The Rensselaer County Historical Society will offer walking tours of historic downtown Troy on Saturday mornings, leaving from the Market Table at the Troy Farmer’s Market at 10:30 am. The topics will vary each week and include the Underground Railroad, the history of Troy’s fire and police departments, and more.
The tours are being led by Historical Society staff and frequently incorporate historic photographs and readings from letters and diaries. The tours last approximately an hour. Cost: $5 for not-yet-members of the Historical Society; free for Society members.
HISTORY WALK: People, Place & Progress
Saturday, September 19, 10:30 – 11:30 am
This introduction to Troy history and architecture looks at how the city evolved from its initial founding in 1789 as a village to its 19th century heyday and on into the 20th century. The sites of many important events will be discussed along with some of the people who made the name Troy known around the world.
HISTORY WALK: Jacob Vanderheyden and the Village of Troy
Saturday, September 26, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Before Troy was Troy, it was known as Vanderheyden, after Jacob Vanderheyden, the Dutch farmer who laid out the streets and alleys of what is now the city of Troy. Explore the one square mile area in the city’s downtown historic district where the early settlement of Troy took place.
HISTORY WALK: “To Protect and Serve”
Saturday, October 3, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Firehouses, church bells, and night constables – and a dash of murder and mayhem. This walking tour focuses on the colorful history of Troy’s municipal police and fire departments, from their volunteer origins to today’s public servants.
FAMILY HISTORY WALK: History Underfoot and Overhead
Saturday, October 10, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
History is everywhere in Troy. Families with kids ages 5 and up will enjoy this interactive walk through Troy’s past. We’ll look at the buildings around us for clues that tell us about the past and get hands-on with history. You’ll come away saying “I never knew that about Troy!”
HISTORY WALK: Troy’s Amazing Architecture
Saturday, October 17, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
This walking tour uses Troy’s rich 19th and 20th century built environment to explore and learn about a range of styles and types of buildings. You’ll never see it the same way again!
HISTORY WALK: Underground Railroad Walking Tour
Saturday, October 24, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Troy was a hotbed of abolitionist activity in the 19th century. This walking tour will highlight the sights associated with the African American community in the first half of the 19th century. Included will be sites associated with the famous rescue of escaped slave Charles Nalle by thousands of Trojans and the now famous Harriet Tubman.
HISTORY WALK: Murder and Mayhem
Saturday, October 31, 2009, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Who knows what ghosts might haunt the streets of Troy? You will, after taking part in this walk through the more colorful stories of Troy’s past.
After the 1779 Continental Army Sullivan-Clinton Expedition devastated the land of the Iroquois, the people of the Six Nations would forever remember its author, General George Washington, as the “Town Destroyer.” Sunday September 20, at 1:30 PM, the New Windsor Cantonment on Route 300 (374 Temple Hill) in the Town of New Windsor, will host a multi-media presentation “New York’s Missing Link: The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, Then and Now.” The lecture by Dr. Robert Spiegelman is free.
From 3:30 – 5:00 PM, visitors can interact with Revolutionary War re-enactors portraying the people involved in this historical event and see them fire muskets and a cannon. Admission is free. For more information please call (845) 561-1765. New Windsor Cantonment is located on Route 300 (374 Temple Hill Road) in the Town of New Windsor, four miles east of Stewart Airport. It is three miles from the intersection of I-87 and I-84 in Newburgh, New York.
In June and July 1779, General George Washington, from his New Windsor, New York Headquarters, gave final orders to General John Sullivan, at Easton, Pennsylvania, and General James Clinton, in the Mohawk Valley, to launch the biggest operation, to date, against Native Peoples in North American history. Because of this expedition and subsequent punitive treaties, most of the Iroquois were uprooted from their homelands, which cleared the way for the Erie Canal and Westward Expansion. Strikingly, though Sullivan/Clinton has the most historical markers in New York, it has been nearly forgotten. Spiegelman’s tour-de-force combines fresh research, dramatic visuals and unique animated maps to answer why. It introduces the Campaign’s dark origins, key players, main events, tragic and victorious aftermaths, and lasting results. Beyond the military operation, he shows its impact on native culture, the land and today’s environment. Back from the “memory hole,” Sullivan/Clinton becomes an essential lens on New York and American history. Agreeing with David McCullough that making history boring is a “crime,” Spiegelman unveils Sullivan/Clinton as high drama with present-day impact. For more, please visit www.sullivanclinton.com
Dr. Robert Spiegelman is the president of Real-View Media. As a sociologist, multimedia artist and writer, Spiegelman presents widely on New York, Iroquois, Irish and environmental themes. The founder of SullivanClinton.com and Derryveagh.com, Spiegelman revisits hidden histories that link past and present, and fosters indigenous values of peace, democracy and nature-in-balance. A college teacher for 12 years, he holds a Doctorate in Sociology from CUNY Graduate Center.
The event is co-sponsored by the recreated, Continental Army, 3rd New York Regiment which served in Clinton’s Brigade during the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition. The living historians are members of the Brigade of the American Revolution, an international organization dedicated to recreating the life and times of the common soldier of the War for Independence, 1775-1783. The remarkable variety of dress worn by participants provides a living window to the past. Green-coated Loyalists and British regulars in red. Among the Patriot forces, you will find both Continentals and militia, dressed in coats that were blue, gray, brown or whatever color happened to be available at the time. Some had no recognizable uniform at all.
In addition to the special programs and activities, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the New Windsor Cantonment Visitor Center will be open. These buildings feature the story of the Purple Heart, the history of the New Windsor Cantonment, Revolutionary War artifacts and the exhibit The Last Argument of Kings, Revolutionary War Artillery. A picnic grove is available and there is plenty of free parking. Just one mile from the Cantonment is Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site. Elegantly furnished by John and Catherine Ellison, the 1754 mansion served as headquarters for Revolutionary War Generals Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox, and Horatio Gates. Also be sure to visit Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, a short drive from the New Windsor Cantonment.
There will be an opening reception of the Haverstraw Brick Museum’s new exhibit, Moving Bricks on the Hudson, on September 20, 2009 between 1 and 4 pm at the museum at 12 Main Street in Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York. In celebration of the Hudson River and the Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial, the exhibit highlights sloops, schooners, towboats, tugs, and barges that transported bricks on the Hudson in the 19th and early 20th centuries. At its peak the brick industry was the dominant industry on the Hudson River and diverse boats carried one billion bricks annually. Visitors will learn about the brick boats and their boatmen and women, the dangers of river transport, and the shipyards that built and repaired the “brickers.”
The exhibit was inspired by the donation of the papers of the Reilly & Clark brick company to the museum. This collection, along with documenting the manufacturer, contains extensive records for the schooners that carried the firm’s bricks to market between 1885 and 1905. Items range from hundreds of receipts for tows, dock fees, and night watchmen to detailed accountings of the number of bricks carried each trip. The exhibit’s curator, T. Robins Brown, has a personal connection to cargo-carrying sailing ships as her great-grandfather, William T. Robins, was the owner and captain of the schooner Ella Worden on the Chesapeake Bay.
Moving Bricks on the Hudson is open on Sunday, September 13 from 11 am to 4 pm for the Annual Haverstraw Street Fair and until January 31, 2010 during the museum’s regular hours Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1-4 pm. It is also open by appointment by calling 845-947-3505 or emailing haverstrawbrickmuseum.org.
The mission of the Haverstraw Brick Museum is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit materials and cultures of the brick making industry within the Hudson River Valley.
Photo: On Minisceongo Creek, a “bricker,” a brick-carrying schooner, awaits its cargo of bricks from the Shankey brickyard. On board are brickyard workers as well as the brick boat’s crew. The two women, the wives of the captain and first mate, were likely part of the boat’s crew. They lived aboard and cooked, watched tides, pumped bilge water, and performed other tasks that required less strength. Photograph from de Noyelles, Within These Gates.
In conjunction with the celebration of the Half Moon’s original voyage in 1609, the City of Albany will hold a festival on Saturday, September 26, 2009. The replica ship Half Moon is looking for 17th century re-enactors who can help re-create the Dutch presence during this time. In addition to the Dutch re-enactors, there will also be members of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicans presenting native technologies and daily life activities. [Read more…] about Replica Ship Half Moon Seeks Re-enactors
Throughout the fall semester SUNY Albany will be marking the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain’s voyages of exploration with a three-part Hudson 400 program that includes an art exhibition, a “talks and concert” series, and a conference. The formal kick-off occurs tonight (September 15) from 5 to 7 p.m., at the University Art Museum. The museum will hosts the opening reception of “Uncharted” a new exhibit featuring works from ten artists inspired by themes of travel and discovery. To view the entire Hudson 400 program visit: http://www.albany.edu/outreach/hudson_400/hudson_400_events.html
This Friday, September 18th the Friends of the Bennington Battle Monument will host an evening with Major General John Burgoyne who will give a humorous, rueful and accurate account of “what went wrong” in 1777. Burgoyne was sent to put an end to the rebellion in the colonies and secure the Lake Champlain and Hudson River corridor for England. His loss at the Battle of Bennington in August led to his ultimate defeat and surrender at Saratoga, the turning point in the American Revolution.
“Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne is portrayed by Howard Burnham, an English-born actor, author, educator and museum curator, touring the area on a journey to Saratoga and Fort Ticonderoga. Howard’s acclaimed one-man shows have played throughout England and have been on the BBC. His fully costumed dramatic monologues/lectures-in-character with Power Point last approximately 45-50 minutes. This is history with humor, a program that can be enjoyed by all ages.
The presentation, sponsored by the Friends of the Monument, will take place on September 18th at 7:30 p.m. in the Old First Church Barn on Monument Circle. It is free and open to the public, light refreshments will be served. For further information contact the Bennington Battle Monument at (802) 447-0550, information on Howard Burnham can be found on his website www.HowardBurnham.com.
As part of the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s sail of discovery, the Alan Klotz Gallery, (511 West 25th Street, NYC) is presenting Seeing the Hudson, a major exhibition of paintings and photographs, which show the river over a period of more than 200 years, from its source in the Adirondacks, to its mouth, 315 miles away in Upper New York Bay. The exhibition will take place September 17th – October 31st, 2009 with an opening reception on Thursday, September 17, from 6 to 8 pm.
The show begins with work by the 19th century painters of the Hudson River School, arguably the first American art movement, and continues through more contemporary painting and photographs. The exhibition demonstrates the variety of faces that the River presents and the selected works reflect the vision of the individual artists.
In general, 19th century Hudson River School painters saw the River as an almost holy, pristine, primeval landscape, where settlers (if present at all) lived in harmony with an all powerful “Nature“. Photographers (partially due to the nature of their medium) were more interested in the real than the ideal. To them, the profound effect of the “hand of man“ on the environment is what gave proof of man’s dominion over Nature, and was itself a source of pride for a developing nation. Of course, in more recent times, man’s impact on the environment has engendered a more negative judgment. Irony and severe criticism have become part of the view as a spur to environmental action by those who love the River and want to protect, defend, and restore it. All these motivations find form in the exhibition.
Photo: Joseph Antonio Hekking’s (1830 – 1903) Hudson River Valley
Vermont’s and New York’s annual shared celebration of Lake Champlain, The Festival of Nations, hosted by the Chimney Point and Crown Point, N.Y., State Historic Sites will be held Sept. 18-20 and will feature a wide variety of events, including the 14th Annual Northeastern Open Atlatl Championship at Chimney Point.
The event honors the Native American, French, and early American history of the region and includes music; food vendors; Native American and primitive life and craft demonstrations; exhibits; showings of the award-winning documentary film Champlain: The Lake Between; a colonial French encampment with re-enactors; tours of Crown Point’s historic forts; historic, cultural, educational, nature, and family activities; a ceremony re-dedicating the Champlain Memorial lighthouse; and fireworks on Saturday night. The nearby DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) State Park will offer camping on a first-come, first-served basis.
The atlatl, a shaped wooden stick, acts as an extension of the throwing arm, so hunters can throw long, flexible darts with greater accuracy, energy, and speed. The atlatl was one of the earliest prehistoric weapons, pre-dating the bow and arrow, and was used by many cultures, including Native Americans.
On Friday, there will be a workshop held at Chimney Point at which participants can learn modern and ancient atlatl construction as they build their own dart-thrower and projectiles and learn how to use them. The fee of $65 includes instruction by champion atlatlist Robert Berg and all materials. Pre-registration is required.
On Saturday competitors of all ages test their prowess in using the atlatl to “hunt” wooly mammoth, bison, and other game targets; shoot at modern day bulls-eyes (International Standards Accuracy), and compete in a distance challenge.
The winners in each category compete in a shoot-out at the end of the event for the title of Grand Champion. At 5:30 p.m. and leading up to the start of the fireworks, enjoy lively music from Atlantic Crossing, well-known for their vast repertoire of music highlighting and honoring the history of the region. The Seth Warner Mount Independence Fife and Drum Corps will also perform.
On Sunday morning, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. one lane of the Lake Champlain Bridge between Addison and Crown Point, N.Y. will be open for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The Sky Blue Boys, Banjo Dan and Willy Lindner, will be performing their lively music near the Vermont end of the bridge from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.
On Sunday morning there will be another International Standards Accuracy competition at 10:00 a.m., followed by master coaching for youth and the young at heart, as well as conversations with Samuel de Champlain and wood carving demonstrations.
Saturday’s and Sunday’s contests are $5 and $3 respectively to enter. Admission to the site on each day is free.
Photo: John Morris using an atlatl. Morris, along with Greg Maurer, will be offering master coaching on Sunday, as well as competing on Saturday. Courtesy Vermont Division for Historic Preservation