The Washington County Historical Society’s 2019 History Fair, “It Happened in Washington County (History In Your Own Backyard!)” is set for Saturday, September 28th, from 10 am to 4 pm.
The day will feature exhibits by Town and Village Historians, Historical Societies, and re-enactors and programs for all ages.
Scheduled events include:
10:15 am: Cannon demonstration with “Bella,” Mike and Mary Skelly’s cannon, on the soccer field.
11 am: “Historic Mills on the Batten Kill” Sally Brillon will speak in Room 302. The Batten Kill is 44 miles long from Dorset, VT to the Hudson River. 24 of those miles are in Washington County. The talk will be concerned with 73 mills in Salem, Jackson, Greenwich, and Easton. A slide presentation will be shown.
“Songs of the Civil War” Miriam Enman will present in Room 303. This presentation will involve the history behind the music of the Civil War as well as the instruments used during the period. A discussion of songs from the pre-war to post-war years will involve the performances of several songs.
“Locals Who Modeled for Norman Rockwell” Speaker: Ken Gottry Assisted by Pauline Adams Grimes & Paul Adams (Room 313). Rockwell lived in West Arlington, VT from 1939-1953. Several locals were used as models, some ended up in his paintings, some even ended up on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post magazine. Cambridge area historian Ken Gottry will present stories about Rockwell and the people who posed for him including Ken’s parents and Grandma Moses.
“Sammy the Doughboy Remembers” Speaker: Robert E. Mulligan, Room 315. This talk recalls the sights, places, and events of the First World War as experienced by soldiers from New York State. The images are taken from the New York Times rotogravure section. The high-quality sepia images, published every Wednesday record the entire history of the war, at home and overseas.
Noon: Cannon demonstration on the soccer field.
12:30 pm: Concert of Adirondack Folk Music by Dave Ruch. The performance will be held in the Cafetorium at the school. (This program is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Como and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council).
2 pm: “Children’s Games of Colonial Times” Speaker: Jill Coloney (Room 302). A brief talk about what things Colonial children would have used to play and then the children will have the opportunity to play the same games Colonial children would have played. There will also be a make-and-take.
“Canals of Eastern New York” Speaker: Sandy McReynolds (Room 303). A look at the Champlain, Glens Falls Feeder, and Erie Canals. An introductory presentation that touches on their history and the impact on the area.
“Washington County’s Unknown or Forgotten Civil War History” Speaker: Patrick Niles (Room 315). The program will examine little known facts, monumental histories, human interest stories and surprising events during and after the Civil War. The history is all around Washington County residents, but they walk or drive by it without noticing or understanding its message.
3:15 pm: “The Genealogical Proof Standard: Maintaining Focus Amid the Welter of Resources” Speaker: Barbara D. Anderson (Room 302). Most researchers realize that everyone in the family (and everybody else) is interesting. Because of this perfectly natural phenomenon, the original object of research sometimes gets lost and the researcher becomes confused. The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is a guide to keeping genealogical research on course, and well documented.
“The Days of Belcher – 200 Years and 8 Generations” Speaker: Marvin Day (Room 303) Learn how the Days came to Belcher and acquired the farm, how from horse and buggy, through the Depression, fire and death, they managed to keep the dream and the property in the family.
“Meet Susan B. Anthony” Speaker: Linda McKenney (Room 313) Travel back in time with her from her early childhood to her role in the suffrage movement. Linda McKenney is a storyteller and historical re-enactor. She is honored to bring Susan B. Anthony into the present.
“John Henry the Steel Driving Man” Speaker: Clifford Oliver Mealy Room (315) John Henry was a slave in Virginia who was freed after the Civil War. He made his way to Whitehall, NY where he hammered his way to riches as a blacksmith. He left behind an amazing collection of photographs of himself and the Baltimore’s of Troy.
Events will take place at the Hartford Central School, 4704 NY Rte. 149, Hartford, Washington County, NY. Admission is free, donations will be accepted.
For more information, contact the Historical Society at (518) 747-9108, or visit their website.
A version of this article first appeared on the Adirondack Almanack.