The Rensselaer County Historical Society and Museum is a dynamic not-for-profit educational organization established in 1927 to connect local history and heritage with contemporary life.
RCHS’s school programs are based on our extensive collection of primary source materials and historic artifacts. All programs are interactive and multidisciplinary.
Look for this logo, to see how our programs connect to the Common Core, Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. We welcome suggestions from teachers for ways to adjust our programs to best suit the new requirements.
Downtown Troy Walking Tours
Exploring Communities, Grades 2 & 3
Your guide will lead your students through downtown Troy to show what makes Troy an urban environment. Program focuses on downtown’s unique buildings, the role the
play in forming our community, and how urban, suburban and rural communities support one another.
COMMON CORE CONNECTION – Back at the museum, students build on the research they gathered through visual observation to present knowledge through oral and written communication.
Abolition and Escape
Grades 4 – 8
The story of slavery and abolition comes to life as students visit sites in downtown Troy associated with the fight to end slavery in the United States. Excerpts from historical texts, such as newspapers and speeches, are interwoven into the tour. At the site of the rescue of escaped slave Charles Nalle, students take part in a readers’ theater, that tells the history of this event while raising the question of civil disobedience in relation to the Fugitive Slave Law.
COMMON CORE CONNECTION – Students respond to historical texts, and create personal responses to the theme of abolition.
Hart-Cluett House Tours
Engage your students in history outside of a textbook, with a visit to the Hart- Cluett
House. Constructed in 1827, the house was home to three families until 1952 when it became RCHS’s home. Today, period rooms provide the backdrop to intriguing stories.
One House, Many Stories
Grades 4 – 8
1.5 hours for tour only
3 hours for tour and document workshop
The date is January 25, 1850, and the residents of 59 Second Street are getting ready for a big party. Readers’ theater and object- handling opportunities bring the stories of the owners and immigrant servants who lived and worked in this beautiful 19th century home to life for your students. Students will learn about the factors that brought immigrants to Troy and see for themselves how technological change has impacted daily life. A post-tour document analysis workshop features archival materials directly related to the skits that students enact in the Hart-Cluett House and can be completed at your school or at RCHS.
COMMON CORE CONNECTION – Students recall information gathered on the tour and integrate knowledge to answer questions.
History in Your Classroom
You may also schedule an outreach program and have an RCHS educator bring a hands-on presentation.
COMMON CORE CONNECTION – Students participate in collaborative conversations; describe key ideas and details from information presented orally and through historical texts and ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
Immigrants in the Marble House Grades 4 – 6
This program is presented by the Scotia-Glenville Children’s Museum. Contact them to register, www.travelingmuseum.org
Inspired by the 1850 diary of Maria Tillman, this program uses her account of a party she attended as an entry point into the role of servants in a 19th century home. Through account books and bills, students get glimpses into the lives of the Irish women, many new immigrants, who served as cooks and maids. Through hands-on activities, including document reading and artifact handling, students will learn about the reasons for immigration, tools and technology available for 19th century house-work, job opportunities available for new immigrants and get a glimpse into what life was like in the 1850s.
History in Your Classroom
Collar City Grade 3 – 5
Why is Troy called the “Collar City”?Students will learn for themselves as
they try scrubbing a shirt on a
washboard and then see how a real
detachable collar works. Handling artifacts from important Troy industries and a PowerPoint “tour” of Troy in 1881 help students understand the geographic, economic, and technological factors that led Troy to be one of the most prosperous U.S. cities of the 19th century.
Handling a (reproduction) set of shackles similar to the ones worn by Charles Nalle
during his escape will draw students into the drama of Nalle’s story. Learn about the African-American population of Troy prior to the Civil War and “meet” some of the important figures that took part in the Nalle story.
Andirons, Bedwarmers & Chamberpots
Grades 3 – 5
Students will learn about the ABCs of daily life in the 19th century and prepare for their trip to the Hart-Cluett House by handling tools & implements and matching them to their 21st century function – if one exists!
Schedule a Visit Today!
Contacting RCHS at 518-272-7232 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 weeks prior to the date you want. Confirmation and program guidelines will be sent prior to the visit. If you do not hear from us, do not assume your program request was received.
Cost for Program at RCHS:
$5 per student, minimum of $80
Classroom teacher and 1 chaperone per 10 children receive FREE admission
Cost for Program in Your Classroom:
$120 per program
Travel fees may be charged if school is located outside of Rensselaer County.
Cancellation Policy: Tours must be cancelled at least 48 hours in advance. Groups canceling after that time will be billed for the full cost of the tour. Walking tours happen rain or shine.
Please note: Scheduling more than one presentation of a program per day reduces total travel fees. A program may be scheduled up to three times on the same day. Successive presentations of the same program should stay in the same room, and allow 15 minutes between each program for museum teacher preparation and set up.
Group Size: Programs accommodate up to 28 students. To maintain our current program fees and ensure that all students receive a quality experience, the museum must limit group size to 28 students. Exceptions will not be permitted.
Chaperones: For walking tours and house tour, one chaperone is required for every 10 students. For In Your Classroom programs, teacher is required to stay in classroom during program.
Billing: Invoices are mailed after the Museum visit. Payment is due within 30 days. Please note that museum teachers cannot accept any payments at the time of the program.
This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Visit us on the Web at www.rchsonline.org
Email at email@example.com
Call us (518) 272-7232