ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An annual tradition for the past 23 years, the Albany History Fair returned in-person to Historic Cherry Hill on Saturday for the first time since having to go virtual during the pandemic. This year’s theme was “Albany and the Gilded Age.” 

Established in the 1960s following the death of 5th-generation Cherry Hill descendant, Emily Rankin, Historic Cherry Hill tells a story of America through the lives and experiences of one Albany household. Built in 1787 for Philip and Maria Van Rensselaer, Cherry Hill was lived in by extended family, enslaved people, descendants, and servants—who left artifacts, documents, and stories behind. 

Thousands of possessions, from toothbrushes to underwear, remain in the home and in their collection. The family’s items are able to help tell the history of Albany through the decades.

“The experiences that they have mirror what’s going on through history, so the house is built in the 1780s, they’re connected to war, connected to depression and recessions that happen, not just the descendants but the people who work in the house are connected to the history too,” said Shawna Reilly, the education director at Historic Cherry Hill.

Saturday’s event kicked off a new season of house tours. For more details, visit their website.