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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Albany Rural Cemetery - History In Photos: The Presidential Grave

I apologize for the re-blog... I am reading People of Albany: During Albany's Second 200 Years (1800s & 1900s), Albany Rural Cemetery by Peter J. Hess & got to thinking about all of the people buried there. I really need to go visit this cemetery in Menands. Click on the 1st link to see the images that go along with this re-blog from Albany Rural Cemetery - History In Photos blog by Paula Lemire. The 2nd link takes you to the All Over Albany blog with a post by James Greene, Jr. Both posts are from Oct. 17, 2012. 

Albany Rural Cemetery - History In Photos: The Presidential Grave: One of my favorite local sites, All Over Albany, has an article today on what is easily the most famous grave at the Albany Rural Cemetery...

Gravespotting Chester A. Arthur.
The monument marking the resting place of President Arthur was the work of Baltimore sculptor Ephraim Keyser.  Reportedly, the elegant bronze angel and black stone sarcophagus cost $10,000.  The funds were raised by a group of the late President's friends.  It was erected in the Arthur family lot on the South Ridge in 1889, some three years after Arthur's death.

The white marble markers seen behind the monument in the antique photo below belong to members of the Arthur family, including Chester Arther's parents.  His wife's delicate Gothic sarcophagus is hidden by the larger Presidential monument in this photo, but is located just to the rear of it and it will be the subject of an upcoming post here.

In his 1893 history of the Albany Rural Cemetery, Henry P. Phelps wrote about the Arthur gravesite:

We turn now towards one of the most interesting and artistic monuments in the Cemetery, erected to the memory of Chester Alan Arthur, twenty-first president of the United States, born October 5, 1830, died November 18, 1886.  The lot is not a large one, nor is it conspicuous.  It was purchased by the president's father, Rev. William Arthur, and there he and the president's mother, wife, and son are buried.  It was right and best, of course, that Mr. Arthur should sleep among his kindred and his grave was made there before any testimonial was projected.  This is the free, cheerful, almost unasked for contribution of his friends, resident largely in the state of New York.  With few words, with little publicity, and no solicitation, a handsome sum of money was promptly raised, sufficient to pay for the monument and also for a statue in New York City.  The whole proceeding was conducted in the generous, gentlemanly way so much in accordance with the life and manner of the man whom it was sought thus to honor.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Photo Essay: Part 3- On Our Way to the Lake

As time slides along its inexorable path, we humans do not realize the history we may witness, and which we fail to record. The events of today are the history of tomorrow but we do not recognize it until much later.
Thus begins the preface to a very good book called The Champlain Canal: Mules to Tugboats by Captain Fred G. Godfrey. I bought this book at the history fair last fall. The statement is very true from my point of view. I hope this blog, keeping my diary, & introducing you & my daughter to local history are ways of documenting that history that night be lost

 The finale of our Champlain Barge Canal excursion happened in late October. Luckily the weather cooperated on all those Mondays.

Sediment dredged from the Hudson River is placed in these vessels^

The image above is slightly north of Lock 7 in Fort Edward, NY. This is where the Champlain Barge Canal leaves the Hudson River entirely behind on its path to Lake Champlain.

Historic marker at the aqueduct in Fort Edward, NY

The aqueduct in Fort Edward, just north of the Old Fort House, on the opposite side of US Route 4 is really beautiful, even if dilapidated. Further north there is an apartment building that used to house mules for changing out.

Part of the old aqueduct & junction locks in Fort Edward, NY

Panoramic view of lock 8 on the Champlain Barge Canal in Fort Edward*

Fiona took these shots with a panoramic feature on her iPod. She wanted to use them in her photo essay, but we couldn't get a decent print copy.

Panoramic view of Lock 9 on the Champlain Barge Canal in Smith's Basin*

Canal park- Old locks in Fort Ann, NY

The doors of the lock at Lock 10 in Comstock*

Lock 10 is located in Comstock, NY. In the photograph below you can see the red barn and other buildings of the Washington Correctional Facility compound. My father, Iliff W. Dolton, Jr. worked at this NY State medium-security prison for over 20 years.

Washington Correctional Facility as seen from Lock 10*

Lock 12 of the Champlain Barge Canal is in Whitehall, NY & is at the base of Lake Champlain. During the summer months it can be quite busy, but it was pretty quiet with the spent fall foliage. (Did you notice? There is no Lock 11. It was deemed unnecessary & never built.)

NY State & NY Canal Corporation flags fly over Lock 12

Sign for safety at Champlain Barge Canal Lock 12 in Whitehall, NY

By the time we hit the last lock in Whitehall, NY we were a bit silly. Well, I guess we tend to be a bit silly most of the time, especially when we are traveling, & singing in the car.

Fiona caught me acting goofy at Lock 12*

Fiona took a selfie at Lock 12*

Thank you for coming on Fiona & I on our adventure. I hope you plan one soon!

* These photographs were taken by Fiona A. Dolton-Coons on her iPod 5 in October 2013. None of these were used in her final photo essay for JAC.

^This photograph was taken Fiona A. Dolton-Coons on her iPod 5 in October 2013. It was used in her final photo essay for JAC.

*** UPDATE: On March 1, 2014, Fiona was awarded First Place in the Junior American Citizens Photo Essay "Honoring Our Heritage" by the NY State DAR. ***