Founded in 1974 and chartered in 1975 as a non-profit organization by the Board of Regents of the State of New York, the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society serves the Towns of Ancram, Copake, Gallatin, Hillsdale and Taghkanic. Our mission is to preserve and present the history and cultural traditions of the Roe Jan community.


Through ongoing research, a speaker series, exhibits, and a multimedia archive, the Society documents and conserves our heritage – too easily lost. It is our mission to bring recognition to the stories, skills, and traditions of local folks, past and present.

The Society meets monthly from September to December and February through May at the Museum in Copake Falls. An exhibit in the museum is open to the public during the summer months. The Society’s Annual Meeting is held in June.



The Roeliff Jansen Historical Society enjoys ongoing partnerships with several other regional groups including:


Friends of Taconic State Park
Copake Falls Day
Columbia County Historical Society
Roeliff Jansen Community Library
Greenport Historical Society
Historic Hudson

Be sure to visit Copake Town Historian, Howard Blue's

"Copake HIstory" page on Facebook and Lauren Letellier and Chris Atkins' The Historians of Hillsdale, New York blog site.

Both are brimming with fascinating local history.



Lesley Doyel, President (2018-2021)
Mibs Zelley, Vice-President (2018-2021)
Jane Peck, Treasurer (2018-2021)



Robin Bruce (2017-2020)
Mike Stanke (2017-2020)
Mary Stine (2017-2020)


Jane Peck


Museum Team

Richard Barton

Lesley Doyel
Noel Fair
Milbrey Zelley

Building and Grounds

Mary Stine
Mike Stanke


Robin Bruce

WebmasterCommunications/Graphic Design

Peter Nick Fritsch


The aim of the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society, as defined by its mission statement “is to preserve and present the history and cultural traditions of the Roe Jan community.”  To that end, the Society collects artifacts that specifically relate to the life and times of the towns of Ancram, Copake, Gallatin, Hillsdale, and Taghkanic.  A partial list of these artifacts includes photographs, fine art, textiles, books, letters, newspapers, and official documents of various kinds.

The Society welcomes offers of donations.  However, at this time, the Society’s storage space is limited mainly to one small, climate – controlled room in the Society’s Museum in Copake Falls.  Therefore, the Society maintains its discretion in assessing the value of potential donations for the Society’s exhibitions and research, as well as the feasibility of long-term storage.

Persons thinking of donating materials to the Society should contact Lesley Doyel, President, at roeliffjansenhs@gmail.com.