Three events benefiting the Wilmington Historical Society have been set for June 16th. Events include the annual Whiskey Run, a Wilmington Whiteface Heritage Celebration, and a Speakeasy Soiree at Pourman’s Tap House.
Many of the activities of the Heritage Celebration focus on the area’s historically recurrent theme of whiskey. In its early days, the part of Jay that is now Wilmington was said to have had the reputation for providing daily rations of good rye whiskey to American troops at the Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812. About 100 years later, being a small, quiet Northern village close to the Canadian border, Wilmington became a safe haven for bootleggers and rum runners transporting illicit spirits across the border during Prohibition. Today, Wilmington is home to the whiskey barrel cooperage US Barrel.
The day will start off at 9:30 am with the annual 10k Whiskey Run, following roads used by bootleggers during Prohibition. For more information or to register for the Whiskey Run, click here.
The Wilmington Whiteface Heritage Celebration from 11 am to 5 pm at Restival Field, located at 2 Cunningham Lane (just off Springfield Road) in Wilmington.
The Battle of Plattsburgh re-enactors and encampment, including demonstrations, marches, and musket and cannon fire will provide much of the activity for the day. Music, food, heritage crafters and artisans offering unique products for sale, traditional folk art demonstrations, displays, and craft whiskey and beer tastings will be held at Wilmington’s Festival Field. Food will be provided by Papa Duke’s Barbeque and Green Goddess Foods.
At 12:30 pm the re-enactors will lead a procession from Festival Field to the Pleasant View Cemetery for a special memorial ceremony at the graveside of Corporal Stephen Partridge, one of the first heroes of the Battle of Plattsburgh. Author Colonel David Fitz-Enz will be on hand to sign books, four of which relate to the War of 1812.
Local popular fiddler Don Perkins will be performing from 1 to 3 pm. Distillers that will be on hand to offer tastings and an opportunity to purchase their products include Gristmill Distillers of Keene, Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery of Queensbury, Murray’s Fools of Altona, Mountain Spirit Distilling of Plattsburgh, Albany Distilling of Albany. Blue Line Brewery of Saranac Lake and Valcour Brewery of Plattsburgh will offer tastings and sales of their craft brews.
Artisans and Crafters will provide a unique shopping experience with their handcrafted items for sale ranging from rustic furniture to crocheted and knitted items to deer antler art. Visitors will be able to see how barrels are made, watch a blacksmith at his craft, learn about fly-tying, view 19th century quilting, and see how to make Adirondack pack baskets and porcupine jewelry. Bucksberry Farm will be on hand to sell early greens and vegetables.
Other special foods such as honey and maple syrup will be for sale. Attendees will be able to participate in raffles and purchase a commemorative beer glass with a coupon inside for a free beer at Pourman’s Tap House (limit 100).
The day will end with a Speakeasy Soiree at Pourman’s Tap House from 8 to 11 pm.
For more information on the Wilmington Historical Society, visit their website.