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History put on the map, at last

Slingerlands home to Bethlehem’s first historic district

Former Bethlehem Town Supervisor Sam Messina commends Town Historian Susan Leath and the residents of Slingerlands on their work to bring the Slingerlands Historic District into fruition.

Former Bethlehem Town Supervisor Sam Messina commends Town Historian Susan Leath and the residents of Slingerlands on their work to bring the Slingerlands Historic District into fruition. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— A new Slingerlands Historic District Walk passes by about 20 locations of importance.

The distinction does not mean there will be any new restrictions to homeowners.

“This is an honor to say that our district had an impact on state history, it does not control what can be done to your house,” Leath said. “We really rely on the property owners, who understand they have a historic house in a historic areato take care of their home and preserve it.”

At the ceremony, Opalka presented the town with a certificate of recognition that will be placed at Town Hall.

The district will be marked by two large signs to be will be installed by the town’s Highway Department. The signs were paid for through the fundraising efforts of Slingerlands residents.

Former Supervisor Sam Messina was in office when the project began and had backed the effort as a Slingerlands resident. He said he was proud to see the district officially be recognized by the state.

“Bethlehem is special because of its people and because of its volunteers,” he said, explaining how without dedicated residents like Leath and Muhlich, the designation would have remained a pipe dream.

The next Slingerlands History Hike will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 9:30 a.m. Each hike is limited to 20 people and are free. Participants must preregister through the Bethlehem Parks and Recreation Department.

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