To the east of Kinderhook , in a countryside of rolling hills and horse farms, are the Chathams: the Village of Chatham, Chatham Center, East Chatham, North Chatham, and Old Chatham. Old Chatham, settled in 1758, is little more than a crossroads; the Village of Chatham is the Chathams’ commercial hub.
The streets are still lined with Italianate brick storefronts dating back to that era. In the village center you’ll find the Chatham Bakery and Coffee Shoppe (1 Church St., 518/392-3411), a family-run institution known for its baked goods and burgers served on homemade bread.
Near East Chatham is Librarium Second Hand Books (Black Bridge Rd./Rte. 295, 518/392-5209, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. most days in summer, Sat.–Sun. in winter), a homey book barn with over 35,000 used titles.
The Columbia County Fair (518/828-3375, www.columbiafair.com ) comes to the Chatham fairgrounds (junction of Rtes. 66 and 203) over Labor Day weekend. It’s the nation’s oldest continuously running county fair.
Camping is available in nearby Austerlitz at the 200-site Woodland Hills Campground (86 Fog Hill Rd., 518/392-3557). Between Chatham and Chatham Center, budget travelers will find the Chatham Travel Lodge (Rte. 295 and Taconic State Pkwy., 518/392-4066, $65–95 d).
The Chathams area features an inn that’s a quaint throwback to an earlier period. The Inn at Silver Maple Farm (1871 Rte. 295, East Chatham, 518/781-3600, www.silvermaplefarm.com , $90–230 d) is an 1830s dairy farm turned lovely B&B. Complete with pine floors, exposed beams, and hand-painted murals, the hostelry sits surrounded by fields and woods. The rooms are airy and comfortable, while a deck offers scenic views of the Berkshire Mountains.