The Ravena Coeymans Historical Society Picnic at the Historic Ariaantje Coeymans House


The Ravena Coeymans Historical Society held its annual picnic on Saturday June 25th 2011 on the grounds of the Historic Ariaantje Coeymans House . We would like to thank Our hosts Sylvia and Paul Lawler. A great time was had by all. There was plenty of food and friendship. We would also like to thank all that attended for making this a very special day to remember. We would like to share some of  the pictures of the event.






There will no meetings in the Months of July and August. The September meeting will be held on September 8th 2011 at 7:00 PM. There will be election of Trustees and a program still to be determined.


The Life of a Civil War Soldier

Photo by Hilary Hawke

            Ravena-Coeymans Historical Society meeting was held on Sunday, March 13 at 2 p.m. at the Village Hall, 15 Mountain Road in Ravena.  Matt George portrayed the life of a Civil War soldier.

            Matt George will arrived at our March 13th meeting as Private George of the 134th New York infantry. He explained where he worked and lived, his occupation, and his 3 best friends (three soldiers who were killed at Gettysburg).  He discussed why and where he enlisted, where his camp was, and what camp life was like.  He conclude by explaining the motivations of others and his for fighting in this war. He then came out of character and explained the nature of his weapon, the uniform, the accouterments, food, medicine, and wounds. 

           Matt George taught social studies at Draper Middle School.  He retired from the Mohonasen School District in 1998.  Matt George is a past president of the Capital District Civil War Round Table.  His passion to educate others about the Civil War has led him to retirement homes, schools, and historical societies dressed as a Union private.


The Heritage of Van Derzee Farm

                Lynn Van derzee Christie’s ancestors emigrated from the Netherlands in 1636.  Fourth generation Cornelius Van derzee married the granddaughter (Agnes Whitbeck) of Peter Coeymans and bought 302 acres in 1773 from his mother-in-law to establish his own farm.  This is the same farm that is on Van Derzee Rd off of Rt 143 in Aquetuck.  It is a New York State Bicentennial Farm and is also listed on the State and National Historic Register of Historic Places.  Lynn is the seventh descendent and last Van derzee to own Van Derzee Farm.  Through pictures, artifacts, and stories she will relate the farms history.  Part of the heritage includes the gulf, a conch shell, an African American photographer, and a coal pit.  Everyone is invited to learn about this 328 year old farm.  See the featured video and PDF attached for more details.

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