Category Archives: History

New York History

Photography’s History and Future Conference Planned


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A three-day conference, “PhotoHistory/PhotoFuture,” will explore the scholarship, practice, profession, preservation, and access to photography’s – including motion pictures’ – history, present day expression, and projected opportunities and challenges. The conference takes place April 20 to 22, 2018 in Rochester.

PhotoHistory/PhotoFuture is sponsored and organized by RIT Press, the scholarly book publishing enterprise at Rochester Institute of Technology. The call for scholarly papers to be presented at the conference invites proposals on the widest and deepest range of topics on photography’s history and future from an equally broad range of scholars, professionals, and practitioners. Continue reading

Telephone Party Lines Were Once High Entertainment


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History is often said to repeat itself, or to come full circle, but the same is seldom said about technology, which by its very nature constantly improves and leaves old ways behind. But as a follow-up to last week’s piece on heroic telephone operator Ida Blanchard, here’s a look at an old way of doing things that has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts, buttressed by the capabilities of modern telecommunications. We’re talking here about telephone party lines.

Yes, they’ve become a thing again, which should come as quite a surprise if you were lucky enough to experience the original. Continue reading

New Book: John Apperson’s Lake George


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john appersons lake george A new book by Ellen Apperson Brown, John Apperson’s Lake George (Arcadia Publishing, 2017), offers a significant collection of many Apperson photos published for the first time.

Writing from Virginia where John Apperson spent much of his youth, Ellen Apperson Brown has compiled a collection of captioned photos, along with an introductory essay that reveals much of the public, and private, life of her great uncle, who had such a large impact on protecting Lake George and the Adirondacks.
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New Book On Wayne County Underground Railroad


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Marjory Allen Perez, former Wayne County Historian, has announced the completion of her new book, Final Stop, Freedom!: The Underground Railroad Experience in Wayne County, New York (Herons Bend Productions, 2017).

The book includes biographical sketches of men and women who boarded the Underground Railroad between 1800 and 1865. Thomas and Agnes Watkins were brought as slaves from Virginia to Sodus Bay by Captain William Helm about 1800. In 1810 they fled from slavery, taking with them their infant son, Edward. Loyd and Susan Chase and their six children arrived in Macedon, New York about 1844, but within a few years felt compelled to continue their journey to freedom, moving to Canada. In 1863, William Scott, then known as William Bacome, took advantage of the disruptions of the Civil War in Tennessee to begin his odyssey to freedom, traveling first to Massachusetts and eventually to Huron, New York, where he set down deep routes and raised his family. Continue reading

Volunteer Open House at the Time and the Valleys Museum


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Wanda Terwilliger of Napanoch (right) a long time museum volunteer, genealogist and researcher, is helping visitors learn about local history at Neversink History Afternoon, 2016The Time and the Valleys Museum will be hosting an Open House for potential volunteers on Sunday, May 21, from 1 to 3 pm at the Museum on St. Rt. 55, Grahamsville. Anyone interested in learning about volunteering can join current volunteers for refreshments, a museum tour and information on both volunteering and the museum’s activities. Attendees will learn about helping in the museum shop, at events and as an exhibit guide. Continue reading

New York History Around The Web This Week


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JFK in Westchester: Bronxville Years (1929-1941)


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kennedy family 1938In commemoration of the Centennial of the birth of President John F. Kennedy and his early life in Westchester County, a lecture and picture program Growing Up Kennedy in Westchester: The Bronxville Years (1929-1941)  will be presented by author/historian Anthony Czarnecki on Saturday, May 13th, at 2 pm, at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor.

Open free to the public, the program is jointly sponsored by the Van Cortlandtville Historical Society, Croton Friends of History, and Yorktown Historical Society. Continue reading