Archive for the ‘historic attractions’ Category

Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC

November 16, 2018
Capitol-DC-nght-011804e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Capitol Building at night. Washington DC is a sensational destination for the winter holidays © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) – The nation’s capital is one of the best destinations for winter holiday travel, and Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, helps visitors craft a magical holiday. Find inspiration for memorable getaways on DDC’s holiday landing page on washington.org, and its Instagram and Facebook channels, including festive hotel packages, menus, holiday lights, ice skating rinks, gift markets, can’t-miss exhibitions and events across the city’s welcoming neighborhoods. Speak with a DC travel expert (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm (EST).

“Washington, DC goes all out for the holidays. Maybe your wish-list includes meeting Santa, light displays and a classic holiday show. It might include visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture, shopping for made-in-DC gifts then dinner at one of DC’s 15 Michelin-starred restaurants. We’ll connect you with the real DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

In 2018, DDC’s print, digital and out-of-home holiday advertising campaign urges national consumers to “Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC,” with assets targeting New York City and Philadelphia. For added promotion between Nov. 30-Dec. 2; Dec. 7-9, the tourism bureau hosts a holiday-themed Instagram exchange with influencers from key feeder markets.

HOTEL PACKAGES
• Toast the season with “Caviar and Champagne” at The Darcy. This package bundles late check-out, a welcome Taittinger toast and decadent caviar cookies from Siren, the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant. Rates start at $169, thru Feb. 28, 2019.
• This December, Kimpton’s 10 boutique hotels in DC spread cheer with pop-up shops curated by Shop Made in DC, a retail incubator showcasing local makers. Book a “Make a Getaway” package to receive a swag bag and $15 gift card.
• The historic Willard InterContinental offers a Wintertime Holiday Package that wraps upgraded accommodations, $50 food and beverage credit and official 2018 White House Christmas Tree Ornament, starting at $299 (two-night min.), Nov. 16, 2018-Feb. 16, 2019.

SKATING RINKS
• Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink, November-March. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café.
• Rent skates at riverside rinks at The Wharf, Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
• Iceless skating rinks return to the courtyard at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and atop the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS
• Tour America’s historic train stations in miniature at Seasons Greenings: All Aboard! at the U.S. Botanic Gardens, Nov. 22-Jan. 2, 2019. FREE
• Smithsonian National Zoo dazzles with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and more at ZooLights, 5-9pm. Nov. 23-Jan. 1, 2019 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE
• George Washington’s Mount Vernon celebrates with Colonial dancing, chocolate-making and caroling, Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Candlelit tours run Nov. 23, 24, 30; Dec. 1, 7, 8, 16.
• The District’s Holiday Boat Parade welcomes Santa to The Wharf with lighted boats and fireworks, 6-9pm, Dec. 1. FREE
• Holiday in the Park thrills Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores: Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-23, 26-31.
• Lit in early December, National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse will be attended by 56 decorated state and territory trees, Santa’s Workshop and nighty musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
• The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 2 at 4pm, American Friends of Lubavitch celebrate with Dreidelman and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING
• The Downtown Holiday Market runs Nov. 23-Dec. 23 in Penn Quarter. Source more local gifts at Shop Made in DC in Dupont; Union Market in NoMa; Brookland Exchange at Monroe Street Market and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront.
• CityCenterDC dresses up with two monumental reindeer, an overhead installation in Palmer Alley and holiday tree lit on Nov. 24.
• Georgetown Glow, an outdoor light art exhibition, illuminates the historic district between 5-10pm, Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 2019.

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS
• The Kennedy Center hosts shows including The Second City’s Love, Factually (Dec. 4-31), Washington National Opera: The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (Dec. 14-16) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 20-23).
• At Warner Theatre, the Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker recasts the classic in the Lincoln White House (Nov. 29-Dec. 28).
• Richly dressed, A Christmas Carol (Nov. 15-Dec. 30) cheers Ford’s Theatre.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
• Circle around outdoor firepits at Masseria near Union Market; Bourbon Steak in Georgetown and Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse, a 2019 Michelin “Bib Gourmand” pick.
• Indulge in holiday teas at Peacock Alley at the Willard InterContinental Washington, DC; the Empress Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC; Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC and the lobbies of the St. Regis Washington D.C. and Line DC.
• Among tempting New Year’s Eve options, humanitarian and Michelin-starred chef José Andrés offers tasting menus at China Chilcano, Jaleo and Oyamel.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. washington.org.

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176th Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

September 21, 2018
oldbethpage-LIFair-100906 158e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Long Island Fair is unique among New York State county fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. At the 176th Long Island Fair, you can watch blacksmithing, among other historical demonstrations including music and dance © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Old Bethpage, NY – Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) will host the 176th Annual Long Island Fair this weekend: September 22 and 23.

Enjoy magic shows, a petting zoo, and historical entertainment. Stilt walkers traverse the grounds, and entertainers delight families with puppets, juggling and storytelling. All of these festivities continue a 176-year tradition. Attractions such as livestock shows, the Timberworks Lumberjack Show, tractor rides, Civil War reenactments, and Rough Rider demonstrations whisk riders back to another era.

Visitors will also find:

  • Historical demonstrations: tin-smithing, pottery, blacksmithing, weaving, and candle-making;
  • Dance opportunities: brass bands, a fiddler, bluegrass band Buddy Merriam & Backroads, Homegrown String Band, and kids’ singer-songwriter Patricia Shih;
  • Tests of skill: sawing, corn-husking, and scarecrow-building contests; guessing the weight of a giant pumpkin;
  • Tickets required: rides on camels, ponies, horse-drawn wagons, a hot-air balloon, and a 19th-century carousel; bounce houses;
  • Eats for sale: candied apples, pumpkins, organic veggies, fresh-made candy, giant turkey legs, and funnel cakes.

Meanwhile, baseball fans can enjoy the end-of-season matches of OBVR’s Old Time Baseball League, which recreates “baseball” as it was played in the latter half of the 19th century, with teams competing in authentic uniforms and playing under the names of Long Island clubs of that era.

The Long Island Fair is the New York State-recognized county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, and involves the cooperation of the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Thousands of exhibits are entered every year in friendly competition, with blue ribbon categories including livestock, flowers and vegetables from farms and home gardens, culinary, needlework, hobbies, and a junior division for those 13 and younger. This year’s competitions will also include an “Advanced” category for new professionals, novices and students who are serious about their craft. Entries in this category will require a fee, with generous first, second and third place prizes; and the judges will be required to submit credentials in the specific classes.

The fair is unique among New York State County Fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. The fair was founded in 1842 and became known as the Queens County Agricultural Fair, but soon after was called the Mineola Fair when it moved to a permanent location in Mineola in 1866. The fair moved to Roosevelt Raceway in 1953 and to the newly opened Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 1970, where it is held on a 12-acre recreation of the original Mineola Fairgrounds.

The Long Island Fair hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance fees are: $15 for adults, $13 for children (5 to 12) and seniors 60 & up. Children 5 and under and Active Military Personnel: Free.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th Century American village set on more than 200 acres. Old Bethpage Village is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage; for more information, call (516) 572-8401.

For more information about the Long Island Fair, visit www.lifair.org.

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Follow in Footsteps of ‘Outlander’ in Revolutionary War-Era Philadelphia

February 3, 2018
Museum of the American Revolution, Philaelphia

To put yourself in the setting of Revolutionary War-era Philadelphia with Outlander’s Claire and Jamie Frasier, visit the Museum of the American Revolution © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

I am a huge fan of Outlander, the TV series on Starz of author Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling eight-book adventure/romance/fantasy series about a World War II British army nurse who travels through time to meet an 18th-century Scottish Highlander. So I was beyond myself while visiting Philadelphia’s historic district to learn that the last two editions (not yet televised) bring the Frasers’ quest here.

Revolutionary War-era Philadelphia is the setting for Gabaldon’s most recent novels, An Echo in the Bone and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. (The first, Outlander, was published in 1990.) Within and around the original city, the couple meets Dr. Benjamin Rush, Thomas Paine and Benedict Arnold. Claire Fraser chats up both General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. Jamie Fraser serves under Washington in the Continental Army.

Among the deaths, weddings, reunions, life-saving surgeries and life-threatening battles—exactly what fans have come to expect from Gabaldon—much of the action takes place in and around Philadelphia’s Historic District, between the Delaware River and 7th Street, Vine and Lombard Streets. Here are the real Philadelphia sites where the Frasers and other fictional Outlander characters spent time, and attractions that recall the events they experienced. Spoiler alert: There are lots of spoilers.

Philadelphia

Independence Hall is a focal point of historic Philadelphia © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Outlander Sites In The Historic District:

  • An Echo in the Bone arrives in Philadelphia around July 4, 1777, when the city is in rebel hands—and celebrating. Some of the deepest dives into our nation’s origin story come via visits to the must-visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, both part of Independence National Historical Park. Hall: 6th& Chestnut Streets; Bell: 6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-2305, www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm.
  • Is there a doctor in the house? Wherever Claire Fraser is, yes. But colonial Philadelphia was home to another famous surgeon, Declaration of Independence signer, Benjamin Rush, who, in the series, aids a character’s battle-wounded relative in 1777. Today, Rush’s house is gone, but an 18th-century-style garden gracefully marks its footprint in Independence National Historical Park. Other notable 18th-century homes nearby include the Dolley Todd House at 4th and Walnut Streets. Benjamin Rush Garden: 3rd & Walnut Streets, www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm.
  • Billed as “our nation’s oldest residential street,” Elfreth’s Alley, between 2nd Street and the Delaware River, appears 18th-century picturesque because much effort has gone into keeping it that way. It’s quiet now, but back in the day this section lived up to its “Hell Town” nickname. A heartsick William Ransom, the titled son of Jamie Fraser, ventures here in search of a pleasurable escape from torment, but finds trouble instead. One of the tiny houses is a museum open to the public (no. 124-126), and there are private and special-event tours. (215) 574-0560, elfrethsalley.org
  • A house at “17 Chestnut Street” is the center of much of the action in Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. The location was fictional, but a sense of what a city neighborhood was like in the 18th century is never far away in the neighborhood of Society Hill, with its brick-fronted period mansions, cobblestone alleys and a recreated Headhouse Square that’s home to a year-round farmers’ market. This picturesque neighborhood is bordered by the Delaware River and 8th Street, Walnut and Lombard Streets.
  • Spoiler alert! Also in the latest book in the series, Young Ian Murray, who is Jamie Fraser’s nephew, and Rachel Hunter, a Quaker physician’s assistant, and Denzell Hunter, Rachel’s brother and Continental Army surgeon and nurse Dottie Grey are wed in a double ceremony at a fictional church that physically and historically resembles St. George’s United Methodist Church. St. George’s is open for services, tours and weddings. 235 N. 4th Street, (215) 925-7788, historicstgeorges.org

Outlander Themes in the Historic District:

  • Sassenach’s got to eat. (“Sassenach” is an old Gaelic term that’s pejorative for outsider; in Outlander, it is also Jamie’s pet name for Claire.) City Tavern,  a Colonial dining establishment based on the restaurant frequented by John Adams, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin and their compatriots, recreates through-the-Stones authenticity. The staff wears period costumes and chef Walter Staib’s menu tweaks 18th-century dishes for today’s tastes. 138 S. 2nd Street, (215) 413-1443, citytavern.com
  • The Franklin Court Printing Office belonged to Benjamin Franklin, but the Historic District replica of the 18th-century print shop strongly resembles that of Outlander printers and couple Fergus and Marsali Fraser. Among the Frasers’ customers was a dour fellow by the name of Thomas Paine. Franklin Court, with entrances on Market and Chestnut streets between 3rd and 4th Streets, (215) 965-2305, gov/inde (See: 72 Hours in Philadelphia: Ben Franklin, America’s Revolutionary ‘Elder Statesman,’ Would Have been Quite at Home in 21st Century)
  • The Museum of the American Revolution houses artifacts, documents and art from the era the two novels cover. Powder horns to muskets to cooking gear, flags and uniforms are all like those the Frasers might have seen or used. Perhaps Claire and Jamie were in General Washington’s headquarters tent, also on display. 101 S. 3rd Street, (215) 253-6731, amrevmuseum.org (See: Philadelphia’s New Museum Immerses You into Drama of America’s Revolutionary War)
Philadelphia

The Franklin Court Printing Office belonged to Benjamin Franklin, but the Historic District replica of the 18th-century print shop closely resembles that of Outlander printers and couple Fergus and Marsali Fraser. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Outlander Beyond The Historic District:

  • Armed with a 20th-century medical degree but 18th-century medical supplies, Claire relies heavily on herbal remedies. So of course she restocks her medicinal larder at Bartram’s Garden. It’s also the scene of a thunderous reunion with her husband. The garden takes up 45 acres along the Schuylkill River and has both a rolling meadow and medicinal plant display. 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard, (215) 729-5281,  bartramsgarden.org
  • The 18th-century Cliveden Housein Germantown has an intriguing Outlander  The estate was the site of the decisive Battle of Germantown in October 1777, part of the British reoccupation of Philadelphia. The house, now open for tours, displays authentic period furnishings (once the provenance of the resident Chew family), including two ornate mirrors and other mementos from the Mischianza, the notoriously posh British ball of 1778 honoring British General William Howe and his brother, Admiral Richard Howe. In the book, Claire attended the affair, naturally. On the first Saturday October, Cliveden hosts a reenactment of 1777’s Battle of Germantown. 6401 Germantown Avenue, (215) 848-1777, cliveden.org
  • The Continental Army encampment at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78 is a somber backdrop for many events in Echo in the Bone. Characters tend to the sick and wounded—approximately 2,000 soldiers died, though no battles were fought—and a Redcoat Fraser relative courageously seeks aid here. Valley Forge National Historical Park commemorates our founders’ sacrifice with educational displays and interpretive programs, a restored Washington’s headquarters, statues and other memorials. The park’s 3,500 acres offer multi-use and horse trails, picnic areas and more. 1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, (610) 783-1000,  nps.gov/vafo
  • Rittenhouse Square’s popular British pub The Dandelion gives a culinary nod to Claire’s 20th-century roots, especially when the menu features Eton Mess, a dessert she serves at a dinner party in the third season of the TV show, along with sticky toffee pudding, a perennial (although comparatively modern) dessert favorite. 124 S. 18thStreet, (215) 558-2500,  thedandelionpub.com
  • The Frasers cross paths numerous times with notorious Revolutionary War General Benedict Arnold (before he turned traitor). Claire also meets Peggy Shippen. Arnold and Shippen married in 1779, the same year he purchased Mount Pleasant, one of the historic Fairmount Park mansions along the Schuylkill River. Mount Pleasant closed temporarily for renovation in 2017, but visitors can tour other period homes in Fairmount Park. parkcharms.com
  • Many scenes in Written in My Own Heart’s Blood—including one of the saddest—take place “perhaps two hours’ walk outside the city,” according to the book. This would place the Frasers and other characters approximately five miles from the Historic District, in the heart of Fairmount Park.The Park’s Wissahickon Valley Park evokes the grandeur of America’s great forests and features 50 miles of multiuse trails and history. Along the Wissahickon Creek, the easy-to-navigate five-and-a-half-mile Forbidden Drive—“forbidden” because cars can’t drive on it—lets visitors walk, bike, run or meander on horseback. Friends of the Wissahickon has the details, plus guided hikes and other activities. fow.org/

Philadelphia’s Historic District campaign, from VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, showcases the city’s incomparable place in early American history and the still vibrant neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront. The campaign celebrates America’s most historic square mile in the country’s first World Heritage City, as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, the initiative runs through September 2018.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, visitors can engage with costumed history makers, hear stories of the real people of independence and take part in colonial reenactments. And every day of the year, they can tour, shop, dine and drink in the area just like the founding fathers and mothers once did. For more information about all there is to see and do in Philadelphia’s Historic District, go to visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com.

See also:

National Museum of American Jewish History is Unexpected Revelation in Philadelphia 

Philadelphia’s New Museum Immerses You into Drama of America’s Revolutionary War

72 Hours in Philadelphia: Ben Franklin, America’s Revolutionary ‘Elder Statesman,’ Would Have been Quite at Home in 21st Century 

72 Hours in Philadelphia: Meet Betsy Ross: A Thoroughly Modern Woman

72 Hours in Philadelphia: A Visit to the National Constitution Center Exposes Contradictions in ‘We the People’

At  Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square, Art is More than a Theme, but a Mission

 

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Registration Opens for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th Annual 400-Mile Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour

January 7, 2016
NY-ErieCanal_071315_241e2(c) Karen Rubin-Medina

Cycle the Erie riders bike on the Medina section of the trail built over a rushing creek that drops into waterfalls, with an extraordinary angled turn that displays the engineering genius of the builders © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Registration is now open for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th annual Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile, eight-day bike tour, an unparalleled opportunity to experience great cycling while taking in the rich history of the legendary canal that helped transform America.

The 2016 tour kicks off in Buffalo on July 10 and arrives in Albany on July 17. This year, the Cycle the Erie Canal tour offers:

2-day and 4-day Options: If you can’t take off a full week, consider joining us for half the tour or for a weekend. With 4-day options from Buffalo to Syracuse and Syracuse to Albany, you’re halfway to becoming an Erie Canalway Trail End-to-Ender. These shorter options are great for children, too.

Return Shuttle: Riders from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and points west will be happy to hear we’ll once again be offering our return shuttle from Albany to Buffalo at the end of the ride. Less driving means more time to discover the Erie Canal, and there is so much to discover.

Erie Canal Trailblazers: Interested in cycling the whole tour for only $100? Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and help PTNY promote the Erie Canalway Trail and bicycle tourism! Registration includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer jersey and guidebook and special recognition on the tour. Learn more.

Last year’s ride had more than 600 riders and was frankly amazing, with all the sights to see and special activities arranged, not to mention to comradery and the adventure of camping out. The trip – superbly organized – really touches on all pistons.

For more information about Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 or email eriecanaltour@ptny.org. Also, check out the new Cycle the Erie Canal website to learn more about all the Erie Canalway Trail has to offer.

See our series:

Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile tour affords extraordinary view of ‘Real America’ and slideshow

Cycle the Erie 400-Mile Bike Tour: Lockport, a Town Birthed by the Erie Canal and slideshow

Cycle the Erie ride reaches Seneca Falls, Birthplace of Women’s Rights Movement and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: National Women’s Hall of Fame personifies struggle, achievement and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Seneca Falls to Syracuse crossing half-way mark of 400-mile tour and slideshow

Syracuse’s Erie Canal Museum Highlights Day 5 on 400-Mile Cycle the Erie Tour and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Fort Stanwix, Rome, Brings Revolutionary War Era to Life and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Remington Gun Museum links history to current issues and slideshow

400 miles and 400 years of history, Cycle the Erie tour crosses finish at Albany and slideshow



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Candlelight Evenings and Holiday Craft Show At Old Bethpage Village Restoration

December 15, 2015
Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Long Island © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Long Island © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The most enchanting holiday event on Long Island are the Candlelight Evenings at Old Bethpage Village Restoration which will take place this year on December 17, 18, 19, and 20 from 5– 9:30 pm.

Candlelight Evenings at OBVR offer a Hallmark card setting of flickering candles inside the Village’s historic homes, along with 19th Century holiday decorations and entertainment, all set within the confines of a rural valley setting. Among the forms of 19th Century entertainment offered will be music, including a brass quartet and fiddlers playing popular seasonal tunes as well as performers by local schools and organizations, a traditional 1866 decorated Christmas Tree, stories of Christmases past; contra-dancing, and a traditional bonfire.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration, which is now operated by the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museum,  provides visitors with an exquisite opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th Century American village set on more than 200 acres. While you are there, you really forget what century it is.

Entrance fees are: $10 for adults, $7 for children (5 – 12), seniors and volunteer firefighters. Children under 5 are free.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage (Exit 48 of the Long Island Expressway).  It is closed after December 20 until April.

For more information, call 516-572-8401.

For more information about Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museum, call 516-572-0200, or visit the website at: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/parks.

 

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New York State Pays Homage on 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Death

April 15, 2015
An 1889 map illustrates the journey of Lincoln's funeral cortege; the National Park Service is replicating the "Lincoln Journey Home," starting April 18 in Washington DC and ending May 3 in Springfield, Illinois (National Park Service).

An 1889 map illustrates the journey of Lincoln’s funeral cortege; the National Park Service is replicating the “Lincoln Journey Home,” starting April 18 in Washington DC and ending May 3 in Springfield, Illinois (National Park Service).

by Karen Rubin

New York State is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln starting this month with numerous special events statewide, including a full day of free activities on Saturday, April 25 at the New York State Capitol. This is the date the Lincoln Funeral Train arrived in Albany in 1865 carrying the slain President’s body that then laid in state at the old Capitol on April 26.

But before the funeral cortege arrives in Albany, it will come to New York City, on Friday, April 24, where programs will be held at Federal Hall National Memorial11 a.m. & 1 pm

(Federal Hall National Memorial is at 26 Wall Street, near the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street. (Called the Birthplace of American Government, it was here on Wall Street, where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President, and this site was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. The current structure, a Customs House, later served as part of the US Sub-Treasury. Now, the building serves as a museum and memorial to the first President and the beginnings of the United States of America.)

A mask of Abraham Lincoln's visage was made just before his death © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A mask of Abraham Lincoln’s visage was made just before his death © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Lincoln guided our nation through one of its darkest times, and his commitment to unity and equality continues to inspire,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “As we recognize the 150th anniversary of his death, I encourage all New Yorkers to learn more about his life, his enduring legacy and his profound impact on our nation.”

The next day, the funeral train will come into Albany.

The East Gallery of the Capitol will feature an exhibit dedicated to Lincoln’s memory and the contributions New York made to the Union effort in the Civil War. Central to the exhibit is the flag that laid on the President’s coffin. In addition, numerous Lincoln-themed activities will take place at the Capitol including re-enactors, period music and more. To cap off the day, the National Parks Service is sponsoring a presentation by a noted actor who will portray Lincoln in the War Room of the Capitol at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. However, because of limited seating, reservations are required for the Lincoln portrayal and can be made at www.governor.ny.gov/lincolntribute.

Saturday, April 25 1 pm – 7 pm, New York State Capitol

1 p.m. – Civil War reenactors representing the 123rd New York Volunteers, the 125th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the 26th USCT, the 7th New York Heavy Artillery, and several other recreated Civil War units will gather in West Capitol Park near Swan Street and begin a ceremonial march down Washington Avenue to East Capitol Park where they will conduct a memorial service honoring President Lincoln.

Following the service, reenactors will remain outside taking questions, and conduct marching drills and Civil War military demonstrations. A period 12-pound Mountain Howitzer replica cannon that is part of the 7 th New York Heavy Artillery will also be on display throughout the day in East Capitol Park.

Hourly, from 2-6 p.m. – Free Capitol tours start at the base of the Senate staircase on the first floor.

Lincoln impersonator at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History The National Park Service program features accomplished Lincoln actor, Fritz Klein who will give voice Abraham Lincoln's commitment to the idea that the United States was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Lincoln impersonator at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History The National Park Service program features accomplished Lincoln actor, Fritz Klein who will give voice Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to the idea that the United States was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

3:30 pm and 6:30 p.m. (Online reservations required) – Musicians Anne and Ridley Enslow, dressed in 1860s costumes, will recapture the drama and pathos of the great American Civil War through songs and tunes. This will be followed by a first person interpretative program presented by noted Lincoln impersonator Fritz Klein that focuses on Lincoln’s hopes and dreams for the country during his tenure as president. Seating is limited. The presentation will be approximately 90 minutes. Reservations can be made at www.governor.ny.gov/lincolntribute .

The train then continues on to Buffalo, and programs will be held on Sunday, April 26, at the Buffalo History Museum at 3 p.m. and then Monday, April 27, at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, at 9:30 a.m. and at the Central Library Auditorium12 p.m.

Visitors will be able to experience the Lincoln exhibit at the Capitol throughout the summer. In addition, New York’s Path Through History program will feature sites and events statewide that explore President Lincoln, the Civil War and their connection to the Empire State. Information is available at www.iloveny.com/Lincoln. More information on the National Parks Funeral Train events can be found here.

“Over the last four years, the National Park Service has commemorated the 150th anniversary of this country’s greatest national crisis, while exploring its enduring relevance in the 21st century using the guiding theme of Civil War to Civil Rights,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “As the sesquicentennial events come to a close, our commemorations of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train highlight the major cities, including three in New York State, that held funeral ceremonies along the route to Springfield, Illinois. These events in New York, Albany and Buffalo recognize the Empire State’s significant role in the Union war effort, both on the battlefields and on the home front.”

Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, said, “No state contributed more soldiers, more money, or more innovation to Lincoln’s war to preserve the Union and destroy slavery than did New York. And no state grieved at his assassination more publicly and more passionately. Lincoln earned unforgettably grand farewells in Manhattan, Albany, and Buffalo. But as this exhibit reveals, small tributes occurred in many towns and villages in between, from the Hudson Valley to the Southern Tier—and all along the tracks where his funeral train rode in its journey back to Springfield, Illinois. This is an amazing, virtually untold story of which all New Yorkers should be proud. And they should be equally proud of the successful effort to preserve the flag that once covered his coffin in Albany—and was supplied in 1865 by the Albany woman who helped our state obtain the priceless Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in Lincoln’s hand. As chair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, I’m proud to have supported the flag preservation effort. As a Lincoln historian, I’m honored to have worked with Mark Schaming and the New York State Museum on its interpretation. And as a New Yorker, I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for all he has done to encourage history education and exhibitions in the Capitol and throughout the state.”

For example, New York helped propel Abraham Lincoln onto the national stage, and his presidency and legacy have deep ties to the state. His speech at New York City’s Cooper Union transformed him into a compelling candidate for president. New Yorkers were leaders in America’s anti-slavery movement that set the stage for the Civil War, and the state provided more money and soldiers to the war than any other, including Lincoln’s General-in-Chief. The 1865 funeral train carrying Lincoln’s slain body brought out tens of thousands of mourners both for public viewings in New York City, Albany and Buffalo, and all along the train route as well.

150 years later, New York’s Path Through History takes visitors to sites pivotal to Lincoln and his times:

In addition, The New York-Historical Society has opened a new exhibit, Lincoln and the Jews, on view through June 7, 2015 (170 Central Park West (77th Street), New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org).

A Flag for the Ages Exhibit Highlights

President Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hat © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Lincoln funeral train and Civil War exhibition will showcase the national flag placed around the bier, or platform, upon which the slain president’s casket rested as he laid in state in the Capitol in Albany, New York, on April 26, 1865. It also features additional funeral-related artifacts, chronicles Lincoln’s last day, tragic death, and the many ceremonies honoring Lincoln along the funeral train route that carried his body from Washington, D.C., through New York, to Springfield, Illinois. The exhibit will also highlight New York State’s contribution to the Civil War and related historical figures and artifacts.

The flag that draped the coffin was reportedly presented in 1861 by William H. Seward, Secretary of State and former New York State Governor and United States Senator, to Emily Weed Barnes, daughter of Thurlow Weed, a political adviser and close friend to Seward. When the casket bearing Lincoln’s body arrived at the Capitol, Mrs. Barnes wrapped the flag around the bier. The flag remained in the Barnes family and was donated to New York State Battle Flag Collection and accepted by Governor Franklin Roosevelt in 1930.

Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito said, “As the caretaker of the New York State Capitol, OGS is pleased that Governor Cuomo has transformed this building into a place where citizens can not only see government at work, but also learn about our state. The Lincoln exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to go back in time and experience the rich history associated with Lincoln and his legacy.”

Empire State Development Division of Tourism Executive Director Gavin Landry said, “New York State helped propel Abraham Lincoln onto the national stage, and his presidency and legacy have deep ties to the Empire State. From the homes and final resting places of New Yorkers key to the Civil War and its lead up, like Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman; abolitionist John Brown; Lincoln’s Secretary of State and confidant William H. Seward; and Union Army General Ulysses S. Grant, to sites whose industry and technology played a vital role in the Civil War, like the Burden Iron Works, Brooklyn Navy Yard and West Point Foundry, New York’s Path Through History is ready to take visitors one hundred and fifty years back in time.”

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Lincoln’s contribution to our country’s history and his connection to our great state will come to life this month as we commemorate the anniversary of his death. Through the numerous presentations and exhibits, New Yorkers will get a true sense of the Civil War era and understand better the events that framed our state’s storied past and how New York impacted the times. Lincoln was a monumental figure of his time and we look forward to seeing his legacy shared with thousands across our state.”

Path Through History highlights historically and culturally significant sites and events throughout New York State. The program, introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, builds on New York’s already robust heritage tourism attractions. The initiative, which is overseen by Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism/I LOVE NEW YORK, is currently focused on 13 themes including: Arts & Culture, Natural History, U.S. Presidents, Women’s Rights, Canals & Transportation, Civil Rights, Colonial History, Immigration, Innovation & Commerce, The Revolutionary War, Native American Heritage, Sports History and the War of 1812. Important heritage sites and events across the state were selected with input from leading historians. For more information, visit www.iloveny.com/paththroughhistory .

In an effort to raise the profile of historic destinations, New York State hosts Path Through History Weekends, utilizing live events to celebrate New York’s history and highlight the tremendous efforts of the people and organizations committed to its preservation and promotion. In 2014, 383 events were held in 55 of New York State’s 62 counties, a 43 percent increase from the prior year. This year, Path Through History Weekend will take place June 20 – 21, 2015.

Follow I LOVE NEW YORK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or use #LoveNYHistory to join us on the journey down New York’s Path Through History.
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First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Opening of Old Family Dining Room on White House Tour

February 10, 2015
First Lady Michelle Obama has opened the Old Family Dining Room to public tours of the White House © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

First Lady Michelle Obama has opened the Old Family Dining Room to public tours of the White House © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the Old Family Dining Room for public viewing for the first time in White House history. Through a joint effort by the First Lady and the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, and funded by a special donation from the White House Historical Association, the room has been refurbished and will serve as a showcase of 20th century art and design.  Adjacent to the State Dining Room, the Old Family Dining Room has a rich history that dates back to 1825.  Additional information on the history of the Old Family Dining room can be found HERE.

“It is my pleasure to help pull back the curtain on this special part of the White House,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Today and moving forward, the Old Family Dining room will reflect the history of our former First Families and represent the legacy and impact of modern American artists.”

As part of the room’s renovation, the several items have been added to the permanent White House collection for display in the Old Family Dining Room:

Resurrection by Alma Thomas (1891-1978), done in 1966. An educator and artist in Washington, D.C. for most of her career, Alma Thomas was one of the renowned members of the Washington Color School. This painting is the first artwork by an African-American woman featured in the White House.

Early Bloomer [Anagram (a Pun)] by Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), done in 1998, An innovator in many mediums, Rauschenberg received the National Medal of the Arts in 1993.

Study for Homage to the Square: Asking by Josef Albers (1888-1976), done in 1963.

Homage to the Square by Josef Albers (1888-1976), done in 1966. German immigrant artist and color theorist Josef Albers began his “Squares” series in 1950, studying the effects of adjacent colors and the illusions created of squares advancing or receding in space.

Black, White, and Gray by Anni Albers (1899-1994), pictorial weaving adapted as a wool rug done in 1950. A pioneering abstract artist, Anni Albers was best known for her work in textiles.

These were gifts of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, in honor of Barack and Michelle Obama.

New York World’s Fair Tableware , 1939, ceramic plate, china, and glassware. Silver tea set manufactured by Graff, Washbourne, & Dunn. Received by the White House after the conclusion of the fair in 1940. The coffee and tea pots – spherical with triangular spouts – are suggestive of the Perisphere and Trylon, symbols of the 1939 fair.

White House Tours

Public tour requests must be submitted through one’s Member of Congress.  These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (excluding federal holidays or unless otherwise noted).  Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance. You are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible as a limited number of spaces are available. All White House tours are free of charge.  (Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.)

If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, you need to contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.

All guests 18 years of age or older will be required to present a valid, government-issued photo identification. All foreign nationals must present their passport.

Take a Virtual Tour:

As part of President and Mrs. Obama’s commitment to open the White House to as many Americans as possible, the White House has partnered with the Google Art Project and allowed their 360 Street View cameras to capture the rooms that are featured on the public tour. Now anyone, anywhere, can experience the history and art of the White House via their computer. Take the virtual tour.

For additional information about tours of the White House, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

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Find Warming Toddies, Nogs, Seasonal Libations in New Jersey’s Historic Taverns

November 19, 2014
One of New Jersey's historic taverns, The Black Horse Tavern has been in business more than 270 years. Located in the heart of Mendham, it was originally a stagecoach house in the mid-1700s.

One of New Jersey’s historic taverns, The Black Horse Tavern has been in business more than 270 years. Located in the heart of Mendham, it was originally a stagecoach house in the mid-1700s.

TRENTON, N.J.– New Jersey is a great place to find warming toddies, comforting nogs, and other seasonal libations. In fact, the third state to sign the Constitution has had a lot of practice, since it claims a collection of some of America’s oldest inns and taverns – a few established before the Revolutionary War – that continue to serve satisfied patrons.  These cozy historic taverns are great gathering spots with welcoming environments that can only be found in New Jersey. For additional details, access www.visitnj.org.

Four notable, historic locations include:

Barnsboro Inn in Sewell is the oldest, established in 1720 and licensed in 1776. “The Inn sits at the intersection of a former main stage coach route between Philadelphia and Cape May,” said owner Tom Budd, who purchased it in 2002. “It has been in continuous operation, except during Prohibition, since it opened.”

Unaware that Barnsboro Inn was built by distant relative John Budd, Tom only learned of his family’s New Jersey tavern-keeping heritage after the sale and careful ancestry research. “John Budd constructed a log cabin in 1720 that was later expanded as a colonial structure that offered dining. Before I bought it, I was amused that I shared the same name with the original owner. Then my wife and I did some ancestry research and discovered that the Budd family has been in New Jersey since 1676. ”

Tom promises that the Inn’s popular Barnsboro Toddy, a warming concoction of apple cider and Apple Jack, returns to the menu with the cool weather. www.barnsboroinn.com

Moses Mount, an aide to General Washington during the Revolutionary War, returned to his beloved Freehold and began operating a tavern in his home for the local gentry and an inn for weary travelers. Moses was granted a “continued license” for “keeping a public house of entertainment,” so states the April 25th, 1787 order from the Monmouth County Court of Quarter Sessions. Earlier license dates have not been determined. However, colorful rouge that he was, Moses may have run afoul of the law: An 1880 court order required him to provide lodging only to men, stabling to horses, and to prohibit any type of gambling.

Today, Moses’s place is known as Moore’s Tavern & Sports Bar, and its careful restoration displays evidence of early American building techniques and tavern beams that reveal the original tool markings of the time. The cozy atmosphere and winter beverages such as Irish, Spanish and Dutch coffees will warm the spirit. www.moorestavern.com/menu.php

The Black Horse Tavern has been in business more than 270 years. Located in the heart of Mendham, it was originally a stagecoach house in the mid-1700s. Today the tavern embraces the traditions of fine dining in a historic restaurant setting. Next door, The Black Horse Pub serves more casual fare. Both establishments embrace with warming fireplaces and soothing beverages. www.blackhorsenj.com/black-horse-tavern-about-us.aspx

Elias Hughes operated the first tavern in Cape May for whalers in the 1700s.  Blue Pig Tavern sits on the site today and derives its name from a gambling parlor sited in Congress Hall in the mid-1800s. Blue Pig is tucked in the corner of Congress Hall fronting on Congress Place and Perry Streets, serves comfort foods and cures winter chills with the likes of steaming Cafe Keoke and Nutty Irish Coffee. www.caperesorts.com/restaurants/capemay/bluepigtavern/menus#dessert

 

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Oaklands Mansion, Murfreesboro, Hosts Spooky Events this Season

October 8, 2014
Oaklands Historic House Museum, located at 900 North Maney Avenue in Murfreesboro, Tennessee is a nationally registered historic landmark that reflects a time of prosperity in the Old South, as well as the hardships suffered during the Civil War © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Oaklands Historic House Museum, located at 900 North Maney Avenue in Murfreesboro, Tennessee is a nationally registered historic landmark that reflects a time of prosperity in the Old South, as well as the hardships suffered during the Civil War © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.- Wander through Murfreesboro’s most mysterious mansion as you explore some of the unusual mourning customs and creepy superstitions of the Victorian era at Oaklands Mansion for “Flashlight Night,” Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, 7-11 pm.

Guides in mourning attire will be stationed through-out the mansion to answer questions as you explore the dark corners and creepy cupboards. The shadows will be hauntingly dim.

“While in the downtown area enjoying the Fall Fun, take the opportunity to see Oaklands after dark! When your flashlight tour is over, if you dare, take a walk on the dim trails of the wetlands and see the dark reflections of Maney Spring” said James Manning, Executive Director of Oaklands Historic House Museum.

Admission is $5. Enter at the Oaklands’ Visitors Center located at 901 North Maney Avenue.

Military Demonstrations with the 9th KY Volunteer Infantry

After exploring the deep, dark corners of the mansion, join the 9th KY Volunteer Infantry around the campfire as they share stories and recount the day’s events. The encampment will be open to the public on Saturday October 18, 10 am-3 pm, and again on Sunday, October 19, 2014, 1-3 p.m. at the historic site, at 900 North Maney Avenue, as part of the Rutherford County Heritage Month activities.

This camp of instruction tells the story of what Union occupation forces would have been doing in and around our town during the Civil War. Families will be able to view the campsite and watch the soldiers practice drills.

Guided mansion tours will begin on the hour at 10:00 a.m. with the last tour departing at 3:00 p.m. Regular admission rates apply. Visit www.oaklandsmuseum.org for rates and more information. The military demonstrations on the lawn are free and open to the public. Complimentary parking for the event is located at the Roberts Street pavilion. Middle Tennessee State University Homecoming Parade will also be in the area Saturday morning, so alternate routes may be sought during that time.

Trick-or-Treating at the “Old Maney Mansion”

At the dead-end of North Maney Avenue you’ll find a tree-lined drive to the most famous mansion in Murfreesboro! The iron gates are open and the mansion, normally locked and secured, is ready to greet you on this rare night! Bring your little ghosts and goblins to the doors of the dimly lit Oaklands Mansion to offer their most haunting greeting. As the doors creak open to reveal the grand stair hall, and the family in mourning, you’ll see that this isn’t like any “haunted” house you’ve visited.

Victorian families stopped the clocks, shuttered the windows and draped their mirrors in black when a loved one died. Before the time of funeral homes, the family’s parlor was the scene of their funerals and wakes. Just like any home on Halloween, you can’t go in, at least not tonight. Through the doors, you’ll see just enough of the inside of this sprawling Italianate mansion to wet your appetite to return for a full tour.

By 1860, Oaklands was one of the most elegant homes in Middle Tennessee and situated on an over 1,500 acre plantation! Following the Civil War, it deteriorated from a majestic mansion to virtual ruins and, in the 1950’s, its very existence was threatened. Thankfully, the mansion was saved from the wrecking ball when a group of concerned ladies created Oaklands Association in 1959.   Since then, the generosity of the community has provided for the restoration of Oaklands to its original splendor.

Trick-or-Treating at the “Old Maney Mansion” is free, open to the public and will take place at the doors of Oaklands Mansion at 900 N. Maney Avenue in Murfreesboro, TN on October 31, 2014, from 4 p.m. until all candy is given away.

For more information, contact Oaklands Historic House Museum at (615) 893-0022 or email info@oaklandsmuseum.org.

 

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TourCrafters Offers D-Day Anniversary Trip to Paris and Normandy Beaches

February 9, 2014

If ever you thought about visiting Normandy and the D-Day Beaches, this —the 70th anniversary of D-Day—is the year to do it. It’s also an amazing World War II history lesson for the kids’ spring vacation.

To commemorate the anniversary, TourCrafters has designed a 7-Day/6-Night D-Day package that starts at $1,659 per person, based on four persons traveling together.

TourCrafters’ land-only price includes three nights hotel accommodation in Paris, three nights in Bayeux, daily buffet breakfast, round-trip 1st-class train Paris-Bayeux, transfers to and from the rail stations and a tour of the D-Day Landing Beaches. It does not include air fare. Departures are daily through October.

There’s free time to explore the “City of Light,” to see the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre and Notre Dame, walk around the beguiling streets of the Left Bank, have a croque monsieur in a café, or even take a photogenic Bateau Mouche cruise on the River Seine.  The Paris hotel, the 4-star Emeraude Louvre Montana boasts a perfect location—steps from the Tuileries and the Louvre—and a friendly, helpful staff.

In Bayeux, the  first  French  city to be  liberated in June of 1944, you  will be picked up for a D-Day Tour of the American Sector, to visit Omaha Beach where the Americans landed, to see the site of the German gun battery at Pointe du Hoc (where Rangers famously scaled the impossible 100-foot cliffs), and to wander through the thousands of white crosses and Stars of David in the very moving American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.  There’s also free time in Bayeux, to stroll its medieval streets, tour its 11th-century cathedral, visit the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy, and see the famed Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot embroidery that tells the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England.  The charming 3-star Hotel Churchill has an equally perfect location—in the very center of Bayeux—and its lovely, gracious  owner speaks perfect English.

All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability.  (They are higher from April to August.) For additional information about the land-only  70th Anniversary D-Day package, visit http://sales.tourcrafters.com/tour.lasso?ID=220.  For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

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