The City of Watervliet Historical Society will host a “Time Line of World History” at the Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park on Saturday and Sunday, August 19-20, from 10 am to 4 pm Rt.
This family friendly event will have re-enactors of various wars including Union and Confederate Civil War units. There will be strong representation of U.S. Civil War re-enactors, as well as 20th Century German and Italian units, Roman Empire Vikings, and more. There will be displays of military uniforms, customs, drills, and weapons. Continue reading
Fire! Fire! The words still strike fear into people, but in the 19th Century, the alarm of a fire in a community sometimes brought disaster. Unfortunately, large fires were very commonplace.
Fires in the early 19th Century sometimes leveled blocks of homes in Albany, and in the mid-19th Century, a spark from a steam engine set the old wooden Green Island Bridge over the Hudson River on fire and westerly winds blew hot embers into Troy causing the great conflagration that destroyed much of the center portion of the city. Building codes changed due to fires like these. Continue reading
The Historian’s Office and Historical Society of the Town of Colonie will host Michael T. Lucas, PHD, who will speak on the topic of Slavery in the old Town of Watervliet, on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 2 pm.
Slavery and Freedom in Nineteenth Century Watervliet will be held at the William K. Sanford (Colonie) Town Library, 629 Albany Shaker Road. Continue reading
There is a new book about the Shaker community and the original (1776) Shaker settlement in the United States in Watervliet, NY.
‘Their Name is Wicks’: One Family’s Journey Through Shaker History by Ann C. Sayers shines a light on the peak years of Shaker history, from the 1820s to the 1850s.
This is the first comprehensive study of a whole (and very large) family who moved to the Watervliet Shaker community. Continue reading
The Wolfert’s Roost Country Club in Albany maintains a small dam, pond, and pump house to provide water for their golf course. In the 1980s workers excavating the pond, which is fed by the Maezlandtkill, discovered several sections of ancient wooden and very early cast iron pipe along with iron bands. The pipe and other artifacts were placed in the woods near the club’s tennis courts and forgotten.
Benjamin Prescott, engineer of Albany’s first municipal water system and the man responsible for those pipes, is all but equally forgotten, despite an illustrious career in engineering. Prescott served as an Engineer in the American Revolution, Superintendent of the Springfield Armory, and was the designer of several notable projects, including one of this nation’s first inclined planes (on the Connecticut River). He also conducted a 1790s survey of Niagara Falls, consulted on the Erie Canal, designed the Troy Sloop Lock (the Federal Dam) and more. Continue reading