Town Historian

Town historians are appointed by law for municipalities throughout New York State. The Town historian's role is to assist in researching official town records related to the history of the town and to educate the public about the records. Ms. Leath is available for these purposes, but she does not do historical or genealogical research for individuals.  Visit her web blog at


The historical website pages have been made available through a grant from the New York State Education Department, State Archives, and the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant for historical records which provided funds for personnel and creation of this section on the town’s website.

History of the Town

Town Historian Susan E. Leath is the author of three books about the Town of Bethlehem.
  • Bethlehem (Arcadia Publishing, 2011) illustrates the history of our town with over 200 historic images dating from the 1880s to 1960.
  • Historic Tales of Bethlehem, New York (The History Press, 2016) contains a wide range of short essays highlighting our local history. 
  • Bethlehem People and Places (Troy Book Makers, 2019) explores our town's unique history through 33 short, illustrated articles.
Susan Leath's Books

Past Historians

  • 2007-Present: Susan E. Leath
  • 2005-2007: Raymond C. Houghton, Ph.D.
  • 1991-2005: Joseph A. Allgaier
  • 1990: Valerie Restifo Thompson
  • 1984-87: James E. Morgan
  • 1979-83: Thomas E. Mulligan
  • 1977-78: Lois Dillon (Mrs. Edward)
  • 1974-76: Thomas E. Mulligan
  • 1966-74: Allison Bennett (Mrs. William D.)
  • 1945-65: Ruth A. Dickinson (Mrs. Paul)
  • 1926:  Anna Holler Washburn (Mrs. Lucius H.)
  • 1921:  Mrs. Harriet C. D. Wiltsie