Hometown History

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Rick Reynolds, Town Historian

Rick Reynolds has been the Ballston Town Historian since 2004. Educated at SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Albany, he is a retired social studies teacher at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Middle School during which time he was named National American History Teacher of the Year in 2003. His presentation is packed with little gems about the BH-BL community and is delivered in just over 30 minutes.

Rick has a channel on YouTube, called "Ballston The Historian's Perspective". Subscribe to the Historian's YouTube channel while you are there, too!

What does the Town Historian do?

The Town Historian performs a multitude of tasks designed to help the Town remember and celebrate its past. One of the primary responsibilities is to interpret the past of the local area. Using town records, photographs, drawings, and the townspeople themselves, the Historian presents programs of interest and works with teachers in local schools to enhance the teaching of local history.

The Historian is involved in research and writing, both in an attempt to preserve the memories and ideas of the past. Sometimes this may involve leading amateur genealogists towards resources that may help them locate their ancestors. Other times, it is so that the community will have well-documented records to which to refer in future years.

The Historian is also becoming increasingly more involved in historic preservation in the community. This can involve cataloging and appropriately preserving collections of original town records or can be as large as preserving houses and other buildings that have played a major role in the community.

Advocacy and organization are the last basic roles of the Town Historian. This includes planning celebrations and remembrances to commemorate local events of importance. The Historian may also be involved in lobbying activities at the state and federal level.

All of this is designed to do what is most important to all of us: help the people of the town remember and celebrate its past and, at the same time, prepare the present to be someday remembered as the past as well.

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