Historic Cherry Hill

and the Edward Frisbee Center for Collections & Research

Public Programs

Weekly Offerings

  • Guided tours of the historic house

    Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00.    

  • What was it like in Albany during World War I? Come for a tour of Cherry Hill, home of the Van Rensselaer-Rankin family from 1787 to 1963, to find out.

  • This year marks the centennial of the end of hostilities in “the war to end all wars,” and, in commemoration, tours will explore the Cherry Hill family’s WWI experience. Learn the fate of son and brother, Captain Herbert Rankin, view his uniforms and military gear, explore the family’s collections of World War I posters, and learn about World War I food economy as you view Emily Rankin’s actual preserves in the historic kitchen.

2018 Calendar of Events


The 19th Annual Albany History Fair: World War I - The Albany Home Front

Sunday, May 6th, 12 - 4 PM
  • FREE!
  • What was it like in Albany during World War I? Come to the Albany History Fair at Historic Cherry Hill  to experience it! Cross Cherry Hill’s threshold into the year 1918, where actors and virtual reality will transport you to the end of World War I.  Then step outside to enjoy crafts, music, trivia, and reconnoiter with reenactors!


Murder at Cherry Hill

October 26th & October 27th
Tours at 4, 5:30, & 7 PM
$18/general admission    $12/members
  • 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! Reservations required. Click here to register: Murder at Cherry Hill

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.