Ask someone the name of a three-ring circus and their response would likely be Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey, or a combination of the two. Ringling Brothers World’s Greatest Shows was established in 1884 and P.T. Barnum’s Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome had opened in 1871. Predating both was the biggest, most successful, though also the least known of the traveling shows, Adam Forepaugh’s Great All-Feature Show and Wild West Combined, established in 1863. [Read more…] about Forepaugh’s Wild West Show & Circus Enthralled Upstate NY
During the turmoil of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), many Protestant Germans from the Middle Rhine region of the Holy Roman Empire fled to England, with the largest group of refugees – some 13,000 – arriving there in 1709.
The arrival of these “Poor Palatines” caused a rise in opposition to immigration in England. Most were quickly sent to Ireland, but nearly 3,000 were sent on 10 ships to the colonial Province of New York (a group about a third the size of the population of the city of New York at that time). [Read more…] about The Palatines Along Hoosick Road in Rensselaer County
The Poesten Kill is a mid-sized stream that flows off the Rensselaer Plateau in western Rensselaer County toward the Hudson River. It tumbles through Barbersville Falls and winds its way through the towns of Poestenkill and Brunswick, before reaching the Great Falls above Troy. Below there it’s channeled into a long-abandoned canal (hence Canal Street in Troy) that flows into the Hudson.
In the earliest recorded times, fresh drinking water was acquired from the Poesten Kill and from a spring on Hollow Road in Troy (now Spring Avenue, later the farm of Stephen J. Schuyler). [Read more…] about The Poesten Kill: Healing & Healthful Waters
Years in the making, a decisive confrontation occurred on July 19th, 1771 at James Breakenridge’s farm in North Bennington, Vermont.
A New York sheriff’s posse, including the Mayor of Albany, lawyers, magistrates, and militia clashed with the emerging Green Mountain Boys militia near the current location of the Henry Bridge which crosses the Walloomsac River, stopping the serving of papers and blocking the New York surveyors. The success of Hampshire Grants settlers in resisting the New York land claims made July 19, 1771 the birth of the Green Mountain Boys, and in a sense, the birth of the state of Vermont. [Read more…] about NY-VT ‘Breakenridge Stand-off’ 250th Anniversary Being Marked
Just before dawn on July 7th, 1944, several thousand Japanese soldiers, sailors and civilians swarmed from their positions along the northwestern corner of the Pacific island of Saipan in the Northern Marianas. The target of what would be the largest attack of the Second World War was the U.S. Army’s 27th Infantry Division, specifically the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 105th Infantry Regiment.
By the end of the day, more than 900 out of the approximately 1,100 soldiers in those two battalions would be casualties. Many of them were from the Albany-Saratoga region. Nearly all the approximately 30,000 Japanese attackers were killed in what was the last major enemy assault on Saipan during 25 days of fighting that left about 15,000 Americans killed, wounded or missing in action. Another 20,000 Japanese civilians were killed or committed suicide out of fear of American troops. [Read more…] about Capital District Soldiers at the Battle of Saipan
Downtown Troy developed rapidly throughout the 19th century. The bustling river city saw a devastating fire that ripped through River and First Streets and the surrounding area in 1820. Troy’s business community quickly rebuilt, this time with many more brick buildings. As the century progressed, River Street and the downtown blocks that connected to it saw vast growth and development. [Read more…] about Troy’s Nathan Dauchy Centerpiece Harmony Hall Still Stands Tall
Everywhere that Burleigh went, Burleigh went, Burleigh went – everywhere that Burleigh went the press was sure to follow.
The press followed H.G. Burleigh, a 19th century State Assemblyman, Congressman and political power broker from Whitehall and Ticonderoga, because reporters knew there would always be an entertaining story that more often than not came with a nugget of breaking news. [Read more…] about Henry Burleigh, Benjamin Harrison’s Peacock Feather & Political Reporting
Between the more formidable island of Papscanee (previously spelled Papsickene, now a peninsula nature preserve) and where the Hoosac River meets the Hudson, more than a dozen streams flow into the Hudson River. Only at the Poesten Kill, which flows through Troy, was there enough farmland, room to grow, and sufficient water-power for the earliest industries. [Read more…] about Early Dutch Farms at Troy
That was the strategy for reaching unanimity in 1888 at New York’s 18th Congressional District nominating convention.
And the strategy worked, although some of the politicians from Washington and Rensselaer counties may have eaten crow, so to speak. [Read more…] about Schaghticoke’s Congressman: John A. Quackenbush
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