Former Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are among the featured speakers at Schoharie’s Stone Fort History Fair this weekend. Representing half of the famous foursome portrayed on Mount Rushmore, imitators of the two presidents will give speeches, grant interviews and meet with the public throughout History Fair. Roosevelt last visited Schoharie County in 1914, campaigning for the Progressive Bull Moose candidates in the NYS gubernatorial election.
President Roosevelt comes to Schoharie courtesy of Joe Wiegand, a nationally known imitator of the 26th president, with funding provided by the New York Council for the Humanities. He joins local historian Peter Lindemann, interpreter of the 16th president, Lincoln, and more than 50 other people from the past in a two-day celebration of the art of living history, bringing together people who collect and interpret daily life as lived over hundreds of years.
History Fair is all about time, and the people who have immersed themselves in one time or topic enough to be able to live it and share it with visitors.
The Stone Fort Museum grounds are transformed into a kaleidoscope of time, featuring people, machines and crafts from various centuries.
Visiting experts include a Polish winged hussar from the 1600s, a Roman gladiator, Viking, and the German Red Baron from World War I. Colonial militia and Civil War troops camp near restored military vehicles and tents from WWII to Vietnam. A daily military timeline will allow troops to demonstrate technologies and tactics from more than 500 years of warfare.
Home life is also featured with the Golden Fleece Spinners and Weavers Guild demonstrating the full process from a sheep’s fleece to a woolen shawl. The Dutch Barn Preservation Society is bringing its large-scale model of a Dutch Barn for fair-goers to assemble and raise each day. The Hudson Mohawk Chapter of Pioneer Gas Engines will bring early 20th century machines to wash and wring out clothing, pump water and perform household and farm chores.
Musical performances are also featured at History Fair. On Saturday, David and Ginger Hildebrand of the Colonial Music Institute will perform music of the War of 1812 in two concerts, reprising songs from their recent PBS documentary on that war. Their appearance is underwritten by a grant from NBT Bank.
Two well-known groups will perform music from the Civil War era in concerts underwritten by the Donna Lavigne Agency. On Saturday, the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers will sing songs from army campfires at the battlefront and the parlors of those left behind at home.
Sunday features The Iron Jacks performing the shipboard music that entertained Union sailors and marines who participated in Civil War landing parties.
Stone Fort History Fair is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free to all under 18, and $10 for adults.
History Fair is sponsored by Stewart’s Shops and Sterling insurance; event catering is provided by the George Mann Tory Tavern.
All event proceeds benefit the Old Stone Fort Museum Complex, seven historic and exhibit buildings on a 25-acre Revolutionary War battle site in Schoharie.
The Old Stone Fort Museum Complex is located at 145 Fort Road, Schoharie, just off Rt. 30, 2 miles south of I-88 Exit 23.
For further information, call (518) 295-7192 or visit theOldStoneFort.org or facebook.com/oldstonefort