By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor
Who remembers the U.S. Bicentennial, and the hoopla in 1976 celebrating 1776?
Now comes the Semiquincentennial — the country’s 250th birthday.
Queensbury Town Historian John Berry and Warren County Historian Stan Cianfarano are heading up efforts to form a local 250th Commission for Warren and Washington Counties to join in the events and celebration.
Mr. Cianfarano is president of the Warren County Historical Society, and Mr. Berry is treasurer.
There will be nine years of events, 2025 to 2033 — the 250th years since the American Revolution’s first military engagement in 1775 and signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and continuing through the final major battle in 1783, in Yorktown, Virginia.
“We are just getting started,” Mr. Berry says. They said they’ve received official recognition from the Town of Queensbury and the Warren County Board of Supervisors. “We also have all the Town Historians in Warren County on board,” Mr. Cianfarano said. They are reaching out in Washington County now, for what they expect will be a combined effort.
“We’re second in the region only to Saratoga,” Mr. Berry says — all the better to be “on the ground floor” for expected state grants to fund projects, they hope.
“Saratoga jumped on because of the importance of the Battles of Saratoga,” in 1777, Mr. Berry notes.
He’s eager to share local stories of the Revolution. “Around here, every year there’s something that happened in this area that you can highlight,” he says, pointing to events at Fort Ticonderoga, Colonel Henry Knox’s famed “noble train” transporting cannon — by foot and oxen, in winter — from Ticonderoga to Boston.
Mr. Berry said notable characters include Moses Harris Jr. — as in “Harrisena” — a celebrated spy for the American Patriots. He said they aim to tell the stories of English Loyalists, too.
Benedict Arnold, later the traitor, was key to the birth of the U.S. Navy in Whitehall, then called Skenesborough. He was also still a loyal American officer when he lost part of a leg at the Battle of Saratoga.
Battles were fought here in Fort Ann, and other towns.
“Now we are just at the initial phase of what we want to accomplish and how,” they said, noting that 2025 is not far off.
For details and to get involved, contact Mr. Berry at 761-8252, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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