Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site has announced that this year’s Tuesday Talk series, which recognizes New York State History Month, will be held virtually. Each week a speaker will present a topic connected to regional or New York State history.
All presentations are free and open to the public, and will begin at 6:30 pm each Tuesday via the online platform Webex.
On October 6th, Ashley Hopkins-Benton, Senior Historian and Curator of Social History at the New York State Museum will discuss Henry DiSpirito. When Henry DiSpirito emigrated from Italy in 1921 he was already a trained stonemason and bricklayer. In Utica, New York, he found work in those trades but longed to devote his life to art. He found his calling in the direct-carving style of sculpture. Renowned for his sculpture, DiSpirito was an accomplished painter as well. In 1963, he was appointed the first artist-in-residence at Utica College, a position he held until his death.
October 13th will feature some of the paintings in the collection at the Arkell Museum with Mary Alexander, Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie and David Brooks of Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site. Discover more about the collection, the artists, and the history represented in the amazing portraits and landscapes.
On October 20th, Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site interpreter Jessica Serfilippi will present on the fascinating Women of Schuyler Mansion. Learn what it was like growing up as a Schuyler, as Serfilippi takes an in-depth look at the history of the Schuyler women, their daily lives, and the impact they had in shaping their family’s history.
The final Tuesday Talk on October 27th will feature a presentation by Amanda Massie and Valerie Balint, “Converging on the Canal: the 19th Century Through Food.” Massie and Balint will discuss how the technology and ideas that moved along the Erie Canal shaped how Americans ate in the 19th century.
In addition, the site will also be offering several other online programs during the month. On Saturday, October 3rd, Tim McLean will discuss the Oneida Community at 1 pm. Wednesday, October 21st there will be a presentation at 1pm from Ashley Maready of the Erie Canal Museum about the Life and Times of NYS Governor and Erie Canal proponent DeWitt Clinton. More programs will be announced soon. Webex links are available on the NYS Parks Website, or by contacting the site.
October has been newly designated as New York State History Month by an executive order in December of 2019 that expands on the New York State Legislature’s 1997 act, Section 57.02 to the state’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law declaring a month of recognition. “The purpose of this month shall be to celebrate the history of New York State and recognize the contributions of the state and local historians.” New York State History Month represents an opportunity for historians, cultural institutions, and the public to assert the vital importance of preserving and learning about our state’s history.
For information about this program, call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516 or email SchoharieCrossing@parks.ny.gov.