In response to my recent posts (Parts 1, and 2) on Irene and New York State History which included excerpts from an email from Old Fort Johnson asking for help, I received the following update from Museum Director Alessa Wylie: Continue reading
This past July, a group of educators toured the historic Mohawk Valley. The group consisted of teachers from the region, particularly the Utica school district, people from historical societies, and cultural heritage tourists. The program was described as an “immersion experience”into the history of the Mohawk Valley. Little did we know that the metaphorical image soon would become a literal one. Continue reading
The 2011 Western Frontier Symposium: Frontier Style Culture at the Edge of Empire Mohawk Valley, NY: 1700-1800 will be held October 15-16, 2011 at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, New York.
The fourth biennial Western Frontier Symposium continues to explore the history of the Mohawk Valley in the century when the region was the western edge of colonial New York and a crossroads of French, Dutch, British and Native American empires.
Far from European centers of fashion, Mohawk Valley residents expressed their sense of style with strategic design choices from multiple cultures. Distinct regional variations in their clothing, architecture and interior designs reveal their values and their aspirations. Participating experts in 18th century design and regional cultures include Phillip Otterness, David Preston, Timothy Shannon, George Hamell, Mark Hutter, Robert Trent, Mary Elise Antoine and others.
There will be a companion exhibit, “Frontier Style: The Height of Fashion at the Edge of Empire Mohawk Valley NY 1700-1800” at Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Perella Gallery from October 14 through December 9, 2011. The exhibit will be an exhibition of 18th century Mohawk Valley fashion and home decor, featuring clothing reproduced for New York State Historic Sites collections.
This event is sponsored by Mohawk Valley Historic Sites, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Costume Society of America.
More information about the symposium can be found online.
The Institute for History, Archaeology, and Education has announced that a Mohawk Valley History TeacherHostel will take place Monday, July 18 through Friday, July 22 at historical sites and attractions throughout the Mohawk Valley (Schenectady, Montgomery, Fulton, Schoharie and Herkimer counties)
In an effort to bring the riches of the Mohawk Valley experience to the classroom, this five day intensive program will bring to life many aspects that make the Mohawk Valley truly unique.
Discover the stories of the Iroquois, the Palatine Germans, the Dutch, the Erie Canal, the Valley’s Revolutionary history and ties to the Civil War and Industrial Revolution.
Explore how these topics of local history and heritage can be related to the American history story as a whole, along with the New York State Social Studies Standards for Learning. After these five days in the Mohawk Valley, you will feel that you have had a little taste of everything the Valley has to offer.
This history hostel is not just for teachers; however, anyone interested in the rich history of this area is welcome to join us for one or two days or for the full week. The fee for the entire week is $275, which includes meals.
See www.ihare.org for more information and a registration form.
Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, five miles west of Amsterdam will be hosting a lecture entitled “Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Roots” to celebrate Women’s History Month, on Wednesday, March 16, at 7:00 pm.
Noel Levee of the Johnstown Historical Society will explores Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s early years in Johnstown and how her thoughts were shaped by the people around her. The route of the Erie Canal was a hot bed for social and political change throughout the 19th century which included the Women’s Rights Movement getting started in Seneca Falls, only a stone throw away from the Erie Canal. Continue reading
Bob Sullivan, of the Schenectady Digital History Archive, has announced that the first two (historical) volumes of Nelson Greene’s four-volume history of Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Schenectady and Schoharie Counties, History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 is now online.
Included are more than 300 photos and maps, and a biographical section – more than 2000 pages so far, are online. Greene’s History joins the Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, a four-volume set with more than 1300 family entries from Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington Counties.
Bill Greer (a trustee of the New Netherland Institute) will talk about painting a portrait of New Netherland in a work of fiction, using his novel The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan: A Novel of New Amsterdam and the life of Peter Stuyvesant, Director general of the New Netherland colony. The event will take place on November 19th at the Hagaman Historical Society, Pawling Hall, 86 Pawling Street, in Hagaman (Montgomery County), NY at 7 pm.
The 2009 Western Frontier Symposium, “Moving Frontiers: Early Transportation in the Mohawk Valley,” will be held this weekend, October 17 – 18, 2009, at Fulton Montgomery Community College in Johnstown. This year’s symposium will explore the ways that transportation changed the culture, economy and social life in the Mohawk Valley from 1700 to 1890. As turnpikes, canals and railroads made it easier to move people and goods, New York¹s colonial frontier became the central corridor into America’s midlands.
The events keynote speaker will be Daniel Larkin, noted author of books on railroad and canal engineering, and editor of Erie Canal: New York’s Gift to The Nation. He will talk about the central role of Mohawk Valley transportation and technologies in shaping the New York State we know today.
Other symposium scholars will present fascinating insights into various aspects of the region’s transportation history – from native American trails and early canals, through the glory days of the Erie Canal and into the railroad age and the first bicycle craze.
Participants can learn about early roads, the businesses that served merchants and travelers, and the impact of these movements on the Palatine and Dutch settlements of the Mohawk Valley and then spend a day at historic sites throughout the region, viewing special exhibits related to transportation history and discussing specific topics with additional speakers in the field.
All presentations are free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of the New York Council for the Humanities a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Tickets for Special Events & Packages are available for a fee. (Pre-registration required.)
The event is sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, NYS Archives Partnership Trust, Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission, Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor & related Mohawk Valley historic sites
For additional details visit the website: www.oldfortjohnson.org/symposium.html
The Associated Press is reporting that the New York State Board of Regents, which oversees museums in the state, may change their policy to allow museums to sell their collections in order to pay back debt. The change is a result of Fort Ticonderoga’s recent financial troubles. Here is a clip from the story:
The state Board of Regents started working on an “emergency amendment” to the rules governing how museums can manage collections because it appeared that Fort Ticonderoga, a historic site and museum in northern New York, was on the verge of bankruptcy, said James Dawson, chairman of the board’s Cultural Education Committee… State rules currently require museums to use the money from such sales only to buy other works or enhance their collections.
The emergency amendment would allow museums to sell off works to pay down debt if they can show that they have no other way to raise the money and would otherwise go bankrupt. The museums also would only be allowed to sell the works to another museum or historical society in New York.
The Board was to have taken up the amendment at a meeting Monday but Dawson — who represents northern New York on the Board of Regents — said he withdrew the proposal Thursday, partly because Fort Ticonderoga was able to raise enough money to stay out of bankruptcy court.
The plan has come to light just two weeks after the National Academy in Manhattan (not subject to the Board of Regents) sold off two Hudson River School paintings. Other cultural institutions in the state are also facing financial hardships that have been reported here at the New York History blog, including local libraries and Amsterdam’s Elwood Museum. Last month Fort Ticonderoga laid-off four employees and closed an office building (BTW, the Smithsonian is also facing financial hardship and recently cut salaries).
It was announced in July that Fort Ticonderoga faced financial ruin after Deborah Mars, a Ticonderoga native married to the billionaire co-owner of the Mars candy company Forrest Mars Jr., bailed on their long-time support for the fort just before completion of the new $23 million Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. The Mars paid for nearly all of the new building’s construction but left before it was finished leaving Fort Ti about two million dollars in debt. When the building bearing their name opened, they didn’t show.
Other options that have been floated include applying for new short-term loans, a new capital campaign to raise $3 million to $5 million, asking the state for a bailout or to take over ownership of the fort, selling of some of the fort’s property or collections or closing for an indefinite period until the finances are sorted out. Coincidentally, Ticonderoga was also considering selling a Hudson River School painting, Thomas Cole’s 1831 “Ruins of Fort Ticonderoga.”
According to the Associated Press:
Anne Ackerson, director of the Museum Association of New York, said her group was among those opposing the idea of allowing museums to sell their collections to pay debts. While it might be a short-term fix for some museums’ financial problems, it might dissuade others from seeking other solutions when money gets tight, she said.
The Board of Regents rules governing the sale of museum holdings were established in the early 1990s when the New York Historical Society faced financial problems.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Queens Democrat who chaired an investigative committee at the time, said he was happy to hear the Board of Regents had withdrawn the emergency amendment proposal but remained concerned that they might still try to tweak other parts of the rules that define what qualifies as part of a museum’s collection.
Brodsky said he urged the Regents to hold off on making any changes until after a more thorough review involving museums, the Legislature and others with an interest.