Tag Archives: Natural History

Sir William Johnson and the Mohawk Valley Fur Trade


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mohawk-valley-fur-tradeOn Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7 pm, the Fort Plain Museum will present “Sir William Johnson and the Evolution of the Mohawk Valley Fur Trade by Michael Perazzini. The presentation will take place at the museum located at 389 Canal Street in Fort Plain. This is the second of four lectures that will take place at the museum.

Perazzini will discuss the evolution of the fur trade in Upstate New York as well as the changes implemented by Superintendent of Indian Affairs Sir William Johnson. He will also display and lead a discussion about many of the artifacts involved in the fur trade. Continue reading

A Short History of The Beaver River Club


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Joseph Dunbar’s Hotel at Stillwater, the original Clubhouse From its founding in 1893, and over the next 30 years, the Beaver River Club was the destination of many of the visitors to the Stillwater area.

It was the summer retreat of wealthy and influential families from Syracuse, Utica and to a lesser extent from throughout New York State. The decision to enlarge the Stillwater Dam and create today’s Stillwater Reservoir utterly destroyed this glittering outpost in the wild. Here is its story. Continue reading

Birds in History: New York’s Snoring Eagles?


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Bald EaglegovFrom a lifetime of experiences, and reading nature books since childhood, it’s true that I should know a little more about wildlife than the average Joe, but I lay no claim to being an expert. Learning something new is a principal reason for reading books, and of late, I’ve had occasion to indulge in several excellent Adirondack-related titles written between 1840 and 1920.

In one of them, a particular passage caused me to stop, backtrack, read it again, and then one more time in disbelief. Since other animal behavior described in the book held true, I supposed this one should as well, but I had reservations. Above all, one thing was certain: confirmation would be hilarious, at least to my thinking. The claim was that bald eagles snore. And not only that: they snore LOUDLY. Experienced guides and hunters claimed it to be true. Continue reading

Shoveling and Plowing in the Good Ol’ Days


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ShovelingSnow01Earlier this winter, our forecast in Clinton County was light rain and temps in the upper 30s, conditions that were expected to last a couple of days. Forty-eight hours later, 23 inches of the heaviest, wettest snow imaginable covered everything in sight. Tree collapsed, power outages were frequent, and roads were a slushy mess. Removal of the stuff from driveways was best done by machine, but for some of us, manual effort was the only way to go. As I toiled, my mind wandered to similar jobs I’ve endured in decades past. Continue reading

Unique Winslow Homer Exhibit At Farmers Museum, Arkell Museum


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Winslow_Homer_-_MoonlightTomorrow, June 6th, the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown will present the opening of Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life, from the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, featuring over 23 original works including oil paintings and delicate watercolors collected by Bartlett Arkell, the founder and first President of the Beech-Nut Packing Company.

This marks the first time these exceptional Homer paintings will be displayed as a complete collection. The exhibition contains two works now in other collections, including a painting owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The exhibition was organized by the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie and is on view at the Fenimore Art Museum from through August 24, 2014, and at the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie from September 2, 2014 to January 4, 2015. Continue reading

The Lyon Mountain Mining and Railroad Museum


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LyMtM&RRM NYHFor a century, the world’s best iron ore was produced by a small Clinton County village in upstate New York. That remarkable legacy is shared in the Lyon Mountain Mining and Railroad Museum, housed in the town’s former railroad depot building. The cost to visitors “can’t be beat,” as they say—admission is free.

This community project developed into a remarkable facility dedicated to regional and town history. The focus is on iron mining, once a dominant force in the region’s economy. Continue reading

Signs Of Spring Photography Stroll at Val-Kill


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ValKillCottageSpring is finally here and the National Park Service is offering an opportunity to photograph it at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Val-Kill), approximately two miles east of Springwood, the Hyde Park Roosevelt family home.

On May 18th from 8:00 am until 10:00 am, Park Ranger Andrew Swan will share information about the many signs of spring on a stroll through the grounds of Val-Kill. Visitors who enjoy photography are encouraged to bring cameras and capture images of the natural beauty of the season. The program is part of the continuing Community Photography Workshops offered by the park service. Continue reading