Although "pride of ancestry never possessed my soul" - stealing a line from former Schenectady mayor George Lunn more than 100 years ago - it is fun to go back a number of generations and see what your great-great-great-grandfather was up to.
And while I haven't done any serious genealogy research myself, I do appreciate organizations that do honor and revel in the past. Included in that group is the Daughters of the American Revolution. Our local chapter here in Schenectady, which goes by Schenectada Chapter DAR, has been a busy group lately, earlier this year putting up a historical marker on the corner of Union and McClellan Street honoring one of the city's earliest suffragettes, Harriet (Hattie) Leonard Colburn.
And on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Edison Club in Rexford, the group will host its annual Awards Tea which recognizes various facilities and people for their work in some aspect of history.
The 2019 Catherine Drabik Award, named after a past member of the Schenectada Chapter DAR, goes to The Guardian House of Saratoga, a house for homeless female veterans located at 1214 Saratoga Road in Ballston Spa.
Funding for The Guardian House began in 2008 and the facility opened its doors in 2012, often serving as many as 11 homeless vets.
Schenectada Chapter DAR also selects an area teacher and a number of high school students for an award. This year, Shenenendehowa High history teacher Michael Companion won the American History Teacher of the Year Award at both the level and state level.
Among the students selected as Good Citizen Award winners were William-Robert Bull, Scotia-Glenville; Luke Keith, Schalmont; Paul Munson IV, Duanesburg; Lillian Bushway, Niskayuna; and Ethan Christopher Marrone, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.
Historical societies all over the Capital Region are holding special events and open houses to help celebrate the season. Here's a look at what's happening in the area this weekend at the major county organizations. There are admission fees to most of these events, and while some might be little bit steep, they are well worth the price. These events are serving as fundraisers for these various non-profits, who do a great job of preserving and exploring our local history.
The Albany County Historical Association is holding a series of events throughout the month at its home, the Ten Broeck Mansion in downtown Albany, including an open house on Sunday, Dec. 8, from noon to 3 p.m.
The Fulton County Historical Society will host its own Festival of Trees event over the next two weekends at its museum building, the former Kingsboro School, at 237 Kingsboro Avenue in Gloversville. The event is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Montgomery County Historical Society will hold its annual Holiday Tea at Old Fort Johnson Saturday, Dec. 7 at noon. Call for reservations.
The Saratoga County Historical Society will hold its annual Artisans' Market over the next two weeks at the Brookside Museum at 6 Charlton St. in Ballston Spa. The group is currently experiencing some financial difficulty and now would be a great time to show some support to a wonderful group and the historic building it calls home.
The Schenectady County Historical Society will once again hold its Festival of Trees over the next two weeks, partnering with its neighbor, the YWCA of Northeastern NY. The event will kick off Friday, Dec. 7 from 6-8 p.m. with a special Night of Lights event at the Dora Jackson Home in the Stockade.
The Schoharie County Historical Society will host a holiday event Saturday, Dec. 7th, from 10 a,.m.-3 p.m. at its home, the Old Stone Fort, at 145 Fort Road in Schoharie.