Matton Shipyard Receives Historic Preservation Grant


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Matton Shipyard main buildingErie Canalway National Heritage Corridor was awarded a $5,000 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from the John E. Streb Fund for New York. These grant funds will be used to conduct a feasibility and master planning study of Matton Shipyard, a threatened early 20th century facility important to the story of New York’s Erie Canal. The project will result in plans for re-purposed structures, interpretation, and community space open to the public. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Bostons in the 17th Century


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ben_franklins_worldThe City Upon a Hill. The Athens of America. The Cradle of Liberty.

Boston has many names because it has played important roles in the history of North America. But how did Boston, or “The Hub,” come to be?

Why did the Puritans who sailed from England in 1630, choose to settle in Massachusetts Bay on the Shawmut Peninsula?

What were their early days like?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore answers to those questions by exploring the history of the two Bostons—Boston, England & Boston, New England— during the 17th century with Rose Doherty, President of the Partnership of Historic Bostons. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/095

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Hudson Valley Ruins Photo Exhibit Opens at NYS Museum


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NYTrapRockCorpThe New York State Museum has opened “Hudson Valley Ruins,” a photography and architecture exhibition.

On display through December 31, 2017, the exhibition features over 80 photographs by Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi documenting forgotten historic sites and cultural treasures in the Hudson River Valley.

The exhibition is based on Yasinsac and Rinaldi’s 2006 book, Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape. In addition to great river estates, the book and exhibition profiles sites meaningful to everyday life in the Hudson Valley: churches, hotels, commercial and civic buildings, mills, and train stations. The exhibition explores many of these abandoned places and also revisits several sites that have changed in the past ten years since the book’s publication. Continue reading

Humanities Council Awards Grants, Improves Online Process


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NY Council for the HumanitiesThe New York Council for the Humanities has awarded its grants for their May, June and July grant rounds. Council grants focus on creativity and experimentation within the public humanities. From exploring the impact of La Marqueta in Harlem to revealing figures lost to history like Josephine Herrick, Council grants fund programs that are hoped to creatively apply the humanities to illuminate the cultural riches of New York State. Continue reading

Bruce Dearstyne: Remembering and Forgetting History


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NYS MapGovernments are often challenged in developing policies about what to emphasize in public history programs such as statues and commemorations, and what to leave out, neglect, or relegate to the shadows. A few examples that may be of interest:

LOCAL DECISION MAKING

In March of this year, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill to prevent local governments from taking down monuments to the Confederacy. The issue is a sensitive one, especially so this year. McAuliffe framed it as an issue of the state needing to let communities decide on a case-by- case basis. Continue reading

Knickerbocker Commodore: Life and Times of John Drake Sloat


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knickerbocker commodoreBruce Castleman’s new book, Knickerbocker Commodore: The Life and Times of John Drake Sloat 1781-1867 (SUNY Press, 2016) chronicles the life of Rear Admiral John Drake Sloat, an important but understudied naval figure in US history.

Born and raised by a slave-owning gentry family in New York’s Hudson Valley, Sloat moved to New York City at age nineteen.

Castleman explores Sloat’s forty-five-year career in the Navy, from his initial appointment as midshipman in the conflicts with revolutionary France to his service as commodore during the country’s war with Mexico. Continue reading

A New Collection of Essays About Adirondack History


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adirondack archangelsAfter more than a 25 years of protecting New York State’s alpine zone, the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program is being recognized in a new publication.

Adirondack Archangels: Guardians of the High Peaks, (Adirondack Mountain Club, 2016), is a collection of essays by and about individuals who have worked to protect the Adirondack Park and its highest peaks.

The collection is a tribute to the late Edwin H. “Ketch” Ketchledge, Ph.D., who in 1989 led the creation of the Summit Stewardship Program. It comprises thirty-nine essays and includes a foreword by celebrated writer Bill McKibben and over 250 photographs. Continue reading