Mabee Farm fair showcases history close to home

Fans of PBS's Antiques Road Show, history buffs and the rest of the family will find plenty to strike their fancy at the Mabee Farm History Fair Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rotterdam Junction historic site.

The fair will feature a lecture series titles "The Dutch Influence of America." Other events include a program called "Treasures in Your Attic," and "Oral History Project."

"We have a lot of stuff going on," said Pat Barrot, site manager for Mabee Farm.

For the "Treasures in your Attic" program, visitors are invited to bring an antique item for expert Ona Curran, an art historian and independent fine and decorative arts consultant, former museum curator and author of "Thomas McIllworth/ Colonial New York Portrait Painter," to appraise. Curran is also a member of the Appraisers Association of America.

"They can't give a monetary price," said Barrot of Curran and her son, H. Peter Curran, who is a member of Appraisers Association of America and has been featured as an appraiser on "Antiques Road Show," who will also be participating in "Treasures in Your Attic."

"They can give them a year and where it was done. We can't give out monetary values of things because it's a museum, but if I have an object and someone tells me it was made in 1850, and it's pottery from [this artist's school] in Ohio, then I can get on my computer and find out what it is worth," said Barrot.

The Oral History Project is geared for kids and goes along with the yearlong celebration of the Schenectady County Bicentennial.

"It's the Schenectady Bicentennial news group," said Barrot. "We're going to have a big television going on [featuring] about everything about the history of Schenectady County."

Young people will be invited to tell stories about the history of Schenectady County and the surrounding area.

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