- The celebration of 300 years of Democracy in Dutchess continues! Dutchess County has a rich historic heritage and proud legacy since its first election in 1713. Our independent government began when the colonial government granted permission for residents to elect their own supervisor, treasurer, tax assessor and tax collector. Join in the festivities as we commemorate pivotal historic moments through Dutchess County Heritage Days, including Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactments and lectures.
Civil War Weekend and Re-enactment at Bowdoin Park, Poughkeepsie! At 11am, see a demonstration by the Union re-enactors, with demos of marching, manual drill of arms, and a firing of muskets! Regiment Skirmishes are set for 1:30 pm on Saturday and at 1pm on Sunday. Hear a Civil War-era music concert by the Excelsior Cornet Band, who perform using original period instruments. Meet Sojourner Truth (Carolyn Evans); the former slave and abolitionist who lived in the Hudson Valley most of her life. Steve Trimm tells the story of Lawrence Van Alstyne, a Private in the 128th New York who became a Lieutenant with the 90th US Colored Troops. Hear from author Joel Craig on "Civil War Comes to Dutchess", while Sherri House talks about :Women in the Civil War".
Revolutionary War Weekend in Fishkill! Tour Van Wyck Homestead and Fishkill Supply Depot's Continental Army graveyard. See demonstrations of historic trades. Historic Trinity Church conducts a period church service on Sunday morning; wearing of costumes is encouraged. Exciting military programs take place all weekend!
During the American Revolution, Civil War Came to Dutchess! On Saturday, September 21, hear Todd Braisted, leading authority on American Loyalist Regiments, lecture on "King George's Hudson Valley Soldiers: New York Loyalist Regiments in the American Revolution!" at the First Reformed Church. Braisted investigates those men who stood with the colonial government against the Continental Congress. Tickets are $10 in advance and $5 at the door. For information on getting a Heritage Patrons VIP package and to make reservations for Dutchess Heritage Series Lecture #3, call the Tourism office at 845-463-4000.
Schedule for Civil War Weekend Follows.
Saturday, September 14th:
10 am, Gates open for viewing soldier camp set ups and displays of Civil War history from Dutchess municipalities. Children's enlistments and marching exercises with wooden cut-outs of muskets throughout the day.
11am, Demonstrations on marching, manual drill of arms, and the firing of muskets by Union re-enactors.
11:30 am, Steve Trimm, speaker from "Friends of Grants Cottage," presents "Lawrence Van Alstyne of Dutchess County". Van Alstyne began his Civil War service as a Private in the 128th New York and became a Lieutenant with the 90th United States Colored Troops.
1:30 pm, Skirmish on the "battlefield" between Union and Confederate troops.
2:45pm, Performance by professional actress Carolyn Evans who portrays the former slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth, who lived in the Hudson Valley for much of her life.
4:15pm, The Excelsior Cornet Band, "New York State's Authentic Civil War Brass Band" performs "The Music of the Civil War" using original instruments and equipment from the period. http://excelsiorcornetband.com/
. Camps close for the evening at the end of the concert.
Sunday, September 15th:
All Day: Displays of Civil War history from Dutchess municipalities. Children's enlistments and marching exercises with wooden cut-outs of muskets throughout the day.
9:45am, Traditional Civil War era church service at Trinity Episcopal Church.
10:30am, Demonstrations on marching, manual drill of arms, and the firing of muskets by Union re-enactors.
11am, Joel Craig, noted author of books on the Civil War and president of the Ulster County Civil War Round Table, presents "Civil War Comes to Dutchess".
1pm, Skirmish on the "battlefield" between Union and Confederate troops.
2pm, Sherrie House, Speaker: "Women in the Civil War."
3pm, Abraham Lincoln re-enactor reviews the troops and recites the Gettysburg Address.
4th Annual Revolutionary War Weekend, Septemebr 21 & 22
Co-hosted by Fishkill Historical Society and Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot. Events begin at 10 am both days. Free busing provided from the Dutchess Mall parking lot south of the Homestead off Route 9 South. Limited handicapped parking only on-site.
Demonstrations both days:
- Artisan's Demonstrations in Blacksmithing and Musket Ball moulding, Broom Making, Candle dipping in Artisan's Area
- Self-guided Van Wyck property tour
- Self-guided Clay Bread Oven Demos
- Self-guided Colonial herb garden tour
- Guided Tours of Van Wyck Homestead museum tours
- Colonial encampment behind the house
- Artillery Demonstrations all weekend, four times each day Children's Games on the front lawn Kid's Musket Drill on the front lawn - gaming area
Presentation of Loyalists in America by the Dutchess County Historian William P. Tatum III. Tours to the Burial grounds are at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm both days. Food/refreshments for sale available on site all day.
Sunday, September 22 Highlights:
- Colonial music by Linda Russel
- General Clinton and his aide arrive on horseback The Colonials capture a party of raiding Tories Tory trial by General Clinton at the Homestead
The sponsors for Dutchess Heritage Days are the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and Central Hudson. These are some of the events taking place to celebrate Heritage Days, the 300th Anniversary of Democracy in Dutchess. To learn more about all of the events planned as part of the Heritage Days, visit Dutchess County Tourism's special Heritage Days webpage at www.dutchesstourism.com/heritage-days.php
Dutchess County Tourism in Poughkeepsie is a division of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation and is funded by the County of Dutchess.
Photos available upon request