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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.



and links to them

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


The Ancram Opera House            

Friends of Taconic State Park


Copake Falls Day                                


Columbia County Historical Society


Roeliff Jansen Community Library      


Greenport Historical Society                    Historic Hudson

Historians of Columbia County NY

The Copake Grange



Lauren Letellier and Chris Atkins'

The Historians of Hillsdale, New York blog site.

All the above are brimming with fascinating local history.


Visit Copake Town Historian, Howard Blue's

"Copake History" page on Facebook and

The exhibit at Copake Town Hall, CELEBRATING COPAKE: Town Hall HIstory Exhibit", LISTING HERE 

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Lesley Doyel, President (2021-2024)
Robin Bruce, Vice-President (2021-2024)
Jane Peck, Treasurer (2021-2024)

Sharon Flitterman-King (New member, 2023 -)

Cheryl Benken (New member, 2023 -)

Peter Nick Fritsch (2021-2024)


Robin Bruce (2017-2024)


Jane Peck


Museum Team

Richard Barton

Lesley Doyel
Noel Fair
Milbrey Zelley


Robin Bruce


Peter Nick Fritsch (2021-2024)



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

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