Dr. Judith Wellman, well known scholar and author on the history of women’s rights and the Underground Railroad, will be the keynote speaker on Sunday, September 25 at 12:30 p.m. at the Annual In the Kitchen Bloomer Tea held at the Smithfield Community Center in Peterboro to celebrate Elizabeth Smith Miller’s birthday and women’s rights heritage. Miller, daughter of Ann and Gerrit Smith, is credited with creating a trouser costume in the mid 1800s that became a symbol of the women’s movement.

Dr. Wellman, author of The Road to Seneca Falls, will describe Peterboro’s role in the women’s movement, including the influence of Gerrit and Ann Smith during the summers that Elizabeth Cady Stanton spent in Peterboro, the debates over dress reform, and the inclusion of women in the Liberty League convention. Wellman states, “Everybody knows about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her work for women's rights. But few people understand how important her cousins, Gerrit and Ann Smith and their daughter Elizabeth Smith Miller, were in shaping her reform agenda. Stanton and Elizabeth Smith Miller had a lifelong friendship, based on their shared sense of humor and their commitment to women's rights (including dress reform). From Gerrit Smith, Stanton gained access to ideas and people at the highest levels of antislavery organization. (If you) want to hear the backstory of the Seneca Falls convention, come to this talk!”

On a warm summer’s night 40 years ago a small group gathered at the Madison County Fairgrounds to ponder an idea. The group included the owners of a weight transfer machine (pulling sled) from the Norwich area along with Madison County Fair Board Members; Raymond Whitford, Raymond Morgan, Harry Larkin, Geoffrey Worden and Milton Jones. These men saw a need for an end of season event, a last hurrah of summer. The feature event would be Tractor Pulls; Stock, Modified, and Garden Tractors. The venue would also include a chicken BBQ, craft and flea markets, gas engine and antique car displays and live music. Raymond Morgan coined the name Wheel Day, thus the beginnings of an annual event that has survived the test of time.
The first year was a huge success with the chicken BBQ and one food stand unable to keep up with the demand of the hungry patrons. Many Community organizations set up fund raising booths such as the ring toss game and milk can ball throw. Currently and for the past several years the Brookfield Central School’s Senior Class has held an auction to help fund their class trip. The flea markets consisted of 90% antiques and the crafters wares ranged from chainsaw art to homemade fudge. Some of the vendors from the very first Wheel Day have consistently and to this day still participate.
For several years parking, gate and grandstand admission were all free of charge. Forty years later the parking and gate admission has remained free of charge, with the grandstand admission being only $5 to $6 dollars.
Various shows and events have come and gone throughout the years. There have been Pedal Tractor, Radio Controlled, and ATV pulls. Along with Antique Stock Car, Go Cart and Motorcycle Races. Thrill Shows and helicopter rides. In the mid 1980’s Wheel Day grew from a single day event into a weekend full of events to become Wheel Days.
Some of the names and faces have changed as the years have spun by, but Wheel Days remains much the same as its founding fathers envisioned it and is as popular today as it was in 1971. On Sept. 23rd- 25th Wheel Days will celebrate 40 years of wheel turning excitement.
Friday, Sept. 23rd at 6pm Fritz Polka Band will take the stage and at 7pm the Diesel Truck Pull will kick off a weekend full of events. Saturday, Sept. 24th at 9am the Gas Truck Pull ,10am Antique Tractor, Race Car, and Snowmobile Display and at 6pm the Demolition Derby and Rollover Contest followed by a Fireworks. Sunday, Sept.25th at 8am Tractor Pull , 10am Just Cruise-In Welcomes all Classic, Custom, Antique, Muscle Cars, Trucks, and Cycles, 12pm Chicken BBQ, and 1pm the Brookfield Central School’s Senior Class Auction. There will be live music, food and special events celebrating 40 years of Wheel Days the entire weekend.
For More Information on Events at the Madison County Fairgrounds visit us online at www.madisoncountyfairny.com or Friend us on Facebook “The Madison County Fair”
You can cover your ears and pretend not to hear it, you can cover your eyes and pretend not to see it, but you can't escape the fact that fall is almost here in Madison County.  The cooler mornings and crisper evenings of late August are without a doubt wonderful, but that means autumn is right around the corner. Of course the best part of fall is the brilliant foliage we get to enjoy across the area.  To that notion we will be starting up our weekly fall foliage reports on Thursday September 8th.  Visit the blog each Thursday to see the forecast and some selected hot spots to visit to see the best colors in all of New York State.

Madison County Historical Society will host its 47th Annual Craft Days at the society, on the society’s grounds at 435 Main Street in Oneida on Saturday, September 10th, 10 am-5 pm and on Sunday, September 11th, 10 am- 4 pm. Admission is $4 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Purchase a weekend pass for $6 and join us both days!  There are over 93 artisans and crafters selling and displaying their handcrafted products. Watch as they demonstrate their artistry and purchase your very own handmade items from them.

Enjoy delicious food from Bucklaew Ice Cream; Pastry Pantry; Kowalczik’s Kettle Corn; Promotional Plus Roasted Nuts; slushies and fried dough from D& D Enterprises; Tim McLaughlin’s Barbecue; and grill items from R and V Concessions.  

From 1-3 on Saturday listen to a crowd favorite performance by Olde Tyme Fiddlers. On Sunday, from 1-3 pm, performing for the very first time at Craft Days is Double Chase.

There are free children’s activities all weekend. On Saturday and Sunday from 12- 2 there will be face painting by Sue Flint. On Sunday from 10-4 check out the Earlville Opera House's Tread On It: T-Shirt Tire Print Workshop where you create a t-shirt using tires as printing blocks. The process is simple-choose t-shirt, tire tread pattern, background and print colors. Then roll the background color(s) on and then roll the tire tread pattern over that-simple!  The workshop takes 20-25 minutes and the t-shirt is free!

Visitors can also tour the society’s headquarters, Cottage Lawn, an 1849 Gothic Revival Cottage, during the event. Check out the society’s wagons and stage coach from 12-2 pm both days. As always visitors are sure to find a special hand crafted item, a delectable treat, and great music all in one location at the 47th Annual Craft Days at the Madison County Historical Society. Don’t forget to purchase raffle tickets to win some fantastic handmade craft items.

A free park and ride service will be provided in a new location throughout the weekend from the Glenwood Plaza on Route 46 in Oneida to the historical society.  Admission is $4 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Purchase a weekend pass for $6 and join us both days! No animals are permitted on the grounds, and there is no smoking.  For more information, please contact the Madison County Historical Society at 315-363-4136, 315-361-9735, or visit us at www.mchs1900.org/craft days.  Become our fan on Facebook at Madison County Historical Society, Oneida, NY.

The Central New York Region offers a taste of everything you’d find on a trip to New York State. Literally. The seven-county area is host to a variety of restaurants and pubs touting local dishes made with farm-fresh ingredients and paired with beer and wine straight from the area’s vineyards and hop yards. In fact, in the 1880s, New York State produced 80 percent of the nation’s hops, and most of those hops came from Madison, Oneida and Otsego counties. Visitors to the region are invited to celebrate the historic culture of New York State’s hop industry by touring a beverage trail or two.

Here are some of the highlights of the area’s beverage trails and cuisine hot spots:

New York State’s very first official cuisine trail, the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, is located in Otsego and encompasses four establishments: Fly Creek Cider Mill, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown Brewing Company and Bear Pond Winery . The trail offers tastings plus a close-up look at how the beverages are made on a tour. The Madison County Hop Heritage Trail is marked by hop kilns and other related hop sites still in existence documenting the agricultural impact of commercial hop production in the history of Madison County and New York State. Madison County was known as "one great hop yard" for a century. Sites on the trail include the Foothill Farms, Ye Olde Landmark Tavern, Coolidge Hop Farm, Chenango Canal Cottage Museum and many more. Sweet apple cider is pressed on an antique Boomer & Boschert press built circa 1890 at Harvest Moon Cidery at Critz Farms , and Owera Vineyards is comprised of four acres of Minnesota cold, hearty varietals Frontenac Gris and Marquette set amidst the rolling hillside near the village of Cazenovia.

The Saranac Brewery, founded in 1888 and located in the heart of Utica, in Oneida County, offers a hands-on tour. The aroma of fresh hops and malts leads visitors to the 1888 tavern to sample brews. The Saranac Brewery also concocts several tasty soft drinks like Root Beer, Ginger Beer and Orange Cream. The Number 5 Restaurant in Greater Binghamton presents a broad range of wines from around the world, with particular emphasis on California Chardonnays and hearty reds. Recipient of various esteemed awards from "Wine Spectator," "Wine Enthusiast" and "Restaurant Wine" magazines, the Number 5 Restaurant offers the largest selection of the highest rated wines available in upstate New York. Another superb establishment, Moxie Wood Fired Grill, welcomes guests with a warm, upscale ambience and trendier types of food – something you'd find in New York City.

Chenango County’s Black Bear Winery produces some of the finest fruit wines and hard ciders made from New York grown fruit picked at the peak of ripeness and pressed into luscious flavors. The American Hotel in Schoharie County features an award-winning, inventive, "American-French" cuisine all its own. The menu focuses on creative dishes that bring the enticing flavors of France, Italy, America and Asia to the table while also changing with the seasons as they feature local produce. The hotel’s extensive wine list includes over 2,500 selections and has been awarded the esteemed "Grand Award" from The Wine Spectator since 1981. The restaurant has received the DiRoNA Award since 1992 for the highest standards for food, wine and spirits, service, atmosphere and value.

Eateries featuring seasonal dishes based on farm-fresh ingredients right from the backyard. Wineries touting a variety of wines made from handpicked, ripe grapes grown in the area’s vineyards. Breweries offering the best of locally grown hops. And to top it all off, trails to walk visitors through this extraordinary, taste bud-pleasing experience. The Central New York Region offers all of this and more. It’s easy to see the historic culture of New York State’s hop industry is alive and well in the Central New York Region.

For more hop heritage trails or to plan a visit to the area, check out: www.JustGoCNY.com.

Jazz –N-Caz celebrates its 10th year with a tribute to Syracuse native Jimmy Van Heusen, and performances by local and nationally-known jazz and blues artists, Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Brae Loch Inn; Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24., at the Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College and Seven Stone Steps at the Lincklaen House.

Jazz-N-Caz events are free and open to the public. The Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College is at 16 Lincklaen Street in Cazenovia. The Jazz-N-Caz schedule may be found on the web at www.cazenovia.edu/jazz. For more information call Colleen Prossner, theatre manager, at 315.655.7238.

The weekend kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 22 with Colleen Pratt & Friends at the annual kick-off party on the lawn at the Brae Loch Inn at 8 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m., the Brubeck Brothers Quartet returns to Cazenovia, along with Henry Butler, followed by Jazz after Hours at Seven Stone Steps at 11 p.m.

The Saturday, Sept. 24 Jazz-N-Caz performances begin at 4 p.m. with the Cazenovia High School Vocal and Jazz ensembles and the Cazenovia College Singers.  The evening begins at 7:30 p.m., with Gap Mangione and the New Big Band, and a tribute to the late Jimmy Van Heusen, featuring Van Heusen favorites performed by special guests. At 11 p.m., the weekend winds down with another Jazz after Hours Jam Session at Seven Stone Steps.  

Cazenovia College, founded in 1824, is an independent, co-educational, baccalaureate college near Syracuse, N.Y., offering a comprehensive liberal arts education in an exceptional community environment, with academic and co-curricular programs devoted to developing leaders in their professional fields.  Cazenovia, named one of "America’s Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, is also a national College of Distinction.  For more information, visit www.cazenovia.edu
Congressman Paul Tonko joined officials from the National Park Service; Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor; I LOVE NEW YORK; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and others today to announce a joint tourism initiative that aims to increase visitation to upstate New York by highlighting historic sites, museums, and tours dedicated to interpreting the story of the Underground Railroad (UGRR). Historically, about eight out of 10 national travelers have included a cultural, arts, heritage or historic activity or event while on a trip of 50 miles or more. This represents a significant contribution to the State’s vital $50 billion a year tourism industry. “The Underground Railroad is one of the greatest stories in our nation’s history, and I am proud of the commitment that Interior and the National Park Service are making to ensure it’s told far and wide,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “Encouraging people to visit these hallowed sites will not only honor the men and women who risked so much in the name of equality and freedom, but will also drive tourism and help spur local economies in New York.”

As a major part of this collaborative initiative, from September 10th through 15th I LOVE NEW YORK will lead a familiarization tour* of historic sites and museums related to the Underground Railroad and slavery in New York, crossing the state with journalists from six different media outlets and a tour wholesaler, all from the United Kingdom.

Many of these sites have received promotional and marketing support from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (ECNHC), which has recently been inducted into  the National Park Service Network to Freedom Program** in recognition of its important work linking and promoting UGRR sites along the New York State Canal System.

It was a very busy week in Madison and Bouckville for the 40th annual Madison Bouckville Antique Week.  The show received good reviews from dealers and visitors and the hotels and restaurants of Madison County had a very successful week too.  Be sure to mark your calendar for next year's show August 13-19, 2012 Here is a recap of stories from around the internet.
Madison Bouckville Antique Show in Full Swing (WKTV) This WKTV story tells about the 35% of the antique show that is inside the festival gates.
Antique Future Bright in Bouckville (Oneida Daily Dispatch) A nice look at the future of the Bouckville Antique Week.
Plenty to see, do and buy as antique extravaganza in Bouckville  celebrates 40 years (Syracuse.com) A good overview of the show from one end of town to the other.
Madison Bouckville (maya*made blog)This blogger was looking for and finding crates at the show
Madison Bouckville Antique Festival Slideshow (The Utica O-D) The OD credits the Festival Field with these pictures, but they were taken all over the town inside and out of that field.  Great times!
Madison Bouckville Review (52 Flea) This blogger had a great time and took outstanding pictures
Stormy Hen Living's Review (Stormy Hen Living) Another fun review of a successful trip to Antique Week
Treasure Hunting at Bouckville (Jen Spends) They spent most of their time on the festival field and enjoyed the experience
550 Dealers at Madison-Bouckville Antique Show (CNY Central) --They miss the mark on the number of dealers, but there is good video of the show.
Vintage Junk in My Trunk (VJiMT Blog) They spent a ton of time in Bouckville and were happy.