Ballston Spa Village Cemetery Tour July 21


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ballston cemeteryOn Saturday July 21 at 11 am, David Fiske is set to lead a walking tour at the Ballston Spa Village Cemetery. During the one-hour tour, participants will view the grave sites of some important industrialists from Ballston Spa’s history, while Fiske tells their stories.

Among the individuals highlighted will be some early industrialists, such as Isaiah Blood and George West. Also included will be more recent business people, notably Donald K. Stewart, the founder of the local dairy outlet that later became the convenience store chain. Continue reading

Freemen Awake! Anti-Rent Movement Songs and Poems


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Freemen Awake Rally Songs Poems from NY Anti-Rent MovementSUNY Oneonta English Professor Roger W. Hecht’s new book, Freemen Awake! Rally Songs & Poems from New Yorks’s Anti-Rent Movement (Delaware Co. Hist. Assoc., 2018) is an edited collection of nearly three dozen songs and poems written by anti-renters and their supporters.

The Anti-Rent War (1839 to 1852) was a movement of tenants against the state’s most powerful landholding families, including the Van Rennselaers, to end the lease-holding system. Continue reading

Ulysses S. Grant in New York: Civil War General, President


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view from grants cottageThe cottage rests on a quiet and forested hilltop just outside of Saratoga Springs. Visitors need to pass through the barren entrance to a one-time correctional facility, an intimidating experience to say the least. Once through the abandoned guard station, and up the winding rough road, the ground levels out with the neat building on the left.

To the right, a trail to the stunning view of the Adirondacks to the north, the Green Mountains of Vermont to the east, and the Catskills to the south. On a blistering, hot day in July 1885, General and President Ulysses S. Grant was brought by wheelchair to this very spot, cancer was eating away his throat, and he had just completed a 300,000-plus word memoir, and knew death was near. Continue reading

Army Trades Weekend at Saratoga National Historical Park


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A barrel maker interacts with visitors at Saratoga NHP Army Trades WeekendAn Army Trades Weekend has been set for Saturday and Sunday, July 14-15 from 10 am to 4 pm, at Saratoga National Historic Park.

In the Revolutionary War, armies employed a variety of professional tradesmen and women who worked to provide and repair supplies needed by the troops. Blacksmiths made or fixed ironwork; tailors and seamstress sewed and repaired clothing; Woodworkers built barrels, carriages, and wheels; Tinsmiths made artillery cartridge casings; Armorers repaired muskets; Cordwainers made military accoutrements and shoes for the troops. Continue reading

Canal Days at Schoharie Crossing Historic Site


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canal daysSchoharie Crossing is set to host the annual Canal Days Festival on July 14-15 from 11 am to 4 pm. This event is a free community festival celebrating the Erie Canal and the character of the people and towns along the way. This event is part of the continuing celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial. The Erie Canal was started in 1817 and completed in 1825.

This year’s festival will feature a participatory balloon art installation by Airigami. This company has been creating unique art displays which have been showcased around the world. As part of the Canal Days festivities, they will be supervising the creation of a large Erie Canal packet boat mural out of environmentally friendly balloons. Continue reading

Timber Framing Workshops at Finger Lakes Museum


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Participants of the 2017 Timber Frame Workshop at FLM&A The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium (FLM&A) has announced they are offering beginner and advanced timber framing workshops this summer, taught by Rob Hughes of Big Beams Timber Frames in Cohocton.

Timber frame construction uses large, heavy wooden beams that are hand-formed and carefully fitted together using Mortise and Tenon joints and wooden pegs. This simple, and strong building technique has been used for thousands of years throughout the world, and is a large part of the building history in the Finger Lakes Region. Many timber frame buildings, constructed by hand over a hundred years ago, are still standing today. Continue reading