I started the year by finding a document online detailing the 1791 sale of confiscated Tory land in the Bain Patent to Walter Wood of White Creek. I started transcribing it, transferring the surveys to modern measurements, making compass corrections, and laying them out to see where they fitted in the Patent. While doing so, I found mention of one previously unknown early White Creek settler, Edward McDonald.
I corresponded with Neal Marshall in England, who is planning a visit to this area in March. He is related to the owner of the Buggy Factory that was across the river from Eagle Bridge, and sent me some photos of and information on it months ago. I also helped Corrine Eldred of the Hoosick Township Historical Society with information on the Battle of Bennington by email.
Sue Mowrey informed me officially that the Historical Markers were done and asked for an official letter to the Court describing Joe’s work. I was happy to do that as he did a great job.
The Facebook Group is now up to 516 members. The website had 460 visitors and 1735 views in 2019, down a bit from 2018. So far in 2020 it has had 12 visitors and 65 views.
I also exchanged a great deal of information about John Munro with Bob Bass who works at the Battlefield. Did some research for Bob on the owners of the Military Patents, John Munro, and Shaftsbury. Was unable to attend the January Town Board Meeting.
In February I Attended the Governor Galusha Tea at the Shaftsbury Historical Society to get to know some historical folks from over the line. Sent Bob Bass some more information. I did more research on the 18th NY Militia, and found some interesting information on Ebenezer Allen. Wrote and published an article on the Facebook Page about the 18th New York Militia, Ebenezer Allen, John Wood, and Lewis Van Woert. Didn’t attend Town Board Meeting.
The Coronavirus situation brought things to a halt for awhile in March, but began to open up in May. Didn’t attend Town Board Meeting.
I corresponded extensively with Bob Bass about disputes over the Vermont line in the 1770’s. Caught up with the April Town Board Meeting online. Posted several articles about the 1918 Pandemic on the Facebook Group.
In May I obtained an add-on for my email program and started converting emails on history to PDF format for backup and storage.
Corresponded with Cherry Bamberg by email about William Waite. She is researching Rhode Island silversmiths. Corresponded with Lisa Mosely about Dr. Richard Henry Greene, who evidently lived in White Creek for a short time before settling in Hoosick. Exchanged posts with Beverley Carroll and Barbara Matrese about Rosewood Cemetery and about Ebenezer Allen on the Washington County NY Ancestors page on Facebook.
In June I put a new page up on the whitecreekhistorian.wordpress.com site about the NYS militia, Ebenezer Allen, etc. I also took photos and processed them for a fellow named Jimmy Griffith who was writing an article on the Bennington Battlefield. Mostly not White Creek but a few were. He published one in his magazine. I also wrote a report on slavery in White Creek and posted it online.
In July I did a little research for a Deborah Hahn on Merrit Allen of White Creek. The membership of “White Creek Past and Present” is up to 581. A number of folks have joined recently. On July 14 I Attended Town Meeting virtually.
I corresponded with Kim West of the Friends of Shushan Facebook Group about the Embury/Wilson and other Patents. Provided her with links and maps and also corresponded with a Crystal McMorris about a gore she was looking for in Hebron. Was able to locate it on a map for her.
In August I corresponded with a June Amman about Levi Preston. Also worked several hours rewriting my book on the Limekiln and formatting it to print. Did not attend Town Meeting.
In September I was able to become more active. The “White Creek Past and Present” Group got up to 607 members. On Sept. 8 I attended Town Meeting virtually. I spent an hour or more researching and answering a query from Dan Costello about his home on Black Hole Hollow road. On Sept. 21 and 22 I spent most of the day attending the APHNYS Annual State Conference over Zoom. I learned some really useful things through the Conference. It was a good idea to do it over Zoom this year as attending in person is time consuming and expensive and I haven’t ever been able to make it before.
After hearing how effective videos were becoming and conversely how few people read books these days I decided to set my book on the Dwinell Limekiln aside for now and do a virtual tour of the site using video. If that is successful I will try some other things on video.
On Sept. 22 – 29 I went up in the Notch and started videotaping for my “Virtual Tour”. Spent several hours. Then I worked on joining the various videos and adding narration, titles, and text. Went back in to the Limekiln again to finish up, but had a defective SD card so lost a lot of what I filmed. My spare was too small to get much video. I did meet a couple hiking who asked me about the kiln, which gave me an opportunity to introduce myself and explain about it. Spent another three hours cutting and splicing videos and adding narration (mostly recorded on my cell this time). Finally I spent several more hours getting the video finished to where I could add the rest to it without too much trouble when I get it filmed.
October was a busy month. On Oct 1 I spent 3.5 hours more out in the woods finishing up the videos. Then spent a full 8 hours splicing videos, creating narration and adding it, and processing and adding still photos to the presentation. Following that I spent another 7 hours on the video. The audio results weren’t good and the end is confusing. I decided to cut it down and find a way to clarify the narration. On Oct. 7 I spent another 6 hours shortening and fixing audio on the video, and put it up on YouTube. Promoted it on various historical and personal sites. It had been viewed over 42 times by 10 pm.
On October 9 the video had been watched by 65 people by 10:30 am. Just about all comments were favorable. Membership in White Creek Past and Present has climbed to 649.
I did some historical research on a former Taber house in White Creek, also for June Amman on the Preston family. The video had had 82 views by Oct. 17.
Starting on October 20 I did some work on another video, and also researched various early settlers online. Two days later I finished and published my second video, on the history of the limekiln operation.
I had to deal with some problems on the “White Creek Past and Present” Facebook Group, caused by politics and people taking offense.
On October 26 I started working on a Virtual Tour of White Creek’s Historical Markers. Started working with Google Maps and applied for permission to use Google Earth Studio. The History of the Limekiln video now had 26 views, The Virtual Tour video had 85.
Ending the month, I made progress on the second “Virtual Tour” video (third video I have made). Set my cell up as a “dashcam” and drove to four of the 10 markers, also stopping to take still photos, and downloaded them into the Openshot processing program.
In November I did a bit of work on “Adams”, evidently a small community in White Creek previous to 1906. Put up a post on Facebook about it. I also continued working on the “Virtual Tour of the Historical Markers” video through the tenth.
I also had to deal with another problem on the Facebook site.
The two videos I have done had 90 views for the Virtual Tour of the Limekiln and 32 views for the History of it. The White Creek Past and Present Group now had 655 members.
I corresponded by email with James Kennelly, the new Jackson historian, also with the DEC about the Limekiln site. Never heard back from Google Maps.
On November 11 I published the video “Virtual Tour of White Creek’s Historic Markers”. Following that I studied some more on taking video and processing videos. On Nov. 13 I began working on a video about how our first settlers squared up logs.
I finished out the month by adding information on the Dwinell Limekiln to the website and the Facebook page and working some on getting ready for log squaring video.
On December 8th I worked on Owlkill Video and attended Town Meeting virtually over Facebook Live. The audio was so bad I couldn’t understand much. A fellow in NYC emailed me to see if we had any interest in a book by Roswell Rice. I forwarded the info to the Cambridge Historical Society, but never heard anything back. On December 24: Put up a link to a video I found on YouTube about how most early settlers lived.
I posted the Owlkill video on YouTube. Spent quite a lot of time during the month studying the processing of videos online.
Towards the end of December I started planning out a series of videos on Paul Jones’ book “Our Yesteryears”, then shot and edited video of Chapter 1 of “Our Yesteryears”and posted it on YouTube with my other videos. It got a very favorable reception.
Almost nothing got done on the archives this year as the Town Hall was closed for most of the time.
As of this report on January 6, 2021 The Facebook Group “White Creek NY Past and Present” had 670 members. In 2020 the Website/Blog “whitecreekhistorian.wordpress.com” had 648 visitors from 9 countries and 2279 total views. The YouTube site “https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiuHNPCjxEGyn36BZBn2TGg” had a total of 410 views and 6 subscribers with a total viewing time of 32.4 hours in 2020, but as I only converted it to History Videos on October 7 (before that I used it to learn to produce videos using personal content), it actually had 317 views, 5 subscribers, and 28.9 hours viewing as a History site from Oct. 7 to the end of the year.
Town of White Creek Historian/Archivist