Following his election as President in 1860, Abraham Lincoln undertook a train ride to Washington that would take him through Albany. He arrived here on February 18, 1861 with his wife and three sons. As their train passed the West Albany railroad shops, an electrical switch was turned off at the nearby Dudley Observatory, causing an electromagnet mounted on the roof of the Capitol in downtown Albany to release a metal ball that slid down a pole, signaling to military officials to start a 21-gun salute in Capitol Park. Continue reading
On Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 6 to 7 pm the Albany Institute of History & Art will host artist Renée Ridgway and archaeologist Paul Huey for a discussion about the discovery of wampum production in Albany’s first almshouse.
This lecture complements the current exhibition Wampum World: An Art Installation by Renée Ridgway, on view at the Albany Institute through June 18, 2017. Continue reading
On a cold and snowy 21st of December in 1808, about two in the afternoon, there alighted at the door of the old tavern in Green Street, Albany, then kept by Whitmore, a dark complexioned but elegant stranger, evidently of southern origin. He stepped to the hall of that ancient house of entertainment, and while shaking from a richly furred mantle, the snow which had profusely fallen that day; he desired the ostler to dismantle his remarkably elegant horse of its riding caparisons and to convey the horse to the warmest stall the stables afforded; when himself hastened to the ample bar-room of that well ordered establishment.
Once inside, the stranger asked the keeper of the inn, whether it was agreeable to entertain him a few days. On further acquaintance, the genteel stranger proved a gentleman of the first order, prepossessing in his manners, agreeable and diffuse in conversation, as he was extremely well informed in the lore of literature, as well of any and all parts of the globe, the governments of the different nations, the workings of universal politics and the balance of power between the different nations of Christendom. Continue reading
An 1881 issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine contained an article entitled “A Glimpse of an Old Dutch Town.” The Old Dutch Town was Albany. Albany was already 200 years old.
The article mentioned the principal Albany holidays of Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter and Pinksterfeest (now known as Pinksterfest). Continue reading
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, there were a growing number of adventurers anxious to explore the sea, find new lands, chart new islands, and if they made their fortune while doing it, all the better. There were also those just trying to get away from home and signing on to a whaling boat seemed the adventure of a lifetime. Continue reading
In the year 1800, Albany was peaceful and prosperous. The Revolutionary War was over and the conflicts leading to the War of 1812 had not yet surfaced. The Dutch of Albany did what they did best, manufactured products and conducted trade. Van Rensselaers, Schuylers, Lansings, Yates, Livingstons, Gansevoorts, Bleeckers and Ten Broecks were still around and still dominated Albany.
On the northwest corner of State (previously Jonkers Street) and Pearl Streets, the center of Albany at the time, stood the giant elm tree planted in front of the home of Philip Livingston, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Livingston had planted the elm around 1750 and this corner was known as the Elm Tree Corner for the next 150 years. Continue reading
The USS Slater has opened to the public for the ship’s 20th season. Since she first arrived in Albany, the USS Slater has been described as one of the best restored, most historically accurate World War II ships in the world. A National Historic Landmark, USS Slater is the only remaining World War II Destroyer Escort afloat in America. Continue reading
On Saturday, April 8 from 4 to 7 pm, the Albany Institute of History & Art will host the sixth annual Hudson Valley Hops. This regional craft beer tasting event is a fundraiser for the museum and is sponsored by the Times UNions’ Table Hopping blog.
It’s an opportunity for the community to sample the flavors of Capital Region craft brewers, see brewing and distilling artifacts from the Albany Institute’s collection, meet industry experts, and receive a commemorative glass. This year, the fundraiser will toast the bicentennial of the groundbreaking of the original Erie Canal with an Irish Red Ale invitational, an IPA contest, music, and more. Continue reading
Historic Cherry Hill has re-opened for the public season. For the month of April, the museum will offer the Behind-the-Scenes Restoration Tour, which explores the final stage of the multi-year restoration project at the historic house. Then, on Sunday May 7th at the History Fair, Historic Cherry Hill will unveil a focus tour on female suffrage, which will be offered throughout the rest of the 2017 tour season. Continue reading
The Irish American Heritage Museum will host a Governor Martin Glynn Symposium on February 18, 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm. The symposium will take a look at New York’s 40th Governor, and its first Irish American Roman Catholic Governor.
The son of Irish immigrants, Glynn attended public school in Kinderhook and graduated from Fordham University in 1894. While serving in the US Congress (1899-1901), he championed the rights of labor, political reform, and religious tolerance. Glynn was as elected lieutenant governor in 1912. Continue reading