There's plenty going on for families Saturday at the Mabee Farm in Rotterdam Junction, and while it's hard to know where to begin, let me say this. Free ice cream!
They'll also be a petting zoo, pony rides, historic boat rides, rehabbed wild animals, various other kids activities along with food and craft vendors, and tours of the historic Mabee House, the oldest home in the Mohawk Valley.
It's called the CanalFest, and is a celebration of the long history of the Erie Canal as it flowed through Schenectady County. The event is hosted by the Schenectady County Historical Society, and is being sponsored by the Schenectady Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Stewart's and Schenectady County.
The event is free to the public and will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m. As the Schenectady County Historian, I will be there to engage with the public along with City Historian Chris Leonard. When you've seen enough birds of prey, goats and ponies, please stop by our table and say hello.
For more information contact the Mabee Farm at (518) 887-5073.
Hamilton is Coming!
"Hamilton" the musical won't be at Proctors until Aug. 13, but if you can't wait to get your Founding Father fix, then head over to the Fort Plain Museum on Wednesday, July 17 at 6 p.m. and listen to one of the nation's leading authorities on the man, Michael E. Newton.
Newton has written two books on Hamilton, the most recent being "Discovering Hamilton."
According to Newton's book, newly discovered legal testimonies from St. Croix provide new evidence and conclusions regarding Hamilton's early life.
Newton also takes another close look at Hamilton's marriage to Philip Schuyler's daughter, Elizabeth - the wedding took place at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany - and also analyzes Hamilton's role in the "Newburgh Conspiracy" at the end of the American Revolution.
Pre-registration is required. Cost is $10. For more information call the Fort Plain Museum at (518) 774-5669.
Jewell, Gillette at Auto Museum
Izetta Jewell and Dr. Elizabeth Van Rensselaer Gillette, two prominent Schenectady women from early in the 20th century, are featured in a new exhibit at the Saratoga Automobile Museum called "Wheels: Women and Independence, 1900-1920."
Jewell was a popular stage actress and suffragette who moved to Schenectady in the 1920s after marrying Union College professor Hugh Miller.
Gillette was one of the first female physicians in Schenectady and was the first woman elected to the State Assembly from upstate New York in 1920. She is also remembered as being one of the first women to drive a car.
Admission to the museum is $8.50 for adults, $6 for students, seniors and active military members, $4 for children 6-16 and free for children under 6. The museum, which has a number of other exhibits on display, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.