Author Archives: John Warren

John Warren

About John Warren

John Warren edits The New York History Blog and the online news magazine Adirondack Almanack. He's been a media professional for 30 years with a focus on history, journalism and documentary production. He has a Master of Arts degree in Public History, is a 2012-13 New York Public Library Research Fellow, and is a media specialist at the New York State Writers Institute. John's weekly Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report airs across the Adirondack North Country Region on the North Country Public Radio network.

The Historic Apples of New York

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adirondack appleEvery two years I gather together some friends to make hard cider. None of us have apple orchards. From the time the buds break throughout the summer, until after the first couple hard frosts, we scan the roads and fields of the Adirondacks. We look for abandoned orchards and clumps of neglected trees in yards and inquire with their owners.

Right up until the last gallon goes into the fermenter we have endless debates about the best way to pick our finds. We prattle on about the best timing, their sugar content, texture, and flavors. Inevitably the question is raised: “well, what do you think it is?” Now, a new book has been published that we can turn to in trying to figure that out. Continue reading

The NY History Blog Needs Your Support

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NY HIstory Blog Logo 2015 CampaignLast year your contributions helped The New York History Blog promote news and events related to the state’s history, foster a shared mission among the history community, and provide announcements of upcoming conferences and exhibits, new publications and online resources – and so much more.

Our fundraising campaign for 2015 is underway – and we’re counting on you to keep publishing this year!

If you enjoy The New York History Blog, and find it useful, please become a contributor, or take out an advertisement for your favorite local history organization.

You can make a donation at our campaign here:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at with questions about advertising and thank you again for your continued support of The New York History Blog.

Replica Half Moon Leaves NY Waters

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Half-Moon-at-Hoorn-IllustrationCiting financial hardships, the Board of Directors of the New Netherlands Museum is moving the Half Moon replica ship to the City of Hoorn, The Netherlands. On Saturday night the Half Moon arrived in New London, Connecticut in preparation for it’s departure.

A petition to Dr. Andrew Hendricks, Founder and Chairman of the New Netherland Museum has been established, but has drawn little support, garnering less than 600 signatures. The ship leaves New York with nary a word from the state’s history community or its leaders. Continue reading

NYS History Commission Stalled

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nycapitolThe legislative bills creating a New York State history commission have been reintroduced in the State Legislature, but advocates of the law say that it is unlikely to be voted on in 2015.

The law would establish a state history commission with a range of powers and a mandate to produce a statewide cultural and historical resource heritage plan.The bill has the support of the Museum Association of New York (MANY); but outside a roundtable meeting last spring, no other organization has publicly expressed its support. Continue reading

Replica Half Moon Is Leaving New York State

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Half Moon at Hoorn IllustrationThe Board of Directors of the New Netherland Museum has announced that the Half Moon, a replica of the ship sailed by Henry Hudson in 1609, will leave New York State for a new home port in the City of Hoorn, The Netherlands in 2015.

The City Council of Hoorn voted Tuesday to adopt the Half Moon for inclusion in a 17th century historic site under the management of the Westfries Museum. The Half Moon is expected to  remain the property of the New Netherland Museum, but it will lose its long-time captain, William T. “Chip” Reynolds. Continue reading

After 21 Yrs Jeff County Historical Cancels Victorian Faire

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Jefferson County Historical SocietyThe Watertown Daily Times is reporting that the Jefferson County Historical Society (JCHS) has cancelled it’s annual Victorian Faire after holding the event for more than 20 years. JCHS Executive Director Jessica M. Phinney told the newspaper that a fall in the number of vendors from 20 to 30 in 2012, to 23 last year and just seven this year.

“We reached out to all prior vendors and the feedback was nothing bad – we are fairly priced,”  Phinney told the paper. “This year the committee decided to opt for quality. We didn’t want to put the vendors we had through (a low turnout).” Continue reading

Museum President: Susan B. Anthony Being ‘Defamed’

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FeministsforlifeposterThe recent activities of the Susan B. Anthony List, a 501(c)(4) organization, and its affiliated political action committee, the SBA List Candidate Fund, have raised concerns at Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, part of an ongoing dispute over anti-abortion activists and social conservatives using Anthony’s name.

“We can make room for a different interpretation of history, and we certainly support political engagement,” says Deborah L. Hughes, President and CEO of the Anthony Museum, “but their tactics repeatedly cross a line that is outrageous and inconsistent with who Susan B. Anthony was. Her good character is being defamed by their actions. People are outraged by their actions, causing harm to Anthony’s name and the mission of our Museum.” Continue reading

We’ve Met Our Fundarasing Goal For 2014!

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New-York-State-Map1The New York History Blog has reached its fundraising goal for 2014.* Thanks again to the many contributors and advertisers who have helped bring us this far.

Over the past year we’ve published some 800 posts, and this site has been viewed over a quarter million times. I’ve received many notes of thanks from small history organizations for promoting their work and driving visitors to their events – those are thanks due to those of you who took the time to contribute essays, or gave some of your money, to keep us going. A great thanks is due the more than 60 writers have contributed essays to The New York History Blog advocating for, encouraging, and informing the state’s history community on a variety of topics. Continue reading

Almost There! Help The New York History Blog Reach Its Fundraising Goal

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New-York-State-Map1The New York History Blog is only $267 short* of its fundraising goal for 2014. Thanks so much to the many contributors and advertisers who have helped bring us this far.

If you think what this blog does is important, please take a minute to make a small contribution to help finish off our fundraising for 2014. Head over to our rally page at to make a contribution. is a very reputable crowd-funding site (used by Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others). Continue reading

Replica Half Moon May Move To The Netherlands

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Half_Moon_ReplicaThe historic ship Half Moon, a replica of the ship Henry Hudson sailed in 1609 to the river which now bears his name, has announced intentions to move to Hoorn in The Netherlands.

The announcement came late Thursday in an e-mail message to supporters from Chip Reynolds, Director of the New Netherland Museum and Captain of the Replica Ship Half Moon. Reynolds cited ongoing financial hardships exacerbated by annual budget shortfalls, and an inability to find a permanent berth and site for programming. “Continued operation of the Half Moon in our current capacity is financially unsustainable,” Reynolds said. Continue reading

NYS Archives Consolidates Doc Heritage Program

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archives 2The New York State Archivist has announced that the State’s Archives Documentary Heritage Program’s (DHP) regional archival services are being consolidated in a move that critics say will diminish the effectiveness of the popular historical records program.

In a message sent in May, New York State Archivist Christine Ward announced the changes, which eliminated the DHP’s regional administrators at the end of June and will replace them with a single, statewide administrator under a five-year contract. Continue reading

Our Women’s History Experiment, And An Opportunity

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Womens History MonthAt the end of February we asked for contributions of essays highlighting the role of women in New York State History in celebration of Women’s History Month. The response was excellent and The New York History Blog published 14 pieces, many from writers who have never contributed here before. Several of those related to the Adirondacks and were also published in the online journal Adirondack Almanack.

Over the course of the month thousands of people were introduced to the stories of New York women, but we shouldn’t stop here. I’m hoping readers will see this as an opportunity to bring forth their own stories about the role of women in the history of New York. Whatever aspect of history you are interested in, women played a role. Take the time to let us know about that history by contributing, not just in March, but throughout the year. Here’s how.

I’ve provided links to the stories and editorial commentary below: Continue reading

Help Us Promote Women’s History

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Womens History MonthHelp this New York History Blog spread the word about the role of women in New York State history by contributing an essay for publication.

Essays are sought that focus on individual women, women’s groups, or relevant historic sites located in New York State. Historiography and commentaries on public history issues related to women’s history, are all welcome.

Essays should be about 750-1,200 words. Send your submissions via e-mail to editor John Warren. Include a short (three line) biography of yourself.

NYS Library Clearing Thousands of Items From Stacks

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TU StoryPaul Grondahl at the Albany Times Union is reporting that the New York State Library is rapidly discarding tens of thousands of items in the stacks of the old State Library beneath the State Education Building.

State Librarian Bernard Margolis, who is overseeing the reduction of the stacks, blames years of State Library budget cuts and an increase in state Education Department paperwork.  Opposition from State Library employees, who remain anonymous out of fear for their jobs, has gone unheeded.

Here are some of the details from Paul Grondahl: Continue reading

The New York History Blog (Still!) Needs Your Support

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About one month ago, I announced that The New York History Blog needed the support of the history community it serves in order to keep operating.

The response has been promising. We’ve set up a fundraising mechanism through, a very reputable crowd-funding site (used by Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others). We’ve also sold some advertising.

So far we’ve raised about 25% of the funds needed to keep this site operating in 2014. We need to do more  – here’s how you can help:

Continue reading