October 7-9 marks Path Through History Weekend in New York State, a chance to celebrate the rich and vibrant past, from the lush Adirondacks to the sandy shores of Long Island. Below, we’ve selected a series of can’t-miss events ranging from a saints and sinners cemetery tour to a farmhouse tour to a U.S. historical military timeline exhibit. Check out the Path Through History event site for all of the historical and educational attractions hosting something special over the weekend! October also happens to be New York State History Month, so keep the adventures going all month long as you explore New York’s historic and heritage sites!
Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available.
Enjoy a guided, relaxed walk starting at John Brown Farm followed by a short drive to the town of North Elba Cemetery where you will stroll the Old Section of the cemetery. The event will meet at Brown’s gravesite at John Brown Farm for a short chat about relationships that developed after this life-long abolitionist moved to the North Country of New York, and what roles the women in his family played in his life and mission. At the cemetery you’ll see where family members and neighbors were laid to rest, and hear stories of the Civil War veterans from North Elba. To register, call 518-806-9719. Lake Placid; 10/1, 10/7, 10/8, 1-2:30pm. Donations suggested.
Saratoga 250 and the Saratoga National Historical Park are partnering to present Siege Encampment Weekend. This special event features educational programming and living historians in three locations: Saratoga Battlefield, the Philip Schuyler House, and the Stillwater Blockhouse. Check out a variety of activities including 18th century demonstrations of cannon and musket firings at the military encampments, blacksmithing demonstrations, 18th century surgery, and demonstrations of womens’ roles in healing, cooking, and more. Tours of the various sites and children’s activities will be available as well. Saratoga Springs; 10/7-10/8, 10:00am-4:00pm. Free.
Join the Historical Society of Woodstock as they host an event featuring family stories of farm and rural life in Woodstock’s agrarian past. Today, tourism is the obvious and major driver of the Woodstock economy, but this wasn’t always so. Up until the 1950s, Woodstock was largely an agrarian-based community with family farms, trades, and businesses that supported farming. Although no longer farmers, many of the old farming families remain in Woodstock. Stories of pet bears, cold winters, planting and harvesting, tragedies and triumphs live on as they have been passed down through generations. Family Lore of Agrarian Woodstock will be an open discussion among old Woodstock families remembering and recounting this history. Woodstock; 10/7, 11:00am-1:00pm. Free.
Join the Phelps Mansion Museum on a special tour that will take a closer look at the architecture of Isaac G. Perry, who came to Binghamton around 1854 to oversee the building of the New York State Inebriate Asylum. For the next 50 years he made a name for himself as one of Binghamton’s leading architects (and even had a hand in building the New York State Capitol). The tour will include background information on Perry and a closer look at his buildings, including the interiors of his three churches, Centenary Methodist, St. Patrick’s, and First Congregational. The tour will end at Spring Forest Cemetery with a short walk to the gravesite of Isaac Perry. Binghamton; 10/7, 10:00am-1:00pm. $20.
Guys, gals, and ghouls will love the Fenton History Center’s 18th annual Saints & Sinners Cemetery walking tours at Lake View Cemetery. These historically informative tours are an excellent way to get in the spirit for All Hallows Eve, as costumed actors tell revealing stories about Jamestown’s famous and infamous former residents. Jamestown; 10/7, 2:00pm-3:45pm. $15/adults, $2/children.
Have you ever wondered how a museum is started in the first place? Where does the “stuff” come from? How do they know what to focus on? Stop by the Howland Farm Museum to learn about history, the present, and future at “Fall-Back-to-the-Future-Fest!” This event will have a historical focus with interactive and educational exhibits, but there will also be games and activities for the whole family to participate in, including a 5/15k fall fitness challenge, pumpkin carving, decorating, and potato sack races. Aurora; 10/7-10/8, 1:00pm-5:00pm. Free. While you’re in town, explore all of the Aurora-Ledyard Museum Group offerings during Path Through History Weekend, including the nearby Antique Printing Museum Open House (where you can print your own free keepsake!) and Patrick Tavern: “Meet Benjamin Ledyard”.
Visit the African American Veterans Monument – the first in the nation to recognize the contributions of African Americans who have served or are currently serving in all six branches of the military, during war and peace times. African Americans have fought in all 12 of the United States’ military conflicts since the country’s first war, whether voluntarily enlisting or being drafted. The on-site interactive experience includes 13 interpretive signs that offer visitors a glimpse into the experiences of African American Veterans throughout history. QR codes add audio and visual accompaniments, allowing access to short interpretive videos that enhance visitor experiences via mobile devices through storytelling and education. Buffalo; 10/7-10/9. Free.
See and sail like an artist during this special boat tour and workshop provided in collaboration with The Olana Partnership and the Hudson Ferry Co. During this 90-minute tour and sketching expedition, participants will take in the river and its surroundings like a Hudson River School painter. Participate in drawing exercises, hone your observational skills, and get inspired by learning more about the techniques and practices of 19th Century artist Frederic Church. This special voyage will culminate with a view of Olana, Church’s masterwork and family home on the Hudson. This event is open to all ages and skill levels and drawing materials will be provided. Ferry rides depart from the Hudson Waterfront. Hudson; 10/7, 1:00pm-4:30pm. Adults/$50, Seniors/$45, Children/$40.
Experience the Cradle of Aviation Museum like never before through an engaging adventure designed to educate and entertain.Embark on three distinct Aerospace Quests, tailored for various age groups, as you take a unique journey exploring aviation and space on an immersive experience through the museum’s galleries and hands-on exhibits. The museum’s team of knowledgeable and amiable docents will be your companions throughout the galleries, readily available to assist you in your quest. Garden City; 10/7-10/9, 10:00am-5:00pm. Admission: Museum & Planetarium Combo Adults $25, Child/Senior $23. Museum Galleries Only Adults $18, Child/Senior $16. Planetarium Shows Adults $12, Child/Senior $11
Embrace rural living in the big city on a tour of the historic Adriance Farmhouse and learn all about the oldest surviving structure on Queens County Farm Museum’s property! Queens Farm exemplifies the 300-year history of agriculture and farming as a way of life in New York City. The restored Adriance Farmhouse is the centerpiece of the farm complex and was first built as a three-room Dutch farmhouse in 1772. The farmhouse and surrounding area mirror the evolution of this unique tract of land from a colonial homestead to a truck farm that served the needs of a growing city in the early 20th century. Queens; 10/7-10/9, 11:00am-4:00pm. Free.
Head to the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum to get a glimpse into a Civil War-era fort and experience historical demonstrations and displays of every U.S. military war, from the French & Indian War to Vietnam to the Civil War to World War II. Madrid; 10/7, 10:00am-5:00pm. Free.