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Joshua Thomas
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara views the hill overlooking the Fort Plain Museum with Friend of Fort Plain David Manclow.

Joshua Thomas
From left, Fort Plain Museum President Norm Bollen, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, and Angelo's daughter, Marianna Santabarbara.

Joshua Thomas
From left, Friends of Fort Plain David Manclow and Micki Lieber, Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton, Deputy Mayor Loring Dutcher, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, and Fort Plain Museum President Norm Bollen.

Joshua Thomas
From left, Fort Plain Museum President Norm Bollen, Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton, Deputy Mayor Loring Dutcher and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.

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Santabarbara visits local historical locations

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - Updated: 10:06 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- On Tuesday afternoon, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and his daughter, Marianna, visited historic sites in Fort Plain, including 47 Main St./Diefendorf Hall and the Fort Plain Museum.

Santabarbara received an extensive history of the former fort and of the village, through conversation, viewing the artifacts contained in the museum, and watching an informative three-minute, narrated, 3-D artist rendering of the Fort Plain Museum's history.

"Fort Plain started out as a little stockade for people to run to during times of war," explained Fort Plain Museum President Norm Bollen, informing Santabarbara of the village's transformation to an outpost, then to the now-historical village situated along the Mohawk River.

Various officials attended the event at the museum Tuesday, including Mayor Guy Barton, Deputy Mayor Loring Dutcher, and members of the Friends of Fort Plain, who first walked Santabarbara through 47 Diefendorf Hall, educating him about its history, revitalization to this point, also outlining future goals.

"I wanted him to see that we're working on the revitalization of downtown Fort Plain," said Friend of Fort Plain Micki Lieber, continuing, "He was very interested because he loves the history and the architecture of our village, which is its greatest asset."

"There's a lot of history here and it's important to have efforts to preserve it to share for generations," commented Santabarbara, who was also informed of some of the museum's upcoming activities, including an archeological dig tentatively scheduled for sometime in May. 

The dig will be done by the Van Epps-Hartley Chapter of the NYS Archeology Association, headed by Wayne Lenig. The club, using ground penetrating radar, will be searching for various items, including the grave of Captain Robert McKean, a soldier killed in the battle of Sharon Springs, then moved to Fort Plain for burial.

Letters written to General Washington outline a burial location in a fairly small area. While Bollen said that historical documents confirm that the grave was still there as of 1850, nobody knows what happened to it after that. It could've been dug up and moved, as was common in those days.

The Fort Plain Museum will also host a Boy Scouts of America Camporee in May, along with a group of historical re-enactors, including the First and Third Tryon County Militias and "groups from further away," commented Bollen. If everything goes according to plan, the historical groups will be camped on one end of the hill with the Boy Scouts on the other.

The Fort Plain Museum is primarily a volunteer organization, though a paid curator is employed during the summer. The Fort Plain Museum is open during the winter by appointment only, with the regular season running from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Joshua Thomas - Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara views a two-piece Dutch door at the Fort Plain Museum.

Joshua Thomas - Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara with his daughter, Marianna, views a model of the Fort Plain Museum Block House.

Joshua Thomas - Fort Plain Museum President Norm Bollen with Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara at the museum's Dutch door.

     

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