Schoharie Crossing National Trails Day Event

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site will host a National Trails Day event and will kick off National Rivers Month tomorrow, Sunday, June 5, 2011.

At 10am, the staff and volunteers from the Schoharie Creek Center invite children aged 5 and up and their families to join them in a water quality testing program. Wade in the Schoharie Creek, grab a net, and then look under a microscope to see what is living in the water.

At noon their will be a walking tour along the towpath trail. Participants will the remains of the Original Erie Canal and the Enlarged Erie Canal including the East Guard Lock, Lock #20, the Empire Lock, Lock #30, and the Schoharie Aqueduct. Fee $3.00 for adults, $2 for senior citizens, and $1.00 for children under 16.

At 2:00 pm Joe Doolittle will present “If the Canal Could Speak: Stories from Down in the Valley” on the lawn of the Visitor Center (free).

From 1:00pm – 5:00pm, if you arrive at the Visitor Center by bike or by foot, you will receive a free gift and 10% off in the gift shop.

For the entire month of June, if you stop in at the Visitor Center prior to launching your boat, canoe, or kayak, you will receive a free gift.

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

Schoharie Crossing to Host Mohawk Archaeology Talk

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site will host a lecture entitled “The Proof is in the Ground: Previous Archaeological Excavations at Schoharie Crossing” sponsored by the Friends of Schoharie Crossing and presented by Michael Roets, the Bureau of Historic Sites Archaeologist, responsible for ensuring the preservation of Archaeological resources at the 41 Historic Site and Historic Parks managed by the New York State Office of Parks and Historic Preservation.

The talk will give an overview of the Historic Sites Bureau at Peebles Island and what they do with a focus on the Archaeology Program then move on to discuss some of the interesting findings that have been made at Schoharie Crossing including the 18th century Mohawk Iroquois Occupation in the vicinity of Enders House.

The event will be held Tuesday, May 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm at Enders House, adjacent to the Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, five miles west of Amsterdam. All are welcome to attend- the meeting and lecture are both open to the public.

For more information about this event or how to join the Friends of Schoharie Crossing, call their Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516. You can also friend them on Facebook.

Schoharie: Canals during the Civil War Exhibit

The Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center is presenting a temporary exhibit entitled “Canals during the Civil War” in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This small exhibit opens May 4th and runs through October 29. The exhibit includes photos and maps of the Erie Canal, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and Grant’s Canal near Vicksburg. The exhibit can be viewed during regular Visitor Center hours.

New York State had a profound impact on the outcome of the Civil War and the Erie Canal was the reason. The factories and companies found in canal towns like Utica, Ilion and New York City helped the war effort in many ways. The Erie Canal was used for stops on the Underground Railroad and served as a link economically, socially and politically between the Midwest and the Northern Atlantic States. The C & O Canal was in the heart of the fighting and was considered the “lifeline of the Union Army.” The Confederates repeated tried to stop navigation on the C & O Canal. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign included an attempt to build a canal in order to by-pass the city of Vicksburg and thus having an impact on the outcome of the campaign.

A traveling outreach program is also available to coincide with this exhibit. The fee for this outreach program is $30 for any adult group or $1 per student. Recommended places include but are not limited to schools, libraries, senior centers, scout troops, home schooled groups, and historical societies. To make arrangements for scheduling an outreach program, please contact Tricia Shaw at (518) 829-7516 or email [email protected].

For more information, please call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516 or visit their website at or Friend them on Facebook.

Schoharie: Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Roots

Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center at 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, five miles west of Amsterdam will be hosting a lecture entitled “Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Roots” to celebrate Women’s History Month, on Wednesday, March 16, at 7:00 pm. Noel Levee of the Johnstown Historical Society will explores Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s early years in Johnstown and how her thoughts were shaped by the people around her. The route of the Erie Canal was a hot bed for social and political change throughout the 19th century which included the Women’s Rights Movement getting started in Seneca Falls, only a stone throw away from the Erie Canal.

Fee $3.00 for adults, $2.00 seniors, $1.00 for children under age 16. Email [email protected] for more information.

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site Seeks Volunteers

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is seeking volunteers, interns and members of their Friends group to help on a regular or semi regular basis around the historic site doing a variety of different jobs. Schoharie Crossing is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the Erie Canal as one of the 19th century’s greatest commercial and engineering projects. The Visitor Center exhibit traces the history of the Erie Canal and its impact on the growth of New York State and the nation.

Volunteer opportunities may include but are not limited to: interpretation (answering patrons’ questions, giving guided tours, helping with school field trips, running the cash register in the gift shop, period clothing reenacting, helping with special events, providing refreshments), office work (typing, filing, answering phones), maintenance work (gardening, landscaping), historical work (research, curatorial work), environmental aspects (bird and animal assessments, trail maintenance) and photography. No prior work at a historic site is necessary. Training will be provided.

Brief interviews will be conducted to see what is the best fit for both parties involved, taking advantage of interests, hobbies and talents to match the historic site’s needs as much as possible.

To see how you can help, please call 829- 7516 or email [email protected] for more information.

Schoharie Creek, Mohawk River Ice Jam History

Every spring the Mohawk Valley and Schoharie Creek rise to flood level, mainly due to the snow melt and ice jams. Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 23, at 7:00 pm Schoharie Crossing State historic Site (129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter, five miles west of Amsterdam) will host John Quinlan of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who will offer a unique look at the area’s water history. Fee $3.00 for adults, $2.00 seniors, $1.00 for children under age 16. Call 829- 7516 or email [email protected] for more information.

Photo: Flooded canal lock on Mohawk River near Rotterdam Junction (January 25-26, 2010). Photo courtesy Schenectady County Emergency Management.