New town historian takes over

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

New Town Historian Joseph Boehlke, right, takes the oath of office. Contributed photo

COEYMANS — Longtime Town Historian Harry Sturges resigned from the post effective July 15 and his colleague, Joseph Boehlke, will replace him.

At the July 28 meeting of the Coeymans Town Council, Town Supervisor George McHugh read a resolution accepting Sturges’ resignation.

Sturges, who also compiles a weekly column, “News from the Past,” for the Ravena News-Herald, wrote a letter to the board July 11 announcing his resignation, citing health reasons.

“The town of Coeymans sincerely thanks Harry Sturges for his service and dedication to the town of Coeymans and its residents for the last 65 years,” McHugh said.

Town Councilwoman Linda Bruno seconded the motion and the resolution was unanimously approved by the board.

McHugh said the town will do more at a future date to recognize Sturges’ dedication to the town over many years. In addition to serving as the town’s longtime historian, Sturges has worked as a town judge and in the town assessor’s office, McHugh said.

“He has had all kinds of different roles with the town, including town historian,” McHugh said. “Sixty-five years is a long time. We can’t thank him enough.”

In a second resolution, made by Bruno, Joseph Boehlke was appointed the new town historian.

“Joe Boehlke has been a member of the Ravena Coeymans Historical Society since 1999, a curator since 2009, and president of the Ravena Coeymans Historical Society since 2015,” Bruno said.

His appointment is effective through Dec. 31, 2022.

McHugh told the new town historian he has a big act to follow after Sturges’ many years with the town.

“Joe, you have big shoes to fill, I’m sure you know that, but I have every confidence that you will fill them fine, and we look forward to you coming on as town historian and picking up the ball and taking it down the field from where Harry left off,” McHugh said. “Thank you for accepting this appointment.”

McHugh conducted the swearing-in ceremony, with Bruno holding the Bible as Boehlke took his oath of office.

He agreed Sturges left a big act to follow.

“These are big shoes to fill,” Boehlke said. “It’s hard to follow Harry. He’s been a great mentor for me.”

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