Eames House - 20 Comeau Drive, PO Box 841 
Woodstock, NY 12498
845 679-2256
The Historical Society of Woodstock was founded in 1929 by a group of artists, writers, academics, and local citizens. In addition to the exhibition space, which is located at the historic Eames House on Comeau Drive in the center of Woodstock, the Historical Society has an extensive archive consisting of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, textiles, photographs, books, manuscripts, correspondence, documents, film/sound recordings, and antique tools. The archive serves as a resource for a wide range of exhibitions, public programming, and research.

Support us by becoming a member

Tool Shed Renovation

Click to donate

Catching Nature's Cycle
Selected works from the collection of the
Historical Society of Woodstock

Saturday June 12 - Sunday September 5, 1-5
Anton Otto Fischer (1882-1962), "Overlook Mountain", 1942

Standing on Their Shoulders: 
September 18 - October 23, 1-5

more information below
(more information below)(more information below)

SEASONS: Catching Nature's Cycle
Saturday June 12, 2021- Sunday September 5, 2021, 1-5 pm
Selected Works from the collection of the Historical Society

The exhibition SEASONS: Catching Nature’s Cycle gathers forty works by Woodstock artists, selected by Guest Curator Susana Torruella Leval from the collection of the Historical Society of Woodstock, co-curated by Letitia Smith. The works in the exhibition encompass a century. The earliest images, from 1914, a summer view of Overlook by Zulma Steele, and a winter landscape by Edmund Rolfe, lead a visual tour of the seasons in Woodstock’s landscape. 

As early as 1903, the village’s lush meadows, gentle streams, wooded glens, and healthful climate attracted visionary artists, who chose the site for the Utopian arts and crafts colony of Byrdcliffe, and, later, the Maverick Colony, giving birth to Woodstock as an arts colony. Three years later, the Arts Students League of New York set up a summer school in the village, soon known as the “Woodstock School of Landscape Painting”, highlighting the tradition of painting out of doors. Over time, it lured ever larger numbers of artists from New York City. By 1920, the New York Times referred to Woodstock as “a place of pilgrimage in the art world.” Since the 19th century, landscape painters Thomas Cole and Frederic Church had pioneered the plein air tradition in the Hudson Valley. Their artistic descendants, Birge Harrison and John Carlson, subsequent directors of the Woodstock School of Landscape, must have smiled their approval at the successful continuation of their legacy into the “modern” era. 
        ("Overlook Mountain", Zulma Steele, 1914, collection of the Historical Society of Woodstock)

The works in the exhibition display a rich variety of styles: from traditionally precise, yet expansive, romantic views; to proto Cubist and modernist abstractions; to lucid depictions inspired by Realist, Impressionist, and post Impressionist models. The works also offer diverse media: paintings in oil and acrylic, on canvas, paper and board; drawings on paper with pen with brush, oil and charcoal; watercolors; prints: lithographs and etchings; and vintage and contemporary photographs. 
A tour of SEASONS: Catching Nature’s Cycle invites you to explore Woodstock’s country lanes and roads, identifying farms, barns and homes; watch children play and trees dance; and allow the sun to blind you as it reflects on the snow. You can slosh through meadows of mud, snow, and ice, watch melting ice crystals drift downstream, or amble along sunlit grassy or ochre banks. You can choose bird’s eye views of village or valley, or close-ups of bugs, and flowers, shelter in the shadow of a huge, gentle tree, or admire the majestic shagbarks. You will experience Overlook Mountain’s different moods: in a chilly Autumn fog or a sunny Summer haze; listen for the deep twang of the bullfrogs, or the silence of the snow; and smell the oversweet wisteria, the pungency of cow dung, and the musky scent of fallen leaves. You can observe the slow approach of a praying mantis stalking a bumblebee. Mostly, you can be joyous that you have Woodstock. (Exhibition catalogue available $20)

                                                   "Sally Michel Sketching Sheep at Big Indian", Robert Selkowitz, 1977

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Standing on Their Shoulders: 
100 Years of Voting and Still Marching for Women's Rights
September 18 - October 23, 2021,1-5 pm
A series of programs highlighting Woodstock's role in the women's rights movement are made possible by a grant from Humanities New York with support from National Endowment for the Humanities and the Historical Society of Woodstock.  Press Release "Standing on their Shoulders"

Virtual Panel Discussion, Saturday October 10, 2020, 2-3 pm

Direct descendants of early 1900's activists featured.

YouTube Video

Panel Discussion: Standing on Their Shoulders: Where do we go from here?

This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 
@humanitiesny and #NY4suffrage

A panel discussion celebrating the 2020 Centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, 100 Years of Women Voting – Where Do We Go From Here? will happen via Zoom on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, 2-3 p.m. Woodstock Women's March organizers Anula Courtis and Maria-Elena Conte, and Marguerite Culp-Kearns and Peg Johnston, direct descendants of early 1900's activists are featured panelists. Culp-Kearns, a former Woodstock resident, is granddaughter of suffragist Edna Kearns. Johnston is great niece of Elisabeth Freeman and cousin to the late Jane Van De Bogart, a former Woodstock town board member. To register, send your name and email address to historicalsocietyofwoodstockny@gmail.com and receive the Zoom link and login details before the event. Please respond by email a day before Oct. 10, 2020.

"Women's March on Woodstock", 2019  still from film by Tobe Carey

Two Important Videos start October 3
Tune in to HistoricalSocietyofWoodstock.org starting Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 and view two short videos that are part of the virtual votes-for-women centennial celebration by the Historical Society. First is a musical presentation, Standing on the Shoulders, a four-minute song by Joyce Rouse that honors the spirit of Edna Kearns and Elisabeth Freeman, NYS suffrage activists with Woodstock connections who helped lay the base for successive waves of women's activism during the 20th century and into the 21st.

"Standing on The Shoulders" by Joyce Rouse

Standing on the Shoulders by Joyce J. Rouse  @1996 @2015 Rouse House Music (ASCAP) Used by permission. 
All rights reserved: www.earthmama.org
(Kamala Harris)

The second video, Women's March on Woodstock 2019 by filmmaker Tobe Carey, features the estimated 800 diverse participants marching in the small town of Woodstock, located 90 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain region. The community, founded in the 1700s, inspired the famous Woodstock music festival of 1969, but it didn't host the pivotal cultural event that was held over 50 miles away in Bethel, NY. This colorful film, edited by Bart Friedman, will also be available at HistoricalSocietyofWoodstock.org starting October 3, 2020. HSW thanks Tobe Carey for granting permission to show his video and still photographs of the Women's March. 

Tobe Carey, an award-winning producer, director and cinematographer, has been documenting historical events in the Hudson Valley for many years. He operates Willow Mixed Media.

Barton (Bart) Friedman helped found the pioneering video production companies Media Bus, Videofreex, and Reelizations. He has a BA in psychology from Adelphi University and has been working in the field of videography for 50 years

Film by Tobe Carey, edited by Bart Friedman

"Women's March on Woodstock", 2019, film by Tobe Carey, edited by Bart Friedman

To be announcedStanding on Their Shoulders: 100 years of Voting and Still Marching for Women's Rights will include an exhibition of vintage photographs and a multi-media presentation in 2021 featuring the work of activists Edna Kearns and Elisabeth Freeman presented by their Woodstock-related descendants Marguerite (Culp) Kearns and Peg Johnston. (Culp) Kearns is a former reporter and editor of Woodstock Times and the granddaughter of Edna Kearns. Johnston is the great-niece of Elisabeth Freeman and the cousin of a former member of the Woodstock town board, the late Jane Van De Bogart.

The exhibit will appear at the HSW's Eames House Museum and on-line. The mult-media presentation will take place at the Woodstock Community Center. Dates and times will be announced.

To be announced: The cutting of a 100th birthday cake will be celebrated at the Standing on Their Shoulders exhibit opening with a musical performance by folk singers and musicians Pat Lamanna, Sharleen Leahey and Richard Mattocks. They will present contemporary and original activists songs accompanied by guitar and banjo.

“Standing on Their Shoulders: 100 Years of Voting and Still Marching for Women's Rights” is an exhibition and presentation highlighting the Woodstock, NY angle on the US early women's rights movement. It features activists Edna Kearns (1882-1934) and Elisabeth Freeman (1876- 1942) with presentations by their descendants—Kearns’ granddaughter and Freeman’s grandniece.

(postcard: "Edna Kearns & Elisabeth Freeman")

Jane Van De Bogart and Marguerite (Culp) Kearns started a collaboration in 1986 to bring their respective relatives to public attention. A 1986 exhibit entitled “Edna and Elisabeth: Foot Soldiers for Women’s Voting Rights” in Kingston, NY featured both activists and their descendants. On display was the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used in NYC and on Long Island. The campaign wagon is now in the permanent collection of the New York State Museum in Albany, NY. Edna Kearns used this horse-drawn wagon in NYS. The wagon is on display as part of the state museum’s suffrage centennial celebration for 2020 in Albany, NY that runs to the end of the summer season.

Suffrage activist Elisabeth Freeman was a paid activist. She organized for women’s voting rights as well as conducted a speaking tour against lynching in the South. She supported labor issues, as well as many other social causes.

Edna Kearns, a suffrage activist, was a writer, editor, and grassroots campaigner in New York City and on Long Island. She traveled with her horse-drawn wagon as part of a strategy to reach the men voters of the state in rural and urban areas. 

Both activists Elisabeth Freeman and Edna Kearns worked extensively in New York State. They knew each other and were both considered “wagon women.” A votes for women state referendum failed in 1915. New York State women won the next suffrage referendum in 1917. Horse-drawn wagons were used as speakers’ platforms.

“The NYS suffrage victory in 1917 became a tipping point for the nation. It took until 1920 for the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution,” said Olivia Twine, secretary of the HSW and the project coordinator for the fall exhibition. “The 19th Amendment wrote into law that all American women could vote. Implementation of the amendment, however, took decades until all women could finally vote in the US. The town board of Woodstock in 2016 passed a resolution supporting suffrage centennials. There’s a strong constituency for our exhibit in the Hudson Valley.”

Votes for women centennial celebrations like this one in Woodstock are being held across the US during this centennial year of 2020. Interviews with the two suffrage descendants, Johnston and Kearns, as well as organizing campaign photographs, are available for media coverage about the HSW event, according to Olivia Twine, exhibition director.

The exhibition in Woodstock highlights how US women have been marching for their rights for well over 100 years.

Zoom Presentation on Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Historical Society of Woodstock presents Glenn Kreisberg

On Wednesday, June 2 at 7:00 p.m., the Historical Society of Woodstock will present another in HSW’s local history Zoom series. 
“Native American Stone Structures of the Catskill Mountains as Ceremonial Stone Landscapes” is the topic of a free Zoom presentation on Wednesday, June 2 at 7 pm, offered by the Historical Society of Woodstock in its series of local history discussions. Glenn Kreisberg, the author of Spirits in Stone; the Secrets of Megalithic America, Decoding the Ancient Stone Landscapes of the Northeast, will share his knowledge of these astounding phenomena.

To register, email  historicalsocietyofwoodstockny@gmail.com
and write “Glenn Kreisberg” in the subject line. You will be sent a Zoom link prior to the event. 

Scattered throughout the wooded uplands of the Catskill Mountains are many standing lithic structures that have mostly been ignored by conventional archaeologists. Often dismissed as colonial era stone walls and field clearing piles, these formations are increasingly emerging as part of a Native American tradition of ritual building practices that reflected a sophisticated world view and sociocultural belief system.

This program presents potential Native American sacred sites within the Catskills and surrounding regions in order to discern construction techniques, environmental positioning, and structural alignments related to sky observation. Utilizing GIS software, hundreds of sites and structures in the region have been geolocated, providing a basis for understanding these sites in their original context. This research is part of a larger effort to rediscover the cultural heritage and knowledge Native Americans in our region have long practiced and represented as a living synthesis projected upon their physical landscape.

Kreisberg, a radio frequency engineer, serves as editor of Lost Knowledge of the Ancients and Mysteries of the Ancient Past, and is the co-founder of the Overlook Mountain Center,https://overlookmountain.org

For more information, visit www.historicalsocietyofwoodstock.org or email historicalsocietyofwoodstockny@gmail.com

Works in Wire by Alison Eriksen

Saturday May 8 - Sunday May 30, 2021, 1-5 pm

A retrospective tribute to the sculptress Alison Eriksen (1964-2019), whose roots and influences run deep in Woodstock. 

Works in Wire by Alison Eriksen


"To me as an artist and musician, the elements of line, rhythm and movement are primary interests whether in visual or auditory form. Wire, wood, metal—the materials of musical instruments—are my materials in sculpture. Metal and wood conduct sound and respond to touch. Wire conveys movement and rhythm by its very essence." 
                                                                                                                                                --Alison Eriksen, 2018 

A native of Plainfield, New Jersey, Alison Eriksen spent childhood vacations in Woodstock with her grandmother, Ethel Cashdollar White, and as an adult frequently visited the Woodstock home of her mother, longtime Historical Society member Jean White. She lived in Portland, Oregon, where she maintained a studio and exhibited her work in leading local galleries. Even then, her love of Woodstock kept pulling her back and led her, with her husband, Robert Eriksen, to build a house in the shadow of Overlook Mountain, where she spent her final months.

An artist who could be both serious and fanciful, Eriksen worked early on in clay but found her greatest expression using metal wire, which she combined with wooden boxes and other artifacts to create sculptures at once intricate and accessible. Her artistic lineage includes two well-known Woodstock artists, her great-grandmother Sarah Cashdollar and her great-uncle Clarence Bolton, and her mother, who has degrees in art education from Pratt Institute and SUNY New Paltz and was a public-school art teacher for 30 years. She was further encouraged as an artist by her father, Ted Boyer, whose extensive collection of Woodstock art has been the subject of museum exhibits.

Trained in music and psychology as well as art, Eriksen earned a master’s degree from the City University of London and a PhD from Northwestern University. She was a professor of psychology for three years at the University of Montana. She was a gifted classical pianist and inveterate hiker and climber. 


On January 8, 2021, the Historical Society of Woodstock (HSW) received a 2020 Ulster County Services and Promotion Fund Award of $2, 950 from Arts Mid-Hudson. This will help fund the HSW’s Assessing Woodstock History initiative. There were 28 requests for $120,000, but only 13 applicants received $37,500. The peer panel was composed of community stakeholders, artists, and nonprofit professions, and their recommendations were approved by Arts Mid-Hudson’s Board of Directors.

This project is made possible in part through support from the County of Ulster’s Ulster County Cultural Services & Promotion Fund administrated by Arts Mid-Hudson.

Zoom Presentation: Roots of Activism
Wednesday, May 19, 7 pm

Zoom Presentation on Wednesday, March 31, 2021
On Wednesday March 31 at 7:00 p.m., the Historical Society of Woodstock will present another in HSW’s local history Zoom series titled, Connecting the Dots: Family History Recollections and Their Importance to Preserving Local Historyclick for more information
The program will feature Janine Fallon-Mower and Jon D. Elwyn who have spent a good portion of their lives honing the skill of teasing out the gems of local history information from personal and family recollections. Much of their work is then transferred to the Historical Society of Woodstock’s archives. The presentation will include selected images found in local family collections of everyday life in Woodstock. Janine and Jon will also demonstrate how select family photographs can enhance the visual and written history of Woodstock N.Y. (image: On Tinker Street)

Town Historian, Richard Heppner will lead a lively discussion with the presenters and attendees following the presentation. 

About the Panel:

Janine Fallon–Mower has authored several books on Woodstock including: Images of America – Woodstock and Woodstock Revisited. She has also co–authored Legendary Locals of Woodstock with Town Historian, Richard Heppner and View from the Sixth with Eric Knutsen. 

Jon D. Elwyn has preserved the stories of Deanie Elwyn’s Brass Rail, the Trolley Diner and the world famous Deanie’s Restaurant in Woodstock, N.Y. He has also documented his family’s connection to many branches of Woodstock’s early settlers, including Woodstock’s first Supervisor Elias Hasbrouck.

To request a Zoom link for this presentation, email: historicalsocietyofwoodstockny@gmail.com

Please place “Family History” in the subject line. Attendees will receive the link prior to the scheduled date.

Zoom Presentation on Thursday, February 18, 2021
Historical Society of Woodstock Offers Zoom Presentation on the Life of Historian Alf Evers

On Thursday, February 18 at 7:00 p.m., the Historical Society of Woodstock will present an interview with noted author, poet and composer Ed Sanders to discuss his recently completed biography on the life and work of noted historian Alf Evers. Evers, whose major works included: The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Woodstock: History of an American Town and Kingston: City on the Hudson, has been recognized as one of the prominent regional historians in the country.

“Alf Evers book signing at Twine’s Catskill Book Shop”
 (Courtesy Ed Sanders)
Sanders, who will be interviewed by Woodstock Town Historian, Richard Heppner, worked closely with Evers during the latter part of his life and, in Alf Evers: An American Genius, has offered a detailed study on the evolution of a historian’s life; a historian who helped lay the foundation of how we view our collective past.

In addition to his preeminent works, Evers served as the first Woodstock Town Historian and led the Historical Society of Woodstock as its president for a number of years. With a number of children’s books also to his credit, Alf Evers was a much-in-demand lecturer, guide, and an early voice in the battle to preserve our environment.

Working in the years before the dawn of the Internet, Evers’ research efforts were remarkable by any standard. Through interviews, oral histories and a meticulous review of printed records, Evers maintained a life-long curiosity in all areas of our local story – from folklore, to cultural and social change, to the everyday struggles of carving a life from the Catskill wilderness.

The Historical Society of the Woodstock invites you to join in this special presentation as we remember and reflect on the legacy of Alf Evers’ work and the gift of history he bequeathed to us all.

To register for this Zoom conference, simply email: historicalsocietyofwoodstockny@gmail.com - please put “Alf Evers” in the subject line. An invitation will be sent to you prior to the event. For further information, contact Richard Heppner, Woodstock Town Historian, at woodstockhistory@hvc.rr.com.

Subpages (22): View All