10-day Heritage Festival starts on Friday with kickoff at Clarendon Historical Society

FDR, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, General Grant and Abigail Adams impressionists will make appearances

Press Release, Orleans County Heritage Festival

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 to Sept. 16 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. 7 at the Clarendon Historical Society from 6 to 9 p.m.  There will be live music featuring recording artist Sonny Mayo, food, local wines and more.

At the same location the following day, Saturday, there will be a Civil War encampment and at 2 p.m. 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 p.m. 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 p.m.

Dr. Grube will also appear at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, 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. 12, 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 to 2 p.m. event requires reservations, so book early.

Two great events are slated for Friday, Sept. 14. The first will be hosted by the Lyndonville Central School and will feature a concert focusing on the songs of the Erie Canal by the Lyndonville 5th-6th grade Summer Music Camp students at 1 p.m. 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 20th 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. 15, 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 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be cemetery tours with Orleans County Historian Matt Ballard at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Stick around for special presentations at 11 a.m. with Derek Maxfield as Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant, 1 p.m. with Melinda Grube as First Lady Abigail Adams, and 3 p.m. Albert McFadyen as President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The event at Mt. Albion is free and open to the public.

Also on Saturday, at 7 p.m., 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, click here.

Folks with questions may contact Prof. Derek Maxfield, one of the festival organizers, at ddmaxfield@genesee.edu.

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