Category Archives: Public History

Champlain Valley Passport Stamp Program Initiated


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champlain stamp 2016This summer, a treasure hunt of sorts awaits visitors to some of the region’s museums, natural areas and cultural attractions. The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) created a passport stamp program that directs people to places that exemplify the area’s rich, varied and unique natural and cultural heritage. People that visit all 11 participating locations will get a limited-edition “Find Your Park” challenge coin. Continue reading

Annual New Netherland Conference Being Held In NJ


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pavonia to the garden stateThe 39th Annual Conference of the New Netherland Institute will take place for the first time in the state of New Jersey.

Located between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers, New Jersey has often been neglected in favor of more dramatic developments to the east and west. However, as the site of Pavonia, an early patroonship with major agricultural potential, and as the geographic connection between New Amsterdam and the Delaware River settlements, the Garden State’s seventeenth-century origins well deserve attention. Continue reading

Dannemora Escapee Jack Williams: At First, Too Big to Succeed


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DannPicketWall1880The one-year anniversary of the infamous Dannemora prison break recently passed, so here’s the story of an inmate linked to a pair of unusual breakouts, excerpted from my book, Escape from Dannemora.

Despite media stories claiming early on that Richard Matt and David Sweat were the first-ever escapees from Clinton Prison, some in the past did it in even more spectacular fashion, and overall, hundreds managed to escape under various circumstances. Among them was Jack Williams, a participant in two Clinton exits involving unusual components featured in no other Dannemora escapes. Continue reading

Museum Association of New York Appoints New Director


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Erika SangerThe Board of Directors of the Museum Association of New York (MANY) has announced the appointment of Erika Sanger as Executive Director. Sanger brings with her more than 30 years of experience as an educator and museum professional, and a background in program planning connecting museums and their collections with new audiences.

MANY represents more than 1,400 museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and aquariums in New York State. Continue reading

Ticonderoga’s Hancock House Celebrating 90 Years


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hot box honeyThe Ticonderoga Historical Society will celebrate the 90th birthday of the Hancock House, its architecturally significant headquarters building, on Saturday July 16th. The gala “Roaring Twenties” evening, will be complete with flapper dresses and hot jazz.

Burlington-based Hot Box Honey headlined the Hancock House’s 2015 USO Show. Led by jazz vocalist Jane Evans and guitarist Gregory Evans, Hot Box Honey is an eight-piece band with horns, multi-vocalists, guitar, double bass, piano and drums. They will showcase an upbeat mix of swing, Latin, and jazz standards from the 1920s era. Also entertaining during the picnic supper portion of the evening will be the Saratoga Springs barbershop quartet The Elderly Brothers. Continue reading

New State Historian Plans History Advisory Group, New Website


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Cultural Education Center State Museum Archives I wanted to give an update on some things I am working on currently.

I am happy to see the excitement generated regarding the history community coming together for a meeting [ed. – more on this as it develops].  I think it certainly shows both the passion members of the community have for the important work they are doing and the need for a concise and attainable priority agenda. Continue reading

Albany Times Union Covers State Historian Controversy


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NYS MapPaul Grondahl at the Albany Times Union has picked-up the story of the recent downgrading of the State Historian’s position, which we’ve been covering on The New York History Blog.

You can find the Times Union story here. We’ll have another essay by Devin Lander on his plans as State Historian later this week.

You can read all our reporting and commentaries about the State Historian’s position here.

Friends With Benefits: NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation


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OPRHP-1How many historic sites does the NYSOPRHP maintain? That is not a trick question. At the NY Statewide Preservation Conference, May 5-7, in Albany and Troy, the question was an unintended running joke among several sessions. Generally the number was between 35 and 40 with a variation due to how to classify a site given a site can be recreational and historic. But this is not a post about the combination of recreation and historic sites in one bureaucracy (it wasn’t always that way). Rather it is a discussion about what it means to be a state historic site. Continue reading