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
“Messing About in Boats” the annual Small Watercraft Festival at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, August 8-9 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The festival is a celebration of clean, green, sustainable boating.
On Saturday morning at 11 a.m., explorers Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson will meet for the first time at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – 400 years after their first exploration of the region! The life-sized puppet of Hudson is traveling from Albany, NY in the company of Carol Margolis of the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center (www.albany1609.com), while Champlain will arrive in the company of Rebecca Goldberg of Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library. The great explorers will greet the public and are happy to share stories of their historic travels and recent adventures. Young visitors will also enjoy hands-on activities with smaller puppets of Henry Hudson and friends. [Read more…] about Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Small Watercraft Fest
All last week Vermont Public Radio (VPR) has been running a series of reported entitled “History Under the Waves” looking at five historic wrecks that lie at the bottom of Lake Champlain. Over 300 shipwrecks lie at the bottom of Champlain, and VPR looked at what sent five of them to their fates, including a Revolutionary War gunboat, a lake schooner, two steamboats, and a sailing canal boat. The reports also feature a photo gallery.
Much of what is known about the extend of underwater remains of Champlain shipwrecks comes from surveys conducted by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM). The LCMM has been instrumental in conducting archeological surveys and persuading New York and Vermont to establish the Lake Champlain Historic Preserve System in order to provide access for divers to some of the Lake’s historic shipwrecks. You can find a list of manning of the Champlain Shipwrecks at the LCMM Shipwrecks site.
Restoration work on the Crown Point Pier and Champlain Memorial Lighthouse has been completed and both facilities are once again open to the public. Restoration work on the pier included reenforcement of the bulkhead and piers, removal of zebra mussels, refurbishing of the metal trusses and decking, repair of the roof — including replacement of broken slate shingles, thorough cleaning of exterior and interior surfaces and placement of new signs.
Work on the lighthouse included restoration of the Rodin sculpture, thorough cleaning and repair of outer stonework and thorough cleaning, resealing and painting of the interior. The Rodin sculpture has not been placed back on the lighthouse, but will be prior to the Quadricentennial Celebration in September.
The facilities are located on the shore of Lake Champlain in Essex County on the grounds of DEC Crown Point Public Campground. Other nearby by historic features are the Crown Point Reservation, which includes Fort Crown Point and Fort St. Frederic, the Crown Point Bridge and the Toll Keeper’s House.
The Lake Champlain Quadricentennial celebrates the 400th anniversary of the French explorer Samuel de Champlain’s 1609 sighting of the lake that now bears his name. Champlain is noted as the first European to have recorded his exploration of the lake and the surrounding region.
While celebrations and events will occur throughout the summer, New York’s premier Quadricentennial Celebration will be hosted at the DEC Crown Point Campground and the OPHRP Crown Point Reservation on September 18-20. New York will celebrate the role that Lake Champlain and the Champlain Valley played in the history of our country and the state, and the natural wonders and recreational opportunities of the lake.
The Crown Point steamboat pier was constructed in 1929, serving as a point of embarkation and disembarkation passengers accessing Crown Point from one of the many large steamboats that plied up and down Lake Champlain during that era.
The Champlain Memorial Lighthouse was originally constructed in 1858 and the surrounding land was acquired in 1910 by the New York State Conservation Department – predecessor to the DEC. In 1912, the States of New York and Vermont and the Province of Quebec worked together to reconstruct the lighthouse as a monument to Samuel de Champlain, in recognition of the 300th anniversary of his explorations.
The Champlain Memorial Lighthouse, the Crown Point Pier and the Toll Keepers House are eligible for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The entire Crown Point Reservation is also a National Historic Landmark.
The New York State Museum has received a $3.1 million federal transportation grant to make mechanical upgrades to the Day Peckinpaugh, paving the way for the historic canal boat’s transformation into a permanent floating museum, dedicated to sharing the history and heritage of the state’s canal system.
As the first motorship of its kind specifically designed for the dimensions of the 20th-century Erie Barge Canal, and the last surviving vessel of its kind remaining afloat, the Peckinpaugh has become an iconic fixture on the state’s waterways. Built in 1921 in Duluth, Minnesota to carry grain from the Midwest to New York City, it was the harbinger for nearly a hundred other canal motorships that were seen everywhere on the waterway until 1950. In 1994, the Peckinpaugh made its final commercial voyage, with communities from Rome to Oswego turning out to wave goodbye.
Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Peckinpaugh was saved from the scrap heap in 2005 through the efforts of the New York State Museum, in partnership with the New York State (NYS) Canal Corporation; NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor Commission; the National Park Service and the Canal Society of New York State.
The Peckinpaugh is scheduled to have temporary exhibits installed for the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain quadricentennial celebration tour in August and September. This was organized by the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor, in conjunction with the State Museum, Saratoga National Historical Park and the New York State Canal Corporation. This new federal grant will provide funds for the rehabilitation work necessary before permanent exhibits can be installed and the Peckinpaugh is ready for continuous tours.
The grant was among more than $81 million in federal funding for 59 transportation projects across New York State, announced by Governor David Paterson. Funds will be allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) projects. TEP finances transportation improvements with cultural, aesthetic, historical and environmental significance. It’s hoped the projects will make necessary improvements to local walkways, bicycle paths and other transportation routes while spurring economic development and job creation.
The value of a waterborne traveling exhibition, dedicated to sharing the history of the canal system, became apparent when more than a million visitors turned out to visit the 1976 Bicentennial Barge, which reached several dozen communities over a five-month journey. It is estimated that as much as 85 percent of the state’s population live in regions within a half-hour drive of the state’s waterway network.
The Peckinpaugh will follow a schedule of visits from New York City to Plattsburgh to Buffalo to Ithaca. When it is not touring during the navigation season it will be available for tours at the historic Matton Shipyard at Peebles Island State Park in Waterford. During the winter season it may also be open at its winter berth on the Waterford Flight.
Plans call for the Peckinpaugh’s permanent exhibitions to be installed and ready for visitors by summer 2010. The National Park Service will coordinate the development and operation of the exhibitions in the 130-foot long open cargo hold of the motorship, which at one time carried 160 tons of dry cement. While maintaining the Peckinpaugh’s industrial character, initial plans call for the creation of a gallery that is nearly as large as some gallery spaces in the State Museum. The gallery will be universally accessible and compliant with the American Disabilities Act..
This grant will help to mitigate a decade of neglect that left many of the boat’s mechanical systems in disrepair when it was largely abandoned in Erie, Pa. between 1995 and 2005. It follows a $290,000 grant in 2006 from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Environmental Protection Fund that has been used to stabilize the Peckinpaugh. Additional work will include the replacement of fuel tanks, ballast piping and valves, the possible addition of a new ballast tank and the rebuilding of fresh water, sanitary and electrical systems. Plans also include some hull plate replacement, repair and painting.
As part of the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial celebration, Adirondack Architectural Heritage is presenting a new tour series, Architecture of the Champlain Valley. The series features half-day walking tours of eight towns along the lake, led by experienced and professional guides. Tours will be at 9:30 am and 1:00 pm on Saturdays in May and June unless otherwise noted.
May 2- Willsboro: One of the oldest settlements in Essex County, Willsboro has a rich history connected to agriculture, paper industry, stone quarrying, shipbuilding, and tourism.
May 9- Keeseville: Keeseville is a town with a long history as an industrial community that manufactured products from wood and iron ore using the power of the Ausable River.
May 16- Essex: Essex prospered during much of the 19th century as a shipping and ship building port, and today, as a National Historic Register District, contains many wonderful examples of various styles of architecture.
May 23- Elizabethtown: As the county seat, Elizabethtown boasts a large historic government complex, and a number of buildings that reflect the town’s social, political and economic importance.
May 30- Port Henry: Port Henry and the surrounding town of Moriah have the longest industrial history of any community in the Champlain Valley, beginning with iron mining and manufacturing in the late 1700s.
June 6- Ticonderoga: Historically associated with military events, Ticonderoga developed as an industrial town connected to paper manufacturing, and today offers more than three dozen buildings listed on the National Register.
June 20- Wadhams (10:00)/Westport (1:00): The hamlet of Wadhams lies just north of Westport on the Boquet River, and was once known for its industrial pursuits which supported the outlying farms. Though industry and agriculture played a role in the development of Westport, it has gained most of its identity as a summer resort town.
June 27- Ironville: In the town of Crown Point, the settlement of Ironville is the site of the Penfield Homestead Museum and was once the center of a thriving iron industry.
Attendance is free of charge, but advance registration is required. Reservations may be made by calling AARCH at 834-9328.
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) is the private, non-profit, historic preservation organization for the Adirondack Park region. This is one of over fifty events in our annual series highlighting the region’s vast architectural legacy. For more information on membership and our complete program schedule contact AARCH at (518) 834-9328 or visit our website at www.aarch.org.
Rich Strum, Director of Interpretation and Education at Fort Ticonderoga, will offer a program entitled “Conquest, Commerce, and Culture: 400 Years of History in the Champlain Valley” at Saranac Village at Will Rogers in Saranac Lake on Sunday, March 8, 2009.
Samuel de Champlain first saw the great expanse of Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains to the east, the Adirondacks on the west in 1609. New York State, Vermont, and the Province of Quebec are commemorating the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s explorations this year through a variety of programs and events.
Strum will provide an illustrated overview of four centuries of the Champlain region’s history. He will discuss military contests for control of the vital Champlain corridor, the role the lake has played in economic growth and expansion, the lasting impact of 150 years of French dominance in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The presentation will begin at 2:00 p.m. and is offered at no charge to member sof the Adirondack Museum and children of elementary school age or younger. Free admission will be extended to all residents of Saranac Village at Will Rogers. The fee for non-members is $5.00. For additional information, please call the Education Department at (518) 352-7311, ext. 128 or visit the museum’s web site at www.adirondackmuseum.org.
Rich Strum has been the Director of Interpretation and Education at Fort Ticonderoga since 1999. He serves as North Country Regional Coordinator for New York State History Day. He is the author of Ticonderoga: Lake Champlain Steamboat, as well as two books for young readers: Causes of the American Revolution and Henry Know: Washington’s Artilleryman. He lives in Ticonderoga, N.Y. with his wife and daughters.
The Preservation League of New York State announced today the League’s Seven to Save for 2009. As part of New York State’s Quadricentennial celebration, the Preservation League will use its endangered properties program, Seven to Save, to support and enhance the year-long commemoration of the voyages of Henry Hudson, Robert Fulton and Samuel de Champlain. In 2009, all Seven to Save designees are located in the Hudson and Champlain Valleys – in Clinton, Columbia (2), Dutchess, Essex, New York and Rensselaer Counties.
“New York State is especially rich in maritime resources and waterfront communities,” said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. “The region from the Canadian border to New York Harbor is celebrated for its beauty, and boasts a strong tradition of settlement by Native Americans followed by French, Dutch, English and others who made important contributions reflected in the area’s buildings and landscapes. Unfortunately, many of the valued historic resources that illustrate this heroic saga are threatened by insensitive, ineffective or insufficient public policies, general neglect, and in some cases, outright demolition.”
The 2009 Seven to Save designees are, in chronological order:
1. Magdalen Island
Red Hook, in Tivoli Bays, Dutchess County
(Late Archaic, 6,000-3,000 years ago, through post-contact period)
Studies of Magdalen Island have shown that from the Late Archaic through the post-European contact period, the island has been used as a seasonal home by both Native Americans and Euro-Americans. The site could yield additional archeological information about the Hudson Valley’s early inhabitants.
2. Jan Van Hoesen House
Claverack, Columbia County
(Early 18th century)
Jan Van Hoesen, who built this house, was the grandson of Jan Franz Van Hoesen, original patentee of the area in the 1660s. The farmstead, while encroached upon by the adjacent mobile home park, remains intact and undisturbed. This site exemplifies the themes of Dutch settlement along the Hudson River and its tributaries.
3. Gunboat Spitfire
Lake Champlain, Essex and Clinton Counties
Threat: Natural, including non-native aquatic species, and vandalism
This vessel was part of the American fleet which held the British at bay for a year and contributed to the American victory at Saratoga in 1777. The Spitfire is not only the most significant underwater archeological site on the bottom of Lake Champlain, it illustrates the interconnected history of the Hudson and Champlain Valleys.
4. Plumb-Bronson House
Hudson, Columbia County
(1811, 1838, 1849)
Threat: Many years of unchecked deterioration
Samuel Plumb, owner and operator of a fleet of tow boats on the Hudson River, purchased this property and built his home here in 1811. In 1838, Dr. Oliver Bronson hired famed architect A. J. Davis to embellish the house, and brought him back in 1849 to reorient the house to the Hudson River. Now, the not-for-profit Historic Hudson needs to determine a new use and plans for site stewardship.
5. Fort Montgomery
Rouse’s Point, Clinton County
Threat: Deterioration, need for stabilization
Situated on the border between the United States and Canada, Island Point is where Lake Champlain enters the Richelieu River. It was first fortified in 1818 as the Northern Gateway linking the St. Lawrence and Hudson Rivers. Fort Montgomery was built in the mid-19th century and seen as a crucial fortification by Civil War strategists. This site symbolizes the shared history of these two nations.
6. Burden Iron Works Museum
Troy, Rensselaer County
This building stands as architect Robert Robertson’s best surviving iron works and an important reminder of the Hudson River’s industrial heritage. Robertson designed the building as the offices of the Burden Iron Company, the first in the world to manufacture horseshoes by machine. The site is now operated as a museum of commerce and industry, as well as the offices of the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway, the not-for-profit which owns the building.
7. Historic South Street Seaport
New York City, New York County
(Tin Building, 1907 and New Market Building, 1939)
Threat: Demolition, loss of context
The South Street Seaport and Fulton Market are historically linked to Fulton and his ferry to Brooklyn, as well as the theme of commerce along the Hudson River. General Growth Properties proposes out-of-scale new development, requiring demolition of the National Register-eligible New Market Building and the relocation of the Tin Building. This site illustrates the need for careful planning along and stewardship of New York State’s waterfront, especially within waterfront historic districts.
The Preservation League will provide targeted support for these seven threatened historic resources throughout 2009, and will work with local groups to protect them.
“We are looking forward to providing strategic attention, extra effort, and new tools to secure the future of these endangered resources for generations to come,” said Erin Tobin, the Preservation League’s eastern regional director for technical and grant programs. “We are delighted to report that through the community involvement and preservation strategies we have created together with local advocates, many significant properties have been saved.”
The Preservation League of New York State, founded in 1974, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection of New York’s diverse and rich heritage of historic buildings, districts and landscapes. From its headquarters in Albany, it provides the unified voice for historic preservation. By leading a statewide movement and sharing information and expertise, the Preservation League of New York State promotes historic preservation as a tool to revitalize the Empire State’s neighborhoods and communities.
New Year’s Day marked the start of New York’s Quadricentennial celebration commemorating 400 years of history on the Hudson River, New York Harbor and Lake Champlain. This year, New York honors the 400th anniversaries of the voyage of Captain Henry Hudson, who led (for the Dutch) the first European expedition to sail up the river that now bears his name, as well as the voyage of Samuel de Champlain, the first to discover the namesake lake. Communities from the Big Apple to the Canadian border are preparing events and projects to highlight New York’s rich history of exploration and discovery.
To celebrate these simultaneous 400th anniversaries as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s maiden steamboat journey up the Hudson River, New York State is planning a yearlong series of events, programs and projects that highlight the discovery of New York and the State’s Dutch, French, and English roots and heritage.
The Quadricentennial slogan is: New York’s 400th-Celebrating the past, planning for the future.
Among the Quadricentennial events planned are the Knickerbocker Ice Festival at Rockland Lake State Park, a panel discussion at the Museum of Natural History, and River Day, which will include the Commemorative Relay Flotilla on June 6. The flotilla will be led by boats out of New York City, tracing Henry Hudson’s path to Albany. The flagships include the famous Onrust, Clearwater, Woody Guthrie, the Mystic and the Half Moon, with a Coast Guard escort. To celebrate River Day, there will be activities for everyone along the river, at boat and yacht clubs,
cultural institutions and museums.
The NYS Quadricentennial Legacy Projects include the full restoration of the historic Crown Point Lighthouse on Lake Champlain and the transformation of the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge into the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Additionally, the State is installing eco docks along the Hudson River, to expand access to the river for boaters and fishermen. The State is also working on many collaborative projects and events with the Dutch Consulate in New York, including a planned visit by members of the Royal Family later in the year.
Many more events commemorating the Quadricentennial are planned for 2009, including the Hudson Valley 400th! Food Expo, Macy’s Quadricentennial July 4th,Tulip Mania at the New York Botanical Garden, the Festival of Nations and Crown Point Historic Site Opening, Governors Island Dutch Festival, H209 Water Conference at Liberty Science Center, Four Freedoms Medals at FDR Historic Site, International Stamp Expo for New York’s 400th, 2009 Voyage of Discovery, Commissioning of the USS New York, New Amsterdam Week, Barges from Holland, Dutch Royals visit, 400 Years of History Conference with Marist College, and New York Harbor Day.
For a detailed listing and description of these events and projects, visit the NYS Quadricentennial website at: www.exploreny400.com.
Governor David A. Paterson today announced that First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson has been named Honorary Chair of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration. Next year, 2009, marks the 400th anniversaries of the voyage of English Captain Henry Hudson, who led the first European expedition to sail up the river that now bears his name, and the voyage of Frenchman Samuel de Champlain, the first to discover the namesake lake. To celebrate these simultaneous 400th anniversaries – as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s maiden steamboat journey up the Hudson River – New York State is planning a yearlong series of events, programs and projects that highlight the discovery of New York, celebrating the State’s Dutch, French and English roots and heritage.
“This is a momentous occasion in our State’s history,” said First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson. “I am so proud to be able to serve this important role as ambassador for the 400th anniversaries of the exploration of our historic Hudson River and Lake Champlain, celebrating our rich history and our embrace of diversity, tolerance and innovation. Perhaps most importantly, we are utilizing the occasion to focus attention on the most important legacy of all — environmental and economic sustainability starting with the next 100 years.”
New York’s First Lady will lend her support to several projects across the State, including the “Walkway Over the Hudson” in Poughkeepsie that will transform the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge into a spectacular park in the sky, the longest elevated walkway in the world. On Lake Champlain, the newly refurbished Crown Point Lighthouse will shine again over the stabilized ruins of two nearby forts – Crown Point and St. Frederic – that symbolize the region’s English and French heritage. And Governor’s Island, the site of one of New York’s first Dutch settlements and a strategic 19th-century coastal fortification, will soon allow visitors to have access to the entire perimeter promenade for the first time, and will create a picnic area with unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, and the Manhattan skyline.
Other Quadricentennial events include the valley-wide event “River Day” celebrating 400 years of boats, ships and the Hudson River; the Quadricentennial Sustainability Expo at the American Museum of Natural History, the International Commemorative Stamp Expo at the Empire State Plaza – featuring the loan of the original Henry Hudson 1909 stamp from the National Museum, the New York Medal of Discovery-the first annual medal from the Governor to a distinguished New Yorker, the “400 Years of History” conference at Marist College, and a special visit from the Dutch Royal Family.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said: “This event provides a golden opportunity to celebrate the history of New York State and three of the giants who defined it for the last four hundred years. Over this past year, I have worked tirelessly for the Quadricentennial to ensure the celebration provides a big boost for our tourism economy. I know with Michelle Paterson as the Honorary Chair of the Quadricentennial we can only expect even greater success.”
U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said: “First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson is an excellent choice to chair the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebrations. Under her leadership, this celebration of New York’s rich past will be a truly historic success.”
U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey said: “The Quadricentennial celebrations presents New Yorkers with so many exciting ways to celebrate and learn about the extraordinary historical events that occurred right here in our own backyard several centuries years ago. I am very pleased that First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson will be taking on such an important leadership role that will ensure we fulfill the cultural, educational, and economic potential that these upcoming events have for our State.”
Hugo Gajus Scheltema, Consul General of the Netherlands, said: “We are thrilled that the First Lady is Honorary Chair for the Quadricentennial Celebration. We look forward to working together for next year’s events. From our side we have set up a number of festivities in the framework of the Quadricentiennial and expect several Dutch dignitaries to visit New York State next year, including members of the royal family.”
Deputy Secretary for the Environment Judith Enck said: “We are honored to have First Lady Michele Paige Paterson integrally involved in commemorating the 400th anniversary of our magnificent Lake Champlain and Hudson River. The Hudson River and Lake Champlain are not only rich parts of our past but also are key to our future. In the upcoming Quadricentennial year we will celebrate history while stepping up our efforts to reduce water pollution and to advance policies that protect the shorelines of these vitally important water bodies. Having the First Lady in this leadership position signals how important this commemoration is for our great State.”
Joan Davidson, Chairperson of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission (HFCQ), said: “The Commission is inspired by Governor Paterson’s vision of a revitalized Hudson River Corridor and the Champlain Valley as a strong economic engine for New York City and State. We are delighted and honored that New York’s First Lady, Michelle Paige Paterson, has agreed to serve as Honorary Chair of the Commission and we look forward to working with her toward next year’s great events.”
Tara Sullivan, Executive Director of the NYS HFCQ, said: “New York’s communities, historic and environmental organizations, and State agencies have worked this past year to craft the 2009 plan for celebrating our past and planning for our future. New York’s First Lady will bring the prestige and gravitas to usher in this plan on the eve of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial!”
For more information on the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration, visit: www.ExploreNY400.com.