Altamont Archives and Museum

The mission of the Archives and Museum is to collect and preserve important historical documents, photographs, and ephemera relating to the cultural, educational and municipal history of the Village of Altamont (incorporated in 1890), its citizens and founders.

Altamont Free Library
12/20/2019

Altamont Free Library

Dont forget! Join us this this evening at 6pm for the second in our series of Altamont Story Swaps. This time we want to hear all about your Christmas and winter memories. What did Main Street look like after the first snow? Who led the caroling? Where was the best sledding hill? Plus: Newly minted Altamontian and author Ted Gup will tell us the fascinating true Christmas story documented in his book A Secret Gift! If you’ve got memories to share, we’d love to hear them and record them for posterity, so join us at 6pm for some hot chocolate, good neighbors, and great stories.

A very successful Founders Day!!The Archives volunteers, sans Keith, with our director, Dan Barker.
10/12/2019

A very successful Founders Day!!The Archives volunteers, sans Keith, with our director, Dan Barker.

Altamont Free Library
10/12/2019

Altamont Free Library

Thank you to everyone who came out to what will certainly be the first of many Altamont Story Swaps yesterday evening. We recorded some incredible memories and will preserve them for posterity. Thanks to The Altamont Enterprise‘s Melissa Hale Spencer for moderating, and keep an eye out for their podcast of the event next week!

Altamont Free Library
10/12/2019

Altamont Free Library

Join us and the Altamont Archives and Museum in celebrating the first (hopefully) annual Founders Day today from 10am to 2pm. Take a walking tour of the village and visit a new museum exhibit at Village Hall on the founders of the Village.

Stop down to the Village Hall and see our new exhibit, “Village Visionaries” We are open until 4PM, with an opening rece...
10/12/2019

Stop down to the Village Hall and see our new exhibit, “Village Visionaries” We are open until 4PM, with an opening reception from 2-4...refreshments will be served. #pthweekend #lovealtamont

Enjoy this beautiful day with a tour of Altamont’s Museum in the Streets! Stop by Orsini Park from 10-2 for an introduct...
10/12/2019

Enjoy this beautiful day with a tour of Altamont’s Museum in the Streets! Stop by Orsini Park from 10-2 for an introduction to the walk. #pthweekend #lovealtamont

It’s Founders Day in Altamont!#pthweekend #lovealtamont @ Altamont, New York
10/12/2019

It’s Founders Day in Altamont!
#pthweekend #lovealtamont @ Altamont, New York

We're looking forward to the opening of Village Visionaries, our exhibit featuring Altamont's founders. The exhbit inclu...
10/04/2019

We're looking forward to the opening of Village Visionaries, our exhibit featuring Altamont's founders. The exhbit includes a treasure trove of rare documents and stories from the The Altamont Enterprise & Albany County Post that tell the story of the founding of our village. Visitors will be encouraged to take the Museum in the Streets walking tour, which is featured on the NYS Path Through History weekend. #pthweekend #lovealtamont

The Altamont Archives and Museum is now on Instagram! Looking forward to Founders’ Day next weekend...October 12, 2019!!...
10/04/2019

The Altamont Archives and Museum is now on Instagram! Looking forward to Founders’ Day next weekend...October 12, 2019!!
#pthweekend #lovealtamont #altamontny

A Call for VolunteersThe Village of Altamont Archives and Museum will be hosting an event on Saturday, October 12th. In ...
09/05/2019
The Museum in the Streets • Welcome

A Call for Volunteers

The Village of Altamont Archives and Museum will be hosting an event on Saturday, October 12th. In conjunction with New York State’s Path Through History weekend, we will host a Founders Day Celebration.

Founders Day Celebration
Saturday, October 12th - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
On Saturday, October 12th The Village of Altamont Archives and Museum will host a Founders Day celebration beginning with Altamont’s Museum in the Streets walking exhibit. This beautifully preserved village is a gateway to the Helderbergs, featuring an original D&H Train Depot surrounded by orchards and rolling countryside. Altamont has partnered with Museum in the Streets© to create a self-guided walking tour of historic buildings and spaces. This is the first location in New York State west of the Hudson River to open a Museum in the Streets©. The tour provides photos and narratives in English and Spanish that describe the rich history of the village. For more information, please visit www.themuseuminthestreets.com and www.altamontvillage.org.

The Village Archives and Museum will be open from 10:00 to 4:00 with a reception starting at 2:00. Visitors can see a new series of exhibits that have been assembled to give history of Altamont’s incorporation. There will be information about the first trustees and the origin of the name “Altamont”. Refreshments will be served. During the reception visitors will have a chance to identify unknown photos of Altamont or take the Photo Challenge to possibly win a gift certificate to one of Altamont’s local businesses.
We need volunteers for that day to do a number of different jobs before and during the event.

Anyone interested in volunteering can email Dan Barker - [email protected]

The Museum in the Streets© creates heritage discovery trails for the benefit of a community's inhabitants and tourists.

Do you recognize this building?!
05/24/2019

Do you recognize this building?!

Hey folks, we are back in business and have a couple of fun projects in the works!
04/15/2019

Hey folks, we are back in business and have a couple of fun projects in the works!

Friends of Albany History
08/18/2018

Friends of Albany History

The History of the Albany County (Altamont) Fair: Not Just Deep-Fried Twinkies

There’s almost nothing as All-American as a County Fair and Albany County had one of the first in the nation; 205 years later it’s still going strong.

The first County Fair is said to have been organized in Pittsfield by Elkanah Watson* in 1807 when he took his two prized Merino sheep to Park Square; the display quickly drew a sizable crowd of admirers and, just like that, the seeds of the modern agricultural fair were sown. He then organized the Berkshire Agricultural Society, which held its first fair in 1811.

Word traveled rapidly; Albany quickly followed suit and the first Fair in Albany was sponsored by the Albany (County) Agricultural Society two years later in 1813. The initial fairs (primarily animal shows) were held in Washington Square. Subsequent fairs were held in the Parade Grounds, just beyond the Square. (Both areas are now within Washington Park.) By the 1840s the exhibits moved beyond cattle, horses and chickens to include all sorts of local crops and agricultural products.

Around 1850 the New York State Agricultural Society constructed a semi-permanent fairground in Menands. For about 20 years the site was also used for the Albany County Fair. (There are some wonderful prints of this Fair in that location- make sure you take a look at the images attached to this post.) It was during this time the Fair came into its own. There were horse races, floral exhibits, pie making and cake competitions, quilts and other textiles; almost everything you would come to expect from a county fair.

By 1855 the Industrial Revolution had made its way into the Fair. Exhibition Halls were too small to accommodate the vast array of agricultural implements (plows and seed planters), stoves, sewing machines, pianofortes, looking glasses and other “diverse domestic manufactures”. By the 1860s the Fair locations moved around Albany County – back to the Washington Parade Grounds, Babcock Corners in the Town of Bethlehem, near Cohoes in the northern part of the County and even Slingerlands – including what is now Albany - the location of Mater Christi (St. Catherine’s) Church and grounds in Hurstville.

Finally the Fair moved to Altamont in Guilderland (a central location). The Altamont Driving Park and Fair Association was incorporated on May 20, 1893. Within a month the Board of Directors also approved the purchase 24.5 acres of land in Altamont for the “Altamont Fair Grounds.”

The first fair was held from September 12 through 15, 1893. Admission was 25 cents for adults, and the net receipts for the four days was $884.13. A racetrack was built in front of the Grandstand. One of the first buildings, the Flower & Fine Arts a Building, is on the State and National Registers of Historic Sites. A year later the name was changed to the Albany County Agricultural Society and Exposition.

The Modern County Fair is Born
In addition to the agricultural, animal and domestic arts competitions and exhibitions, the Fair has, through the years, incorporated other attractions. Carnival rides and a Midway were added. Auto racing was started in 1915 and continued through the 1990s.** The first airplane rides were also started in 1915.- alas the propeller of the plane hit a wall and it never got off the ground. A flea circus was a popular attraction in the early 1900s. There have been singing dogs, dancing bears, wrestling, concerts, boxing, vaudeville shows, rodeo and dramatic readings. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) booth was a mainstay before Prohibition. Politicians and political candidates made obligatory appearances. Electric lights were added in the 1920s and it became a favorite place for canoodling Flappers and their swains at night.

Here are a couple of my favorites during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s – a guided missile display by GE, real Marines re-enacted a famous battle, a Fall-out shelter exhibit and an Atlas Missile was displayed. The 60s saw demonstrations by NY Telephone of cable slicing, a fife and drum competition and a Battle of the Bands. Cars have been won and in 1964 a new house supplied by the Albany County Realtor’s Assoc. was raffled.

The exhibits and demonstrations have changed with the times, but it’s still a summer tradition. The current Fair runs through Sunday, 8/19. If you do go, take a look at the various museums: the Carriage (with a huge array of horse drawn carriages) and Village, Farmhouse, Auto, Schoolhouse, Circus, Blacksmith and Farm Machinery Museums.

Note: today the Fair is a Tri-County Fair, including Albany, Greene and Schenectady Counties.

*Watson, a wealthy man, previously lived in Albany – it’s been said he was too progressive and creative for our city, and retired to Massachusetts to raise sheep.

**The Fair wasn’t cancelled in World War II. It was considered part of the War effort – with canning, preserving and Victory Garden exhibits and demonstrations to show women how to make do and make over old clothing during rationing. However, since gasoline was rationed, the car raced using propane tanks.

The Altamont Archives and Museum mourns the loss of Marijo Dougherty. Her passion for sharing Altamont’s history, inspir...
02/28/2018
View Marijo Dougherty's Obituary and express your condolences

The Altamont Archives and Museum mourns the loss of Marijo Dougherty. Her passion for sharing Altamont’s history, inspired so many in our community.

Marijo Dougherty passed away in Albany, New York. The obituary was featured in Albany Times Union on February 27, 2018.

Altamont Free Library
07/27/2017

Altamont Free Library

The veil is off! Thanks to all of our friends who came out yesterday for the unveiling of the Altamont Museum in the Streets project! It was a wonderful celebration of all that makes our village such a special place. Thanks especially to Supervisor Peter Barber, Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy and Senator George Amedore for sharing the occasion with us and to Mayor Dineen and former Mayor Gaughan for all of the work they put into this project. Museum in the Streets brochures are now available at the library. Come take a look. You might be surprised by what you learn!

Project Patrons: The Museum in the Streets© installation in Altamont was made possible by grants from the Hudson River V...
07/26/2017

Project Patrons: The Museum in the Streets© installation in Altamont was made possible by grants from the Hudson River Valley Greenway and from Assemblymember Patricia Fahy.
Generous donations were also received from: Jeff Thomas, Stewart’s Shops, CM Fox/ Remedies, the Cure Family, Sundown Lawn and Landscape, Altamont Community Tradition (ACT), the Village of Altamont’s Roger Keenholts Fund and anonymous sources.

Special Thanks: The Village of Altamont wishes to thank our property owners for their support and cooperation during the installation process. The Village also thanks photo specialist Ron Ginsburg, researcher Keith C. Lee, archives curator Marijo Dougherty, Altamont Free Library director Joseph Burke and Spanish consultant Teresa Wood-Irvin for their contributions to the success of this project. Appreciation is also expressed to the members of the Advisory Committee who worked diligently to identify the locations for the lectern signage utilized throughout the village. Also thanks to the Altamont Enterprise, for 130 years of chronicling the growth and vibrancy of our Village which contributed to our research.
We are especially proud of and thankful for the fine work completed by the members of the Village of Altamont Department of Public Works for the design, construction and installation of the signage stanchions which enabled the village wide installation.

Museum in the Streets Exhibition July 26 through December 3rdHallway Gallery Village Hall 115 Main Street AltamontHours:...
07/25/2017

Museum in the Streets Exhibition
July 26 through December 3rd
Hallway Gallery
Village Hall
115 Main Street
Altamont
Hours:
Open daily during Village Hall business hours:
(9-4 Pm (closed for lunch Noon-1pm.)
Closed Weekends
The exhibition will highlight the installation which is currently installed throughout the village streets. The installation is drawn from the many collections within the Archives and Museum which include:
• Crounse Family Archives
• Altamont Fair Archives
• Edwin Bradt: The Altamont Dirt Track Racing Collection
• Altamont Hose Company Collection
• Altamont High School Archives and Collections
• Early Knowersville/Altamont Business Records and Collections
• Altamont Families Portrait Collection
• Village of Altamont Early Records
• Arthur Gregg Archives
• Houses of Altamont Collection
• Dairy/ Soda Glass Bottle Collection
• Early Families of Knowersville/Altamont Archives
• Stephen A. Venear Archives
• Maps/Deeds and Documents Collection
• Early Altamont Business Ephemera Collection

07/24/2017

Whatever the reason for travel, Altamont has always welcomed our visitors. We are proud of our history and proud to have the opportunity to welcome you to The Museum in the Streets© in Altamont.

Have you seen the signs? History is an integral part of the fabric of our community. With the installation of Museum in ...
07/21/2017

Have you seen the signs? History is an integral part of the fabric of our community. With the installation of Museum in the Streets©, we invite you to stroll our village streets, patronize our business community, and learn about our past. Dedication ceremony July 26th at 4PM in Orsini Park.

Stop by to see our Hallway Exhibit..."For the People: 100 Years of Community Enrichment from the Altamont Free Library" ...
09/28/2016

Stop by to see our Hallway Exhibit..."For the People: 100 Years of Community Enrichment from the Altamont Free Library" On display through December 16, 2016.

We are honored to have received this gift to the Archives from Bernard Brown. A Bouck White unfired pottery vase. Charle...
09/05/2016

We are honored to have received this gift to the Archives from Bernard Brown. A Bouck White unfired pottery vase. Charles Browning “Bouck” White (1874-1951) was born in Middleburgh, NY and a graduate of Harvard (1896). Mr. White was a writer and clergyman, before making his living as a artist. He perfected a new ceramic process for making glazed pottery without heat while living in France, and returned to Albany County in the 1930's. Bouck White purchased property in the Helderbergs, hand-built a “castle”, and became well-known for his pottery.

The Archives recently received a gift to its collection from Stewart Wagner. This mint condition Dietz Soda Bottle is ca...
08/18/2016

The Archives recently received a gift to its collection from Stewart Wagner. This mint condition Dietz Soda Bottle is called a "thief" bottle by collectors for the raised text on side of bottle warning person(s) of monetary fine for reusing bottles for other liquids. Alanson F. Dietz (1849-1932) established his soda bottling plant in 1885 on Maple Avenue.

The Altamont Archives and Museum, located in the Village Hall, contains many historical documents and photographs which ...
07/25/2016
The Museum in the Streets • Welcome

The Altamont Archives and Museum, located in the Village Hall, contains many historical documents and photographs which illuminate the story of our village, including the history of our business community, its locations and previous proprietors. We have an exciting new project to bring residents and visitors alike onto our streets through a “Museum in the Streets” heritage walking tour. Specially designed and professionally fabricated bi-lingual (English-Spanish) signage containing our historical information and photographs, will be installed permanently throughout the village in strategic locations. https://www.facebook.com/notes/altamont-archives-and-museum/selected-sites-for-museum-in-the-streets-walking-tour/1464302250251591

To learn more about “Museum in the Streets” and see examples of some of their installations, you can visit http://www.themuseuminthestreets.com.

The Museum in the Streets© creates heritage discovery trails for the benefit of a community's inhabitants and tourists.

07/25/2016

Selected sites for “Museum in the Streets” walking tour.

Welcome to all our visitors! We hope you enjoy reading about our current and past exhibitions. Watch for more news on ou...
05/10/2016

Welcome to all our visitors! We hope you enjoy reading about our current and past exhibitions. Watch for more news on our upcoming fall exhibit "For the Public: 100 Years of Information from the Altamont Free Library".

The Pangburn Building at the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue, served the business interest of multiple generation...
02/14/2016

The Pangburn Building at the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue, served the business interest of multiple generations of the the Pangburn family. In 1908, after the untimely death of their uncle, Emmett Mynderse, Earl (1884-1944) and Millard (1886-1959) Pangburn, sons of John H. Pangburn, took over the grocery and dry goods business. Once again, the brisk business of the neighborhood store located at the heart of town, became a favorite in the hearts of the community. Pangburn Brothers operated until 1927, handing over the business to Millard Serverson due to Earl’s ill health. Millard Pangburn moved on to other business ventures, but with Earl’s improving health and a new partnership with his son Harold, Pangburns ran the family business once again, from 1932 until 1947.

Address

115 Main Street, PO Box 643
Altamont, NY
12009

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