The Town of Johnsburg is connecting its history through storytelling and activities for the third year. The annual Johnsburg History Weekend blends together a grave yard tour, live music, lectures, and children’s activities to make history come alive.
“There is so much history in the North Creek area,” says North Creek Railway Preservation Society President Ellen Schaeffer. ”We approached the town three years ago to make the third weekend in September be The Town of Johnsburg History weekend. So much of our history was being forgotten.”
Schaeffer explains how 25 years ago a group of concerned citizens saw the deterioration of the North Creek train depot. The platform and depot where Teddy Roosevelt learned about President McKinley’s death and his own presidential succession on September 14, 1901 was becoming just another forgotten piece of history.
“Money was raised to buy the train station and start the museum. The North Creek Train Depot Museum is historically significant,” adds Schaeffer. “ There are also other aspects of our history that we want to commemorate. Our History Days weekend is an opportunity to learn history while having fun.”
The September 14-16 event ties together the current displays from the North Creek Train Depot Museum including Roosevelt’s midnight ride, the beginning of the Snow Trains, and the development of Gore Mountain. Some activities include a cemetery walk with skits highlighting six prominent North Creek citizens as well as a North Creek Ski Bowl “field day.”
“Volunteers in costume will be on hand at the various Ski Bowl activities,” say Schaeffer. “We have great children’s games like mining for garnets with someone available to talk about the area mining industry. We’ll have games that were being played before electronic games. There is a photo booth and old fashioned costumes for a quick selfie. Even the Touch-A-Truck ties into our history.”
The Town of Johnsburg is putting a twist on the traditional Touch-A-Truck by bringing together an older and new version of the same equipment. For example, the first Snowcat 1 will be on site as well as one of Gore Mountain newest machines allowing participants to see how these machines have changed over time.
“We have local spinners and weavers here to portray the historical cottage industries as well as other vendors, live music, and food, “ says Schaeffer. “People can meet various authors or take a courtesy ride up the Hudson River Chairlift. We are really excited about this. We have a lot of enthusiasm to showcase all we have to offer. It will be a fun time for all.”
Photo of North Creek Depot Museum provided.