The Sharon Historical Society will kick off its 2011 program series with an open-to-the-public sneak preview of the second season of "The Fabulous Beekman Boys," the Planet Green television reality series filmed in Sharon Springs, and a look at the 36th season of the Historical Society's meetings and events, which this year will include its Tour of Historic Homes, scheduled for Saturday, July 30.

This first program will be held in St. Mary's Church on U.S. Highway 20 at 7 p.m. Monday. The public is invited, and books, memberships and other memorabilia will be available.

The April 18 program will feature Sharon Springs resident Mitchell Owens, special projects editor for Architectural Digest, who will re-create "Oscar Wilde at the Pavilion," the lecture the British playwright delivered Aug. 11, 1882, at The Pavilion Hotel in Sharon Springs. The guest ledger Wilde signed will be on display, as will the original poster for the event and other information about his tour of America that year. Owens will deliver Wilde's lecture, "The Decorative Arts," in appropriate style and costume at 7 p.m. in the Community Room next to the Sharon Free Library.

On May 16, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room, Barbara Melera, co-owner with her husband, Peter, of Landreth Seeds, the oldest seed company in the United States, will present "Landreth Seeds and the Story of America's Great Seed Houses." Landreth Seeds is based in New Freedom, Pa., and Sharon Springs, and will participate in the Memorial Weekend Garden Party from May 28 to May 30.

The spring series of programs will conclude on June 20 with a 7 p.m. program by two Sharon Springs artists. Stonemason, painter and author Michael Whaling and photographer Leila Durkin will present and discuss their new book, "The Garden Wall at Beekman Farm." Now being published, copies are expected to be available for signing at the meeting.

The Museum Complex summer hours are daily from 1 to 4 p.m. July 1 through Sept. 4. The museum, schoolhouse, outhouse, barn and cemetery exhibits are restored and decorated with authentic furniture and other items of historic significance.

Society publications, souvenirs and memorabilia are also available for purchase, and many other informational and Self-Guided Walking Tour brochures are free to the public.

This year, the museum complex will be open additional days during the Sharon Springs Memorial Day Garden Party Weekend in May and the Sharon Springs Fall Harvest Festival Weekend Sept. 17 and 18. These weekends will be recorded by Planet Green for broadcast on future episodes of "The Fabulous Beekman Boys."

The Tour of Historic Homes is scheduled for Saturday, July 30. More details as to hours and homes on the tour will be announced later.

The fall series of programs will opens Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room with Sharon Town Historian Nancy DiPace Pfau and her New York State Historical Society PowerPoint presentation titled "Sharondipity: Embracing Difference Through the Centuries."

The annual meeting and traditional Halloween observance on Oct. 17 will feature Carle Kopecky, director of The Old Stone Fort Museum in Schoharie. Kopecky will share his behind-the-scenes experiences with the Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters series episode, "Paranormal Investigations at the Old Stone Fort." The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Community Room.

On Nov. 21, immediate past President Jean Bakkom will share her travels in Egypt at 7 p.m. in the Community Room.

Closing the 2011 programs will be a members-only "Victorian Murder Mystery Dinner" at Chartwell Studios on U.S. Highway 20. The annual holiday potluck, this year in costume, will begin at 6 p.m., with the "murder" at 7 p.m. Maria Vought will direct.

The 2011 Sharon Historical Society officers are President Karen Cookson, Vice President Omer Cousineau, Secretary Denise Leinbach and Treasurer Bernadetta Vrooman.

For more information, write the Sharon Historical Society, at P.O. Box 363, Sharon Springs, NY 13459. Membership is $10 per year.

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