Thursday, March 30, 2017

Some Local Media Was Reluctant to Support Women’s Rights

North Country newspapers, the only media during the 1800s, were slow to come around and at times downright resistant to women’s rights. Their job was to report the news, but in order to maintain readership, they also had to cater to their customers — like the old adage says, “give ’em what they want.”  That atmosphere made it difficult for new and progressive ideas, like women’s rights, to make headway.

The push for women’s rights exposed many inequities early on, but it was difficult to establish a foothold among other important stories of the day. The powerful anti-slavery movement of the 1800s presented an opportunity, for although women and slaves were at opposite ends of the spectrum in the popular imagination — women on a pedestal and slaves treated terribly — they sought many of te same goals: freedom to speak out on their own behalf, the right to vote, and equal pay for equal work. Women passionate about those subjects joined anti-slavery organizations to seek freedom and equal rights for all, regardless of race or sex. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Sandra Weber: Lessons from Suffrage Movement

For decades, history books have fed us the simplistic notion that women struggled for the vote while men opposed them. Hogwash! Some women opposed suffrage and some men supported it. The issue was a battle about the sexes; the battle itself was fought by women and men against other women and men.

The North Country region resembled most of upstate New York in the 1800s, rural and a hotbed for reform movements: abolition, prohibition, forest preservation, women’s rights. Of course, there was also opposition to some of these changes. The major reason for resistance to women’s rights had to do with long-held conventional notions about the roles of men and women, the roles of blacks and whites, and the interpretation of the Bible. In general, these views supported a white patriarchy and contested any threat to the perpetuation of its authority. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lake George and the Invention of the Auto-Boat

The Winnish, owned by LeGrand Cramer, one of Lake George’s first Auto-BoatsThe fusion of automobile and boat reached its apotheosis in 1959, when Chris Craft released its Silver Arrow in the same shade of metallic blue that Chevrolet applied to its Corvette and added a flared fin copied from a Buick.

That’s what boat builder Everett Smith told an audience last summer when discussing the evolution of the Auto-boat at the Tumblehome Boatshop in Warrensburg, which hosts evening talks about boats and boating throughout the year. » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 24, 2017

1757 Attack on Fort William Henry Event Saturday

living history eventFort Ticonderoga will hold a one-day living history event on Saturday, March 25th. Attendees will witness how French soldiers, Canadians, and Native warriors prepared for an attack on Fort William Henry on March 16, 1757.

Programs include tours, living history demonstrations, historic trades, weapons demonstrations, and fife and drum corps performances throughout the day. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Origin and Impact of the Adirondack Northway

i87When my parents came to the Adirondacks in 1956, they believed they were moving to a place far removed – culturally and politically as well as geographically – from the cities in which they had worked as left-wing journalists.

Beyond the Adirondacks lay “the big world,” as our neighbor Peggy Hamilton called it. (It was a world she was familiar with, having been the companion of Vida Mulholland and, like Vida and her more famous sister Inez, an early advocate of women’s rights.) » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tugboat Shipwreck to Become Underwater Historic Preserve

Steam tug U.S. La ValleeThe 1880 tugboat U.S. La Vallee shipwreck in Lake Champlain will become a Underwater Historic Preserve and will open for divers this summer, thanks to a 2017 Corridor of Commerce Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) plans to use the grant funds to establish the infrastructure that makes it possible for divers to safely visit the wreck site, as well as providing public interpretation of the wreck. The U.S. La Vallee is an example of the small, steam-powered commercial tugs that operated along the east coast and inland waterways of the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Spruce Beer: An Old Adirondack Favorite

In keeping with last week’s spruce theme — Sprucelets: An Original Adirondack Medicine — is a look at one of the most common drinks in early Adirondack history: spruce beer. Like the aforementioned Sprucelets, it was believed to be of medicinal value due in part to its vitamin C content. Several evergreens share those same properties, and their use dates back centuries.

In one of the earliest mentions of evergreens used as a health aid in North America, there remains disagreement as to which tree along the St. Lawrence River (at today’s Quebec City) was used by Jacques Cartier in 1536 to cure scurvy. His voyage journal says that after learning nearby natives were quite ill with an unknown disease, Cartier quarantined his men on their ships, which were frozen in the ice.

As he noted, the precaution didn’t work. “Not withstanding these defences, the disease begun inside our group, in an unknown manner, as some of us were getting weak, their legs were becoming big and swollen, the nerves as black as coal. The sailors were dotted with drops of blood, and then the disease went to their hips, thighs, shoulders, arms and neck. Their mouths were so infected and rotten that all the flesh fell to the level of the roots of the teeth which had fallen out.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

‘Votes for Women’ Exhibit Opening Ticonderoga Historical Season

inez milhollandThe Ticonderoga Historical Society will unveil ‘Votes for Women,’ the first of three new exhibits being installed at the Hancock House on Friday, March 31 at 7 pm. Historical Society Programs Assistant and former Essex County Historian Diane O’Connor will present the opening talk, which is free and open to the public.

Votes for Women looks at the fight for women’s suffrage in New York State, where women won the right to vote in 1917, more than two years before the national amendment to the Constitution was ratified. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Underground Railroad’s Lake Champlain Route

The Lake Champlain Basin Program will host Don Papson, co-founder of the North Star Underground Railroad Museum, as he presents “The Champlain Line of the Underground Railroad” on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the LCBP office in Grand Isle.

Papson, a historian and author from the Adirondack North Country, will discuss the history of the Underground Railroad along Lake Champlain’s western shore. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Architecture of French Ticonderoga 1755-1759

french vernacular architecture at fort tiFort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” continues on Sunday, March 12th, at 2 pm with “Basse Ville: Vernacular Architecture of the Lower Town at Carillon,” presented by Assistant Director of Interpretation, Nicholas Spadone.

This Fort Fever presentation will examine the vernacular architecture of Ticonderoga’s temporary structures and shed light on how the peninsula appeared from 1755-1759. “Today, the impressive stone fort protrudes on the peninsula prominently,” said Nicholas Spadone, Assistant Director of Interpretation.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Great New York Shipwrecks Exhibit in Plattsburgh

the wreck of champlain iiiThe City of Plattsburgh, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and New York Sea Grant are presenting the Great Shipwrecks of NY’s ‘Great’ Lakes Traveling Exhibit at City Hall in Plattsburgh, through April 28, 2017. Admission to the exhibit in the second-floor atrium, adjacent to the auditorium, is free Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.

The Great Shipwrecks exhibit features shipwrecks spanning more than 200 years across New York State, highlighting details about the historic underwater wrecks and landscapes in Lake Champlain, Lake George, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, and the St. Lawrence River. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

North Country History Day March 4th

A student from St. Mary’s School talks with judges about her project at last year’s North Country History DaySixty students from across the North Country will compete in the regional New York State History Day contest held in the Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday, March 4th. Students placing first and second in their categories will advance to the New York State History Day Contest in Cooperstown on April 24th. This year, the presenters are from Clinton, Essex, St. Lawrence, and Warren counties.

Participants research history topics of their choice related to an annual theme and create exhibits, documentaries, performances, research papers, and website designs to present to a panel of judges. This year’s theme is ‘Taking a Stand in History.’ » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 24, 2017

St Lawrence County World War One Centennial Exhibit

To mark the centennial of World War One the Historical Association in Canton is seeking to recognize St. Lawrence County contributions to the war effort as well as the war’s impact on local families.

In honor of the centennial of the United States’ entry into WWI in 1917, the Association has opened a new exhibition, “Come On!: Posters and Portraits of World War I.”

The exhibit shows posters for war bonds alongside photographic portraits of local soldiers. Most of the photos are unidentified, and the museum welcomes visitors who recognize a friend or family member to help identify them. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Crown Point’s Overlooked Role in Freeing Boston, 1776

A few weeks ago in this space appeared the story of Gershom Beach’s remarkable 24-hour recruiting hike in Vermont, rounding up Green Mountain Boys to join their leader, Ethan Allen, in capturing Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain. In the end, their combined efforts played a critical role in George Washington’s American troops driving the British from Boston, for the armaments he used came from Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Men serving under Colonel Henry Knox completed the delivery, carrying them south to Albany and east to Boston.

Typically shortchanged in that famous story is the fort at Crown Point, which was captured two days after Ticonderoga fell. Seth Warner, a name very familiar to historians in connection with other military campaigns, commanded the troops that executed the takeover, which met with little resistance. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Louis Seymour: French Louie Talk In Utica Saturday

1900s postcardOn Saturday, February 25 at 1 pm, Regional historian Peter Hemmerich will offer an informative perspective on Louis “French Louie” Seymour at the Oneida County History Center.

Hemmerich will discuss Seymour’s life and travels, touching upon his journeys into Oneida County and the Mohawk Valley. » Continue Reading.