Historic Cherry Hill

and the Edward Frisbee Center for Collections & Research

Public Programs

history fair family day

Weekly Offerings


  • Casting Her Ballot:  Emily Rankin and the Suffrage Question

    Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00.   In honor of the centennial of women's suffrage, this tour will focus on fifth-generation Cherry Hill owner, Emily Rankin, who came of age as the suffrage debate was raging in New York and the nation. How did Emily's experiences at Cherry Hill, in Albany, and at Smith College shape her views on this critical issue of her time? Follow Emily's footsteps on a tour of her home, view some of her photographs and belongings, and find out which side Emily was on.


Annual Events


  • Albany History Fair

    Discover the Capital City's rich heritage at the Albany History Fair! This May event explores a unique theme each year through family activities, talks, tours, presentations, exhibitions, and even food! **FREE ADMISSION**


  • Hudson River Family Day

    A free and fun event for all ages. Step into the 1700s and experience Hudson River sloop trade and daily life. Activities will include the Hudson River Trading Game with its 34-foot game board, Colonial games and crafts, special student displays, an opportunity to meet 18th-century merchant and sloop owner, Philip Van Rensselaer of Cherry Hill, ice cream, and more! This June event is held rain or shine. **FREE ADMISSION**


  • Murder at Cherry Hill

    On May 7, 1827, a notorious murder occurred at Cherry Hill that resulted in two sensational trials and Albany's last public hanging. Come relive that night! Meet the historical players, walk in the footsteps of a murderer, and revel in harrowing titillation during this annual October event! Admission charged.

Group Programs


Behind-the-Scenes Restoration tours for private groups of 10 or more. $3 per person.

Outreach Programs

Let us come to you! Historic Cherry Hill can present these illustrated talks at your location. $25 for organizations within the city of Albany; $35 for organizations outside of Albany.

  • Historic Cherry Hill: Mission, Vision and Happenings

    mission vision happenings

    The Director of Historic Cherry Hill provides an overview of the workings of the historic house museum as an institution, offering an often hidden view of how house museums work. Learn about the museum's mission, vision, and current initiatives as well as the challenges facing all cultural institutions today.

  • A Different Kind of Collection

    a different kind of collection

    Historic Cherry Hill's collection distinguishes the museum from most others. Its 70,000 items, spanning over two centuries and ranging from the rare to the mundane, all belonged to one family — the Van Rensselaers of Cherry Hill. This talk explores some of the unique objects in the collection, the family's motivation for accumulating and saving its possessions, and how the museum's significant collections have defined its course today.

  • The 1827 Cherry Hill Murder

    murder at cherry hill

    In 1827, a murder occurred at the Cherry Hill farm, home of the well known Van Rensselaer family. The crime aroused tremendous public interest, and the subsequent trial culminated in the last public hanging in Albany. Although it appeared to be a crime of passion, it uncovered some simmering issues of the day including women's roles and legal rights, social class, punishment and the law, and slavery in New York. Hear the words of those involved in the crime and decide whom you think was guilty or innocent.

  • Shades of Gentility

    shades of gentility

    Schuyler Mansion and Cherry Hill were built around the same time by related families living within a stone's throw of one another. But how similar are they really, and how similar were the people who built and inhabited them? This lecture will explore the “shades of gentility” in 18th-century Albany by examining the homes and possessions of three prominent Albanians: Philip Van Rensselaer (1747-1798), Philip Schuyler (1733-1804), and Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764-1839).

School Programs

Exciting and innovative programs which meet Common Core Learning Standards! Questions? Call Shawna Reilly, Education Coordinator at (518) 434-4791 or shawna@historiccherryhill.org.

Off-site Education Programs

Hudson River Trading Game & Navigating the Seas

This hands-on program creatively combines history, economics, science, ELA and math. Students role play using a 34-foot game board to experience the challenges of 18th-century trade and travel on the Hudson River, discover how Hudson River trade was linked to global trade and visit the planetarium to explore celestial navigation. In partnership with the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center.

  • Cost: $5.00 per student; adults free
  • Length: Approximately 2.5 hours
  • Location: Downtown Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center
  • Level: 4th and 5th grades
  • To Schedule: Call the Visitors Center at (518) 434-0405

The Cherry Hill Case

History takes on a whole new meaning when seen through the lens of a detective! Students become hands-on detectives of history as they investigate documents, photographs, and objects to learn more about six people who lived at Cherry Hill in the mid-1800s. The program includes a "connections game" exploring household dynamics and concludes with students participating in a Reader's Theater activity.

  • Cost: $125 plus travel (federal rate)
  • Length: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • Level: 4th and 5th grades
  • Location:  In the classroom
  • To Schedule: Call Shawna Reilly, Education Coordinator at (518) 434-4791

Document-based Teaching Units

Teaching Units

Students become historians in their own right. Designed for classroom use, Historic Cherry Hill teaching units use a wide variety of primary sources to engage students in analyzing and interpreting historical evidence. Cross-curricular and “teacher friendly.” Award winners, American Association for State and Local History.

  • Different Voices, Different Truths: The 1827 Murder at Cherry Hill (grades 7 and up)
  • Kittie Putman and the Cherry Hill Household: 1860-1884 (grade 4 and up)
Click here for more information about these teaching units and how to order them.