Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Erie Canal Museum Weekend Events


Friday, November 2:   Evening events at Erie Canal
Museum, 318 Erie Blvd., Syracuse, NY

7 pm - 7:45 pm: KEYNOTE PANEL DISCUSSION: "THE SONG WE KNOW AND LOVE". A panel discussion moderated by Steve Zeitlin about "Low Bridge Everybody Down" from a 
variety of perspectives. Panel discussants will 
include Dan Ward, George Ward, Bill Hullfish, Dave 
Ruch, Rich Bala, and Rob Snyder. 

8 pm: SHOWCASE SAMPLER CONCERT. $10. This will be a 
way to preview some of the topics, themes, etc. in thenext day: Dennis Lafontaine, Dave Ruch, Rich Bala, 
George Ward, Bill Hullfish, Chris Holder, and others.

Saturday, November 3:  Public Symposium events at Erie Canal Museum

8:30 - 9am: Coffee/tea/doughnuts

9 - 9:50 am: THROUGH A COOK'S EYES: Panel including 
Aaron Walker, Merlyn Fuller and Gretchen Sepik, with 
Intro to discussants and timekeeping by Lisa 
Overholser. Panel focuses on aspect of female canal 
cooks and that life as portrayed through song.  

10 - 11 am: RECREATING AND REVIVING: Panel with GeorgeWard, Bill Hullfish,Dave Ruch and Rich Bala, and 
moderated by Dan Ward. This panel will focus on a veryimportant source of Erie Canal songwriting-the use of
archival and do cumentary sources to re-create and 
revive period songs.

Panel including Nils Caspersson and Ted McGraw, with an Introduction to discussants and timekeeping by Lisa Overholser. This panel will focus on both the idea of
community, and instrumental/dance music along the 

12:15 - 1:00 pm: KIDS/FAMILY CONCERT. Lunchtime kids and family concert with Dave Ruch and Rich Bala.

1:15 - 2:30 pm:  THE BIRTH OF A SONG: Panel including George Ward, Rick Heenan, Dave Ruch and Dennis Lafontaine, and moderated by George Ward. This panel will 
center around a discussion of various types of 
songwriting and sources of inspiration

2:45 - 3:15 pm: "LIVE STEAM VOICES", A LEGENDARY TRIBUTE TO THE EMPIRE STATE IN MUSIC AND STEAM: George Ward will discuss the musical flotilla that travelled the Hudson River and Erie Canal in 1988 and the stops theymade along the way, including performances of a 
musical suite composed just for the occasion. He will have some video clips and audio, and will discuss some
of the interviews he's conducted in doing his researchabout this event.

3:30- 4:15 pm: MINSTRELSY ON THE CANAL: Panel 
including Jim Kimball, Rich Bala and Rob Snyder, and moderated by Jim Kimball. This panel will focus on the canal as an important conduit of the spread of 
minstrel shows and songs, which in turn led to a 
distinctively American form of music

4:30 - 5:15 pm: THE MUSIC OF PLACE:  Panel with Pamela Vittorio and Rick Heenan, and moderated by Dan Ward. These presentations will focus on present-day canal 
communities and how the idea of "place" is conveyed
through musical activities


BAND, "AN IMMIGRANT'S JOURNEY". $10. This performance will cap off the entire celebration, and takes a 
listener from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the 
Great Lakes. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Continued from September 23, 2012

At the time Reverend William Bostwick was planting his first grape vines in Hammondsport, New York, in 1829, another crop was being nurtured forty-some miles to the north by a genuine farmer. Martin Harris had been helping a young former neighbor over the past year, down in Pennsylvania, translating gold tablets that Joseph Smith claimed to have received from an angel at Hill Cumorah, near Palmyra.

Prosperous and learned, Martin Harris had been a backer both of the Erie Canal and of the Greeks in their battle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. Described by those who knew him as, "an industrious, hard-working farmer, shrewd in his business calculations, frugal in his habits", Harris had recently swung his considerable intellectual telescope around to the affairs of Joseph Smith. When Smith decided to leave New York because of the hostility of most of his god-fearing neighbors, it was Harris who loaned him the $50 to pay off his debts and move south. Mrs. Harris did not share her husband's beliefs in this claimed new religion called Mormonism. When her husband returned from visiting Smith with a number of translated pages and they subsequently disappeared, she became historians' favorite suspect, justifiably or not.

All the same, the pages had to be re-translated. With that done, practical business needs took over. Books without readers serve only to keep their authors off the street (or, in this case, farm). As 1829 opened, money was needed to spread the word and it was here that Harris stepped in once again.  In April he mortgaged his farm to Palmyra printer Egbert B. Grandin for $3000, in exchange for the printing of Joseph Smith's book. We can be sure Mrs. Harris was not amused.

While Grandin began setting up his frames of hard type in Wayne County a 28-year-old farm-hand/carpenter living in Canandaigua moved to the next-door county of Monroe. It would be another three years however before Joseph Smith would meet Brigham Young.

As Monroe County gained one good-sized intellect it lost another. Almanacs had been around since the time of the ancients but had begun proliferating in the region in the decade now coming to a close. Those real-life dukes of omnium and gatherum, the almanac publishers, even had their own self-bestowed title - philomaths - or loosely translated - brothers in astrology. In Bushnell's Basin, along the Erie Canal to the southeast of Rochester, Oliver Loud died on the first of November. Born in Massachusetts he'd moved to Egypt, New York, between Rochester and Palmyra, in 1812 and opened an inn there about the time hostilities were breaking out with England. For the next dozen years, as he ran his busy log way station here in the business and law court center for the Town of Perinton, he spent all of his spare time compiling, studying and categorizing the latest astronomical data. He combined forces  with a kindred spirit, Bushnell's Basin postmaster Lyman Wilmarth, and the two adjusted their calculations for local conditions, then sought out Rochester printer Everard Peck to publish their findings in 1822, as first the Western Agricultural Almanaks, then the Western Almanak. Other almanac printers substituted Loud's calculations for those of their original sources and by 1829 Loud was the premiere philomath in upstate New York. Then, at the age of 49, apparently of natural causes, Oliver Loud was off to do some real-time astronomical field work.

©    2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


The Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable presents David 

Parish on: "A Patriotic Tradition, The Wadsworth Women and

Children" on Wednesday, Ocober 17, 7:30pm. The meeting

will take place at the LeRoy United Methodist Church, (please

use side door) located at 10 Trigon Park, LeRoy. Discussion

period will follow. New members are welcome! David will be

discussing the Letchworth Family.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Greece Historical Society Presents

Mr. Lincoln’s Army: Our Documentary Heritage by Preston E. Pierce, Ed D 
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 Greece Town Hall, One Vince Tofany Blvd. 7:00 p.m.

            This program examines the process by which the Union military force was built. Information about "Mr. Lincoln's Army," as Bruce Catton once called it, is presented from government and private documents, artifacts, newspapers, and books garnered mostly from local museums and archives. Reading lists, notes on the Civil War draft, and other resources will be given to those attending.

            Dr. Preston Pierce, the Regional Archivist at Rochester Regional Library Council, was a Social Studies teacher for 30 years, the Ontario County Historian for 29 years and an adjunct lecturer in history at the Finger Lakes Community College, and spent 2 years of his Army career as a Research and Analysis Officer for the Center of Military History, US Army.

            Public Welcome, Reservations are not necessary. Greece Historical Society members Free. A $2.00donation is appreciated from others.  For more information call 585-225-7221, visithttp://www.greecehistoricalsociety.net  or find the Greece Historical Society on Facebook