Opening Day 2024

Join the Century House Historical Society and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust for a special collaborative educational event, Saturday May 4th, 1 – 2:30pm at the Snyder Estate. Join us as we explore hundreds of years of local history and millions of years of geology all in one spot. Local Historian Bill Merchant and Geologist Laurel Mutti will lead us through the Snyder Estate and Widow Jane Mine highlighting the incredibly rich history and interesting geology of the Estate, the Mine and the area that surrounds it.

Laurel Mutti is a Lecturer in Geology and Faculty Sustainability Fellow at SUNY New Paltz and a past board member of Century House Historical Society. Growing up in the iron-mining region of central Pennsylvania sparked her lifelong fascination with industrial history and how geological resources have shaped patterns of land use, migration and culture. She especially enjoys learning and teaching in “the field” (outdoors) and is excited to share why the Rosendale Cement rocks produced such an exceptional product, how the region’s geology reveals a tale of shifting seas and the rise and fall of ancient mountains, and the opportunities and challenges this legacy left for the cement miners. She has visited a lot of mines, but the Widow Jane Mine remains her favorite.

Bill Merchant is Secretary and Chair of Collections at the Century House Historical Society, the Deputy Director for Collections, Historian and Curator of the D&H Canal Historical Society, and President of the D&H Transportation Heritage Council. He is on the Ulster County Commission to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War. He recently led the field survey for the current update to the D&H Canal’s National Historic Register listing and is the main contributing historian for its narrative history and inventory of extant features. In 2023, the Museum Association of New York awarded him their Individual Achievement Award for his work at the D&H Canal Museum.

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