Mabee Farm fair showcases history close to home

Lecturers at the event include Robert Trent, who is an independent furniture scholar, former curator of furniture at Winterthur and at the Connecticut Historical Society, as well as a consultant at Sotheby's and Christie's etc. Trent will speak on the relationship between local Dutch furniture and architectural moldings.

John Stevens, Author of Dutch Vernacular Architecture in North America, was architectural historian for Old Bethpage Village Historic Restoration in Old Bethpage, and is a longtime member of the Dutch Barn Preservation Society and a trustee of Hudson Valley Vernacular. Stevens will talk about Dutch Vernacular Architecture in the New World.

Cory McQuinn, project director at Hartgen Archaeological Association will speak on the recent project done for the Mabee Farm property and his findings.

Bill McMillan was supervisor of restoration for the 300-year-old historic Richmond Town in Staten Island for 40 years and is a teacher of historic trades at Eastfield Village and Colonial Williamsburg. McMillian will do an architectural tour of the Mabee Farm's historic buildings, focusing on the elements with direct Dutch influence.

"Mostly it will be a tour looking in the house and the small building next to it, but it will also be looking at the elements of what makes a Dutch house and how you look at [artifacts] and date them and identify pieces of a house and things of that sort," said McMillan.

He added that among the many artifacts in the house that are similar to others of the same era, there are many elements that are unique.

"It'll be looking at these elements and what makes a Dutch house unique and how we, as historians, can look at things, date them and understand a house by its elements," said McMillan.

There will also be a multi-media history presentation, which will show the history of Schenectady County. Gary Van Slyke will be on hand to create a Dutch Colonial atmosphere with Colonial Dutch games, coloring and more. Museum and historical societies will also have exhibits.

Admission is free and is co-sponsored by Schenectady County, Dutch Barn Preservations Society, Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture and Hudson 400.

Mabee Farm Historic Site is located on Route 5S in Rotterdam Junction. For information, call 887-5073. ""

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