Tag Archives: Orange County

Continental Army Encampment for Washington’s Birthday


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During the winter of 1782-83, the soldiers of the northern Continental Army anxiously waited, in New Windsor, for news of the peace treaty. Though peace might be announced, Washington still ordered his soldiers to train for battle. On Sunday February 20 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and Monday February 21, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, on Presidents’ weekend, soldiers will bring to life the Continental Army’s final winter encampment with musket and cannon firings, blacksmithing, medical demonstrations and other aspects of daily life at New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site in Newburgh.

On Sunday at 1:30 & 3:30 PM and Monday at 11:00 AM, 1:30 & 3:30 PM see muskets and cannon fired. Following these firings, children enlist in the Continental Army, drill with wooden muskets and get paid in Continental currency for their service. New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site is co-located with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on Route 300, 374 Temple Hill Road, in New Windsor, NY, just three miles south of the intersection of I-87 and I-84. For more information please call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22.

Following the capture of British forces by the allied armies of France and America, at Yorktown, Virginia, in the fall of 1781, the northern Continental Army returned to the Hudson Highlands. The destruction of the principal British field army in the south broke England’s will to continue the struggle. In the fall of 1782, near New Windsor, 7,500 Continental Army soldiers built a city of 600 log huts near New Windsor. Along with some of their family members, they braved the winter and kept a wary eye on the 12,000 British troops in New York City, just 60 miles away.

Nearby, Washington’s Headquarters, at 84 Liberty Street, in Newburgh, has a full schedule of activities for the Presidents’ weekend to honor our nation’s founding fathers and the soldiers who fought for our independence. Washington’s Headquarters is open Saturday February 19, Sunday February 20 and Monday February 21 from 12:00 to 4:30 PM each day. For more information please call (845) 562-1195.

Photo: Continental Army Soldiers Michael McGurty, from Montgomery, in front and Grant Miller, from New Windsor, in back, Drill in the Snow.

Washington’s HQ: Dutch Ramble Weekend


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Ever wonder what it was like to be a guest at General and Mrs. Washington’s headquarters? Come to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site on Sunday, September 12th and find out what an 18th century visitor could expect when you accompany Cornelia Tappan Clinton on tour. These special tours by reservation only are scheduled at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

Mrs. Clinton, wife of New York’s first governor, George Clinton, will guide you through the Hasbrouck house rented by her dear friends, the Washingtons. In the course of this First Person Experiential Tour, Mrs. Clinton will not only touch upon her friendship with Martha Washington, but also on her own life. This was a lady who witnessed the burning of Kingston, the smallpox epidemic that followed, and the migration of survivors to safer grounds. In her Dutch-tinted accent, Mrs. Clinton will explain how her family survived. To her way of thinking, surmounting these problems was not that difficult as long as the family was able to stay together.

Coming from an old and prominent Dutch family, Cornelia Tappan married George Clinton, a lawyer from Little Britain, and the couple set about to establish themselves in Orange County, to live, work, and raise their family. In time, Mr. Clinton became an officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and Cornelia was called upon to keep the family together, save whatever crops from her farm she could salvage and keep her children safe. She rose to the occasion admirably.

It is as Martha’s friend that she is visiting the home the Washingtons will be renting from Mrs. Hasbrouck, in Newburgh. Join Mrs. Clinton as she walks through the rooms speculating on what use the Washingtons will make of this small house on the Hudson River.

Admission for this Special Event is $4.00 per person. Please call by September 11th for reservations. Contact 845-562-1195 6 to reserve a place on one of the tours.

Photo: The Hasbrouck House, Orange County.

Fort Montgomery Fall Lecture Series


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Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is offering an evening lecture series sponsored by the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association. All lectures will be held at the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site Visitor’s Center, located at 690 Route 9W in Fort Montgomery, NY. For more information, please call (845) 446-2134.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which administers 28 parks, parkways, and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey.

Thursday, September 16th , 7PM – Claudius Smith: Revolutionary Rogue or Robin Hood?

Claudius Smith was a controversial figure during the American Revolution, hailed by some as a champion of charity, but eventually hung by others as a thief and a profiteer. Come to your own verdict after author Patricia Edwards Clyne’s, evening lecture “Claudius Smith: Revolutionary Rogue or Robin Hood”; Patricia Edwards Clyne is the author of Hudson Valley Faces and Places; Hudson Valley Tales and Trails; and Caves For Kids in Historic New York. Book sale and signing to follow lecture.

Thursday, September 30th ,7 PM – The Hudson Valley’s Provincial Corps: Loyalist Troops in Sir Henry Clinton’s 1777 Highlands Expedition

Our Patriot forefathers are often remembered, but what about the day’s conservatives, the loyalists? Learn more about those that decided not to rebel and their military campaign against Forts Montgomery and Clinton. Evening Lecture by Todd Braistead, loyalist scholar, and member of the 4th battalion, New Jersey Volunteers.

Thursday, October 28th , 7PM – Haunted Hudson Valley

Join Linda Zimmerman, author and ghost hunter, on a tour of some the valley’s most haunted historic places! In addition to hearing about Linda’s latest investigations, find out what Linda discovered during her investigation of Fort Montgomery! Book sale and signing to follow lecture.

Thursday, November 4th, 7 PM – A British Soldier’s Story

Roger Lamb was one of over 50,000 British soldiers who served in the American Revolution. During his eight years in America he served in two major campaigns, was captured twice, and twice escaped captivity to rejoin the British Army. This is his story as told by Historian, Don Hagist. Slide Presentation followed by book sale and signing.

Twin Forts Day Features Am Rev Reenactment


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On October 6, 1777 a force of British regulars, Loyalists and Germans assaulted Forts Montgomery and Clinton while Royal Navy warships on the Hudson River bombarded the forts as well as American warships defending the Great Chain. Outnumbered 3 to 1, the Continental Regulars and Militia fought a brave and bloody action until at last their forts were overrun, the Continental boats were burned by their own crews and the Great Chain removed. Over half of the garrison was captured or killed.

The Fort Montgomery State Historic Site in the Hudson Highlands will commemorate this bloody battle on October 2-3. This year, the traditional Twin Forts Day will be expanded into a two day Brigade of the American Revolution event with different programs each day. On Saturday, visitors will witness the battle reenactment, cannon firings, and living history demonstrations throughout the day. Sunday will feature the aftermath of the battle, with the “Twin Forts” now under the control of the conquering Crown Forces. British and German troops will be on hand to establish guard posts and put their prisoners to work, while the Loyalist forces try to recruit wavering Continentals.

Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is located at 690 Route 9W, in Fort Montgomery, NY.

Schedule:

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 30
7:00 PM – FREE LECTURE – Todd Braisted “The Hudson Valley’s Provincial Corps: Loyalist Troops in Sir Henry Clinton’s 1777 Highlands Expedition.” – Fort Montgomery Visitor Center

SATURDAY OCTOBER 2
9:00 AM – Camp Opens
9:30 AM – Troop (formation) – Visitor Center Lawn
10:00 AM – Memorial Ceremony at Fort Clinton’s Redoubt
11:00 AM – People of the Twin Forts – Visitor Center Terrace
1:00 PM – Artillery Firing – Grand Battery
1:30 PM – Military Music Demo – Grand Battery
1:30 PM – Ladies Program – Visitor Center Terrace
2:00 PM – British Formation & Drill – Visitor Center Lawn
4:00 PM – Battle Reenactment – Fort Interior
5:00 PM – Camp Closes

SUNDAY OCTOBER 3
10:00 AM – Camp Opens to the Public
11:00 AM – Troop (formation) – Visitor Center Lawn
11:00AM – 2:00PM Crown Forces Occupation – Fort Interior
2:00 PM – Artillery Firing – Grand Battery
3:00 PM – Camp Closes

Presented by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Palisades Interstate Park Commission; Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area; Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association; and The Brigade of the American Revolution

The Brigade of the American Revolution has a nearly 50-year relationship with New York’s State Historic Sites, and has been at the forefront of the fight to keep them open during the recent state budget difficulties.

www.palisadesparksconservancy.org/historic/18/

www.brigade.org

nysparks.state.ny.us/historic-sites/28/details.aspx

www.hudsonrivervalley.com

Washington’s Headquarters Annual Kite Event


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If you feel like flying a kite, or watching one in flight, come to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, Saturday, August 28th from 2:00 until 4:00 PM for the free annual “Kites Over The Hudson.”

For the first 150 children, ages 15 and under, there are free kites and prizes in various categories. If you are over 15, enjoy the scenery and breezes blowing off the Hudson River. For all, there are free refreshments.

Admission to Washington’ Headquarters, the first historic site in the nation, will be underwritten by the Central Hudson Gas and Electric Company. The kites, refreshments, prizes and entertainment for the day all are being provided through the gracious patronage of the Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands.

Guided tours, conducted by costumed historic interpreters, will address not only the history of the house and the role it played during the Revolutionary War, but also touch upon its importance in light of historic preservation. From its inception as a designated state historic site, it set the example for over 7,000 similar locations to follow.

Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is a registered national historic landmark. It is located at the corner of Liberty and Washington Streets within the city of Newburgh’s East End Historic District.

‘You Are Needed at Headquarters’ at New Windsor Cantonment


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“You Are Needed at Headquarters” a special presentation on the important role of the Continental Army military headquarters in Newburgh and New Windsor, will be held at the New Windsor Cantonment on September 25, 2010. The event includes special tours of the Edmonston House, headquarters for Major General Arthur St. Clair, Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site and Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site.

Once the British captured New York City, in 1776, the natural defenses of the Hudson Highlands sheltered the Continental Army for the remainder of the war, except for a few weeks, in the fall of 1777. Many of the homes in the valley were used as military headquarters. Typically, the soldiers stayed in tents during mild weather and constructed log huts for the winter. The highest ranking officers vied with each other to stay in the most comfortable houses available. In the sparsely populated Highlands, there were few places large enough to accommodate the generals and their retinue, without being a major burden on the property owner, who often continued living in the house. Learn about the role of these headquarters and the interaction between the army and their often reluctant hosts.

The formal presentation, at the New Windsor Cantonment, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM, will give visitors the background of the American military presence, in the Hudson Valley, during the Revolutionary War. General George Washington made his headquarters at the home of the widow Hasbrouck, south of Newburgh. The modest fieldstone home was used for 16 months, the longest occupation of any headquarters by Washington. Constructed in 1754, the elegant John Ellison house was the military headquarters for Quartermaster General Nathanael Greene and artillery commander General Henry Knox, in 1779. Knox returned in 1780-81 and over the summer of 1782. Appointed commander of the army at New Windsor, in October 1782, General Horatio Gates, victor of the Battle of Saratoga, resided there from November 1782-April 1783. First billeted at the Edmonston House, Gates complained directly to Washington that “your Excellency’s dog kennel at Mount Vernon, is as good a Quarter as that I am now in.” If the Edmonston House was any where near as bad as Gates intimated, it was fortunate that the New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Maryland Detachment commander, at the New Windsor Cantonment, General Arthur St. Clair, the next occupant, spent much of the winter of 1782-83 home on furlough.

From 2:00 to 5:00 PM, visitors are invited to visit Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site on Liberty Street, in Newburgh, New York, Knox’s Headquarters, at the intersection of Route 94 and Forge Hill Road, in Vails Gate and Edmonston House, located on Route 94, west of the Vails Gate intersection with Routes 32 and 300. There is a small fee to tour Washington’s Headquarters and the Edmonston House. For more information please call New Windsor Cantonment at (845) 561-1765 ext. 22. New Windsor Cantonment is co-located with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor on Route 300 (374 Temple Hill Road) in the Town of New Windsor, four miles east of Stewart Airport. It is three miles from the intersection of I-87 and I-84 in Newburgh, New York.

Fort Montgomery to Host 18th Century Music


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Fort Montgomery State Historic Site will host an evening of music performed in Late Eighteenth Century America on Saturday, August 28th, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

Visitors will hear music popular during and after the American Revolution, performed by members of the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site staff and friends. This vocal, violin, and harpsichord performance will include music by Arne, Handel, Webbe, Linley the Younger, and others. Listeners will experience a concert similar to entertainments enjoyed by America’s founding fathers. The event is free.

The Fort Montgomery Visitor Center is located at 690 Route 9W,1/4 mile north of the Bear Mountain Traffic Circle in Fort Montgomery, NY 10922. For more information, call (845) 446-2134.

Event: Last Encampment of the Continental Army


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On Saturday August 14, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM visitors to the New Windsor Cantonment in Orange County can experience by candlelight the recreated dramatic last days of the encampment at New Windsor, before most of the Continental Army returned home after 8 years of war. Costumed historians will interact with visitors as if they were in 1783 at the re-created huts, owned by the Town of New Windsor and administered by the Last Encampment of the Continental Army, on the west side of Route 300 and on the north side of Causeway Road.

After 8 years of war, most of the army was finally allowed to go home, but some soldiers had to remain under arms until the British evacuated New York City. There was tension in the air. Knowing that their time was short, soldiers lashed out at their officers. One, they hung in effigy. Causing further resentment, the soldiers would not receive their long overdue pay, only certificates for three months pay, redeemable in six months.

Visitors will here tales of past glories, suffering, and share their hopes and aspirations for an uncertain future and tour the encampment grounds by the glow of tin lanterns and experience the tense days before the army left New Windsor, with the soldiers and civilians who once made their homes in the area.

The “residents” have no knowledge of any events past June 1783, like the fact that their beloved General Washington will one day be the President of the United States, with strong powers enumerated in the 1787 Constitution.

Visitors will meet few, if any, names that they recognize from history, but instead humble souls whose efforts combined with thousands of others, helped forge a nation. This type of presentation, called “first-person living history,” has developed into a very exciting way to make history more meaningful to visitors. This technique is used at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

The event is co-sponsored by the National Temple Hill Association and New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site. The National Temple Hill Association administers the Last Encampment of the Continental Army for the Town of New Windsor and owns the historic Edmonston House.

Photo: Two Soldiers of the Massachusetts Line, in a Hut, at the Last Encampment of the Continental Army, New Windsor, New York

Wild, Wild East: NY’s Westward Expansion Lecture


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New York’s early frontier was America’s first “Wild West” with Westward Expansion, blocked by two “obstacles”: Native Americans and Nature. Combining dramatic images and fresh research, Robert Spiegelman details this forgotten New York, where settler dreams encounter native lifeways during a free lecture on Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 7 pm at the Fort Montgomery Historic Site.

Spiegelman will explore a “magical crossroads” where immigrants change into nomad farmers, neighbors into rivals, colonists into fighters, soldiers into settlers, land speculators into “second creators,” Indian Country into military tracts named for Roman conquerors, and untamed forests into real estate grids.

Participants will revisit Syracuse and Buffalo’s emergence from the ashes of attempted Indian removal and controversial land treaties that have shaped today’s Empire State. Then grasp Manhattan’s rise to prominence via the Erie Canal, which in turn, inflames a religious upheaval across Central New York that America calls “The Burnt Over District.” The lecture will end with an appreciation of how – against all odds – indigenous New Yorkers retain a toehold in their deforested ancestral homelands.

The Fort Montgomery Visitor Center is located at 690 Route 9W,1/4 mile north of the Bear Mountain Traffic Circle in Fort Montgomery, Orange County, NY 10922. For more information call (845) 446-2134.

Washington’s Headquarters Open for the Season


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Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, Orange County, has opened its doors to a new season of guided tours, entertaining programs and special events. The site will be open each Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday, 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM, and closed every Monday and Tuesday, until October 31st. There is a small admission fee for tours and programs.

Throughout the season, guest speakers will periodically offer presentations dealing with the Hudson Valley’s historic importance, not only during the Revolutionary War, but prior to it and after, in the period of national expansion. The 2010 schedule follows.

August 7th: Badge of Military Merit Day

August 28: Kites Over The Hudson

September 13: Cornelia Tappan Clinton: A First Person Experience (as part of the Dutch Ramble)

September 19: Tryntje Hasbrouck: First Person Experience (as part of the Revolutionary War Ramble)

October 15 and 16: A Night At The Headquarters

December 12: Warm up at the Washington’s (as part of the Newburgh Historical House Tours)

December 27 through the 30: Winter Welcome Week

For more information about visiting Washington’s Headquarters, contact the Museum office at 845-562-1195.

Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which administers 28 parks, parkways, and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey. For more information about New York State parks and historic sites, visit www.nysparks.com and for more information about the Palisades Interstate Park parks and historic sites, visit www.palisadesparksconservancy.org

Mastodon Tusk May Be Largest Ever Uncovered in NYS


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Research under way at the New York State Museum indicates that a huge mastodon tusk, recently excavated by Museum scientists in Orange County, may be the largest tusk ever found in New York State. The nearly complete but fragmented tusk, measuring more than nine feet long, was one of two excavated this past summer in the Black Dirt area of Orange County at the confluence of Tunkamoose Creek and the Wallkill River, on the property of Lester Lain of Westtown. Museum scientists believe that the other less complete tusk, about 5-6 feet long, came from the same mastodon, which has been named the Tunkamoose mastodon.

Glen Keeton of Mount Hope, N.Y. and Chris Connallon of Hampton, N.J. came across the tusks in November 2008 as they were canoeing down the Wallkill River. Keeton contacted the Orange County chapter of the New York State Archeological Association, which then contacted the State Museum. Weather conditions delayed the excavation until this past
summer.

Since then, Dr. Robert Feranec, the Museum’s curator of vertebrate paleontology, has been researching other mastodon excavations in New York State. Feranec believes that the Warren Mastodon tusk, which is 8 feet, 8 inches long, is the longest one uncovered to date. It was discovered in New York State in the 1800s and is on exhibit at the
American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The tusk of the Cohoes Mastodon, on display at the State Museum, is about 4-5 feet long.

Based on the age of similar fossils, Feranec suspects that the tusks are about 13,000 years old. However, carbon dating results to determine the exact age, will not be available until later this year. In the meantime, the tusks have been taken apart to be cleaned and conserved for their long-term survival. It is hoped that eventually the tusks can be made available for scientific research and exhibits at the State
Museum and at a museum in the area where the tusks were found.

Abundant mastodon fossils have been found in Orange County, especially in the rich Black Dirt area which Keeton calls “a gold mine for these fossils.” Other fossils have also been found including those of giant beavers, stag moose, ground sloths, peccaries and reindeer. Several Museum scientists will be involved in an integrative research
project in the Black Dirt area where they will investigate the ancient environment in which the mastodon lived, as well as how that environment changed over the last 13,000 years.

“From my perspective, this is a significant find,” said Feranec. “These fossils will tell us more about the ancient history of New York. We hope to be able to reconstruct the environment in which the mastodon lived, as well as to try to understand why they went extinct.”

In 2007, Feranec oversaw the relocation of the Cohoes Mastodon from the State Museum lobby window to its new location in the Museum’s Exhibition Hall, where temperature and humidity levels are more stable and more conducive to the skeleton’s long-term preservation. The iconic Museum treasure is now the centerpiece of an expanded exhibition.

Discovered in 1866 near Cohoes Falls, the Mastodon once stood about 8 ½ feet tall, was about 15 feet long, and weighed between 8-10,000 pounds. Its tusk weighs 50 pounds.

Photo: During the excavation process in Orange County, Dr. Robert Feranec, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the New York State Museum, poses next to part of the tusk of a mastodon. (Photo courtesy of NYS Museum)

Conference: Merchant Jews in The New World: 1500-1800


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The first of three annual conferences focusing on a lesser-known role played by merchants, especially Jewish merchants, in the Caribbean and major ports of Colonial America in the establishment of the United States, will be held at the ‘Center for Jewish History’ in New York City on Sunday, October 18, 2009.

The initial one-day gathering, “Merchant Jews in The New World: 1500-1800″ is being organized by ‘The Gomez Foundation for Mill House’, an organization focused upon the pioneer experience in America. The aim of this conference is to highlight current research and foster further study in this long neglected corner of New World and Colonial American history. Represented on the panels will be noted scholars in the field, including Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jonathan Ray of Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

Gomez Foundation for Mill House manages and operates one of the oldest, continuously occupied dwellings in North America, the 300-year-old ‘Gomez Mill House’ in Orange County, New York. On the National Register of Historic Places, the house was named after a Jewish merchant named Luis Moses Gomez. Other pioneers, patriots and significant owners who came after him are also honored at the house.

Gomez was born in Spain, fled with his family to Southwestern France, and came to New York by way of England and the Caribbean. His aim in building his trading post (now the house) was to help open up the Hudson River to increased trade.

The conference is open to those with both academic and non-academic backgrounds, particularly those who share an interest in the economic birth, maturity and modern expansion in the New World and early America. For further information on the conference, visit www.gomez.org.

Barnabas McHenry’s Greater Hudson Heritage Award


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The Board of Trustees of Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) will confer special regional recognition to Barnabas (Barney) McHenry through presentation of the Greater Hudson Cultural Heritage Award on October 2, preceding a Historic Site Futures Forum at Bear Mountain, New York.

For 40 years Barney McHenry has worked to protect the Hudson River Valley, its heritage, culture and landscapes. As counsel to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of Reader’s Digest, he was the principal architect of the Wallace Funds, which have contributed to the arts, education, humanities and the environment throughout the Hudson River Valley.

Barney McHenry demonstrates his commitment to the region as Chair of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council, Co-Chair of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and Member of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, while offering valued trustee-leadership to regional historic sites through his service on the boards of Friends of the Hudson Valley and the Open Space Institute, and as Chairman of Boscobel.

A long time patron of museums throughout the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, Mr. McHenry has served on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, The New York Commission on the Restoration of the Capital and the Empire State Plaza Art Commission.

“Greater Hudson’s vision of ‘communities that value the exploration and preservation of their heritage and cultures, and are empowered to save and interpret them to future generations,’ has been furthered by the work of Barney McHenry,” affirmed Dr. Jacquetta Haley, President of the GHHN Board.

Greater Hudson Heritage Network (formerly Lower Hudson Conference of Historical Agencies & Museums), is a museum service organization that has grown over 30 years to encompass an area and cultural constituency from the Battery to Albany- engaging and informing staff, consultants and trustees of cultural heritage organizations as a catalyst to strengthen professional capacity, define and meet mission, and connect them through best practices in stewardship.

Greater Hudson’s Annual Meeting and Historic Site Futures Forum will take place on Friday, October 2, 2009 at Overlook Lodge, Bear Mountain, NY from 10am – 3pm.

The Hon. Richard Brodsky, NYS Assemblyman, 92nd District (Westchester) will address an audience of museum and historic site professionals on issues of “Smart Stewardship,” as he introduces the morning Historic Site Futures Forum and panel speakers.

The Cultural Heritage Award presentation and Futures Forum will be followed by a buffet luncheon, election of GHHN trustees, and the afternoon presentation of 14 Awards Towards Excellence for organizations and projects selected from submitted nominations by a peer jury, chaired by Greater Hudson trustee Jennifer Plick.

The Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s Awards Towards Excellence program seeks to recognize and commend exceptional efforts among GHHN members. Awards are made to projects and organizations that exemplify creativity and professional vision resulting in a contribution to the preservation and interpretation of the historic scene, material culture and diversity of the Greater Hudson region- from the Battery to Albany.

2009 Awards Towards Excellence are presented to:

BOSCOBEL HOUSE & GARDENS, Garrison, NY (Putnam) for the exhibition, Home on the Hudson: Women and Men Painting Landscapes, 1825-1875. This award is in recognition of the continued effort to explore the works of Hudson River School painters particularly those done by women artists and for incorporating the research of doctoral students in the exhibit catalog.

CLARKSTOWN TOWN CLERK, DAVID CARLUCCI, New City, NY (Rockland) for the preservation of the Town of Clarkstown’s historical records. This award is in recognition of the Town Clerk’s program to preserve, digitize and make accessible over 250 years of town records that, in many cases, are too fragile to be handled.

CONSTITUTION ISLAND ASSOCIATION, INC., West Point, NY (Orange) for the film, “Constitution Island: American Landmark.” This award is in recognition of the endeavor to raise awareness of the historic and cultural significance of the site and its use as an educational tool.

SAMUEL DORSKY MUSEUM OF ART, New Paltz, NY (Ulster) and NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY, New York (NY) for the exhibition and publication, The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: 19th Century American Landscape Paintings from the New-York Historical Society. This award is in recognition of a collaboration that re-interprets the landscape collections of the New-York Historical Society by exploring the importance of the region as a cultural site in the 19th century through the works of Hudson River School artists.

HISTORIC HUGUENOT STREET, New Paltz, NY (Ulster) for the exhibition Before Hudson: 8,000 Years of Native American History and Culture. This award is in recognition of the exhibit and public programming that advances regional history by exploring the history of the native inhabitants of the area using archaeological findings.

KATHLEEN EAGAN JOHNSON, Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, NY (Westchester) for the publication, The Hudson-Fulton Celebration: New York’s River Festival and the Making of a Metropolis, co-published by Fordham University Press and Historic Hudson Valley. This award is in recognition of the extensive research and in-depth study of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909 and its impact on New York City.

LYNDHURST and WESTCHESTER COUNTY, Tarrytown, NY (Westchester) for the public program and community collaboration, Hudson River Fest: A Search for the Past, Present, and Future. This award is in recognition of a collaborative program that celebrated Westchester’s historic ties to the river and land, and explored the respectful stewardship of these important but fragile resources.

MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE – A LIVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST, New York (NY) for the creation of an on-line collection resource. This award is in recognition of an innovative program that invites the public to browse artifacts in a dynamic and user-friendly environment. The online Collection offers information unavailable in the Museum.

NEVERSINK VALLEY AREA MUSUEM, Cuddebackville, NY (Orange) for the exhibit, “The Star is Born: A History of the Movie Star in America from Florence Lawrence and Valentino to Heath Ledger” and a program on women in early films. This award is in recognition of new audience-driven local history programming.

NEW CASTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY and EAGLE SCOUT MICHAEL MARTINEZ, New Castle, NY (Westchester) for documentation of the Chappaqua Friends’ Graveyard. This award is in recognition of the extensive research, detailed documentation and creation of a searchable database for over 1,000 markers in the local graveyard dating back to 1745.

THE OLANA PARTNERSHIP and NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION, AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION, Hudson, NY (Columbia) for a new gallery, inaugural exhibit, “Glories of the Hudson: Frederic Edwin Church’s Views from Olana” and its exhibition catalog. This award is in recognition of a public-private effort to broaden the scope of the historic house museum, and a valuable collaborative marketing concept.

THE KNICKERBOCKER ICE FESTIVAL OF 2009: TIMOTHY ENGLERT, CO-FOUNDER & PROJECT DIRECTOR, ROBERT PATALANO, CO-FOUNDER & ICE SCULPTOR, CHRISTIAN NIELSEN, ROCKLAND LAKE STATE PARK SUPERINTENDENT, MARIA RODD, 2009 EVENT PLANNER, ROSEMARIE MONACO, 2009 PR/MARKETING DIRECTOR, GRETCHEN WEERHEIM, 2009 HISTORIC EDUCATION DIRECTOR & HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, HEATHER DUKE, ROCKLAND COUNTY DIRECTOR OF TOURISM This award recognizes the collaborative efforts of a dedicated group of professionals to create and excite the public about local history.

LAKEVILLE-IRONWORKS EDUCATIONAL TRAIL and MATTHEW SHOOK, Sterling Forest, Tuxedo, NY (Orange) This award is in recognition Matthew Shook’s dedication, leadership and collaborative skills in bringing together the PIPC, State Historic Preservation Office, NY/NJ Trail Conference, and Rutgers University to preserve, interpret and make accessible to the public a neglected historical resource.

PUTNAM COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY & FOUNDRY SCHOOL MUSEUM, DR. TRUDIE GRACE and DAVID DEARINGER, Cold Spring, NY (Putnam) for the exhibition catalog accompanying the exhibition, George Pope Morris: Defining American Culture. This award is in recognition of the extensive, scholarly research undertaken into the life of George Pope Morris of Cold Spring, and his contribution to 19th century American publishing, music and poetry.

For registration information about Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s October 2, 2009
Annual Meeting, Futures Forum, and Awards presentations at Overlook Lodge, Bear Mountain, please see: www.greaterhudson.org, or contact GHHN: 914.592.6726; info@greaterhudson.org.

Henry Hudson, New Netherland, and Atlantic History


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Dr. L.H. Roper, Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz and a scholar of international reputation in the field of Atlantic History has announced a symposium, ‘Henry Hudson, New Netherland, and Atlantic History‘, at SUNY New Paltz the weekend of 25-26 September, 2009. This host two-day international symposium on “The Worlds of Henry Hudson” is expected to be the premier intellectual event held in conjunction with the celebration of the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the Hudson River. Leading historians from the Netherlands, France, and Germany, as well as the United States will present papers on a series of topics related to Hudson and his times.

The program will include panel discussions, teaching workshops, and two luncheon addresses over two days to be held on the campus of SUNY New Paltz., as set forth below. At each session, two-to-three presenters will give talks on topics closely related to the character of the European exploration and colonization of the Hudson Valley, which arose from Hudson’s voyage, and the historical significance of the issues generated by these phenomena.

The emergence of the transatlantic perspective during the last two decades is a major development in the study of the history of Europe, Africa and the Americas during the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The scholars invited to this conference are among the major figures in advancing this perspective. The conference program is designed to provide an opportunity for the further integration of their work, and its advancement through publication of the papers it generates and by providing a means for secondary and elementary school teachers to incorporate this scholarship into their own classrooms.

A second goal, equally important, is to further the integration of the African, American Indian, and European contexts (“the transatlantic perspective” or “Atlantic history”) into teaching and learning about exploration and “colonial America” in our schools. The conference structure provides for interaction in each session among leading scholars of early modern Africa and Europe and of American Indian societies and current and future elementary and secondary school teachers.

The cost of registering for this conference will be $20/day and $15 per luncheon session. Teachers who wish to attend, with the exception of those in Ulster, Dutchess, and Orange Counties, should register through the Center for Regional Research, Education, and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz. The costs for attending the symposium will be payable directly to CRREO.

Teachers in Ulster, Dutchess, and Orange Counties who wish to attend one or both days should register via MyLearningPlan. Teachers in other counties should register through the Center for Regional Research, Education, and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz. Professional development hours are available for approval. The first fifty teachers who sign up and who have been participants in the Ulster BOCES Teaching American History Summer Institute for at least one week will have their registration fee paid by the TAH grant. Ulster BOCES will notify those registrants that their fee has been paid.

For further information, please contact Lou Roper of the Department of History at roperl@newpaltz.edu.

Beacons To Commemorate British Departure


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The Hudson Valley Press Online is reporting on plans to mark the 225th anniversary of the evacuation of British troops on November 25, 2008 by lighting a series of five local beacons that “replicate the original signal locations used by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.” The plan is a project of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, Scenic Hudson, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Palisades Parks Conservancy, and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission:

These vital systems summoned the militia in both New York and in neighboring New Jersey and warned residents of the approaching British Redcoats. The types of beacons varied from tar barrels on top of poles, to pyramids, to wooden towers filled with dried grass or hay that could be ignited. The beacons enabled quick and effective communication with troops throughout the lower Hudson River Valley.

Instead of lighting fires, Palisades, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and Scenic Hudson will create a symbolic Xenon light display that will light up Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area from Bear Mountain State Park to Beacon. This project is also part of the larger interstate effort with national heritage area partners in New Jersey, the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area. Six additional Beacons will be lit in New Jersey. The total project area will stretch from Princeton, NJ to Beacon, NY.

The five locations will include:

Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain, NY
Storm King Mountain State Park, Cornwall, NY
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, Newburgh, NY
Scenic Hudson’s Mount Beacon, Beacon, NY
Scenic Hudson’s Spy Rock (Snake Hill), New Windsor, NY

While we’re at it, here is a story about Saturday’s relighting of the lamp on top of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn. It has been for 87 years and commemorates those who died in the British Prison ships in New York Harbor during the American Revolution.