Tag Archives: Office of Cultural Education

The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes


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Part 2 of The Finger Lakes Museum’s three-part inaugural program series, Back from the Brink; The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, will be presented at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca on Thursday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m. The series highlights the natural and cultural history of the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes.

Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will present, “Blue Blood to Blue Water”, a forgotten view of what Hemlock and Canadice—the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes—looked like between 1875 and 1945. It is a remarkable story of quaint cottages, elegant summer homes, bustling resort hotels, and passenger-ferrying steamboats—and the City of Rochester’s need of a new source for clean drinking water. Morgan’s program will include a slide presentation of antique photographs that help tell his story.

Part 3, “Lakes Go Wild”, will be presented in the Finger Lakes Wine Center on Thursday, September 1st at 7:00 p.m. It will tell about watershed protection efforts that began more than a century ago and detail the trials and tribulations that eventually evolved into the 7,000-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest in 2010. A slide presentation will accompany this final program chapter.

According to museum board president, John Adamski, Part 1 of the series, “From the Brink of Extinction”, which was presented at the Wine Center on Saturday, August 6th, “told the story of the successful restoration of the bald eagle—a conservation effort that began in the Finger Lakes Region and spread across the nation.” He added, “People were excited to see Liberty, a live bald eagle, in-person, and were enthusiastic about The Finger Lakes Museum’s vision.”

Each of the “Back from the Brink” presentations is free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested. Donations are welcome.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009 and is operating from offices in a former elementary school in Branchport, NY, which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District in January.

The Museum’s Board of Trustees has launched a Founders Campaign to raise $1 million to retain design professionals and other consultants, hire staff, and pay for day-to-day operations. With a donation of $100 or more, anyone can become a Museum Founder and have their name permanently inscribed on the Founders Wall in the lobby of The Finger Lakes Museum. Donors will also receive a Founder certificate and decal.

For more information on the Founders Campaign or to pre-register for these programs, visit our website at www.fingerlakesmuseum.org or call us at 315-595-2200.

Photo: A 1910 Reunion at the Hemlock Lake Resort Springwater.

Update on Finger Lakes Museum Efforts


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The president of The Finger Lakes Museum’s board of trustees announced that the project’s Founders Campaign is nearing the halfway mark in an endeavor to raise $1 million by December 31st. The drive is financing operations at the former Branchport Elementary School, including hiring staff, and paying consultants for architectural and exhibit design services.

Board President John Adamski said, “The Founders Campaign was launched by the board late last year and has resulted in hundreds of donations that range from $100 to $100,000. We’re almost halfway there but there is still a long way to go.” He is asking people from across the Finger Lakes Region to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the project. Significant funding has been received from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation and the Rochester Area Community Foundation. “We are also looking for program sponsors,” he added.

Anyone, including regional businesses, can become a founder of The Finger Lakes Museum by making a contribution of $100 or more. Donors will receive a founders’ certificate, vehicle decal, and have their names permanently inscribed as members of the Founders Society on the Founders Wall in the entrance to the main museum building. Contributions can be made online or mailed to the museum at PO Box 96, Keuka Park, NY, 14478.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009 and is operating from development offices in the school, which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District last January.

Adamski said that the project is being planned to become a primary tourist destination that will feature one of the largest freshwater fish aquariums in the Northeast. Studies show that it has the potential to increase tourism in the Finger Lakes Region and create hundreds of jobs in the private sector, he said.

Adamski also announced the election of two new members to the organization’s board of trustees. Tim Sellers of Geneva, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Keuka College, and retired lumber executive John Meisch of Rushville were both elected in a unanimous vote. Adamski said, “Tim’s expertise as a limnologist and professor of biology and environmental science will be a tremendous asset in planning the natural history component of the museum. We are all very excited to have him aboard.”

He also said, “And John Meisch brings a lifetime of business management experience and a working knowledge of American History to the board, which balances the cultural history component. I think that we’ve hit two home runs here.” The addition of Sellers and Meisch brings the number of board members to 13.

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

John Brown Lives! Concert Promotes Cultural Exchange


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On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, John Brown Lives! (JBL!) is presenting “desert blues” musician, Bombino, live and in concert, at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. performance. Omara “Bombino” Moctar is a young Tuareg singer from Niger, Africa, on his first North American tour. He has received advance praise as a “guitar wizard” likened to Jimi Hendrix (KCRW), who plays “some of the most sublime guitar licks you’ll hear in 2011” (NPR).

The concert is an outgrowth of JBL!’s Dreaming of Timbuctoo Exhibition detailing a black settlement effort in the Adirondacks in the mid-1800s. It is also inaugurates the Timbuktu Sahara * Timbuctoo Adirondack Project, a cultural exchange initiative John Brown Lives! is developing to link schoolchildren and communities in the Adirondacks with a Tuareg village on the outskirts of Timbuktu, Mali. A share of proceeds from this concert will benefit the Scarab School in the desert village of Tinghassane.

The Tuareg, often called the “Blue Men of the Desert” by outsiders, are a nomadic people descended from the Berbers of North Africa. In his short life, Bombino, and many Tuareg, have endured drought, rebellion, tyranny, and exile. Fusing traditional rhythms of nomadic peoples of the Sahara and the Sahel with the drive of rock and roll and songs about peace, Bombino plays an influential role today in educating the Tuareg about the importance of the fragile democracy in Niger while maintaining their rich cultural heritage.

John Brown Lives! (JBL) is a freedom education project founded in 1999 to promote social justice through the exploration of issues, social movements and events, rooted mainly in Adirondack history, and their connection to today’s struggles for human rights.

Individual tickets are $18 in advance or $20 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted for $5. Sponsor tickets are also available at $160 for a book of 10 tickets. Tickets are available at the LPCA Box Office 518-523-2512. For sponsor tickets, please call 518-962-4758 or 518-576-9755.

For more general information, contact John Brown Lives! at mswan@capital.net or 518-962-4758. To learn more about Bombino and the Tuareg, check out these links (1, 2).

Grand Opening of New Calvin Coolidge Exhibit


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A new permanent exhibit that examines the life and times of President Calvin Coolidge will open August 6 at the 30th President’s state historic site and childhood home in Vermont.

The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation will host the exhibit’s grand opening on Plymouth Old Home Day at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gov. Peter Shumlin, Coolidge family members, and state officials will be among the honored guests at the opening of “Calvin Coolidge: His Life & Legacy” at the President Calvin Coolidge Museum & Education Center at 10 a.m. Continue reading

Saratoga Automobile Museum Names New Chair


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Trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum (SAM) unanimously elected Gloversville businessman Charles Montano as Board Chairman at their annual election meeting of the trustees in May.

Montano becomes the fourth Board Chair of the Museum, joining the late founder and initial chairman Lewis Golub of Lake George, Bob Bailey of Diamond Point and the most recent chairperson, Jean Hoffman of Clifton Park, as head of the Board of Trustees. Other board officers elected at the meeting included Seth Rosner of Saratoga Springs as Vice-Chairman, Dr. James Hoehn of Menands as Treasurer and Robert Ensign, Jr. of Latham as Secretary. Chairs of the board’s various sub-committees will be announced at a later date.

A Gloversville native, Montano owns and operates a commercial/industrial rental business with divisions specializing in apartments and luxury home development in the downstate area. He is also a well known automobile collector, with a number of “Woodies” from his collection the focus of a recent exhibit in the Museum’s Golub gallery.

“Cars with wooden bodies have always fascinated me,” offered Montano. “But they only represent a segment of my collection and my interests. I truly love all aspects of the automotive world.

“As chairman of the Board of Trustees, my goal is to continue and expand our programs that bring these diverse communities together. Whether your focus is woodies, the brass era, auto racing, classic cars, any of the diverse makes that highlight our lawn shows or our automotive-themed educational programs, the Auto Museum is your place and I want everyone to feel welcome here.”

“Charlie Montano epitomizes the caliber of leadership and automobile enthusiasm the Museum needs to continue advancing the exceptional cultural enrichment we strive to provide for our growing communities,” said Taylor C. Wells, SAM Executive Director.

SAM Board members fulfilling their current terms include Bob Bailey, David Darrin, Wayne Freihofer, Ron Hedger, Jean Hoffman, Tony Ianniello, Eric King, Ed Lewi, Lee Miller, and Alan Rosenblum.

The mission of the Saratoga Automobile Museum is to preserve, interpret and exhibit automobiles and automotive artifacts. We celebrate the automobile and educate the general public, students and enthusiasts regarding the role of the automobile in New York State and in the wider world. In addition to technical and design aspects, our educational focus is on the past, present and future social and economic impact of the automobile

The Museum is chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York Department of Education as a not-for-profit institution. Additionally, the Museum is a member of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM).

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located on the grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park at 110 Avenue of the Pines. For more information, guests can visit the Museum’s website at www.saratogaautomuseum.org or call (518) 587-1935.

Finger Lakes Museum Publishes New Guide


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As part of its mission to serve as a gateway to the Finger Lakes Region, The Finger Lakes Museum has published the premier edition of Pathways, a full-color map and guide to attractions and historical venues throughout the 14-county area. The publication is a partnership venture with Life in the Finger Lakes magazine and is being distributed as a removable insert in the Summer 2011 issue, which will be on newsstands soon. It can also be ordered online.

In a prepared statement the museum’s executive director, John Adamski, said, “The Pathways guide will be a valuable resource for anyone who is traveling in the Finger Lakes Region and looking for something to do.” It provides a map and directions to major museums, historical centers, historic sites and villages, state parks, visitors’ centers, nature centers, scenic vistas, byways, hiking trails, and waterfalls.

He added, “This publication is the result of an enormous amount of work by a group of tireless volunteers in a very short period of time. The research and graphic design efforts that went into this project are incredible.” The guide is planned to be updated and published annually in time for the tourism and vacation seasons.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009. The museum is operating from offices in a former elementary school in Branchport, NY (Yates County), which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District last January.

As part of its strategic plan, the Finger Lakes Museum has been forming collaborative partnerships with other historical and academic institutions in the region. Adamski said, “Pathways is the best way that we know of to direct people to the places where they can learn more about something that is of particular interest to them. And it has helped to cement some exciting new partnerships for us.”

An operational fundraising effort is presently underway in the form of The Finger Lakes Museum Founders Campaign. To learn more or to volunteer visit their webpage.

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.