The 2017 18th Century Market Fair at Johnson Hall State Historic Site will be held on the historic 18th century Johnson estate on July 15 and 16 from 10 am to 4 pm, rain or shine.
Throughout both days colonial sutlers (vendors) will offer their wares for sale. Demonstrations of 18th century daily life will add to the event, including an encampment, period dram (tavern) demo and colonial toys and games. In the slave quarters, culinary historian and hearth cooking specialist Lavada Nahon will demonstrate open-hearth cooking and interpret historic African and African-American food ways.
Among the highlights of the 2-day event are live 18th century period performances by “Colonial Magician Mr. Bayly” and the Punchbowl Sisters’ “Punch and Judy” shows. On Saturday a tea demonstration will be given, and foot races will be held. The schedule of activities will be posted each day of the event.
Free self-guided tours of historic Johnson Hall will also be available and the Museum Shop will be open for shopping, featuring reproduction toys and games, souvenirs and a variety of books on the Johnsons and the 18th century at a special 15% discount. The Georgian Kitchen will offer period cakes, breads and other baked goods for sale. Fair-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds during the Fair.
While admission is free, donations will be accepted at various locations throughout the event to help support the Market Fair. As there is no parking on the Site during this event, a shuttle bus will be available to transport Fair-goers from the parking lot at Johnstown High School (off Pearl Street). Access to Hall Avenue will be restricted to residents with permits.
The event is co-sponsored by Johnson Hall State Historic Site and the Friends of Johnson Hall.
Market Fair is a recreation of an event first hosted by Sir William Johnson in 1772. Johnson, who created his English Georgian estate in 1763, was the largest single landowner and most influential individual in the colonial Mohawk Valley. His success in dealing with the Six Nations had a lasting impact on their relationship with the English, and largely influenced England’s victory in the Anglo-French struggle for control of colonial North America. Today, the main house and flanking stonehouses, originally surrounded by a 700 acre farm, interpret Sir William and Molly Brant’s family life through guided tours of the period room settings, educational programs and special events.
Johnson Hall State Historic Site is located at 139 Hall Avenue in historic Johnstown, just off West State Street (State Highway 29 West). For more information on Johnson Hall, email JohnsonHall@parks.ny.us or visit their website.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. For more information, call (518) 474-0456 or visit their website.
Photo: 18th Century Johnson Hall Market Fair, provided.