Category Archives: Public History

Commemorating New York State’s Birthday in 2017


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New-York-State-Map1New York State officially came into existence on April 20, 1777, with the approval of the first state constitution by the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York in Kingston.

New York’s fourth New York Provincial Congress, elected the previous year, had changed its name to a group representing the State of New York which, technically, did not even exist until the new constitution was written and promulgated. The document, however, declared that the Convention had acted “in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State.” Continue reading

The Tappan Zee Bridge: Transforming Rockland County


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the tappan zee bridgeThe Historical Society of Rockland County and Clarkstown 225th Anniversary Committee will be hosting The Tappan Zee Bridge: Transforming Rockland County, a film screening and discussion on Thursday, October 20, 7:30 pm, at the HSRC Community Room, 20 Zukor Road, in New City.

After the screening, the floor will open for a discussion about the impact the bridge has had on people and places in the county and how the new bridge might affect the community. Continue reading

NYS Council on the Arts Names New Executive Director


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nysca-logoThe New York State Council on the Arts has announced that Mara Manus has been appointed the agency’s new executive director.

Manus has served as executive director of the Public Theater in New York City as well as a program officer at the Ford Foundation. Previous roles also include Director of Playwrights of New York, Executive Director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Founding Director of the Arthur Miller Foundation and Southampton Arts Center.

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A Short History of The Beaver River Club


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Joseph Dunbar’s Hotel at Stillwater, the original Clubhouse From its founding in 1893, and over the next 30 years, the Beaver River Club was the destination of many of the visitors to the Stillwater area.

It was the summer retreat of wealthy and influential families from Syracuse, Utica and to a lesser extent from throughout New York State. The decision to enlarge the Stillwater Dam and create today’s Stillwater Reservoir utterly destroyed this glittering outpost in the wild. Here is its story. Continue reading

How Historians Write About History


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ben_franklins_worldHow do historians write about the people, places, and events they’ve studied in historical sources?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we continue the “Doing History: How Historians Work” series by investigating how historians write about history. Our guide for this investigation is John Demos, the Samuel Knight Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University and an award-winning historian. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/101

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Chateaugay Olympian Karl Frederick: Literally A Shooting Star


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1KTFred1920St1The 2016 Summer Olympics have ended, and as usual, they were quite the spectacle. Folks in the Adirondacks and North Country are perhaps bigger fans of the Winter Olympics, for obvious reasons: the games have been held twice at Lake Placid, and a number of area natives have attained lifelong dreams by earning a place on the podium. But a man born in this region achieved summer Olympic glory long ago, one of many highlights in a very accomplished life.

Karl Telford Frederick was born in 1881 in Chateaugay (northern Franklin County), where his father was a Presbyterian minister, which required a somewhat nomadic existence (five relocations in 14 years). Before Karl was three, the family moved to Essex on Lake Champlain, remaining there until 1888—not a long time, but sufficient to establish a lasting connection between him and the Adirondacks. Continue reading

November is New York State History Month


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new york state history monthNovember was designated as New York State History Month by the New York State Legislature in 1997 with the addition of Section 57.02 to the state’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.

New York State History Month represents an opportunity for historians and cultural institutions to assert the vital importance of preserving and learning about our state’s history. It is also a time to engage with the public through programs and learning opportunities about the history of New York State and the ways to help preserve our history. Continue reading