View as Webpage

Welcome to the November 2023

all digital Hurley Heritage Society Prologue!

Greetings from Main Street

As the 2023 season of the Hurley Heritage Society begins to wind down, I give a heartfelt thanks to all who have contributed to making this a wildly successful year. This includes our members, our visitors, our community, our dedicated volunteers and our local establishments for hosting our events.  


We kicked off the year with a packed house listening (and dancing!)  to the music of the  fabulous Professor Louie and the Crowmatix at the Hurley Reformed Church. In May,  we welcomed the community to an open house to unveil  two new exhibits, Post offices of Hurley 1837 to the Present and Eagles Nest: Exploring the Myths and Reality. Reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, a credit to the team who developed them.  


 As always, our 2 annual plant sales, Spring Plants and Fall Mums were big hits, as was our herbal Wreath making class. We partnered with the library inviting the children to visit the post office exhibit, and hope to collaborate on more events with them next year. Our online and live lectures were well attended, and we are looking for new lectures for 2024.


This year we saw visitors from over 15 states and from as far away as Lebanon and Australia. We received high praise from all who attended our walking tours each month, and participated in the Burning of Kingston with 3 special tours.  


Fall  is always a busy time at the museum.  We just wrapped up our 4th online auction.    

This annual fundraiser helps us maintain our building and grounds, carry out our mission, and support new programs. I hope you didn’t miss the creative scarecrows that appeared on the museum grounds; thank you to all who participated.


As I write this, we are preparing for our annual Holiday Boutique and Museum Shop sale, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, November 25th and 25th.  Thanks to many generous donations we have a wonderful selection of gently used holiday items and it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season and mingle with friends.  


2024 is the 50th anniversary of the Hurley Heritage Society. We are planning some exciting events, including the return of our infamous Rooster Art Auction. Watch for announcements in January’s Prologue.


Your membership is important to us. As a not-for-profit organization, the Hurley Heritage Society relies on the support of its members to carry out our mission and grow,  We also welcome new volunteers to work in the Museum and Shop, and join event planning committees. It’s a great way to meet members of this wonderful community.


In closing, THANK YOU to everyone who supported us this year, and made my first year as president so enjoyable.  A special Thank You to Raleigh Green, our outgoing Vice President who has been a tremendous support to me. Raleigh will continue as a valuable Trustee. Also, a big Thanks to outgoing board member Flo Brandt. Flo is taking a break as a Trustee, but you will still see her volunteering in the museum and running the annual plant sales.   I wish you all a healthy, happy holiday season and best wishes for the new year.  


Diane Blakely


Hurley Heritage Society

[email protected]

(845) 943-0493  

Newly Elected Officers & Trustees

Congratulations to the newly elected Trustees and Board Officers of the Hurley Heritage Society and Museum.

Officers Election

Kathy McMahon - VP (2 year term)

Bill Ryan - Treasurer (2 year term)

Ellen Young - Recording Secretary (2 year term)

Barb Zell - Corresponding Sec (2 year term)

Trustees Election (Renewing/Election Terms Up Jan 2024)

Virginia Stark (3 year term)

Mike Rice (3 year term)

Pat Finholdt (3 year term)

Raleigh Green (3 year term)

HHS Annual Autumn Auction Update

This year the Hurley Heritage Society and Museum's Annual Autumn Auction was able to raise $4,490! Great job everyone who donated items and those who bid!

And special thanks to the Auction Committee:

The Auction Committee was myself, Katherine Chansky, Kathy McMahon, Dale Bohan, Maureen Bowers, Joan Castka, and Diane Blakely.

Historic Roosa Family Papers purchased and donated to HHS Museum

The Roosa Family papers (1735–1816) consist of deeds (over 30) and 3 wills from the same era, signed by Hurley landowners. This collection of early Hurley papers was very generously donated by a group of Hurley Heritage Society members who bid on it at a recent auction. They recognized a rare opportunity to secure these historic papers in order to give the public access to information about the early history of Hurley. This winter HHS volunteers will re-house, list, and describe the papers. Some of these documents may be part of a future exhibit at the museum.  

The collection is a gold mine for descendants, local historians, and Ulster County genealogists. People are identified as uncle of, wife of, as well as notations identifying generations, such as so-and-so, "the younger." Familiar Hurley names appear in these documents: Roosa, Van Vliet, Hardenbergh, Ostrander, Brink, Wynkoop, Konstable, Newkirk, Ten Eyck, and many others to be listed after a full inventory is done for the collection this winter. The deeds should help us map the properties in 18th and early 19th century Hurley and the wills provide an insight into the family connections and personal property of the town’s former residents, including, in one case, the disposition of an enslaved person to an heir.


A companion collection of documents related to enslaved people, including sale receipts, is on loan from Erin Von Holdt Gilibert for future study and exhibit. These 5 documents are of particular importance as they provide evidence about how the business of slavery was conducted in Hurley in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as well as the names of some of the enslaved people.


We are grateful to our members who donated this valuable collection and look forward to sharing more information as the story unfolds.

Volunteers Are Needed

If you have a passion for Hurley and local history, are looking for a way to become more involved in the community,  and meet new neighbors the Hurley Heritage Society offers many opportunities! Founded almost 50 years ago, our mission is to protect and preserve 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.  


We are an all-volunteer organization, and sponsor a variety of activities including walking tours of historic main street, 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, historical exhibits and a gift shop.


 Volunteers are still needed to greet visitors, volunteer in our gift shop, assist with events, and maintain our collections, the museum, and grounds. If you are interested, please go to the volunteer link on the HHS website: Hurley Heritage Society | Hurley Heritage Museum | Hurley NY.



Mark your calendar! The Hurley Heritage Society will hold its annual Holiday Boutique on Saturday, November 25th 10AM to 3PM and Sunday, November 26th 11AM to 3PM. You’ll find a treasure trove of holiday items, collectibles, jewelry and books donated by our generous community. 

In addition, select items in the Museum gift shop will be on sale for 10% off. Hurley memorabilia is a much-appreciated gift! You’ll find a great selection of Delft ware, Hurley tee-shirts, ball caps, books, and rooster mugs. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the perfect gift for friends and family!

We look forward to seeing you at the Museum, 52 Main Street, Hurley on November 25th and 26th!


Public Lecture November 9th at 7pm

Archeological Excavation in Hurley National Historic District 

By Professor Joseph Diamond, SUNY NP

An online public presentation and lecture, on an archaeological excavation conducted at the Crispell Cottage Site in Hurley NY, will be hosted on Thursday, November 9th from 7:00pm-8:00pm. Pre-registration is required.

Professor Joseph E Diamond of the Department of Anthropology SUNY New Paltz will discuss an excavation completed prior to the construction of a driveway at the Crispell Cottage located within the Hurley National Register Historic District (Hurley Main Street). Ten

excavation units produced a total of 21,575 artifacts. These included precontact Native American artifacts and historic artifacts related to the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

This online lecture is free and open to the public. 

To pre-register visit

The event is hosted by the Hurley Heritage Society and Hurley and West Hurley Libraries.


Volunteer Spotlight

What qualities does a visitor or guest look for from a Tour Guide? 

Friendly welcome

Well-spoken demeanor

Dynamic storytelling skills

Hurley Heritage Society is fortunate to have two outstanding Tour Guides.


Meet Angie Mahdavian

Angie has been involved with the Society since its beginning days in 1974. Her knowledge of the Stone Houses on Main Street is precise, yet she is able to blend fact into wonderful tales of the original owners. Angie has always been available to guide, not only on weekends, but also has hosted personal tours upon request. One of Angie's seasonal highlights was an impromptu tour given to Justin Watrel.  

Justin is a Photographer/Blogger who saw something special about our Museum and his tour guide. Thank you, Angie for everything you do for Historic Hurley.


You can share Angie and Justin's tour using the following link:

Visiting a Museum: Small, Medium & Large is a blog featuring unique, unusual and obscure small museums, historical sites & homes and community gardens and parks in New York City and Beyond.


Meet Richard Cattabiani

Richard is a Hurley resident, and recently retired from a 50-year career in public education. Richard has a deep involvement with Hurley Heritage Society. " The Museum offers first rate exhibitions, and it is a pleasure to share Hurley's story with so many folks". We thank Richard for the spark of haunted life he instilled into HHS's Ghost Walk. Although the Ghost Walk is on pause, Richard's Guided Main Street tours continue the spirited cemetery tales and the true history of Hurley in the 17th and 18th centuries. An active member of the Rotary Club of Kingston, he is looking forward to working with HHS in next year's Capital 2 Capital 5K family run which will be part of The Burning of Kingston 2024. Richard and his wife Catherine have two adult children and are lifetime members of the Hurley Heritage Society. Thank you, Richard. You make Hurley's heritage come alive.  

In Remembrance

This past August, our society lost two important past Board members, Barbara Sartorious and David Giles. They both joined the Board around the same time, 2008.

Barbara Sartorious: Upon retiring from her teaching position at UCCC, Barbara joined the Hurley Heritage Society Board. She jumped right in and did whatever needed to be done! She was part of the group of 4 Executive Board members who took their quarterly turn as President during a difficult period and helped the Society survive! She was active in Stone House Day and was the docent coordinator for the museum for many years. Barbara never said “no” and could always be counted on to help wherever needed.

David Giles: When David, a retired superintendent of schools, joined the Board as a trustee, his love of history and his desire to pass that love on, led him to chair the Society committee that wrote the Hurley Walking Tour. He’ll also be remembered for his ‘chilling’ performance as Lieut. Daniel Taylor in one of our early Ghost Walks!

So many wonderful people have given so much of themselves to help our society grow and become an important part of the Hurley community. We thank them.

HHS Heritage Walk

Our Heritage walk on the front lawn of the Museum grounds is growing! Show your support for the HHS Museum by purchasing a brick in your family’s name or to honor someone close to you. For a $125 donation your brick will be added to the walk.


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].


Hurley Heritage Annual

Scarecrow Invasion

Best in show - Barnett/Campbells

Most Creative - Rose Wilson

Most Creative (kids)- The Hurley Rec center created by children

Scariest - Van Aken


If you would like to renew your membership or become a new member, please use the form below or join through our website.

As an all volunteer organization, 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.