I noticed that there was a report in the Leader Herald on the Johnstown Masons of St. Patrick’s lodge, so I thought this bit of history might be timely:
St. Patrick’s Lodge No. 8 (now called St. Patrick’s Lodge No. 4) in Johnstown, NY, founded by Sir William Johnson, is one of the oldest Masonic Lodges in the State of New York. Sir William Johnson was raised a Master Mason on April 10, 1766, in Union Lodge No. 1, located in Albany, New York, (now Mount Vernon Lodge No. 3).Augustine Prevost, a brother of the Union Lodge, wrote to Johnson a few weeks earlier, on March 23, 1766, informing him that Johnson’s friend and fellow Masonic brother Normand McLeod, had formally notified Union Lodge of Johnson’s desire to be a master of a lodge in Johnstown. Prevost noted in the letter: Continue reading →
Clarissa Putman, the jilted lover of Sir John Johnson, son of William Johnson, has been the subject of much Mohawk Valley mythology over the years.
The Schenectady County Historical Society (SCHS, 32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady) will host a talk on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. by Peter Betz entitled The Life of Clarissa Putman to sort out fact from fiction by providing a non-fictional mini-biography of her life based on reliable sources. Continue reading →
Sir William Johnson’s 1774 inventory of his New York western frontier estate, Johnson Hall, revealed a superb collection of books and other reading material.
Books were a bit more difficult to acquire in 18th century Johnstown than at present, so one could presume that selecting titles was considered, even more precisely than today, by recommended taste, by familiarity with an author, or perhaps from curiosity after having read a report of the book in the newspapers that arrived from New York City or from England via a New York City agent. Continue reading →
Johnson Hall, the 18th century baronial estate of Sir William Johnson and his family, has opened its doors for the 2012 season. Through Sunday, October 14th, the State Historic Site will offer guided tours on Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 1pm to 5pm.
Tours will generally begin on the half-hour, with the final tour of the day beginning at 4pm. Pre-registered group tours and Site special events may alter this tour schedule. The historic house will also be open on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Johnson Hall was the 1763 Georgian estate of Irish-born Sir William Johnson and Mohawk Indian Molly Brant and their family. Sir William (1715 – 1774) was the single largest landowner and most influential individual in the colonial Mohawk Valley. His success in dealing with the Six Nations had a lasting impact on their relationship with the English, and largely influenced England’s victory in the Anglo-French struggle for control of colonial North America. The main house and flanking stonehouses, originally surrounded by a 700 acre farm, now interpret the Johnson family through guided tours of the period room settings, educational programs and special events.
Admission fees are $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for senior citizens and students. Children 12 years of age and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Groups of 10 people or more, as well as school groups, must register in advance. Group fees are $3.00 per person, while the school fee is $1.00 per person (regular school year only). Special fees for Site special events may apply.
The 2012 Site calendar of events will be announced shortly, highlighted by the annual Market Fair on July 14th and 15th , which will feature an 18th century cricket demonstration, live performances, vendors, encampment, an open house and much more.
The Friends of Johnson Hall, a not-for-profit support group, will host the Johnson Jog 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, May 19th. More information on this major fundraiser, which will support the education and preservation programs at Johnson Hall, visit www.friendsofjohnsonhall.org or call (518) 762-4459.
Please join us in welcoming Wanda Burch, New York History‘-s newest contributor. Burch has an MA in History Museum Studies and has spent 42 years of in historic preservation, both in Arkansas and New York State. Early in her career she was a registrar at the Arkansas Arts Center and a curator at Arkansas Territorial Restoration. She recently retired as site manager of Johnson Hall State Historic Site and now serves as Vice-President of Friends of Johnson Hall. Burch is the author of several articles in the NYSHA journal New York History and other publication on Sir William Johnson and was the Upstate History Alliance’s 2010 recipient of the Commendation of Merit Award for individual lifetime achievement and in the same year, the NYS Parks and Recreation Huttleston Award for outstanding achievement, the highest agency honor awarded.
She is the author of She Who Dreams (New World Library, Novato, CA, 2003)- a co-presenter of Arts and Healing retreats at Great Camp Sagamore and Arts and Re-integration retreats for women veterans at Wiawaka in Lake George, NY. [www.creativehealingconnections.org].
With her husband Ron Burch she is the owner of two historic houses and author of the nomination for the Glen Historic District. Both were part of the founding committee for the Western Frontier Symposium, hosted at Fulton Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, NY. They also jointly authored Of Beams to Brackets, Architecture in the Mohawk Valley.
Her first piece for New York History will appear this morning.
Johnson Hall State Historic Site in Johnstown will host an 18TH century market fair this weekend, Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days with an evening contra dance on the lawn at 8 p.m. on Saturday. This is an event first established by Sir William Johnson in 1772. Entertainment throughout both days will include magic by Robert Olson performing as 18th century magician “Mr. Bayly-” period music by Liaisons Plaisantes- a Punch and Judy Show by the Punchbowl Sisters, period games for children [and adults] led by Shari Crawford- and a new treat – scenes from the 18th century play “The Beaux Stratagem” led by Bernadette Weaver. There will be sutlers [vendors] from the period and re-enactors with domestic encampments. Parking will be available at the Johnstown High School with shuttles to Johnson Hall.
Twenty volumes of papers and correspondence of Sir William Johnson have been released in a revised second edition digital CD format by the New York State Library, which holds the papers. Johnson was British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in New York from 1755 through 1774. He is best remembered for his diplomatic achievements among the various Native American tribes and as a military leader during the French and Indian War. This set of primary documents dating from 1738 to 1808 provides a fascinating glimpse into the pre-Revolutionary interactions among the British, French, and Iroquois empires. The Sir William Johnson Papers were originally published in 14 volumes of print, including a general index, from 1921 to 1965. Valuable for colonial research, the earliest six volumes have been out-of-print for years. The newly released CD is a revised and expanded second edition of an earlier CD released in 2007. It includes the complete 14 volume set along with the “Calendar of the Sir William Johnson manuscripts in the New York State Library” compiled by Richard E. Day in 1909. The CD also features several enhancements, including: more than 100 newly digitized illustrations from the New York State Library collections- dozens of new color digital photographs of locations and scenes from the Mohawk Valley and Lake George appropriate to Johnson’s legacy, including Johnson Hall and Fort Johnson- improved accuracy of scans to nearly 98%- electronic indexing allowing simultaneous searching of the entire collection- and bibliographic consistency in volume and page numbering with printed volumes.
The CD is available from the New York State Library for $20. To purchase a copy, contact Aimee Pelton in Documents and Digital Collections via phone at (518) 474-7492 or email apelton-AT-mail-DOT-nysed-DOT-gov.