Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough will receive the 2015 Empire State Archives and History Award from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust at a public program on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm.
The public is invited to hear McCullough, with prominent Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer moderating, talk about his career as a writer, historian, lecturer and narrator. Continue reading
An historical researcher studying the pension files of Revolutionary War veterans has identified a Maryland officer who died at the Fishkill Supply Depot and was buried in a long-abandoned Revolutionary War cemetery threatened by development.
In late 2007, an archaeological team rediscovered the cemetery on privately-owned land just south of the Van Wyck Homestead along U.S. Route 9. The Van Wyck Homestead served as the headquarters for what was George Washington’s principal supply depot during the Revolutionary War and is the site’s only remaining structure. Continue reading
The Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum, located at 7606 North Ontario Street in Sodus Point, Wayne County, New York, has opened for its 31st season.
Built in 1870, the lighthouse was used to guide ships on Lake Ontario to safe harbor in Sodus Bay. Use of the light was discontinued in 1901, having been made redundant by an outer light on the bay’s west pier. The building now houses a museum, operated by the Sodus Bay Historical Society. Exhibitions focus on local and maritime history and include displays about lighthouse keepers’ tools, railroads and trolleys, the Erie Canal, and the War of 1812. Continue reading
This week “The Historians” podcast features coverage of the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley Conference held May 1-3. The half hour episode features interviews with conference participants Jim Kirby Martin, co-author of Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution (Hill and Wang, 2006); Jack Kelly, author of Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence (Macmillan, 2014); and Don Hagist, author of The Revolution’s Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs (Westholme Publishing, 2015). Continue reading
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During the Revolutionary War, Alexander Hamilton served as an artillery captain and later a colonel and trusted aid to General George Washington. Colonel Aaron Burr also served in the Colonial Army and accompanied Benedict Arnold on his march through the Maine wilderness and his failed attempt to capture Quebec. Burr had been with General Richard Montgomery when Montgomery was shot and killed in Quebec. Later in the war, Burr was placed in charge of a regiment and his troops were stationed in Westchester County, New York. Continue reading
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation has partnered with the New York Folklore Society to launch a new grant program to promote cultural tourism and commemorate urban legends and folklore as part of the New York’s history.
Folklore is an expression of our common past, yet it draws attention to what is unique about communities. Passed from person to person over time, there is often historical truth at the heart of every legend. Continue reading
The New York State Museum in Albany recently acquired a series of 1917 Franklin County women’s suffrage petitions from Jean Kubaryk, a teacher at North Warren Central School District. Ms. Kubaryk had been displaying the petitions in her classroom for years, but decided to donate the petitions to the Museum so they can be preserved for future generations.
After the petitions were officially acquired by the Museum, staff sent copies of the petitions to Ms. Kubaryk so her students can assist in researching the women who signed the petitions. Continue reading
Those of us in the local history museum business sometimes struggle to connect with the large segment of the general population that doesn’t see the relevance of history. They are busy with their everyday lives; schedules of work, family and leisure time. Trying to get their attention and then bring them to a history based event can be challenging.
A few years ago at a Fenton History Center Board of Trustee meeting (Fenton History Center is in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, NY) we were brainstorming about how to collect and disseminate more local Italian genealogy and the stories that go with the families involved. One of the Fenton History Center Trustees suggested we hold a pizza judging event. We tabled the idea until last year when we started the “Slice of History Pizza Challenge”. Continue reading
A “little short of madness.” That is how Thomas Jefferson responded when two delegates from New York approached him with the idea to build the Erie Canal in January 1809.
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Janice Fontanella, site manager of Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter, New York, joins us to discuss the Erie Canal, its construction, and the impact that this waterway made on New York and the United States. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/028
“The Ballston Spa Trial of Solomon Northup’s Kidnappers”, a presentation by David Fiske, biographer of Solomon Northup, will be one of four featured presentations at the Saratoga County History Faire at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, in Clifton Park, New York, on May 16, 2015. David Fiske will be the first speaker at 10:30 am.
Solomon Northup, the subject of the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, was lured away from Saratoga Springs in 1841 and sold into slavery. After being a slave for years, he was rescued and returned to New York State, and authored a book about his experiences. Continue reading
The Chemung County Historical Society has been working with new partners and new programs as part of our effort to be a greater presence in our community. As director, I feel that it is imperative that the museum be a part of everyday community life, analogous to our local library. In order to make a greater impact on our community, we need to find better ways to entice community members to visit our museum and for us to meet our fellow citizens where they are.
Over the past eighteen months, the CCHS has had the opportunity to place new exhibits throughout our community, develop new programming with an unexpected partner and strengthen ties to a traditional partner. Continue reading
In November 1890, William Merriam ran again and won a second term as Minnesota’s governor, serving until January 1893.
Through the 1880s, as his status had grown from business and political successes, Merriam’s social position had elevated as well. Laura, already very well-connected, had become the leading socialite in Minnesota’s capital city. The Merriam mansion, next door to an even grander home owned by his father, John, became the hub of social activity. Extravagant parties were hosted frequently, and there was no more valued honor for visiting dignitaries than an invitation to the Merriam mansion. At three stories high, it held a vast library, artwork from the world’s masters, and featured multiple balconies, fireplaces, and porches. Continue reading
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) is welcoming springtime with two new tour offerings, free of charge and open to all.
Led by local guides and historians, participants will walk around the villages of Champlain and Rouses Point to learn the stories of their history and development through their architecture. Continue reading
Modestly but eloquently, Sue Fraczek described her life as an Amsterdam mill worker, “When I went to work, I was scared to death. It was my first time in a carpet mill. It was hot. It was noisy.”
Fraczek was surprised to see herself as a young mill worker in a still picture prominently featured in “Historic Views of the Carpet City,” the WMHT-TV documentary on Amsterdam first shown in 2000. Co-producer Steve Dunn chose the picture of the young woman at a yarn twisting machine to symbolize the documentary that he and I produced. Continue reading
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced a new grant opportunity called “Humanities in the Public Square” that will put humanities scholars in direct dialogue with the public on some of the most pressing issues of today – through public forums, community programs, and the development of educational resources.
This new grant opportunity is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ agency-wide initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate and enhance the role and significance of the humanities and humanities scholarship in public life. Continue reading
In 2012 Governor Cuomo unveiled New York’s “Path Through History,” a statewide initiative that attempts to link historically and culturally significant sites, locations and events throughout New York State and promote tourism and economic development.
The Path Through History Weekend will be held this year on June 20th and 21st. Continue reading
Eliza Jumel rose from poverty to become one of New York’s richest women with the help of a fortune acquired from her first husband, Stephen Jumel. His own origins, until now shrouded in mystery, will be revealed in an illustrated lecture at the Morris-Jumel Mansion on Saturday, May 16, at 2 pm.
Speaker Margaret A. Oppenheimer, author of a forthcoming, legend-busting biography of Eliza, will disclose previously unknown details of Stephen’s parentage and youth. Continue reading
Almost 200,000 black men served in the Army during the Civil War, but only 34,000 were from the North. An underrepresented segment in Civil War studies, the stories of some of these Northern soldiers are told in Edythe Ann Quinn’s Freedom Journey: Black Civil War Soldiers and the Hills Community, Westchester County, New York (SUNY Press, 2015).
Freedom Journey presents in-depth, personal histories of thirty-six free black men from New York State who fought in the war. The book is both an African-American community history and a Civil War history of three regiments of the United States Colored Troops (USCT). Continue reading