Abraham Van Santvoord, a descendent of one of the earliest Dutch settlers in Albany, was born in Schenectady on December 18, 1784. At the age of 14, he worked with his granduncle John Post who owned a shipping business in Utica. Since, at the time, there were few roadways, and the ones they had were snow covered in the winter and mud bogs in the spring, most shipping was done by water.
Van Santvoord successfully ran a shipping business on the Mohawk River. During the War of 1812, he contracted with agents of General Stephen Van Rensselaer of Albany to store and ship provisions westward on the Mohawk to support Van Rensselaer’s troops planning to invade Canada. Continue reading
From its founding in 1893, and over the next 30 years, the Beaver River Club was the destination of many of the visitors to the Stillwater area.
It was the summer retreat of wealthy and influential families from Syracuse, Utica and to a lesser extent from throughout New York State. The decision to enlarge the Stillwater Dam and create today’s Stillwater Reservoir utterly destroyed this glittering outpost in the wild. Here is its story. Continue reading
This week “The Historians” podcast features Dennis Webster, author of Old Main: New York State Lunatic Asylum in Utica, N.Y. . (North Country Books, 2015) Opened in 1843, Old Main was the first insane asylum in New York State and the second one in the nation. Listen at “The Historians” online archive.
Utica College Professor Dr. Sherri Cash will present a paper titled “Roots in the Valley: Mohawk Valley Merchants, Settlers, and Indians in the Colonial Ginseng Trade” at a brown bag lecture Wednesday. Continue reading
The Utica Children’s Museum has announced Elizabeth Slocum Brando has been appointed as their new Executive Director. Brando has more than 16 years experience in cultural institutions of varied sizes an announcement to the press said.
“We are delighted to have selected someone of Brando’s caliber to advance the Museum’s impact and presence in the community as a leading resource for hands-on play and learning,” said Celia Domser, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Elizabeth’s education, experience in the
field, fundraising successes, and business experience made her the perfect candidate.” Continue reading
Brilliant, colorful paintings by the artists who revolutionized the art world will be showcased in Monet to Matisse: The Age of French Impressionism, on view through November 29 Utica’s Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute’s Museum of Art.
Monet to Matisse features more than 60 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and pastel drawings from the renowned collection of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee. Continue reading
Since 2012, archaeologists from the Cultural Resources Survey Program (CRSP) at the New York State Museum have been working alongside a highway construction project in Utica, uncovering artifacts from the early 19th century.
The CRSP work in Utica centers around the location of the former Chenango Canal. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of what life was like in the Utica area in the early to mid-1800s, from pieces of pottery to household goods to children’s toys. Continue reading
Sports enthusiast Mike Hauser has a personal stake in advocating National Baseball Hall of Fame status for George Joseph Burns, who played his best years with the New York Giants. Burns was the brother of Hauser’s great-grandfather on his mother’s side.
Burns is being inducted into the Fulton County Baseball and Sports Hall of Fame on July 11th during the annual vintage baseball game. Continue reading
In the early 20th century, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1870-1957) and Thomas R. Proctor (1844-1920) led the way in the transformation of the Utica landscape, creating beautiful and naturalistic recreational spaces that provided escapes from the city and enhanced the quality of life for its inhabitants.
“A Century of Olmsted: Utica and Beyond,” on view August 14 through January 4 at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, is the first exhibition to explore the creation of some of Utica’s most beautiful natural places. Continue reading
I wrote an article about early black musicians in New York State back in December, but I decided to omit Joe Pell from that piece for two reasons. He seemed never to have been a full-time musician (as were the other performers in the article), and, in December, nearly all the information I had on Pell came from his obituary, and obituaries are not always the best place to locate objective, unbiased information about a person.
I have since been able to confirm much of what was written upon his passing, and I present here an annotated obituary of this talented and beloved black performer. My annotations appear within square brackets. Continue reading