West Kill Creek by Shawn Purcell (Troy Book Makers, 2014) is a contemplative work of post-apocalyptic fiction set in upstate New York and shot-through with local history.
A particularly lethal virus has rapidly wiped out most of civilization. A hardy band of survivors does what it takes to stay alive, but the novel also reverberates with the echoes of local history and deep time, the beauty and terror of nature, the power and glory of books, current environmental and political issues, and actual events and places. Continue reading
The Board of the Trustees of the Iroquois Indian Museum has announced a search for an Executive Director. Located in Howes Cave, NY, the Museum is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering understanding of Iroquois culture by using the arts of the Iroquois from the past to the present to tell their unique story. Continue reading
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site will be hosting the 30th annual Canal Days Celebration on Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. Admission and parking are free. Canal Days is dedicated to the historical significance of the Erie Canal and its impact on New York State.
Canal Days 2013 will feature live entertainment on the main stage: from noon to 2pm County Line Rebels, 3pm to 5pm Mac’s Favorite Jazz Band, and finally from 6pm to 8pm the All Paul Show. This Paul McCartney and Beatles Tribute Band will be followed by the first ever Capital Region Daytime Fireworks show; which will include colored smoke and syncopated noise makers. Continue reading
The Friends of Schoharie Crossing are sponsoring a talk entitled “The History of the Barge Canal” on Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30pm. It will be presented by Craig Williams, historian at the New York State Museum in Albany at the Enders House, located adjacent to the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site Visitor Center, at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, NY.
Closing in on its 100th anniversary, the modern day Barge Canal is not so modern anymore but back in the nineteen teens it was full of invention and innovation in much the same way the earlier canal had been in 1825. Williams will explain the Barge Canal’s construction, usage throughout the 20th century and its transition into the tourism business. Continue reading
The 31st Annual Iroquois Indian Festival takes place on Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept 2, at the Iroquois Indian Museum, 324 Caverns Road. For two days, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Festival features traditional Iroquois music, dance, Native foods and much more. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Continue reading
Tricia Shaw, the education coordinator at Schoharie Crossing, will share her latest research in a lecture entitled “Who Owned the Fort?” sponsored by the Friends of Schoharie Crossing on Tuesday. The presentation will explain the Fort Hunter’s history and trace the families who lived at the confluence of the Mohawk River and Schoharie Creek including the Mabee, the Enders, the Putman, the Wemple and the Voorhees families. Continue reading
New York State has approximately 17,000 highway bridges. They are essential for traveling around our state and connecting our communities. About 37% are “functionally obsolete” or “structurally deficient,” according to DOT, a reminder of the need for continuing investment to maintain valuable resources.
Bridges – old and new – are part of community and state history. The story of three historically significant bridges shows various connections to history. Continue reading
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter (Schoharie County) will be hosting the 28th annual Canal Days Celebration on Saturday, July 14 and on Sunday, July 15, 2012 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission and parking are free.
Canal Days is dedicated to the historical significance of the Erie Canal and its impact on New York State. However, due to damaged caused by last fall’s Tropical Storm Irene and the unearthing of the remains of Fort Hunter for its 300th anniversary, there will be an archaeology theme and a focus on Schoharie Crossing’s earlier 18th century history as well as the 19th century canal history. Continue reading
On July 4, The Iroquois Indian Museum will host its Early Technology Day, billed as a hands-on learning experience about life in early America.
Visitors can watch and participate in the process of flint knapping (the ancient art of making chipped stone tools), Primitive fire making, Atlatl spear throwing and early archery. There will be displays of projectile points, tools, and local archaeological finds from the Museum’s archaeology department. Have you ever found an artifact? Please bring it with you and the Museum’s experts will try to identify it for you. Continue reading
The Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center is presenting two small temporary exhibits for the 2012 season (May 1- October 31). The exhibits are available for viewing during the regular Visitor Center Hours: Wednesday- Saturday 10AM to 5PM and on Sundays 1PM to 5PM. The Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and is located at 129 Schoharie Street in Fort Hunter, five miles west of Amsterdam, off Route 5S.
The larger of the two exhibits is entitled “Celebrate 300: Centuries of Fort Hunter History and New Discoveries.” It addresses the 300th anniversary of Fort Hunter and the Queen Anne Chapel, its rich history and recent archaeological discoveries. Fort Hunter, built in 1712, was a British frontier fort; 150 square feet with four corner blockhouses.
Queen Anne’s Chapel served as the center of Christian spiritual life for the settlers of European decent in the area and the surround 600-person Mohawk Village of Tiononderoge.
The other smaller exhibit will show photos of the recent Hurricane Irene flood damage and the recovery effort at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site.
For more information about Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516. You can also find them on Facebook.
Photo: Normally high and dry, Putmans Store (and the adjacent Enlarged Erie Lock 28) at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site filled with water on August 29, 2011. Photo by Howard Ohlhous, Courtesy National Park Service.
The Iroquois Indian Museum has opened for its 2012 season with a new exhibit, “Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork.” The exhibit features more than 200 beaded objects, largely from the collection of beadwork scholar, retired archeologist and Museum trustee, Dolores Elliott. A Spring Party to Celebrate the Opening from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. Continue reading
The Iroquois Indian Museum opens for its 2012 season on May 1 with a new exhibit and special events planned throughout the year. From May 1 until the closing day on November 30, the Museum hosts the exhibition, “Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork.” The exhibit features more than 200 beaded objects, largely from the collection of retired archeologist and Museum trustee, Dolores Elliott. Continue reading
Schoharie Crossing State Historic site’s Enders House (adjacent to the Visitor Center at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, NY, five miles west of Amsterdam, off Route 5S) will host a series of lectures on the Civil War, Wednesdays in April, 7:00 pm.
On April 4, the lecture series will begin with Montgomery County Historian Kelly Farquar, who will discuss “The Abolitionist Movement in Montgomery County,” a topic of her latest publication. Continue reading
The Schenectady County Historical Society (32 Washington Ave., Schenectady), will hold a celebrate the life and legacy of Hendrick Meese Vrooman, a Dutch settler who came to Schenectady in 1664 and was ultimately killed in the 1690 Massacre. Vrooman was the father of Adam and Jan Vrooman, who came with their father from Holland and many of whose descendants still live in the Schenectady and Schoharie County area.
A letter written by Vrooman in 1664, along with many other letters, were seized by the English from Dutch ships during the 17th-century Anglo–Dutch wars. These seized letters were recently discovered in the archives in Kew, England. In Vrooman’s letter, he comments on the changing rule in the colonies from Dutch to English, and describes his life in Schenectady: “It has been a good summer there. Very fine corn has grown there and the cultivation was good and the land still pleases me. At snechtendeel [Schenectady and the surrounding area] the land is more beautiful than I have ever seen in Holland.”
The Dutch national television station KRO will be filming this event for its program “Brieven Boven Water” (roughly translated as “Surfacing Letters”). The program attempts to make contact with living descendants of people who wrote the seized letters.
Descendants of Hendrick Meese Vrooman are especially encouraged to attend this event; the Grems-Doolittle Library staff and volunteers can help trace lineages back to the Vroomans. Please contact the Librarian for assistance.
The event will be held at the Historical Society on Thursday, February 9, at 2:00 p.m. The cost is $5.00 for the general public; Free for Schenectady County Historical Society members. For more information, please contact Melissa Tacke, Librarian, 518-374-0263, option 3, or by email at email@example.com.
Illustration: Map of Schenectady in 1690, courtesy Brown and Wheeler Family History.
The Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY has announced significant staff cutbacks for 2012. “Severe economic downturns coupled with the recent devastating flooding in Schoharie County have forced the Museum to suspend most Museum operations from January 1 to April 30 and to layoff staff during those months,” Museum officials said in a prepared statement issued Wednesday. Continue reading
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site will host a lecture on “Fort Hunter Flooding Through the Ages: An Eyewitness Look” on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm at the Fort Hunter Library, 167 Fort Hunter Road, Town of Florida. The lecture is sponsored by the Friends of Schoharie Crossing and presented by education coordinator Tricia Shaw. The lecture will be followed by refreshments and the September meeting of the Friends of Schoharie Crossing. All are welcome to attend; the meeting and lecture are both open to the public. Continue reading
This past July, a group of educators toured the historic Mohawk Valley. The group consisted of teachers from the region, particularly the Utica school district, people from historical societies, and cultural heritage tourists. The program was described as an “immersion experience”into the history of the Mohawk Valley. Little did we know that the metaphorical image soon would become a literal one. Continue reading
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is seeking volunteers for the Fall to help on a regular or semi regular basis around the historic site doing a variety of different jobs.
Volunteer opportunities may include but are not limited to: interpretation (answering patrons’ questions, giving guided tours, helping with school field trips, running the cash register in the gift shop, period clothing reenacting, helping with special events, providing refreshments), office work (typing, filing, answering phones), maintenance work (gardening, landscaping), historical work (research, curatorial work), environmental aspects (bird and animal assessments, trail maintenance) and photography. No prior work at a historic site is necessary. Training will be provided. Continue reading
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site will host an open house for teachers and parents who home school on Saturday, September 10, 2011 from 9 am to noon at the Visitor Center.
There will be lots of handouts available for use in the classroom, a free raffle for all who attend, and free continental breakfast. Participants will receive 20% off discount in the gift shop on books and historical toys. There will be a guided walking tour of the East Guard Lock, the Original Crossing and the Schoharie Aqueduct at 10 am. Have all your canal questions answered by the Canalgirl. The new and improved 4th grade scavenger hunt will be featured so complete it for yourself. Continue reading
The Iroquois Indian Museum of Howes Cave, New York, will host the 30th Annual Iroquois Indian Festival on Saturday, October 15 through Sunday, October 16 (date corrected 10/14). Festival offerings include Iroquois music and social dance, traditional stories, all-Iroquois art market, games and Native food. Continue reading