The Bethlehem Historical Association’s Museum, located in the historic Cedar Hill Schoolhouse, features a variety of exhibits pertaining to our town’s history. The museum also houses a large collection of artifacts, clothing and ephemera based on Town of Bethlehem history.
On the schoolhouse grounds, visitors will find the Tollgate building. It was part of the original tollgate structure from whence the gate keeper collected the toll for the South Bethlehem Plank Road. In 1988 it was moved here from Bethlehem Center, near the modern day roundabout at Route 9W and Feura Bush Road.
Also on the grounds are a reproduction carriage house and a vintage outhouse.
Visitors are welcome to the museum during our regular hours and by appointment. The location is 1003 River Road, Selkirk, New York.
For pictures of previous exhibits click here
Now On Display
The Life and Times of Anna Hoffman Clapper
The Clapper house was built about 1840 by Abraham Clapper's grandfather, Abraham Westervelt, on farmland he had purchased from the patroon approximately forty years earlier. The home and two of the barns still stand on Clapper Road.
Anna Hoffman married Abraham Clapper in 1902 and moved into the house which would be her home for the remainder of her life.
The family saved things - lots of things. They kept letters, receipts, greeting cards, clothing, schoolbooks - all matter of things. Fortunately, the beneficiary of the estate, granddaughter Barbara Wells, recognized the historic value of those seemingly mundane, day to day items and has donated much of it to the museum.
This rich collection, along with Barbara's firsthand memories, has enabled us to present a detailed look at the long life of Anna Hoffman Clapper. Anna lived a century, roughly from 1870 to 1970. The exhibit attempts to present her life in the historic context of that time frame - to demonstrate the dramatic changes that took place during her lifetime, both locally and well beyond Bethlehem.
Anna left a world that was starkly different than the one she entered.
What was life in Bethlehem like for residents living through the 1940s, a decade characterized by war and peace, change and renewal? Find out more by exploring this immersive exhibit.
Lighting Through the Ages
How did folks light their way back before electricity was common? Examine this collection of various ways of providing light using fuels like tallow, whale oil, kerosene.
Also on display:
Three Farms Dairy Sign
Bethlehem’s One Room Schools
Rivers, Roads and Rails
Dr. Babcock’s Apothecary Cabinet
Native American Connections – the Mohican People
And other items of interest to Bethlehem history.