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Dutchess County History Conference May 7


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The Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education (IHARE) has announced the fourth of five county history conferences in the Hudson Valley to be held this spring. The history of Dutchess County will be the focus of the conference, which will be held May 7, Greenspan Dining Room, Drumlin Building, Dutchess Community College.

Each Saturday conference brings together scholars, municipal historians, historic organizations, teachers, and lovers of history to share in the experience of the history of a region in the Hudson Valley, address the challenges in preserving that legacy, and to hear about teaching local history in our schools. We look forward to

seeing you at the next conference.



Lunch is $10 (mail check payable to IHARE to POB 41, Purchase, NY, 10577). To pre-register or for more information contact info@ihare.org

9:00 Welcome – D. David Conklin, President

Dutchess Community College [invited]

9:15 Students take a Trip in a Time Machine Back 7,000 Years

Stephanie Roberg-Lopez and Tom Lake

Dutchess Community College

Examine the legacy of the first human settlers in what would become Dutchess County. Explore the mysteries of Bowdoin Park. See what the students have uncovered as part of their archaeological training over the past decade. The discoveries of Native American culture dates to at least 7,000 years ago.

Stephanie Roberg-Lopez is an Associate Professor in Behavioral Sciences at Dutchess Community College where she teaches Anthropology and Archaeology. She also does cultural resource management consulting throughout New York. She has a BA in Anthropology from Columbia University and an MA in Archaeology from Yale.

Tom Lake works for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program as its Estuary Naturalist, where he shadows eagles, teaches the ecology of the estuary, and edits the Hudson River Almanac, a natural history journal now in its 18th year. He is an Adjunct lecturer at Dutchess Community College.

10:15 It Really Is Our History:

Dutchess County And The American Civil War

Pete Bedrossian, National Purple Heart Hall of Honor,

New York State Office Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation

Everyone knows that the Civil War occurred in the South – that’s where all the National Park Services sites are located excepted for Gettysburg! But it was the people from the North who fought in those battles and marched in those campaigns and no state contributed more than New York State. Units tended to be based on communities and the soldiers from Dutchess County were no exception to this practice. Come here the story of the 150th New York, the Dutchess County regiment.

Peter Bedrossian has studied the Civil War for 20 years as a Civil War Living Historian and re enactor. He is the military commander of the 150th New York, which is an education association chartered by the Board of Regents. His areas of focus are the 150th New York, “the Dutchess County Regiment” and Civil War Medicine and Surgery. He has made presentations at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park, the Antietam National Battlefield Park, St. Paul’s National Historic Site, local libraries and historical societies as well as providing school programs throughout the region. When not in the 19th century, he preserves our history as Program Director at the National Purple Heart

Hall of Honor.

11:15 The Home Front at Roosevelt’s Home Town

Carney Rhinevault, Hyde Park Town Historian

The Home Front at Roosevelt’s Home Town tells an almost entirely forgotten story in wonderful, personal detail: the myriad ways in which people in small town America coped with the challenges, hardships and inconveniences of world war and threw themselves – every man, woman and child of them – into the effort of winning the war by

means of civic enterprise. A selection of chapter titles spells it out: “airplane spotters,” “blackout drills and civil defense,” “home front industries,” “rationing and shortages,” “victory gardens,” “recycling.” This book presents Anytown USA in wartime. It also tells us about the lifelong home town that was much loved by the

Commander-in-Chief. The Roosevelts pass in and out of the narrative with sufficient frequency to add celebrity flavor and worldwide resonance to the initiatives and privations of his “friends and neighbors.”

Carney Rhinevault is the Hyde Park Town Historian, a position once held by FDR. Rhinevault discovered a previously unpublished account of daily doings in Hyde Park and Staatsburg during eighteen months in the middle of World War II written by a career newspaper reporter Helen Myers.

12:15 Lunch

1:15 Preserving the Past in Dutchess County

Saving the Fishkill Supply Depot: A Call to Action

Lance Ashworth, President, Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot

Over the past forty years, the overall site has been considerably damaged and fragmented by commercial development. A combination of general contemporary pressure to seek revenue from properties, regulatory, legal and procedural gaps, and historical accident have combined to produce a situation in which the 70 acres of National

Register of Historic Places-designated Fishkill Supply Depot land, or at least some parcels within it, have never come under the care of effective custodianship.

Key open space parts of the Fishkill Supply Depot complex are currently up for sale, primed for future commercial development. Still, the opportunity remains for respectful preservation and subsequent interpretation of remaining open space. The preservation of essential properties at the core of the Depot site can happen in our

time. It is to this end that we are dedicated.

The Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot is a not-for-profit organization that advocates the permanent preservation of undeveloped acres within the Fishkill Supply Depot and Encampment, a Revolutionary War site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mission of The Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot includes

permanent protection of the Continental Army Burial Complex within the boundaries of the Fishkill Supply Depot, stringent archaeological review of development projects that may affect the site, preservation of archaeological resources associated with the Fishkill Supply Depot during the Revolutionary period, and the future interpretation of the historic site for public benefit.

Restoring the Beacon Railway

Anne Lynch, Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society

Founded in 1996, the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society consists of members from across the Hudson Valley and beyond. This diverse organization is united in its efforts to restore, operate and preserve an integral piece of American industrial, engineering, transportation and leisure history. Incline railway service to the summit of Mount Beacon will offer the public unparalleled vistas and scenic beauty. The Incline Railway will serve as a living museum and centerpiece asset in the restoration of the Mount Beacon summit as a scenic, historic educational and recreational resource.

Anne Lynch is the president and CEO of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society

2:15 Dutchess County: A Community Experience

Dutchess County: A Community of Pots and Transportation

George Lukacs, Poughkeepsie City Historian

Upper Landing: Bridging our Past and Future in Poughkeepsie

Jolanda Jensen and Nancy Cozean

Restoring a Village Green, Renewing a Community

The Pawling Green Project

Nancy Tanner, Bill McGuinness, and Karen Zukowski

Historic Resource Surveys:

Planning Tool for Communities in the 21st Century

Kathleen Howe, New York State Historic Preservation Office

Historic resource surveys help raise awareness about historic and cultural resources, provide useful information for municipal planners, developers and property owners, and help protect these resources, providing critical baseline information about historic resources in a specific area. Learn about the State Historic Preservation Office’s

(SHPO) recent efforts to enhance survey efforts throughout New York State.

Kathleen Howe is the Survey and Evaluation Unit Coordinator for the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), part of the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). She holds a M.A. in Architectural History and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia. After graduation, she worked in the planning unit of the Peak National Park in the United Kingdom as part of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

internship program. Before joining the SHPO staff, Ms. Howe worked for ten years at Bero Architecture in Rochester, New York preparing historic structure reports and surveys. She also worked for a non-profit preservation organization in Rochester as curator of two historic house museums. She began working for the SHPO in 1999 as

National Register representative for the New York City territory, working with property owners and interested citizens in listing properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Under Ms. Howe’s guidance over 200 listings (both individual properties and historic districts) were added to the Registers

encompassing over 4,100 properties from skyscrapers and industrial complexes to brownstone row houses and synagogues. She has shepherded through a number of State and National Register nominations that represent the diverse architectural and cultural landscape of New York City including historic districts for the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Little Italy, Gansevoort Market, Garment Center, Sugar Hill, and

Wall Street, among others. She completed the nomination of over 65 subway stations in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the NYC Subway System. Ms. Howe has recently spent time evaluating several properties from the recent past including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Look Building, the TWA Terminal, and the World Trade Center site. She is a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia University’s Historic Preservation graduate program. Since February 2011, Ms. Howe has been head of the SHPO’s newly formed Survey and Evaluation Unit which is responsible for the identification and evaluation of historic properties in New York State as required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the New York State Historic Preservation Act of 1980.

3:45 Municipal Historian Roundtable: Education and Cultural Tourism

Mary Kay Vrba, Dutchess County Tourism

Mary Kay Vrba CTP, Director of Tourism for Dutchess County has more than 25 years of tourism experience and has the responsibility for marketing Dutchess County as vacation destination. Mary Kay’s job responsibilities include sales and marketing for all publications printed by DC tourism, she oversaw the visitor profile study, grant

writer for tourism agency, new product development and the day-to-day-aspects of the agency.

Mary Kay currently serves as President of Hudson Valley Tourism and past President of the NYS TPA Council, Instructor at NYU at the Tisch Center for Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Management, and serves on Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Valkill Board of Directors

Mary Kay has a master degree from George Williams College in Downers Grove Illinois in Leisure and Environmental Resource

4:15 Dutchess County School/Historic Organization Collaborations

Peter Feinman, Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, moderator

Teaching Dutchess County History: A High School Experience –

Shaun Boyce, Arlington High School

Shaun Boyce has been teaching social studies at Arlington High School since 2000. Although he has developed course curricula at Dutchess Community College and Marist College, Hudson River Heritage is his first truly original course for a high school audience. He?ll discuss the challenges and rewards of teaching about the Hudson River Valley.

Trunks to Interns: Teaching Local History

Betsy Kopstein, Executive Director of the DC Historical Society

Memories of a Community: Seniors to Seniors Oral History Project

Sandra Vacchio, President

Wappingers Historical Society

The Wappingers Historical Society, in collaboration with Robert Wood, Instructor of The Roy C. Ketcham High School Broadcast Arts Class, has documented stories of the past as told to us by long time Wappingers residents. Each Monday night, throughout March, a different program featuring the reflections of lifelong Wappingers residents was presented. “his has been an incredible opportunity for the students here at RCK,” says, Robert Wood, art educator. “This has truly been a cooperative educational experience and a terrific interaction between students and community. Students filmed and edited these interviews. All involved are very excited about the final products.” An ongoing effort to save history through various mediums, additional video and audio interviews are now in production. One can visit the website at www.wappingershistoricalsociety.org to see photo, post card and glass negative galleries.

Greene County History Conference Set


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The Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education (IHARE) has announced the third of five county history conferences in the Hudson Valley to be held this spring, this one focused on Greene County. The first conference was held at the Mahopac Library in Putnam to a capacity crowd on March 19. The second one at the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick, Orange County on April 16 is fully registered.

Each Saturday conference brings together scholars, municipal historians, historic organizations, teachers, and lovers of history to share in the experience of the history of a region in the Hudson Valley, address the challenges in preserving that legacy, and to hear
about teaching local history in our schools.

Greene County History Conference

Date: April 30
Time: 9:00-5:00
Location: Catskill Middle School Auditorium
343 West Main Street, Catskill
Cost: Free (optional $10 lunch)
Registration: check payable to IHARE and mail to POB 41, Purchase, NY 10577

Immerse yourself in the history of Greene County. Hear its music. View its art. Sing its songs. Tell its stories. See its historic sites. Learn about the Greene people who over the centuries have made the county what it is today. Meet the people who are preserving that
legacy and help us to continue to do so in the 21st century.

9:00 Welcome – Wayne Speenburgh, Chairman of the Legislature (invited)

9:15 Why Greene Is Great: Local History Matters
Dave Dorpfeld, Greene County Historian

Greene County has experienced many changes since the end of the Ice Age and first human settlements in the land. Thousands of years later these first settlers would be joined by the Dutch, Palatines Africans, and the English. The area was part of the struggle for Independence
and witnessed a boom with the arrival of the turnpike, steamboats and railroads, and emergence of industry in the valley towns. The county became a cultural center as well with the stories of Rip Van Winkle, the paintings of the Hudson River Artists and the growth of tourism in
the mountain towns. By remembering our past we help to build the future our county in the 21st century.

David Dorpfeld is a native of Greene County with a 36 year career in state and federal government agencies as an investigator, management analyst and auditor. He has been a member of the Greene County Historical Society for over 30 years and serves as Treasurer. For the
past two years, he has been the Greene County Historian. In addition he writes a weekly history column for several Register Star Newspapers including the Catskill Daily Mail.

10:15 Hudson River School
Ted Hilscher, Columbia Greene Community College

Welcome to the Hudson River School of Art. This presentation will showcase its art, discuss the messages of the artists, investigate the changes in society to which they were responding, and emphasize the role of the Hudson River School in the origins of the environmental movement.

Ted Hilscher is Associate Professor of History and Government at Columbia Greene Community College in his academic life. As one devoted to local history, he is the Town of New Baltimore Historian and Trustee Emeritus of the Greene County Historical Society. In the
past he was the chairman of the board of the Greene County Historical Society when that organization purchased the Thomas Cole House and the preservation efforts began in 1998. He also serves as a docent there.

11:15 The Civil War from a Local Perspective: The William H. Spencer Letters
Robert Uzzillia

Everyone knows that the Civil War occurred in the South – that’s where all the National Park Services sites are located excepted for Gettysburg! But it was the people from the North who fought in those battles and marched in those campaigns and no state contributed more than New York State. New York in particular contributed more soldiers to the Union than did any other state. The soldiers who fought the war shared their experiences with the homefront through letters to their families. These letters provide a graphic description of war and insights that only a soldier could have. The letters of Greene County resident William H. Spencer were transcribed by Eileen Cords, a descendant, during the town’s Bicentennial. Re-reading them reminds one of just how powerful they were and of their impact on the loved ones who were reading them.

Robert Uzzillia is a lifetime resident of Greene County. He graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 1980 with a BS in Geography and was appointed Cairo Town Historian in 1988. He has written articles for the Town of Cairo Bicentennial (Catskill Daily Mail), as well as a photo history
and has given presentations on topics ranging from a general history of Cairo to collecting salt-glazed pottery from Athens, NY.

12:15 Lunch: Musical entertainment
John Quinn & Bill Lonecke and others

1:15 Preserving a Legacy: Warren Hart, AICP, Director,
Economic Development, Tourism & Planning, moderator

The Civil War in Ballads, Stories, Poems & Camp Fire Songs
John Quinn & Bill Lonecke

The War Between the States was prolific in war poems and songs. In the North and South, poets and songwriters vied with each other in invoking the muse. The program will recreate the music of the period that reached the hearts of the people with fiery metrical appeals to
patriotism. The influence of music and the power of song —- the plaintive ballad, the lofty, patriotic, and heroic lyric, the parody, the spiritual anthem and even the crude and comical camp fire songs will be presented. These are the songs that would have been heard in
‘the hundred circling camps’ and family parlor by our ancestors.

John Quinn is the co-chair of the Greene County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, member of the Civil War Heritage Foundation, former teacher, school administrator and college faculty
member, board of trustee member at the Pratt Museum and Vice Chairman of the Community of Windham Foundation. He’s a member of the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers a Civil War parlor band.

Bill Lonecke – is a Social Studies teacher at Margaretville CSD. He is a member of the Civil War Heritage Foundation, Greene County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, Banjo player for the balladeers band and has over 30 years experience as a reenactor and historian.

Using Film to Preserve Local and County History
Jonathan Donald, Jonathan Donald Productions, Inc.

An anecdotal account of history’s role in film, especially in the arts and entertainment which give an audience a touchstone to the past that political history rarely offers.

Jonathan Donald or his company has produced over 200 documentary and dramatic programs for network, cable, and Public Television including major series like the dramatized documentaries of Rediscovering America (Discovery), Faces of Japan (PBS), The Africans (Time-Life
Television and PBS), Conserving America (PBS), Wild, Wild World of Animals (Time-Life Television). He has written directed and produced these programs and won various awards such as an Emmy and Golden Eagles. He began his career in television at an ABC documentary unit.
His first jobs in broadcasting were at a radio station in Berkeley before moving to Public Affairs Director at WBAI in New York.

A Most Important Historical Legacy – Writing It Down!:
Getting the local words out
Deborah Allen, Publisher, Black Dome Press

Greene County’s only regional publisher shares the remarkable triumphs of documenting local history. Find out how books are really made, how they get into the stores and finally, onto your night stand. How can these books on local history be used in the classroom? Can local
students in high school and college partner with municipal historians and historical societies to write books about the history of Greene County and their community? Let’s talk.

Debbie Allen is the publisher of Black Dome Press, an independent publisher of New York State histories and guidebooks with a special focus on the Adirondacks, Catskills, Capital District and Hudson River Valley. Founded in 1990, Black Dome Press honors include the
first-ever Barnes & Noble 2009 “Focus on New York Award for Outstanding Regional Literature,” the Columbia County Historical Society “Preservation Heritage Award,” the Community of Windham
Foundation “Leadership in Cultural Heritage Award” and the “Distinguished Service Award” by the Greene County Council on the Arts. Their offices are in the Catskill High Peaks below Black Dome Mountain.

Getting Our Local and County History Together
Barbara Mattson, Executive Director
Mountain Top Historical Society

Hear what goes into selecting, collecting and organizing a collection and why organizations must constantly re-examine and re-define their roles.

Barbara Mattson lives in Maplecrest, NY and has been Executive Director of the Mountain Top Historical Society since 2008. She has written grants for non-profits and municipalities and has worked in the communications and media industries.

3:00 The County and the Classroom – Hudson Talbott, Moderator

The River and the County
Hudson Talbott, author River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River

Hudson Talbott has written and illustrated nearly twenty books for young readers. Born in Louisville, KY, he attended Tyler school of Art in Rome, lived in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and traveled extensively throughout the world before starting his career in New York. His first
children?s book was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, called How to Show Grown-ups the Museum. His second book, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, was made into a feature-length animated film by Steven Spielberg. Hudson then collaborated with composer Stephen Sondheim on a book version of the composer’s musical “INTO THE WOODS”. His books have won a variety of awards and been transformed into other media. He was honored recently by Scenic Hudson Environmental Organization for his River of Dreams – The Story of the Hudson River. That book and O’Sullivan Stew have both been produced as musicals for young people. He is currently working on a book titled It’s All about Meow! A Young Cats’s Guide to the Good Life, which will soon be published by PenguinPutnam.

The Colonial World and the Classroom
Wanda Dorpfeld, Greene County Historical Society

Wanda Dorpfeld was born and raised in Freedom, New York. She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of the Science of Education degrees from The College of St. Rose, Albany, New York. After living in Indiana and Washington, D.C., she moved to Greene County in 1977. She
was a teacher for 25 years in the Catskill Central School District. She currently is on the Board of the Greene County Historical Society and is co-chair of the Museum Committee and Chair of Board Development and Resources. She also is on the Board of The Heermance Public
Library and is Chair of Policy and Planning, Hudson-Athens Lighthouse.

Jean Cardany and Michelle Whiting
Coxsackie-Athens School District

Each year the second grade classes from Coxsackie Elementary School and Edward J. Arthur Elementary School participate in a special program called “Beacons of Learning.” Through this program the students have the opportunity to visit and learn about the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse.

The boys and girls learn about the past, present, and future of this special community treasure. They meet Emily Brunner who lived on the lighthouse as a child and they discover ways to help with the preservation of the lighthouse. Another important feature is the
opportunity to experience the river firsthand. Despite living so near it, many of our students have never been on the Hudson River in a boat. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share our program and experiences with the participants of the Greene County History Conference. We hope that by listening to the children recount their experiences, it will encourage more schools to learn about their local history.

A Greene Family History as American History
Carolyn Bennett, Director, Pratt Museum Board

4:30 Teaching County History Roundtable
Peter Feinman, Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education

The Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding the knowledge and appreciation of human cultures from ancient times to the present through an array of student, teacher, and public programs and activities. The goals and objectives of the organization are:

1. To increase the public awareness of the benefits of history and archaeology through public programs.

2. To promote the inclusion and development of history and archaeology in the k-12 curriculum.

3. To provide history and archaeology enrichment programs at the k-12 level.

4. To develop, implement, and teach history and archaeology programs for teachers by working with the schools and teacher centers.

5. To work with educational institutions of higher learning, government organizations, cultural institutions, and professional archaeological and historical organizations to develop, promote, and implement archaeological and historical programs.

Hudson River Viewshed Symposium Saturday


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The Olana Partnership will celebrate the Hudson Valley’s extraordinary natural and designed landscapes in a symposium on Saturday, April 16, 2011. Framing the Viewshed: The Transformative Power of Art and Landscape in the Hudson Valley will take place at Columbia-Greene Community College, just outside of Hudson, New York. The panel discussion will feature three leading experts in the fields of art history, conservation, and landscape design who will discuss the Hudson Valley’s unparalleled viewsheds and their cultural context.

Olana, now the Olana State Historic Site, was the home and creation of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), one of the most significant artists of his day, and a leader of the Hudson River School, America’s first native school of painting. As a young artist, Church studied under Thomas Cole who lived just across the Hudson River. Church fell in love with the area and, when he became successful he bought a farm, which eventually became one of America’s most important designed landscapes.

Frederic Church designed Olana, planting trees, building a lake, and orchestrating the paths and carriage drives that lead up to the iconic Persian-inspired castle at the top of the hill. From this vantage point, with Church’s 250-acre Picturesque style landscape in the foreground, and the larger, borrowed landscape stretching to the horizon, today’s visitor can enjoy a vista largely unchanged in the 110 years since Frederic Church died.

This vast area comprises the Olana viewshed. (Fittingly, Columbia-Greene College, site of the symposium, is itself part of this viewshed.) “Olana represents a rare American convergence of art, conservation and landscape themes,” said Mark Prezorski, trustee of The Olana Partnership. “It makes perfect sense for the Olana Viewshed to serve as a backdrop for a broader Hudson Valley discussion.”

The panel discussion will be moderated by David Schuyler, the biographer of Calvert Vaux, who assisted Church with the design of the house. Art historian Linda S Ferber will speak on the four Hudsons of Wallace Bruce, the author of a 1901 travel guide: the Hudsons of Beauty, History, Literature and Commerce. Vassar Professor Emeritus Harvey K. Flad will discuss the “Art of Protecting Scenic Views: Nineteenth-century Artists and the Preservation of Modern-day Landscapes.” Landscape architect Laurie Olin, whose designs for public and private landscapes have won him international acclaim, will speak on the use of contemporary design in historic settings.

The concept of viewsheds is one in which many organizations are involved, several of which are participating in this symposium by either helping sponsor the conference or having representatives on hand to talk about their work. Sara Griffen, President of The Olana Partnership, said, “Partnerships are key to understanding and preserving views. The Olana Partnership is pleased that the Hudson Valley Greenway and National Heritage Area are sponsors of the symposium, and that representatives of Scenic Hudson, the Open Space Institute, and the Columbia Land Conservancy will be available to describe their respective roles in the preservation of views. The Olana Partnership also acknowledges the critical work of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as well as the Estuary program of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of State, and the support of our partners at the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Cultural Landscape Foundation.” WDST is the media sponsor of the symposium.

Citing some reasons why his organization with its partners have preserved more than 2,000 acres in the Olana viewshed, Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, “These vistas are good for the soul and the economy. The land that inspired Frederic Church’s art today lifts the spirits of all who see it. Keeping this treasured landscape intact helps Olana bring $8 million to the local economy each year and contributes strongly to Columbia County’s tourism industry, which generates $105 million in spending annually and is responsible for 1,500 jobs. I applaud Olana for holding this symposium to have more people appreciate and support preserving the valley’s natural beauty.”

The symposium will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Columbia-Greene Community College, 4400 Route 23, Hudson, NY. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 each for members of The Olana Partnership, $50 for non-members. Continuing Education Credits, LACES 3.5 Non-HSW (NYS) will be available for registered landscape architects. From 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon, Olana is offering tours of the Bell Tower (which is not usually open to the public) to symposium participants. The tour is free to members, $40 for non-members; space is limited so guests must pre-register. For additional information or to reserve tickets, go to the Olana website, www.olana.org or call (518) 828-1872, extension 103.

Another feature of this symposium is a collection of statements on the subject of viewsheds that will be provided to attendees. In addition, these statements are posted on Olana’s website, along with an opportunity for the public, through Facebook, to create their own statements about views.

Following the symposium, participants can enjoy the sunset by attending a Viewshed Benefit Party with wine and hors d’oeuvres, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Oak Hill in Hudson, NY (town of Livingston). Oak Hill was built around 1793 by John Livingston (1750-1822), son of Robert Livingston, the third Lord of Livingston Manor. Grandly sited on a Hudson River bluff, it commands intimate river and mountain views, as well as a singular view up toward Frederic Church’s house and painting studio. Oak Hill is one of more than a dozen family homes built along the Hudson River and has remained in the Livingston family since it was built. Sponsor tickets for the benefit are $250, members $90 and non-members $100 and are available by calling (518) 828-1872, extension 103 as well as via Brown Paper Tickets.

Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto.

North Country Archival Conference Friday


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Anyone interested in learning more about conservation, archival security, digitizing photographs, the history of the Adirondacks, and a whole lot more is invited to come and spend a few hours of their time in return for a wealth of knowledge.

The Northern New York Library Network based in Potsdam is hosting its second Annual North Country Archives and Special Collections Conference: Efficiency, Effectiveness and Education on April 8, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Resort, Lake Placid. The cost for all attendees is only $10.00. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the conference running from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Attendees of the North Country Archives and Special Collections Conference will have the opportunity to select from two of four morning sessions, then attend an afternoon presentation immediately following lunch, which is included in the price.

The first Session I choice will “Large Conference Benefits and Highlights of the 2010 Society of American Archivists Annual Conference,” presented by Jane Subramanian, SUNY Potsdam. During this session, the benefits of attending the larger archival conferences and involvement with professional organizations for those working in smaller archives will be discussed. Conferences and professional organizations from the Society of American Archivists, Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, New England Archivists, and New York Archives Conference will be examined. Educational and other opportunities will also be covered. News and highlights of the Society of American Archivists 2010 Annual Conference that are useful for all sizes of archives will also be presented.

The second Session I choice will be “Conservation 101,” presented by Barbara Eden, Director, Department of Preservation and Collection Maintenance, Cornell University. As custodians of our cultural heritage, we have the responsibility to ensure the long-term survival of these resources. Participants will learn about the elements of a preservation program that can easily be implemented into their institutions. This session will provide a beginner’s course in conservation of archival materials. Students will learn how to get started, what planning must take place, policies and procedures, and care and handling of materials held in many archival collections.

The first Session II choice will be “On Our Watch: Security in Archives and Special Collections,” presented by Nicolette A. Dobrowolski, Head of Public Services, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library. Archives and libraries with historical and special collections materials sometimes do not recognize how vulnerable their collections are to loss. That is, until you cannot find that one important book or folder for your researcher… The question on a lot of our minds today is “How can we fulfill the need to provide access to our collections while simultaneously protecting them?”

Collections have the potential to be threatened by theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and damage from careless handling or poor environmental conditions. Responsibility must be taken to protect collections today so they are available to future generations of researchers. This presentation will help participants gain the knowledge needed to start developing or revising strategies and policies with regards to security of archives and special collections materials. Topics will include overall security risk awareness, developing institutional policies, facility design, reading room management and design, staff hiring and training, collection management and record keeping and theft (including insider theft and responses to theft). Real life scenarios and practices will be used as examples.

The second Session II choice will be “Digitizing Your Historical Photographs,” presented by Denis Meadows, Regional Advisory Officer, NYS Archives. Today many historical records repositories are looking at digitization for their collections, including their historical photographs. Digitization of these valuable historical photographs can be a great way to share history with a wider audience and, at the same time, save wear and tear on the original photographs. This session will look at what repositories can digitize and why they should consider digitization, as well as present an overview of the scanning and metadata development processes.

Following lunch, Caroline M. Welsh, Director Emerita of the Adirondack Museum, will present a lecture on “From Axes to Zootropes: Museum Collections and Community History.”

“Within the walls of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake are century-old tools that harvested trees and earth-bound minerals and ores; vehicles that transported people and goods on land and water; objects from camps and homes; and artifacts that picture the past – thousands of documents from the region, historic photographs, and works of art,” Ms. Welsh commented.

Objects document how people lived — elitist and non-elitist. An object tells us about the people who made and used it, and also about the people for whom it was made. Objects also document intangibles like attitudes, values, and ideas. All in all, the Adirondack Museum Collections number over 100,000 objects, pieces and parts. The late Arthur Schlesinger said, “History is to a nation as memory is to the individual.”

While this lecture is but a cursory overview of the complex history of the Adirondacks, it signals the importance of preserving the region’s material culture as a memory bank for the stories of the people who lived, worked, and played in the Adirondacks.

For more information or to sign-up, go online to www.nnyln.org and click on “Classes,” or call 315-265-1119.

New President of Farmers’ Museum, NYSHA


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The election of Dr. Paul D’Ambrosio as President of The Farmers’ Museum/New York State Historical Association was announced yesterday by Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of The Farmers’ Museum, Inc. and Dr. Douglas E. Evelyn, Chairman of The New York State Historical Association, effective April 1, 2011.

Dr. D’Ambrosio succeeds D. Stephen Elliott as President and C.E.O. Mr. Elliott, who served nearly six years as President, has been appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Minnesota Historical Society.

In a joint statement, Jane Forbes Clark and Douglas Evelyn said, “although we are sorry that Steve Elliott is leaving Cooperstown after six very productive years, we have a most capable successor in Paul D’Ambrosio. Paul’s leadership, experience and creativity have been on ample display at The Farmers’ Museum and The Fenimore Art Museum, and we are fortunate to have such a worthy and skilled museum professional within our ranks to promote to our highest administrative position.”

Mr. Elliott stated that “it has been an honor to work with the very capable and dedicated staffs of the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum and I look forward to applying what I have learned from my colleagues in Cooperstown to my forthcoming work with another of America’s premier history institutions.”

Paul D’Ambrosio has been associated with The Farmers’ Museum, The New York State Historical Association and its Fenimore Art Museum for 26 years. He has been Vice President and Chief Curator since 1998 and has been responsible for organizing and traveling exhibits, acquisitions, publications, research, academic study and the care of objects. Dr. D’Ambrosio has also taken the lead role in the adoption of the many new forms of social media at the Museums, thereby making their collections and programs open and accessible (see his blog). In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor of Museum Studies at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a Member of the American Folk Art Society and has served as a Museum Panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts.

A nationally recognized expert of American Folk Art, Dr. D’Ambrosio is the author of Ralph Fasanella’s America, numerous exhibition catalogs and articles, and co-author of Folk Art’s Many Faces. He holds a B.A. from SUNY Cortland, an M.A. from SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program and a Ph.D. from Boston University. Dr. D’Ambrosio, his wife Anna and their family reside in New Hartford, New York.

The Farmers’ Museum, founded in 1943, is an educational organization devoted to presenting the lives of ordinary people and the agricultural and trade processes of rural 19th century New York State; it is one of the oldest and most popular continuously operating outdoor museums in the United States. Founded in 1899, The New York State Historical Association preserves and exhibits objects and documents significant to New York history and American culture. The Association is home to The Fenimore Art Museum that features collections of American folk art, 19th century American fine art, and the acclaimed Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.

Photo: Paul D’Ambrosio with students form the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

State Museum 1911 Capitol Fire Exhibit Opening


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The “1911 Capitol Fire” exhibition will open at the New York State Museum on March 19 as part of a series of special events and programs commemorating the 100th anniversary of the devastating fire that struck the New York State Capitol.

Many Albany residents awoke in the early morning hours on March 29, 1911 to see the Capitol on fire. The entire western side of the presumed fireproof building was engulfed in flames shooting 200 feet high. The fast-moving flames destroyed much of the State Library, the fifth largest in the U.S., which was housed in the Capitol.

More than 8,000 Museum objects stored in the Capitol were also destroyed or lost. The fire caused the unprecedented destruction of the state’s intellectual, cultural and historic property and also claimed the life of the lone night watchman.

Special events will include a commemoration ceremony at the Capitol on March 29 at 10 a.m., sponsored by the New York State Commission on the Restoration of the Capitol. The State Museum also will host a preview of a WMHT documentary – “The New York Capitol Fire” – in the Huxley Theater on Monday, March 28 at 12:15 p.m. It will air on WMHT on Thursday, March 31.

Open until June 18 in the lobby of the Office of Cultural Education (OCE), the exhibition is a collaboration between the State Museum, State Library and State Archives and chronicles how the fire affected each of the OCE institutions and their collections. It is based largely on the book, “The New York State Capitol and the Great Fire of 1911,” written by Paul Mercer and Vicki Weiss, senior librarians in the State Library’s Manuscripts and Special Collections unit.

The exhibition will include dramatic photographs, eyewitness accounts and artifacts that survived the blaze. One of those is a section of the iron chain link that stretched across the Hudson River between West Point and Constitution Island to prevent British vessels from navigating up the river during the American Revolution. West Point was a strategic site because of the s-curve in the Hudson there that forced large ships to slow down and become an easy target. The links were recovered from the State Library ruins after the fire. Another section of the chain is preserved at the West Point Military Academy.

Also on display are an 1892 fire helmet, lantern and fire nozzle, courtesy of Warren W. Abriel, a deputy chief in the Albany fire department and a fourth-generation Albany firefighter. The helmet was worn by Abriel’s great-grandfather, Reuben H. Abriel, who manned Steamer 2 for the Albany Fire Department when it was a volunteer force.

There also will be several objects showing fire damage that were part of the Museum’s world-famous Lewis Henry Morgan collection. New York state commissioned Morgan to gather objects from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) communities in the state and from the Six Nations reserve in Canada in 1849-50. All but 50 of some 500 objects were on exhibit.

On the day of the fire Arthur C. Parker, who was Seneca and the state’s first archaeologist, risked his life to save Museum collections and wrote that he was only able to save about 1,500 of the 10,000 objects. The only items in the Morgan collection that survived were in his office. The Parker family assisted Morgan in assembling the collection.

More information on the Morgan collection will be available at one of the programs planned at the Museum to complement the exhibition. The talks are all on Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m. They are:

* March 29 – Talk and Book Signing: “The New York State Capitol and the Great Fire of 1911.” Mercer and Weiss will present dramatic stories and images from their new book. The book will be for sale after the talk and also is available in the Museum shop and from the Friends of the New York State Library – http://nyslfriends.org/, which will receive all royalties from the book.
* April 5 – “The Conservation of Burned Documents.” Paper conservator Susan Bove of the State Archives will discuss contemporary preservation methods that were used to repair documents salvaged from the Capitol Fire. She will also talk about the conservation treatment protocol that she developed to meet the needs of these especially fragile items.
* Tuesday, April 12 – “Lessons Learned: Modern Response to Fire Events in Cultural Institutions.”

Paper conservator Michele Phillips of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Bureau of Historic Sites will provide an overview of best practices in action to safeguard collections and their impact on salvage and recovery.

Tuesday, April 19 – “A Capitol Loss: The Lewis Henry Morgan Collection.” Dr. Betty J. Duggan, the Museum’s curator of Ethnography and Ethnology, recounts the collection’s history and the experience of its young curator, Arthur C. Parker, during and after the fire.

The State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the museum website at www.nysm.nysed.gov.

Photo: Amateur photographer Harry Roy Sweney captured the Capitol inferno at 3:30 a.m. on March 29, 1911. The New York American paid $25.00 for the first print of this dramatic photograph. Courtesy New York State Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections.

39 Sites Recommended for State, National Registers


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The New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended the addition of 39 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including the nation’s first fish hatchery, the neighborhood that grew up near the Brooklyn Naval Yard, and a roadside souvenir stand modeled after a tepee.

Listing these properties on the State and National Registers can assist their owners in revitalizing the structures, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.


The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology and culture of New York State and the nation. There are 90,000 historic buildings, structures and sites throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts. Property owners, municipalities and organizations from communities throughout the state sponsored the nominations.

Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.

STATE REVIEW BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS

Albany County

Potter Hollow District #19 School, Potter Hollow – constructed in 1853 in response to the educational reform movements of the mid-nineteenth century, the rural vernacular one-room schoolhouse retains an exceptionally high degree of architectural integrity.

University Club, Albany – the front portion of the Colonial Revival structure, designed by prominent Albany architect Robert Fuller, was built in 1924-25 for the club established earlier in the century to “promote social discourse among its members and to cultivate and maintain university spirit in Albany.”

Bronx County

Dollar Savings Bank, Bronx – today the Bronx Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church, the 1919 bank is a distinguished example of Classical Revival design that reflects the commercial history of one of the most important banking institutions in the Bronx.

Broome County

Harlow E. Bundy House, Binghamton – the Queen Anne-style home was built in 1893 by Harlow Bundy, a founder of the Bundy Manufacturing Company, a leading producer of mechanical time clocks, which was the precursor of IBM.

Chemung County

Riverside Cemetery, Lowman – one of the earliest surviving cemeteries in Chemung County, it is the final resting place of many of the area’s earliest settlers, including several veterans of the American Revolution and the War of 1812, most of whose homes and farms have vanished.

Clinton County
Heyworth-Mason Industrial Building, Peru – the 1836 structure is an example of an early stone industrial building that housed A. Mason and Sons Lumber Company, a firm that operated for 90 years and greatly impacted the building industry in Clinton and Essex Counties.

Cortland County

William J. Greenman House, Cortland – the 1896 Queen Anne-style house is based on a design of George Franklin Barber, an early and successful proponent of “house by mail” plans, for local manufacturer William Greenman.

Delaware County

Schoolhouse No. 5, Hamden – a mid-19th century rural one-room schoolhouse built in the winter of 1857-1858, sometimes known as Upper Dunk Hill School, which includes a schoolyard defined by a stone wall and mature trees planted by students to mark Arbor Day.

Erie County

Buffalo Seminary, Buffalo – an excellent example of the Collegiate Gothic-style, the 1909 building houses a significant educational institution which has served the Buffalo community for over 150 years and has produced numerous graduates who have made significant contributions to Buffalo and the nation.

University Park Historic District, Buffalo – a remarkably intact example of an early-20th century planned residential subdivision, reflecting the importance of the streetcar and the rise of automobile use in determining the city’s expansion.

Twentieth Century Club, Buffalo – built in 1896, the elegant Classical Revival clubhouse reflects the growth of the national women’s club movement and the increased influence of women generally in American life.

Engine House #2 and Hook & Ladder #9, Buffalo – originally constructed in 1875 to serve the needs of the rapidly growing city and its Allentown neighborhood, the Second Empire-style firehouse was expanded in 1896 to provide additional space for the Hook & Ladder #9.

Essex County

Crandall Marine Railway, Ticonderoga – the rare and remarkably intact 1927 railway dry dock facility was, and still is, used by the Lake George Steamboat Company to haul its excursion boats in and out of Lake George for maintenance and storage.

Fulton County

Hotel Broadalbin, Broadalbin – originally built in 1854 as a specialty store selling gloves manufactured at the local Northrup & Richards glove factory, it was greatly enlarged in 1881 for use as a hotel for the growing numbers of tourists visiting the Adirondacks.

Greene County

Oak Hill Cemetery, Oak Hill – the small, 5.6-acre cemetery originated as the burial place of early settlers Lucas and Deborah DeWitt on their family farm in the early 1820s, and evolved quickly into a community cemetery for residents of the hamlet.

Herkimer County

Frankfort Hill District #10 School, Frankfort Hill – constructed in 1846, the vernacular building retains a high degree of architectural integrity and remarkably served as an active public school for 110 years until 1956.

Kings County

Wallabout Historic District, Brooklyn – primarily residential buildings built between 1830 and 1930 – and especially rich in pre-Civil War wood houses – the district developed as Brooklyn’s residential development moved eastward and laborers came to work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Lewis County

Stoddard-O’Connor House, Lowville – built in 1898, the Queen Anne/Colonial Revival-inspired home is adjacent to the commercial heart of Lowville, which was experiencing ample growth during the turn of the last century.

Mary Lyon Fisher Memorial Chapel, Lyonsdale – the late Gothic Revival masonry chapel in Wildwood Cemetery was built in 1921 by the children of Mary Lyon Fisher in honor of their mother, and is an important reminder of the philanthropy of the Lyon family, a preeminent family of the region.

Livingston County

Caledonia Fish Hatchery, Caledonia – the property is nationally historically significant for its association with Seth Green, who established the first fish hatchery in the western hemisphere in 1864, creating what has been acclaimed nationally and internationally as the world’s largest and most productive fish plant in continuous use.

Monroe County
Brockport Central Rural High School, Brockport – completed in 1934, today’s A.D. Oliver School is notable for its distinctive English Tudor Revival design, as well as its interior details, especially the auditorium’s stained-glass windows, which illustrate American historic figures.

Oatka Cemetery, Oak Hill – a late 19th century rural cemetery, which was attached to and merged with an earlier burying ground, known as Scottsville Cemetery, and contains markers of the area’s citizens from the early 19th century to the present.

Montgomery County

Van Wie Farmstead, (Valley View Farm) McKinley – the 1873 farmhouse based on Italianate-inspired pattern book architecture and associated farm buildings and acreage tell the story of changes in Mohawk Valley agricultural production, from the earliest 18th century wheat farmers to mechanized dairy production in the mid-20th century.

Nassau County
The Stephen Harding House and Studio, Sea Cliff – built in 1878 by photographer Stephen Harding as one of the original homes during the period when Methodist Camp Meetings were held in Sea Cliff.

Niagara County

Hazard H. Sheldon House, Niagara Falls – the 1857 ‘Italian Villa’ was the home Hazard H. Sheldon, a lawyer who played an important role in the civic affairs of the then-burgeoning Village of Niagara Falls.

Allan Herchell Carousel Factory, North Tonawanda – the existing State and National Register listing is expanded to include 39 Geneva Street, which served as the main office for the Allan Herschell Company from 1915 until 1945, when owner John Wendler developed the Kiddieland amusement park concept

Onondaga County
Huntley Apartments, Syracuse – constructed in 1928, and originally known as the Asaranaba, it reflects a trend in the city that saw the acceptance of apartment living on the part of the middle class in a city previously dominated by the single-family or two-family house.

Otsego County

Gilbertsville Water Works, Gilbertsville – in response to a series of large fires, the village of Gilbertsville was incorporated in 1896 with the specific purpose of establishing the water supply system, which it enlarged in 1914-18, and continues in use today.

The Tepee, Cherry Valley – an example of popular roadside architecture, the Tepee was built in 1954 by Ken and Iris Gurney, natives of Nebraska, where tepees were especially popular, who moved to upstate New York and decided to take advantage of growing automobile traffic along Route 20 to open a souvenir stand.

Rensselaer County

Dickinson Hill Fire Tower, Grafton – erected in 1924 by the New York State Conservation Commission in what is now Grafton Lakes State Park, it was one of more than 100 built after 1908 to identify fires and put them out before causing extensive loss of forest, open land, buildings, and wildlife.

Rockland County

Rockland Road Bridge Historic District, Piermont – the district includes a masonry arch bridge erected in 1874 to span the Sparkill Creek along with several nearby properties portraying various periods in the hamlet’s development.

Gurnee-Sherwood House, Wesley Hills – built in the 1790s and subsequently enlarged around 1830 during its ownership by Reverend James Sherwood, a Methodist clergyman who played a central role in the development of the area.Christ Church, Sparkill – built in 1864, the church remains a largely intact and noteworthy example of Gothic Revival-style religious design.

St. Lawrence County

Young Memorial Church, Brier Hill – built 1907-1908, the church is an intact example of the Shingle style, featuring a two-story square Gothic bell tower and decorative windows of opaque glass and stained glass medallions and portraits made by a local artisan.

Saratoga County

Smith’s Grain and Feed Store, Elnora – constructed in 1892, the store served the local farm community for generations by selling feed, grain, coal, fertilizers and other goods that were transported to the store by the railroad, which unloaded at the store’s own siding.

Steuben County

Cottages at Central Point, Hammondsport – built in the 1880s, the four cottages are a remarkably intact collection of picturesque seasonal vacation houses in the Finger Lakes, reflecting the beginnings of the residential development patterns that have come to dominate the region.

Sullivan County

Forestburgh Town Hall, Forestburgh – unaltered since its construction in 1927, the structure’s specifications exactly match the original town hall that burned to the ground the year before.

Warren County

Fort George, Lake George – archaeological investigations at the French and Indian War site have provided rare insights into New York’s colonial wars and it reflects early and successful public initiatives in land conservation and commemoration.

Wyoming County

Perry Downtown Historic District, Perry – the village district of commercial, civic and mixed use buildings reflects the growth and development of Perry as a regional commercial hub and the center of a booming textile industry from roughly 1830 to 1930.

State Museum, Library to Close Saturday, Reopen Mon


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The New York State Museum, State Library and State Archives will be closed to the public on Saturday, March 5 due to an annually scheduled power shutdown to test the emergency power system in the Cultural Education Center building.

The Office of Cultural Education (OCE) building is closed on Sundays. The State Museum, Library and Archives will reopen on Monday, March 7.

The State Museum, State Archives and State Library are cultural programs of the New York State Education Department. They are located on Madison Avenue in Albany. Admission is free. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the OCE website at www.oce.nysed.gov.

John Brown Lives! Exposing Slavery in Our Chocolate


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On Monday, 14 February, John Brown Lives!’ Dreaming of Timbuctoo Exhibition will be on display in The Well of the Legislative Office Building in Albany. The exhibition will be unveiled at 11:00 a.m. with Valentine’s Day Fair Trade chocolates and guest speakers, including Assemblyman Steven Englebright, Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, and Senators Kevin Parker and Betty Little.

While the exhibition brings to light a long-forgotten chapter of New York State freedom history, speakers will also draw connections across continents from the Sahara to the Adirondacks, discuss the importance public funding for state historic sites, and provide an update on the current campaign to end child/slave labor and trafficking in the chocolate industry.

Fifteen years before the Civil War, leading black and white abolitionists in New York State rolled out an ambitious voting rights strategy to break the juggernaut in Albany that kept Black New Yorkers disenfranchised. Part agrarian dream, it also resulted in radical reformer Gerrit Smith deeding 120,000 acres of Adirondack land to 3,000 free black men from all across the state. While few families moved to their plots, Smith’s “scheme of justice and benevolence” is what attracted John Brown to move there with his family. The homestead is where Brown chose to be buried after his raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859 to strike a blow against slavery. Tens of thousands of visitors come to the John Brown State Historic Site outside of Lake Placid every year to visit the gravesite of Brown and several of his fellow Raiders.

Dreaming of Timbuctoo is the first serious and thorough treatment of the backstory behind John Brown’s attraction to the Adirondacks. The exhibition premiered at the Adirondack Museum in 2001 and then toured campuses, libraries, historical societies, and museums around the state, including the State Museum in Albany, and was seen by well over 100,000 people. With Assemblyman Englebright and Senators Kevin Parker and Betty Little as sponsors, the exhibition will be on display in The Well for the public to view through Thursday 17 February.

Invited speakers at the press event in The Well on Valentine’s Day, Monday 14 February, at 11:00 a.m. include:

- Assemblyman Steven Englebright and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward;
- Senators Kevin Parker and Betty Little;
- Martha Swan, Director, John Brown Lives!
- Brian O’Shaughnessy, Executive Director, New York Labor-Religion Coalition who will make the link to current work to end child/slave labor and trafficking in cocoa industry;
- Jane McNamara, Director of Grants & Special Programs, New York Council for the Humanities
- Dr. Hadley-Kruzcak-Aaron, SUNY Potsdam professor and archeologist who is conducting a dig on one of the Timbuctoo plots in Essex County;
- Andrew Stewart, a college freshman from Albany who was part of Hadley’s team on a dig in 2009;
- Brother Yusef Wasi, an Albany educator and mentor of Andrew and other teens involved in the dig;
- Ibrahim ag Mohamed, Director of Scarab School, Timbuktu, Mali (whose greetings from Mali will be read on his behalf)
- Amy Godine, exhibition curator, who will lead a walk-thru of the exhibition.

Fair Trade chocolate will be handed out and people will have the opportunity to send a Valentine’s Day post card asking the Hersheys Chocolate Company to certify that David West, CEO of Hersheys Company.

Dreaming of Timbuctoo is a joint project of the freedom education project John Brown Lives! and the Essex County Historical Society. Major funding for the exhibition and a slate of educational and cultural program was provided by the New York State Council for the Arts, the New York Council for the Humanities, private foundations, and numerous individual donors.

For more information: Martha Swan, Director, John Brown Lives!, 518-962-4758 or 518-582-2586

Historic Saranac Lake Gets Preservation Grant


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Historic Saranac Lake (HSL) was recently awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant. The grant will support the services of a professional consultant and the purchase of storage materials for the HSL collection.

Eileen Corcoran, of Vergennes Vermont, will conduct a general preservation assessment and to help draft a long-range plan for the care of the HSL collection. She will also provide on site training to staff in methods and materials for the storage of collections, best practices for cataloging collections, and proper methods for the arrangement and description of archival collections.

Historic Saranac Lake houses a collection of letters and manuscripts, photographs and objects pertaining to the early scientific research of tuberculosis and care of TB patients in Saranac Lake, as well as a variety of items relating to the architecture and general history of the community. A number of these items are rare survivors of the many, many examples that once existed, such as an inspection certificate, or a record of patient treatments. They tell the story of a community of healing.

The Historic Saranac Lake collection is used for exhibitions, educational programs and by researchers. Historic Saranac Lake currently maintains two exhibitions at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The main laboratory space is a model of a very early science lab. Visitors explore and gain an appreciation for the history of science by observing artifacts and letters on display such as early microscopes and laboratory equipment, early scientific journals and photographs of important men in the history of science.

An alcove in the laboratory has been arranged as an exhibit on patient care, another important facet of Saranac Lake’s TB history. Items from the collection are displayed such as a cure chair, photos of cure cottages, letters from patients, sputum cups, a pneumothorax machine for collapsing the lung, and items made by patients in occupational therapy. Visitors gain an understanding of the patient experience taking the fresh air cure in Saranac Lake.

The main floor meeting space contains another exhibition, “The Great War, WWI in Saranac Lake.” This exhibit includes letters from local soldiers, medals, photos, and a complete WWI uniform and supplies such as a gas mask and mess kit. The exhibit interprets this important time period in history and how it impacted Saranac Lake.

Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake offers professional knowledge and experience to the public in support of Historic Preservation, architectural and historical research and education. HSL operates the Saranac Laboratory Museum and an online museum of local history at hsl.wikispot.org.

NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections.

VT: Native American Panel To Hold Meetings


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The group that will establish a process for state recognition of Native American tribes in Vermont is holding a series of public forums around the state.

The Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs will hold the first meeting at the Goodrich Memorial Library on Main Street in Newport on Tuesday, November 16 according to Giovanna Peebles, State Historic Preservation Officer and director of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. Continue reading

New Netherland Research Center Opened


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A ribbon-cutting ceremony today officially opened the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) on the 7th floor of the New York State Library in Albany. The NNRC will focus attention on New York State’s rich collection of historic Dutch Colonial documents and facilitate access to them for future scholars, teachers and students both here and abroad.

The New Netherland Research Center, which will provide access to the colonial Dutch documents held by the New York State Archives and New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections, is the first step in an international effort to launch a collaborative digitization project to share collections and archives from former Dutch colonies.

During the 2009 Quadricentennial celebration of Henry Hudson’s voyage opening up the New World to Dutch settlement, Dutch dignitaries, including the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, visited the Cultural Education Center’s 1609 Exhibition.

At that visit the government of the Netherlands committed to a grant of €200,000 (approximately $275,000) to the New Netherland Institute to continue and expand the New Netherland Project by establishing a New Netherland Research Center. This gift, with matching support from the Institute, are expected to transform what started out as a translation project into a collaborative research initiative with international scope and context.

Modern technologies are hoped to make New York’s collections, along with those in other similar or complementary repositories, available digitally and to promote a more complete story of the Dutch global reach during the colonial period and its lasting impact on today’s world.

The NNRC is the culmination of a decades-long translation effort, the New Netherland Project, at the New York State Library. Dr. Charles Gehring is the project’s Director and principal translator. Dr. Janny Venema is Assistant Director. Both have worked to unlock the wealth of information in these collections by making them available in English. They have also written extensively and spoken widely on the scope and legacy of our early Dutch heritage.

Seventeenth century collections of government records in the New York State Archives and non-government documents in the Library’s Manuscripts and Special Collections constitute the world’s largest collection of early Dutch language documentation of the New World colonies. Encompassing what is now a large part of the northeastern United States, the early Dutch colony, its language, culture and laws, lie at the roots of much of our nation’s modern history. Scholars regularly explore the collections for insights into 17th century life in New Netherland. Russell Shorto relied heavily on Gehring and Vanema and the New York State collections in writing his book The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America.

The New York State Library is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education.

Citizen Soldier Exhibit Now Online


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The New York State Museum’s story of the New York Army National Guard is now online.

“Citizen Soldier: New York’s National Guard in the American Century” chronicles a history that is based on a tradition dating back to colonial times in a state that has always been guided by the principle that its defense lies in the hands of its citizenry.

“Citizen soldiers are everyday people who put their lives on hold to defend, aid and protect their communities and their country,” a museum press release says. “From militiamen defending their homes on the colonial frontier, to individuals serving in conflicts around the globe, New Yorkers continue this legacy of service to the present day.”

The exhibit is open in the museum’s exhibition hall through March 2011. Photos from the exhibit, as well as an interactive history timeline can now be found on the museum’s website at www.nysm.nysed.gov/citizensoldier.

The displays in the exhibition hall, and the online information, focuses on the 20th century, which witnessed the transformation of the United States from an isolationist nation into a dominant power with the ability to shape world events. It was dubbed the American Century in 1941 by Time Magazine Publisher Henry Luce.

During that time the National Guard evolved from an ill-equipped and poorly trained militia into a modern-day force capable of protecting American interests around the world. The 16,000 men and women who serve in the New York Army National Guard today fulfill a variety of critical missions both at home and abroad.

Encompassing nearly 7,000 square feet of gallery space, the exhibition covers the service of New Yorkers in the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the first Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also included are the missions closer to home – the Capitol Fire (1911), blizzards in Buffalo (1944, 1977) and New York City (1996), the Woodstock concert (1969), the Attica riots (1971), the ice storm in northern New York (1998), the Mechanicville tornado (1998), the 2001 terrorist attacks and other smaller calamities around the state.

Visitors entering the exhibition will see the M8 Greyhound Light Armored Car that was first introduced into combat in 1943. The 16,000-pound vehicle was used in all theaters of World War II, including Europe, where it was issued to the men of the 101st Cavalry Group of the New York National Guard.

The car is now owned by Gregory Wolanin of Loudonville. Also on display are a flamethrower and bazooka, a 37 mm gun, and various other military equipment. Visitors will also have the opportunity to see the History Channel film, “Defending America,” which will be shown in the gallery.

There are many personal stories of courage and heroism throughout the exhibition. One of those is that of Sgt. Henry Johnson of Albany, a member of the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment who single-handedly fought off a group of German soldiers before collapsing from 21 wounds during a battle in France in 1918. It wasn’t until 1996 that Johnson was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, and 2003 when the Army awarded him the Distinguished Service Cross, this nation’s second highest award for valor.

Medals of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, were awarded to Col. William J. O’Brien and Sgt. Thomas A. Baker of Troy, both of the 105th Infantry Regiment, for their courage in the face of a horrifying enemy attack by the Japanese on Saipan in 1944. Also included is the story of Sgt. LeRoy Sprague of Elmira of the 108th Infantry Regiment who received a Purple Heart after being seriously wounded in 1945 during fighting on the island of Luzon in the Philippine Islands.

First Sgt. James Meltz of Cropseyville, a member of the 108th Infantry Regiment, received the Bronze Star for valor after rescuing fellow soldiers from a burning humvee during a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan in 2008.

The exhibition also features profiles of other members of the 108th Infantry who served in Iraq, including Sgt. 1st Class John Ross of Latham, Sgt. 1st Class Luis Barsallo of Halfmoon and Private 1st Class Nathan Brown of Glens Falls. Brown was killed in Iraq in 2004 when an insurgent fired a rocket-propelled grenade into the back of the 5-ton truck he was riding in.

Also included in the exhibition are a bronze bust and other items related to Maj. Gen. John Francis Ryan, who grew up in Morrisania, Westchester Co. and became the commander of the New York National Guard in 1912. He led the 27th Division on the Mexican border and to victory in World War I.

A section of the exhibition is devoted to women in the New York National Guard. Featured here are profiles of Spc. Amy Klemm of Ronkonkoma, who volunteered to serve in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and Capt. Tara Dawe of Queens, who volunteered for service in Bosnia and later passed up Officer Candidate School so that she could deploy with her unit, the 442nd MP Company, to Iraq.

The State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free. Further information about programs and events can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting www.nysm.nysed.gov.

Finger Lakes Museum Unveils New Logo


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Finger Lakes Museum board president John Adamski recently unveiled the logo that will symbolize the museum’s future brand and identity. In his remarks, Adamski said that the bald eagle represents the most successful wildlife restoration success story in American history and it all began in the Finger Lakes Region near Hemlock Lake in the 1970s.

He later stated, “Our plans for the museum project, which started out with a handful of supporters just two and a half years ago, are to mirror the success of the bald eagle.”

Adamski and Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Director Tim Joseph also signed a Letter of Intent to start the process that will enable the Finger Lakes Museum to build its campus in Keuka Lake State Park.

Under the Letter of Intent, the Finger Lakes Museum and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation will begin a comprehensive planning process for the Museum’s facilities at Keuka Lake State Park. The process, which will include public input opportunities and a full environmental review, will develop a detailed concept design and site building plans.

A joint Memorandum of Understanding listing the commitments of five other Keuka Lake State Park site sponsors was also signed. Those members include Yates County, the Town of Jerusalem, Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, Keuka College and the Finger Lakes Visitors Association. A separate agreement with the Yates County Chamber of Commerce will be signed at a future date.

A few weeks ago, more than 70 people from 60 architectural, engineering, and exhibit design firms from across the country met at Keuka Lake State Park to listen to Adamski and project director Don Naetzker describe the concept, mission and vision for the project. After the presentation, they took a walking tour of the park and the Branchport School campus, which is serving as the museum’s interim headquarters.

When asked what constitutes a world­class museum, Adamski responded, “When dozens of design professionals from five countries—Canada, China, England, Germany, and the United States—express an interest in designing the project, you can’t get much more world­class than that.”

The attendees were asked to submit qualifications to compete for the commission of designing the Finger Lakes Museum. The board plans to narrow the list to five firms, which will then each submit design proposals before the end of the year.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to create a world­class educational institution to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square­mile Finger Lakes Region, since the last glacial recession began over 12,000 years ago. Last April, Keuka Lake State Park was selected as the preferred location to build the project.

Second Photo: Finger Lakes Museum project director Don Naetzker, left, facilitates the signing ceremony at Keuka Lake State Park. Seated from left are museum trustee David Wegman, Regional Parks Director Tim Joseph, board president John Adamski, Jerusalem town supervisor Daryl Jones, Yates County Legislature president Taylor Fitch, Finger Lakes Economic Development Center CEO Steve Griffin, Keuka College president Dr. Joseph Burke, and Finger Lakes Visitors Association Executive Director Steve Knapp.

For more information or to make contact, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Museum Annouces Agreement


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Finger Lakes Museum Board President John Adamski and Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Director Tim Joseph have announced that a ceremony has been scheduled to sign a Letter of Intent to start the process that will enable the Finger Lakes Museum to build its campus in Keuka Lake State Park. A joint Memorandum of Understanding listing the commitments of five other Keuka Lake State Park site sponsors, which were presented in the Site Sponsors’ Proposal last December, will also be signed at the same event. Those members include Yates County, the Town of Jerusalem, Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, Keuka College and the Finger Lakes Visitors Association. A separate agreement with the Yates County Chamber of Commerce will be signed in a few more weeks.

The affair will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 17 th at the lakeside
pavilion in Keuka Lake State Park and members of the News Media and the public
are invited to attend this unprecedented event.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to create a worldclass educational institution to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000
squaremile Finger Lakes Region, since the last glacial recession began some 12,000 years ago. Last April, Keuka Lake State Park was selected as the preferred location to build the project after 19 sites were submitted for evaluation by 8 Finger Lakes counties and the City of Geneva in 2009.

Under the Letter of Intent, the Finger Lakes Museum and the New York State Office
of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will initiate a comprehensive planning
process for the Museum’s facilities at Keuka Lake State Park. The planning process,
which will include public input opportunities and a full environmental review, will
develop a detailed concept design and site building plans.

The Board of Trustees has approved the design of a new logo for the Finger Lakes
Museum, which was created by InHouse Graphics of Geneva and will be unveiled at the event.

New Netherland: Scholar in Residence Programs


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The New Netherland Research Center (NNRC), a joint endeavor of the New Netherland Institute (NNI) and the Office of Cultural Education, New York State Education Department (NYSED/OCE), with financial support from the Government of the Netherlands, announces a Senior Scholar in Residence program and two NNRC Student Scholar Research Grants for 2011.

Student Scholar Research Grants

The grant covers a period of up to three months in residence and provides a stipend of $5,000. A time frame for fulfilling the grant requirements will be established in consultation with the Director of NNRC. No housing or travel funds are provided but
office space is included.

Scholars beyond the undergraduate level and actively working on a thesis, dissertation, or scholarly article are invited to apply. Research must be conducted at the New York State Library and Archives, Albany, NY, in the field of New Netherland history and the Dutch Atlantic World utilizing the Records of New Netherland. Candidates must indicate their research topic in their application. Genealogical research topics are excluded. Considering that much of the secondary, as well as the primary, source materials are in 17th century Dutch, it would be to the student scholar’s advantage to have a working knowledge of the language.

The $5,000 stipend is payable in equal installment upon submission and acceptance by the Director of NNRC of a monthly progress report. At the conclusion of their residency, the student scholar must submit a written report based on their work and deliver a public lecture on their research findings prior to receipt of their final installment.

Applications, consisting of a curriculum vita, two letters of recommendation, and a cover letter outlining the research topic and work plan, must be submitted to the Grants Committee, New Netherland Institute, Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station, Albany, NY 12220-0536.

Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2010 with awards announced on December 1, 2010.

Senior Scholar in Residence Program

Pre–and post-doctoral students, including independent, non-university-affiliated persons, are invited to apply for a 12-month residency beginning not earlier than January and not later than September 2011 with the specific time frame to be established in consultation with the Director of NNRC. The proposed research will occur at the New Netherland Research Center in Albany, utilizing the resources of the New York State Library and Archives for research in the field of Dutch Colonial America and the Atlantic World. Scholars are expected to include the primary sources of the Records of New Netherland in their research, so a reading knowledge of seventeenth-century Dutch is necessary.

The recipient will be required to produce a minimum 5000 word manuscript based upon his or her research in the primary sources in the field, with NNI/ NNRC having the first option to publish it and holding the copyright. In addition, a public lecture on an aspect of the research for delivery at Siena College, Loudonville, NY, is also mandated. Both requirements must be met no later than the final month of residency and are subject to the approval of the Director of NNRC.

No housing or travel funds are provided, but office space at NYSED/OCE is included.

The stipend is $30,000, to be distributed monthly in equal installments upon submission of a written progress report acceptable to the Director of NNRC. The final payment will be contingent upon meeting the terms cited above.

The application must consist of two copies of a curriculum vitae; one copy of a thesis, dissertation, published article(s) or book; two letters of recommendation; and a cover letter outlining your research interest and work plan. It should be submitted to the Grants Committee, New Netherland Institute, P.O. Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station,
Albany, NY 12220-0536.

Applications must be received by September 15, 2010. The grant will be awarded and announced by November 1, 2010.

New Board Members for Finger Lakes Museum


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Two new members were elected to seats on the Finger Lakes Museum’s board of trustees at its July 21 st meeting. According to board president, John Adamski, New York City attorney William Gaske, who serves as the museum’s legal counsel, and Village of Aurora vice mayor George Farenthold, were both added to the board in unanimous votes.
The board of trustees now has 10 members seated. Former trustee, Don Naetzker, resigned in May to take a paid position as the museum’s Project Director and is now in charge of managing its design and construction.

In other motions, the board elected six members to sit on a newly­created advisory board including Keuka College president Joseph Burke, former Kodak chairman and CEO Daniel Carp, Yates County Historian Frances Dumas, Fox Run Vineyard owner Scott Osborn, and former Rochester Institute of Technology president Dr. Albert Simone. Albany health­care consultant Mary Anne Kowalski was elected to chair the advisory board.

Adamski also announced that the board approved a motion to retain Brakeley Briscoe, a Connecticut consulting firm, to develop strategies for a capital fundraising campaign in an effort to raise up to $40 million. In April, Keuka Lake State Park had been selected as the preferred site to build the museum.

In a parallel move, the board of trustees launched its own fundraising drive, which it calls its 2010 Founders’ Campaign and is intended to raise $1 million in startup funds to hire staff, purchase computers, office equipment, and set up shop at the museum’s operations center in the Branchport Elementary School.

Anyone can become a museum founder for as little as $100 by logging on to the museum’s website at www.fingerlakesmuseum.org. Founders will receive a Founder’s Certificate, vehicle decal, and their names will be permanently inscribed on a Founders’ Wall in the lobby of the museum. The school building was vacant because of district consolidation but has been recently purchased by the Finger Lakes Visitors Association for use by the museum.

The Finger Lakes Museum Project is an initiative to create a world­class educational institution that will showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000­square­mile Finger Lakes Region. Plans will call for a freshwater tunnel aquarium, a glacial­geological exhibit of the Finger Lakes, outdoor wildlife habitats, and an auditorium­theater to be built at the Keuka Lake State Park site. Opening is scheduled for spring in 2014.

For more information see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org

Harriman Family Palisades Founders Award Recipient


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On June 3, 2010, the Palisades Parks Conservancy hosted their eighth annual dinner along the Hudson River shoreline at the Ross Dock Section of the Palisades Interstate Park, Fort Lee, NJ. The dinner was well attended with over 250 guests.

The Conservancy’s Board of Directors recognized 100 years of service and dedication by the Harriman Family. Elbridge Gerry Jr. accepted the Palisades Founders Award on behalf of more than sixty family members. A former Harriman camper, NY State Senator Jose M. Serrano, chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, and Parks and Recreation, was the keynote speaker. In addition, Samuel F. Pryor III, PIPC President and Carol Ash, Commissioner of the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation shared remarks.

A century ago, railroad executive Edward Henry (E.H.) and Mary Williamson Averell Harriman joined other Gilded Age families to reclaim our nation’s scenic and cultural treasures. Since then, the Harrimans have been at the forefront of every Palisades Interstate Park initiative. From the conservation of land and creation of parks, lakes, and beaches, to their unwavering support for nature education and relief camps, their dedication to the preservation of our traditions and environment serves as a model for us all.

After railroad magnate E.H. Harriman’s sudden death, his wife Mary carried on his vision to establish a grand park. Their gift of ten thousand acres and one million dollars safeguarded the scenic beauty of present-day Bear Mountain and the park that bears the family name. At the 1910 dedication ceremony, Mary and E.H.’s son, William Averell, presented the deed of land to the PIPC and thus started more than a century of family service on behalf of these 28 parks and historic sites.

W. Averell Harriman, the longest serving Palisades Commissioner, played an important role in the advancement of the Interstate Park. Always viewing himself as a volunteer to the PIPC and champion of nature, Harriman valued his service during his fifty-three year tenure (1915-1954, 1959-1973). To ensure access for all, Averell, with his brother Roland, himself a Commissioner for four years (1955-1958) contributed to the creation of transportation networks throughout the Palisades enabling millions the ability to easily travel deep into the wilderness and to connect with nature and our history via railroads, bridges, trails, and scenic byways.

In collaboration with the PIPC, Mary Harriman, who persistently encouraged education, suggested the creation of relief camps to aid underprivileged and homeless children and teach them about the power of nature. The family’s charitable foundations continue to assist today’s 32 camps allowing thousands of children the opportunity to learn lifelong skills each summer. Carrying on her grandmother’s legacy, Mary Harriman Fisk, a Commissioner from 1974-1996, sponsored the Tiorati Workshop for Environmental Learning, a program that trains NYC’s public schools to teach inner-city students the wonders of nature.

Photo: Edward Henry Harriman in his office 1899.

Finger Lakes Museum, State Announce Partnership


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The president of the Finger Lakes Museum and the Regional Director of Finger Lakes State Parks have announced the formation of a partnership that will work to move the proposed Finger Lakes Museum forward. In April, the museum’s board of trustees announced that Keuka Lake State Park had been selected as the preferred site for a world­class museum that is planned to showcase the cultural and natural history of the 9,000 square­mile Finger Lakes Region.

Museum president, John Adamski, said that board members and Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation (OPRHP) officials from Albany and the region have already met and toured the park as the first step in developing a joint master plan for the museum and public use of state parkland. Regional parks director, Tim Joseph, arranged the meeting and led the tour.

A little­-used 60­-acre section at the north end of the park, bordering Route 54A, is
being considered as the location for the museum’s main campus. Opportunities for interpretive exhibits in other areas of the park are also being examined. Camping and public use of the existing beach, facilities, and boat launch will not be affected.

Andy Beers, OPRHP Executive Deputy Commissioner, stated that while the agency will not be involved in funding the $40 million project, it will make its expertise and services available to help museum organizers develop their plans.

The Finger Lakes Museum is a privately held not-­for­-profit educational institution that was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009. While some federal and state funding may be available through grant programs, the bulk of the funding is planned to come from private sources and corporations.

In other developments, museum trustee and former site selection committee chairman, Don Naetzker, resigned from the board in May to accept a paid position as the museum’s Project Manager. A licensed landscape architect and professional land planner, Naetzker will coordinate planning efforts with museum organizers, state parks, and architectural and exhibit designers. His recent master planning projects include Frontier Field, Corn Hill Landing, and Charlotte Harbor at the Port of Rochester.
Commercial real estate developer and president of the Finger Lakes Visitors Association, David Wegman, was elected to the museum’s board of trustees in May. He is also owner of Esperanza Mansion Inn and Restaurant in the hamlet of Keuka Park and the tour boat, Esperanza Rose, which offers dinner cruises on Keuka Lake. Wegman was instrumental in bringing the Finger Lakes Museum to Keuka Lake State Park.

Photo: Finger Lakes Museum board members and officials from the state Office of
Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation met last month in order to develop a joint
master plan for Keuka Lake State Park. From left to right: Don Naetzker, FLM project manager; Tim Joseph, Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Director; Mike Wasilco, DEC Region 8 wildlife biologist; Andy Beers, OPRHP Executive Deputy Commissioner; Chris Pushkarsh, OPRHP, Tom Alworth, OPRHP; Bill Banaszewski, FLM; John Adamski, FLM president; John Eberhard, OPRHP; Henry Maus, FLM; Jim Zimpfer, OPRHP; Dan Davis, OPRHP; and Tom Lyons, OPRHP.

New Netherland Institute Annual Meeting May 15th


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The 23rd Annual Meeting of the New Netherland Institute (NNI) will be held Saturday, May 15, at 12 noon at the University Club, 141 Washington Ave., Albany. The meeting will feature a lecture by Stephen T. Staggs, about why Dutch settlers came to New Netherland in the 1600s, called the Native Americans they met “vrienden” (friends) but after a time switched to “wilden” (savages). [More here].

Registration for the meeting is open to the public. The cost of the lunch is $22, payable by mail or at the NNI website at nnp.org. Details of the meeting are available at http://www.nnp.org or by calling the NNI office in the Cultural Education Center, (518) 486-4815.

Membership in the NNI does not require Dutch ancestry. It is open to anyone with an interest in the history of New Netherland, a 17th-century territory bordered on the north by Fort Orange, now Albany. Included within its boundaries was much of the present states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and western Connecticut.
The NNI was formed as the support organization of the New Netherland Project (NNP), located at the New York State Library in Albany. The mission of the NNP is to transcribe, translate and publish some 12,000 pages of correspondence, court cases, legal contracts and reports from the period 1636 to 1674.

Now the NNP is to be the heart of the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC), a part of the New York State Library. The center has been initiated with a grant of €200,000 brought to Albany by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima in September. The NNI has the responsibility of administering the grant and raising matching funds.
At the meeting, Charles T. Gehring, director of the new research center and the translation project, will give a report describing his vision for the NNRC as well as the progress of work on the Dutch colonial documents.

James Sefcik, associate for Development and Special Projects, will give an update on the progress of the NNRC, now in its formative stages. Throughout the year, the NNI carries on a program of activities to enhance awareness of the Dutch history of colonial America. In addition to the annual meeting, the institute sponsors an annual New Netherland Seminar, formerly called the Rensselaerswijck Seminar. This year’s
seminar will be Saturday, Sept. 25.

The NNI administers a number of awards:

The Doris Quinn-Archives Research Residency Program, of which Stephen Staggs is the 2009 recipient, grants $2,500. An equal amount is given for the Quinn-Library Research Residency.

The Hendricks Manuscript Award of $5,000, endowed by Dr. Andrew A. Hendricks, is given for a book-length manuscript relating to the Dutch colonial experience in North America.

The Alice P. Kenney Memorial Award is for an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to colonial Dutch studies and understanding of the Dutch colonial experience in North America.

The Howard G. Hageman Citation honors Dr. Howard G. Hageman, a founder of the Friends of the New Netherland Project, now the New Netherland Institute, and its first president from 1986 until his death in 1992.

Details about the institute and the awards are also available at the NNI website, www.nnp.org.