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This Weekend: Old Stone Fort 125th Anniversary History Fair

Written By Editor on 10/10/14 | 10/10/14

The Schoharie County Historical Society’s 125thAnniversary History Fair celebrates history enthusiasts of all time periods and interest areas.  On October 11th and 12, at the Old Stone Fort Museum visitors can interact with historians from Roman times to the 1960s.  Not just living history military re-enactors, but also musicians, textile artists, restorers, authors and collectors covering more than three centuries.  Kids – admitted free – will also enjoy trying out colonial toys and games. 

The highlight of the History Fair weekend is a spectacular outdoor concert, “From Big Bang to Big Band: 125 Years of Music.”  Beginning at 5pm Friday Skip Parsons’ Riverboat Jazz Band will play popular tunes from the early 20th century.  Then the Schoharie Valley Concert Band will play Tchaikovsky’s “1812" Overture in quite possibly the world’s first performance to feature cannons from three centuries (Revolutionary War, Civil War WWII and Korean War), plus historic bells ringing at the finale.  As if that isn’t enough, the concert continues with big band music for dancing by the Burnt Hills Melody Makers.  This free four-hour concert event is made possible in part with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York Council on the Arts, administered through the Community Arts Grants Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts.

Concert-goers are encouraged to arrive early to catch shuttle buses from parking lots and bring lawn seating.  All parking on Saturday is off site in nearby village lots, with continuous shuttle buses running to the Fort.

All weekend long, craftsmen and living historians will talk with visitors demonstrate skills from the past.  J.R. Winslow will demonstrate Roman horseback riding.  The military timeline includes the colonial 3rd Tryon County Militia, Civil War soldiers, sailors and Zouaves, Irish Fenian Raiders, World War I doughboys, World War II G.I.s, and restored military vehicles and tanks from World War II to Viet Nam. Other presentations include an Iroquois warrior and a colonial doctor.  

The Golden Fleece Spinners and Weavers will demonstrate textile arts and natural dying.  Pioneer engines from the “Gas Up” event will be chugging and puffing as they pump water and press cider.  Barry Keegan will demonstrate the art of knapping flint to make stone tools, and Tinker Cross will discuss “1778, Inside and Out.”  Displays by local historical societies, museums and authors will round out the weekend’s offerings.

On Saturday, Cliff Oliver will speak as Solomon Northup, the nineteenth century author of Twelve Years a Slave(recently made into a movie), and there will be two performances of  “Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier, 1776-1976” a wartime music tribute by the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers.

Sunday features traditional brass band music by the Chatham Cornet Band performing on antique instruments, and 18th century popular music by Rural Felicity.

Major underwriters of the Stone Fort History Fair are the New York Council for the Humanities, the Schoharie County Occupancy Tax Board; the Donna M. Lavigne Agency and Fenimore Asset Management.  Other sponsors include the Bank of Richmondville, Ralph and Irmgard Buess, Kintz Plastics, Lavelle & Finn, LLP; Little Italy and Schoharie Valley Wine & Liquor, MDRM Industries, NBT Bank, Price Chopper, Sterling Insurance, and Stewart’s Shops.

See our website or our Facebook page for more details.
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