Friday, March 22, 2013

Cleaning out ye olde desk

It appears to be official that I am getting a new office here in the Town Office building. The roof/ceiling situation has been fixed, the hideous wallpaper removed... I have chosen a paint color- Liberty Park. That was fun.

Now on to the un-fun part. Duh, duh,duh, duh... cleaning out my office. More precisely, cleaning out my desk. (& yes, I know un-fun is not a word.)

Some random bits I discovered in the 13 drawers of my desk

Old office supplies and unused paper
I was able to consolidate the 13 drawers down the 4. I have boxed up all of the excess office supplies. But wait... I found something cool!

Books of voters in Greenwich
These "Enrolled Voters" books are very interesting. They list the name, address & political party affiliation (if any) of all registered voters in the town by district. I have books for the following years: 1935-38, 1941-45, 1947-61, 1963, 1965. Also in the drawer : Easton "Enrolled Voters" 1938, Washington County "Enrolled Voters" 1960, 1964.

Of course, I had to check. It was great seeing my grandparents & great-grandparents names in the books. No matter the party, I'm glad to see that they all were registered voters! My mother is not listed because the age limit for voting was not lowered from 21 to 18 until the states ratified the 26th Amendment & President Nixon signed it into law in July 1971.

Don't forget that my office hours are Fridays 10:00-Noon. Stop by & say "Hi."

Friday, March 15, 2013

Random Artifact Day

I have dubbed today "Random Artifact Day." This is mainly due to the fact that I had no idea what to blog about. Luckily my office is filled with really cool stuff.

C.M. Stevens clothes hanger

Like the clothes hanger. I told you it was random. As you can see from the close-up below, this clothes hanger is from C.M. Stevens, Greenwich, N.Y. The information on a sticky note I have since removed reads as follows... "1926- C.M. Stevens was a man's clothing store Later owned by Ray Dwyer Sr after Dwyer, Robert Pratt Now Karate training place 1/10/97 James F Catalfimo"

Looking in the 1966 Schuylerville-Greenwich phone book I have here in the office, I found this listing in the advertisement section...

Close-up of 1966 phone book- Pratt's Clothing Store

Pratt's Clothing Store was located at 109 Main St. & still in operation in 1966! In the 1970-1 phone book Pratt's is listed at 120 Main St & was still listed in the 1985-6 phone book. I will have to look through the binders complied by my predecessors & see if there is more information about this store. Feel free to comment here on on the Historian's Facebook page with any memories you might have!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Get out of the house & into some history

I don't know about you, but February & March can get me down. Waiting for the leaves to burst open in that pretty spring green. Willing the crocuses, snowdrops & daffodils to push their way up through the gray snow & dead leaves. Then you get days like today, snow on top of mud.

Snowfall in Greenwich March 8, 2013
So, how about you get out of the house & go visit some local museums.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

 The Hyde Collection on Warren Street in Glens Falls. It is a world class art museum right in our own backyard.

The Old Fort House Museum on Broadway in Fort Edward. They are only open by appointment during the winter & spring so get a group together & give them a call to set up a time. Executive Director & Town of Fort Edward Historian R. Paul McCarty is also presenting a program on Solomon Northup at the Courthouse Community Center in Salem on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m.

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. I think I might just take my daughter there this weekend. The student curated exhibit Crowded looks particularly interesting.

The Chapman Historical Museum in downtown Glens Falls. I love house museums. Need I say more?

The New York State Museum in Albany. They have a great Civil War exhibit on until September titled An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War. I am still fascinated by the Cohoes Mastodon & the cadence of the woman's voice telling stories in the Native American section. (Note: The museum will be closed this Saturday 3/9 for a test of their emergency system.)

The Museum of Innovation & Science in Schenectady. The Planetarium is never a disappointment, plus they have a new butterfly exhibit up only through April 6.

Historic Cherry Hill in Albany. Another amazing house museum worth a look. Their current tour focuses on their restoration project, so it is great for preservationists & DIYers. There is also a family tour.

Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater. Don't think that because it is winter & the tour road is closed that you can't visit the park. The Visitor Center is open year round, plus they have a great bookstore & an exhibit on 18th Century female artists! Also, Ranger Jennifer Morrow will be presenting a program called Foodways of 18th Century Women & Camp Followers on Sunday, March 10 from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

In honor of Women's History Month there is a new exhibit up in the War Room on the 2nd floor of the Capitol Building in Albany. Some of the women featured in the exhibit are: Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, only woman to earn a Congressional Medal of Honor, Belva Ann Lockwood, pioneering female attorney and political activist, Rose Schneiderman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers’ advocate, Kate Mullaney, founder of the Collar Laundry Union in Troy, Luisa Moreno, immigrant workers’ rights advocate, Mary McLeod Bethune, African American community rights activist. But what I am most interested in seeing is one of the artifacts on display, a sewing machine from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911.

Another event to check out this month is at the Cambridge Public Library on Thursday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. Historian Michael Russert will present For the Liberation of Ireland: Last Battle of the Civil War? regarding the  unsuccessful attempt of Irish-American veterans, both Union & Confederate, to attack Canada & gain independence for Ireland in 1866.

There are so many other museums & events going on that you are sure to find something of interest to you & your family.