History

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    Paddling a Legacy: Racing the route of General Clinton’s campaign

Paddling a Legacy: Racing the route of General Clinton’s campaign

Today’s General Clinton Canoe Regatta is named after a Revolutionary War event over 200 years ago that impacted the Susquehanna Valley. In 1778, the Upstate New York frontier was a place of many small skirmishes between Colonists and Native Americans who sided with the British. One of the worst was the Cherry Valley Massacre in the Mohawk Valley, where frontier homesteaders were victims of a surprise attack, and 30 people, mostly women and children, were killed. General George Washington the following year launched the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign to respond to these raids and totally cleanse the area of Native Americans, specifically the Iroquois. The interesting part of the campaign was how the Susquehanna River was managed for travel.

 

In August of 1779, a wooden dam was constructed at the head of Otsego Lake. One thousand soldiers had made their way from Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley to the foot of the lake overland, under the direction of General James Clinton. The group constructed 220 bateaus (flat bottom boats) to move their supplies 160 miles down river to meet up with General Sullivan in Broome County. The plan was to dam the lake, allow the lake level to rise, and then break the dam to allow a good flow of water down the Susquehanna so the boats would be able to float more easily. The dam system proved successful, and the two parts of the campaign met up in Union, NY near Binghamton, a few weeks later. Along the way, the soldiers burned many Native American settlements, including some villages on an island south of Afton. The campaign destroyed the morale of the Iroquois, and the action was considered successful.

 

The General Clinton Canoe Regatta commemorates this 1779 […]

Syrup Time is a Sweet Treat

In Bainbridge, the cold nights and warm days of late winter can only mean that sap buckets will appear on the maple trees, most with the label “Bakers” on them, to collect sap for maple syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, so in the spring, hundreds of maple trees in the area are connected by plastic tubes and decorated with metal buckets to collect sap. Just the sight of the buckets brings the memory of the warm sap fires under the syrup pans and the smell of the strong, sweet maple sap cooking down. For weeks, a plume of smoke drifts up above the Baker’s sugar house building on Freoit street as the sap is boiled – the precious, watery liquid that drips and dribbles out of maple trees and, with considerable effort, is transformed into magical maple syrup!

 

Only certain U.S. states and Canada can produce maple syrup and only in a very short window of time in the spring, and Bainbridge is lucky to be one of those places. New York is second in the United States for maple syrup production.

 

The maple sap will drip into the buckets when temperatures are above freezing during the day and below freezing at night. Once such conditions arrive, the Baker’s crew gathers their supply of buckets, spiles, drills, and tubing to tap the local trees, setting large tubs among clusters of maple trees and hanging buckets on individual maples scattered around the village.

 

Collecting the sap is a daily routine that features the Baker’s mini-tanker truck making its way to each tree. The sap is delivered to the sap house, boiled down, and transformed into deliciously sweet maple syrup, or […]

What’s in a name? Why Jericho became Bainbridge

In an attempt to stop the decline of Bainbridge’s the first impression early Bainbridge was giving to the rest of the world, in the days before towns could manage their reputations on social media, one early resident made a bold move to help Bainbridge start on the right foot.

 

By 1812, the area that eventually became Bainbridge was already on published maps, and people identified with being from this place known then as Jericho: a Biblical name that meant promised land for new inhabitants who had broken through the wilderness, and now called this place home. Jericho had big shoes to fill with a name like that, and, in this case, perhaps the shoes were too big for this upstart village.

 

Jericho began as a small settlement near where Route 7 and the Guilford Road meet. While that area was Jericho proper, some early inhabitants were settling further away, near the crossroads of state routes 7 and 206. In the new area, a group started building a meetinghouse where the Village Park is located, but the structure was never finished, and in 1813, it was mysteriously destroyed by fire. Shortly afterwards, a Jericho merchant was in the Hudson Valley and was asked where he was from. When he told them Jericho, they exclaimed, “Oh, that wicked place where they burned the church.” Upon his return home, he started proceedings to establish an act of the Legislature to declare a new name for Jericho.

 

The following year, the Legislature passed the law to change the name on April 15, 1814, that would take effect on June 1: “… from and after the first day of June next, the town of Jericho, in the county of Chenango, shall be […]

  • Permalink Photo courtesy of Robert Dann Photography (http://robertdannphotography.smugmug.com/)Gallery

    Paddling a Legacy: Racing the route of General Clinton’s campaign

Paddling a Legacy: Racing the route of General Clinton’s campaign

Today’s General Clinton Canoe Regatta is named after a Revolutionary War event over 200 years ago that impacted the Susquehanna Valley. In 1778, the Upstate New York frontier was a place of many small skirmishes between Colonists and Native Americans who sided with the British. One of the worst was the Cherry Valley Massacre in the Mohawk Valley, where frontier homesteaders were victims of a surprise attack, and 30 people, mostly women and children, were killed. General George Washington the following year launched the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign to respond to these raids and totally cleanse the area of Native Americans, specifically the Iroquois. The interesting part of the campaign was how the Susquehanna River was managed for travel.

 

In August of 1779, a wooden dam was constructed at the head of Otsego Lake. One thousand soldiers had made their way from Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley to the foot of the lake overland, under the direction of General James Clinton. The group constructed 220 bateaus (flat bottom boats) to move their supplies 160 miles down river to meet up with General Sullivan in Broome County. The plan was to dam the lake, allow the lake level to rise, and then break the dam to allow a good flow of water down the Susquehanna so the boats would be able to float more easily. The dam system proved successful, and the two parts of the campaign met up in Union, NY near Binghamton, a few weeks later. Along the way, the soldiers burned many Native American settlements, including some villages on an island south of Afton. The campaign destroyed the morale of the Iroquois, and the action was considered successful.

 

The General Clinton Canoe Regatta commemorates this 1779 […]

The Show Still Goes On!

Coming to the Town Hall Theatre in Bainbridge is like meeting with an old friend for an intimate conversation. The wood floors creak as you walk up the stairs to the auditorium on the second floor. On a performance night, the smell of popcorn is in the air, and the scuffle of chairs sliding under tables blends with the sound of lively conversations as friends greet each other before the performance. Laughter and sing-a-longs and suprising harmonies of blended voices echo through the dramatic acoustics of this rare proscenium theatre.

 

You don’t just watch a performance here, you experience it.

 

The Town Hall Theatre is a unique 1910 vintage theatre on the second and third floors of the Main Street Town Hall building, and has been carefully and patiently restored to its original look. The theatre itself is something to experience – 250 seats, an upper balcony, beautiful restored tin ceiling, and tall columns that frame the wooden stage.It was converted into the Avon Theatre in 1938, becoming a full time movie theatre, but was closed in the 1950s. Its salvation from neglect began in 1976 when a newly-formed all-volunteer group, the Jericho Arts Council, was formed to restore the theatre. Restoration was completed at the end of 2009. Now the Jericho Arts Council is the steward of the Town Hall Theatre, and the group hosts a range of performances in the theatre.

 

From September to May, the Jericho Arts Council  presents an eclectic range of quality, family-friendly programming for all ages. Musical programs include everything from folk to big band to doo-wop, and everything in between.  Their Town Hall Opry series is renowned for bringing to Bainbridge the best in bluegrass music from all over the […]

Another man’s treasure

If the mere thought of finding one-of-a-kind treasures makes you smile with excitement, Bainbridge is the place to satisfy your craving. Poke around the five different antique shops in Bainbridge to see what treasures you find! Bainbridge has been around for over 200 years, and just imagine the early American antiques that are circulating in local buildings and households that may land in these shops!

 

The newest antique store is Sincerely Abraham which occupies the 1830 Truman House. Owner Lisa Graney invites people to come and experience her unique establishment. Lisa purchased the property in 2013 and opened the shop a short time later. It is now open by appointment.

 

Take an easy drive to visit all the shops in one swing to do a local antique shopping circuit. Each shop is unique and worth visiting. The Iroquois Antiques and Collectibles is a multi-dealer experience in what used to be the local feed mill along the railroad tracks in town. A large area of the building is filled with dealers, and good buys are spilling out onto the front porch. Another multi-dealer shop is Old Hickory Antiques on the north edge of town. It is an easy-to-navigate single floor building housing a variety of dealers. Nearby and across Route 7, the vintage items at Harmonie Hall Antiques are displayed in a historic carriage house, one building of the several on the estate, including a house that dates to 1800.

 

Near the center of town, there is some additional antiquing to be done. At Sincerely Abraham, the 1830 Truman House has been filled with antiques that originated at the house, once owned by the village apothecary. Each room in the house is unique and attractively displayed with Truman House […]

Stories in Stone

For a tombstone tourist, the cemeteries of Bainbridge are a wonderful day’s outing. Six featured cemeteries are easily accessible and great windows to the history of a small Upstate N.Y. town. They are also a source of inspiration and entertainment, an architecture lesson, and a place to relax outdoors in a peaceful setting.

 

These cemeteries allow you to see the final resting places of pioneering Bainbridge residents beneath tombstone art that reflects the heritage of those who were buried there. Bainbridge’s cemeteries are quiet places of reflection, dotted with fine greenery and interesting statuary, and they invite visitors to stroll and read about those who have called Bainbridge home over the last 200 years.

 

Each of these six featured cemeteries in the Town of Bainbridge has its own personality, and together they provide pieces of the history of Bainbridge. For instance, the Bennetsville Cemetery (map) includes stones from the pioneers of that part of Bainbridge like the Bennetts and the Corbins. Ornamental statuary is scattered among the simpler stones that date from the early 1800s. To access the site, park in the pull off nearby on Corbin Road.

 

On the other end of town in West Bainbridge, the rural setting of West Bainbridge Cemetery (map) has been used to bury those who lived nearby for 200 years. The oldest stone dates to 1815, though it did not originate at the cemetery but was moved there from a nearby farm. The cemetery was most active before 1920, though recent burials have taken place as well. Family names on the stones are a roll call of some of the significant Bainbridge settlers: Herrick, Ireland, Lyon, Bush, Ingersoll, Searles and Loomis. Flags mark a number of veteran graves, covering the […]