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You can view the same fascinating slide presentation created by RJHS President Lesley Doyel and Linda & KIm Crossman  shown at the May 19th event at the RJHS

(Click on images at right), use navigation arrows to go advance to the next slide)


The History and Mystique of the Bash Bish Inn

Captured in the 1912 Autochromes of 

Paul G. Giuillumette


Presented by Kim and Linda Crossman

Sunday, May 19th at 2 PM

At the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society.  8 Miles Road, Copake Falls, NY 


Includes special Bash Bish Site Tour with RJHS Board member Jane Peck after the talk!

By the mid-nineteenth century, the awe-inspiring cascade of the Bash Bish Falls, originating in Massachusetts and flowing through Copake Falls, became the object of romantic pilgrimages. America had entered an Industrial Age, and a movement had begun to represent, and rescue "American Paradise" through art. Inspired by the beauty of this natural wonder, the falls were painted by many artists, including famed Hudson River School painters Kensett, Durand and Martin.


(Above left) The Bash Bish Inn captured in an Autochrome,

early color photograph.   

(Above right)

The iconic Bash Bish Falls      photo: Taconic State Park

As early as 1850, this same unspoiled wilderness and mountainous terrain also inspired what became a series of rustic taverns and retreats, the last and most successful of which was The Bash Bish Inn. Built in the early 1900s at the foot of the falls, the Bash Bish Inn was located on 300 acres of woodland and boasted many quaint and charming buildings, breathtaking views, and a world-famous French chef. A 1910 brochure declaring the Inn a “perfect place to rest and play,” enticed clients from far and wide, including

Paul Guillemette, who, along with his wife Marthe, fell in love with the Inn and its environs.


In 1912, Guillumette, a pioneer in color photography, recorded the haunting and spectacular beauty of the Inn and surrounding countryside in a series of autochromes.The autochrome process, the earliest viable form of color photography, was invented by the Lumiere Brothers, and an autochrome by Paul Guillumette was the first natural color illustration to appear in National Geographic Magazine in July of 1914.


In 2023, Linda and Kim Crossman donated the 1912 autochromes of the Bash Bish Inn to the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society. This was done on behalf of the pioneering photographer’s daughter, the late Doris Guillumette. The April 28th presentation will be an opportunity to revisit the once renowned Bash Bish Inn, and to learn about the life and work of Paul Guillumette, who, in his daughter’s words, “had a tremendous love of natural settings…and yearned to preserve this beauty in a form that would endure.”


Admission Free. Location: The Roeliff Jansen Historical Society, 8 MilesRoad,

Copake Falls, NY. Please visit our website and follow us on social media.





(Above left to right)

Bungalow porch on the Bash Bish Inn grounds,           Flag ceremony at the Bungalow,                      Marthe Guillumette by the Rose Cottage

Special Bonus: Following the presentation, attendees are invited to join a guided “Walk-About” in nearby Taconic State Park to visit actual remnants of the Bash Bish Inn on its former grounds, including the likely site of the hillside bungalow. The walk-about, lasting about an hour, will involve some short, steep inclines, and will be led by RJHS Board member Jane Peck, who has walked these trails all her life. (Important: Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes suggested.)

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Three memorable events  - Spring 2024

Mohican Heritage Past, Present and Future

Coming up at the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society

                            SUNDAY APRIL 28TH, 2 PM

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Even after the Revolutionary War, much of New York State’s Hudson Valley was owned by a few  wealthy landowners; ‘Lords’ of their manors. Among the most powerful were the Livingstons and the Van Rensselaers. 


In this feudal system of capitalism, the “Lords” rented parcels of land to tenant farmers, who continued to pay their rent in goods and services. In time, farmers began to wonder why they’d fought for self-government in the Revolution, only to remain under the yoke of European masters. The ensuing, and often violent struggle between tenant and landlord became known as the Anti-Rent War.


On April 28th, Jill Knapp will discuss a couple of key players in the lengthy conflict waged in Columbia and Rensselaer Counties; Big Thunder, aka Dr. Smith Boughton, and the “Fighting Finkle brothers.” 


In the final analysis, was Anti-Rentism a battle for land reform - a crusade for a cause? Or was Anti-Rentism domestic terrorism, resulting from the failure of the legal system to resolve the issue of perpetual leases? 


You be the judge if their actions were justified.

Illustration  (top) :  Mary Early, Down Rent War, Around 1845 (mural study, Delhi, NY post office), ca. 1939-1940, oil on canvas mounted on aluminum board, 12 x 36 in. (30.5 x 91.4 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the General Services Administration, 1974.28.367

Mohican Heritage Talk Draws Capacity Audience to RJHS!

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"Indigenous Land-

Back movement

touches Copake"


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On Sunday, March 17th, in the premiere event of the Copake Bicentennial, Bradley Pitts. Chair of the Mohican Allyship Committee (MAC), made an hour long illustrated presentation on behalf of the recently established and groundbreaking MAC. 

Mr. Pitts was joined by fellow MAC members Mary Ann Carrick, Catherine Mikic and Rita Jakubowski. 

The talk touched on a number of question like,

what is a land acknowledgement? What is tribal allyship? And why are they important?

The presentation also explored some of the history that predates Copake’s founding in 1824 before bringing the conversation back to present day Copake residents and contemporary Mohicans,

inviting us to consider what our current relationships are with the original people of the land and their contemporary descendants, and how, in the future, might we bring our relationships into greater alignment with our principles and values?”


Above: MAC Chair Bradley Pitts presents to large audience at the RJHS.

About the Mohican Allyship Committee...

Unanimously approved by the Copake Town Board in February, 2023, the Mohican Allyship Committee (MAC) is dedicated to working with the Town of Copake and area residents, in consultation with Stockbridge-Munsee Community representatives, to increase the visibility and understanding of contemporary, past, and future Mohicans, in order to honor them. The committee facilitates inter-government

communications between the Town and

the Stockbridge-Munsee Community

and recommends local policies, procedures, and resolutions concerning the Town’s relationship with the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, their ancestors, and their descendants. In addition to working with area residents, the MAC seeks local ways to serve Stockbridge-Munsee Community initiatives and priorities, acknowledging they are a sovereign, governing body whose core responsibility is to serve their

tribal citizens first.



Learn about the history of the "People of the waters that are never still": 

 the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians - 

 an important website recommended by the Mohican Allyship:





Bradley Pitts, Chair of the Mohican Allyship Committee (MAC)

of the Copake Town Board MAC


Mohican Allyship Committee on the Town of Copake Website:

 Below: pictures from our recent Holiday display, all about the 200th anniversary of Clement Clarke Moore's poem,
"A Visit from St. Nicholas" 

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Our winter Holiday exhibit kicked off with an illustrated presentation by Pamela McColl, author of the acclaimed book;  Twas the Night: The Art and History of the Classic Christmas Poem. In celebration of the bicentennial of the classic Christmas poem

RJHS President Lesley Doyel loaned the museum her family's extensive collection different of Santa Clause objects and 150 editions of different editions of Clement Clarke Moore's seminal Christmas poem.


Though the exhibit has closed, enjoy pictures of the wonderful holiday display. 

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