Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Going Dutch

October 11, 2009

Sunday I was the guest of Crailo State Historic Site in Renssalaer, New York.
The large brick House, which dates back to the early 1700s, contains what may be the only museum dedicated to the Dutch colonial period in the Hudson Valley. Kiliaen van Renssalaer established a settlement here in the late 1600s, across the river from what was then Fort Orange (Albany). The area was a focus of the early fur trade, and a meeting place for Native peoples and Europeans.
The museum has recently been refurbished and features state-of-the-art displays. I certainly learned a lot about a little-known time period in our local history.
My visit today was part of the Museum’s summer-long series of Sunday presentations on Dutch and Native American culture. As a historical re-enactor, I portray a Mohawk woman of the 1750s.
On display were examples of Iroquois foods

And some typical trade goods, and other items.

The House sits facing the river, and the small grassy park where I was set up for the day had a wonderful view of the river and Albany.

I met some interesting folks, including visitors from the Netherlands.

My mom wasn’t sure how to work my little camera.
Here’s the only shot she got of more than just my feet, as I am hailing the Dutch Apple tourboat as it returned upriver.

Not surprisingly, they did not stop. Guess they weren’t interested in beaver hides today.

For more info on Crailo, follow the links on this general site:


  1. Thanks for letting us know about this historical site. My maternal grandmother's name was Van Steenberg and her ancestors were among the first European settlers in the Hudson Valley. So I have a personal interest. Gotta check it out. Want to go back with me?

  2. They missed out on delicious corn and pumpkins and pretty beads! What is wrong with them?!

  3. That's you in costume? Looks like a LOT of fun as well as being totally fascinating.