The public is invited to explore Delaware Avenue in Cohoes on Saturday, June 11th from 11 am to 4 pm.
A coalition of community organizations will be showcasing the corridor’s rich history with free re-enactments, walks, talks, and performances.
The 1.5 mile stretch of Delaware Avenue along the Hudson River between the Black Bridge and Peebles Island in Cohoes includes sites and stories of Native peoples’ settlements and a riverfront trading post; Dutch settlements; a Revolutionary War route; a boat building shipyard; textile manufacturing, railroad history, and more.
The day’s events will take place at the Van Schaick Mansion, Matton Shipyard, Peebles Island State Park, and points in between and will include Native American storytellers, Revolutionary War re-enactors, cannon firings, and more.
The Spindle City Historic Society will lead a two-hour guided walking tour, twice – the first beginning at 11 am from the Van Schaick Mansion traveling north, and the second beginning at 2 pm from Peebles Island State Park traveling south.
They also will unveil the group’s latest in a series of self-guided walking tours of historic Cohoes – Historic Delaware Avenue. This newest printable guide adds to the SCHS’s self-guided brochures of The Erie Canal in Cohoes, the Harmony Mills Historic District, Cohoes Downtown Historic District, and the Churches of Cohoes.
A trolley will traverse Delaware Avenue between 11 am and 4 pm to transport visitors between locations along the route, free of charge. Visitors may also walk or bike the route, which follows the Delaware Avenue Trail portion of the State-wide Empire State Trail.
Van Schaick Mansion Schedule of Events
The Van Schaick Mansion, located at 1 VanSchaick Avenue, Cohoes is a colonial period home built between 1735 and 1755, and was a military headquarters during the French/Indian Wars and the American Revolution. The Van Schaick Mansion, on the National Register of Historic Places, served as the headquarters of the Continental Army in the months preceding the Battles of Saratoga in 1777, hosting the leadership of the war and 5,000 –10,000 Continental Soldiers.
From 11 am to 4 pm, re-enactors from 2nd Continental Artillery Regiment will have an encampment on the grounds. Glenn Bentz, a Living Historian, will explore the History and Culture of the Haudenosaunee People of New York State and beyond. Through lectures and demonstrations, he will look at the Creation story to the Revolutionary War. Patty O’Hare, General Peter Gansevoort Chapter Member and Master Gardener, will discuss the newly created Perennial Herb and Pollinator Flower Garden, featuring plants and herbs abundant during the 18th century.
At 11 am and 4 pm, re-enactors of the 2nd Continental Artillery Regiment will host a cannon firing.
Spindle City Historic Society’s Walking Tour along the “Path Through History” on Delaware Avenue departs from the Van Schaick Mansion at 11 am.
A Van Schaick Mansion Tour will take place at noon and 2:30 pm.
At 1 pm, and 3:30 pm, a storytelling event with Joe Bruchac will incorporate the Van Schaick Cemetery and Natural Indian Spring. Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed Abenaki children’s book author, poet, novelist, and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Co-author with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac’s poems, articles, and stories have appeared in over five hundred publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola.
Matton Shipyard Schedule of Events
The Matton Shipyard is located on Delaware Avenue in Cohoes. The historic Matton Shipyard is a rare surviving example of an early 20th century ship building and repair facility. From 1916 to 1983, Matton workers built more than 340 tugboats, police boats, WWII submarine chasers, and other vessels. At its height Matton shipyard employed more than 300 people. Matton Shipyard is part of Peebles Island State Park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From 11 am to 4 pm, at the location of one of the most famous tugboat manufacturers, visit the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition information table to learn more about the history of the Matton Shipyard and about the Erie Canal in the Capital region.
Peebles Island State Park Schedule of Events
Peebles Island State Park, located on Delaware Avenue in Cohoes & Waterford, was an early Native American settlement. It is the site of Revolutionary War fortifications known as breastworks; designed to be a stronghold to stop the British army from advancing into Albany. Purchased by Cluett Peabody & Co in 1909, the manufacturing company operated its bleachery operation there from 1911 to 1972. In 1928 the company patented and introduced the cotton cloth pre-shrinking process known as Sanforizing. New York State purchased Peebles Island in 1973, for public use and as the headquarters of the Bureau of Historic Sites and Bureau of Historic Preservation Field Services.
At 11 am and 2:30 pm, a Friends of Peebles Island guide will lead a hike around Peebles Island, with a focus on early Native American settlement, early Dutch settlers, the Revolutionary War fortifications, industry on the island, and the many other features of the historic site.
Revolutionary war re-enactors will fire cannon at site of original earthworks erected in August of 1777 to check the advance of British army at 1 and 2 pm.
Spindle City Historic Society’s Walking Tour along Delaware Avenue will depart from the Peebles Island to Van Schaick Mansion at 2 pm.
For more information, including a full schedule, click here.