Author Archives: Editorial Staff

This Week’s New York History Web Highlights


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This Week’s Top New York History News


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Latest New York History News

Subscribe! More than 8,200 people follow The New York History Blog via E-mail, RSS, or Twitter or Facebook updates.

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Trial Over True ‘Night Before Christmas’ Authorship


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ChristmasTrialArt-webA jury trial in a real courtroom in Troy on Sunday, December 7th at 2 pm aims to solve a centuries-old controversy over who really wrote one of the most beloved holiday poems in the world: “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Last year “The Trial Before Christmas” was a surprise holiday spectacle that gained national media attention and attracted more than 500 spectators to the Rensselaer County Courthouse – a standing-room-only crowd. But the jury was unable to reach a verdict, so the case will be heard again. Continue reading

Heritage Holidays in the Mohawk Valley


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Johnson Hall ChristmasIn conjunction with the City of Johnstown’s Colonial Stroll holiday activities, Johnson Hall State Historic Site will hold an Open House on Friday, December 5th from 5 pm to 8:30 pm.

Johnson Hall’s first floor will be decorated for the holiday season, where music of the 18th century will be performed by Liaison Plaisantes. Refreshments will be offered in the historic butler’s pantry. The museum shop will offer 20% off for holiday shopping that evening. Horse-drawn wagon rides of the mansion’s south lawn will be available to visitors between 6 pm and 8 pm. Continue reading

Gilded Age Christmas At Staatsburgh State Historic Site


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Staatsburgh ChristmasStaatsburgh State Historic Site is preparing for its festive Gilded Age Christmas, featuring decorations throughout the mansion and special children’s programs from late November through New Year’s Eve.

The site opens for the holiday season on Friday, November 28, and offers public hours Thursday through Sunday, from Noon to 4 pm (closed Christmas Day) through December 31. Staatsburgh will be open for special evening hours on December 12, from 6-8 pm, so that visitors can experience the decorated mansion after dark, and tour the historic rooms, populated with guides in period costume. Continue reading

The Whitehill Prize in Early American History


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Colonial Massachussesttes SocietyThe Colonial Society of Massachusetts has announced the 2014 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American History.

This prize of $2,500, established in memory of Walter Muir Whitehill, for many years Editor of Publications for the Colonial Society and the moving force behind the organization, will be awarded for a distinguished essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. The Society hopes that the prize may be awarded annually. Continue reading

At Jay Heritage Center: The Greek Revival Era in NY


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Jay Heritage CenterOn December 7th at 3 pm Architectural Historian Barry Lewis will present a free lecture, “New York in the Greek Revival Era 1830 – 1850″, at the Jay Heritage Center, 210 Boston Post Road, in Rye, NY.

The Greek Revival decades were the beginning of the modern era in New York City. Industrialization hit the city by the 1830s completely changing the landscape. Wall Street was re-built for corporate headquarters including a magnificent U.S. Custom House, suburbia was born (around Washington Square), the immigrants and tenement slums arrived (the Five Points) and the modern notion of high-end shopping began when A.T. Stewart opened America’s first department store (today, it houses the NYC Department of Buildings) at Broadway and Chambers Street in 1845. Continue reading

Lecture: Slavery At Albany Ten Broeck Mansion


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Ten Broeck MansionRecent excavations and research on the grounds of Ten Broeck Mansion in Albany have revealed outbuildings likely used as summer kitchens and/or slave quarters.

On Sunday, December 7 at 2 pm, the Albany Institute of History & Art will host Matthew J. Kirk, Principal Investigator and Cultural Resource Specialist at Hartgen Archeological Associates, for a special lecture focused on these findings and the insight they provide into slave/master relationships shortly before abolition. They suggest we reconsider our modern concepts of slavery in the north at the end of the eighteenth century. Continue reading

Gifts of the Past At DuBois Fort Visitor Center


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HHS Teddy BearThe Historic Huguenot Street Curatorial Department has developed a new exhibit in honor of the winter holiday season. On display now in the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, “Gifts of the Past” features a selection of historic children’s toys from the Historic Huguenot Street Permanent Collection.

Holiday gift giving has been a tradition for several centuries. Around the world, Christmas traditions are influenced by the legend of a gift giver rewarding children for their good behavior with toys and treats. Items on display include the first model Teddy Bear, a set of alphabet blocks, handmade wooden dominoes, and a bisque handmade doll. Continue reading

New Book Highlights Clinton County’s Civil War Record


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Clinton County Historical Association New Civil War BookThe Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) has announced the publication of a new book, Clinton County Civil War Record: 1861-1865.

In 2010, the Clinton County Historical Association formed a committee to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. Since its formation, the committee has planned numerous lectures and programs at the Museum, and also took on a research project to culminate in the publication of a book. Continue reading

This Week’s New York History Web Highlights


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This Week’s Top New York History News


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Latest New York History News

Subscribe! More than 8,200 people follow The New York History Blog via E-mail, RSS, or Twitter or Facebook updates.

Make a Contribution! The New York History Blog is supported by you. If you think this site provides a valuable service, please become a recurring contributor. Questions about contributions should be directed to editor John Warren.

St. Nicholas Day at Crailo Historic Site Dec 6th


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The Feast of Saint Nicholas, by Jan Steen, 1660sCrailo State Historic Site in the City of Rensselaer will host a St. Nicholas Day Open House on December 6, 2013 from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm.  For the Dutch settlers of this region The Feast of St. Nicholas was a day of celebration with favorite food and treats.

Children checked their shoes, left out the previous night, for presents from Sinterklaas. In Washington Irving’s History of New York (1809), Sinterklaas was Americanized into “Santa Claus” (a name first used in the New York press in 1773) and helped popularize today’s Christmas traditions. Continue reading

Performance of ‘The Little Match Girl’ Set For Troy


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LittleMatchGirlOn the evening of Saturday, December 6th, during the 58th Annual Holiday Greens Show at the Rensselaer County Historical Society, a special one-night-only performance will take place in the parlors of the historic Hart-Cluett House in downtown Troy.

Inspired by the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Little Match Girl, Troy–based musicians Katherine and Calvin Young, who perform as Simple Souls, have written a new musical adaptation of the fairy tale, titled The Other Side of Visible. . Performed in the Hart-Cluett House’s front parlor, The Other Side of Visible weaves the historic interior into the fabric of the story creating a unique blend of house concert and theatrical storytelling. Katherine Young’s voice takes the audience on a journey that explores the themes of love, invisibility, and imagination. Continue reading

Christmas at the Fort Plain Museum Dec 6th


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Fort Plain MuseumThe Fort Plain Museum will be hosting its annual “Christmas at the Fort” event on Saturday December 6, 2014 from 10 am to 6 pm. The Museum will present the Grand Opening of their new exhibit “The Children’s Attic”, which features children’s toys used in the Fort Plain area c. 1770-1920 that have been donated by residents of Fort Plain.

In addition to the authentic objects on display, the exhibit will also feature reproduction garments (both male and female) which reflect clothing worn during the colonial and Revolutionary War era. Youngsters visiting the museum will be able to try on these items and pose for a special “Photo-Op” during their visit. Continue reading

Plattsburgh Old Stone Barracks Plans Announced


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Old Stone BarracksFriends of the Old Stone Barracks (FOSB) has announced the results of their request for proposals and a new life for Plattsburgh’s Old Stone Barracks.

FOSB has come to an agreement with Terry Schmaltz and Mary Theresa Pearl, proprietors of Valcour Brewing Company, and will assign the contract to purchase the Old Stone Barracks to them.  Pearl is originally from Plattsburgh and both she and Schmaltz are retired Army officers. Continue reading

Origins of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Jingle Bells


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A-VISIT_5The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center is continuing its winter lecture series with a presentation by Sloane Bullough about the origins of the famed Christmas story, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and the well known carol, “Jingle Bells”.

The poem was first published anonymously as “A Visit from St. Nicholas” in the Troy Sentinel on December 23, 1823, having been sent there by a friend of Clement Clarke Moore, and was reprinted frequently thereafter with no name attached. It was first attributed in print to Moore in 1837 and Moore himself acknowledged authorship when he included it in his own book of poems in 1844. By then, the original publisher and at least seven others had already acknowledged his authorship. Continue reading

John Quincy Adams, Treaty of Ghent Event


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image003(8)The Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) will host a presentation by Vincent Puliafico on the Treaty of Ghent on Monday, December 1st at 7 pm. Using John Quincy Adams diary and other sources, Puliafico impersonates John Adams, giving a chronological presentation on the Treaty of Ghent negotiations.

The presentation emphasizes how the news of the Battle of Plattsburgh arrived and affected the mood at the peace table discussions.  Other questions answered include, who won the War of 1812 and what was gained? Continue reading

NYC: Original Central Park Plan On Exhibit


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central park map 1863The Museum of the City of New York has put on public display the rarely seen Greensward Plan for Central Park – the original 1858 design by Central Park superintendent and future leading landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and English-born architect Calvert Vaux that won a public design competition to improve and expand the park.

This four-by-twelve-foot map depicting Central Park’s framework in pen and ink has permanently left its imprint on the park and the visitor experience. On loan from the New York City Parks Department, the Greensward Plan for Central Park is now on view at the City Museum through January 2015. Continue reading