Monday, August 13, 2018

Columbia County Historical Society

A view of the Catskills in the area

Address:   5 Albany Avenue Kinderhook, NY 12106
Phone: 518-758-9265
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays only from noon to 4pm.

Library | Reading Room Admission$5.00

Situated in the historic village of Kinderhook, the society is in a period building just a short walk away from the village commons, which also has a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays in the summer. The research room itself is small, but is filled with books and notebooks on various topics relevant to Columbia County.

If you want to contact them to do the research for you rather than visiting, a flat fee of $25 is charged for all research inquiries.  This includes up to 10 copies of research material and postage for response packages

In this archive are books, maps, architectural drawings, diaries, personal correspondence, scrapbooks, broadsides, business records, pamphlets, programs, ephemera, photographic prints, glass and film negatives, cased images, and albums.

When you are researching here, photocopies are made by the staff only and are 25 cents each.

The day that I visited, I was looking for a needle in a haystack. I had a family that according to a history of Cortland County had migrated from Columbia County. This is all I knew about the Ingalls family in the area other than the specific names and the time period of just after the Revolutionary War. The volunteer at the desk was undaunted by my search and jumped in to help me find any evidence I could about the family and their supposed origins. Even after I had given up, satisfied that the history was incorrect, he continued on determined to help me find some evidence that they had been there. Additionally, he gave me suggestions of other places I might look based on his extensive research knowledge of the area.

I should note that later research proved that this family likely was in the Columbia County area, BUT only in transit as they moved from nearby Berkshire County, Massachusetts across into New York State on their way to Cortland County. The book had gotten the place of origination wrong. They had never lived there. However, the volunteer at this society went above and beyond to try to find a needle in a haystack and find evidence of their living in the vicinity.

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