Tag Archives: Albany

Albany History: John Pye and the Highwayman


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John Pye Possible Gravesite in Albany Rural CemeteryOn 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

Peter Hess Describes Early 1800s Albany


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Albany NY in the early 1800s by James EightsIn 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

Craft Beer Fundraiser Celebrates Erie Canal Bicentennial


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hudson valley hopsOn 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 Re-Opens for 2017 Season


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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

Governor Martin Glynn Symposium February 18th


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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

A Short History Of The Hudson River Day Line


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the-hudson-river-paddlewheel-towboat-oswegoAbraham Van Santvoord, a descendent of one of the earliest Dutch settlers in Albany, was born in Schenectady on December 18, 1784. At the age of 14, he worked with his granduncle John Post who owned a shipping business in Utica. Since, at the time, there were few roadways, and the ones they had were snow covered in the winter and mud bogs in the spring, most shipping was done by water.

Van Santvoord successfully ran a shipping business on the Mohawk River. During the War of 1812, he contracted with agents of General Stephen Van Rensselaer of Albany to store and ship provisions westward on the Mohawk to support Van Rensselaer’s troops planning to invade Canada. Continue reading