Category Archives: History

New York History

Hanford Mills Museum Kicks Off 42nd Season


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mill with steamHanford Mills Museum, in Delaware County, NY, will be open Wednesdays-Sundays, plus holiday Mondays, 10 am – 5 pm through October 15th. Guided tours are offered of the Mill complex, where visitors can watch the 1926 Fitz overshot waterwheel start up and provide the power for the sawmill and woodworking shop. Historic water-powered machines are operated each day, just as they were a century ago. Continue reading

Second Great Awakening in Northern New England


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Shelby M. Balik, author of Rally the Scattered Believers: Northern New England’s Religious Geography (Indiana University Press, 2014), joins us to explore the New England town-church ideal, how it helped New Englanders organize their towns, and why the post-Revolution migration into northern New England forced New Englanders to change and adapt how they maintained civic and moral order within their communities. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/030 Continue reading

Schenectady Celtic Heritage Day June 6th


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Schenectady Celtic Heritage DayThe Sixth Annual Schenectady Celtic Heritage Day, presented by a partnership of the Schenectady County Historical Society and the Schenectady Ancient Order of Hibernians, will be held at the Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction on June 6, 2015 from 11 am to 7 pm.

This year’s event brings live music from regional Celtic favorite Triskele, as well as Dublin Train Wreck, and the Fiddler’s Tour plus Celtic dance performances by the Braemor Highland Dancers and the Farrell School of Irish Dance. Continue reading

New Basquiat Exhibit In Brooklyn


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HollywoodAfricans.Basquiat.1983.WhitneyThe tragically short career of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) has created a penumbra of martyred glory around his work. This must give him a chuckle wherever his spirit looks down on the shuffling hordes trekking to view his work reverently installed at the Brooklyn Museum.

Basquiat was born as a spray-can wielding street artist who liked mess, disorder and chaos. How different was he, when beatified by art gallery recognition and patron purchases? In his art world heyday he got his fine new designer clothes just as stained as his thrift shop threads from his early days. Continue reading

Essex County’s William Rush Merriam (Conclusion)


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x4A NYHWR MerriamDespite the complexities involved in completing the 1900 census, the only fraud exposed occurred in Maryland, where a male enumerator counted dead people as long as they had expired within the past year. Since other shady circumstances were involved, the man was arrested. Said Census Director William Merriam about the Maryland case: “I have been simply amazed at the irregularities we have discovered. It will be the policy of this office to punish every offender.” And he followed through.

When all the returns were in, statistics provided by Merriam’s team determined the policies and needs that Congress would be addressing. The more data they received, the more impressed they became. From such partisan bodies as the House and Senate, a consensus emerged: Director Merriam had performed brilliantly. Continue reading

Orange County Civil War Talk Wednesday


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gettysburgWilliam E. Mapes, a native of Florida, New York, volunteered in the summer of 1862 to save the Union. In this he was no different from any of the 300,000 men who signed up to fight in a war they had expected to be already over. President Lincoln and the loyal governors of the North called upon the eligible male population to enlist before conscription began. If they did so, they could serve with friends and neighbors in a regiment commanded by men they had known most of their lives. Continue reading

On Memorial Day Help Protect Fishkill’s American Revolution Cemetery


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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Memorial Day the New York History Blog encourages you to take a moment to support Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot who are working to protect 10.4 acres that include an abandoned American Revolutionary War Soldiers’ Cemetery from commercial development.

In late 2007, an archaeological team rediscovered the cemetery on privately-owned land just south of the Van Wyck Homestead along U.S. Route 9 in Fishkill.  Fishkill served as the Patriots’ principal supply depot throughout the American Revolution, providing troops with supplies, weapons, ammunitions, transport, and food from 1776-1783.  The majority of the original 70-acre site has already been lost to commercial and transportation development. The Van Wyck Homestead served as the headquarters for what was George Washington’s principal supply depot during the Revolutionary War and is the site’s only remaining structure. Continue reading

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 Rally.org campaign here: https://rally.org/f/hmP6uuhdXnT

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Journalist Bill Buell on The Historians Podcast


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The Historians LogoThis week “The Historians Podcast” welcomes Daily Gazette features writer Bill Buell. Buell is the author of history books on Schenectady and Albany; he is working on a book on Schenectady’s Socialist Mayor, George Lunn. A native of Glenville and resident of Schenectady’s Stockade section, Bill is a graduate of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake schools and the University at Albany, with a degree in history. He started working with the Gazette as a sports writer in 1977. As a features writer he currently covers diverse topics including history, religion and the theater. Listen at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/
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This Week’s Top New York History News


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Planning A History Food Event? Consider This


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SSI_front_photoThanks to the FoodNetwork, The Cooking Channel, TLC, and a variety of other shows, a society of foodies has been created and encouraged. Understandably, tourism has become part of the foodie craze – farmer markets are now part of destination shopping.

Museums and historical societies have used food programs as fundraising opportunities and to attract new visitors, with the hope that the program will foster an interest in history, and new members/regular visitors. It’s a great idea, but there are some things to consider. Continue reading

Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion


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modern ruinA film screening of “Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion,” Matthew Silva’s documentary about an abandoned structure designed by modernist icon Philip Johnson for the 1964 World’s Fair.The film tells the story of the Pavilion from the glory days of the fair, through the years of neglect, up to present day advocacy.

The filmmakers hope this project will be the first step in engaging and informing people about the building in new and exciting ways. This whimsical, futuristic, and soaring structure, constructed for the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, has been left abandoned for the greater part of 50 years. Continue reading

Adirondack Museum Reopens Friday


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Adirondack MuseumThe Adirondack Museum opens for its 58th season on Friday, May 22, with new exhibitions, programs, family activities, and events.

The museum invites year-round residents of the Adirondack Park to visit free of charge every Sunday during the open season, and every day the museum is open in May and October. (Proof of year-round residency – such as a driver’s license, passport, or voter registration card – is required). Continue reading

New York Archives Conference June 3-5


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archives 2The 2015 New York Archives Conference (NYAC) will take place on June 3-5, 2015 at SUNY Fredonia, in Fredonia, New York.

The New York Archives Conference is an organization that once a year brings together archivists, manuscript curators, local historians and local government record keepers to discuss issues of mutual concern to professional holders of historical records. It is also an opportunity for individuals new to the profession to learn from colleagues and to become involved in professional activities. Continue reading

The Native American Defeat of the First American Army


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Colin Calloway, Professor of History and Native American History at Dartmouth College, joins us to discuss how American settlement in the Ohio Valley led to The Victory with No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army (Oxford University Press, 2014). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/029

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