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Washington County Historical Society

Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections

First settled in the pre- Revolutionary War period by large contingents of Scottish, Scots-Irish and New Englanders, Washington County shares salient associations with many facets of regional, state and national history and retains much of its rural character and agrarian landscape. The county’s association with important historical events was first articulated with great detail in the mid-nineteenth century by the noted historian and first New York State etymologist Asa Fitch of Salem, one of Washington County’s preeminent historical figures, who did much to record for posterity the accounts and experiences of the region’s early citizens. Other notable residents included the reformer and suffragist Susan B. Anthony, who spent a significant portion of her childhood there and maintained ties to Washington County throughout her lifetime. Washington County today retains a remarkable collection of later eighteenth and nineteenth century vernacular architecture, expressive of its diverse beginnings and complex settlement history, including a rich and largely unparalleled concentration of early agricultural structures. Its farmsteads and communities are set within a substantially intact and evocative landscape situated between the Hudson River and the Taconic Mountains, between which the picturesque Battenkill flows, and which further borders portions of Lake George and Lake Champlain to the north. The scenic qualities of the southeastern part of the county and adjacent region were immortalized in the art work of Anna Mary Robertson Moses, “Grandma Moses,” who was born in Greenwich in 1860.


The Washington County Historical Society (WCHS), chartered in 1940, is an educational organization dedicated to engaging diverse audiences in the study and interpretation of the collective heritage of Washington County, New York, and its environs. This mission is accomplished through WCHS sponsorship of public programs, the publication of an annual journal, and the operation of a research facility, the WCHS Heritage Research Library, which collects, preserves and makes available to historians and genealogists written and archival materials pertaining to the history of Washington County and the greater region. Among the primary goals of the research library is to make this collection available for the use and edification of the public; a searchable database of the library’s holdings is available at our website ( The collection includes a large number of letters and other materials related to the Northup family, which was prominent in the affairs of Washington County and resided for a time in the house which now serves as headquarters for WCHS. Our research library and bookstore are located in the National Register of Historic Places-listed Wing-Northup house at 167 Broadway in Fort Edward. Available for purchase in the bookstore are publications and other materials relevant to county and regional history. The Wing-Northup house is open to the public two days a week, on Wednesday from 10am to 4pm and on Friday from 10am to 5pm.


Season And Hours Open

The WCHS research library and bookstore are open Wednesday, 10am-4pm, and Friday, 10am-5pm.