Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, Community Oral History and Urban Renewal

Geoff Miller, chair of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, and Nelsie Aybar-Grau joined me on The Forget-Me-Not Hour a few weeks ago. They talked about the Reher Center located at the Rondout in Kingston, N.Y. and the oral history project that the center has undertaken.

The Reher Center began as a project of the Jewish Federation of Ulster County to document the lives of the Jewish immigrants who landed at Rondout, N.Y. during the heyday of the Delaware and Hudson Canal. The project soon encompassed all immigrant groups who lived in this bustling port community where the Rondout Creek meets the Hudson River.

Geoff explained that the Center’s long-range goal is to document every family who lived in every building in Rondout, using census records, city directories, maps and photos. This project will re-create the community which was devastated by urban renewal in the 1960s. It will be a treasure trove for genealogists!

Nelsie explained the Reher Center’s oral history project–collecting the stories of the people who lived there–so that the history of the community can be told through the eyes and words of its residents. What a great project for any community to undertake!

Hear Geoff and Nelsie on The Forget-Me-Not Hour right here.

Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History

Geoff Miller talks about ovens at the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History at the Rondout in Kingston, N.Y.

urban renewal claimed many of the buildings in Rondout
The Rondout in Kingston, N.Y. ca. 1888. Urban renewal claimed most of these buildings in the 1960s, but the Reher Bakery survived.

Posted on by Jane Wilcox

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