Tag Archives: Schoharie County

Schoharie Crossing Barge Canal History Lecture

ec_oiltankerWEBThe Friends of Schoharie Crossing are sponsoring a talk entitled “The History of the Barge Canal” on Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30pm. It will be presented by Craig Williams, historian at the New York State Museum in Albany at the Enders House, located adjacent to the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site Visitor Center, at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, NY.

Closing in on its 100th anniversary, the modern day Barge Canal is not so modern anymore but back in the nineteen teens it was full of invention and innovation in much the same way the earlier canal had been in 1825. Williams will explain the Barge Canal’s construction, usage throughout the 20th century and its transition into the tourism business. Continue reading

31st Annual Iroquois Indian Festival This Weekend

The 31st Annual Iroquois Indian Festival takes place on Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept 2, at the Iroquois Indian Museum, 324 Caverns Road. For two days, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Festival features traditional Iroquois music, dance, Native foods and much more. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

This year, Dr. Darryl Tonemah, an award-winning singer/songwriter, will be the featured performer on both days. Tonemah, Kiowa/Comanche/Tuscarora, is a doctor by day and a musician every chance he gets. His music combines the energy of rock, the intelligence of folk, and the heart of country —- creating a musical niche he calls, “Native Americana”. His work, Welcome to Your Rainy Day, won the best Folk Recording in 2007 from the Native American Music Awards.

In addition to Tonemah, the festival also will feature:

· The Sky Dancers of Six Nations. The Sky Dancers are from the Six Nations Reserve in Southern Ontario, along the Grand River. Many of the dancers are members of the Cayuga Nation. The troupe will present traditional Iroquois social dances, the increasingly popular “smoke dance,” and will be inviting audience members to join them on the dance floor.

· Iroquois Social Dances. Social Dances are different from ceremonial or sacred dances. Socials are group dances performed on various occasions, and are meant for everyone. These are the dance traditions of this land, with ties that connect to a dynamic heritage going back more than 10,000 years. Such dances are always performed to music. The musicians create the melodies and rhythms with voice and traditional Iroquois instruments. The dancers perform in stunning hand-made traditional clothing.

· Iroquois Stories. Perry Ground is a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation who understands the importance of transmitting local knowledge and oral traditions to the next generations. Educating all people on the history, culture and beliefs of the Iroquois is his life’s work. Perry is a teacher and professional storyteller, who has learned many stories as well as storytelling styles

· All-Iroquois Native Art Market. Meet with the Iroquois artists and learn firsthand about their creations. The Market features both contemporary and traditional works. Your purchase of Iroquois art directly supports the efforts of Iroquois artists.

· Archeology and Flint Knapping Station. The Archeology Table will be set up on the on the main floor of the Museum, and staffed by volunteers and members of the Museum’s archeology department. They will help visitors to identify objects they have collected. A flint-knapping demonstration area will be located on the rear deck. Flint knapping is a skill in which a raw piece of flint is chipped to form an arrow point.

· Wildlife Rehabilitation. Local wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Martin cares for injured and orphaned birds of prey and other creatures that are unable to return to the wild. Wildlife rehabilitators are volunteers licensed by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Ms. Martin will display a variety of birds and animals and is available to answer questions and share her experiences.

· Self-Guided Nature Park Tours. Take a self-guided tour through the Museum’s 45-acre Nature Park. Using our informative trail maps and plant signs, learn about native plants and trees and how Iroquois peoples have made use of them for food, utility, and medicine.

Currently on display at the Museum is the exhibition, “Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork.” The exhibit features more than 200 beaded objects, largely from the collection of retired archeologist and Museum trustee, Dolores Elliott.

The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Monday. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6.50 for seniors/students and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under five are free when accompanied by an adult. Special group rates are available by calling the Museum at 518-296-8949.

For more information: contact the Iroquois Indian Museum at (518) 296-8949, info@iroquoismuseum.org or visitwww.iroquoismuseum.org.

Fort Hunter: Who Owned The Fort? Talk Tuesday

Tricia Shaw, the education coordinator at Schoharie Crossing, will share her latest research in a lecture entitled “Who Owned the Fort?” sponsored by the Friends of Schoharie Crossing on Tuesday.  The presentation will explain the Fort Hunter’s history and trace the families who lived at the confluence of the Mohawk River and Schoharie Creek including the Mabee, the Enders, the Putman, the Wemple and the Voorhees families.

The talk will emphasize the importance of intermarriage between these families. Also how the settlers intermingled and influenced the Native population will also be discussed. The lecture will be followed by refreshments and the August meeting of the Friends of Schoharie Crossing. All are welcome to attend- the meeting and lecture are both open to the public.

The event will be held Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 6:30pm at Enders House, located adjacent to the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site Visitor Center, at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, NY 12069.

For more information about this event or how to join the Friends of Schoharie Crossing, please call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516. For more information about New York State Parks, visit our website at www.nysparks.com. Find us on Facebook.

Bridges And New York History

New York State has approximately 17,000 highway bridges. They are essential for traveling around our state and connecting our communities. About 37% are “functionally obsolete” or “structurally deficient,” according to DOT, a reminder of the need for continuing investment to maintain valuable resources.

Bridges – old and new – are part of community and state history. The story of three historically significant bridges shows various connections to history. Continue reading

Archaeology Theme For Schoharie Crossing Canal Days

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter (Schoharie County) will be hosting the 28th annual Canal Days Celebration on Saturday, July 14 and on Sunday, July 15, 2012 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission and parking are free.

Canal Days is dedicated to the historical significance of the Erie Canal and its impact on New York State. However, due to damaged caused by last fall’s Tropical Storm Irene and the unearthing of the remains of Fort Hunter for its 300th anniversary, there will be an archaeology theme and a focus on Schoharie Crossing’s earlier 18th century history as well as the 19th century canal history.

The Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center will be open for the duration of the events which includes the “Little Short of Madness” and “Celebrate 300!: Centuries of Fort Hunter History and New Discoveries” exhibits. Michael Roets will be conducting a live archaeological dig throughout the weekend with the ongoing potential of new discoveries. Topics in archaeology will be addressed throughout the weekend with special talks and walking tours in prehistoric, industrial, landscape archaeology and cemetery restoration.

Other history related activities include Joe Doolittle presenting stories about the Mohawk Valley on Saturday, David Cornelius presenting information about Mohawk Lifeways on Sunday and Beverly Cornelius doing basket weaving demonstrations on Sunday. Both days the Circuit Spinsters will be demonstrating fiber arts such as spinning and weaving.

Canal Days 2012 will feature live entertainment on the main stage:

On Saturday, the Veeder Guitar Jazz Duo will perform from 11:00 am to 12:15pm. The Dependants will follow performing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Dependants are the hottest young pop/rock band around, having won Montgomery County’s 2010 Battle of Bands. Also all the members are under the age of 19. On Sunday Eric Marczak will perform Native American flute music from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm. Sunday afternoon will feature the bluegrass band Dyer Switch from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Children’s Activities include a petting zoo and pony rides from Dream Pony will be set up both afternoons. Also a Native American Kids Craft tables will feature four different Native crafts for children aged 4 to 13, each craft will be $3.00 from noon to 3pm each day. Sparkles the Clown will be stilt walking and juggling on Saturday. There will be a reptile display and on Sunday magician Evil Dan will be on hand.

Also, the Tri-County Power Association “Field Days” will have Old Time Steam and Gas Engines on display with demonstrations of antique agricultural and household machinery both days. Cheryl Bielli will be available both days to draw caricatures. Food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, fried dough, fresh squeezed lemonade, and ice cream will be available. There will be a silent auction under the Friends of Schoharie Crossing Tent on Sunday.

Canal Days is sponsored by the Friends of Schoharie Crossing, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors and the Occupancy Tax, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

For more information about this alcohol free event, call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516.

Photo: Schoharie Aqueduct, showing the canalway (Courtesy Wikipedia).

Iroquois Indian Museum Hosting Early Technology Day

On July 4, The Iroquois Indian Museum will host its Early Technology Day, billed as a hands-on learning experience about life in early America.

Visitors can watch and participate in the process of flint knapping (the ancient art of making chipped stone tools), Primitive fire making, Atlatl spear throwing and early archery. There will be displays of projectile points, tools, and local archaeological finds from the Museum’s archaeology department. Have you ever found an artifact? Please bring it with you and the Museum’s experts will try to identify it for you.

Currently on display at the Museum is the exhibition, “Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork.” The exhibit features more than 200 beaded objects, largely from the collection of retired archaeologist and Museum trustee, Dolores Elliott.

Early Technology Day takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free with paid admission to the Museum.  The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Monday. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6.50 for seniors/students and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under five are free when accompanied by an adult. Special group rates are available by calling the Museum at 518-296-8949.

For more information contact the Iroquois Indian Museum at (518) 296-8949, info@iroquoismuseum.org or visit www.iroquoismuseum.org.

Schoharie Crossing Announces Temporary Exhibits

The Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center is presenting two small temporary exhibits for the 2012 season (May 1- October 31). The exhibits are available for viewing during the regular Visitor Center Hours: Wednesday- Saturday 10AM to 5PM and on Sundays 1PM to 5PM. The Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and is located at 129 Schoharie Street in Fort Hunter, five miles west of Amsterdam, off Route 5S.

The larger of the two exhibits is entitled “Celebrate 300: Centuries of Fort Hunter History and New Discoveries.” It addresses the 300th anniversary of Fort Hunter and the Queen Anne Chapel, its rich history and recent archaeological discoveries. Fort Hunter, built in 1712, was a British frontier fort- 150 square feet with four corner blockhouses.

Queen Anne’s Chapel served as the center of Christian spiritual life for the settlers of European decent in the area and the surround 600-person Mohawk Village of Tiononderoge.

The other smaller exhibit will show photos of the recent Hurricane Irene flood damage and the recovery effort at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site.

For more information about Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516. You can also find them on Facebook.  

Photo: Normally high and dry, Putmans Store (and the adjacent Enlarged Erie Lock 28) at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site filled with water on August 29, 2011. Photo by Howard Ohlhous, Courtesy National Park Service.

Iroquois Indian Museum Opens With New Exhibit

The Iroquois Indian Museum has opened for its 2012 season with a new exhibit, “Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork.” The exhibit features more than 200 beaded objects, largely from the collection of beadwork scholar, retired archeologist and Museum trustee, Dolores Elliott. A Spring Party to Celebrate the Opening from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5


A great number of animal images appear in Iroquois beadwork including pets, forest wildlife, farm animals, and exotic beasts. The exhibition highlights these animals that appear on varied beaded household items such as purses, pincushions, wall pockets and picture frames made popular during the Victorian era.


The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Monday. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6.50 for seniors/students and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under five are free when accompanied by an adult. Special group rates are available by calling the Museum at 518-296-8949. The museum is located in Howes Cave, NY (Off Exit 23 of I-88).

Iroquois Indian Museum Prepares Opening, Events

The Iroquois Indian Museum opens for its 2012 season on May 1 with a new exhibit and special events planned throughout the year. From May 1 until the closing day on November 30, the Museum hosts the exhibition, “Birds and Beasts in Beads: 150 Years of Iroquois Beadwork.” The exhibit features more than 200 beaded objects, largely from the collection of retired archeologist and Museum trustee, Dolores Elliott.

A great number of animal images appear in Iroquois beadwork including pets, forest wildlife, farm animals, and exotic beasts. The exhibition highlights these animals that appear on varied beaded household items such as purses, pincushions, wall pockets and picture frames made popular during the Victorian era.

In addition to the exhibit, the Museum has a Nature Park of 45 acres and a Children’s Museum —- an active, hands-on area —- where Iroquois traditions are introduced through crafts, games and technologies.

The Museum has a full schedule of special events in 2012 (see below). Events at the Museum are free with paid admission. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Monday. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6.50 for seniors/students and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under five are free when accompanied by an adult. Special group rates are available by calling the Museum at 518-296-8949. For more information, visit www.iroquoismuseum.org.

2012 SPECIAL EVENTS

May 26 & 27: IROQUOIS CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Join the Iroquois Indian Museum at New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown for their first festival featuring Iroquois artists, dancers and storytellers.

May 29: NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISAN SERIES: Carla Hemlock, Mohawk quilter and Babe Hemlock, Mohawk painter demonstrate at Iroquois Indian Museum. (May 26 – 28: Carla and Babe will be at the Fenimore Art Museum/New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown)

June 3: from 1:00 – 3:00: PLANTING A THREE SISTERS GARDEN AND STORYTELLING: Visitors are invited to help us plant a Three Sisters Garden of corn, beans and squash. Traditional Iroquois stories about planting and the natural world will be shared.

June 22: NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISAN SERIES: Natasha Smoke Santiago, Mohawk painter and sculptor demonstrates at Iroquois Indian Museum (June 17 – 21: Natasha will be at the Fenimore Art Museum/New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown)

July 4: EARLY TECHNOLOGY DAY: Visitors can watch and participate in the process of flint knapping, using local and semi-local cherts and lithics, fire making, atl-atl spear throwing, and early archery. There will be displays of projectile points, tools, and local archaeological finds from our archaeology department.

July 14: IROQUOIS SOCIAL DANCE SATURDAY with ONOTA’A:KA (Oneida Nation Dancers)
Onota’a:ka, based in the central New York Haudenosaunee community of Oneida, was founded by Elder and Wolf Clan Mother Maisie Shenandoah for the purpose of cultural education. While Maisie passed away in 2009, the troupe’s original purpose continues to be carried forth by daughter Vicky, granddaughter Tawn:tene (Cindy Schenandoah Stanford) and an extended family with common goals. For the Schenandoahs dance is not a separate expression of heritage and thanksgiving, but one that is thoroughly integrated into daily life. The dancers will demonstrate a variety of traditional Iroquois Social Dances and encourage participation from the audience. Social songs vary in length, verses and tempo depending on the song selection of the singers. All dances are done in a counter clockwise direction. The instruments used in the social dances in various combinations are the water drum, the horn rattle, hard sticks and the beating of the feet on the floor.

July 20: NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISAN SERIES: Penelope S. Minner, Seneca Basketmaker demonstrates at Iroquois Indian Museum (August 5 – 7: Penelope will be at the Fenimore Art Museum/New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown)

July 28: IROQUOIS SOCIAL DANCE SATURDAY: Iroquois performers will demonstrate a variety of traditional Iroquois Social Dances and encourage participation from the audience. Social songs vary in length, verses and tempo depending on the song selection of the singers. All dances are done in a counter clockwise direction. The instruments used in the social dances in various combinations are the water drum, the horn rattle, hard sticks and the beating of the feet on the floor.

August 2, 3, & 4: SONG QUEST WITH JOANNE SHENANDOAH: For the first time at the Iroquois Indian Museum, Grammy Award winning songwriter and performer Joanne Shenandoah offers a comprehensive song-writing workshop. Benefit Concert Performance at the conclusion of the workshop on Saturday evening. Pre-registration for workshop required. shenandoaj@aol.com

August 8: NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISAN SERIES: Karen Ann Hoffman, Oneida beadworker demonstrates at Iroquois Indian Museum (August 5 – 7: Karen will be at the Fenimore Art Museum/New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown)

August 11: IROQUOIS SOCIAL DANCE SATURDAY with the HAUDENOSAUNEE DANCERS from Onondaga. The Haudenosaunee Dancers perform Iroquois social dances as practiced in their small traditional community near Syracuse. Elegant and knowledgeable, leader Sherri Waterman-Hopper has traveled internationally as an artist and cultural speaker. The Dancers feature a core group of seasoned singer/musicians and talented and dedicated young adults. Pride in the culture and adherence to the traditions are the hallmarks of this disciplined troupe. The dancers will demonstrate a variety of traditional Iroquois Social Dances and encourage participation from the audience. Social songs vary in length, verses and tempo depending on the song selection of the singers. All dances are done in a counter clockwise direction. The instruments used in the social dances in various combinations are the water drum, the horn rattle, hard sticks and the beating of the feet on the floor.

August 24: NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISAN SERIES: Ken Maracle, Cayuga Wampum Maker demonstrates at Iroquois Indian Museum (August 21 – 23 : Ken will be at the Fenimore Art Museum/New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown)

September 1 & 2: 31ST ANNUAL IROQUOIS INDIAN FESTIVAL: Festival offerings include Iroquois music and social dance, traditional stories, all-Iroquois art market, games and Native food. More highlights include wildlife exhibits, archeology ID table, and flintknapping demonstrations.

September 2: NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISAN SERIES: Vince Bomberry, Cayuga Sculptor demonstrates at Iroquois Indian Museum (August 30 – September 1: Vince will be at the Fenimore Art Museum/New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown)

Civil War Lectures Set for Schoharie Crossing

Schoharie Crossing State Historic site’s Enders House (adjacent to the Visitor Center at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, NY, five miles west of Amsterdam, off Route 5S) will host a series of lectures on the Civil War, Wednesdays in April, 7:00 pm.

On April 4, the lecture series will begin with Montgomery County Historian Kelly Farquar, who will discuss “The Abolitionist Movement in Montgomery County,” a topic of her latest publication.

The series continues on April 11 with Bob Arnold, an instructor at the College of St. Rose whose talk is entitled “New York State and the Civil War.” Arnold is also the former Albany County Historian. On April 25 the lecture series concludes with Matt Zembo’s talk on “Civil War Weapons and Strategy.” Zembo is an instructor at Hudson Valley Community College and is a military reenactor.

The fees for these lectures are $3.00 adults, $2.00 seniors and $1.00 for children under 16. Please contact Tricia Shaw at Tricia.Shaw@parks.ny.gov or 518-829-7516 for more information.

Photo: Schoharie Aqueduct, showing the canalway (Courtesy Wikipedia).