Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Where is the NY State Suffrage Centennial?

WARNING: This may well be a bit of a rant, but something I believe NEEDS to be addressed. What are we doing about the upcoming Suffrage Centennial? Anyone? (I hear crickets chirping...) Bueller?

Meme I created. Isn't Inez Milholland fabulous?

So, what is NY doing to commemorate one of the single most important social history movements in our history? Chances are, nothing. If anything, it will be one of those mandates coming down from the governor's office (& I know Mr. Cuomo loves our history & wants to promote it as much as possible- Path Through History anyone?) with no real plan & no budget, leaving municipalities to foot the bill. So, it is up to private citizens, & businesses to step up & say, we want this! Social history is just as important as military history! Women's history belongs to EVERYONE!

My mother & I went to a great event in March 2013 at the Rosendale Theatre near SUNY New Paltz, where I earned my BA in History. It was a kind of play/ living history event called Brimstone, Booze, & the Ballot: Susan B. Anthony vs. Matilda Joslyn Gage & was presented by the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, & Votes for Women 2020. In the 16 months since that event, I have been expecting a bunch of similar events: events that could be seen as dress rehearsals for the NY State Suffrage Centennial. Unfortunately, I have yet to see that.

Don't get me wrong, there are sites, & organizations catering to the Suffrage Movement, but they are places that do that on a daily basis, like the previously mentioned SBA House, MJG Foundation, as well as Seneca Falls. The Women's Rights National Historical Park just wrapped up their convention commemorating the 166th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention. & I am sure there are others. (Please let me know. I would LOVE to hear about them.) But we need more. We need living social history demonstrations to be as prevalent as Revolutionary & Civil War re-enactments. We need more women & girls involved in re-enacting.

& I need to put my money where my mouth is! I am currently working on a living social history project related to the Suffrage Movement. I am also making my own 1895 bicycling costume! Me who just recently learned how to sew...

1895 Bicycle Costume- Work in Progress

“Brimstone, Booze and the Ballot; Susan B. Anthony vs. Matilda Joslyn Gage” - See more at: http://newyorkhistoryblog.org/2013/03/21/brimstone-booze-and-the-ballot-a-susan-b-anthony-vs-matilda-joslyn-gage/#sthash.PfPlnwPr.dpuf
“Brimstone, Booze and the Ballot; Susan B. Anthony vs. Matilda Joslyn Gage” - See more at: http://newyorkhistoryblog.org/2013/03/21/brimstone-booze-and-the-ballot-a-susan-b-anthony-vs-matilda-joslyn-gage/#sthash.PfPlnwPr.dpuf
What do you say? Anyone interested?


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grand Opening of Trail Commemorating Battle of Bennington

On June 7, 2014 I attended a great event hosted by the Washington County Historical Society: Grand Opening of the Road to the Battle of Bennington.

In a nutshell: As General Burgoyne was slowly making his way to from Fort Ticonderoga to his eventual defeat at the Battles of Saratoga (The Turning Point of the American Revolution), he sent Col. Friedrich Baum to Bennington (Walloomsac) to commandeer the provisions the rebels (i.e. us) had stored there. This trail contains a series of markers, starting with the new one installed at the Lock 6 rest area on US Route 4 in Fort Miller, detailing the route. *Spoiler alert* Col. Baum & his Brunswickers (or Braunschweigers. There was no Germany at this time. & the Hessians, contrary to most school social studies textbooks, never made it this far north.) were defeated by the rebel forces lead by Gen. Stark, Col. Herrick, Seth Warner, & Col. Nichols.
Baunschweigerswere defeatedIt was nice to see so many groups collaborating for a common goal.

Program for the Grand Opening

It was great to see so many organizations working together to complete this project.

Historic Hudson-Hoosic Rivers Partnership:
The Partnership’s mission is to preserve, enhance and develop the historic, agricultural, scenic, natural and recreational resources and the significant waterways within the Partnership region. Through the tradition of municipal home rule, the Partnership will foster collaborative projects with pertinent non-profit and governmental entities with an emphasis on both agricultural and open space protection, economic and tourism development, and the protection and interpretation of our natural and cultural heritage.

Lakes to Locks Passage:
Midway between Manhattan and Montreal, this inter-connected waterway shaped the destiny of the United States and Canada. By bike, foot, boat, train or car, Lakes to Locks Passage provides access to charming cities, rural landscapes and Adirondack hamlets. Through all four seasons, you can travel through numerous historic, natural, cultural and recreational experiences along the scenic waterway that links upstate New York to southern Quebec.

Kingsbury Historian Paul Loding representing His Majesty's 53rd Regiment of Foot

NYS Senator Betty Little

Janet Kennedy of Lakes to Locks Passage

Joe Craig of the Saratoga National Historical Park
Saratoga National Historical Park:
Here in the autumn of 1777, American forces met, defeated and forced a major British army to surrender.  This crucial American victory in the Battle of Saratoga renewed patriots’ hopes for independence, secured essential foreign recognition and support, and forever changed the face of the world.
William Krattinger, Trustee of the Washington County Historical Society

Senator Betty Little cuts the ribbon

The panels finally arrived

Panel #2

Panel #3

Front page of the Washington County Historical Society newsletter


If you are interested, a brewery in Troy, Browns Brewing Co., has created a limited edition beer to commemorate the Battle of Bennington: Braunschweigers Mumme Ale.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Map of Greenwich: Using History for Art

Some of you may know that I am a hand embroiderer & I design my own patterns. About 6 years ago I embroidered 2 blocks for the APHNYS quilt project. One is partially my own design, the other is the Village of Greenwich Bicentennial logo created by a local student. (When I find her name I will update this post.) I recently saw my quilt blocks at the APHNYS conference in Saratoga Spring, NY in March. The blocks are just basted together, waiting for more municipalities to submit their blocks.


Town and village of Greenwich, NY blocks in APHNYS quilt

I love redwork embroidery, so I snapped some pictures of the other redwork blocks in the quilt. There were other embroidered squares too, some hand done, & some machine, but I didn't take pictures of all the squares.

Town of Moreau, NY redwork block for APHNYS quilt

North Salem, NY redwork block for APHNYS quilt

Town of Deer park, NY redwork block for APHNYS quilt

As you can see above, many of them are maps of the towns, mine included. I decided, after I completed 2 more of my Susan B. Anthony & Chester A. Arthur map, that I would do a cartoon like map of Greenwich. So, using the history, & natural resources of the town, I got to work designing my block. This is what I came up with.

Town of Greenwich, NY by Tisha Dolton, Historian

Oddly enough, history is what got me embroidering in the 1st place.
I began embroidering in 1998 when I started a summer job at the Saratoga Battlefield in upstate NY. All of the other interpretive Rangers had skills when we were stationed at stop 2 on the tour road (the Nielson House), except me. I read for a few weeks, but I had a difficult time putting my book away when visitors arrived. Plus, my introverted nature would allow me to use the book as a crutch. I needed something else. As a kid I did long stitch needlepoint, & remembered enjoying it. Therefore, I decided crewel work & embroidery would be perfect.

What do you use your historical research for?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Carter's Pond

I apologize for being so far behind on the blog.  Today's post, in honor of our freak mid-April snowstorm, I am writing about a quick hike my daughter & I took this past weekend at Carter's Pond. We were out & about checking out cemeteries & trying to fulfill some grave stone image requests from Find-A-Grave in Salem, when I decided to take a detour off Route 29 & head up to Crater's Pond. I had the blog in mind because I haven't featured much on the eastern part of the town.

Sign says 435 acres, but DEC website says 446.5 acres

If you have never stopped at Carter's Pond, I highly recommend it. The hiking trail is an even, well-maintained path, about one mile in length, at the southern portion of the 447 acres managed by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation. It was completed in 1980. This portion is handicap accessible, & you can get a good view of the pond to the north from the "observation tower." You can get a detailed map HERE.

Looking north at Carter Pond from observation tower

Looking east from observation tower

As of 2002, Carter's Pond is also a Bird Conservation Area boasting over 100 species of birds, including geese, ducks, sparrows, pheasant, turkeys, warblers, heron, & water thrushes, just to name a few.

Waterfowl Habitat Restoration sign at Carter's Pond

One of the many birdhouses in the wetlands

We only saw a few Canada Geese at Carter's Pond

The sun was bright & warm through the leafless threes

Trail marker at Carter's Pond
It was nice that the trail markers were present & in good condition, though with the well-maintained trail, they seemed a bit redundant.

A beautiful patch of moss

Remember to leave only footprints

In my office I have a copy of the Fresh Water Wetlands Preservation map outlining & approving the management area around Carter's Pond. The maps are signed by Paul J. Elston, First Deputy Commissioner of the DEC, under Ogden Reid, Commissioner. The documents are dated January 29, 1976.


Northern portion of Crater's Pond 1976

Southern portion of Carter's Pond 1976

Close-up of scale for Carter's Pond map 1976




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kayaking in Greenwich

I am not one to generally complain about winter. It is my 3rd favorite season, after Spring & Fall, but even I am beginning to feel a bit of the cabin fever. That said, I thought I would share a post with lots of green.

Last summer, my parents, daughter & I decided we wanted to get out the kayaks &paddle around a bit. (OK, we dragged my daughter along.) Luckily we didn't have far to go. We strapped on the 2-person kayak, hopped in the truck & headed a couple of miles down the road to the Battenkill. We put in on Pulp Mill Lane in Clark's Mills (see map below). It was a lovely day.



View Larger Map


Kayaking downstream from the put-in spot along Pulp Mill Lane

Kayaking past the old railroad trestle

Railroad trestle along the riverbank on the Pulp Mill Lane side

The Easton side of the Battenkill

Turn-around spot- Just beyond is a waterfall that powers Easton H&V plant


Passing the put-in spot on Pulp Mill Lane

Another waterfall & an old H&V mill building

Warning sign- especially important this coming spring as the snow melts

There is a small island just below the warning sign.

It is a lovely, calm little spot to kayak. Just be careful. & always respect the water.

Oh, & we saw some swallowtail butterflies drinking water.




Stay tuned: Next time I have some interesting H & V artifacts to share.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Commemorating 150 Years: Kate Mullany in Troy

Did you know that there is a National Historic Site in Troy, NY? Yep, as in the National Park Service. I was not aware of it until this past Saturday.

You may recall I posted an event on the Town of Greenwich Facebook page last Friday regarding labor organizer Kate Mullany who lead the 1864 strike of collar laundry workers (women) in Troy, NY (aka the Collar City). 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of this event, lead by a teenager, which succeeded (after only 5 1/2 days) in granting the women better working conditions, higher wages, & shorter hours (the big 3).  Kate Mullany went on to become the 1st woman appointed to a National Labor Union post in 1868. The Kate Mullany House is located at 350 Eighth Street in Troy.


The event was sponsored by the Rensselaer County Historical Society. It consisted of a slide show while guests made there own strike signs. Then we marched down 2nd Street shouting like strikers. My daughter, was a bit embarrassed when I started shouting, though she didn't seem to mind the others shouting "Don't iron, while the strike is hot!" Here's a look at what you missed.

Making our strike sign for the Kate Mullany event 2014

I tweeted about our sign above.





Some guests dressed the part

Slide show of the collar industry & Kate Mullany

RCHS Director, Ilene Frank, addresses the guests

Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) in Troy, NY

Marching on 3rd St in Troy

Participating in the march on 3rd St in Troy



One of the photos I took I posted on my personal Instagram account (above).

We congregated in front of the NYS Dept. of Labor near the Farmer's Market

Educating the public about Kate Mullany

Strikers inside the winter Farmer's Market