On 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
The 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
Suzanne B. Spring PhD, Jeff McArn and students from Colgate University and Hamilton College will facilitate the participatory program commemorating Equality Day, Looking Back –and Ahead: The Long Road to Equality at 2 pm on Saturday, August 22 to break ground for an Equality Garden in Peterboro, NY. Continue reading
One 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
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
A conference to increase awareness, stimulate interest, and nurture partnerships in preparation for the centennial celebration of women’s right to vote in New York State in 2017 will be held in Waterloo, NY (near Seneca Falls), on October 1st. Continue reading
To the dismay of Minerva, NY’s high-profile educator Ella Lynch the struggle for quality American schooling continued through the 1920s, seemingly based on that wonderful definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
The newest plan to fix an admittedly broken system was to add another grade: kindergarten. Continue reading
Entries are being accepted through August 28, 2015 for the 10th annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest. Winning photos will be featured in the 2016 Erie Canalway calendar, which is available free of charge in December.
Amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit images in four contest categories: On the Water, Along the Trail, Canal Communities, and Classic Canal. Continue reading
This week “The Historians” podcast features an interview with Jane Spellman, author of Women Belong in History Books: Herkimer and Oneida Counties, 1700-1950.
Retired as executive director of the Herkimer County Historical Society, Spellman and over twenty women worked on research for this book. You can hear listen to “The Historians” podcast online here. Continue reading
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We learn much about diseases in the 18th century and the way they were treated by looking at a well-documented case history.
The soldier and statesman described here lived a long life but had to endure many serious medical issues. While he was an ‘out-of-stater’, he was in New York for many years during the Revolutionary War and through the first critical years of the founding of a new government. Continue reading
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site will host five Hudson River School Art Trail hikes.
These guided hikes go to the painting sites of the 19th-century artist Thomas Cole and his contemporaries including Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, Sanford Gifford, and Asher B. Durand. Participants will be able to see the same views that appear in famous landscape paintings. Continue reading
Women’s Equality Day is a day that celebrates the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution passed on August 26, 1920, which granted women the right to vote.
In honor of this day, Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY will commemorate Eleanor Roosevelt and also consider what the next steps are in the fight for gender equality. Continue reading
Did Canada almost join the American Revolution?
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we discuss Canada and how the American Revolution played out there with Bruno Paul Stenson, an historian and musicologist with the Château de Ramezay historic site in Montréal. Château de Ramezay served as the headquarters for the American forces between 1775 and 1776. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/041
Governor Cuomo announced more than $6.2 million in grant awards to help 16 historically significant properties repair severe damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
The projects are the second round of funding under the program. Last year, more than $5 million was awarded to 14 historically significant properties that suffered severe damage from Superstorm Sandy. Continue reading
In 1798, Robert R. Livingston, Jr. (1746-1813) requested and obtained a monopoly from the New York State Legislature granting him the exclusive right to operate passenger steamboats on the Hudson River.
The Livingston family was very wealthy and owned the large estate, Clermont, just south of Albany. They ran an iron foundry and machine shop for many years where they had installed a steam engine to power the equipment. Continue reading
Thirteen bell rings signaled the commencement of morning and afternoon sessions of Peterboro Emancipation Day 2015. Thirteen recognized the Sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which was introduced in Congress January 31, 1865 and ratified December 6, 1865, abolishing slavery in the United States. Continue reading
The Historic Districts Council, an advocate for New York City’s historic neighborhoods representing a constituency of over 500 local community organizations, has named Daniel J. Allen, Board President.
“Mr. Allen has been a valued member of the HDC board for several years. His knowledge and experience as both a professional and community preservationist make him an ideal candidate and we are very happy to welcome him into this new position,” Simeon Bankoff, HDC’s Executive Director said in a statement to the press. Continue reading
The State Canal Corporation has announced the 10th annual “Canal Splash” for August 7 – 15. It is mostly to promote the recreational possibilities of the canal system but some of the events along the canalways will focus on history and culture. “Celebrate the history, culture, recreational appeal, and beauty of the New York State Canal System and Erie Canalway Trail during the 10 days of Canal Splash!” says its website. The celebration is a high point in the ongoing work of promoting the canal. Continue reading