Berne Local


The Past is not ForgottenStory written by Morris Willsey in 1992
Lack of Early Leases in the HelderbergsAlthough essentially all of the lands on the Helderberg Plateau was owned by the Van Rensselaer family, it was decades before there were formal leases for the earliest settlers.
Warners Millhistory of the founding of Warners mills
Dutch Barn of Maple Ridge Farm, Bernein Switzkill Valley near Berne, NY. Perhaps built around 1790. Now gone.
Jack Deitz slave houseJack was bought as a slave by John Jost Deitz.when he was four years old. He is buried with his wives in Berne Beaverdam Cemetery, See Local > People.
ReidsvilleREIDSVILLE GREW FROM HAMLET TO A THRIVING CENTER OF MOUNTAIN INDUSTRY, THEN SLID BACK TO HUMBLE BEGINNINGS. Little Village in Helderberg Hills Once Boasted Two Churches, Two Hotels, Several Stores; Abandoned Church Now Monument to Town That Slipped Away
Cassidy's Castle - a place for dreamsThere are castles in Spain, Ireland, England, Wales, and many other European countries but did you know that "up the hill" from the village of Altamont a castle was built in the 1890s. Cassidy's Castle was designed by Edward R. Cassidy, an Albany architect, who built the castle on the highest part of his estate.
Berne Town HallBerne Town Hall Built: 1914/21 on the foundation of the 1866 home of: J. Patten Current Owner: Town of Berne Current Address: 1656 Helderberg Trail
1787 Van Rensselaer Lease MapWhen Stephen Van Rensselaer III took over the active role as patroon of the Western Resselaerwyck manor at the age of 21 he decided to have the land above the Helderberbergs suryeved with the intent to rent vacant land.
Berne and Knox, Some Early Families to 1787An update from Our Heritage of the early families of the towns of Berne and Knox. Since Knox was part of Berne until 1822 they have the same early families through 1787. That year was chosen because of the 1787 Van Rensselaer lease map by William Cockburn that lists all of the land renters and their location plus roads, water, and schools.


Our Heritageedited by Euretha Wolford Stapleton, Historian, Town of Berne, and produced by the Town of Berne Historical Commission, 1977
Indian Ladder A History of Life in the Helderbergsby Gary L. Donhardt, Ph.D
Westward to Destinyby Ray W. Denison
The Promised Landby John J. Vrooman
200 Years of Church Discipleship 1765 - 1965; A History of the Berne-Beaverdam Reformed ChurchesBy the Rev.John H. Meyer. Published in Celebration of the Bi-centennial Year
People Made It Happen Here; History of the town of Rensselaerville ca. 1788-1950Publisher: Rensselaerville Historical Society. Rensselaerville, NYPublication Date: 1977, Henrietta Riter, Editorial Director
Knox - Gateway to the Helderberg Hilltowns; Historic Markers in the Town of Knox .The book includes the history of each historical marker in the town.
Berne and Knox; Our German HeritageAn update from Our Heritage of the early settlement of the towns of Berne and Knox. Since Knox was part of Berne until 1822 they have the same early history.
Old HelleberghIncludes an account of the anti-rent wars, the glass house and Henry R. Schoolcraft, notes and letters and news articles laid in, 188 pages with fold-out map and page.
A series of four books of old photographs of Berne and Berne familiesIncludes many reminisces. # Life at the Lake, Warner's Lake, N.Y. published 2004. # Life Along the Way, Traveling N. Y. 43 Warner's Lake and Beyond, 2006. # The Journey continues...Life Along the Way, 2007. # The Final Journey includes photos and stories about Camp Pinnacle, Camp Woodstock and Camp Orinsekwa. 2008.


John E. Miller1928 - Diary of John E. Miller
Joseph P. BradleyAssociate Supreme Court Joseph P. Bradley From Wikipedia
Cpl. Harold C. MatticeFirst NYS Trooper killed in line of duty. From Berne NY
Capt. Adam Bogardus (Sep. 17, 1834 - Mar. 23, 1913)Born on a farm on Ravine Road on West Mountain, became the World Champion and United States Champion trap shootist.
Deitz, John (Jack) Jack was sold as a slave to Johan Jost Dietz in 1792 when he was four years old. He appeared on the census of 1800 in the household of Col. Johan Jost Dietz at Town of Berne, Albany, NY. He and his wives are buried in the Berne Beaverdam Cemetery.
Milton Hart Jr.As told to Willard Osterhout.
Maver Omer Becker Interview with Will Osterhout
Osterhoudt"My Fathers People" is a very interesting personal history of an early Berne Osterhoudt family. Especially fascinating is the account of the Anti-Rent Wars.
George Warner1862 Diary of George Henry Warner
George TurnerLetter from George Turner 2/18/1833 to his family back in England telling of his trip to West Mtn. urging them to come(original owned by Wallace Holbrook per Marty Milne


Friedrich BaselerWill date: 1785 Submitted by: Alex Pausley Submitted on: Sep 14, 2005
Zeh, Frank BDruggist from Corinth, NY; born in Berne, NY in 1871. Married to Flavia Sholtes.
John Hendrick DietzOriginal of Wil is owned by the Berne Historical Society along with certification date 10/8/1784. This transcription is copied from p11 of "The Dietz Family" by George Dietz, who cites "Calendar of Wills," Vol.1626-1636, p118.
Adam Weidman. JrBible of Adam Weidman Jr. Inside fly leaf: Adam Weidman junr his book and writing and pen and property Opposite The property of Adam Weidman Bought at Mr (?) Webster & Skinner, pd ??? 85 Oct 31st 1821 Albany State of New York

Family Bibles

Cornwell Family BibleSubmitted by: Charlene Reeds-Ebeling Submitted on: Dec 5, 2001
Peter Becker family biblenow in the possession of Marvin Becker. The bible was printed 1859 at Philadelphia by Jesper Harding & Son
Bible of Adam Weidman JrInside fly leaf: Adam Weidman junr his book and writing and pen and property Opposite The property of Adam Weidman Bought at Mr (?) Webster & Skinner, pd ??? 85 Oct 31st 1821 Ad Albany State of New York
Peter HarrowerFamily Bible
Wagonhizer Family Bible(From a posting on eBay. The transcriber noted that it was difficult to read and the spelling may not be correct. Also, the transcription does not have all of the entries.)

Historic Events

Anti-rent WarsApplication for St.Paul´s Lutheran Church (now Helderberg Lutheran Church, as a National Historic Site: St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Berne & the Anti-Rent War
"Dating the Dietz Massacre: Correcting Two Centuries of Confusion and Error".The Fall 2004 edition of Schoharie County Historical Review has a eight page article by me "Dating the Dietz Massacre: Correcting Two Centuries of Confusion and Error". I also discuss the fact that Capt. William Dietz of Beaverdam and his uncle Esq. William Dietz of Schoharie were confused as being one person by previous historians. On the Faceboook group "Dietz / Deitz Families of Berne and Schoharie" also has three contmporary accounts of the massacre.
Deitz Masacre RevisitedAn updated account
Anti -rent wars - a more complete historyArticle in the Albany Times Union by Berme NYS history,
Berne Historical Societyby Shelia C. Stempel & Alberta Wright, from Our Heritage, (Cornwallville, NY: Hope Farm Press 1977)pp. 112-113
First town meetingThe first town meeting for the town of Berne was held 1795 in the home of Johannis Fischer (called Fisher in our genealogy) which still stands on Stranahan Lane. Known as the Jesse Wood House)
Settlement of BerneFull Front page article in the Altamont Enterprise weekly local newspaper from the editor interviewing me (Harold Miller)


Filkins Apartments.This home was known as the Filkins Apartments and is in the hamlet of Berne. Built by Edward Vincent Filkins, Esq. in the middle of the 19th Century,
Jacob Deitz slave housenear Rock Road and 443 coming into West Berne.
Berne Brass Band