Mohawk Valley History Summer TeacherHostel

The Institute for History, Archaeology, and Education has announced that a Mohawk Valley History TeacherHostel will take place Monday, July 18 through Friday, July 22 at historical sites and attractions throughout the Mohawk Valley (Schenectady, Montgomery, Fulton, Schoharie and Herkimer counties)

In an effort to bring the riches of the Mohawk Valley experience to the classroom, this five day intensive program will bring to life many aspects that make the Mohawk Valley truly unique.

Discover the stories of the Iroquois, the Palatine Germans, the Dutch, the Erie Canal, the Valley’s Revolutionary history and ties to the Civil War and Industrial Revolution.

Explore how these topics of local history and heritage can be related to the American history story as a whole, along with the New York State Social Studies Standards for Learning. After these five days in the Mohawk Valley, you will feel that you have had a little taste of everything the Valley has to offer.

This history hostel is not just for teachers- however, anyone interested in the rich history of this area is welcome to join us for one or two days or for the full week. The fee for the entire week is $275, which includes meals.

See www.ihare.org for more information and a registration form.

Digital History Archive Adds Important Volumes

Bob Sullivan, of the Schenectady Digital History Archive, has announced that the first two (historical) volumes of Nelson Greene’s four-volume history of Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Schenectady and Schoharie Counties, History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 is now online.

Included are more than 300 photos and maps, and a biographical section &#8211 more than 2000 pages so far, are online. Greene’s History joins the Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, a four-volume set with more than 1300 family entries from Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington Counties.

Mettawee River Theatre at Johnson Hall

The Friends of Johnson Hall State Historic Site, 139 Hall Avenue, in Johnstown, NY, will host the Mettawee River Theatre on Thursday evening, August 5, 8:00 p.m., on the lawn under the black walnut trees &#8211 this popular annual theatre company presented their first production at Johnson Hall over 30 years ago. This year’s 35th anniversary production is an Iroquois creation story. Bring chairs, blankets, snacks, and bug spray – but no pets, please.

Mettawee’s outdoor production for the summer of 2010 is The Woman Who Fell from the Sky, which was originally produced in 1997. It is drawn from the Iroquois creation tale in which the Sky Woman falls from the spirit world and lands on the back of a turtle. Water animals bring up mud from the bottom of the sea so the earth can grow. The character Sapling creates all the earth’s delightful things- his brother Flint brings us mosquitoes and thorns and sharp rocks. The abrupt arrival of Hodu’i, a whimsical crack-pot who claims to have created it all, spells the readiness of the earth for the arrival of human beings. The production will incorporate many puppets representing the spirits and creatures of this young world.

According to Mettawee Artistic Director Ralph Lee, &#8220At this time, when serious concerns about the state of our environment weigh heavily on us, it’s nourishing to hear these clear voices from the beginning of the world, reminding us of the gifts we’ve been given.&#8221

For further information, contact Wanda Burch at 518-762-8712 or wanda.burch@oprhp.state.ny.us

Symposium: Early Transportation in The Mohawk Valley

The 2009 Western Frontier Symposium, &#8220Moving Frontiers: Early Transportation in the Mohawk Valley,&#8221 will be held this weekend, October 17 &#8211 18, 2009, at Fulton Montgomery Community College in Johnstown. This year’s symposium will explore the ways that transportation changed the culture, economy and social life in the Mohawk Valley from 1700 to 1890. As turnpikes, canals and railroads made it easier to move people and goods, New York?s colonial frontier became the central corridor into America’s midlands.

The events keynote speaker will be Daniel Larkin, noted author of books on railroad and canal engineering, and editor of Erie Canal: New York’s Gift to The Nation. He will talk about the central role of Mohawk Valley transportation and technologies in shaping the New York State we know today.

Other symposium scholars will present fascinating insights into various aspects of the region’s transportation history &#8211 from native American trails and early canals, through the glory days of the Erie Canal and into the railroad age and the first bicycle craze.

Participants can learn about early roads, the businesses that served merchants and travelers, and the impact of these movements on the Palatine and Dutch settlements of the Mohawk Valley and then spend a day at historic sites throughout the region, viewing special exhibits related to transportation history and discussing specific topics with additional speakers in the field.

All presentations are free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of the New York Council for the Humanities a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Tickets for Special Events & Packages are available for a fee. (Pre-registration required.)

The event is sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, NYS Archives Partnership Trust, Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission, Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor & related Mohawk Valley historic sites

For additional details visit the website: www.oldfortjohnson.org/symposium.html

Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Events

New Year’s Day marked the start of New York’s Quadricentennial celebration commemorating 400 years of history on the Hudson River, New York Harbor and Lake Champlain. This year, New York honors the 400th anniversaries of the voyage of Captain Henry Hudson, who led (for the Dutch) the first European expedition to sail up the river that now bears his name, as well as the voyage of Samuel de Champlain, the first to discover the namesake lake. Communities from the Big Apple to the Canadian border are preparing events and projects to highlight New York’s rich history of exploration and discovery.

To celebrate these simultaneous 400th anniversaries as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s maiden steamboat journey up the Hudson River, New York State is planning a yearlong series of events, programs and projects that highlight the discovery of New York and the State’s Dutch, French, and English roots and heritage.

The Quadricentennial slogan is: New York’s 400th-Celebrating the past, planning for the future.

Among the Quadricentennial events planned are the Knickerbocker Ice Festival at Rockland Lake State Park, a panel discussion at the Museum of Natural History, and River Day, which will include the Commemorative Relay Flotilla on June 6. The flotilla will be led by boats out of New York City, tracing Henry Hudson’s path to Albany. The flagships include the famous Onrust, Clearwater, Woody Guthrie, the Mystic and the Half Moon, with a Coast Guard escort. To celebrate River Day, there will be activities for everyone along the river, at boat and yacht clubs,
cultural institutions and museums.

The NYS Quadricentennial Legacy Projects include the full restoration of the historic Crown Point Lighthouse on Lake Champlain and the transformation of the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge into the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Additionally, the State is installing eco docks along the Hudson River, to expand access to the river for boaters and fishermen. The State is also working on many collaborative projects and events with the Dutch Consulate in New York, including a planned visit by members of the Royal Family later in the year.

Many more events commemorating the Quadricentennial are planned for 2009, including the Hudson Valley 400th! Food Expo, Macy’s Quadricentennial July 4th,Tulip Mania at the New York Botanical Garden, the Festival of Nations and Crown Point Historic Site Opening, Governors Island Dutch Festival, H209 Water Conference at Liberty Science Center, Four Freedoms Medals at FDR Historic Site, International Stamp Expo for New York’s 400th, 2009 Voyage of Discovery, Commissioning of the USS New York, New Amsterdam Week, Barges from Holland, Dutch Royals visit, 400 Years of History Conference with Marist College, and New York Harbor Day.

For a detailed listing and description of these events and projects, visit the NYS Quadricentennial website at: www.exploreny400.com.