Erie Canalway Heritage Excellence Recognized

MACEDON-LOCK60_TrailsGroup2013The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission has announced the recipient of the 2013 Erie Canalway Heritage Award of Excellence: Enlarged Erie Lock 60 and Gallup’s Change Bridge #39 in Macedon, Monroe County. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Bushnell’s Basin Boat Dock and Canal Amenity Center in the Town of Perinton and the Trail of Hope in Lyons.

The Heritage Award honors significant places of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and recognizes excellence in advancing the goals of the Erie Canalway Preservation and Management Plan. A five-person independent jury selected award recipients based on a written application and site visit, which included meetings with officials at each site, as well as community leaders, municipal representatives, and other stakeholders. Read more

Bloomer Girls: Women Baseball Pioneers

1868 Peterboro Women's Baseball Game, Courtesy National Baseball Hall of Fame LibraryAt least twenty-six newspaper articles published around the nation in 1868 reported the existence of women’s baseball clubs. Thanks to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and an anonymous reporter, the baseball club in Peterboro was the best documented of the women’s teams in the 1860s. During a three week visit in August 1868 at the Peterboro home of her cousin, abolitionist Gerrit Smith, Stanton wrote three letters for her women’s rights publication The Revolution. Read more

Susan B. Anthony Festival Set For Saturday

The annual Susan B. Anthony Festival is set for Saturday, August 18, 2012 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Susan B. Anthony Square Park between Madison and King streets in Rochester. The events celebrates the 92nd anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women throughout the country the right to vote.

Music and entertainment will be provided in the park by the Hochstein School of Music and Dance as well as the Rochester Raging Grannies, a group that promotes peace, justice, and social and economic equality through song and dance. Food vendors and unique crafts vendors will sell their goods in the park.

 Authentic nineteenth-century base ball (it was actually two words when it first began in the 19th century!) demonstrations will be provided by Genesee Country Village’s women base ball team, in period costumes, following the rules and etiquette of the game as it was played in the 1800s.

Walking tours of this historic 19th century Historic Preservation District will also be offered. Tours of the Anthony House will be available beginning at 11 a.m. at the special admission price that day only of $5.00 for all ages.

The event is presented by the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association and the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. Deborah L. Hughes, President of the Anthony House, explains, &#8220This annual event is close to our hearts because it recognizes the date—August 26, 1920—when the 19th amendment was officially declared law by the Secretary of State after it was ratified by the required 36 states. It honors the women and men who struggled so long—over 72 years—and so hard—often at personal danger—to achieve equality for women. Many of those who worked so fervently in the cause, including Susan B. Anthony, did not live to see the amendment finally ratified. We thank them each year with this festival.”

For more information, visit or call 585-279-7490, ext. 10.

Kodak Elegy: A Cold War Childhood

What was it like to grow up as the son of a Kodak engineer during the company’s glory days? William Merrill Decker presents a vivid portrait of life in the Rochester suburbs where residents eagerly conformed to period expectations: two kids, two cars, a move from a snug middle-class neighborhood to a spacious upper-middle-class subdivision.

In Kodak Elegy: A Cold War Childhood (2012, Syracuse University Press), Decker recollects the blithe and troubled scenes of America’s postwar prosperity and evokes a bygone era. Read more

Adirondack Museum Program in Rochester

The Adirondack Museum will offer a special presentation in Rochester, NY, &#8220The Adirondack 46er &#8211 the Ultimate Challenge!&#8221 The program will be held Thursday, May 3 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., in the Adirondack Lodge at the Midtown Athletic Club.

Learn about becoming a &#822046er&#8221 with Tony Goodwin, guest speaker and author of Ski and Snowshoe Trail in the Adirondacks, and current editor of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Adirondack Trails High Peak Region. Most recently, Tony wrote the introduction to the 2011 publication, Heaven Up-h’isted-nes: The History of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers and the High Peaks of the Adirondacks.

With Tony, and back by popular demand, is Nancie Battaglia, renowned Lake Placid based photographer and licensed guide. Both have climbed all 46 High Peaks more than just once &#8211 Tony five times.

Tickets are $10 per person and proceeds benefit the Adirondack Museum. For tickets, please call the Midtown Athletic Club directly at (585) 461-2300.

Finger Lakes Museum Opens New Satellite Office

The Finger Lakes Museum has a new satellite office space at 81 Browns Race in the High Falls historic district of Rochester. The Museum signed a co-location agreement with the Philipson Group, a creative communications and marketing firm. According to a statement issued to the press, the main purpose of the new office space is development. Current and potential supporters and consultants of the Museum from the surrounding Rochester area are expected to have the place to visit one on one with Museum staff and keep abreast of their progress. Plans for the Museum will be on display and collateral material will be available inside, museum officials said.

To schedule a time to meet with the Museum staff at their new location, call 315-595-2200 or email as follows:

Executive Director, Don Naetzker [email protected]

Interim Development Director, John Adamski [email protected]

Communications/Programs Director, Natalie Payne [email protected]

Photo: The Finger Lakes Museum employees, Executive Director Don Naetzker and Communications/Programs Director Natalie Payne, stand outside of their new satellite location in High Falls, Rochester.

Canal Society of New Yorks Winter Symposium

The Canal Society of New York State has announced it’s Winter Symposium will be held Saturday, March 3, 2012 at the Warshof Conference Center at Monroe Community College’s Brighton Campus, 1000 East Henrietta Road in Rochester (Monroe Room A & B- Park in Lot M, Center Road- enter through lobby at northeast corner of Building 3).

The Symposium includes papers on topics that are directly or indirectly related to historic or operating New York State Canals, canals and inland waterways worldwide, and the communities through which they run.

Further information, a including a summary of the agenda and pre-registration procedures may be found at the Society’s webpage– pre-registration forms are due by February 22nd.

Canal Society is an organization of canal enthusiasts who study New York canal history, including its effect on the life and economy of the State- exchange information- promote interest in the canals in the United States and abroad- educate the public and encourage preservation of canal records, relics, structures and sites- and help restore abandoned canals and historic vessels, including replicating their structures.

Founded in Buffalo on October13, 1956, the Canal Society is a not-for-profit educational organization that enables people to visit canal sites in New York State and beyond through regular, organized field trips, to share information and ideas about preserving canal history and traditions, and to advocate for canal renewal and development.

Illustration: The first issue of the Canal Society of New York State’s journal Bottoming Out.

Replica Manned Civil War Balloon to Take Flight

In late 1861, Virginia residents were shocked to see a manned balloon rise on the horizon, directing Union Army artillery against Confederate positions. One hundred and fifty years later, a replica of the Intrepid – the first type of aerial vehicle used for combat in the United States – will take flight this summer.

Genesee Country Village & Museum (GCV&M) has begun building the world’s only Civil War manned balloon replica, with the intent of offering flights to visitors starting July 4. Rising 400 feet (32 stories) above the 700-acre museum grounds in suburban Rochester, NY, the Intrepid will carry up to four passengers at a time in addition to the pilot.

“Our launch of the Intrepid brings to life one of the most unique elements of American history in a manner never before attempted,” said Peter Arnold, chief executive officer and president of GVC&M. “As Civil War remembrances occur across the nation during its 150th anniversary, we believed there was no better time to undertake this initiative. The balloon and the planned Civil War encampment surrounding the launch site further enhance our authentic 19th century village – the third largest collection of historic buildings in America.”

Not only was the Intrepid the predecessor to modern-day military aviation, but it also foreshadowed the future of military reconnaissance communications. The pilot would send intelligence information – troop movements, artillery compensation instructions, and more – to soldiers on the ground via telegraph. Conceived by Professor Thaddeus Lowe, the resulting Union Army Balloon Corps was personally approved by President Abraham Lincoln in June 1861.

Originally fueled by hydrogen gas, the Intrepid replica takes to the air with helium. Like the original seven gas balloons used during the Civil War, the Intrepid will be tethered to land for optimal convenience and safety.

Visitors will have the opportunity to book 15-minute flights for a nominal cost in addition to their museum entry fee. More details will be released over the course of the coming months.

The Intrepid is being built by AeroBalloon of Hingham, MA, with historical guidance from GCV&M and a team of advisers including Tom Crouch, senior curator, Division of Aeronautics. National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution- Jim Green, Director, Planetary Science Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Rob Shenk, Director, Internet Strategy & Development, Civil War Trust.

The initiative’s total estimated cost of nearly $300,000 has been partially offset by a number of donations. As construction progresses, GCV&M will continue to seek additional financial support for the project.

Geneva Growth Donate $10k to Boating Museum

Geneva Growth, a local economic development agency, has donated $10,000 to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. In a lakefront ceremony at the future site of the museum, former Geneva Growth President Phil Beckley presented a check for $10,000 to Bill Oben, president of the museum Board of Directors. Also taking part in the ceremony were Vince Scalise of Geneva Growth and Ed Wightman, vice president of the museum board.

“Geneva Growth’s donation represented delivery on a promise made several months ago with the hope that our group’s early show of faith would lead to broader financial support from the community at large,” said Beckley.

Oben said the funds will be used to organize and support the multi-million dollar Preserving Our Boating Heritage campaign to outfit the Museum on the Geneva waterfront.

“We partnered with Geneva Growth in 2009 to bring the Boating Museum to Geneva, and they have provided invaluable support to the Museum during the past three years,” said Oben. “This extremely generous gift is the latest manifestation of their belief in the importance of this project for the City of Geneva.”

The Boating Museum is in partnership with the City of Geneva to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2-million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

“We have believed in the viability of the Boating Museum and its benefit to Geneva from the start,” said Beckley, “and we challenge others to join us in providing funding for the museum’s start up. This is a great achievement as Genevans join together for a waterfront attraction that will bring visitors to the city as well as enhance the lakefront experience for local people.”

Current Geneva Growth President Dave Bunnell said that the organization views its mission as supporting local economic development projects and strives to put its money to work in the community. “We brought the City and the Boating Museum together several years ago and we are now pleased to offer financial support as the project advances,” said Bunnell.

Bunnell noted that Geneva Growth also supports the Museum in another way as three of its members, Beckley, Scalise and himself, serve on the Boating Museum board.

Starting the ball rolling to raise seed money for the museum were contributions totaling $15,000 from members of the Museum’s Board of Directors. The Finger Lakes Times, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Geneva IDA all have donated in-kind contributions valued at $10,000. The Geneva Business Improvement District has also committed $10,000 predicated on the Museum first meeting a fundraising goal set by BID.

Joanne Wisor, IDA Chair, commented, “The FLBM inventory of classic, locally built vessels is in temporary storage at the Geneva Enterprise Development Center (the old American Can building on North Genesee Street) until its new quarters on the lakefront are ready. The board of the Geneva IDA, which owns the GEDC, has offered the space at no cost to the FLBM to help ensure the Museum’s successful location in the City of Geneva.&#8221

The Boating Museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Oben emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission. Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The Boating Museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the Boating Museum may be found on its website.

Photo: Phil Beckley (second from left), former president of Geneva Growth, presents a check for $10,000 to Bill Oben, president of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. Also participating were Vince Scalise (left) of Geneva Growth, and Ed Wightman, (right) vice president of the Museum. The presentation took place alongside the marker commemorating the location of the Fay & Bowen Engine Company, which built wooden boats in Geneva from 1904 to 1929.

19th Amendment Festival in Susan B. Anthony Park

The annual 19th Amendment Festival will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2011 from noon to 5 p.m., in the Susan B. Anthony Park between Madison and King streets in Rochester.

Music and entertainment in the park will be provided by the Hochstein School of Music and Dance as well as the Genesee Harmonic Society of the Genesee Country Village and Museum. Authentic nineteenth-century base ball demonstrations will be provided by Genesee Country Village’s women base ball team, in period costumes, following the rules and etiquette of the game as it was played in the 1800s.

Walking tours of the historic 19th century Historic Preservation District will also be offered. Tours of the Anthony House will be available beginning at 11 a.m. at the special admission price that day only of $5.00 for all ages. Food and craft vendors will be set up in the park.

The event is presented by the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association and the Susan B. Anthony House. Deborah Hughes, executive director of the Susan B. Anthony House, said, “We hold this event each year just before August 26, the date the 19th amendment was officially declared law by the Secretary of State after it was ratified by the required number of states. It’s a wonderful celebration of a very long campaign to win voting rights for women.” Dawn Noto, president of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association, said, “The neighbors invite everyone to come visit this incredible preservation district. See the major renovation and construction work that is taking place on West Main Street. See one of the last intact 19th-century neighborhoods in the region. See Rochester history come to life.”

For more information, visit or call 585-279-7490, ext. 10.