History Speaks. Listen. Learn.

Growing up in Northampton, MA provided a fertile bed for growing interests in local history. Now a good deal of my research is in the mid-Hudson Valley, and the northern Dutchess County Town of Milan where I live and have been town historian, bicentennial co-chair and town board member. I consider this an open workspace, please comment. ~ Bill Jeffway

Pre-Civil War Rural African American Experience in Mid-Hudson Valley

Conflicting stories of an African American Patriot
Rediscovery of Rural African American Burial Grounds
Dual racial legacies of a man called Prince Minisee

Meadow City Notes & Memorial Day

Northampton MA Workspace
Childs Park WWI Memorial Part of National Effort
A Historian's Expression of Gratitude

Video Library

HistorySpeaks Video Library

Yeoman's Cemetery

Yeomans Cemetery

Milan Post Offices

Milan Post Offices

I have always found local history rich in experience and reward, giving context and perspective across time, geography, and community. I hope to help others understand similarly, as a powerful, accessible means of learning.

In addition to understanding common, shared experiences across generations and centuries, I find it fascinating to come to understand the degree to which we all perceive historical “facts” and embed them in narratives shaped by our own biases (consciously or unconsciously) which in turn gives us an insight into ourselves.

One of my favorite quotes: [We] map what we see, marking some features, ignoring others.  History is not the past, but a map of the past, drawn from a particular point of view to be useful to the modern traveler.~Henry Glassie, Professor of Folklore.

Bill Jeffway


History Speaks. Listen. Learn.