On the hikes you will see the views that appear in some of the most beloved landcape paintings of the 19th-century and hear stories that bring their history to life. The hikes range from easy walks to moderately vigorous climbs. [Read more…] about Guided Hikes of Hudson River School Locations
Beginning June 6, historic vessels and modern day boats will travel the Hudson River from New York Harbor to Albany for “River Day” Commemorating the Voyage of Henry Hudson 400 Years Ago. In 1609, Henry Hudson and his ship, the Half Moon, with a crew of Dutch and English sailors, ventured up the Hudson River from New York Harbor to near present day Albany, the first recorded European exploration of the river that now bears his name. In celebration of this historic event, the New York State Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Office will launch a “River Day” celebration, an opportunity for thousands of recreational boaters and history buffs to gather on the water for an eight-day journey up the Hudson River.
Participating boats & ships include:
* The Half Moon, a replica of Hudson’s ship.
* The Onrust, a 17th century replica of the first ship built in New York. River Day marks the Onrust’s maiden voyage.
* Historic Tall Ships including the Sloop Clearwater and Schooner Mystic Whaler plus the Woody Guthrie, a wooden replica of an 18th-19th century Hudson River Ferry Sloop; the 1890’s-style pilot Schooner Adirondack; the Manhattan, an open boat originally built as a life boat to explore the canals of Amsterdam; and the Shearwater, a classic Maine Schooner.
* Other participating boats include: The Circle Line; NYC Water Taxi; SeaTow; Launch 5; Coast Guard, the Discover Boating Cruiser and more.
* Escort from the sky – historic bi-planes will escort the flotilla from the Rhinebeck Aerodrome.
The River Day celebration will launch Saturday, June 6, 9 a.m. at the Statue of Liberty. The flotilla will spend eight days moving north on the Hudson, with stops scheduled at participating yacht clubs & marinas, cities and communities with special events & educational programs planned at each port. The tentative schedule is available at http://www.exploreny400.com/riverday.aspx
A new web site (now in Beta) sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows viewers what New York City looked like before it was a city. After nearly a decade of research the The Mannahatta Project uncovers online the original ecology of Manhattan circa 1609. According to the site:
“That’s right, the center of one of the world’s largest and most built-up cities was once a natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, beaches, springs, ponds and streams, supporting a rich and abundant community of wildlife and sustaining people for perhaps 5000 years before Europeans arrived on the scene in 1609. It turns out that the concrete jungle of New York City was once a vast deciduous forest, home to bears, wolves, songbirds, and salamanders, with clear, clean waters jumping with fish. In fact, with over 55 different ecological communities, Mannahatta’s biodiversity per acre rivaled that of national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains!”
The goal of the Mannahatta Project is no less than “to re-start the natural history of New York City.” The site includes a virtual Mannahatta map that allows you to see Mannahatta from any location, block-by-block species information, lessons on the science and technology used to create the site, hundreds of layers of digital data, place-based lesson plans for elementary and high school students that meet New York State standards, an online discussion page, and event listing.
Recent updates to Mannahatta include the ability click on a city block to find out what type of plants and animals called it home, whether the Lenape people lived or worked there, and what kind of landscape features appeared on that block. You can also use the slider bar to fade from Mannahatta to modern day to see how the island has changed in the last 400 years.
Last week a related multimedia exhibit “Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City” also opened at the Museum of the City of New York.
As part of the celebration of the 2009 Hudson-Champlain Quadricentennial the New York State Office of Cultural Education (OCE) will present the exhibition “1609,” which will re-examine Henry Hudson’s voyage, the myths that surround it, and explore the legacies of Hudson’s unexpected discovery.
The State Museum, State Archives, State Library and State Office of Educational Broadcasting, which make up OCE, are collaborating on the “1609” exhibition. It is scheduled to be open July 3, 2009 through March of 2010 in the New York State Museum’s Exhibition Hall.
Other quadricentennial events will include a two-month tour along the Hudson River and Champlain Canal, led by the New York State Museum’s historic Day Peckinpaugh, a 259-foot, 1921 canal boat. The Half Moon, historic barges and other large working boats will also participate in the tour in August and September 2009. It will stop at 15 ports from Burlington, Vt. to New York Harbor. Visitors will be able to step onboard to view exhibits on 400 years of maritime progress and advancement. The tour is 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.
The “1609” exhibition will be presented in four parts. The first section will focus on what life was like for both the Dutch and Native Peoples of New York before 1609 and the events of that year. The visitor will then look at the myths that Hudson planned to come here, and that Native Americans greeted him and his crew with joy and awe. The exhibition will attempt to dispel those myths and explore with the visitor what is known about Hudson and the 1609 voyage and the Native American response. The third section will confront the myths relating to the short-term impact of the voyage – the consequences for the Dutch and the Native Americans. Finally, the visitor will be able to examine the long-term legacy of the Native Americans and Dutch, and how they affected subsequent historical events and American culture today.
In addition to artifacts from throughout OCE collections, “1609” will also feature paintings by Capital District expert historical artist L.F. Tantillo.
Archaeologist James Bradley, an expert on Native Americans, and Russell Shorto, an authority on colonial Dutch history, have written text for the exhibition. Bradley is the author of “Before Albany: An Archaeology of Native-Dutch Relations in the Capital Region 1600-1664,” and a guest curator for portions of the exhibition. Shorto, who resides in the Netherlands, authored “The Island at the Center of the World,” the epic story of Dutch Manhattan and the forgotten colony that shaped America.
Steven Comer, a Mohican Native American living within the original territory of the Mohican people, has provided cultural information and consulting for the project.
To complement the exhibition, the Museum also will present a program, “The Stars of 1609” on Saturdays, May 2 and 30 and June 6 and 13 at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Participants will peer through the ages to see the night sky as it looked to Henry Hudson and his crew in 1609. There also will be a discussion about the navigational techniques of European explorers, their tools and equipment and 17th-century astronomy. The program is free but visitors must obtain tickets at the Museum’s front lobby desk.
The New York State Museum is a cultural program of the New York State Education Department. Founded in 1836, the museum has the longest continuously operating state natural history research and collection survey in the U.S. The State Museum is located on Madison Avenue in Albany. It is open daily from 9:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the museum website.
Captain William T. (Chip) Reynolds of the Replica Ship Half Moon (and Director of the New Netherland Museum) forwarded the following notes on the Half Moon’s progress and events this 400th year:
1. Half Moon in the News/Major Winter Work Projects
Recent articles in the Albany Times Union and the Troy Record provide a good summary of work on the Half Moon over this past winter. This past season major efforts have followed two paths: first, to expand and improve our programming (with new artifacts, educational curricula, interpretive brochures, and programming); and second, to make physical improvements to the Half Moon (renew the rig, rebuild the forecastle, improve the engine room, and rebuild the reduction gear). [Read more…] about Half Moon Update – Flitsbericht Halve Maen 2009
Native American Institute of The Hudson River Valley will host ten scholars who will present papers on all aspects of Mohican culture on April 4, 2009 at the New York State Museum in Albany.
The Native American Institute of the Hudson River Valley (NAIHRV) specializes in the study of the native Algonquian people, or Mohicans, who were long settled along the river. Described by Hudson’s crew as “loving people,” they greeted the explorer in a friendly manner and later played an important role in the survival of the new colony.
The NAIHRV is a nonprofit organization of interested volunteers, educators, archaeologists, historians, and researchers devoted to promoting an awareness of Native Americans in general and the Mohican Nation in particular.
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.
The Military Academy at West Point has launched an ambitious Center for Oral History to serve as a living archive on the experiences of American soldiers in war and peace. The Center aims to be a powerful learning tool for West Point cadets and an important research center for historians, as well as a destination for the public to gain greater understanding of the essential and unique calling of the U.S. soldier. The Center for Oral History will exist largely online, with high definition video and digital audio files, easing access for everyone from campus cadets to scholars, journalists and interested students half a world away. The New York History blog recently reported on the demise of the New York State Veterans Oral History Project at the New York State Military History Museum and Veterans Research Center in Saratoga Springs.
One of the Center’s first projects has been to interview members of West Point’s Class of 1967, who, upon graduation, were sent almost immediately to the war in Vietnam. Another has been to interview soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a comprehensive, anecdotal account of those current campaigns. Researchers are also gathering material from veterans of World War II, Vietnam and the so-called “forgotten war” in Korea. By definition, the Center will be a work in perpetual progress, continuously updated as history unfolds.
The objective is to assemble an unrivaled video, audio and text record of military life – in the field, as well as in the classroom and also the “war room,” since the Center hopes to include interviews with senior Pentagon strategists and former Secretaries of Defense and State who have helped shape military and foreign policy. But its core mission is to capture the personal narratives of those who have lived the military life.
The Center has the benefit of a Board of Advisers composed of military scholars, journalists, government officials and filmmakers to help set its agenda, develop new projects and content, and assist with fund-raising.
In addition to a number of military historians from around the country, board members include Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Brent Scowcroft, a 1947 West Point graduate whose long government career included serving as National Security Advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush; Rick Atkinson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Washington Post and author of several major accounts of American wars, including The Long Gray Line and An Army at Dawn; Martha Raddatz, longtime correspondent for ABC News, who covered the Pentagon for National Public Radio and authored The Long Road Home (2007), the account of a surprise attack on the Army’s First Calvary Division in Iraq; and Ken Burns, whose opus The Civil War heralded a new standard for multi-part documentaries, which he followed with Baseball, Jazz and The War.
Much of the credit for creating the Center goes to Col. Lance Betros, who took over as head of West Point’s history department in 2005 and marshaled resources to secure initial funding and recruited senior faculty to help develop some of the early content.
The Center will develop projects devoted to different aspects of soldiers’ lives – as well as different eras in soldiering. One of the highlights is that compilation of interviews with members of the West Point Class of 1967, young officers who entered active duty at a pivotal time in the Vietnam War and later returned to steer the Army’s course on behalf of a nation reeling from social unrest and political scandal. Other subjects expected to be tackled through the Center’s oral histories:
Wartime decisions of former Secretaries of Defense, State, and
the Army, along with key members of Congress; The place of religious faith in soldiers’ lives; Case studies on insurgency, bioterrorism, the surge in Iraq and other topical subjects of warfare based on cross-section; interviews with returning troops, military leaders and policy makers; the historic role of athletics among West Point cadets, through interviews with soldier-athletes and former coaches of the legendary Army football team and other sports teams, many of whose players went on to illustrious professional sports careers; retrospective views on World War I, the Civil War and other major American conflicts offered by visiting historians and West Point’s faculty; contemporary social changes as experienced at West
Point itself, through oral histories with the Academy’s former superintendents, deans, commandants, cadets, and others.
Also in the works are publishing and broadcasting projects based on the rich lode of content the Center gathers. Discussions are underway with the renowned Fred Friendly
Seminars, whose charged situational debates have been broadcast on PBS. Mr. Brewster is working to develop a Fred Friendly program at West Point to take on the subject of fighting insurgencies, bringing together a hypothetical cast of players ranging from the President and Secretary of Defense to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a policy maven and even a White House press officer.
In hoping to draw maximum traffic and general interest users in addition to scholars, the Center will utilize universal search technology so that anyone searching the web for primary source interviews with veterans and soldiers will see links to the West Point content. Like a true archive, the site will have virtual rooms and chapters dedicated to certain subjects and periods in military history, from the Civil War to Vietnam and Iraq. Links to other web sites offering veterans’ interviews will also be provided. The oral histories will be integrated into West Point’s own curriculum, so that professors can easily draw from interviews as part of their own course materials.
“Glories of the Hudson” is a joint symposium convened by Olana State Historic Site and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and hosted by The Fisher Center at Bard College in celebration of New York State’s 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial on Sunday April 26, 2009. The goal of this particular symposium is to expand and enrich our collective understanding of the Hudson River School of Art through the exploration of interdisciplinary intersections between art and other fields of inquiry in Hudson Valley history during and throughout the 400 years celebrated.
The Hudson Valley has long been at the forefront of popular movements in American history; the Hudson River and its surrounding communities have served as witness to four centuries of changing views in American culture, society, politics, and environment. In this call for papers, “Glories of the Hudson” seeks papers that demonstrate the interconnectivity between the art and architecture of the Hudson Valley and the larger historical narratives of Hudson Valley cultural, social, political, and environmental history.
This symposium is open to undergraduate and graduate students within a fifty-mile radius of Olana, Cedar Grove and Bard College. Candidates should submit a 300-500 word abstract and resume in MS Word or Adobe PDF format. Longer submissions will not be considered. Abstracts must contain a title page with author identification, but there should be no reference to the author’s identity elsewhere in the abstract to enable blind review.
All abstracts must be sent via email to: gregory-AT-thomascole-DOT-org by Feb 13th, 2009. Do not send abstracts via postal mail.
Your e-mail must contain: your name, school, its address, your major(s), anticipated date of graduation, and degree; contact phone, address and email; a short abstract of your manuscript; permission for Olana State Historic Site, The Olana Partnership, The Thomas Cole National Historic Site and/or Bard College to reproduce and/or publish your abstract in print or digitally for marketing and/or educational purposes, and a one page resume.
Authors will be notified of the results of the blind peer review by March 1st, 2009.
The symposium, Glories of the Hudson, occurs in conjunction with River-themed exhibitions opening in 2009 at both Olana and Cedar Grove. The inaugural exhibition for Olana’s changing exhibits gallery, Glories of the Hudson: Frederic Church at Olana, lends the symposium its name. The paintings, oil sketches and pencil drawings chosen document Church’s passion for the Hudson River as transformed by the seasons, weather and light. In addition to the material by Church, there will be a small selection of works by contemporaries inspired by the view of the River from Olana. A similar exhibition of over a dozen Hudson River School paintings depicting the Hudson River and its tributary streams will also be on exhibit at Cedar Grove.