History will come alive in Boonville during the 5th Annual Oneida County History Day on October 1. The Boonville Historical Club is planning activities for the whole family. Originated in 2007 by the Oneida County Historians Association to call attention to the county’s rich history, this year’s History Day observance will coincide with Boonville’s Annual Fall Arts Festival, so there will be plenty of fun for everyone! And don’t forget your walking shoes!
The historic Masonic Temple, next to the Dodge-Pratt-Northam Art and Community Center, 106 Schuyler Street, will be the focal point for the History Day events. From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. the Boonville Historical Club, as well as several Oneida County historical societies, will be on hand with exhibits of interesting information about their areas.
Tammy DePaola will be demonstrating carding, spinning, and weaving with a table loom – which shows the process from beginning to end! The Boonville Historical Club will also display the wall covering that members recently completed.
From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., there is a Kids Corner coloring contest for two age groups; up to 7 years, and from 8-12 years old. Kids can win a prize for coloring either a canal scene or a Civil War figure.
Boonville Town and Village Historian, James Pitcher, will be available from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. to answer any questions about local history.
An exciting feature for everyone is the Civil War reenactment unit, which will be camping nearby. Members of the 76thNew York State Volunteer Infantry look forward to visitors, and the soldiers will be happy to answer questions and explain their activities.
The 76th NYSVI Re-enactors Unit as they appeared at the June 3, 2006 dedication of the historical marker in Erwin Park honoring Boonville's 97th NYSVI.
Included in the History Day events are walking tours to view the historic architecture in the village. Maps are available for self-guided tours throughout the day. If you’re not brave enough to venture out on your own, a guided tour will depart from the Masonic Temple at 11:30 a.m. Another fun family activity is the Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt.
Maps will be available beginning at 11 a.m., and at 2 p.m. a winning name will be drawn from the correct entries. The lucky winner will receive a gift certificate for the Historic Hulbert House.
Local author Irene Uttendorfsky will be promoting her newest book, “I Will Stand With My Father,” a novel for middle school readers about the Revolutionary War in the Mohawk Valley as seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old Oneida warrior. Irene’s book signing will take place from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Masonic Temple. For more information about Irene visit www.ireneuttendorfsky.com
The Boonville Black River Canal Museum, Main Street and Route 12, will also be a part of History Day. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and will host a variety of activities, including an open house, tours, and demonstrations of old-time skills. The film, “Little Ditch,” an excellent documentary about the building of the Black River Canal, will be shown continuously throughout the day. As always, admission to the museum is free.
Stephanie Dietz, author of “Under the Blinking Light,”will host a book signing at 1 p.m. Her children’s book is based on her two daughters going to camp in the Woodgate area, and it debuted this summer. From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., there will be a shingle-making demonstration by Bob Coscomb. The cedar shingles can be purchased for a $2 donation. Charlie Hammond will be on hand with his forge to brand the shingles. Mark Kehl from Woody’s Mountain Folk Art will be demonstrating his wood-working talent outside on the lawn. Peg Sawyer will be inside the Mercantile Building with her loom, and Sharon Woodcock will have a display of antique canal era toys in the Archive Room in the Conference Center. Books, canal items, shirts, and jackets will also be available for sale in the Mercantile Building.
For more details about the Canal Museum, visit their website: www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com.
In addition to the free History Day activities, the Fall Arts Festival will provide ample opportunity to enjoy food, crafts, cooking contests, music, sidewalk sales, and more fun for the kids. So plan to visit beautiful, historic Boonville on Saturday, October 1.
For more information about the Boonville Fall Arts Festival, call the Chamber office at 942-5112 or visit www.boonvillechamber.com.