Cultural Groups of The Mohawk & Hudson Valleys

The upstate New York area enjoys a rich cultural heritage: a tapestry of 400 years of interplay between Native American, Dutch, English and German traditions. Their customs layered upon one another and interacting with each other have contributed to a culture unique in the nation.

Topics to be included in the order they will be presented in this 6-week series will be: our Native Americans and how they interacted with the Dutch, English and French who were involved in the rich fur trade; the different building techniques used in the homes of the English and Dutch and how they differed from each other and the surprising role slavery played in these households; German homes of Ulster County and the Mohawk Valley (many built in stone) and their rich interior design; our local Shaker communities bringing their unique religion and design from England and open hearth cooking, recipes and food preservation (including the invention of the all important tin can) from all these distinctive cultures.

Marilyn Sassi is currently an adjunct instructor at Schenectady County Community College and Hudson Valley Community College. She has also presented series for UCALL at Union College. She is the past curator of the Schenectady County Historical Society and now serves as their consultant, also the Fulton County Museum and the Van Alstyne Homestead Society. In addition to her teaching and museum experience, she has had many years of involvement in the field of antiques.

For questions or to RSVP, please call our office at 518-280-7340.