Fans of PBS’s Antiques Road Show, history buffs and the rest of the family will find plenty to strike their fancy at the Mabee Farm History Fair Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rotterdam Junction historic site.
The fair will feature a lecture series titles `The Dutch Influence of America.` Other events include a program called `Treasures in Your Attic,` and `Oral History Project.`
`We have a lot of stuff going on,` said Pat Barrot, site manager for Mabee Farm.
For the `Treasures in your Attic` program, visitors are invited to bring an antique item for expert Ona Curran, an art historian and independent fine and decorative arts consultant, former museum curator and author of `Thomas McIllworth/ Colonial New York Portrait Painter,` to appraise. Curran is also a member of the Appraisers Association of America.
`They can’t give a monetary price,` said Barrot of Curran and her son, H. Peter Curran, who is a member of Appraisers Association of America and has been featured as an appraiser on `Antiques Road Show,` who will also be participating in `Treasures in Your Attic.`
`They can give them a year and where it was done. We can’t give out monetary values of things because it’s a museum, but if I have an object and someone tells me it was made in 1850, and it’s pottery from [this artist’s school] in Ohio, then I can get on my computer and find out what it is worth,` said Barrot.
The Oral History Project is geared for kids and goes along with the yearlong celebration of the Schenectady County Bicentennial.
`It’s the Schenectady Bicentennial news group,` said Barrot. `We’re going to have a big television going on [featuring] about everything about the history of Schenectady County.`
Young people will be invited to tell stories about the history of Schenectady County and the surrounding area.
Lecturers at the event include Robert Trent, who is an independent furniture scholar, former curator of furniture at Winterthur and at the Connecticut Historical Society, as well as a consultant at Sotheby’s and Christie’s etc. Trent will speak on the relationship between local Dutch furniture and architectural moldings.
John Stevens, Author of Dutch Vernacular Architecture in North America, was architectural historian for Old Bethpage Village Historic Restoration in Old Bethpage, and is a longtime member of the Dutch Barn Preservation Society and a trustee of Hudson Valley Vernacular. Stevens will talk about Dutch Vernacular Architecture in the New World.
Cory McQuinn, project director at Hartgen Archaeological Association will speak on the recent project done for the Mabee Farm property and his findings.
Bill McMillan was supervisor of restoration for the 300-year-old historic Richmond Town in Staten Island for 40 years and is a teacher of historic trades at Eastfield Village and Colonial Williamsburg. McMillian will do an architectural tour of the Mabee Farm’s historic buildings, focusing on the elements with direct Dutch influence.
`Mostly it will be a tour looking in the house and the small building next to it, but it will also be looking at the elements of what makes a Dutch house and how you look at [artifacts] and date them and identify pieces of a house and things of that sort,` said McMillan.
He added that among the many artifacts in the house that are similar to others of the same era, there are many elements that are unique.
`It’ll be looking at these elements and what makes a Dutch house unique and how we, as historians, can look at things, date them and understand a house by its elements,` said McMillan.
There will also be a multi-media history presentation, which will show the history of Schenectady County. Gary Van Slyke will be on hand to create a Dutch Colonial atmosphere with Colonial Dutch games, coloring and more. Museum and historical societies will also have exhibits.
Admission is free and is co-sponsored by Schenectady County, Dutch Barn Preservations Society, Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture and Hudson 400.
Mabee Farm Historic Site is located on Route 5S in Rotterdam Junction. For information, call 887-5073. “