restore its brilliant yellow: https://www.facebook.com/fund/historiccherryhill/

Today is Start Your Own Country Day, which started 80 years ago at the World’s Fair in New York to celebrate “those free...
11/22/2019

Today is Start Your Own Country Day, which started 80 years ago at the World’s Fair in New York to celebrate “those free-spirited souls who dared to hope and believe in a better world.” The actual quote goes longer, reinforcing the colonialism that went hand-in-hand, a time when nation-builders “too could declare any land their own.”

We’ll take the civic-minded side of that to think about what it means to form a country—to think about the governance, the people, and their rights. If a nation is, as the political scientist Benedict Anderson said, an “imagined community,” how would you imagine a nation-state on Start Your Own Country Day?

Before it was a “day,” the Rankin children did a version of this with their Bunnie States of America. What started as a childhood with pets—chickens and rabbits—led to an intensive family project and learning opportunity. The children collected the eggs the chickens laid, and eventually started the Bunnie States & Fowl Company, noting profit and loss in their shareholder meetings. Inspired by their school civics and government lessons (and some influence from home), Elmendorf, Herbert, and Emily transitioned from business to nation-state. The “bunnies and chickens” penned a declariation of independence, then started the Bunnie States of America, complete with a constitution.

One of our most endearing collections at Historic Cherry Hill, the Bunnie Papers were carefully saved by their mother, Kittie, and you can see the business, the monarchy, the revolution, and finally the Bunnie States of America and all their paraphernalia today. Swipe through!

11/20/2019

A quick stroll through one bay of storage last night really shows the range of collections. Anything you wish you knew more about?

#GivingTuesday is just two weeks away, and if you're wondering how you can help--it's by sharing the love on December 3,...
11/19/2019

#GivingTuesday is just two weeks away, and if you're wondering how you can help--it's by sharing the love on December 3, 2019.

Likes and shares help spread our message, our mission, and our goal, which this year is to #paintityellow. And if you're really giving love on Giving Tuesday, you can always start your own fundraiser to share with friends--and we can help you paint your page yellow too!

Thanksgiving is a big time for high school reunions—institutional and impromptu—and things weren’t so different in 1911....
11/18/2019

Thanksgiving is a big time for high school reunions—institutional and impromptu—and things weren’t so different in 1911. Emily Rankin’s alma mater, Miss Cooper’s School, produced this “alumni magazine,” for lack of a better reference. Alumni would write to the school, who published this handbook of who would be home for the holidays and able to meet up and celebrate the season with old friends at Thanksgiving, Christmas and/or New Year. Seeing old friends this season?

It costs an average of $5,000 to paint the exterior of a house. But Historic Cherry Hill is anything but average. Like m...
11/12/2019

It costs an average of $5,000 to paint the exterior of a house. But Historic Cherry Hill is anything but average. Like most things here, the scope and scale are much bigger, and estimates put the paint job upwards of $30K. In this season of giving and while everyone else is sprucing up their homes for the holidays or a winter indoors, we're asking you to join us on Giving Tuesday (December 3, 2019) to help put the yellow back on "the yellow house on the hill." See you then!

Leaves are falling, but we’re still seeing yellow.
11/10/2019

Leaves are falling, but we’re still seeing yellow.

First snow and colder temperatures have us digging out the winter corset.
11/07/2019

First snow and colder temperatures have us digging out the winter corset.

11/07/2019
HCH Paint Animation

Paint it yellow. Help Historic Cherry Hill repaint our exterior and restore the "yellow" in the "yellow house on the hill." This Giving Tuesday, we're aiming to raise $5,000 toward painting the historic house, and letting this Albany landmark shine.

We know that field trips provide incomparable learning experiences, complementing the classroom and giving that extra sp...
11/06/2019

We know that field trips provide incomparable learning experiences, complementing the classroom and giving that extra spark to catch a student's interest. But did you know that cost of field trips is one of the biggest concerns for teachers (and many parents)? In one of our recent surveys of area teachers, 62 percent said cost was an important factor in choosing trips. The top reasons for not adding field trips to the curriculum are lack of time, lack of transportation, lack of affordability, and topical relevance.

That's why we are happy to announce that the Port of Albany is sponsoring program fees for 4th grade students of City of Albany schools to participate in our Hudson River Trading Game and Navigating the Seas programs at the Albany Visitors Center. That means these engaging programs and their relevant educational objectives in history, economics, science, business and math--plus all the fun of playing--are free to Albany public school fourth graders! Thank you to the Port for your continued support of Historic Cherry Hill and Albany's students.

The clocks fell back, but #GivingTuesday is about paying it forward. Join us on Tuesday, December 3 for this global day ...
11/03/2019

The clocks fell back, but #GivingTuesday is about paying it forward. Join us on Tuesday, December 3 for this global day of giving.

Thankfully, we got the lawn and porch furniture in before yesterday’s wind storm!Just kidding. But #onthisday in 1944, i...
11/02/2019

Thankfully, we got the lawn and porch furniture in before yesterday’s wind storm!

Just kidding. But #onthisday in 1944, it was warm, so Emily and Kittie Rankin “sat outside 2-4P.M. + read aloud.” Emily also dug gladiolas and dahlias. And on the fourth, it was once again warm, with Emily recording in her diary that “CBR [her mom, Kittie] + I worked 3rd story + sat outside taking little naps.”

Come in from the cold for restoration tours, which continue through December 14.

#housemuseum #historichouse #diary #diaryentry #fromthecollection #fromthearchive #upstateny #upstatelife #518 #andnorth #porchdecor #chaiselounge #porchgoals #porchsitting #albany #albanyny #capitaldistrict #capitalregion #capitalregionny #discoveralbany

Hello, Little Darling! Join us in welcoming Corabelle, born to Historic Cherry Hill’s Executive Director, Deborah Emmons...
10/28/2019

Hello, Little Darling! Join us in welcoming Corabelle, born to Historic Cherry Hill’s Executive Director, Deborah Emmons-Andarawis and her husband, Emad. Congratulations to Deborah, Emad, and Corabelle’s big brother, Teddy! The trustees and staff are thrilled for them all.

Images: unused “Spark-l-ette” everyday occasion card from 1950s, collection of Historic Cherry Hill. And Corabelle.

And that’s a wrap! Thanks to everyone who joined us for “Murder at Cherry Hill” performance-tours this season. We double...
10/27/2019

And that’s a wrap! Thanks to everyone who joined us for “Murder at Cherry Hill” performance-tours this season. We doubled the number of dates and tours from last year, and we still sold out, which means more of you got the chance to walk through the house and “witness” the rich history on site. Big thank you to our volunteers who make this a success, to our heritage partners and Albany community for promoting the event, and to the @hudsonrivervalleynha for sponsorship.

#historichouse #housemuseum #museumed #captialdistrict #capitalregion #capitalregionny #albany #albanyny #albanycounty #schenectady #troy #saratogasprings #housemuseum #historichouse #truecrime #historicny #ispyny #upstateny #hudsonvalley #andnorth #fallfunny #autumneventsny #upstatenyfallevents #discoveralbany #albanyevents #albanydoesntsuck #keepalbanyboring #historiccherryhill #murderatcherryhill

Address

523 1/2 S Pearl St
Albany, NY
12202-1111

Opening Hours

Wednesday 13:00 - 16:00
Saturday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(518) 434-4791

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Comments

Sharing this again, because that’s what I’m doing today: giving and sharing. Plus, it’s almost 8!
Can you get a National Parks Passport Cancellation at the museum or other of your sites? Thanks.
4 Tickets for tonight October 25th for the 5:30 Murder at Cherry Hill Tour for sale. We purchased them for $19.75 per ticket. Sadly we cannot attend. If interested please PM me on FB. Thank you.
Voting ends at 8:30 this morning! Saratoga National Historical Park is requesting your help to pull off an astounding win in #MuseumMadness! Simply click on the picture of Saratoga below to cast your vote and side with history! https://www.facebook.com/NPS.NMSC/posts/1737370742975239
Fabulous afternoon!
I wouls like to know if you will open today September 20, 2017. Thank you.
Someone from Cherry Hill contacted me about doing an event there. I lost the telephone nos. Can you recontact me. Greyhounds As Companions, Inc. 768-3029 thank you.