Skip to main content

Schenectady County Historian

Schenectady County has a bright future and a storied past. The Schenectady County Historian explores and shares the stories of yesterday to educate and inspire tomorrow's generation. 

photo of County Historian Bill Buell standing next to the historical marker located at the First Reformed Church in the Stockade.

Meet the County Historian

It is an honor and a privilege to follow in the footsteps of prior Schenectady historians – Larry Hart, Francis Poulin, Don Keefer, and William Efner to name just a few – and help educate the citizens of the county about their history, and to help commemorate and celebrate that history. We do this by providing research assistance and offering various presentations throughout the county, including the local history series at the Karen B. Johnson Library in downtown Schenectady throughout the month of November.


The History Hub: Rediscovering Schenectady's Past

View More

Get the Scoop! Follow Bill Buell's Guest Column in the Daily Gazette

Uncover interesting stories from Schenectady's past and the people, events, and places that shaped our neighborhoods and Schenectady County.

Take a trip "around the county" with the County Historian as he ventures into the fascinating and undiscovered history of Schenectady County.

What Does the County Historian Do? 

Research & Storytelling

Document the history of the County, its people, events, and places.

Historical Preservation

Collect and preserve historical documents, photographs, and artifacts.

Education & Outreach

Curate exibits and provide educational programs to the community. 

Advocacy & Assistance

Advise local officials on preserving historic sites and landmarks. Support ongoing public research.

Historical Landmarks to Visit

Discover the enchanting allure of the Mabee Farm Historic Site, the oldest working farm in New York's Mohawk Valley. Explore the rich tapestry of history as you walk across the weathered floors of this meticulously preserved colonial farmstead. From the moment you set foot on its grounds, you'll be transported back in time to an era of agricultural mastery and pioneering spirit. Traverse the authentic Dutch barn, admire the charming 18th-century farmhouse, and meander through the orchards, gardens, and forest trails that evoke the essence of a bygone era. With engaging exhibits, educational programs, special events, and breathtaking views of the Mohawk River, the Mabee Farm Historic Site offers an unforgettable journey into the past.

Events of Note

Schenectady County's 4th on the 3rd Independence Day Celebration

Explore Today

The Empire State Aerosciences Museum (ESAM) is an aviation enthusiast's dream. Prepare to be captivated by a journey through the history of flight and aerospace exploration. Immerse yourself in interpretive exhibits and a spectacular collection of restored aircraft that chronicle the evolution of flight, including Charles Lindbergh's historic landing at the Schenectady County Airport. Step aboard legendary aircraft, feel the thrill of flight simulators and delve into interactive displays that engage and educate visitors of all ages. With its extensive collection of aircraft, artifacts, and captivating educational programs, you'll take off on an unforgettable adventure that will ignite your imagination and fuel your passion for the boundless skies.

Events of Note

Schenectady County Run the Runway 5K
ESAM's Fly-In Breakfasts

Explore Today

Take a journey through time and stroll through Schenectady's Stockade Historic District, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the country, nestled in the heart of Upstate New York along the Erie Barge Canal. Immerse yourself in the rich history of this charming neighborhood, where the narrow streets lead you past colonial-era homes, gable-fronted houses, enchanting gardens, and iconic landmarks. Discover the stories of Schenectady's early settlers, explore the impressive Schenectady History Museum, and indulge in the area's vibrant arts scene and delightful dining options. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a culture lover, or simply seeking a picturesque escape, the Stockade Historic District offers an unforgettable experience that will transport you to a bygone era while delighting your senses in the present.

Events of Note

Stockade Art and Nature Garden Tour
Walking Tours with the Schenectady County Historical Society

Explore Today

Walk through the legacy and final resting place of people who were the fiber of Schenectady's black community at the African American Ancestral Burial Ground in the serene Vale Cemetery. Step back in time and learn about the rich history of abolitionists, Underground Railroad activists, advocates for African American Freedom, former slaves, war heroes, and those who persevered through adversity as you explore this hallowed ground. Listen for the untold stories of trailblazers, heroes, and visionaries whose contributions shaped the fabric of Schenectady County and the nation. With its tranquil ambiance, park-like setting, and compelling narratives, the African American Ancestral Burial Ground invites visitors to reflect, honor, and celebrate the indomitable spirit and resilience of African Americans throughout history. 


Events of Note

Annual Juneteenth Celebration at the African-American Ancestral Burial Ground. The program includes songs, dance, oratory, and living history reenactments.


Explore Today

Rotterdam is home to the Old Erie Canal Lock No. 23, a hidden gem along the 750-mile Empire State Trail. Begin your trek at the SUNY Schenectady Trailhead along the Mohawk River and discover hidden remnants of the old Clinton's Ditch along the way. Imagine that you are back in time and marvel at the historic landmark standing as a testament to the ingenuity of early American engineering. Admire the impressive stonework and envision the bustling canal traffic of yesteryears. Lock No. 23 is a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike. This spot invites you to step back in time while enjoying the beauty of the Empire State Trail and the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor.

Events of Note

CREATE Community Studio and Cycle Schenectady's Color the Canal

Explore Today

Determines all policies and enacts resolutions and local laws necessary for the operation of County Government.

Get up to date on the latest news and important information in Schenectady County.

View our comprehensive calendar for events, meetings and online events happening in Schenectady County.