Old Saratoga Happening presents a book discussion for Farmer Boy on Thursday, Mar. 10 at 7:30 pm in the Schuylerville Public Library. Join the Old Saratoga Historical Association’s winter historical reading group as they discuss Laura Ingalls Wilder’s story which recounts the boyhood adventures growing up on a farm in upstate New York in the 1860s. A second discussion will take place on Tuesday, Mar. 15 at 7:30 pm. [Read more…] about March: Upcoming Events in Old Saratoga
The Canal Society of New York State’s (CSNY) daylong 2011 Winter Symposium, will be held March 5th, 2011 at the Monroe Community College campus in Rochester, New York. The Symposium covers topics that are directly or indirectly related to historic or operating New York State Canals, canals and inland waterways worldwide, and the communities through which they run.
This year’s symposium will include a presentation, “Clinton’s Ditch and Enlarged Erie Aqueduct Survey” by Capt. Rob Mangold, Vice President, CSNY; “An Exploration of the Burlington and Desjardins Canals by Robert W. Sears, of the Canadian Canal Society; “Managing NYS Canal Infrastructure in Difficult Economic Times” by Carmella R. Mantello, Director of the NYS Canal Corporation; “Geographic Resources for the Erie Canal”; “Three Generations on the Erie Barge Canal: A Photographic Chronicle” by “High Canals and Deep Rivers—Southern Germany Waterways Tour” and more.
CSNYS membership is not a requirement to attend. Pre-registration cost prior to February 23rd is $40 per person.
David L. Kipp
61 Thistledown Drive
Rochester, NY 14617
The $40 per person cost covers a continental breakfast, coffee break, lunch, parking and speaker fees. Provide Davd Kipp with the names of the attendees and a telephone number. A check for $40 should be made payable to: Canal Society of New York State
Registration can be made on the day of the seminar at $50 per person.
A downloadable program can be found at the society’s website.
In the American Revolution, about 5 percent of the Continental Soldiers were of African descent. They fought shoulder to shoulder with white soldiers—but an integrated army would not occur again until the Korean War. That’s just scratching the surface of the information gleaned from memoirs, journals, muster rolls, and pay lists that document the roles of free and enslaved African Americans in the American Revolution.
For example, Agrippa Hull was a free African-American patriot who served as an orderly to Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish military officer, engineer and nobleman, for five years during the American Revolutionary War. He served for a total of six years and two months. After the war, he received a veteran’s pension. [Read more…] about Black Patriots at the Battles of Saratoga
On a chilly Sunday morning, January 23rd, the Washington County Association of Snowmobile Clubs presented Hudson Crossing Park with a check of $4000 as their contribution towards the local match of the transportation enhancement grant awarded to rehabilitate Dix Bridge, a centerpiece of the park that connects Saratoga and Washington Counties.
Hudson Crossing Park has been leading the charge to rehabilitate the historic bridge since it was closed in 1999. Marlene Bissell, president of Hudson Crossing Park said, “The Washington County Association of Snowmobile Clubs, with Dave Perkins at the helm have been exceptionally supportive of Hudson Crossing Park and rehabilitating the Dix Bridge. We are so grateful!”
The clubs of the Association value the opportunity to put in place a safe, non-ice trail crossing from Washington County into Saratoga County. With the restored Dix Bridge providing the trail connection, snowmobilers will finally be able to ride from many parts of New York State into Washington County and access the excellent trail systems of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The clubs that donated $500 from their own fund-raising efforts include Battenkill Snowdrifters, Granville Border Riders, Greenwich Trail Blazers, Hartford Ridge Riders, Hoosic Trail Masters, Kingsbury Barnstormers, Sno-Kats and Northern Washington County Trails Blazers.
The Board of Directors of Hudson Crossing Park undertook the challenge to preserve the Dix Bridge over ten years ago. In a pro-active intermuniciapal effort, Saratoga and Washington Counties, the Towns of Saratoga, Northumberland, and Greenwich, and the Historic Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership have come together to preserve a significant piece of history and provide safe passage over the Hudson River for hundreds of pedestrians, bicyclists, and snowmobilers. Funding for this significant project will be acquired primarily through a federal transportaion enhancement program. Local organizations and agencies are coming together to provide the remaining funds necessary.
Engineers from Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. have begun work on plans to rehabilitate the historic Dix Bridge. Extensive structural inspections have taken place to ensure proper stabilization of the bridge. Work on the Dix Bridge will commence in 2011. It is hoped the Bridge will re-open as a shared use recreational trail late in 2012. The bridge will not be open to automobiles.
In addition to providing safe passage across the Hudson River for snowmobilers, the Dix Bridge will serve as the link between Saratoga and Washington Counties for the NYS Canalway Trail. In the near future, a 67 mile-long Champlain Canalway Trail will link communities from Whitehall to Waterford and join the Erie Canalway Trail leading to Buffalo. The economic benefit of the Canalway Trail statewide was estimated in 2007 to be $27,705,731. The new Champlain Canalway Trail will help bring a portion of those dollars to our local communities.
For more information about the Hudson Crossing Bi-County Park, call Marlene Bissell at 518.859.1462 or visit: www.hudsoncrossingpark.org. Hudson Crossing is a bi-county educational park project centered on and near the Champlain Canal Lock 5 Island of the Hudson River.
Photo: Above, closed Dix Bridge. Below, attending the ceremony from left to right are: Dave Linendoll, WCASC President; Claudia Irwin, Hartford Ridge Riders; Mike Irwin, Hartford Ridge Riders; Sara Idleman, Supervisor, Town of Greenwich; Tom Richardson, Supervisor, City of Mechanicville; George Morrow, Battenkill Snow Drifters; Judy Dashnaw, Kingsbury Barnstormers; Doug Brownell, Sno-Kats; Marlene Bissell, President, Hudson Crossing; Cliff Howard, Greenwich Trail Blazers; Hank Dashnaw, Kingsbury Barnstormers; Dave Perkins, WCASC; Ben Gaines, Hoosick Trail Masters; Ed Leonard, Kingsbury Barnstormers; Jason Hammond, Greenwich Trail Blazers.
On Saturday November 6th the Schenectady County Historical Society will explore the many possible ways to uncover your family history during Genealogy Day, an event that will feature several speakers along with open hours in the library. Frank Taormina, a retired teacher and long-time Schenectady resident, will describe the history of the ethnic communities of Schenectady as he shows us the City’s many places of worship: churches, synagogues and mosques.
Bob Sullivan, librarian at the Schenectady County Public Library and webmaster of Schenectady Digital History Archive, will explain how to mine the wealth of the Internet to locate historic newspapers on the Internet. During the lunch hour Kim Mabee, a community volunteer and tireless family researcher, will share the story of her own research on the Mabee Family of Rotterdam, NY. [Read more…] about Schenectady ‘Genealogy Day’ Event Saturday
Do you have an ancestor who served in the 1777 Battles of Saratoga? Saratoga National Historical Park, in partnership with Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County, announces that starting on Thursday, October 14th, a free, computer-based, accessible research tool, ‘Participants at the Battles of Saratoga’, will be available in the park’s visitor center, open daily from 9am to 5pm.
The easy-to-use, touch screen database program was created by members of Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County, New York, a society dedicated to the study of historical and genealogical records in the area. The information is also on their website, but now will be readily available for any of the 150,000 visitors who annually visit Saratoga National Historical Park and wish to investigate their ancestor’s service here. [Read more…] about Genealogy Database: Participants at the Battles of Saratoga
The “Warren County – Improving Feeder Canal Community Connections Project” has expanded community connections along the Glens Falls Feeder Canal and the Towpath Trail with $140,585 funded by the New York State Canal Corporation through the Erie Canal Greenway Grant Program.
Warren County partnered with the Canal Corporation, the City of Glens Falls, the Town of Queensbury and the Feeder Canal Alliance, a not-for-profit entity whose mission includes preserving and expanding public use of the Feeder Canal Towpath and associated structures.
Work has been completed in both the Overlook Park in the Town of Queensbury and Haviland Cove in the City of Glens Falls. Site improvements to both parks included resurfacing of the roadways, trailways and parking areas, including Haviland Cove, where school buses park. Electrical services were also installed in both parks, including the pavilion in Haviland Cove. Benches, tables, grills, and a covered pavilion were installed in Overlook Park. Additionally, 3.6 miles of towpath trail was resurfaced by county work forces with stonedust for use as a bike and pedestrian trail.
In addition, the Canal Corporation provided $9,000 to complete signage along the seven-mile Feeder Canal Trail in both Warren and Washington Counties. Weathered signs were refurbished and replaced, and obsolete signs were replaced with new interpretive signs.
The Erie Canal Greenway Grant Program, administered by the Canal Corporation, was created to help spur community revitalization along the 524-mile Canal System. Fifty-four Greenway grants were awarded on a competitive basis to communities and non-profit organizations for capital projects that enhance and promote tourism, recreation, historic interpretation, and community revitalization in 19 counties along the New York State Canal System. All grants require a 50-percent match in local funds or in-kind services.
The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture.
The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority. In 1992 State legislation transferred the Canal System from the New York State Department of Transportation to the Thruway Authority. Canal operating and maintenance activities are supported by Thruway toll revenues.
Photo: Glens Falls Feeder Canal Lock 1. Photo Courtesy of Tug44.org.
“The fur trade was a powerful force in shaping the course of American history from the early 1600s through the late 1800s,” Eric Jay Dolin writes in his new comprehensive history Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America. “Millions of animals were killed for their pelts, which were used according to the dictates of fashion — and human vanity,” Dolin writes. “This relentless pursuit of furs left in its wake a dramatic, often tragic tale of clashing cultures, fluctuating fortunes, and bloody wars.”
The fur trade spurred imperial power struggles that eventually led to the expulsions of the Swedes, the Dutch, and the French from North America. Dolin’s history of the American fur trade is a workmanlike retelling of those struggles that sits well on the shelf beside Hiram Martin Chittenden’s 1902 two-volume classic The American Fur Trade of the Far West, and The Fur Trade in Colonial New York, 1686-1776, the only attempt to tell the story of the fur trade in New York. The latter volume, written by Thomas Elliot Norton, leaves no room for the Dutch period or the early national period which saw the fur trade drive American expansion west. [Read more…] about Fur, Fortune, and Empire: A History of American Fur Trade
June 19th commemorates “Juneteenth”, the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, and is observed in 48 of 50 states [in 2020]. It is also known as Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day.
Join us in honoring “Juneteenth” with an author reception for Scott Christianson, author of the critically acclaimed book Freeing Charles: The Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War (University of Illinois Press, 2010). [Read more…] about John Brown Lives! Honors Juneteenth With Event
On April 27, 1860, a few months after John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, a group of blacks and whites, including Harriet Tubman, came together to free fugitive slave Charles Nalle from slave catchers bent on returning him to his owner in Culpepper, Virginia.
The book Freeing Charles: The Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War (2010) by the late Scott Christianson tells the tale of Nalle, a man whose skin was so fair he could have passed for white but didn’t, and relates the of racial inequality, rule of law, civil disobedience and violent resistance to slavery that circulated in the abolitionist movement during the antebellum period in Troy, NY. [Read more…] about The Rescue of Fugitive Slave Charles Nalle