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
New Exhibit for 2024
"Dear Maria...Voices from the Mid-Nineteenth Century”
In 1838, Maria Becker was born into a well – established, prominent Bethlehem family. She lived comfortably in the farmhouse that still stands today, in the hamlet named for them, “Becker’s Corners”.
In those days before the telegraph and without daily distractions of media, people had little knowledge beyond their own day to day world. Their only means of communication were fact to face contact and their correspondence.
Maria save three of her diaries and large collection of letters sent by friends and family, all written approximately between 1855 and 1863. By doing so, she has given us a window into the world of young men and women in the mid –nineteenth century. Their thoughts and observations provide us a unique glimpse into everyday life in this area just as the country was on the brink of dramatic change.
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.