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
The Union Star described Cody as a “remarkable man,” a “hero of thousands of exploits,” and published a photograph of Cody with an extensive survey of his life and career as a guide, trapper, Pony Express rider, stagecoach driver, Civil War veteran, Medal of Honor recipient for gallantry, buffalo hunter (thus the nickname “Buffalo Bill”) and master showman. [Read more…] about Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Schenectady
The Capital District’s Dudley Observatory is considered “the oldest non-academic institution of astronomical research in America.” Originally, it was located north-east of downtown Albany, NY.
Construction there began in 1852 and the facility was dedicated in 1857. Albany’s Congressman Erastus Corning, the founder and first president of the New York Central Railroad, was instrumental in donating a high quality telescope and time-keeping system at the new Dudley Observatory in Albany. [Read more…] about The Albany Origins of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
John Isaac De Graff (October 2, 1783 – July 26, 1848) was a U.S. Representative from New York. Born in Schenectady, De Graff attended the common schools and Union College and engaged in mercantile pursuits and the practice of law in that city.
He served in the War of 1812 and was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the Twentieth Congress (March 4, 1827 – March 3, 1829). [Read more…] about John Isaac DeGraff: Schenectady’s First Elected Mayor
Patent medicines, packaged drugs with incompletely disclosed contents, were plentiful and profitable in the United States from the period directly following the Civil War through the early twentieth century.
Before the first Pure Food and Drug Laws were passed, the manufacturers and promoters of patent medicines made millions of dollars from a credulous public eager for cures for a variety of ailments, and from many who were unable to afford the regular care of a doctor. [Read more…] about Patent Medicine History: Schenectady’s Pink Pills for Pale People
The City of Schenectady is no stranger to fires. Every school child learns of the destruction of the fledgling village in February 1690 at the hands of the French and their Native American allies. Many know the story of the Great Fire of 1819, which started in a currying shop (where the stretching and finishing of tanned leather was carried out) on Water Street, was spread by strong winds in a northeastern direction, and ultimately destroyed most of the buildings in city west of Church Street from Water Street to the Mohawk River.
The Schenectady Fire of 1861 started innocently enough: boaters on the Mohawk River noticed wisps of smoke emanating from a pile of brush near the southwest corner of a large frame warehouse along the north side of West Front Street (Cucumber Alley) around 4 pm on August 6, 1861. [Read more…] about The Schenectady Fire of 1861
On Saturday, November 26, 2022, at about 3:05 pm, New York State Police responded to the area of Batter Street in Duanesburg, Schenectady County, NY, for the report of an ATV accident with injuries. [Read more…] about 17-Year-Old Dies in ATV Accident
Very little is documented about medicine in Schenectady County during the 19th century. There are few hospital records to review; Ellis Hospital was not founded until 1885; and the Schenectady County Medical Society did not meet between 1843 and 1869.
We can however, glean some insight into this period from old newspapers, a wonderful book on the 134th NY Volunteer Infantry, minutes of the Schenectady Common Council, and old stories from the Efner Center and the Schenectady County Historical Society library. [Read more…] about Medical Practice in 19th Century Schenectady
Local historians and writers have previously told the story of Tothmea, the 3,600-year-old Egyptian mummy that was presented to a local museum in Round Lake, Saratoga County, in 1888.
Her travels have taken her from Egypt to Round Lake to Brazil and several places in between. After I learned of some recent developments in her story, I was inspired to recount her journey and update it a bit more. [Read more…] about Tothmea’s Travels: A Misused Egyptian Mummy in New York
Cholera can kill more people more quickly than any other disease. Thousands can die overnight. More people died from cholera in the 100-year period from 1817-1917 than from three centuries of Bubonic Plague (Black Death) during the Middle Ages.
The disease is contracted by the ingestion of water and food with fecal contamination by Vibrio cholerae bacteria, resulting in acute diarrhea, dehydration, and death. Poor sanitation contributes to its spread. [Read more…] about The 1832 Cholera Epidemic in the Capital District