“The slate business is booming,” The Granville Sentinel reported on June 13, 1890, followed a week later with the report, “There is trouble at the quarries.” [Read more…] about ‘Trouble at the Quarries’: The 1890 Slate Workers Strike
Nobody really knows exactly when we became “human,” but most of the rocks on our Lake Ontario beaches are at least a hundred times older than our species.
This is what the geologists mean by “deep time.” [Read more…] about Deep Time: Lake Ontario’s Lucky Stones & Fossils
This week on The Historians Podcast, Dana Cudmore is the author of Underground Empires: Two Centuries of Exploration, Adventure and Enterprise in New York’s Cave Country (Black Dome Press, 2021). Cudmore focuses on caves of Schoharie and Albany counties, including the Howe Caverns tourist attraction. [Read more…] about New York’s Cave Country (Podcast)
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The new book Underground Empires: Two Centuries of Exploration, Adventure & Enterprise in New York’s Cave Country (Black Dome Press, 2021), by Dana Cudmore with foreword by Robert & Johanna Titus, explores the history of caves in Albany and Schoharie Counties, and describes the personal and engineering accomplishments that turned some into popular tourist destinations. [Read more…] about Underground Empires: A New History Of New York’s Cave Country
From 1630 until the Anti-Rent Movement of the 1840s, most of what is now Albany and Rensselaer Counties, along with parts of Columbia and Greene Counties, was part of the estate of the van Rensselaer family. They leased the land, but did not generally sell it.
Running north-south through Albany County is the Helderberg Escarpment, a vertical limestone cliff hundreds of feet high (Thatcher Park forms a part of this geologic feature) that separates the Hudson Valley lands in the eastern part of the county from the lands to the west, above the cliffs. Because the land above was difficult to reach, and the soils poorer, that area was settled somewhat later by Europeans. [Read more…] about Early Settlement Above The Helderberg Escarpment
It’s likely that the early farmers, millers, colliers, lumberers and teamsters helped spread the word of the springs and waterfalls on the Poesten Kill, but it was the early artists and travelers whose record remains. One of the first depictions of the beauties of the Poesten Kill High Falls was an engraving made in Paris in 1817. As the 19th century wore on, changing attitudes about nature combined with regional guides and maps led to increase in American travel for travels sake. [Read more…] about ‘Wild, Picturesque and Beautiful’: Mount Ida, Poestenkill Falls and Troy’s Prospect Park
On a clear mid-winter day several years ago, my student Sarah Wakefield and I pulled on snowshoes, donned backpacks, and headed up through Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont.
Our destination was Big Spring, which rises from Mount Mansfield’s bedrock before flowing east for 100 yards and entering a culvert under Route 108. When it emerges from the culvert, the spring water joins a stream fed by surface runoff and snowmelt. [Read more…] about Life In Groundwater Fed Springs in Winter
The Raquette River, from Raquette Falls to the State Boat Launch on Tupper Lake, is one of the nicest stretches of flat-water anywhere in the Adirondacks. Paddling this river corridor under a clear cerulean blue sky, on a sunny autumn day with the riverbanks ablaze in orange and red, is exquisite. For me, though, the river’s history is as captivating as its natural beauty. [Read more…] about Dam History: The Proposed Oxbow Reservoir Project
The bedrock of New York and its erosion created the landscape the Iroquois people made their home. It influenced their territorial boundaries, defenses, settlement patterns, trail systems, agriculture, and key natural resources. [Read more…] about Geology and the Iroquois Homeland
In this episode, hear from historian Cyndi LaPierre on the history of the word “Catskills,” and if you’re wondering why Kaatscast starts with a “K,” instead of a “C,” this segment should help clear things up. In the second half of the show, we’ll travel to Kaaterskill falls with geologist Bob Titus, who takes us back even further, to when the Catskills felt more like the Bahamas! [Read more…] about Kaatscast Considers Kaatskills and the Dutch