Author Archives: Editorial Staff

America’s Oldest Eastern Cottonwood Cut Down Near Newburgh


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Balmville Tree Newburgh Being Cut DownThe NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has cut down the Balmville Tree, a historic and unusually large Eastern Cottonwood tree that has been growing since before 1699 in Balmville, a hamlet in Town of Newburgh, Orange County. The tree sat at the intersection of River Road, Commonwealth Avenue and Balmville Road at a place commonly known as the Balmville Tree Circle. It was believed to be the oldest eastern cottonwood tree in America.

DEC issued a statement to the press saying the tree was deemed “an immediate threat to passing traffic” by DEC and Newburgh officials, “due to its deteriorated condition and a greatly expanded crack”.  The statement said DEC consulted with a professional arborist who inspected the tree and found it to be an extremely high risk to public safety and recommended removal. Continue reading

Prison History Lectures Planned For Adirondacks


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moriah-prison-600x381The freedom education and human rights project John Brown Lives! (JBL!) is sponsoring a series of summertime lectures by prison historian C. Jefferson Hall on the historical backdrop, the role of nature, and some of the broader implications of the June 2015 escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat from Dannemora’s Clinton Correctional Facility.

Hall’s talks are part of The Correction, JBL!’s ongoing series of programs and events designed to engage North Country communities in conversation about the impacts of mass incarceration and the need to re-imagine the criminal justice system and local economies. Continue reading

New Leadership for Rensselaer County Historical Society


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Karin Krasevac Lenz 2015The Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) has announced the appointment of Karin Krasevac-Lenz as its new executive director.

Krasevac-Lenz brings more than 30 years of experience in not-for-profit development, strategic planning, creative community engagement, constituent relations, agency communications and other areas to her role at RCHS according to an announcement sent to the press. Continue reading

17th Century Cannon Returned To New York


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Cape Vincent Cannon display 2A cannon dating to the mid 1600s, which had been salvaged from the St. Lawrence River at the head of Carleton Island in the Town of Cape Vincent decades ago, has been returned to New York.

Plans are in the works for a long term loan to allow for the cannon’s display at the Village of Cape Vincent’s East End Park on the shores overlooking Carleton Island, where so much of the cannon’s history played itself out. Continue reading

This Week’s Top New York History News


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Latest New York History News

Subscribe! More than 9,200 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 make a small donation. Questions about contributions should be directed to editor John Warren.

Preservation Grants Available, Applications Due Soon


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Preservation League of New York State LogoApplications are now available to eligible municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to compete for Technical Assistance Grants (TAG), a grant program of the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has provided additional support for the fall TAG funding round.

A total of $28,690 is available, which includes $18,690 from NYSCA and $10,000 from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Funds from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor must be used within the corridor. Continue reading

Sackets Harbor War of 1812 Weekend August 1-2


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SA20100731-FILM166.jpg compressedThe Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site will host the 11th Annual War of 1812 Weekend all day Saturday August 1 and Sunday morning August 2, 2015.

The weekend’s demonstrations run from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday followed by an English Country Dance from 7 pm to 9 pm; the living history demonstrations will continue Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm. Admission is free. Highlights include tactical demonstrations on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Continue reading

Mohawk Country Heritage Association Forms


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Picture1The Fort Plain Museum is taking the lead in organizing a new marketing association for the Mohawk Valley’s numerous 18th century historic sites.  The new association will work to promote eight historic sites in western Montgomery County all within 4 to 6 miles of Exit 29 on the New York State Thruway.

Billed as “Mohawk Country, America’s First Frontier” the association’s first marketing effort has targeted the month of July. Continue reading

Grant Proposals Sought From Champlain Basin Communities


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image004(1)The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) is seeking proposals for local grants to support the implementation of the long term management plan for Lake Champlain, Opportunities for Action.

The LCBP anticipates awarding up to 80 grants totaling over $1 million dollars. Funding for these LCBP awards originates from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the National Park Service through agreements with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. Continue reading

Adirondack Philosophers’ Camp Talk In Saratoga Springs


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The Story of the Philosophers CampIn 1858 some of the leading lights of American art, literature, and science camped together on Follensby Pond near Tupper Lake at what is now known as the Philosophers’ Camp.

The gathering was organized by Willam James Stillman, artist and editor of acclaimed art magazine of the time, The Crayon. It included transcendental philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet James Russel Lowell, Harvard scientist Jean Louis Agassiz, and others.

The meeting at Follensby was widely covered in the popular press of the time and fueled an interest in the Adirondacks and retreating into the wilderness to write, make art and discuss the issues of the day. 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 9,200 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 make a small donation. Questions about contributions should be directed to editor John Warren.

Civil War Weekend at Robert Moses State Park


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2nd Michigan on the fieldThe St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s 14th Annual Civil War Reenactment Weekend will be held at Robert Moses State Park in Massena on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26.

Military and civilian re-enactors from New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Ontario and Quebec, Canada are expected to attend, including President Lincoln, as well as sutlers, vendors of period goods and clothing. Continue reading

Hudson River School Exhibit Goes Online


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Hudson River Scool Online Exhibit“What is the Hudson River School?” is the frequently asked question that prompted the Albany Institute of History & Art to present the exhibition The Making of the Hudson River School: More than the Eye Beholds in 2013. The exhibition featured 96 works from the Albany Institute’s collection of Hudson River School paintings, drawings, prints, and historical documents, along with 38 works from several private collections that had not been shown before in a public exhibition.

This exhibition, which highlights such a key component of New York State’s history and the history of American art, has been digitized and is now available as the museum’s first online exhibition, bringing the story of the Hudson River School to greater audiences. Continue reading

Exhibit: Camps of the Mid-Hudson Valley


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summer camp kids postcardMud sliding, a plane dropping leaflets to open a camp’s “Color Wars,” a 14-year-old pitcher striking out a visiting Lou Gehrig, a polio epidemic, the controversial arrest of a popular camp owner, kids finding “lost” caves, folksinger Theodor Bickel entertaining campers.

These are some of the stories in the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society’s new exhibit on area camps, Swimming, Singing and S’mores: 120 years of camps in the Mid Hudson Valley. Continue reading

Centennial Celebration of the Seal of New York City


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unnamed(9)On May 12, 2015, the Coat of Arms Foundation (COAF) in collaboration with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) hosted a presentation by Chris M. Jones on the centennial anniversary of the adoption of the seal of the City of New York on June 24, 1915.

Designed to reflect the full heraldic achievement – arms with charges, crest, supporters, and motto – the seal went into use for “requisite purposes… on documents, publications or stationery issued or used by or in the name or under the authority of the city or of any borough or department thereof.” Continue reading

Caniskek: The Meeting of Worlds in Athens NY


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entranceImagine it is 1665. The place is the wilderness along the banks of the river whose “waters flow both ways.” The native inhabitants are the Mohicans, the newcomers wishing to settle and trade are the Dutch. Exactly 350 years ago a deed was signed for the land the Mohicans called Caniskek, a place that would change forever and evolve into the present day town called Athens, New York. Continue reading