Almost There! Help The New York History Blog Reach Its Fundraising Goal


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New-York-State-Map1The New York History Blog is only $267 short* of its fundraising goal for 2014. Thanks so much to the many contributors and advertisers who have helped bring us this far.

If you think what this blog does is important, please take a minute to make a small contribution to help finish off our fundraising for 2014. Head over to our rally page at https://rally.org/newyorkhistory to make a contribution. Rally.org is a very reputable crowd-funding site (used by Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others). Continue reading

This Week’s New York History Web Highlights


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The Historians:
George Washington Returns; Northville White Caps


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians”, Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Larson, author of The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789 (Harper Collins-Wm. Morrow, 2014).

In the second half of the show I talk with Leader Herald history columnist Peter Betz on the White Cap vigilantes in late nineteenth century Northville. Listen to the whole program at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/

Continue reading

Navy Birthday Celebration at USS Slater Monday


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uss slaterThe Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on October 13, 1775, by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.

In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized recognition of October 13 as the Navy’s Birthday. Since 1972, each Chief of Naval Operations has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion “to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence towards pride and professionalism in the Naval Service.” Continue reading

This Week’s Top New York History News


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Replica Half Moon May Move To The Netherlands


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Half_Moon_ReplicaThe historic ship Half Moon, a replica of the ship Henry Hudson sailed in 1609 to the river which now bears his name, has announced intentions to move to Hoorn in The Netherlands.

The announcement came late Thursday in an e-mail message to supporters from Chip Reynolds, Director of the New Netherland Museum and Captain of the Replica Ship Half Moon. Reynolds cited ongoing financial hardships exacerbated by annual budget shortfalls, and an inability to find a permanent berth and site for programming. “Continued operation of the Half Moon in our current capacity is financially unsustainable,” Reynolds said. Continue reading

Catskills: New Uses For Old Hotels


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Flagler'64CloseUpThe now long defunct Flagler Hotel in Sullivan County’s Fallsburg had a rich tradition as one of the region’s premier resorts, and for decades was a trend setter in the industry.

In 1920, the Flagler introduced the distinctive stucco covered, parapet and Palladian window dominated architectural style now known as Sullivan County Mission. Soon, virtually every other Sullivan County hotel was following suit. Continue reading

Huguenot Gathering to Celebrate New Paltz Heritage


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hasbrouckfamilyHistoric Huguenot Street will host The Gathering, a weekend-long celebration of the Huguenots and their descendants on October 10 – 12. The event will bring together over 200 individuals who trace their heritage to the region, including descendants of New Paltz’ original 12 founders.

This is the first Gathering since the inaugural event in 2010. Vignettes depicting important moments of Huguenot Street’s continued history, special programs and performances, and children’s programming will continue throughout the weekend and are open to the public. Continue reading

US Colored Troops Institute Conference Oct 10-11


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usctlogonew300x300Hartwick College will host a two-day student mini conference of the United States Colored Troops Institute for Local History and Family Research (USCTI) on Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11.

The conference theme is “From the USCT to the Korean War: Embracing Hispanic and Caribbean Soldiers in the Freedom Journey.” The Conference will feature a variety of lectures, presentations, discussions, a film screening, and the presentation of the Institute’s first American Society of Freedmen Descendants (ASFD) Gold Medal. Continue reading

Schoharie Valley History And Harvest Events Set


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StoneFortDayCanon ReadyHistory & Harvest Weekend will be celebrated throughout the Schoharie Valley October 10th through the 12th.

The Stone Fort History Fair will feature a mixture of living history, historic re-enactors, musical performances, demonstrations and activities from more than three hundred years. Hours are from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and from 12-5 pm on Sunday.

While the history fair is underway, the Village of Schoharie has its annual Pumpkin Festival that includes games, music, and an autumn bake off, a farmers ’ market and wagon rides to the History Fair. The Pumpkin Festival is from 10 am – 2 pm. on Main Street in Schoharie. Continue reading

Authentic Moments at the Waldorf Archival Exhibition


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Waldorf=Astori 2 hi resWith this week’s news that the historic Waldorf Astoria hotel has been sold, and in celebration of New York Archive Week, the hotel’s archivist Erin Allsop will offer Authentic Moments at the Waldorf – An Archival Exhibition this Friday, October 10th from 10 am to 4 pm in Sir Harry’s Lounge, located off of the hotel’s main lobby.

The interactive exhibition will showcase some of the most “Authentic Waldorf Moments” over the last century. This event will feature unique items from the Waldorf Astoria archive such as photographs, original menus, correspondence, advertisements, an original brick from the hotel’s construction in 1931, an original uniform, and video clips from the archives website. Continue reading

Landmark Society Names 2014 Five to Revive


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Landmark-Logo-sizedThe Landmark Society of Western New York has announced its 2014 Five to Revive – a list of historic sites it has determined to be in need of targeted revitalization. The announcement was made at the Landmark Society headquarters on  Fitzhugh St. in Rochester.

“The preservation efforts of The Landmark Society of Western New York continue to be focused on community revitalization,” Executive Director Wayne Goodman said in a statement to the press. “This is the second year we are announcing a Five to Revive list to call attention to key properties in western New York that are in need of investment. We can’t stress enough that these are significant historic properties whose rehabilitations can become catalytic projects for the neighborhoods and communities that surround them.”

The 2014 Five to Revive list includes: Continue reading

The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, Then and Now


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USA-Stamp-1929-Sullivan_ExpeditionOn October 11 at 6:00 pm at the Unadilla Historical Association Robert Spiegelman will present the lecture “The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, Then and Now”.

During America’s Revolution, George Washington ordered Generals Sullivan and Clinton to launch the biggest operation to date against sovereign peoples in North American history. Most Iroquois are uprooted from their homelands, making way for the Erie Canal and Westward Expansion. Strikingly, though Sullivan/Clinton has the most historical markers in New York, it has been nearly forgotten. Spiegelman’s lecture combines fresh research, visuals, and animated maps to attempt to answer why. Continue reading

Institutional Cemeteries Web Project Seeks Input


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Institutional CemteriesSteve Seim is a volunteer researcher attempting to catalog cemeteries established for residents of asylums, poorhouses, poor farms, prisons, orphanages, and similar institutions – in other words, cemeteries for the unclaimed.

Most of the individuals laid to rest in these cemeteries were forgotten in their own lifetimes. It is his hope that they will not be forgotten to history. Continue reading

The State of Municipal Historians in New York


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new-york-county-mapNew York State requires every municipality to have a historian. This means every village, every town, every city, every county, and, of course, at the state level. Hamlets can ponder “should we or should we not have an historian, that is the question” but they are not legally obligated to have one. Nor are neighborhoods. That might seem self-evident outside New York City, but one should realize that the neighborhoods in the city can be substantially larger than even some cities.

Naturally, even when you are required to have a historian by state law there is no assistance from the state in support of that position. It is an unfunded mandate.

Let’s examine the state of these municipal historians. Continue reading

N-Y Historical Society To Open 1914 Time Capsule


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unnamed(26)In 1914, a time capsule marking the tricentennial of the New Netherland Company charter was put on deposit at the New-York Historical Society by the Lower Wall Street Business Men’s Association.

It was intended to have been opened in 1974. As the opening date passed without notice, New-York Historical’s curators and historians decided to open it in 2014 to mark the quadricentennial of the New Netherland Company. Continue reading

Dramatic Tours Recapture Harrowing Night at Cherry Hill


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murder-at-ch1On Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25, Historic Cherry Hill will present a dramatic tour reliving the infamous 1827 murder that occurred at the Cherry Hill mansion, one-time home of the Van Rensselaer family.

The public is invited to step into the experiences of the Cherry Hill household on the evening of May 7, 1827, when a hired hand murdered a household member. The dramatic tour will investigate the scene of the crime and the differing perspectives of those who were there on that fateful evening. Actor James Keil will appear as Jesse Strang, bringing to life the murderer whose violent act was motivated by romantic attachment to his victim’s wife. The murder resulted in two sensational trials and Albany’s last public hanging. Continue reading

Holloween Event At The Farmers’ Museum


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bump_night_slide“Things That Go Bump in the Night” at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown is an “eerie tour” led by museum interpreters about the shadowy grounds to hear the many mysteries and ghostly happenings that have occurred in the museum’s historic village.

Afterward members of the Templeton Players bring a classic ghost story to life. These tours are held on three nights only: Saturday, October 18; Friday, October 24; and Saturday, October 25, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Continue reading

Amsterdam Mayor Arthur Carter Was An FDR ally


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Amsterdam Mayor Arthur Carter 1933During the 1920s, Arthur Carter from Amsterdam worked as an auditor for the State Comptroller’s Office in Albany and got to know Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Roosevelt became President in 1933. Later that year, Carter was elected mayor of Amsterdam, defeating incumbent Republican Robert Brumagin by 1,169 votes.

The nation was gripped by the Depression. An estimated ten thousand people turned out in Amsterdam on a raw and windy November 9, two days after the city election, to parade for economic revival. Continue reading

Johnny Dempster: New York’s Checkers Master


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P2A Checkerboard wikiUndaunted after the tough loss to August Schaefer, Dempster remained in New York City and continued working on his game. Competitive teams representing the city were chosen from a pool of highly skilled players, which included Johnny. When the world champion, Wyllie, came to town again, he played against nine of the region’s best competitors and vanquished all but one, who managed a tie. The next two best finishers against the great Wyllie were Schaefer and Dempster.

While John continued to win big matches, his efforts were now focused on memory development. The skills he learned, combined with the influence of matches he once played against Yates, steered him toward a new career: playing blindfolded. He went public and demonstrated just how adept he had become. Continue reading