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Final 350th anniversary events close out year of festivities


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Families attended a special storytime reading at Saturday’s Family Fest, held at Sycamore Country Club. Contributed photo

COEYMANS — The town closed out nearly a year of festivities this weekend with the final events marking Coeymans’ 350th anniversary.

Family Fest and a golf outing were held Saturday at Sycamore Country Club, and even though the weather was damp, skies began to clear as the day wore on.

Celebratory events have been held throughout the year marking the 350th anniversary of the granting of the Coeymans Patent. Fifty years ago, a massive celebration took place in 1973 after three centuries of Coeymans history, and this year the town marked off another 50 years.

“This is a recognition of what we celebrated 50 years ago and the 350 years of the town being founded,” Town Historian and 350th Anniversary Committee member Joseph Boehlke said as he staffed the golf registration table Saturday.

The committee was co-chaired by Deputy Town Supervisor Brandon LeFevre and Town Councilwoman Marisa Tutay, with a team of volunteers working throughout the year to put on a series of events ranging from the huge parade in June to concerts and events at both Joralemon and Coeymans Landing parks, the launching of a beverage trail, garden tour and more.

This weekend’s golf outing and Family Fest, which featured vendors, businesses and groups like the RCS Community Library, were organized by Town Clerk Candace McHugh, Fire Chief Mark Deyo and town employee Heather Collins. They also worked on the other events held earlier in the year.

“We hope this brings a sense of community to the town,” Candace McHugh said. “We have been here for 350 years, and that’s pretty spectacular in itself. We hope that the people feel like they are in a community and will come out and enjoy the town we have here. I think sometimes, as time progresses, there is not such a sense of family and community, but hopefully we can bring some of that back to the area.”

The Coeymans Patent was granted in 1673 by Gov. Francis Lovelace and would later lead to the establishment of the town itself. The Patent designated a large tract of land that reached from the border of the town of Bethlehem to the Coxsackie Creek and ran as far west as where modern-day Westerlo now stands.

The Patent is older than the United States itself.

“The town is 350 years old — we are older than the country,” Town Supervisor George McHugh said. “That is amazing. We want to show our respect to the town and to the residents, and really highlight the heritage and history of our town. It’s a great town.”

Committee members who organized the final 350th anniversary events this weekend included, left to right, Kevin Reinisch, Town Historian Joseph Boehlke, Joan Radley, Carol McDonald, Town Clerk Candace McHugh, Heather Collins, Fire Chief Mark Deyo and Town Councilwoman Marisa Tutay. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Albany County Legislator Zachary Collins, R-Coeymans, said it was gratifying that the town has spent the past year honoring its heritage.

“I love that we have a whole year of celebrations, not just one event,” Collins said. “We had multiple events throughout the year. I am very proud to be part of a community this old and part of a community that loves celebrating its longevity.”

Deyo said the reasons he got involved were two-fold — to celebrate the town’s history and to publicize a vital aspect of modern-day Coeymans, its fire department.

“Three hundred and fifty years is a long time and there is a lot of tradition here,” Deyo said. “There is a lot of pride in the community and it was good to have a successful event in June, and we are closing it out this season with another successful event.”

The celebrations honored both the town’s past and its future, Heather Collins said.

“It’s important to show everybody where this town came from and where it could go, and where it should continue to go,” she said. “I think that’s important.”

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