APRIL 2023

Welcome to the FIRST all digital Hurley Heritage Society Prologue!

For almost 50 years, the Hurley Heritage Society has maintained and operated

the Hurley Museum, which continues to be open and free to the public. We are

an all-volunteer organization that protects and preserves materials, documents

and artifacts pertaining to the Hurley area, and raise awareness and educate the

public of the town's special heritage through events, lectures, programs, tours,

and community initiatives.

Welcome to the 2023

Hurley Historical Society season!

We are pleased to launch the first edition of our new digital PROLOGUE, which will deliver quarterly updates on events, programs, and insights into local Hurley history. In addition, we will send timely emails with updates on HHS activities, including our highly anticipated ZOOM lectures.

  The Museum opens on Saturday May 6th when we are excited to unveil two new exhibits, POST OFFICES OF HURLEY 1837 TO THE PRESENT and EAGLES NEST: EXPLORING THE MYTHS AND REALITY. An opening reception with refreshments will be held from 1-4 on that day, please join us and meet the curators of the exhibits. Feeling nostalgic? The post office exhibit includes a representation of a vintage post office constructed with actual parts of our Hurley post office.   

  A list of current activities is included in this PROLOGUE. We have also designed a new rack card which will be available at the museum, the Town Hall and Ulster Tourism racks.

  The museum will once again be open free of charge from 1-4 PM on Saturdays and Sundays from May through October.  Walking tours will be available on the fourth Sunday of each month. We continue to operate as an all-volunteer organization. If you have an interest in volunteering as a museum greeter, a tour guide, working in the gift shop, or any other capacity, please contact me or visit our website at  https://www.hurleyheritagesociety.org/volunteer/

 Volunteer training will be taking place on April 23rd at the museum.

   In closing, THANK YOU to our members, volunteers and community. It is through your generosity and support that we continue to grow.


Diane Blakely


Hurley Heritage Society

[email protected]

(845) 943-0493  

2023 Hurley Heritage Society Calendar of Events


April 23 Volunteer Training Day at the museum


April 29 Cleanup Day Volunteers welcome to help spruce up

the museum to prepare for the Spring opening


May 6 Museum Opening Day and reception for the new exhibits


May 19-20 Plant Sale pick up (orders placed 1-2 weeks in advance)


Sept 22-23 Mum sale pick up (orders placed 1-2 weeks in advance)


Oct 9 - Nov 3 Hurley Scarecrow Invasion


Oct 18 – 29 HHS Autumn Auction


Library/Children's Events - check website for scheduled events


Hurley Walking Tours

Available on 4th Sunday of the month at 2pm May - Oct       



Free and open to the public; donations welcome

Open May 6th through October 29th

Saturday - Sunday 1-4pm

Great Turnout for the HHS Live Benefit Concert on March 31st with Prof. Louie and the Crowmatix at the Hurley Reformed Church

HHS Annual Spring Plant Sale     

It’s time to look forward to spring and plan for your gardens. The

Hurley Heritage Society is taking pre-orders for flats, pots, and hanging baskets of beautiful plants grown by Saunderskill Farms, Accord and 6-inch planters from Boice's Farm, Saugerties filled with a mix of flowers (Lobelia, Million Bells, Petunias - to name a few). 


The forms will be mailed the first week of April. They will also be distributed to

various locations throughout Hurley. Please return your completed form to

Flo Brandt, 132 Woodland Drive, Hurley, N.Y., 12443 by May 4th.


Pick up for the pre-orders will be at the museum grounds Friday, May 19th,

between 4 and 6 p.m. The backyard of the museum will be accessible on Saturday, May 20th for those who can't pick up their orders on Friday . We will also sell left over plants at that time.

Please check the Hurley Heritage website for any additional

information regarding the sale that may be forthcoming.


All proceeds from this sale go directly to the Hurley Heritage Society and benefit the maintenance of the gardens and grounds of the museum. 

Please feel free to call Flo at (845) 331-8767 if you have questions or need forms.

Hurley Heritage Society Walking Tours

The Hurley Heritage Society will once again be offering walking tours of Historic Main Street on the Fourth (4th) Sunday of the month, May-Oct.

Knowledgeable guides will share unique stories, as you view the exteriors of stone homes 230-330 years old in this National Historic Landmark.


Tours begin at the HHS Museum, 52 Main Street, Hurley at 2PM. Admission $5, children under 12 free. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit hurleyheritagesociety.org.

Two new exhibits open at the HHS Museum

Opening Reception on Saturday, May 6th 1-4pm

Post Offices of Hurley, 1837 to the present

The Hurley Heritage Society opens a new exhibition on Saturday, May 6, 2023, focusing on the colorful evolution of town post offices. Even to this day, post offices remain a hub supporting the social and business life of residents. Visitors entering the exhibition room are transported into the reconstructed interior of a vintage post office. A dozen display panels circling the room guide the visitor through the seven (yes, seven) iterations of the hamlet of Hurley post offices and through the upheaval caused by reservoir construction of the Ashton, West Hurley, Glenford, and Spillway post offices. 


The Emil F. Zullo Library in the HHS Museum is home to a new exhibit focusing on a unique community in the Town of Hurley: Eagle’s Nest.

(PHOTOS: First United States Stamps Issued in 1847.  

 The first Post Office in the Town of Hurley located in the hamlet of Hurley, NY. Painting by John Williamson (1826-1885), Hurley Hotel, undated, oil on canvas. Hurley Heritage Society Collection.)

Eagle's Nest: Exploring the Myths and Reality 

This exhibit takes a fresh look at the history, lore, and legends surrounding Eagle's Nest, the racially mixed community on the hillside above the Village of Hurley. This exhibit draws on the Eagle's Nest-Lapala Project, with an emphasis on doing community research using primary sources, including legal records (deeds), genealogy records (census), maps, oral histories, as well as published secondary sources.  Visitors will be invited to separate myth from fact as we explore the questions: Where is Eagle’s Nest?  Who has lived there?  And why is this hillside community so unique?  Our understanding of the past is constantly updated and re-examined by each generation of historians.  The exhibit engages the viewer in an ongoing community research project and invites visitors to add their comments and observations.  

(PHOTOS: Sampson Snyder in front of his home on Eagle’s Nest. His grandfather, Edward Snyder, was the first person to acquire a deed to land on Eagle’s Nest in 1840. (Photo courtesy of Elmendorf Family Archive and Jim Decker.)

Wally Cook to lecture on the

History of the Hurley Reformed Church

Wally Cook, a longtime member of the Hurley Reformed church will be the guest speaker at an upcoming lecture taking place on April 19th, 2023 at 1 PM at the church.

Mr. Cook will be sharing his knowledge of the history of the church, focusing specifically on the ministers who have served the community since the early 1800’s.

  The lecture is titled: A Story of the Pulpit – Our Past Pastors

  This lecture promises to be both informative an engaging, providing attendees with a deeper understanding of the church’s rich history.

  For those unfamiliar with the Hurley Reformed Church, it is one of the oldest churches in the area with a long and storied history. Founded in the early 19th century, the church has played an important role in the spiritual and social lives of the Hurley Community for generations. The lecture will offer a unique opportunity to learn about the church’s history, including the challenges and triumphs of the ministers’ influence.

 Everyone in the community is invited to attend this special event. Mark your calendars for April 19th at 1PM. To reserve a seat, call the church office at (845) 331-4121

News from the gift shop

When the Museum opens on Saturday, May 6th, we hope you’ll stop by the museum gift shop, where you’ll find some of your favorite items, including Hurley rooster mugs, Hurley ball caps, Hurley tee-shirts, porcelain Hurley houses, and Hurley books by Deana Decker. Many items will be on sale so don’t miss this great opportunity to get the perfect gift for friends and family!

Volunteers are needed to work at the shop when the museum opens in May. The shifts will be 1-4 on both Saturday and Sunday. We’ll have trainings on April 23rd. If you’re interested in helping out, please contact Kathy McMahon [email protected], 845-340-0051, home or 845-399-00037, cell, or go to the volunteer link on the HHS website.

We look forward to seeing you at the Museum and the gift shop when we open in May.

Member Tribute – Ron Rifenberg

Past HHS President

‘Ron’ Rifenburg, 92, passed away on January 29, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of devotion to the Hurley Heritage Society. Ron was a past President of HHS whose volunteer contributions made possible the purchase and furnishing of our museum building in 2000.

    He and his wife, Shirley, chaired many of our Corn and Craft Festivals.  Ron could do just about anything the museum required, including crafting iron and leather colonial reproductions, making tables for the Board room and events, electrical wiring, painting, Memorial Day floats…you name it, he did it!

   The embodiment of Ron’s commitment and spirit can be seen everywhere you look in the museum. In 2002 a plaque honoring the Rifenburg’s service to HHS was hung in the doorway of the museum’s Dutch Room. 

   How fortunate we were to have a member like Ron who dedicated so much of his time and talent to our organization. We are grateful for his stewardship.


Volunteer Information and Training Workshop Hosted on

 April 23, 2023

If you have a passion for Hurley and local history and are looking for a way to get more involved in the community, the Hurley Heritage Society offers many opportunities!

Founded almost 50 years ago, our mission is to preserve, protect, educate and celebrate the town of Hurley’s unique heritage. We are an all-volunteer organization, and sponsor a variety of activities including walking tours of historic main street, our popular ZOOM lectures on local culture and history, children’s activities in partnership with the Hurley library, and informative demonstrations. 

We also operate the Museum which remains free and open to the public, and houses the Dutch room and a gift shop. This year we will also unveil 2 exciting new exhibits. Volunteers are needed to greet visitors when the museum is open on weekends, volunteer in our gift shop, assist with events, and maintain our collections, the museum, and grounds. 

We will be holding a volunteer information and training session at the museum on April 23rd. If you are interested, please go to the volunteer link on the HHS website.

Help Grow the HHS'

Heritage Walk

Our Heritage Walk, located on the front lawn of the Museum grounds, is growing with the recent additions of several new bricks. Each brick is sponsored by member donations, with their names inscribed onto the brick and added to our growing Walk.

You can show your support for by sponsoring a brick for $125 in your or your family’s name or to honor someone close to you.


The inscription may be composed with as many as four lines of eighteen characters. If interested, please contact Wally Cook at (845) 338-2193 or send an email to [email protected].


Membership letters were mailed in January. We are still accepting membership payments for the 2023 season. If you would like to renew your membership or become a new member, please use the form below or join through our website.

Your membership dues enable us to maintain our museum building and continue to provide activities for the community and visitors to beautiful historic Hurley.

Please help by sending your tax-deductible donation to:


Hurley Heritage Society

PO Box 1661

Hurley, NY 12443


Dues and donations can also be made ONLINE:



Membership levels:

Single                        $30

Family                       $40         

Patron                      $175

Lifetime Supporter    $300

Donation                     ____


For timely email updates on HHS activities and our quarterly Prologue, please provide your email address. 

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