Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site announced that this year’s recipient of the Martha Washington Woman of History Award is history advocate Stella Bailey.
Bailey, co-founder of the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association, has been involved and dedicated to preserving Hudson Valley History for over 50 years. She has worked in over 20 different organizations. At present, she is the Executive Director and Financial Officer of the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association, President of the Town of Highlands Historical Society for 32 years, and Town/Village Historian for 19 years. Bailey also finds time to write “Then and Now” columns for the News of the Highlands while busy with community projects such as the Senior Citizen’s Group and the Local Development Corporation for Main Street revitalization. The Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association is the non profit friends group that supports the preservation and restoration of the Revolutionary War battle site. Opened to the public in 2001, the Battle site features a media room, conference room, and museum.
Bailey will be added to the list of previous winners of this award, including local historian and author Janet Dempsey, Times-Herald Record columnist Barbara Bedell, City of Newburgh Historian Mary McTamaney, City of Newburgh Record Keeper Betsy McKean, and last year’s recipient community activist Mara Farrell.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site presents the “Martha Washington Woman of History Award” as part of their annual Woman’s History Month program, “The General’s Lady”. This event will take place on March 31st starting at 1:00 PM at the Ritz Theatre lobby in Newburgh, NY. In addition to presenting this prestigious award, “The General’s Lady” program includes a reception and a special speaker.
The program is open to the public. For more information, please call 845-562-1195.
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is located at 690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, NY, 1/2 mile north of the Bear Mountain Bridge Traffic Circle. The site is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM. For more information, please call (845) 446-2134.
The site is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which administers 28 parks, parkways, and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey. Fort Montgomery State Historic Site 2011 Special Events Calendar
Saturday, May 7th, 10 AM: Appalachian Trail History Hike
The Appalachian Trail is well known, but its history is not. Starting at the fort’s visitor center, participants will hike to the trail’s newly rerouted section on Bear Mountain, learning about its history, but stopping along the way to take in items of natural interest including indigenous plants, animals, trees, and geology. This is an intermediate/difficult hike, so bring your boots, water, and a snack.
Saturday, May 14th, 10 AM – 4 PM: British Brigade Academy
British regulars, German mercenaries and Loyalist troops will be on site to give visitors a view of the non-rebellious side of the American Revolution.
Saturday, May 21st, 10 AM – 4 PM: 5th New York Regiment Muster Day
Fort Montgomery’s own 5th NY Regiment will be garrisoning the fort and preparing for the campaign season by establishing a camp, conducting military drills and camp life activities, and firing the fort’s three cannons. Be prepared to be immersed in the action!
Saturday, June 4th, 10 AM – 4 PM: Colonial Trades and Skills Day
Trades people will be on hand demonstrating coopering, blacksmithing, broom-making, fishnet-weaving, hornsmithing, quilting, cider-making, Native-American skills and more! Try your own hand at one or more of these trades and help preserve history!
Sunday, June 5th, 9 AM: Birding at the Battlefield
Ever look out your back window and wonder to yourself “What kind of bird is that?” Find out once and for all by joining noted birder David Baker for a beginner bird walk through the ruins of Fort Montgomery. Discover which of our winged friends garrison themselves in the fort year-round and which ones are just on temporary posting.
Saturday, July 2nd, 12 PM: Declaration of Independence Day Cannon Firing Program
In 1776 John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail “The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.” Join us as we celebrate in true John Adams fashion the actual date that American Independence was declared, by firing the fort’s artillery, including “George”, the 32-pounder cannon.
**Monday, July 4th: Fort Montgomery will be CLOSED for Independence Day**
Saturdays and Sundays in July and August: Musket Demonstrations at Noon and 3 PM, Artillery Demonstration at 1 PM**
**Monday, September 5th, Labor Day: Fort Montgomery will be CLOSED**
Saturday, October 1st, 10 AM – 5 PM: Twin Forts Day
Join us for the annual commemoration of the bloody October 6th 1777 assault on Forts Montgomery & Clinton with military drills, living history demonstrations, cannon firings and reenactment of the battle.
**Monday, October 10th, Columbus Day: Fort Montgomery will be CLOSED **
Saturday, October 29th, 6:30, 7 & 7:30 PM: Lantern Tour of Fort Montgomery
Tour the ruins of Fort Montgomery at night! Hear dramatic tales from the battle and bring yourself back to October 1777. Witness the fort come alive as re-enactors depict various scenes from the fort’s dark, dramatic history. Tours leaving from Fort Montgomery Visitor’s Center at 6:30 PM, 7:00 PM & 7:30 PM. Reservations required. Call 845-446-2134.
This Thursday Night Speaker Series, sponsored by the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association, is seating by reservation only and is limited to the first 50 requests. You may reserve seats by calling 845-446-2134. Please leave your name, phone number, and number of people in your party.
Fort Montgomery is located at 690 Route 9W, one quarter mile north of the Bear Mountain Bridge. Call 845-446-2134 for more information. Indians in the Ramapos April 7 at 7 PM Archaeologist Ed Lenik sifts through the layered evidence of human history in the Ramapo Mountains region to detect patterns that bear witness to the Native American presence there. Using archaeology, historical accounts, and oral tradition, Lenik develops a story that testifies to their presence, persistence, and survival.
From Mahicantuck to the Millenium: 400 Years of Hudson River Natural History April 28th at 7 PM Recently, the Hudson Valley celebrated the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s sail up the river that now bears his name. DEC Education Coordinator Steve Stanne will discuss the ecosystem that Hudson saw, it’s alterations since 1609, its biological richness today, and the challenges it faces in the future.
Claudius Smith: Revolutionary Rogue or Robin Hood? May 19th at 7 PM Due to demand “the Scourge of the Ramapos” is back! Author Patricia Edwards Clyne will present once more the harrowing tale of Claudius Smith, hailed by some as a champion of charity during the American Revolution, but eventually hanged as a thief and a profiteer. Come to your own verdict after this popular lecture. Book sale and signing to follow lecture.
Sterling Gardens June 16th at 7 PM Acclaimed educator and local historian Doc Bayne will present the little known tale of the Sterling Gardens, the world class botantical establishment that once thrived in Sterling Forest. Doc will chart the start of the gardens in 1960 and the changes it had to undergo to hold the public’s interest.
So Many Brave Men: A History of the Battle at Minisink Ford July 21st at 7 PM For the first time in years a new history has been written about the only Revolutionary War battle to take place in the Upper Delaware River valley. Many participants of the Battle at Minisink Ford were veterans of the fight here at Fort Montgomery. This presentation by author Peter Osborne explores the history of the battle and the effect it had on the lives of the settlers who lived in the valley.
The Highland Adventures of William T. Howell August 11 at 7 PM Perhaps no one loved the Hudson Highlands as much as William T. Howell. Born in Newburgh in 1873, Howell tramped through the region one hundred years ago and witnessed improvements such as Route 9W and Bear Mountain State Park. Today his massive collection of photos and commentary, provided via a slide lecture by Lynette Scherer, offers the modern lover of the Highlands an interesting peek into life in the lower Hudson valley at the turn of the last century.
Sober, Industrious Women: Wives of British Soldiers in America September 29th at 7 PM More than ten percent of the British Soldiers who fought in the American Revolution brought their wives and families with them to America. As nurses, laundresses, and sutlers the wives shared in the hardships and adventures of an army on service far from home. Historian Don Hagist will present an overview of the roles and experiences of British army wives in America.