About The Historical Society
The Rensselaer County Historical Society is a dynamic not-for-profit educational organization established in 1927 to connect local history and heritage with contemporary life. First and foremost, RCHS is a diverse community of people with a common intellectual engagement in the ideals, skills and artifacts that form the roots of our region. Together, we create spaces, host events and promote ideas that cultivate a longstanding tradition of shared storytelling in Rensselaer County.
We enrich the present and advocate for the future by bringing the region's past to life, recognizing every face and every tale. In pursuit of this mission, we collect, preserve, study, interpret and make accessible a broad variety of objects and documents. Moreover, we conduct educational programs that inspire public enthusiasm for our roots and bolster the entrepreneurial appetites of our community.
While our assorted events take place in many of Rensselaer County's favorite establishments, our museum's home is in the downtown Second Street Historic District in Troy, New York. The space is comprised of two adjacent 19th century townhouses. The historic and architecturally significant Hart-Cluett House serves as an historic house museum, an ode to the quotidian of Victorian-style Troy life both above and below stairs. Next door, the Carr Building hosts exhibits, programs and our extensive research library, which is a useful tool for scholars of all ages. In addition our Carriage House holds a permanent gallery showcasing transportation (carriage, sleigh, paper boat) manufacturing (cast iron stoves, ornate items) and other large objects from our collections.
Many moving parts and a multitude of individuals contribute to our vibrant collective. From elementary education to our annual Holiday Greens Show to neighborhood history nights, each element of our operation is committed to preserving, living and retelling the stories that nourish the life of Rensselaer County.