Saturday, September 29 nine communities along the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway are offering War of 1812 themed self-guided walking tours daily dawn-to-dusk. Much of the War of 1812 took place along the waters of St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River, and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania.
The 3.1 and 6.2-mile walks in Ogdensburg, Sackets Harbor, Oswego, Pultneyville, Youngstown, Lewiston, Williamsville, and Buffalo, NY- and Erie, PA, are sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association (AVA). There is no charge to complete the walks. Walkers must register in the Walkbox at each starting point business. Anyone carrying a Volkssport logbook can purchase the official credit for $3.00. Those completing the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Walks in any of the nine communities can purchase commemorative pins ($5 each) featuring different symbols of the war, including a sailing ship, cannon, soldier, Fort Ontario and Fort La Presentation, crossed rifles, the burning of Buffalo, a young America’s flag and the battle flag of the USS Brig Niagara.
On Saturday, September 8, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and New York Sea Grant will present Great Lakes Underwater at the Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY. The 12pm-5pm program, co-sponsored by the NOAA National Weather Service, features four distinct speakers focused on history, shipwrecks and innovative technology for boaters.
The event will run 12pm-5pm at the Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY, with vendors, information exhibits and networking time. The September 8 program includes the following presentations: · “Historic Weather Patterns Impact on Lake Ontario Shipwrecks” with National Weather Service Forecaster Robert Hamilton · “Between Two Nations: The British on Carleton Island (Fort Haldimand) from the American Revolution to the War of 1812” with Douglas J. Pippin, Ph.D., historical archaeology professor at SUNY Oswego · Underwater explorer Jim Kennard on his “Discovery of the HMS Ontario” using deepwater sonar scanning to find the 80-foot-long, 22-gun sloop-of-war that sunk in 1780 in Lake Ontario on her way to Fort Haldimand · “The Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blueway Water Trail & Innovations in Technology for Boaters, Canoeists and Kayakers” with New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. Learn how new and future tools and apps based on the Great Lakes Observing System will benefit water trail users. This Great Lakes Underwater theme program makes the start of a new Great Lakes Seaway Trail Byway-Blueway Seminar Series. Pre-registration is requested by September 3. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors age 62 or older and retired military with ID, $5 for children under 14, and free Blue Star admission for active military with ID. Day of the event seating is $15 for any remaining seats. This is a Yellow Ribbon event. For more information and to register, visit www.seawaytrail.com/dive or call 315-646-1000 x203. Robert “Bob” Hamilton is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Buffalo, NY. He is noted for presenting his research of the meteorological conditions that have impacted historic events, including shipwrecks. He presented his study of the weather influencing the time of the foundering of the HMS Ontario at the spring 2012 Great Lakes Meteorological Operational Workshop in Chicago.
Douglas J. Pippin is an historical archaeologist who has studied the provisioning and frontier economy of the British military and displaced Loyalists during the American Revolution. He had conducted fieldwork at Fort Haldimand and at Loyalist settlements in the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas. He received his doctoral degree at Syracuse University. Jim Kennard, known as “the Jacques Cousteau of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail,” has been featured in such publications National Geographic and Sea Technology magazines for the 200-plus rare and historic shipwrecks he has discovered in numerous waters in his 40-year career. The HMS Ontario is considered an “underwater Holy Grail.” Dave White, a New York Sea Grant recreation and tourism specialist, has created several educational initiatives, including the “Dive the Seaway Trail” project. His Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign earned White a BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Commendation. This spring, he was among the invitation-only guests at the White House Community Leaders Briefing on the Great Lakes Region.
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.
As Nik Wallenda prepares to walk over Niagara Falls, the newest book in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Guidebook Series – Sailors, Keepers, Shipwrecks, and The Maid – tells the stories of the Falls’ first tightrope walkers and other daredevils, the famous, and fascinating everyday people who have lived, worked, played and traveled along the Lake Erie, Niagara River, Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines in New York and Pennsylvania.
Readers will discover interesting details about American Presidents, pirates, pioneers, chefs, lighthouse keepers, artists, and adventurers in the collection of vignettes enhanced by historic photographs, art, illustrations and maps.
The Maid in the new book’s title is the Maid of the Mist tour boat, a Niagara Falls tradition since 1846 and co-sponsor of the book project.
The guide’s introduction encourages driving the full 518 miles of the National Scenic Byway and stopping at a series of Great Lakes Seaway Trail “Outdoor Storyteller” signs to learn more facts about local architecture, agriculture, maritime, military and natural history.
The new book is written by Steve Benson and published by the nonprofit tourism promoter Seaway Trail, Inc., Sackets Harbor, NY. Benson is also co-author of Great Lakes Seaway Trail’s French and Indian War guidebook Waterways of Way: The Struggle for Empire 1754-1763.
Learn more about the Great Lakes Seaway Trail series of travel guides voted “Best of the Byways” by the American Recreation Coalition online at www.seawaytrail.com or call 315-646-1000 x200.
Lake Erie region stories in Sailors, Keepers, Shipwrecks, and the Maid include: tales of fish wars and Lake Erie’s fury, the Erie Triangle, Dan Rice and Daniel Dobbins, War of 1812 combatants, grape growers, Celeron’s many legacies, the Dunkirk Lighthouse and notable shipwrecks.
Buffalo/Niagara Falls region stories include: Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces, a tale of pistols at 12 paces, shipwrecks and pirates, Underground Railroad heroes, the ghost of the French Castle, and the “Cat-of-the-Mist.”
Rochester/Central Lake Ontario region stories include: War of 1812 heroine Bathshua Sheffield Brown (her ancestors operate Brown’s Berry Patch, Waterport, NY)- Sam Patch, the Yankee Leaper- photography pioneer George Eastman, the Underground Railroad on Sodus Bay.
Eastern Lake Ontario region stories include: Harriet Tubman and other Underground Railroad heroes, “The Big Cheese,” the War of 1812 Battle of Big Sandy, a female Commandant at Sackets Harbor, a tale of two wrecks, and The Whittlesey Woman.
Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence River region stories include: skiffs, steamships, and yachts- pirate Bill Johnston- a Maple Island murder mystery- two castles- artist Frederic Remington, Fort de La Presentation, and the 1760 Battle of the 1000 Islands.
A regiment of Canadian quilters and a Pennsylvania woman have won Viewer’s Choice honors from the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show. The show featured 1812 period-correct and pictorial quilts from 18 U.S. states and from across Canada.
The favorite quilt of the more than 1,000 visitors to the show hosted by three early 19th century historic sites in Sackets Harbor, a New York State 1812 Heritage Community, was made by nine of the living history interpreters at Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario. Janice Toonders, who demonstrates spinning and weaving at the Village, designed the quilt using an Irish chain pattern. Toonders, Martina Bols, Linda Brown, Mary Casselman, Christine Christie, Ivah Malkin, Marjorie Munroe, Judy Neville, and Sharon Shaver used wool cloth, silk thread and cotton fabrics to fashion symbols from the 1812 time period for the colorful pictorial. Sharon Shaver, the quilting demonstrator at Upper Canada Village, added the binding and quilting.
“British Major Sir Isaac Brock is front and center. Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost is aside as he navigates his horse home in shame for not advancing his troops at Plattsburgh. We have the First Nation’s Confederacy leader Tecumseh and Joseph Brant, the Mohawk Chief who was working with the British to create a nation in the west,” Toonders explains.
The Upper Canada Village quilters also included the sloop “Wolf” that fought in one of the Battles of Sackett’s Harbour. A bear, a moose, a First Nation’s symbol, a British sailor and Laura Secord who notified the British of a U.S. attack are also among the quilt’s storytelling images.
Quilts from four Canadian provinces made up approximately 30 percent of the show’s quilts.
The show’s second Viewer’s Choice winner is the “Underhill Tree of Life Whole-Cloth Quilt” made by Jill C. Meszaros of Cambridge Springs, PA, 25 miles south of Erie and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Pennsylvania. The all-blue quilt is intricately quilted by hand with a dark blue thread.
Meszaros says, “I chose to create a whole-cloth quilt to honor my family heritage and the history of quilting and our nation. My fourth great-grandfather, Major David Underhill traveled to Huron County, Ohio, in 1810. In 1812 he reacted to the news that the British and Indians were landing only to learn they were really soldiers in Hull’s army. As I quilted, my husband was away and I imagined what it would have been like in 1812 to wait for him to come home.”
Meszaros, a stay-at-home mother of six, fashioned her design after the Clarke Family Quilt in the book “Massachusetts Quilts” and used fruit, floral and foliate motifs inspired by “Quilts-Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum.” The quilt’s batting is wool, typical of the 1812 time. She says, “The last stitch went in the I day I shipped the quilt to the show.”
Show manager Lynette Lundy-Beck notes, “This show inspired people to learn more about the War of 1812, its battles, the soldiers and their loved ones, and about the quilters’ own families. This show is indeed a storytelling event that interprets the travel themes for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in many interesting and personal ways, and that is what makes this quilt show unique among quilt shows and tourism showcases.”
Much of the war was fought along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, a National Scenic Byway in the U.S. The 518-mile leisure driving route parallels the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River, and Lake Erie. Quilting is just one of many travel themes for the byway.
Watch www.seawaytrail.com/quilting for details on the impact of the 2012 show and for guidelines on the Beauty of the Byways theme for the 2013 show.
On Saturday, March 17, at 10:30am, National Scenic Byway Foundation will name the late Teresa Mitchell as the first recipient of the National Scenic Byway Foundation’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation will be made in the third floor ballroom exhibit area of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center at 401 W. Main Street in Sackets Harbor, NY.
Deborah Divine, Co-Executive Director of the National Scenic Byway Foundation (NSBF), will visit Sackets Harbor from Salina, Kansas, to present the inaugural award to Teresa’s family: her husband Joel, daughter Marcy, and son Michael. Future recipients of the award will receive the National Scenic Byway Foundation Teresa Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award.
Teresa earned this honor with a lifetime of service to New York state’s tourism industry and promoting the concept of byways as an American touring tradition and as a vital economic engine for local, state and national economies.
As President and CEO of Seaway Trail, Teresa guided the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to become America’s leading model of byway development. She served from 2005-2010 as the inaugural Chairperson of the NSBF that she helped form in 2005 on behalf of all of America’s Byways nationwide.
In addition to Deborah Divine, speakers at the award ceremony will include Seaway Trail Foundation Chair Alexander “Pope” Vickers, a hospitality and tourism professor at Jefferson Community College, Watertown, NY- Seaway Trail, Inc. Chair John Hall of Cannon Design, Grand Island, NY- and Teresa’s longtime colleague Greg Marshall, Senior Vice-President of VisitRochester, Rochester, NY.
The presentation is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show, developed by Teresa Mitchell as a cultural heritage tourism event promoting travel the length of the 518-mile National Scenic Byway in NY and PA. A collection of Teresa’s own quilts will provide a speakers’ backdrop.
The annual event has expanded this year to include three early 19th-century historic venues in the village of Sackets Harbor and costumed living history interpreters. Along with 1812 period-correct quilts from 18 U.S. states and across Canada, there will be a vintage reproduction sewing implement exhibit, demonstrations and vendors. The event is co-sponsored by Orleans County Tourism and the Country Barn Quilt Trail loop off the Seaway Trail starting at Kendall, NY. Learn more about the Great Lakes Seaway Trail at www.seawaytrail.com.
Living history reenactor Ted Schofield of Chaumont, NY, makes his own War of 1812 and Civil War uniforms by hand using period reproduction sewing implements. He says, “I do all hand work now to be more authentic in my interpretation of the 1812 period.” On March 17 and 18 as part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show event, Schofeild will display his collection of tools, iron needles- scissors- buttons- binding- threads- fabric swatches, including linsey-woolsey- and a rose blanket and homespun blanket common to the early 19th century time. At the show, Schofeild will be dressed in period costume, selecting from his interpretations of a New York State militiaman, a US naval enlistee or an 1812 civilian. He will be joined by living history interpreters from the Fort La Presentation Association of Ogdensburg, NY- Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford, NY- the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance and quilters in early 19th century American and English Regency period dress.
The “cot-to-coffin-sized” quilts coming from 18 U.S. states and Canada will be displayed in three 1812-period historic buildings in Sackets Harbor, NY.
The $5 admission benefits the Seaway Trail Foundation. The show is co-sponsored by Orleans County Tourism and the 22-mile Country Barn Quilt Trail loop off the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to barns painted with quilt block patterns.
Quilting is a cultural heritage tourism theme for traveling the 518-mile-long Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway in New York and Pennsylvania. For itineraries and more information, contact Show Manager Lynette Lundy-Beck at 315-646-1000 x203 or visit the web at www.seawaytrail.com/quilting.
Photo: 1812-appropriate sewing implements from reenactor Ted Schofield’s collection.
Teresa Hall Mitchell, 59, the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, passed away on January 24 at her home in Clayton with family at her side. She was an advocate for history and tourism along the 518 mile scenic driving route that follows the shores of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in New York and Pennsylvania.
Mitchell had been been fighting a very aggressive cancer. She was determined to finish a quilt commemorating the War of 1812, which she did between hospice visits and pain medication. Just 11 days ago, she was sending out emails to colleagues sharing that plans for an 1812 guide book and wayside exhibits that were moving forward. “Teresa was a hard and dedicated worker who made good things happen, and we were all privileged to have had the opportunity to have worked with her,” said Robert Weible State Historian and Chief Curator at the New York State Museum. “Her untimely passing is a loss for the state’s entire history community.”
“Teresa was always the one to push the envelope for America’s Byways, I am honored to call her a friend and greatly appreciate all of the support she has provided over the years —- she will be greatly missed.” said Janet Kennedy, Executive Director of Lakes to Locks Passage, an All American Road.
“The best thing I got from being on the NYS French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commission was Teresa Mitchell, as a friend and mentor,” said Barbara O’Keefe, Executive Director of Fort La Presentation. “Our trips to Albany flew by with talk of quilting, knitting, children and grandchildren and marketing ideas. I have never met an individual who loved their job more or did it better. NYS has lost an amazing tireless advocate for cultural heritage tourism.”
I had the pleasure of working with Mitchell for 5 years as a member of the NYS French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission. We shared a passion for marketing historic sites and events. She was relentless in her efforts to work with legislators and state agencies to promote unique historical locations and cultural heritage sites. Mitchell’s work with web sites, tour guides, wayside exhibits and the award winning Great Lakes Seaway Trail Travel Magazine made history exciting and accessible to visitors. The entire State has lost a special individual and a strong advocate for history in the North Country.
Sean Kelleher is the Historian for the Town of Saratoga and Village of Victory in the Upper Hudson Valley. He has a particular interest in colonial history, being active as a reenactor for 34 years and has served as a Commissioner on the New York State French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission.
The 2011 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Travel Magazine is now available with stories on wineries, the War of 1812, and enjoying a scenic drive on the 518-mile National Scenic Byway that parallels the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania.
Photographs- a calendar of 110-plus events- a directory of attractions, accommodations and services- and the GPS coordinates for more than 100 Great Lakes Seaway Trail “outdoor storyteller” interpretive signs are also included in the 64-page, full-color magazine. The front cover of the 2011 edition of the annual glossy travel magazine features a tour boat approaching Boldt Castle in the 1000 Islands region of the byway.
The back cover invites travelers to go geocaching on the byway to collect five elegant Great Lakes Seaway Trail collectible geocoins.
Great Lake Seaway Trail Director of Business Relations Kurt Schumacher says the travel magazine is now reaching new markets.
“In addition to finding the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Travel Magazine at our member sites along the byway, distribution for the guide now includes high-traffic information and welcome centers on interstate routes in New York and Pennsylvania- locations in Kingston, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada- and AAA offices in Ohio,” Schumacher says.
The Great Lake Seaway Trail Travel Magazine is also included in Relocation Readiness packets for soldiers arriving at Fort Drum, NY, and in physician recruiting packets developed by Oswego Health, which operates Oswego Hospital, a skilled nursing facility, and a retirement living site in Oswego, NY.
It’s “a once-in-200-years” opportunity. The Seaway Trail Foundation is asking quilters and non-quilters, to make quilts with War of 1812-era colors and patterns for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail 2012 War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show and Challenge event.
Organizers are reaching out to American history enthusiasts and re-enactors, children and people of all ages from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Native nations, and internationally to enter and attend the commemorative event to be held March 17-18, 2012 at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center in the War of 1812 heritage community of Sackets Harbor, New York. Guidelines for making “cot to coffin”-size (30 inches x 70 inches) quilt using a variety of fabrics, including cotton, linen, silk, wool and linsey-woolsey, and patterns common to the 1812 period are online. Entries must be committed to the show by January 15, 2012- quilts must be completed by March 3, 2012.
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail 2012 War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show and Challenge guidelines suggest studying the research works and books of noted quilt historians Barbara Brackman, Anne Orr and Pepper Cory.
Brackman of Lawrence, Kansas, suggests that a quilt in medallion or strip format would be a good patchwork design for the historical era. Brackman says, “Patterns that were popular during the 1812 time were simple stars and basic nine-patch and four-patch variations. The War cut into fabric imports into America but well-to-do women already had stashes of imported French, English and Indian chintzes and calicoes in a variety of colors, and loved to mix large-scale and small-scale prints. For those thinking of using fabric reflecting the domestic prints of the time, indigo blues, browns and a touch of pink would be among the best colors.”
Brackman has designed a reproduction collection of prints from the era for Moda Fabrics- the “Lately Arrived from London” collection should be available in quilt shops by the end of the summer of 2011.
The Seaway Trail Foundation is sponsoring the event as part of a host of War of 1812 Bicentennial commemorative plans for tourism, cultural heritage and military history programs in 2011-2014. The March 2012 show will be the kickoff for a 2011-2014 traveling educational exhibit of the War of 1812-like quilts.
The 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail along the freshwater coastline of New York and Pennsylvania is a National Scenic Byway offering authentic American travel experiences
Illustration: War of 1812 attack on Oswego from the Paul Lear collection.