Local church ties into history

Two area women have teamed up to tie in the area's history and make a celebration that has been 400 years in the making.

Judy Selkirk and Man Ann Shubert have designed a silk tie and are selling them for their church in order to help pitch in for next summer's quadricentennial events that will be celebrated up and down the Hudson River in New York and neighboring states.

Although locally there has been some controversy over exactly where and how far Henry Hudson and his crew on the Half Moon traveled up the river named in his honor, celebrations around the area will be held marking the historic 1609 voyage. In addition to Hudson, the celebrations will also commemorate the travels of Samuel De Champlain's and Robert Fulton's first steamboat voyage from New York City to Albany in 1807.

Selkirk and Shubert, congregants of the First Reformed Church of Bethlehem, said they came up with the idea while brainstorming with their church group for fundraising ideas.

Our church was looking for ideas, Selkirk said, and after she showed them a tie she found in New Hampshire commemorating that state's heritage, she said she thought, "Why can't we do a tie like this."

She brought the idea to Shubert, who used her artistic talents to bring Bethlehem's heritage alive on silk.

"I did the painting," said Shubert. "First we tried to put it down on paper and then we tried to glue the patterns down so that we could move them around."

Eventually the artwork was electronically scanned and silkscreen onto the ties by a company after the women put their own money into the project.

But the end result is something the entire town can be proud of and can wear with pride. The tie has a background with an old elevation map of the town as a background.

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