The Historical Association of Lewiston, the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, Artpark and Old Fort Niagara are set to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of Le Magazin Royal Niagara Trading Post on September 12th, at Artpark in Lewiston. [Read more…] about 300th Anniversary of Le Magazin Royal Niagara Trading Post Being Marked
Old Fort Niagara, is considered the oldest continuously occupied military site in North America. It opened in 1934 as a historic site and public museum. The Fort, originally built to protect the interests of New France in North America, is located near Youngstown, Niagara County, NY, on the eastern bank of the Niagara River at its mouth, on Lake Ontario.
The site has reopened to visitors, following a 15-week closure due to the ongoing pandemic. Daily hours of operation have been shortened slightly from 10 am to 4 pm to allow for extra cleaning before and after hours. [Read more…] about Old Fort Niagara Has Reopened
When rumbles of impending Civil War rolled through the North, New Yorkers were roused to volunteer even before Fort Sumter was taken and the President rallied troops.
After Sumter fell and Lincoln issued his proclamation, more New Yorkers offered their service to the Union. Likewise, men in other states sought to join the Union army both before and after the proclamation.
After the war, some of those early, quick volunteers also battled to be named the first volunteer for the Union. Months, years, and decades after the war, numerous claims and accolades for who had been the first volunteer began emerging across the North. [Read more…] about First To Volunteer: The Conflicting Civil War Claims
When American writer Henry James labeled the group of American women sculpting in Rome the “white marmorean flock,” he also made another note. “One of the sisterhood was a negress, whose color, picturesquely contrasting with that of her plastic material [white marble], was the pleading agent of her fame.” Like many of his contemporaries, James attributed the success of Edmonia Lewis to her skin color while also disregarding her mixed-race heritage.
In the early nineteenth century, it was difficult to be an American sculptor. There were no professional art schools, no specialized carvers, few quality materials, and only a few practicing sculptors in America. The pilgrimage to Rome was a necessity for those who aspired to be sculptors. If a woman wished to pursue sculpting, she confronted additional obstacles. [Read more…] about Sculptor Edmonia Lewis: From Albany to Rome, Italy
Seven Erie and Niagara County cultural attractions are teaming up to present a collaborative weekend, May 8-10, enabling guests to visit all seven locations for one low price. History in Your Backyard participants will receive a commemorative passport that will be stamped at each attraction. The passport will also contain discounts for numerous local restaurants.
Additionally, participants who visit and receive a stamp at each site will be entered into a drawing to win a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls courtesy of Rainbow Air Helicopter Rides. Participants will also be entered to win a gift basket from each participating attraction. Details will be available at each location. [Read more…] about Erie and Niagara Counties:
‘History in Your Backyard’ Weekend
The North Tonawanda History Museum will host Town of Tonawanda Historian John W. Percy as he presents a program on the War of 1812 in Western New York at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. Percy is an Ex-officio Trustee and Advisory Committee member of the History Museum. The program will be part of an all day open house in celebration of the History Museum’s tenth anniversary. The public is invited to tour the 10,000 square feet of exhibits from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
John W. Percy has been Town Historian of the Town of Tonawanda for 40 years, former Village of Kenmore Historian for 12 years, Trustee/member/officer of the Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society for 40 years, is a retired history teacher in the City of Tonawanda School District where he worked for 35 years.
The North Tonawanda History Museum, established in 2003, is located at 54 Webster Street in North Tonawanda (Niagara County), NY. For more information call (716) 213-0554 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve reviewed the Long Island region proposal here. As will be seen, there are certain overlaps and parallels in their respective plans and differences as well between their plans and those of the Western New York region, which I’ll cover here. [Read more…] about History and Economic Development:
Some Lessons from Western New York
Seaway Trail, Inc. has named Michael “Mike” Bristol as its new President and CEO. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a 518-mile, two-state National Scenic Byway, a New York State Scenic Byway, and a state-designated Bicycle Route in New York and Pennsylvania. Bristol becomes only the second President and CEO in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail’s 34-year history.
The Seaway Trail scenic driving route was designated in 1978. The Seaway Trail, Inc. nonprofit organization formed in 1986 with Teresa Mitchell as its first director. Mitchell passed away in January and Charles “Chuck” Krupke served as Interim Executive Director.
Mike Bristol began his new leadership role July 2, 2012. He brings nearly 30 years’ experience in tourism, athletics and nonprofit management to the tourism and economic development organization based in Sackets Harbor, NY.
A Florida State University graduate, Bristol was the Associate Director of his alma mater’s Seminole Boosters, Inc., a national-level fundraising corporation. He served as President and CEO of the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau from 2002 to 2005.
Upon returning to his native northern New York, Bristol served as Director of Marketing and Outreach for The Antique Boat Museum on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in Clayton, NY. Bristol is a member of the Clayton Local Development Corporation Redevelopment Committee that is overseeing a new dock and hotel development.
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail organization is known for diverse travel theme marketing, a “Best of the Byways” guidebooks series, Great Lakes Seaway Trail “Outdoor Storyteller” signage, and innovative programming that includes a American Volkssport Association-approved series of War of 1812-theme walks.
Popular travel themes include scenic driving road trips, maritime and military history, four seasons’ outdoor recreation, birdwatching, lighthouses and shipwrecks, bicycling, quilting and cultural heritage.
To learn more about the Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway that runs alongside the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania, go online to www.seawaytrail.com.
Niagara University is now accepting applications from K-12 teachers nationwide for a summer program entitled Crossroads of Empire: Cultural Contact and Imperial Rivalry at Old Fort Niagara. The week-long residential sessions, which take place July 11-15 and July 18-22, 2011 at Old Fort Niagara and Niagara University, have been made possible by funding obtained from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Directed by Thomas A. Chambers, Ph.D., chair of Niagara University’s history department, the workshops are focused on the vital history that emanated from Old Fort Niagara, one of most significant and well-preserved 18th century historic sites in North America. Fort Niagara served as an important crossroads between the empires of Great Britain, France, the Haudenosaunee (the native people who inhabited what is now much of New York state and surrounding areas), and, later, the United States as they battled each other for control of the North American continent. The Fort threatened American territory during the Revolution, was occupied by both sides during the War of 1812, and then a peace treaty secured the Fort and region for the United States.
This workshop will immerse NEH Summer Scholars in the world of 18th century life, from both the Native American and European perspective. Participants will interact with historic interpreters, clamber about ramparts dating to the 1700s, handle beaver pelts and trade goods like fishhooks and beads, and perhaps even fire a musket. One unique feature will be an overnight stay at the French Castle, the three-story stone fortress and trading post perched above the crashing waves of Lake Ontario that dates back to 1726. By week’s end NEH Summer Scholars will understand the perspective of the Iroquois people who first inhabited this region, as well as the struggles of ordinary European soldiers who bled and died to control Fort Niagara.
Teachers of grades K-12 at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions, or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals, are eligible for this program.
Teachers selected to participate as NEH Summer Scholars will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books, and ordinary living expenses.
The deadline for applications is March 1, 2011.
For eligibility and application information, call 716.286.8091, e-mail email@example.com or visit neh.niagara.edu.
Niagara University is located 11 miles south of Old Fort Niagara.
The nation’s oldest state park, Niagara Falls State Park, celebrated its 125th Anniversary this week with a concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on Goat Island and the dedication of a restored pocket park.
On July 15, 1885 then Governor David Hill dedicated the land and created Niagara Falls State Park. Created to protect its natural beauty from the continued industrialization of the river and to allow public access to its scenery, Niagara Falls became a blueprint for public parks across the country-both state and national parks. Eight million people now visit Niagara Falls each year, making it the most popular park in the New York State Park system.
Ancestors of Thomas V. Welch, the first superintendent of Niagara Falls State Park and a member of the Free Niagara Movement, were on hand to dedicate Heritage Park which is the site of a renovated pocket park just outside of Niagara Falls State Park. The park which serves as a connection for visitors between the city and the park is now the home of several plaques and markers from historical events and figures of Niagara Falls State Park. New pavers were also installed and landscaping was done by volunteers from the community.
Anniversary events continue through the reminder of the year including the “History Comes Alive” program where historical figures including Annie Edson Taylor, Frederick Law Olmsted, Nikola Tesla, Father Louis Hennepin and others who spent time at Niagara Falls State Park share their stories of the park with visitors. See www.niagarafallsstatepark.com for a full listing of events.