Hudson Valley Ramble At The Jay Heritage Center


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In themeadow 2​The Hudson Valley Ramble came to Rye on Jay Day, Sunday, September 28th. The Jay Heritage Center (JHC) has been participating in this annual event since 2009 when it was named to the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area as a premier destination to study themes of Architecture, Landscape, and Freedom and Dignity.

About 1000 people came to the Jay Estate and soaked up the sunshine, centuries of history and the views. They sampled old fashioned honey crisp apples and homemade donuts and enjoyed traditional entertainments like apple coring and pumpkin decorating. Docents led tours of preservation projects in process including the restoration of a room that is believed to have once housed a collection of 50,000 seashells. Continue reading

Johnny Dempster:
Watertown Boy With Wonderful Mind


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P1Bingham painting, checkers1850When leading sports channel ESPN began broadcasting events like poker and eating contests, it was regarded as innovative (or disturbing, as in the case of eating contests). A major media member had turned its attention to games rather than sticking with the traditional sports world. Unusual though it may have been, the move was hardly groundbreaking.

It harkens back to previous centuries, when popular games like chess and checkers received daily coverage on the sports pages of many of the world’s newspapers. And more than 130 years ago, an amazing North Country boy was mixing it up with the best of them in the world of competitive checkers. Continue reading

Waterford Historical Museum’s 50th Anniversary Gala


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image001(5)The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center is pleased has announced its Golden Anniversary Gala will be taking place on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at Chrome Food & Spirits, located on 405 Hudson River Road in Waterford, New York.

The celebration will begin at 6:00 pm with a cocktail hour and cash bar, followed by a sit-down dinner, remarks from the Master of Ceremonies and a silent auction. One of the highlights of the evening will be the live auction of their public art project’s decorated mules, which have been on display this summer throughout Waterford. The bidding will start at $500 & bidders must be in attendance. The festivities will continue afterwards with music and dancing provided by the Graham Tichy Band with Johnny Rabb. Continue reading

Museum and Library Services Grants Awarded In NYS


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imls logoThe Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded grants for 211 museum projects totaling over $25M through its Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services grants are the primary source of federal support for the nations’ 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.

Over fifty grants were awarded to institutions in the mid-Atlantic region. Thirty-two institutions in New York State received grants, including: Continue reading

This Week’s New York History Web Highlights


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The Historians: Peter Betz, Finger Lakes Culinary History


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians”, retired Fulton County historian and Leader Herald history columnist Peter Betz has the story of an early drowning — or not — in the Sacandaga Reservoir. In the second half of the show I talk with Laura Winter Falk about her book Culinary History of the Finger Lakes: From the Three Sisters to Riesling (History Press).

Listen to the whole program at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/
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This Week’s Top New York History News


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Latest New York History News

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2015 NY Museums Conference Call For Proposals


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MANY LogoMuseums are economic engines. Locally, statewide and across the country, museums help drive the economy. Each year nationally, more people visit museums than attend all professional sporting events and theme parks combined. Museums provide jobs, education and community spaces, and are a major attraction for tourism dollars.

The Museum Association of New York (MANY) has issued a call for proposals for their 2015 Museums in Action Conference on the theme “Museums Mean Business.” The submission form is available online. The deadline for submissions is October 4th.

This year’s Museums In Action Annual Conference will address these topics and more: Continue reading

Columbia Co: Van Alen House Archeological Discoveries


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MenArcheSince acquiring the Van Alen House in 1964, the Columbia County Historical Society has sponsored many archeological investigations on the property. When Matthew Kirk, Principal Investigator and Vice President of Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc. began work at the 1737 homestead, the archeological record was thought to be irretrievably lost after the 1960s, when the landscape was significantly altered with a bulldozer to create a pond. Despite the damage, significant archeological discoveries were made that helped to better understand the family that lived there. Continue reading

Sunday: Southern Tier Event Recalls Civil War Veteran


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04 photo 2014 imThe Coventry Town Museum Association will present its 10th Annual Civil War Commemorative event “Celebrating And Remembering The Life Of Coventry’s Immigrant Son, Private John Shaver – Stonemason, Family Man, Civil War Infantryman”, on Sunday, September 28th, on the grounds of the Coventryville Congregational Church.

This all day event honors John Shaver, ancestor of numerous descendants live throughout the Southern Tier including Chenango, Cortland and Broome counties. Continue reading

Adirondack Architectural Heritage Announces Preservation Awards


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thendaraStation2The Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) Awards Program annually recognizes exemplary historic preservation work throughout the Adirondack Park. AARCH seeks examples of sensitive restoration, rehabilitation, and demonstrated long-term stewardship.

Program Director Kate Ritter highlights this event as “a celebration of the work and care that individuals and organizations have put into a variety of historic resources throughout the Adirondack region.” Continue reading

American Revolution In The Mohawk Valley Events At Fort Plain Museum


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Fort Plain MuseumThe Fort Plain Museum will be hosting interpretive historians over the coming month, including: Glenn A. Bentz, who will present on the Haudenosaune (Iroquois) in the Mohawk Valley in the 18th Century; Jeff Tew who will discuss British Officers serving in the Mohawk Valley during the American Revolution; and John Anson, who specializes in Artillery, will offer an audio-visual presentation on cannon manufacturing in the 18th century.

Presentations begin at 7 pm. Admission is free and open to the public, although donations are appreciated. The Fort Plain Museum is located at 389 Canal Street, Fort Plain. Check their Facebook page or website at http://fortplainmuseum.com/index.html Details can be found below. Continue reading

Community Day At Thomas Cole Historic Site Sunday


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Photograph: Thatcher KeatsThomas Cole Historic Site will host a Community Day featuring free access to the site, live music, refreshments and family activities on Sunday, September 28th, from 1 to  4 pm, rain or shine.

Open for free visits will be Thomas Cole’s home and studio plus three art exhibitions: Master, Mentor, Master, featuring the 1845 period paintings of Thomas Cole and his young student Frederic Church; Postcards from the Trail 2014; and Thomas Cole’s Honey, Stanley Maltzman’s drawings of our 200-year-old Honey Locust tree. Continue reading

The Sinking of The S.S. Normandie At NYC’s Pier 88


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Normandie_posterOn February 9, 1942 crowds gathered at New York City’s pier 88 to witness a spectacle. The largest ocean liner in the world was on fire. Fire fighting efforts successfully contained the fire after five and a half hours of effort, but the effort was in vain. Five hours after the flames were out the stricken vessel rolled onto its side and settled on the bottom of the Hudson.

The S.S. Normandie was a star crossed ship. Intended to be the pride of the French people, she was designed to be the height of shipbuilding technology and modern culture. Her first class passenger spaces were decorated in the trendiest Art Deco style and filled with luxuries. The radical new hull design, with a subsurface bulb beneath a clipper bow, and long, sweeping lines lent her previously untouched speeds while requiring far less fuel. She even had one of the earliest radar sets ever used by a commercial vessel, in order to improve the safety for her passengers. Continue reading

Andrew Dolkart To Receive NYC Preservation Award


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Andrew DolkartThe Historic Districts Council, the citywide advocate for New York City’s historic neighborhoods, will present its annual Landmarks Lion Award on November 19 to Andrew Scott Dolkart, the James Marston Fitch Professor of Historic Preservation and Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). Continue reading

Cayuga Museum Opens Iroquois Art Exhibit


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Cayuga Museum Iroquios ExhibitThe Cayuga Museum of History and Art, in Auburn, NY has opened its newest exhibit, A Living Legacy: Arts of the Haudenosaunee, which features original art from more than a dozen artists from the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.

Among those exhibiting are Tom Huff, Trevor Brant, Eric Gansworth, Richard Glazer-Danay, Alex Hamer, Debra Hoag, G. Peter Jemison, Luis Lee, Penny Minner, Terrill Hooper O’Brien, Erwin Printup, and Marla Skye, and more.  Continue reading

Ground Zero: Cosmic Center for the 21st Century


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citizen-warrior-a-september-11th-event-you-won39t-want-to-missMy quest to come to grips with the legacy of 9/11 in this series of posts draws to a close with this one. So far I have been examining the ways in which we remember those of who have died, the different circumstances in which people do die, and the changing ways through which the legacy of those who have fallen in battle have been remembered and forgotten.

I have been reminded of the loss of memory, or at least its diminishment over time through some recent events. First there have been a series of posts about America’s first 9/11, the Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812. For the British, it is not a war they forgot since it never was one they remembered. For America, especially New York, it shows how easily deaths can be forgotten and even victories can vanish. Continue reading

Fred Kerslake’s Famous Pig Circus, Part 3


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PC1 FK harnessedpigsThere were tough times when a lead pig died suddenly, forcing Fred Kerslake to regroup, find a new leader, and complete the necessary training. But saddest of all was when he spoke of Jennie. In 1909, Rollo was the clown pig and a great performer. Kerslake called him “a wonder that does everything but talk, and after a fashion it actually does that,” referring to Rollo’s human-like responses to his comments. Rollo rose to fame after the death of his mother, Jennie, a very special performer and friend. Said Fred, “She was certainly gifted with the divine light of human intelligence. Not only could she reason, but she could make her wants known with the aid of spelling blocks.” Continue reading

Women’s Rights NHP Opens Secret Richard Hunt Papers


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Plan for Worker Housing  Hunt Family PapersRichard P. Hunt believed in equality.  Though he passed away in 1856, brick buildings scattered through the village and the business block on the NE corner of 96 and Main Street still show that he literally helped build Waterloo.  In his home at 405 E. Main St., part of Women’s Rights National Historical Park, he harbored fugitive slaves and hosted determined women.  Thanks to those women, the United States had a women’s rights movement. Continue reading

This Week’s New York History Web Highlights


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