Thursday, October 22, 2015


We had two great programs with the Center for Creative Retirement at SUNY/HVCC; one at the Herman Melville house in Lansingburg (which is in Rensselaer County) and The NYS Military Museum in the Saratoga Armory in Saratoga Springs.

The Herman Melville house is also the home of the Lansingburg Historical Society, we met there for a lecture on the history and notable events that occurred in the hamlet and to learn about Melville's time in the home.  Herman Melville was a young man when he lived in the house with his family, and left home for a time to work on Whaling Ships out of New Bedford.  But he did write to novels while living in the house.

TYPEE,  being the first and published in 1846 was based on Melville's experience as a captive on an island in the south Pacific.
And, OMOO, was published next in 1847.  And although at the time these works didn't amount to much, they became more important later, after MOBY DICK made Melville famous.
The house really is lovely and the hamlet of Lansingburg has some amazing buildings.
The side view really shows the detail of the building.
And of course what other kind of doormat would a home of Herman Melville have?
The Historical Society had some fun hand outs, one is a complete history of the hamlet with some great historic pictures and a cookbook.  The cookbook is a collection of recipes from residents in Lansingburg.
A postcard of a lovely pastel of the house.
Our next great program was at the New York State Military Museum.
This large collection, that begun in 1863, did not have a permanent home until our great Governor George Pataki announced in 2001 that the soon to be closed Saratoga Armory would be the permanent home. 
A wonderful way to honor those from New York who served and sacrificed for our Nation and to show case the work and talents of the NY National Guard.
The museum houses over 10,000 artifacts that cover NYS's military history from the American Revolution to Desert Storm.  It also has a research library, archives and a great Veteran's Oral History Program.
And it is the only remaining State Armory building that has a mote!!
As each State Armory closes the curators goes into them to inventory the contents, save the artifacts and move them to the museum, before the Armory is sold.
This is from the Armory in Schenectady.
The front entry.
The exhibits wander through the museum and you can follow the time line from the Revolution to the most current, which right know is WWII.  Korea and Vietnam are coming.
A battle drum.
This is a coat/umbrella rack from a closed Armory in Oswego (I think?)
  It is amazing the great artifacts that are found in the Armories.
Regiment Flags and artifacts;
I love this Sweetheart Pouch.
Wonderful displays.
The beautiful lights were another salvage, the Armories were built to be imposing and intimidating.
There are several complete battlefield surgical kits from many wars.
And a small display, similar to the one set in the State Capital covering President Lincoln's assassination and funeral.
Outside and around the side are the gates, I wanted to try it but I figured they had not been used in a while and was afraid to get stuck!
And I could not help but pick these up for our next visit to the museum, why should kids have all the fun?
I love spending time exploring everything our the wonderful Capital Region has to offer.

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