Schenectady County Erie Canal History Events Set

New York State is celebrating the bicentennial of the Erie Canal’s creation this year with a campaign to “Reimagine the Canal.”

A series of conversations focused on economic and environmental sustainability of the historical Mohawk river towns will be held in Schenectady County beginning March 8th.

These events will kick-off with a presentation by some of the region’s leading experts on the Erie Canal, followed by dialogue on how re-imagining the canal and river can help community revitalization and sustainability in the region.

Thurs., March 8, 7 pm, The first speaker will be David Brooks, education director at the Schoharie Crossing Visitors Center. Brooks’s talk “Through the Mire” looks at the environmental factors and impact of constructing the canal. Location: ECOS Headquarters, Niskayuna Community Center, 2682 Aqueduct Rd. The ECOS annual all-member meeting will be held at 5:30 pm to discuss 2018-19 priorities and elect new board members (membership required to vote, but all are welcome).

Wed., March 21, 6 pm, there will be a presentation by Brad Utter, the senior historian and curator for science and technology at the New York State Museum in Albany who curated the museum’s current exhibit, “Enterprising Waters:New York’s Erie Canal.” He will talk about the exhibit and how he put it together, as well as his favorite stories about the canal and those who conceived and built it. Location: McChesney Room, Schenectady County Public Library, 99 Clinton St., Schenectady.

Tues., April 24, 7 pm, Jack Kelly of Ulster County, author of the book Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold and Murder on the Erie Canal (St. Martin’s Press) will speak. Kelly is a journalist, novelist and historian whose book, according to a New York Times review, “engagingly juxtaposes the challenges confronting the dreamers who envisioned a link between the Atlantic, the Great Lakes and the apocalyptic cauldron brewing upstate…. [as] Mormons and Freemasons, joined with Welsh and Irish laborers recruited from Manhattan’s Five Points, carved the canal from rock and mud, thrusting them into a volatile existence.” Location: Schenectady Community College, 78 Washington Ave, Schenectady.

RSVP is encouraged, but not required for the March events. Tickets for the April 24 event will be available for sale on ECOS’ website in April.

These events are part of the Discover the Mohawk initiative sponsored by the City of Schenectady, Schenectady County Metroplex Authority, and LandArt Studio, the Environmental Clearinghouse.

This post originated from the NY History Blog





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