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Historical Society’s final 2023 program: ‘Barent, the Miller, He Pays No Rent’

Karen Hess

RAVENA-COEYMANS — This year the town of Coeymans has been celebrating the 350th anniversary of its founding. The Ravena Coeymans Historical Society’s final program of that anniversary is to be held Sunday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m.

Karen Hess will present “Barent, the Miller, He Pays No Rent,” which chronicles the life and times of a Dutch man whose name is memorialized.

Barent Pieterse Coeymans sailed across an ocean to the Dutch colony of New Netherland to serve the patroonship of the Van Rensselaer family on the Upper Hudson River. As an apprentice to the patroon’s miller, Barent learned the trade of sawing planks and grinding grain.

Filled with ambition, he possessed all the ingredients for success — skill at his trade, willingness to work hard, doggedness and shrewd business acumen. His success is evident in 125 square miles of riverfront land conveyed to him by Native people and confirmed by an English governmental patent on April 7, 1673.

Karen Hess, who has extensively researched the Coeymans family, returns to discuss another aspect of Coeymans history. Using primary source documents, she will follow the life of Barent Coeymans from the Netherlands, his life as a miller and landowner, his marriages, his family, and the many disputes he had with the Van Rensselaers for whom he worked, from whom he leased mills, and to whom he bested in his fight for land.

Join in for this final program of 2023, open to the public, at the museum at 15 Mountain Road, Ravena. And mark your calendars for the museum’s holiday open house on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 1-3:30 p.m.

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