Catholic Summer School of America Marked


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Catholic Summer School of AmericaOn Sunday, the Catholic Summer School of America in Cliff Haven, in the Town of Plattsburgh, NY, was commemorated with a historical roadside marker.

From 1896 to 1941, the Catholic Summer School of America was a nationally famous summer destination for Catholic families, distinguished leaders of the Catholic Church of America, prominent lecturers, numerous New York governors and even a few U.S. Presidents. Continue reading

1677 Huguenot Wheat Ale Debuting in New Paltz


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BeerHistoric Huguenot Street will debut “1677 Huguenot Wheat,” a strong wheat ale inspired by the beers of the early 18th century, at a keg tapping and tasting on the DuBois Fort lawn (81 Huguenot Street) on Saturday.

Brewed by The Gilded Otter brewmaster Darren Currier, the ale recipe was researched by beer scholar Craig Gravina, co-author of Upper Hudson Valley Beer and one of the founders of the Albany Ale Project. Continue reading

Free Admission to Saratoga Battlefield Tuesday


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Saratoga Battlefield and Hudson RiverThe National Park Service is turning 99 years old on August 25, 2015 and everyone is getting a present – free admission!

Saratoga National Historical Park’s celebration on Tuesday features a Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drums concert at noon, musket firings throughout the day and discounts in the museum bookstore. Also available is free entrance to drive or bicycle the scenic tour road and hike the historic trails. Continue reading

This Week’s New York History Web Highlights


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Genealogy in the Capital District


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The Historians LogoThis week’s topic on “The Historians” podcast is genealogy, three interviews recorded with members of the Capital District Genealogical Society.

The program features Eric Johnson on African American history; Terri Moran with a family history that stretches to Sweden; and Jim Richmond, whose family research inspired him to write a book, The Middleline, the story of the founding of a Saratoga County community. You can listen at “The Historians” online archiveContinue reading

This Week’s Top New York History News


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Colonial Medicine: Treating George Washington


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1787 Portrait of George Washington by James PealeLast week, I summarized the medical issues of a military and political figure in the American colonial period: George Washington (1732 – 1799). Today, I’ll describes briefly how each of those issues was treated.

At the time of the American Revolution, the biggest menace wasn’t the enemy in red coats – it was disease. Despite a rapidly expanding urbanization in the American colonies, virtually nothing was known about food, aerosols, close contact, fleas and mosquitoes as the sources of contagion. Without any protective measures or effective treatments, any day could bring a debilitating and often fatal illness to anyone, and sometimes to a whole family. Life – in a word – was tenuous. Continue reading

Soviet Leaders’ Drownings in Long Lake Being Recalled


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Leon Trotsky and Ephraim Sklyansky Red Square review of Moscow troops October 14 1918On Saturday evening, August 22, 2015, at 7:30 pm, at the Long Lake Town Hall, Abbie Verner, Long Lake Town Archivist and President of the Long Lake Historical Society will present a program with slides and music about two men from the Soviet Union who drowned in Long Lake in 1925.

The two men, Isaiah Khurgin, and his colleague Ephraim Skliansky, were prominent Soviet citizens and active in the politics of Soviet Russia. The program outlines their backgrounds, their family information and the possible reason for their visit. Continue reading

Erie Canal History Talk At Schoharie Crossing


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Lockport erie canalFrank Taormina, retired social studies teacher and lecturer at Union College will be giving a talk on the history of the Erie Canal. The contemporary Erie Canal has been much in the news lately. The Erie Canal played a significant role in the history of New York and the nation and helped make the “Empire State”.

The original Erie Canal ran about 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo (the Hudson River to Lake Erie) creating a water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal helped the City of New York eclipse Philadelphia as North America’s largest city and port. Continue reading

The Dannemora Prison Break of 1928


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dannemora prison before 1930sOn July 29, 1928, Herbert R. Mackie, an inmate at what was then known as Clinton Prison (today called the Clinton Correctional Facility) in Dannemora was being escorted to a practice session for the prison’s band. He told an officer that he had forgotten something, and asked for permission to return to his cell. He was not seen again by prison staff for six weeks.

He was not at liberty during most of that time, however. He was still within the facility, busily digging a tunnel that would be a key part in what seems to have been a carefully planned plot for Mackie to escape the prison with fellow inmate Otto Sanford. Continue reading

A History of the Republican Party


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ben_franklins_worldThe United States has entered presidential primary season, which means it won’t be long before a Republican presidential candidate or a reporter mentions the birth of the ‘Grand Old Party’ in 1854 and its association with Abraham Lincoln.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the history of the Republican Party with Heather Cox Richardson, Professor of History at Boston College and author of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party (Basic Books, 2014). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/042

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The Mystery of William Johnson’s ‘Fish House’


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47One of the real pleasures in researching and writing When Men and Mountain Meet was exploring the actual sites of the historic places mentioned in my book: the little town of Castorland on the Black River, the LeRay Mansion at Fort Drum, Gouverneur Morris’ Mansion at Natural Dam and David Parish’s house, now the Remington Art Museum, in Ogdensburg. And then there was finding Zephaniah Platt’s grave in the Riverside Cemetery in Plattsburgh, in Lake Placid the site of the 1813 Elba Iron and Steel Manufacturing works , Charles Herreshoff’s flooded iron ore mine in Old Forge and the complex of building foundations that made up John Thurman’s 1790 development at Elm Hill.

There was one site, however, that was a little harder to locate than the others; Sir William Johnson’s fishing camp “Fish House”. Continue reading

Utica Children’s Museum Names New Director


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unnamed(1)The Utica Children’s Museum has announced Elizabeth Slocum Brando has been appointed as their new Executive Director. Brando has more than 16 years experience in cultural institutions of varied sizes an announcement to the press said.

“We are delighted to have selected someone of Brando’s caliber to advance the Museum’s impact and presence in the community as a leading resource for hands-on play and learning,” said Celia Domser, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Elizabeth’s education, experience in the
field, fundraising successes, and business experience made her the perfect candidate.” Continue reading

This Week’s New York History Web Highlights


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