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March 02, 2024

Mark Silo with The Story of Sir William Johnson

Historian Bob Cudmore and Historian Mark Silo-Episode 512- British colonist William Johnson “made his bones” by defeating a French army who attacked his army at Lake George in 1755.  King George II made Johnson a baronet, “Sir” William Johnson.  Parliament awarded Johnson 5,000 pounds. Historian Mark Silo tells the story with commentary from Old Fort Johnson site manager Scott Haefner.

Bob on The Radio today at Noon/WCSS Amsterdam 106.9FM and 1490AM

....We have produced 513 episodes since the podcast began in 2014. Please help us continue by making a donation. On-line with the Go Fund Me link at the top of this page or send a check made out to Bob Cudmore to 125 Horstman Drive, Scotia, NY 12302. RISE, WMHT’s radio service for the blind, airs each episode as does WBDY 99.5 FM in Binghamton. WCSS, 1490 AM, 106.9 FM in Amsterdam and WKAJ, 1120 AM, 97.9 FM in St. Johnsville, Saturday at Noon
39 degrees and light rain in The City of Amsterdam at 6:15AM-Mohawk Valley Weekend Weather, Saturday, March 2, 2024-Rain. Patchy fog after 5pm. High near 44. East wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Tonight Rain likely, mainly before 11pm. Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 36. East wind around 6 mph becoming light and variable after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. Sunday Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 57.
Today in The Paper Gazette and On-line The Recorder "Life of a salesman"
By Bob Cudmore, Focus on History

Ted Krown of Amsterdam was 16 when he went to work at Larrabee’s, a Market Street hardware store. Krown was a salesman at Larrabee’s for more than fifty years.  During the 1969 company Christmas party at the former Tower Inn in Cranesville...

A Saturday Story from Bob

Mayfield celebrates Oliver Rice
Focus on History, Daily Gazette, August 2018

The Mayfield Historical Society this summer is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of early local resident Oliver Rice.

Rice was born July 15, 1768. Last month the historical group sponsored an ice cream social and car show outside the Rice Homestead in Mayfield.

The local band Hitrick and Brooks (Alex and Ben Hitrick and Connor Brooks) performed a song about Oliver Rice they had written for the occasion.

Born in Wallingford, Connecticut, Oliver Rice was a messenger boy for the rebel side during the Revolutionary War when he was 11 to 16 years old. Local lore has it that Rice once delivered a message to George Washington.

After the war Rice and his brother Ebenezer came to what is now Fulton County. Ebenezer settled in what became Gloversville and Oliver bought five acres of land on Mayfield Creek.

Oliver built a log cabin on the land he had purchased and married Alice Parish from Windham, Connecticut in 1792. Oliver was 25 and Alice 19. A year later the town of Mayfield was founded.

Using the water power of the Mayfield Creek, Rice established a fulling mill where wool was cleaned and dyed. He started a Masonic lodge and was chosen as the first Grand Master.

Some people called him Squire Rice. He had a blacksmith shop, gristmill, barn with stables, spring house, smoke house and two houses for workers. One of the worker homes is still standing.

Rice grew crops ranging from flax and buckwheat to corn and potatoes on his farm. He bought 40 more acres of land.

Oliver and Alice had seven children and needed a larger home. The Rice Homestead, a Federal style building, was constructed in 1810 across the street from their original cabin.

The cabin was rolled across the road on logs and attached to the back of the house. The area around the home became known as Riceville.

In the 1820s Rice was an official of the Riceville School, which he founded.

Starting in 1831, he was the first postmaster in the area. His leather mailbag is in the collections of the Historical Society. He used the bag to take mail back and forth from Riceville to Johnstown.

Alice Rice died in 1847 at 73 years old. Oliver died in 1859 at age 91. A large Masonic funeral was held. So many people came to the homestead that the porch gave way.

The only surviving son, Lucius Rice, inherited the homestead. Lucius died just two years later. His wife Harriet struggled to keep the farm going. Her son Harvey was drafted into the Union Army but Harriet paid a $100 fee to have him come home and run the farm.

Family descendants owned the Rice Homestead for almost 200 years, selling the property to Garth and Judy Wemple of Mayfield in 1988. The Wemples sold the Homestead to the Historical Society in 1992.

Information for this column was provided by the Mayfield Historical Society based on research done by Mary Rice Creekmore, edited by her daughter Mary Alice Creekmore Hartman.

The Rice Homestead is open for the season on Wednesdays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 328 Riceville Road, Mayfield. Admission is free.

This summer’s exhibit is called “The Fabric of Rural New York: 18th & 19th Century Textiles.” There is also a Mayfield history room.

The Historical Society has produced a short documentary on the Rice Homestead that is available on Youtube. The documentary was directed and edited by Greg Hitchcock and illustrated and narrated by Dick Foster.

Mohawk Valley News The Daily Gazette, The Recorder News, The Leader-Herald and Nippertown.

March 01, 2024

Mark Silo

Friday, March 2, 2024-Episode 512- British colonist William Johnson “made his bones” by defeating a French army who attacked his army at Lake George in 1755. King George II made Johnson a baronet, “Sir” William Johnson. Parliament awarded Johnson 5,000 pounds. Historian Mark Silo tells the story with commentary from Old Fort Johnson site manager Scott Haefner.

February 23, 2024

Ghosts of Segregation

Episode 511-Photojournalist Richard Frishman and essayist and professor Dr. B. Brian Foster are authors of Ghosts of Segregation, a photojournalism collection depicting a visual history of segregation through buildings and landscapes where racism has left its mark.

February 16, 2024

Terry Golway

Former Albany Politico bureau chief Terry Golway is author of I Never Did like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters. Golway tells the story of LaGuardia’s life through colorful episodes that relate to people today.

February 09, 2024

HighLights Edition 1-2024

Episode 509-Highlights Edition from 2023 and 2024 with excerpts from podcasts on Civil War volunteers from Saratoga, the story of Benedict Arnold, an ancient elephant tusk found in Maine and much more

February 02, 2024

Jerry Madden

Friday, February 2, 2024-Episode 508-Jerry Madden discusses his historical novel Steel Valley: Coming of Age in the Ohio Valley in the 1960s. Madden sets his story in Rust Belt in cities like Steubenville, Ohio, where steel mills have moved out.

January 12, 2024

Bruce Luyendyk

Bruce Luyendyk is a geologist and author of Mighty Bad Land, the story of his explorations of Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica in the 1990s, These explorations led to the discovery of a new continent, named Zealandia.

January 05, 2024

Gary Hoyle

Gary Hoyle is author of Mystery Tusk, the story of a 12,000 year old woolly mammoth tusk found in a manmade pond in Maine in 1959. Plus the chronicle of an African elephant, Old Bet, shot and killed in the early 1800s in Maine.

December 29, 2023

Chris Carola

Chris Carola, a former Albany based Associated Press reporter who lives in Saratoga Springs, talks to Bob about the Civil War’s 77th New York State Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

December 22, 2023

Amy Godine

....The Black Woods by Amy Godine chronicles the history of Black pioneers in New York's northern wilderness. From the late 1840s into the 1860s, they migrated to the Adirondacks to build farms and to vote. On their new-worked land, they could meet the $250 property requirement New York's constitution imposed on Black voters in 1821, and claim the rights of citizenship.

December 15, 2023

Jack D. Warren Jr.

Friday, December 15, 2023-Episode 503- Jack Warren is author of FREEDOM: The Enduring Importance of the American Revolution. Freedom is a look into British America, the Revolutionary War, the birth of a new nation, what freedom means, and how the events of the past are important even today.

December 08, 2023

Jack Kelly

Friday, December 8, 2023-Episode 502-Jack Kelly is author of God Save Benedict Arnold. Arnold committed treason. Yet he was more than a turncoat—Kelly argues Arnold’s achievements during the early years of the Revolutionary War defined him as the most successful soldier of the era.

December 01, 2023

Tim Keogh

Friday, December 1, 2023-Episode 501-Tim Keogh, author of In Levittown's Shadow: Poverty in America's Wealthiest Postwar Suburb. Keogh found that attics, basements, and sheds housed the poor during the suburban boom that followed World War II.

November 24, 2023

Dana Cudmore

Friday, November 24, 2023-Episode 500-Dana Cudmore, author of Farming with Dynamite. Before the introduction of concrete in the early 1900s, cut stones were used to build impressive structures such as churches, public buildings and homes. Cudmore documents more than 30 stone quarries across Schoharie County where dynamite was used to get large stones from the land.

November 17, 2023

Cosby Gibson/Tom Staudle/World Songs

Friday, November 17, 2023-Episode 499-Cosby Gibson and Tom Staudle with songs from Hanukkah, Kwanza and other year end holidays.

November 10, 2023

Jim Kaplan

Friday, November 10, 2023-Episode 498-Jim Kaplan on Revolutionary War General Horatio Gates. American commander in the key victory over the British in the Battle of Saratoga, Gates’ reputation suffered at the end of the war. He later moved to New York City and helped elect Thomas Jefferson as President in 1800.

November 03, 2023

Focus on History #3 for 2023

Several topics from Bob Cudmore’s Focus on History newspaper column: Amsterdam NY’s connection to Piscotta, Italy; carper mill tales; union Leader Leonora Barry. Plus an interview with Phillip Malcolm Bowler about his ancestors’ brewery in Amsterdam.

October 20, 2023

David Pietrusza

Friday, October 20, 2023-Episode 496-David Pietrusza with a guided tour of organized crime in the 1920s in New York City, Gangsterland.

October 06, 2023

David Brooks

Friday, October 6, 2023-Episode 495-David Brooks with an insightful look at the 115th New York Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War. The regiment was composed of men from Montgomery, Fulton, Saratoga and Hamilton Counties. Commanded by Simeon Sammons the troops went to war from Fonda. Brooks is a member of the board of the Fulton County Historical Society.

September 29, 2023

HighLights Edition 5

Episode 494-Highlights edition #5-Christopher Gorham with the story of FDR aide Anna Rosenberg; Gregg Ficery tracing the origin of the National Football League; Scott Shane chronicling the life of Thomas Smallwood, an African American who named the Underground Railroad and interviews from the 2015 Fort Plan Museum conference on the American Revolution.

September 22, 2023

Scott Shane

Episode 493-Scott Shane, author of Flee North- A forgotten hero and the fight for freedom in slavery’s borderland. The book traces the life of Thomas Smallwood, an African American who named the Underground Railroad.

September 15, 2023

Charles Yaple

Friday, September 15, 2023-Episode 492-Episode 493-Charles Yaple, Professor Emeritus at SUNY Cortland, has written Jacob’s Land, a history of his immigrant family in New York State in the 1700s. Yaple has also written The Tree of Us following men, from Richford, New York, including John D. Rockefeller, once the world’s richest man, and Gurdon Wallace Wattle, a friend to five U.S. presidents.

September 08, 2023

Gregg Ficery

Episode 491-The origin story of American football. Gregg Ficery traces what became the NFL back to teams which played in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 1892. Ficery is author of Gridiron Legacy.

September 01, 2023

Christopher C. Gorham

Episode 490-Christopher C. Gorham is author of Anna Rosenberg, The Confidante: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped Win WWII and Shape Modern America.
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