Charles Dickens Returns to GCC in Support of the History Club

CharlesDickens1

Mike Randall Delivers “A Christmas Carol” at GCC!

 Batavia, NY–  The Genesee Community College History Club is excited to once again celebrate the holiday season as Charles Dickens, played by WKBW-TV’s Meteorologist Mike Randall, presents “A Christmas Carol.” All are invited to the College’s Batavia Campus on December 21, 2018 at 7 p.m. to enjoy this festive and heart-warming storytelling experience.

A multifaceted actor, Randall studied both theatre and meteorology in school and since 1983, Randall has reported the weather on WKBW-TV in Buffalo. An award-winning reporter, his interview repertoire includes such talents as Willie Nelson, Jerry Lewis, John Candy, Steve Allen, Gregory Peck and Robert Goulet. In September 2017, Randall was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Back in 1868, Charles Dickens toured the country bringing his classic novel, “A Christmas Carol” to audiences everywhere. Nearly century and a half ago, Dickens’ performances were completely sold out in Buffalo. For the last decade, with only a replica of Dickens’ famous velvet, fringed reading lectern and a copy of “A Christmas Carol,” Randall has been transforming himself into Dickens, recreating the original tour atmosphere in stages, halls, classrooms and many other venues. Randall performs in a period costume with a beard and wavy hair, and through his expert theatrics he brings Charles Dickens to life. He plays each of the novel’s characters with distinguishing voices and mannerisms capturing all of the subtle comedic timing of Dickens’ original work.

The performance will take place at GCC’s Batavia Campus in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. Tickets for the performances are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advanced ticket purchases are strongly recommended as seating is limited!

Proceeds from the performance will go to the Genesee Community College History Club.

“When the History Club presented this event last year, many people indicated they enjoyed it so much that they’d like to see it,” said Derek D. Maxfield, GCC’s associate history professor and advisor to the History Club. “As the program helps my students learn about value of coordinating and planning events that embrace history and engage the community, it is a simultaneously a pleasure to watch local friends and families enjoy a holiday event that is fun for all ages.”

For advanced tickets or more information, contact Derek D. Maxfield at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6288, or via email: ddmaxfield@genesee.edu.  Tickets are also available from Michelle Forster at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6312 or Marie Kochmanski at ext. 6270.

 

 

Advertisements

Meet Rev. John H Yates at Batavia Cemetery Ghost walk

Rev Yates

Rev. John H. Yates

BATAVIA – The falling leaves, crisp air, and gathering darkness in the early evening tell us that it is nearly time for the annual Batavia Cemetery Ghost walk – an event that I never fail to enjoy.  It is no secret that I love cemeteries and the historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Ave. in Batavia is a real gem!  This year’s ghost walk is on Oct. 20th beginning at 7:00 PM.  Admission is $10.00 per person and includes light refreshments.  The event benefits the cemetery association which maintains this magnificent bone yard.

Among the many fascinating ghosts that visitors will meet is the Rev. John H. Yates, portrayed by GCC professor Tracy Ford.  Born in Batavia in 1837 to John and Elizabeth Taylor Yates, the young man enjoyed some schooling before he joined his brother making shoes.  Thereafter he worked in a hardware store and a general store for many years before becoming editor of the Progressive Batavian, a sure sign that despite his limited schooling Yates was a skilled writer.

About the time Yates was a newspaper editor, he also began writing poetry and hymns.  One of his earliest hymns was the “Model Church,” which became a run-away success.  Later in life, Yates would be retained by the famous gospel singer Ira D. Sankey to write exclusively for him.  In 1897 Yates published his first book of poetry and hymns which was since been republished several times in new editions.

At the tender age of twenty-one, Yates became a lay minister for the Methodist Church and was later ordained.  He was twice married; first to Maria Everson in 1864 and in 1880 to Sarah Cottle.  He would have four sons with Maria.

John Henry Yates died September 5th 1900 at the age of 62.  Should you meet him in the cemetery, be warned that he had a habit of suddenly breaking into song.

Another interesting personality that visitors will meet is Batavia founder Joseph Ellicott.  Born in Pennsylvania in November 1760, Ellicott was the son of Joseph and Judith Blaker Ellicott.  Joseph would have two brothers – Andrew and Benjamin.

As an assistant to his brother, Ellicott helped to survey the District of Columbia when it was decided to create a new American capital city.  Later he would survey the boundary line between Georgia and the lands of the Creek Indians.

Hired by the Holland Land Company in 1797, Ellicott got the job of surveying the massive tract of land which occupied much of Western New York.  After spending two long years of exposure on this rough frontier, Ellicott was hired to become the primary land agent for the company.  As the new century opened, the young man laid out the villages of Batavia and Buffalo.

When the idea for a grand canal was proposed, connecting Albany and New York with the Great Lakes, Ellicott was an early enthusiast.  He would later be named a commissioner for the state, supervising construction of the Erie Canal.

By its very nature, Ellicott’s work both for the Holland Land Company and the Erie Canal had him dabbling in politics.  This was demonstrated by his service as an elector for Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1804 and later appointment as the first judge of the Genesee County Court.

Ellicott committed suicide in New York City in 1826 after a long bout with mental illness.  He never married and had no children to inherit his vast estate.  Although originally buried in New York, his remains were transferred to Batavia a short time later.  His monument is one of the most prominent in the Batavia Cemetery.

Since the ghost walk has sold out in the past, it is advisable to reserve tickets.  Call (585) 343-3220 for tickets or more information.  Please come out to support one of Batavia’s great historic assets.

The Generals take to the road

Rudely Stamp'd

Now we stand_first performance From the first performance in Clarendon

Fresh off successful engagements in Clarendon and Hornell, NY, Generals Grant and Sherman now will literally take the show on the road, making it available to schools, libraries, round tables, historical societies and more.

“Now we stand by each other always” is a two man play featuring a conversation between Union Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman at City Point, Virginia in March 1865.  The first performance of the play was Sept. 15th at the Clarendon Historical Society as part of the 2018 Orleans County Heritage Festival.  This event was somewhat unique in that it was entirely outdoors and featured a campfire, tents and accoutrements, staff officers and – of course – fine cigars.

The play is available to groups of all kinds at reasonable rates.  It can be accommodated for indoors or out, and groups large or small.  The program runs…

View original post 35 more words

Frederick Douglass to take GCC by storm

NathanRichardson_FD

Nathan Richardson as Frederick Douglass

BATAVIA, NY (10/04/2018) Genesee Community College will be the proud albeit temporary home to the “Frederick Douglass from Slavery to Freedom: The Journey to New York City” exhibit from October 17 – November 14, 2018. During this time, the entire community is encouraged to visit GCC’s Alfred C. O’Connell Library in Batavia to view this famous traveling exhibit, learn about Douglass’s incredible contribution to American history, and enjoy the auxiliary events and opportunities that reinforce the display.

The 12 foot long exhibition explores slavery and abolition through the youth of Frederick Douglass, born a slave in Maryland in 1818, who after his escape to NY in 1838 became one of the most famous men in nineteenth-century America. Douglass fought to end slavery and championed civil rights for all Americans. His autobiography, published in 1845, was a powerful weapon in the abolitionist cause, and a bestseller in the United States.

“Frederick Douglass from Slavery to Freedom: The Journey to New York City” was developed from his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The exhibition was curated by Susan F. Saidenberg. It has been displayed at schools, museums, libraries and historic sites across the country.

“We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” Cynthia Hagelberger, reference services librarian at GCC said. “The exhibit showcases digital reproductions of letters, photographs and broadsides that depict the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass. We hope this exhibition will help all who view it to gain a deeper understanding of Douglass’ quest for freedom and the difficult choices he made. It is a perfect opportunity for school age children, teenagers and adult of all ages to appreciate his living legacy.”

Further details about the exhibit, associated events and teaching and learning resources are available at GCC’s Library webpage at: https://guides.genesee.edu/douglass2018.

Kicking off the project, on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 1 p.m. David A. Anderson, Ph.D., a visiting community scholar from Nazareth College of Rochester, will speak in room T102 to of the Conable Technology Building. Anderson will discuss the combination of nature and nurture that cultivated the persona that emerged as Frederick Douglass.

Anderson, a founding member of AKWAABA – The Heritage Associates, Inc., has dedicated his life to infusing history into contemporary families. He is the author of The Origin of Life on Earth: an African Creation Myth (1992) and Rebellion of Humans: an African Spiritual Journey (1994) and plays an active role in Kwanzaa celebrations in Monroe County, NY. Annually, Anderson helps produce “On Behalf of Those Who Lie in Yonder Hallowed Ground” – a public tribute to especially African American Civil War Union soldiers. In December 2017, Anderson was appointed to the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

To accompany the excitement of the exhibition, GCC will be holding a dynamic essay writing contest for Genesee Community College students. The contest requires students to research a social injustice in today’s world and produce a minimum of 600 words that address either of two specific essay questions. Details are posted in the exhibit library guide at https://guides.genesee.edu/douglass2018 and the deadline for submissions is Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

The crescendo of this multifaceted program honoring one of our country’s greatest heroes is one of the finest impressionistic lectures by the man himself. GCC has invited Frederick Douglass – in the form of accomplished performance poet and published author, Nathan M. Richardson – to share his story. On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 7 p.m., in full nineteenth-century dress, Richardson will bring his Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour to room T102 in GCC’s Conable Technology Building. This event is also free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

Funding for these events has been provided by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Alfred C. O’Connell Library, GCC’s student club WOKE and GCC’s history club. Details about this and other events sponsored by GCC’s Historical Horizons history club are available at https://gcchistoricalhorizons.wordpress.com/.

Pulitzer winner headlines next Historical Horizon Lecture

Steven Hahn

On Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 7 p.m. Pulitzer Prize winning professor of history from New York University, Steven Hahn will discuss his latest book A Nation Without Borders. This is an important reinterpretation of 19th Century America—a kind of coming-of-age story especially significant for its contribution to the scholarship on the Civil War period.

“A massive and masterly account of America’s political and economic transformation between 1830 and 1910 . . . Hahn describes his book as telling ‘a familiar story in an unfamiliar way.’ It is much more than that. Attempting a synthesis of a century’s worth of American history is a daunting task. Writing one as provocative and learned . . . as this one is a triumph, nothing less.” – David Oshinsky, The Washington Post

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building, is free and open to the public.

“Epochs in Orleans” Timeline Festival is Saturday, 9/15

MedinaTimeline01

ALBION – Come out on Saturday, Sept. 15th for the “Epochs in Orleans” Timeline Festival at the West Park in Mount Albion Cemetery, Albion, featuring a walk through history – from First Lady Abigail Adams and President James Polk to Civil War Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman.  The daylong event runs 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  There will also be cemetery tours with Orleans County Historian Matt Ballard at 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM.  Stick around for special presentations at 11:00 AM with Ed Broadbeck as Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant, 1:00 PM with Melinda Grube as First Lady Abigail Adams, and 3:00 PM Albert McFadyen as President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The event at Mt. Albion is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the GCC History Club, the timeline festival is a part of the 2018 Orleans County Heritage Festival – a 10 day celebration of heritage and local history.  For the full schedule of events, go to: https://orleansnyheritage.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/2018-schedule-of-events/.

 

Kick-off party for 2018 Orleans County Heritage Festival TONIGHT (9/7)

CLARENDON – The 2018 Orleans County Heritage Festival will kick-off tonight at a launch party featuring live music, local wines and food.  Recording artist Sonny Mayo will perform 6:00-9:00 PM.  The party takes place at the Clarendon Historical Society, 16426 Fourth Section Road, Holley, NY at the intersection of Route 31A and Church Street in Clarendon and is FREE and open to the public.

sonny-mayo-cover-no-text

Sonny Mayo will perform Sept. 7th at the Clarendon Historical Society

The ten day festival will spotlight local history and heritage with four main themes: Erie Canal, Women’s history, Wildlife & Nature, and Barns/Barn quilts.  For the complete schedule of events, go to: https://orleansnyheritage.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/2018-schedule-of-events/.

 

Get ready for the 2018 Orleans County Heritage Festival

Festival runs Sept. 7-16th

abigail-adams-by-gilbert-stuart

First Lady Abigail Adams will appear at the Timeline Festival at Mt. Albion Cemetery, Sept. 15th

Have you ever thought that it would be cool to meet President Abraham Lincoln, or maybe first lady Abigail Adams?  Ever wondered about the history of barn quilts or the Erie Canal?  If you are a Civil War buff, maybe you have thought it would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall as you listen to General Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman plotting the demise of the Confederate armies.  If so, the 3rd annual Orleans County Heritage Festival is just for you!  All of your curiosities may be satisfied by taking advantage of 10 days of heritage events.

                The 3rd annual Orleans County Heritage Festival runs Sept. 7-16th this year and features 10 days of fascinating, entertaining, and educational events – most of which are free.  You don’t have to be a resident of Orleans County to appreciate, or enjoy, this year’s calendar of events.  Organizers chose to focus on four themes this year: the Erie Canal, historic women, barns/barn quilts, and nature/wildlife.

The festival kick-off event is on Sept. 7th at the Clarendon Historical Society, Clarendon, from 6:00-9:00 PM.  There will be live music featuring recording artist Sonny Mayo, food, local wines and more.  At the same location the following day, Saturday, Sept. 8th, there will be a Civil War encampment and at 2:00 PM the world premiere of the two-man show “Now we stand by each other always.”  The play features a conversation between Civil War commanders Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Major Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.  Based on a March 1865 discussion between the men at City Point, Virginia, where Grant made his headquarters, the play will be performed by Genesee Community College professors Tracy Ford (as Sherman) and Derek Maxfield (as Grant).  This free event is outdoors, weather-permitting; lawn chairs are suggested.

                On Sunday, Sept. 9th, the Cobblestone Museum in Albion will host Elizabeth Cady Stanton, portrayed by Dr. Melinda Grube, for a 1:00 PM presentation.  The Cobblestone complex will be open for tours as well.  Later that day, the Hoag Library in Albion will host a genealogy workshop presentation by Dee Robinson, retired Town of Gaines historian, at 7:00 PM.

Dr. Grube will also appear at 7:00 PM on Monday, Sept. 10th at the Hoag Library for a women’s history program entitled “Justifying Suffrage: From Mothers of the Republic to Angels of the Home.”  Even before the patriots of 1776 first proclaimed that “all men are created equal”, Americans struggled to define women’s proper role. Are women included among the equal “men” of this nation? Are women citizens? Are they persons?  Join Dr. Grube as she examines the issues.

Hurd Orchards in Holley hosts a unique presentation on Wednesday, Sept. 12th, titled, “Song of an Orchardist” including lunch and lyric music in the Hurd Orchard barn. There will be poems from Monty Mason’s Song of an Orchardist book too (19th century fruit grower from Albion).  The 12:30 – 2 PM event requires reservations, so book early.

Two great events are slated for Friday, Sept. 14th.  The first will be hosted by the Lyndonville Central School  who will feature a concert focusing on the songs of the Erie Canal by the Lyndonville 5th-6th grade Summer Music Camp students at 1:00 PM.  That evening, the Orleans County Daughters of the American Revolution in Albion will host Dr. Terrianne Schulte, of D’Youville College, for her presentation “We Have to Create a National Debate, Community by Community…”:  Women Trailblazers in Environmental Reform.  Throughout the twentieth century, women have played important leadership roles in environmental preservation and restoration, often by educating the public regarding complex environmental issues to encourage grassroots activism.  The event is free and open to the public.

Come out on Saturday, Sept. 15th for the “Epochs in Orleans” Timeline Festival at the West Park in Mount Albion Cemetery, Albion, featuring a walk through history – from First Lady Abigail Adams and President James Polk to Civil War Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman.  The daylong event runs 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  There will also be cemetery tours with Orleans County Historian Matt Ballard at 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM.  Stick around for special presentations at 11:00 AM with Derek Maxfield as Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant, 1:00 PM with Melinda Grube as First Lady Abigail Adams, and 3:00 PM Albert McFadyen as President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The event at Mt. Albion is free and open to the public.

Also on Saturday, at 7:00 PM, Kendall Central School District will feature movie director Julianne Donofrio and her film, “Pieced Together” – a moving documentary about the Barn Quilt Trail which began in Ohio and influential in our own Barn Quilt Trail that was started in Kendall.

There are many other great events over the ten day festival.  For the full schedule of events, visit: https://orleansnyheritage.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/2018-schedule-of-events/.  Folks with questions may contact Prof. Derek Maxfield, one of the festival organizers,  at ddmaxfield@genesee.edu.

World premiere of “Now we stand by each other always” on Sept. 8th

DSC_3582

Derek Maxfield as Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant and Tracy Ford as Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman

Mark your calendars now for the world premiere of the two man show “Now we stand by each other always” on Sept. 8th at 2:00 PM at the Clarendon Historical Society, Rt. 31A, Clarendon, NY.  The performance is outdoors (weather permitting) and lawn chairs are welcome.  It is free and open to the public.

Developed by Rudely Stamp’d, an amateur theater group created by GCC professors Tracy Ford and Derek Maxfield, the show features Civil War generals U.S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman having a conversation in March 1865 at City Point,VA, about how to close out the war.

The free show is part of the 2018 Orleans County Heritage Festival, which features a wide variety of heritage-focused events from Sept. 7-15th.  For the complete schedule of events, go to: https://orleansnyheritage.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/2018-schedule-of-events/.

After the first performance, Rudely Stamp’d is taking the show on the road – literally.  With dates already lined up at other venues across Western New York, they hope to perform for schools, Civil War round tables and other organizations interested in the history of the war.  For more information or to book a performance, check out the Rudely Stamp’d website: https://rudelystampd.wordpress.com/ or contact Derek Maxfield at ddmaxfield@genesee.edu.

 

 

Fall 2018 Historical Horizons Lecture Series line-up announced

BATAVIA, NY (08/01/2018) The History Club at Genesee Community College invites everyone to the Batavia campus on the first Wednesday evening of every month this fall to witness the Historical Horizons Lecture Series.

The Fall 2018 line-up kicks off on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 7 p.m. with “The Jewels of War: Robert E. Lee, George B. McClellan and the Battle of Antietam” presented by the author of Shepardstown in the Civil War, Kevin R. Pawlak. The Battle of Antietam is America’s bloodiest single day. In totality, twelve hours of fighting on September 17, 1862 left approximately 23,000 casualties. During this lecture, Pawlak will assess the dramatic events of the battle from the unique perspective of the commanders on the field.

Then, on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 7 p.m. Pulitzer Prize winning professor of history from New York University, Steven Hahn will discuss his latest book A Nation Without Borders. This is an important reinterpretation of 19th Century America-a kind of coming-of-age story especially significant for its contribution to the scholarship on the Civil War period.

“A massive and masterly account of America’s political and economic transformation between 1830 and 1910 . . . Hahn describes his book as telling ‘a familiar story in an unfamiliar way.’ It is much more than that. Attempting a synthesis of a century’s worth of American history is a daunting task. Writing one as provocative and learned . . . as this one is a triumph, nothing less.” – David Oshinsky, The Washington Post

On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 7 p.m. David A. Bell, Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the Department of History at Princeton University, will present on his latest book Napoleon: A Concise Biography. In this work Bell emphasizes the astonishing sense of human possibility – for both good and ill – that Napoleon represented. By his late twenties, Napoleon was already one of the greatest generals in European history. At thirty, he had become absolute master of Europe’s most powerful country. In his early forties, he ruled a European empire more powerful than any since Rome, fighting wars that changed the shape of the continent and brought death to millions. Then everything collapsed, leading him to spend his last years in miserable exile in the South Atlantic.

On Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 7 p.m. in a unique presentation, GCC professors Derek Maxfield and Tracy Ford will present “Now we stand by each other always” – an engaging conversation between Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman. The two-man play is based on historic resources and references. Together, they recount the important meeting and conversation held at City Point, Virginia in March 1865 when the two Union generals discuss the campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas and consider how to close out the Civil War.

All lectures in this series begin at 7 p.m. in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building. All lectures are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Prof. Derek Maxfield at dddmaxfield@genesee.edu or call 585-343-0055 ext. 6288.