New York State Path Through History Weekend 2016

We have a family of history nerds, and love exploring the past, particularly in our home state.  Each year the summer kicks off with New York State Path Through History Weekend with special events that celebrate the history that took place here in the Empire State.  In 2016, New York State Path Through History Weekend takes place Father’s Day Weekend, June 18-19, and spotlights our fight for independence, freedom from slavery, natural and sports history too.  Continue reading for more details and sampling of sites you can visit during New York State Path Through History Weekend.

New York Path Through History

From the New York State Tourism Board

Did you know that nearly one-third of the American Revolutionary War battles took place in New York? That the first railroad in the United States ran a distance of 11 miles between Albany and Schenectady? Or that six U.S. presidents hailed from the state?

New York has played an immeasurable role in United States history, one that can be seen, heard about and experienced at the state’s many acclaimed historic sites, museums, festivals and reenactments. Join us this Father’s Day Weekend, June 18-19, in our Path Through History.  Delve into the past and discover the people and places that have shaped America.

Genesee Country Village and Museum

How much do you know about the War of 1812? Head over to the Finger Lakes and find out by stepping back in time with a two-day reenactment. From 10 am to 4 pm, the Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford will transform into the setting of a Jane Austen novel, replete with shopkeepers, housewives, merchants and soldiers interacting amidst the sounds of fifes and drums, cannons and muskets, and early 19th century music and dancing. Then skip ahead 85 years and stop by the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Encampment in the Buffalo/Niagara region, where you can partake in a reenactment of the first GAR reunion in 1897 and learn about the impact these wars had on the soldiers and their families.

Do you remember the Battle of Ticonderoga? Which one? Learn about them all on Scots Day in the Adirondacks’ Fort Ticonderoga, where the town’s military heritage is paired with a celebration of Scottish culture, including clan tents, vendors and pipe performances.

You’re no doubt aware that New York partially housed the Iroquois Confederacy. What else do you know about them? Check out the exhibition “35 Years of Iroquois Art: A Retrospective” at the Iroquois Indian Museum in Central New York and explore their unique culture.

So often are the facts of history woven into tales of legend. For instance, did you know that The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is based on a New York town? Experience the legends firsthand. Take a trip to the Catskills and listen to voices from the past, like the region’s own Rip van Winkle, at the annual Living History Cemetery Tour, where guests can enjoy guided tours by historical residents. Or go on a hike in Capital-Saratoga’s Albany Pine Bush and hear about the area’s historical lore, fraught with legendary tales of burglary, ghosts, fire and more.

Sleepy Hollow, NY

And what about New York’s maritime history?  Learn all about it at the Pirate Festival in Long Island’s Maritime Museum. Perfect for the entire family, the festival will feature live music, historic reenactments and hour-long sails aboard the landmark ship Priscilla. You can then venture up north to 1000 Islands-Seaway and attend the 1st Annual Selkirk Lighthouse Open House. Proudly overlooking the Salmon River and Lake Ontario, this majestic 1838 landmark is one of just four lighthouses in the United States that retains its original birdcage lantern.

In the midst of your historical explorations, don’t forget to celebrate Father’s Day with Dad. Take him to an 1864-style baseball game in the Bronx, where New York Mutuals players abide by 1864 rules, meaning no helmets or gloves, just pure old-fashion, All-American baseball. Or visit the 19th-century country house Boscobel and marvel at the craftsmanship of Hudson Valley artist Mike Leggett, who will demonstrate the artistry, skills and secrets of woodworking, contrasting modern methods with those used in colonial America.

Can’t make it Father’s Day weekend? No problem. On Saturday, June 25, Chautauqua-Allegheny is holding its annual Juneteenth celebration. Hosted at the African American Center for Cultural Development, the celebration commemorates the end of slavery in the United States through singing, dancing and storytelling.

Introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2012, the “Path Through History Weekend” is a showcase of New York State’s rich and fascinating history. With more than 192 activities set to take place across the state, it is an ideal opportunity to explore history and, moreover, to understand and appreciate it like never before.  Click here for a complete list of Path Through History events. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.