Before the Northway was built, travelers would gain access to Clifton Park from the south by crossing the Mohawk River at either the Route 9 bridge to Crescent, or the Route 146 bridge to Rexford. These bridges existed since the early nineteenth century. Between these two bridges there were three ferries: Dunsbach Ferry, Forts Ferry and Vischer Ferry. The most logical place for another bridge was at Vischer Ferry. This would provide direct access into the heart of Clifton Park. [Read more…] about A Bridge at Vischer Ferry: Some Clifton Park History
New York’s Forgotten Aeronaut & Diver: William Warren Rulison
When seventy-eight-year-old William Rulison passed away in August of 1931, the only newspaper in Upstate New York that carried the news was Cooperstown’s Otsego Farmer. In this obituary, he was noted only as a “pioneer in balloon flying in this part of the country,” and a man who went by the title of Professor. This report of his passing left much untold, and in the material that follows I hope to give a complete account of his full and varied life. [Read more…] about New York’s Forgotten Aeronaut & Diver: William Warren Rulison
The History and Development of Utica Harbor
Utica Harbor is a unique feature of the NYS Canal System and was purposely nestled close to Utica’s major textile industries adjacent to the Erie Canal. The Utica Harbor is the only harbor on the Barge Canal with its own lock. It also possesses one of the largest branches leading from the main channel passing through the Mohawk River to its end, only a quarter mile from Utica’s downtown district. [Read more…] about The History and Development of Utica Harbor
New York State Canals Bicentennial: Some History & Plans For Celebrations
The Champlain Canal turns 200 this year and the Erie Canal will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2025.
The Champlain Canal between the Hudson River and Lake Champlain at Whitehall was the first to open. Worked started on the Champlain Canal in October, 1816. The first boats operated in November, 1819, and was fully completed in 1823, two years before the Erie Canal was finished. [Read more…] about New York State Canals Bicentennial: Some History & Plans For Celebrations
Science & Suckers: The Cohoes Mastodon & The Cardiff Giant
In 1866, NY State Geologist James Hall received a message from T.G. Younglove, an official at Harmony Mills in Cohoes, New York, informing Hall that while conducting some excavations to expand the mill they uncovered a “great pothole” at the foot of Cohoes Falls where the Mohawk River begins to empty into the Hudson.
The “great pothole” contained a large jawbone “of some unknown beast,” much larger than that of an elephant. [Read more…] about Science & Suckers: The Cohoes Mastodon & The Cardiff Giant
Mohawk River Basin Grants Available
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is offering $600k in Mohawk River Basin Grants to help municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, school districts, colleges and universities, and not-for-profit organizations to implement the goals and objectives of the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda 2021-2026, a five-year plan advancing efforts to conserve, preserve, and restore the Mohawk River and its watershed. [Read more…] about Mohawk River Basin Grants Available
Taddeus Kosciusko: A Hero of Two Worlds (& The Name On That Bridge)
Since it opened to traffic on April 11, 1960, millions of vehicles traveling the I-87 Northway have passed over the Mohawk River on what they think are called on “The Twin Bridges.” That bridge however, is really named for a Polish-American hero of the American Revolution – Taddeus Kosciusko. [Read more…] about Taddeus Kosciusko: A Hero of Two Worlds (& The Name On That Bridge)
Fort Bull – Oneida Carrying Place Archaeology Funded
Fort Bull and the Oneida Carrying Place were important parts of the military and Indigenous landscape that shaped the development of the Upper Mohawk Valley region.
The Oneida Carrying Place, a four-mile overland route that connected the Mohawk River and Wood Creek, was vital to British military campaign strategies beginning with the French and Indian War. The Carry also saw significant action during St. Leger’s American Revolution Campaign (1777), which included the Siege of Fort Stanwix/Schuyler and the Battle of Oriskany. [Read more…] about Fort Bull – Oneida Carrying Place Archaeology Funded
Mary Zawacki On Mohawk River History (The Historians Podcast)
When the last Ice Age began to melt 22,000 years ago, the Mohawk River flowed with more force than Niagara Falls. The deluge of water that was released was so great that it carved an entirely new riverbed.
Eventually, the glacier receded and the Mohawk River settled into its new banks, ready to greet the settlers making their way across the Atlantic to colonize the Mohawk River valley. [Read more…] about Mary Zawacki On Mohawk River History (The Historians Podcast)
Vischer Ferry As A Summer Resort
At the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth century, Vischer Ferry, a hamlet of Clifton Park in Saratoga County on the Mohawk River, was the destination of many picnickers and tourists.
People came from Schenectady, Albany, Troy, Cohoes and even New York City to spend a day, a week, a month or the complete summer in the healthful climate and beautiful surroundings of Vischer Ferry. As quiet 120 years ago as it is today, the village was an ideal spot to escape from the noise and turmoil of the city. [Read more…] about Vischer Ferry As A Summer Resort