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NYS History Month Series At Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site announces that it will conduct the eighth annual Tuesday Talk series to recognize New York State History Month this October.  Each week a speaker will present on regional or New York State related history.  All presentations are free and open to the public. They will begin at 6:30 PM in the Enders House adjacent to the Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center, 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter. Refreshments will be provided, and donations are always appreciated.

On October 4th, Anne Clothier from the Saratoga Historical Society at Brookside Museum will present, “Medicine, Maladies, and Mortality.”  This presentation will include a display of medical instruments as Clothier discusses how illnesses influenced the lives of our ancestors.  Her focus will be toward medical technology and at home practices between 1750-1920.

Tuesday, October 11th Cassandra Castle from the Herkimer Historical Society will discuss some of that county’s history. Discover some curious facts about its people and places. Castle will cover how Herkimer County was founded, who it’s named for and some of the mysterious events that have happened in its history.  The program is designed to be a wicked good time, showing how Herkimer County is a diamond in the crown of the Mohawk Valley.

October 18th, Brad Utter, a Senior Historian and Curator at the New York State Museum will be discussing the Button Fire Engine Company. For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, New York State was a hotbed of fire engine and apparatus manufacturing. One of the main players in that industry was Lysander Button of Waterford. Starting around 1831, Lysander Button worked his way up the ladder from mechanic turned inventor to owner of the firm that would eventually take his name. Utter will present the results of his latest research on Mr. Button, his company, and the engines they made, which were said to set the “Standard of the Age.”

Rounding out the series, on Tuesday, October 25th is Caitlin Sheldon, who is an independent historian that focuses on clothing of by-gone eras. She will present, “Dress in the Gilded Age.” Learn about the fashions that inspired the HBO show, “The Gilded Age,” and watch a dressing demonstration of the many layers and pieces that make up the lady’s fashionable ensemble. Caitlin Sheldon is a public librarian by day and hobby historical costumer in any bit of spare time she has. Sheldon has been sewing historical costumes since 2014 and takes inspiration from movies and shows as well as from the historical documents she finds in her library’s archives.


New York State History Month:

October is designated as New York State History Month by the New York State Legislature with the addition of Section 57.02 to the state’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.  “The purpose of this month shall be to celebrate the history of New York State and recognize the contributions of the state and local historians.”  New York State History Month represents an opportunity for historians, cultural institutions, and the public to assert the vital importance of preserving and learning about our state’s history.

For information about this program, please call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516, email, or visit our Facebook page.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, golf courses, boat launches and recreational trails, which are visited by 78 million people annually.  For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow-on Twitter.


In celebration of the 250th anniversary of historic Tryon County, Montgomery County will host a community celebration that will feature a presentation and curatorial exhibition prepared by the County’s Department of History and Archives; bus tours of the associated historic sites; reenactors from 1st and 3rd Tryon County Militia groups; 2nd Regt. Albany County Militia; goods for sale by local artisans; and activities for kids courtesy of the Utica Children Museum’s mobile museum.

Preceding the Declaration of Independence, Tryon County was carved from Albany County in March of 1772 and was comprised of territory as far north as the St. Lawrence River, as far south as the Pennsylvania border, and as far west as the territories of the Six Nations. The county was name in honor of William Tryon, the last provincial governor of New York. It featured prominently during the Revolutionary War, including the Battle of Oriskany, which was fought on August 6, 1777, between 740 Tryon militiamen, supported by 60 allied Oneidas, and the British Army.

Montgomery County’s Tryon County 250thcelebration will also feature a chicken barbecue to benefit the Montgomery County Heritage & Genealogical Society. Additional information about Tryon County can be found HERE (opens in a new tab) .

WHO: Kelly Farquhar, Montgomery County Historian

Norm Bollen, President, Mohawk Country Association

WHERE: Old Montgomery County Courthouse

9 Park Street Fonda, NY 12068-1500

WHEN: Saturday, August 27, 2022

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

First Bus Tour Departure

11:30 a.m.

Presentation by the Montgomery County Historian

12:15 p.m.

Second Bus Tour Departure
12:30 p.m.

Third Bus Tour Departure
1:30 p.m.

Like our event on Facebook: (opens in a new tab)

Firework’s Displays in the County for the Holiday weekend and beyond!

Here is a line-up of Firework’s displays happening in the County over the Holiday Weekend and beyond.

For a full list of events happening in the county, please check our Event Calendar HERE.


Saturday, July 02, 2022

  • Amsterdam Mohawks Game, Shuttleworth Park, Crescent Ave, Amsterdam
    • After Game


Sunday, July 03, 2022

  • Amsterdam’s Independence Day Fest, Riverlink Park
    • 9:30 PM
  • 4th on the Weekend, Wiles Park, Fort Plain
    • Fireworks at dusk
  • Firecracker 50, Fonda Speedway, Fonda
    • After Race


Saturday, July 9, 2022

  • Wishfest, Riverlink Park, Amsterdam
    • At Dusk
  • After the 4th Celebration, Village of Fonda Recreation Park, Park St, Fonda
    • 9:00 PM

Great Outdoors Month Events Planned at Schoharie Crossing

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site will celebrate June as Great Outdoors Month by offering fun opportunities to enjoy the outdoor spaces at the Erie Canal site. Great Outdoors Month is a month-long celebration of responsible, healthy outdoor recreation on local, state, and federal lands and waters.

The return of Putman Porch Music on Thursdays from 6:30pm to 8:00pm will be a great way to enjoy an evening of musicians jamming Americana, Roots, Bluegrass, and Folk tunes. Kicking off on June 2nd, this series invites local musicians to come spend an evening on the historic Putman Canal Store porch to jam and enliven the vibe of the former Erie Canal stop off.  Putman’s store building is located at Yankee Hill Lock on the grounds of Schoharie Crossing, 553 Queen Anne Road.  Much like a group of canawlers that happen to be stuck waiting at the lock, a few instruments and strong voices is all that is needed to pass the time. 

Get outdoors and peddle your way on World Bicycle Day, June 3rd at 6:00pm from Yankee Hill Lock to Karen’s Ice Cream. This staff lead ride will be along the Empire State Trail, covering three miles each way.  The site encourages families to participate and enjoy a delicious ice cream cone before riding back.

On National Trails Day, Saturday, June 4th, Schoharie Crossing is collaborating with ECOS: The Environmental Clearinghouse to offer a paddle on the Schoharie and Mohawk River starting at 9am and a guided naturewalk at 1pm from the Visitor Center. Bring your canoe or kayak to the Schoharie Aqueduct Boat-launch on Dufel Rd, just off NYS Rt. 5S for a leisurely paddle to explore the nature and history of these waterways. Overall, we’ll paddle about three miles and discover some fascinating connections this spot has to places near and far. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the paddle and before the nature walk, starting from 129 Schoharie Street in Fort Hunter. We’ll traverse about a mile of the old canal towpath, were mules once pulled barges.  Now, these paths are lined with interesting plants, wildflowers, birds, and other critters we might see along the way.

Saturday, June 18th we’ll host a picnic at Empire Lock as we celebrate International Picnic Day. At 11:30am, we’ll take a short half-mile walk from our Visitor Center to Empire Lock to enjoy a Bring Your Own Picnic together.This is a great way to spend part of the day before Father’s Day! Discover some beauty among the towpath trail and historic Erie Canal features.  The site will provide a Picnic Basket Shuttle, transporting your lunch and keeping it safe from Yogi.

These events are a fun way to add miles to the Canalway Challenge, a program sponsored by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. More information on this free challenge can be found online at:

To wrap up the month, on Tuesday, June 28th at 6:30pm the Friends of Schoharie Crossing host environmental educator and author, Anita Sanchez for Puddles! “There’s nothing shallow about a puddle! Puddles are homes, bathtubs, and drinking fountains for wildlife. They also provide a key ingredient for many animal homes: mud! This hands-on program will introduce naturalists to the animals that use puddles as a habitat. We’ll meet some puddle-loving creatures, including snails, and have some close-up experience with mud.  

The grounds for the site are open all year from sunrise to sunset.  Visitor Center hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm. Group reservations available for off hours.

For information about these events or what is available at Schoharie Crossing, please call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516 or email Find and like us on Facebook. For more information about New York State Parks, visit the website at

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, golf courses, boat launches and recreational trails, which are visited by 78 million people annually.  For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.


Putman Porch Music at Yankee Hill Lock. Photo Credit: Halldor Sigurdsson

Labor Songs and Opening Day at Schoharie Crossing

The Erie Canal historic site, Schoharie Crossing will be opening their Visitor Center for the 2022 season on Sunday, May 1st at 1pm.  The site will be celebrating with a performance by Cosby Gibson and Tom Staudle, who will be offering their “Labor Union Song’s” program at 2pm outside the Visitor Center, 129 Schoharie Street, Fort Hunter.

The labor unions in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were particularly strong in solidarity and activism, and even included songs to motivate and give hope. Musicians Gibson and Staudle present a variety of these songs, as well as historic narrative about the development and progress of the Labor Union movement, which includes a passage about the historic Mohawk Valley Formula negotiation system. The program is an open-air concert that will be held near the Visitor Center lasting about 45 minutes and is family friendly. Please dress for the weather and bring lawn chairs.

Cosby Gibson and Tom Staudle are award winning songwriters and singers and live near the Adirondacks in upstate New York. As a duo, they have been performing for twelve years, and tour both regionally and nationally.

The Visitor Center will have open hours until the end of October: Wednesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm, and Sundays 1pm to 4pm. Closed Monday’s and Tuesdays. Groups or off-hour reservations are available.

For more information about these programs or the historic site, please call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516, email, or visit

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, golf courses, boat launches and recreational trails, which are visited by 78 million people annually.  For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow-on Twitter.

Behind the Scenes – Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed Presented by James Kirby Martin and Thomas Mercer

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Behind the Scenes – Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed Presented by James Kirby Martin and Thomas Mercer

Monday, April 11, 2022

7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time


Registration: This is a free Zoom Event and Registration is Required, Please Click Here (opens in a new tab)

Buy or Rent the Movie: Access to Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed, Please Click Here (opens in a new tab)

Buy the Book: To purchase a copy of James Kirby Martin’s Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered, Please Click Here (opens in a new tab)

Selections from the provocative new documentary will be shown. James Kirby Martin, executive producer of the film and author of the book upon which it is based will present the historical context and Tom Mercer producer and script writer will talk about the making of this ground breaking cinematic documentary.

Narrated by Martin Sheen and with literally a cast of thousands and dramatic special effects Revolutionary War events never before presented on film are brought to life.

James Kirby Martin – Executive Producer & Chief Historian

Martin is a nationally recognized scholar of Early American history, especially the era of the American Revolution, and he is also well known for his writings on various aspects of American military and social history. He received his B.A. degree from Hiram College (summa cum laude) and then earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He began his teaching career at Rutgers University, where he earned the rank of Professor of History and also served for a period as Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1980, he moved to the University of Houston, having accepted the assignment of serving as Department Chair of History with the mandate to foster the development of a cutting edge program fully devoted to excellence in teaching and the production of high quality scholarship.

Martin helped found the Papers of Thomas Edison project at Rutgers University and for a few years was a member of its board of advisers. He also served on the advisory board of the Papers of William Livingston project. He was the general editor of a book series on the “American Social Experience” (New York University Press) and likewise was a consulting editor for a book series entitled “Conversations with the Past” (Brandywine Press). Martin is currently serving on the advisory board of editors of the “Critical Historical Encounters” book series sponsored by Oxford University Press. He has done consulting with some of the nation’s most eminent law firms in regard to the history of various consumer products, including alcohol and tobacco, and has both appeared on and advised on television programs aired by the History Channel and American Heroes Channel. He advises on historical issues with Talon Films of New York and has become involved in the development of screen plays designed to bring major historical events and personalities to movie audiences. Martin serves as historian adviser to the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Fort Plain Museum.

Tom Mercer – Producer & Writer

Tom Mercer grew up steeped in Revolutionary War history. As a youth he enjoyed riding his bicycle around the Saratoga Battlefield — a truly magical place on the bluffs overlooking the Hudson River. Typical family outings during childhood were visits to historic sites and museums all around the region where the northern campaign of the Revolution was fought. He and his mother shared a fascination with the paradox of Benedict Arnold, hero and traitor. Indeed, a frequent topic of dinner table conversation. If there was ever any doubt, his classmates got confirmation Tom Mercer was a history geek when he gave an award winning address about the Battle of Saratoga at his High School graduation.

Mercer studied film at Ithaca College where he graduated with a dual major in History and Politics. A twenty-year career in government gave way to a second career as an independent filmmaker. He wrote and directed the feature film UNCIVIL LIBERTIES, a highly acclaimed political thriller, and several short films shown at festivals in the US and Europe.

Tom has found the long commitment to making BENEDICT ARNOLD: HERO BETRAYED with his two principle partners to be an incredibly rewarding endeavor. If this film helps give his home region and its local hero the proper respect deserved for their contribution to the founding of the nation Tom says it will have been worth the years of effort and sacrifice.

This event is made possible through an Anonymous Donor – Thank you all for your support!

The Fort Plain Museum & Historical Park is a 501(c)3 Non-profit Organization

Market on the Mohawk

The City of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Tourism, Marketing & Recreation Department is pleased to announce we will be adding another great event to our schedule for 2022.  Market on the Mohawk will be an open-air green market which will run Saturday mornings from 10am-2pm adjacent to Amsterdam’s Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook.

Come visit as vendors, shoppers, family, and friends gather at the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook located in the heart of our city to enjoy Amsterdam’s Open-Air Market.  At the Market you will find locally sourced produce, live music, and vendors who produce everything they sell. All our vendors accept cash, and many also accept debit and credit cards. If you don’t have cash, you can purchase market tokens using credit, debit, or EBT/SNAP cards at our booth


For information on becoming a vendor please contact Rob Spagnola or Michele Pawlik in the City of Amsterdam Tourism, Marketing and Recreation Department at 518-841-4328 or 518-841-4307. All vendor spaces are free of charge. Space is limited.

For complete details please visit the City of Amsterdam Market on the Mohawk Facebook event page.


Erie Canalway Hosting Winter FEBRUARY 15 Canalway Challenge

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is inviting New Yorkers to take part in a special winter fitness challenge, the FEBRUARY 15 Canalway Challenge. Participants pledge to complete 15 miles by walking, running, hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing during the month of February to earn a 15-Miler badge. Participants can choose to log miles at national, state and local parks, on the Canalway Trail, or even in their own neighborhoods. Any location within the boundaries of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (opens in a new tab)  counts.

“With the upcoming Olympic Games and a focus on physical fitness, we hope the FEBRUARY 15 Challenge will provide an incentive for people to get up, get out, and get active to achieve their own fitness goals,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “Getting out this winter is an excellent way to explore the Canalway Corridor’s seasonal beauty and start a fitness habit that can last all year.”

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “There’s a special beauty about New York’s Canals in the winter, and the FEBRUARY 15 Canalway Challenge is the perfect opportunity for New Yorkers to get outdoors and appreciate the bucolic landscapes and exceptional history of this storied waterway. I encourage New Yorkers to take on the challenge and experience firsthand the tremendous opportunities for recreation that the Canalway Trail and our state and national parks have to offer.”

Four national parks, 24 state parks, and nine New York State historic sites are within the boundaries of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The Corridor encompasses 23 counties and spans 524 miles across the full expanse of the upstate New York. It includes the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain Canals and their historic alignments.

Registration is free and open to individuals, teams, and organizations. Sign up at: (opens in a new tab) .

Nearly 200 years after its construction, the Erie Canal remains an iconic symbol of American ingenuity and determination. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor preserves our extraordinary canal heritage, promotes the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and fosters vibrant communities connected by more than 500 miles of waterway. It achieves its mission in partnership with the National Park Service, New York State agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities across the full expanse of upstate New York. (opens in a new tab)

ATTACHED: FEBRUARY 15 social media images
Have fun and stay fit this winter with the FEBRUARY 15 Challenge. Walk, run, hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski 15 miles anywhere in the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to earn your 15 Miler badge. Free. Sign up: (opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab)

Cheese Factory System Lecture offered by Schoharie Crossing

Schoharie Crossing will be hosting the first of their Third Thursday Winter Lecture series on January 20th at 7pm via the online platform WebEx.  Patrick Reynolds from the Oneida County Historical Center will discuss Jesse Williams and the Cheese Factory System.

Just North of Rome, NY, the modern cheese industry was born in 1851.  Jesse Williams was a successful farmer and cheese maker but believed by working together as cooperative dairies, farmers could maximize their profits.  This led him to start the first cheese factory in the United States, a move that revolutionized agriculture not only locally, but across the nation.

On the 100th anniversary of Jesse’s cheese factory, John H. Kraft, president of Kraft Foods, proclaimed that “pioneers like Jesse Williams… [fathered] the ideas and tools that have made America great.” This man, Kraft said, “exemplified the spirit which has made the dairy industry the largest agricultural industry in America.”

Jesse Williams died in 1864 at age 67. At that time Oneida County was making over eight million pounds of cheese per year.  Williams never patented his cheese-making inventions but gave them to the agricultural world.

Patrick Reynolds is Director of Public Programs at the Oneida County History Center.  He is a graduate of the Cooperstown Program in Museum Studies.  He has worked in museums throughout the United States including Hanford Mills Museum, Berks County Historical Society, Rome Historical Society, and The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

This program is free and open to the public.  No registration is required. A link to the WebEx can be found on the Schoharie Crossing Facebook or by contacting the site directly.  For more information about these programs, please call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516, email, or visit our Facebook page.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, golf courses, boat launches and recreational trails, which are visited by 78 million people annually.  For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter

Winter Presentations from Schoharie Crossing

The Erie Canal historic site, Schoharie Crossing will host several online programs this winter on a variety of history related topics. Presentations will be offered in two series: Lunchbox Lessons and the Third Thursday Lectures. Both series will be offered live online and most will be recorded for later viewing on YouTube.
In January, the Lunchbox Lesson will be on Tuesday the 11th at 12noon featuring site staff discussing the importance and history of broom manufacturing in the Fort Hunter area. On the Third Thursday, Patrick Reynolds from the Oneida County Historical Society will discuss Jesse Williams and the Cheese Factory System at 7pm on the 20th.
During the month of February, the Lunchbox Lesson will discuss food preservation and its impact on westward expansion at 12noon on Tuesday the 8th. Bill Merchant will discuss the D&H Canal for the Third Thursday Lecture at 7pm on the 17th.
For March, the Lunchbox Lesson will discuss Women’s Suffrage on Tuesday the 8th at 12noon. Former NYS Archives staff, Craig Smith will speak on fascinating facts within the historic canal contracts held in the state’s collection on the 17th at 7pm.
On April 21st, Derrick Pratt from the Erie Canal Museum will present on the historic Weighlock building in Syracuse. That program starts at 7pm and wraps up our Third Thursday Lecture series.
These programs are free for the public and available on the Webex meeting platform. No registration is required, and links can be found on NYS Parks website or social media. If you would like a direct link email, please contact the site. For more information about these programs, please call the Visitor Center at (518) 829-7516, email, or visit our Facebook page.