Category Archives: History

New York History

An Infamous Criminal’s Connection To Monticello


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RulloffEdwardH[1]Edward H. Rulloff was one of the most famous American criminals of the 19th century, believed responsible for multiple murders and sundry other crimes, and eventually being publicly hanged in Binghamton, New York. He was also a brilliant savant, obsessively seeking respectability and the approval of what he deemed “good society.”

And if not for this obsession, his crime spree would have without a doubt included the National Union Bank in Monticello, the County Seat of Sullivan County.   Continue reading

Historic Textile Exhibit Opens At Albany Institute


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image006(1)In the private space of the bedroom, the world takes center stage. Politics, international trade, social events, religion, and cultural affairs come alive in the elaborate designs and patterns displayed on American quilts, coverlets, and bed hangings.

The Albany Institute of History & Art has opened Undercover: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets, and Bed Hangings, an exhibition that investigates the designs and patterns that decorate American bedcovers of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. In addition to the textiles, early illustrated books, paintings, ceramics, and more are included to show sources of inspiration for textile designs. Continue reading

Governor Hugh Carey Awards Gala November 1st


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Irish American Heritage MuseumThe Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany will honor Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy and Sister Katherine Graber, RSM, and the Religious Sisters of Mercy as the 2014 Governor Hugh L. Carey Award recipients at 6 pm on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at The Desmond Hotel in Albany.

Joining the Museum for the Gala are Honorary Co-Chairs Ambassador Consul General of Ireland Barbara Jones and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. The Honorable Gerald Jennings will preside as the Master of Ceremonies. Continue reading

Cherry Hill Marks 50th Anniversary With Free Tours


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Cherry HillTo commemorate its 50th anniversary as a museum, Historic Cherry Hill will offer Behind-the-Scenes Restoration Tours free during the rest of the month of October.

Tours will highlight the ongoing restoration of the 1787 historic structure, including factors that contributed to the building’s deterioration and how the building is being stabilized. Guides will also discuss the house’s intact original fabric, its “layers of history,” and the Van Rensselaer family that occupied Cherry Hill from 1787 to 1963. Tours are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 pm. No reservations are required. Continue reading

Report: ‘Great Estates Region’ Brings $65M in Economic Benefits


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Great Estates RegionA new study has found that New York’s historic “Great Estates Region” brought approximately $65 million in economic benefits to Dutchess County.  The study, “The Economic Importance of the Great Estates Historic Sites & Parks,” focuses on the positive economic impacts that 12 federal, state and private nonprofit historic sites and parks bring to Dutchess County and other parts of the Hudson River Valley region.

Expanding the picture beyond Dutchess County’s borders, the study finds that in 2012, nearly 1.7 million paid visitors came to the region’s historic sites, spending about $60 million in the area, including $47 million from non-local visitors. The study, which was organized by the Taconic Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, was completed pro-bono by Urbanomics, Inc., a Manhattan-based consulting firm. Continue reading

Newburgh And Highlands Historical Marking 130 Years


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Newburgh Historical SocietyThe Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and Highlands will take place on Sunday, October 19th starting at 3:00 P.M. at their headquarters, the 1830 Captain David Crawford House in Newburgh. Members of the Board of Managers are to come together to review 2014.

Following the meeting a panel organized by Society member Tom Kneiser will discuss local buildings they have remodeled for vibrant new uses. Continue reading

Sally Ride Biographer Keynoting Susan B. Anthony Event


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susanbThe National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House has announced that its’ keynote speaker for the 2015 Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon will be Lynn Sherr, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and biographer. The 2015 luncheon theme, Thanks to Susan B., We Can Reach For the Stars!, a celebration of the impact Susan B. Anthony’s life and work has had on subsequent generations of women. Continue reading

New Chapman Museum Exhibit, Portrait Stories, Opens


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Bridget vignetteWho was Bridget? The idea behind Portrait Stories started when staff at Chapman Museum in Glens Falls, NY were doing research for the summer 2014 exhibit, At the Lake.  Their curiosity was piqued by a photo of the Ranger family, in which every individual pictured was identified by name.  Interestingly, for one woman, only her first name, Bridget, was provided.

Additional research turned up nothing about Bridget. One can assume from her name that she was Irish, and from her clothing that she was a maid. As a servant for the Ranger family, that summer she would have prepared and served meals, cleaned the cottage and cared for the young children.  But then her story ends.  Perhaps she married or moved on to another location; we simply do not know. Continue reading

NYC Historic Districts Council Opposes Frick Expansion


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Frick Expansion planAfter many thoughtful meetings and two site visits to The Frick over several months, the Historic Districts Council has determined that we cannot support the proposed institutional expansion at the individually landmarked Frick. Our thoughts are outlined in our statement below:

In a city of superlatives, The Frick is unique. One of the last remaining Millionaire’s Row mansions of the Gilded Age, The Frick residence was designed from the beginning to become a museum. Henry Clay Frick stipulated in his will that his home become “a public gallery of art to which the entire public shall forever have access…”and to this end, a separate Board of Directors for his art collection was established after his death in 1920. After the death of Mr. Frick’s wife Adelaide in 1931, architect John Russell Pope was commissioned to architecturally guide the mansion’s transition to a museum (described in its 1973 designation report as “sensitive architectural blendings of alterations and additions with the original mansion”).  From its beginnings, The Frick has been a thoughtful, considered place. Continue reading

Ottilia Beha: Extraordinary Lewis County Educator


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OttiliaBehaclassFor most of us, there are one or more teachers who made a difference in how our lives turned out. It might have been their kindness, teaching ability, understanding, or enthusiasm that inspired or affected us deeply. Whether you’re young or old, they remain “Mr.” or “Mrs.” to you throughout life, even if your ages differ by only a decade. It’s partly force of habit, but the special ones merit a lifetime of respect for one compelling reason: they made a difference.

For a great many folks attending school in Lewis County in the years on both sides of 1900, and an even larger group in a distant city, that person was Ottilia Beha. Such an unusual name was fitting for an unusually dedicated teacher. 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

November Is New York State History Month


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New York State History MonthNovember is New York State History Month, designated by Section 52.04 of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law as the time “to celebrate the history of New York state and recognize the contributions of state and local historians.”

This is the perfect time to get some well-deserved recognition for officially designated local government historians, historical societies, and others who are preserving, interpreting, and presenting state and local history. It should be a particularly good opportunity for local government historians — their appointments are authorized by law and State History Month is designated by law. Continue reading

Hops And Hogsheads: Beer Exhibit In Rotterdam


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Hogs and HogsheadsA new exhibit opening on Saturday, October 18th at the Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam, NY, “Hops & Hogsheads: Beer from Colonial to Craft Brew”, explores the impact of beer on the region’s early Dutch Settlers, winding through history to today’s two Schenectady County breweries.

From the moment beer first entered New York in 1609 aboard Henry Hudson’s Haelve Maen, it has shaped our history, our laws, and our culture. Continue reading

Sesquicentennial Observance of Battle of Cedar Creek


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Cedar Creek Battlefield Association LogoThree days before the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek, Sue Greenhagen will deliver the second program in the new Madison County Civil War Series.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 16, 2014 at the Hamilton Public Library (13 Broad Street, Hamilton NY) Greenhagen will describe the October 19, 1864 battle in Middletown (Belle Grove) Virginia with particular attention to the service of the 114th Infantry Regiment which was recruited primarily from Chenango, Cortland, and Madison Counties in New York State with recruitment headquarters in Norwich NY: Companies A and H were from Oxford, Companies B and C from Norwich. Company D from Eaton, Company E from Greene, Company F from Sherburne and New Berlin, Company G from Hamilton and Brookfield, Company I from Otselic, and Company K from Cazenovia. 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 https://rally.org/newyorkhistory to make a contribution. Rally.org is a very reputable crowd-funding site (used by Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others). Continue reading

This Week’s New York History Web Highlights


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The Historians:
George Washington Returns; Northville White Caps


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians”, Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Larson, author of The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789 (Harper Collins-Wm. Morrow, 2014).

In the second half of the show I talk with Leader Herald history columnist Peter Betz on the White Cap vigilantes in late nineteenth century Northville. Listen to the whole program at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/

Continue reading

Navy Birthday Celebration at USS Slater Monday


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uss slaterThe Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on October 13, 1775, by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.

In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized recognition of October 13 as the Navy’s Birthday. Since 1972, each Chief of Naval Operations has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion “to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence towards pride and professionalism in the Naval Service.” Continue reading

This Week’s Top New York History News


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Latest New York History News

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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