Thursday, May 11, 2017

Suffrage Rally 2017

I know it has been a while, & I apologize. I have been working on NYS Suffrage Centennial related events for over a year, & I am not slowing down now.

This past Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 1-3 PM at City Park in Glens Falls, NY, I was emcee & song leader at a Suffrage Rally reenactment, commemorating 100 years of Women's right to vote in New York State. The Glens Falls Area Suffrage Committee has been working to celebrate Warren & Washington County's involvement in the Suffrage Movement.

Suffrage Rally flyer promoting the event

Our suffrage rally was a look at the movement through historical speeches, letters, and song. Most of the presenters were representing the people who wrote, or spoke the words. Many were just folks from the community who expressed interest in reading, some do this sort of thing for a living (like me).

Greenwich Town Historian in Victorian bicycling costume

I have been researching the Suffrage Movement for many years. My specific area of focus is suffrage songs, & I have performed a number of history programs with song all over the region. 

We had a great turnout for the event. The local paper said 75 people, but that was at any given time. We estimate close to 150 people were there over the course of the two hour event! Here are just a few photos of the event.

Part of the Suffrage Rally crowd

Gertrude Foster Brown (Kim Harvish) addresses the crowd

Susan B. Anthony (Linda McKenney) listens intently 
 One of our speakers, Miss Susan B. Anthony, should be well known to locals, as she grew up in Battenville. Aunt Susan (portrayed by Linda McKenney) spoke out about Justice Hunt finding her guilty of voting without a jury of her peers (i.e. women). Judge Hunt was even there to interrupt!

Your honor, I have many things to say; for in your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that of a subject; and not only myself individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor's verdict, doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of government.
Judge Hunt —Sit down Miss Anthony. I cannot allow you to argue the question.
May it please your honor, I am but simply stating the reasons why sentence cannot, in justice, be pronounced against me. Your denial of my citizen's right to vote, is the denial of my right of consent as one of the governed, the denial of my right of representation as one of the taxed, the denial of my right to a trial by a jury of my peers as an offender against law, therefore, the denial of my sacred rights to life, liberty and property
Judge Hunt —The Court cannot allow the prisoner to go on.
I entreat the Court to remember that since the day of my arrest, this is the first time that either myself or any person of my disfranchised class has been allowed a word of defense before judge or jury.
Judge Hunt—The prisoner has been tried according to the established forms of law.

Your honor, while the Court insists that I have been tried according to the established forms of law.  I argue that those forms of law are all made by men, interpreted by men, administered by men, in favor of men, and against women.
Judge Hunt—The Court orders the prisoner to sit down. It will not allow another word.
When I was brought before your honor for trial, I hoped for a broad and liberal interpretation of the Constitution and its recent amendments, that should declare all United States citizens under its protection, equality of rights guaranteed to all persons born or naturalized in the United States. But failing to get this justice—May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. 

Suzanne Cohen brought a sign to the rally!
We also invited Glens Falls Art to come & demonstrate the process of tintypes! Using a wet process, they were able to capture images in a process popular during the Civil War, though it fell out of favor by the Edwardian era.

Tintype of Town Historian Tisha Dolton 2017

 Local Kevin McCullough read from a speech by Frederick Douglass from 1888.

From a speech by Frederick Douglass

Some of the songs were familiar enough so people could sing along with a bit of prompting!

The Glens Falls Area Suffrage Committee is planning more events throughout the year. So, like our Facebook page: & follow us on Twitter: @GFGwichSuffrage.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The following was originally published on the New York History Blog. Click the title below to go to that most fabulous blog on all things NY history! To contribute to the blog visit their Rally page. I am hoping to be at the conference!

New York Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference Planned

By Editorial Staff on August 30, 2016
Night of Terror ProtesterOn Friday, October 7, the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network will hold a Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference at the Holiday Inn in Seneca Falls/Waterloo. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women voting legally in New York.

The Conference will take place from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who is also serving as Chair of the New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission, has been invited to make the Keynote presentation.

Several special breakout sessions including:
– Promoting opportunities and locating funding sources
– How your local TPA can help drive business to your site
– How to advocate for women’s suffrage events and programs
Panel discussions about the suffrage movement from 1848 to present

Conference Outline

8 am – Registration, coffee and networking opportunities
9 – Welcome and introductions
9:10 – Welcoming Comments
Menzo Case, CEO, Generations Bank, Seneca Falls, NY
United States Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (invited)
9:30 – Keynote Address – Lt Gov & 2017 New York State Women’s Suffrage Centennial Chair Kathy Hochul (invited)
10:00 – Devin Lander, New York State Historian
Jennifer Lemak, Chief Curator of History, NYS Museum
10:30 – Sally Roesch Wagner, Executive Director Matilda Joslyn Gage Center – Reviewing the past & planning the future
11: – Are you utilizing your Tourism Promotion Agent? Panel discussion
11:50 – Margaret Fuller Update from Beacon, NY – Michael Barnett
Noon – Luncheon (included)
1 pm – Old Songs Concert Series Presentation – “The American Women’s Suffrage Movement in New York State in Song and Story”
1:45 – Breakout sessions – “Beginning Work on a Regional Suffrage Trail”
Katie Macintyre – Generations Bank
3 – Panel Discussion – “Bringing History to the Classroom and Public Programs”
Kim Harvish, Chapman Historical Museum, moderator
Susan Lewis, Women’s and Gender Studies, SUNY New Paltz
Susan Goodier, Women’s and Gender Studies, SUNY Oneonta
Ganondagan State Historic Site representative
Laurel Ullyette, Harriet Tubman Boosters
4 – Review the day for 2017 Women’s Suffrage Centennial planning
4:30 – Conference concludes

Prices are $55 for Network Members and $65 for Non-Members. Click here to sign up.

Special Pre-Conference Tour

On October 6, Auburn and Seneca Falls Historic sites, including the Tubman Home, Seward House Museum, Seneca Falls Historical Society Museum, National Women’s Hall of Fame and Women’s Rights National Historical Park will hold visits and tours. Additional information coming soon.

For questions and more information, email or call (315) 521-3985. This conference is produced by the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Susan B. Anthony Memorabilia

All historians have a focus. & many of them have a reason for that focus. My particular research focus is the Suffrage Movement, & one of the main reasons is because Susan B. Anthony lived, with her family, in Battenville here in the Town of Greenwich for a number of years.

Here is a look at some of my personal suffrage memorabilia collection, with a specific focus on Susan B. Anthony.

Post card of Susan B. Anthony's birthplace in Adams, MA

Post card of Susan B. Anthony's birthplace museum, Adams, MA

Flyer, sticker, and button from Susan B. Anthony Days, 1970

Susan B. Anthony finger puppet
The Susan B. Anthony finger puppet  can be purchased from The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild.

Susan B. Anthony Doll by Hallmark, 1979

Susan B. Anthony envelope and stamp postmarked 1936

This stamped & postmarked envelope was unopened & appear to contain something inside. Being curious, I used steam to loosen the glue & open the envelope without damaging any of the paper. This is what I found...

Found inside Susan B. Anthony envelope from 1936

I wonder what items will be created for the upcoming NY state Suffrage Centennial in 2017, or the US Suffrage Centennial in 2020! #ny4suffrage

*All items presented here are from the private collection of Patricia F. (Tisha) Dolton

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rough & Ready: Part One- Fire Extinguishers

My fascination with glass fire extinguishers goes back to my days as a site interpreter with the San Diego Historical Society (now the San Diego History Center). One of the house museums I gave tours of was the Villa Montezuma, an amazing Queen Ann Victorian built for an eccentric, Spiritualist pianist named Jesse Shepherd. In the basement kitchen, lining the counter, were a number of brightly colored "bottles" filled with clear fluid. They were fire grenade fire extinguishers.

I hadn't seen more of these beautiful glass fire extinguishers until I stepped into the Rough & Ready Firehouse Museum in Greenwich, NY during the Whipple City Festival in 2010, but I didn't have a camera with me (& I wouldn't own a smart phone for another 3 years). So, last month, I made sure I walked down to the museum during Whipple City Days to snap some pics. Gary St. Mary met my mom & I outside & walked us around the main floor talking about the various artifacts, & chatting about the locals, then & now.

Rough & Ready Firehouse Museum, Greenwich, NY

Fire grenades were invented in England in the late 1700s & became very popular in the US when Alanson Crane obtained a patent around 1870. They were used widely for the next 40 years until gradually replaced by metal canister extinguishers filled with refrigerant. The idea behind the glass fire grenade extinguisher was simple. A glass container was filled with fluid, typically carbon tetrachloride (CCI4) until it was discovered to cause respiratory problems, & was changed to less effective salt water. Thrown at the base of the fire, the fluid spilled from the broken container, & extinguished the flames.

Harden Hand Fire Extinguisher Company of Chicago, IL

Harden Hand Fire Extinguisher Company of Chicago, IL appears to be the most common of these US made extinguishers. They are typically blue in color with either a quilted diamond pattern, or a star with vertical ribs. They were generally one pint or 1 1/2 pints in volume.

The red "light bulbs" a common extinguisher from 1900-1920, & came in a six pack. These had a spring release that would cause a metal arm to break the glass when the fusible link melted in the fire. 

Fire extinguishers at the Rough & Ready in Greenwich, NY

 For more information check out the Antique Shoppe. & be careful if you have any of these glass fire extinguishers. You probably won't know if you have one filled with a potent chemical like carbon tetrachloride. So handle with care. A leak could require a HazMat Team.

This post is Part One in a series about the artifacts in the Rough & Ready Firehouse Museum in Greenwich, NY.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Linen Thread Donation

I saw some familiar faces at the Battenkill Inspired exhibit a couple of weeks ago, but I also met some new people! One such person was Nancy Hand Higby, a garden designer from Salem. Nancy told me that her great-grandfather worked at the Dunbarton Mill & she had a bit of linen twine. Would the Town be interested in having it? Of course, I said "Yes!" & here it is...

Spool of linen twine from the Dunbarton Mill, Greenwich, NY

Nancy writes, "This spool of linen thread was given to me by my grandmother, Florence Wallace Hand, whose father managed the Dunbarton Mill where the thread was made."

In looking through William T Ruddock's book Linen Threads and Broom Twines... Volume 2- The Directory, I was able to find the man in question. James Wallace was born to Hugh & Elizabeth (nee Hunter) Wallace in Loughbrickland, County Down, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) in 1859. After graduation, Wallace spent 7 years at Dunbar, McMaster & Co. in nearby Gilford. In 1888, he was promoted to General Manager of the Dunbarton Mill in Greenwich, NY & married Jennie Arnold. The couple had one daughter, Florence (Nancy's grandmother). Mr. Wallace also held important positions after leaving the Dunbraton. He was director of the Mahican Pulp & Paper Company, Consolidated Electric, & the Adirondack Trust Company. He died in 1909 due to complications after contracting ptomaine poisoning. His wife, Jennie, died in 1940. (pp.376-8)

Ruddock's 2 volume set about the Dunbarton

For more information on the Dunbarton Mill & the people involved, I highly recommend William T. Ruddock's 2 volume set, Linen Threads and Broom Twines.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Greenwich Artifacts on Display at Crandall Library

When Todd DeGarmo, Founding Director of the Folklife Center, asked me if I had an artifacts pertaining to the Batten Kill to round out his exhibition I had to step back & think. As a public historian, not a museum, or historical society, I don't collect objects. This is mainly because there is little to no place to store anything properly, but I looked around my office & found a few items.

As you can see from the images below, there was a bit of adjustment until the objects were finally set, & the labeling complete.

First stage of setting the objects for display

Adding some maps

Some of the artifacts are from Hollingsworth & Vose Co. The paper company still operates two factories along the Batten Kill in Greenwich & Easton, has made many different kinds of paper products over the years. Featured here are automotive filters, paper used at the top of drapes, and a disposable bed sheet.

The layout is taking shape with maps, images, & labels

Also included is a painted serving tray attributed to the American Tea Tray Co, linen broom twine attributed to the Dunbarton Mill, & parts from the Eddy Plow Company. (There is an Eddy Plow on display, but it is not owned by the Town of Greenwich.)

To see the completed exhibit, which includes much more than the artifacts seen here, stop by the Folklife Gallery at Crandall Library during regular library hours. Or, better yet, come to the Open Reception on Thursday, March 12, 2015 from 5-7 pm. RSVP on Facebook.

See you there!

Battenkill Inspired exhibition at the Folklife Center of Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, NY

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

1907 Diary of Malinda Reynolds: Part One

Ther.    Tues. Jan. 1, 1907    Wea. Warm
Annual dinner & meeting at Ch I worked in kitchen
Ma down to meeting
seats sold in --- --- called at ------ Teffts -----most all gone

 Ther.    Wednesday 2          Wea.cold
Mr. S Homidia sick
I called at Cronkites  & Mr Dannings Re sick
I --- to meeting --- St John ---------

 Ther.    Thursday 2            Wea.Cloudy
and rainy at Ch all day
Julia and I  Hate Coffee
I cooked an -------- quilt
send down to office in eve
First diary entries

So begins the arduous task of transposing a diary...

Town of Corinth Historian, Rachel Clothier, contacted me via my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago. She had come across the 1907 diary of one Malinda A.C. Reynolds of Greenwich, NY at a local antiques sale. She said I could borrow it for my blog.

Malinda Reynolds 1907 diary

Diary entries from October 1907

It's a small diary. Smaller than a 3"x5" card when it's closed. The writing is kind of difficult to read because it is small, the ink has started to fade, and there is some of this cross writing as seen above.

I need to do a bit more research in the Gill Room. Hopefully I will have more information in the coming weeks. In the mean time, if anyone has any info on Malinda Reynolds, please leave a comment below, email me ( or shoot me a message on Facebook.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

VOTE! Election Day is November 4, 2014

& now it's time for my annual election plea- VOTE!

2014 Voting poster from ERA Education Project

The above poster is a great example of election poster art. Designed for the ERA Education Project, it represents strong women, & the need for us to vote. & for true equality, all of us, women & men, need to exercise our right as citizens & vote!

2014 has three statewide propositions on the ballot
For the statewide propositions: click HERE.

2014 Ballot for the Town of Greenwich, NY (Washington County)
For the Town of Greenwich ballot: click HERE.

Washington County sample ballots.

Warren County sample ballots.

Saratoga County sample ballots.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Historic Preservation: Kate Mullany National Historic Site

Some of you may recall my daughter & I participating in a re-enactment of the Collar Laundry Strike of 1864 this past February. Well, on October 4, 2014 I was able to visit the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in Troy, NY with my aunt's DAR chapter.

The Kate Mullany House was declared a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 1998 and designated an affiliated unit with in the National Historic Site Congress on 2005. It is located at 350 8th St. in Troy, NY. It is the home of the American Labor Studies Center. The site is undergoing restoration and does not have regular visiting hours. For information on visiting the site, call the American Labor Studies Center at (518) 331-4474. 

 The house at 350 8th St. is under renovation. The other half of the building at 352 8th St. is in foreclosure, and the ALSC is hoping to acquire it as well. Until that time, the renovations continue, as does the fundraising. For more information on supporting the restoration project, please click HERE.

The Kate Mullany house became a National Historic Landmark in 1998

My mom on the steps of Kate Mullany's House

The back yard has been recently landscaped

Kate & her Irish parents arrived in Troy in 1853

One of the exhibit panels at Kate Mullany NHS

Another of the exhibit panels at Kate Mullany NHS

Kate was inducted National Women's Hall of Fame 2000
 Read Kate Mullany's bio at National Women's Hall of Fame website.

Staircase leading to the 3rd floor

Original floors under modern bathroom linoleum

Lathe & plaster and modern plumbing

New old windows

Renovating the ceiling

Turquoise plaster over the brick fireplace

More renovations 

Me at the top of the stairs

3rd floor plan

Me in my "Don't iron while the strike is hot!" tee

Kate Mullany's grave at St. Peter's Cemetery in Troy, NY

Leaving a token to show I was there
The house is not open for regular tours during renovation, but call the ALSC for more information about scheduling your group visit.

Also, check out the PowerPoint presentation for more information on Kate Mullany & the Collar Laundry Strike.