Bethlehem trolley tours kick off second year

Bethlehem Trolley Tours roll into town for a second straight year beginning Tuesday, Jan. 29, covering the history of the town from 6000 B.C. to present day.

We start right in Delmar, and the tour will run along Kenwood Avenue and Slingerlands to Van Wies Point, said Susan Leath, town historian, one of the trolley tour guides, along with Katherine McCarthy, Spotlight Newspapers' editor in chief.

The trolley tours will begin at the Delmar Four Corners in the town parking lot next to Applebee's Funeral Home at 9:45 a.m. and wind through Delmar, Slingerlands, Elsmere, Glenmont, and Cedar Hill. Tour dates are Jan. 29, Feb. 8, 19, and 23, March 14 and 18, and April 6. The Sunday, April 6, tour is scheduled for 12:45 p.m.

"We'll see many of the Victorian homes along Kenwood Avenue and in Slingerlands," Leath said.

The Peter Winne House on Creble Road is considered one of the oldest homes in Bethlehem, dating back to 1720, and is a tour highlight, along with the Bethlehem House.

"I want people to know that history happened right here in Bethlehem and to come out and see what it's like," said Leath.

Tours take place on heated trolleys from Albany Aqua Ducks and Trolleys and include a stop at the Bethlehem Historical Society's Museum for refreshments provided by Perfect Blend, and discount coupons for lunches at Bethlehem restaurants for before or after the tour.

"It is great to have the historic Bethlehem Trolley Tours back in town, and we encourage people to register early as all the tours sold out last year," said Marty DeLaney, president of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.

The price of each tour is $23 per person and includes a donation to the Bethlehem Historical Association. Another unusual aspect of Bethlehem's history are the icehouses that stored large cakes of ice along the banks of the Hudson to deliver on steamship to residents of New York City in the summer.

"You will learn about the ice harvesting industry along the river," said Leath.

For information, or for a reservation, call 462-3825.""

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