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Four new books provide readers with first person narratives of rural Upstate New York teenage life in the 1860s through the 1890s. These accounts of young peoples’ lives on the farm, or in the home, offers a unique perspective and serves as an important primary resource in the study of American history.
The first is A Darned Good Time by 13-year old Lucy Potter of Taylor, New York (in Cortland County) in 1868. She writes of classes, teachers, friends, boys, a new stepmother, an invalid aunt, and complains about upstate New York weather.
Second in the series is My Centennial Diary – A Year in the Life of a Country Boy by 18-year old Earll Gurnee of Sennett, New York (near Skaneateles) in 1876. He writes of school, family life, social life, farm life, girlfriends, and hard work. His teacher gets arrested for being too brutal to children, he juggles two girlfriends, he plows, cuts hay, cleans out the horse barn….then wonders why his back hurts!
Third in the series, My Story – A Year in the Life of a Country Girl, is by 15-year old Ida Burnett of Logan, New York (in Schuyler County) in 1880. Ida churned butter, milked cows, sewed her own underwear, canned fruit, but also had time for boys and parties. She lived in the country in Upstate New York and in the whole year did not venture any farther than twenty miles from home. The book will be released soon.
The fourth (forthcoming) will be Home in the Hills by 14–year old Edna Kendall of Altay, New York (in Schuyler County) in 1891. It will be available in early 2010.
You can check out these and more publications from the New York History Review Press at http://www.newyorkhistoryreview.com.
The grounds of the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake will become a lively 19th century tent city with an encampment of American Mountain Men interpreting the fur trade and a variety of survival skills on August 14 and 15, 2009. The group will interpret the lives and times of traditional mountain men with colorful demonstrations and displays of shooting, tomahawk and knife throwing, furs, fire starting and cooking, clothing of both eastern and western mountain styles, period firearms, and more. This year’s encampment will include blacksmithing as well as a beaver skinning and fleshing demonstration.
Participants in the museum encampment are from the Brothers of the New York,
Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts segment of the national American
Mountain Men organization. The encampment is by invitation only. All of the American Mountain Men activities and demonstrations are included in the price of regular Adirondack Museum admission. There is no charge for museum members. The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
The American Mountain Men group was founded in 1968. The association researches and studies the history, traditions, tools, and mode of living of the trappers, explorers, and traders known as the mountain men. Members continuously work for mastery of the primitive skills of both the original mountain men and Native Americans. The group prides itself on the accuracy and authenticity of its interpretation and shares the knowledge they have gained with all who are interested.
From architraves to anthemia, children age eight to eleven can immerse themselves in the world of New York State’s varied architecture during an architecture camp for kids at the Jay Heritage Center all next week (Mon. August 17 to Fri., August 21, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm). The campers will discover the fundamentals of architecture by studying the Greek Revival 1838 Peter Augustus Jay House, along with the two other 19th-century mansions, which are part of the Boston Post Road Historic District. Kids can learn how Hudson Valley architects like Minard Lafever and AJ Davis championed inspirational designs that still capture our imagination.
With guidance from professionals, each camper will then design and construct their own dream house or a building essential for a city, such as a school or fire department. After learning about the basic principles of zoning, they will organize their buildings on a giant map of the Boston Post Road. Cardboard boxes and other recycled materials are used to create the colorful, bustling mini city. This year the campers will also learn about green building and how historic structures can be environmentally sustainable.
The cost is $200 per camper. The Jay Heritage Center is located at 210 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580. Limited enrollment. For further information call 914-698-9275 or e-mail email@example.com.
Photo: The Greek Revival Architecture exhibit in the 1907 Carriage House at the Jay Heritage Center, Rye. NY.
The historic canal motorship Day Peckinpaugh arrived in Plattsburgh today as it travels the Champlain and Hudson Corridor on its 500-mile Quadricentennial Legacy Voyage. The 259-foot canal boat, built in 1921, will be joined by the replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure and 1901 Tug Urger at the Wilcox Dock in Plattsburgh on August 11-12 and at the Burlington waterfront on August 14-16. The public is invited to step on board free of charge (see tour schedule below for hours). [Read more…] about Historic Vessels Arrive in Plattsburgh For Events
The controversial demolition of Pennsylvania Station in 1963 is often said to have given birth to New York City’s historic preservation movement. As Randall Mason reveals in his new book The Once and Future New York: Historic Preservation and the Modern City, historic preservation has been a force in the development of modern New York City since the 1890s. Mason is associate professor of city and regional planning in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and co-editor of Giving Preservation a History.
Rich with archival research, The Once and Future New York documents the emergence of historic preservation in New York at the turn of the twentieth century. The book counters the charge that preservationists were antiquarians concerned only with significant buildings. Primarily using three significant projects – City Hall Park restoration, the failed attempt to save St. John’s Chapel, and the building of the Bronx River Parkway – Mason argues that historic preservation in this period, rather than being fundamentally opposed to growth, was integral to modern urban development.
For more information, including the table of contents, visit the book’s webpage:
The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program supports applicants from a variety of backgrounds with awards for advanced research in New York State history, government, or public policy. Previous residents have included academic and public historians, graduate students, independent researchers and writers, and primary and secondary school teachers. The project must draw on the holdings of the New York State Archives. Projects may involve alternative uses of the Archives, such as research for multimedia projects, exhibits, documentary films, and historical novels.
The Quinn-Archives Research Residency provides financial support for an individual to spend up to a year in Albany, New York, working in the rich collections of the New Netherland Institute and the New York State Archives. The program is offered because of the generous support of the Doris Quinn Foundation, the New Netherland Institute at the New York State Library and the New York State Archives.
Endowment earnings and private contributions to the Archives Partnership Trust provide the financial basis for the Hackman Research Program. Contributors have included The Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation, Inc., Henry Luce Foundation, Inc., The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and The Lucius N. Littaur Foundation. Contributions and endowment earnings enable the Trust to maintain prior years’ award levels, as well as to continue with invitational fellowships to complete priority projects.
Adirondack Museum Librarian Jerry Pepper will present an illustrated presentation entitled “When Men and Mountain Meet: Mapping the Adirondacks” at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake on Monday, August 10, 2009. Part of the museum’s Monday Evening Lecture series, the presentation will be held in the Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $5.00 for non-members.
A contested terrain amid warring nations, a frontier rich in timber and minerals, a recreational and artistic paradise and a pioneering wilderness preserve, the Adirondack Mountains are an intensively mapped region. Using rare and rarely seen maps, drawn from the over 1400 historical maps and atlases in the Adirondack Museum’s collection, “When Men and Mountains Meet: Mapping the Adirondacks” will chart the currents of Adirondack history, as reflected through the region’s maps.
The Adirondack Museum introduced a new exhibit in 2009, “A ‘Wild, Unsettled Country’: Early Reflections of the Adirondacks,” that showcases paintings, maps, prints, and photographs illustrating the untamed Adirondack wilderness discovered by early cartographers, artists, and photographers. The exhibition will be on display through mid-October, 2010.
Jerry Pepper has been Director of the Library at the Adirondack Museum since 1982, he holds Master degrees in both American History and Library Science.
Photo: “A New and Accurate Map of the Present War in North America,” Universal Magazine, 1757. Collection of the Adirondack Museum.
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