Austerlitz History Center Salutes “Pop” Sweet

New Exhibit Opens July 9

The Austerlitz History Center in Spencertown will open a new exhibit on the life and career of George R. “Pop” Sweet, the Famed Fiddler of Fog Hill, on Saturday July 9 from 9 am-2 pm. The Sweet exhibit will remain on view for the remainder of 2022.

In 1930, from the remote Fog Hill section of Austerlitz, Pop Sweet launched a career as an old-time fiddler and square dance caller that brought him wide renown in Columbia, Dutchess and Berkshire counties. There was hardly a hamlet where Pop Sweet and his Huckleberry Pickers did not play during the 1930s into the 1950s. Granges, fraternal lodges, dance halls, restaurants, taverns, campgrounds and even barns all resonated with the joyful sounds of Pop’s fiddling and calling.

Sweet’s fame extended beyond the local region. He was called by the founder of the National Folk Festival “the best caller in the United States,” a title he earned at the Philadelphia Festival in 1943 when he was selected as the best square dance caller out of a nationwide field of more than 130.

The Austerlitz History Center’s exhibit traces Sweet’s musical career and features a soundtrack that includes recordings of Pop’s fiddling and calling from 1947 that are now housed in the Library of Congress. Explored as well is Sweet’s colorful persona as a genuine backwoods character: a hunter and trapper, pursuer of the “Black Beast of the Berkshires,” and long-time Groundhog Day forecaster.

The exhibit also plays tribute to the Sweet family: six generations of musicians dating back to the 1830s. Sixth-generation musician Bobby Sweet, a well-known Berkshire singer, songwriter and bandleader, will perform with his band at Spencertown Academy’s Community Day, also on Saturday, July 9, 2 pm at Spencertown park. Community Day celebrates the 175th anniversary of the Academy’s historic home and the 50th anniversary of the Academy as an arts center.

Accompanying the exhibit is a richly researched book on Sweet’s life written by Tom Moreland, Austerlitz Town Historian. It includes a detailed chronological review of Pop’s square dances, listing more than 300 appearances in more than 150 venues scattered among some 70 localities.

The Austerlitz History Center, 812 Route 203 in Spencertown, will be open on Saturday July 9 from 9 am-2 pm for the exhibit’s premiere, and for the remainder of the year on Saturdays from 9-11 am, or at other times as arranged with the Town Historian (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The Center’s permanent exhibits cover the history of the Austerlitz area from its settlement in the 1750s to the 21st century.

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Come and visit the Austerlitz Climate Smart Community Task Force at the Columbia County Climate Carnival!  

The inaugural event will be held at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham, NY, on Saturday, July 16, 2022, from 10am to 4pm. 

This family-friendly celebration will feature a Repair Café, Free Store, bike recycling, live birds of prey and beekeeping exhibitions, demonstrations and education about renewable energy, help with composting, perennial wildflowers and “biochar,” children's programming, music, food trucks, and entertainment.  

Whether you live in Austerlitz or elsewhere in Columbia County, drop by our table and hear about our work, how you can join in on whats next, and participate in fun children's and adults activities! See you at the Carnival!

Austerlitz Climate Carnival 2022

The mission of the Healthcare Consortium is improving access to healthcare and supporting the health and well-being of the people in our rural community. We can help residents access non-emergency medical transportation, health insurance, prescription assistance, health-related financial assistance and long-term services and supports. For more information, please visit our website at

The Town of Austerlitz is proud to announce we are now a bronze certified Climate Smart Community.  One of only three towns in Columbia County, we are proud to show if we can do it, any town can.

CSC certified bronze






Please note that the Board of Fire Commissioners for the Town of Austerlitz will be meeting on the following dates for the year 2022/2023. All meetings will commence at 7:00pm at the Spencertown Fire Company, One Memorial Drive, Spencertown NY.

February 28th                                                               August 15th

March 21st                                                                       September 19th

April 18th                                                                           October 17th

May 16th                                                                            November 15th (Tuesday)

June 20th                                                                           December 19th

July 18th

The Year End, Organizational and Regular Meetings have been scheduled for January 10, 2023, at 7:00pm.

The Register Star and Times Union have been designated the official newspapers. National Union Bank of Kinderhook (now the Community Bank) & The Bank of Greene County have been designated the official depositories.

By order of:

Tara Sanders

District Secretary/Treasurer


Quarterly dates for the 2022 K.I.S.S. Program (Keeping Seniors Safe Shredding).  Drop off at the Town Hall

March 4-25, 2022

June 6-24, 2022

August 29-September 9. 2022

November 28-December 9, 2022

The Town of Austerlitz has approved a Community Solar Provider for the Solarize Austerlitz Campaign which will run from November 1st 2021 to October 2022. Astral Power, Inc has been recommended to Austerlitz enrollees in NYSERDA’s Community Solar Program. The board and the Climate Committee sub-group agreed that Astral Power had the advantage with regards to overall quality and marketing support. For example, the group was impressed with Astral Power’s dedicated focus on community solar. Astral also seemed more community oriented about outreach events. Austerlitz Town Board member Greg Vogler said, “the Town of Austerlitz has selected Astral Power to lead the Solarize Austerlitz campaign. Their vast experience and good reputation will help the people of Austerlitz in the fight against climate change, and save money while doing it. Austerlitz has a robust climate committee and getting solar power to all residents who want it is a prime objective, and this is a great way to achieve that.”
Solarize Austerlitz will highlight the advantages of Community Solar for Austerlitz Area residents and businesses. Supervisor Rob Lagonia stated, “The Solarize Austerlitz program is a great opportunity for the residents of the town to save money on their electricity bill while at the same time helping the environment. I recommend everyone check it out and see if it benefits you."
The key advantages of enrolling in Community Solar are the savings on electric charges and reduction of carbon emissions. The savings is passed to the utility account holder for supporting renewable energy produced in a remote location, without having to have solar panels on the home or in the yard. These discounts are available to renters as well.
A subscription to Community Solar requires no upfront costs, no credit checks or confusing billing. All billing is consolidated with the utility bill with net savings on the subscribers NYSEG bill.
When a resident or business owner subscribes to Community Solar, the utility (NYSEG) passes along “credits “to the subscriber’s utility bills as a separate line item which discounts supply and delivery charges. This savings can cut electricity costs by up to ten percent annually.
Astral Power is offering $100 (signing bonus) to the 1st fifty subscribers, and making a donation to the Austerlitz sustainability fund for each enrollment.

To sign up visit

Or call the Astral subscriber support line (866) 922-7335