Local historians readying for nation’s 250th anniversary | Local

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Development of the new Dr. Joseph Warren Visitors House Museum in Queensbury is moving forward, with a goal of opening in 2026, when the region and nation celebrate the 250th anniversary, or semiquincentennial, of independence from Britain.

“That’s the plan,” said Teri Podnorszki Rogers, executive director of the Warren County Historical Society.

The region, due to its significant Revolutionary War history, is expected to reap a boom of cultural heritage tourism that year.

A new state commission will be working with historic sites and municipalities to plan a multi-year 250th anniversary celebration leading up to and including 2026, and to accept federal funding to distribute to various projects.

The new Joseph Warren museum, on the county’s Gurney Lane campus, will add yet another attraction to the mix of Revolutionary War history sites in the region, Rogers said.

It is to be developed in a vacant house, next to the Warren County Historical Society headquarters building, that the county formerly rented out

Warren County was named in 1813 for Joseph Warren, a Boston area physician who was an instrumental leader early in the American Revolution and was killed in combat at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

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The planned museum will resemble what Warren’s 18th century home in Roxbury, Mass., would look like today if it had been preserved.

The museum will exhibit artifacts, paintings and memorabilia, including those from the collection of Shane Newell, a former Warrensburg resident who wrote the book “Joseph Warren and the Boston Rebellion.”

It would include a small theater for educational programs, and an outdoor apothecary garden that would connect it with the Historical Society building.

Over the past year, the Historical Society, in collaboration with Newell, has gained support of the Warren County Board of Supervisors for the concept, established a steering committee, and hired LaBella Associates of Rochester, a firm that specializes in historic preservation.

In 2022, the Historical Society will begin seeking grants, Rogers said.

Some historical sites are already holding lectures and showing exhibits to begin a multi-year emphasis leading up to 2026, when Revolutionary War sites in the region are expected to have the greatest concentration of national publicity since a regional celebration in 2002 of the 225th anniversary of the Battles of Saratoga, said to be the turning point in the Revolutionary War.

“We’re really at the beginning of all of this,” said Sean Kelleher, vice president of the Saratoga County History Center at Schuylerville, which held a kick-off series of public lectures this fall.

Saratoga County Historian Lauren Roberts is heading a commission that is planning 250th anniversary events throughout the county.

Fort Ticonderoga opened a new two-year exhibit last summer about the role of the citizen militia in the American Revolution.

The exhibit, “A Well Regulated Militia: Citizen, Soldier and State,” continues for the 2022 season.

Fort management is planning a series of events from 2024 to 2027 to celebrate 250th anniversaries of Revolutionary War developments in “real time” as they occur.

Facility improvements also are in the works and will be announced in coming months, said Beth Hill, president and chief executive officer of Fort Ticonderoga.

“Fort Ticonderoga’s 250th plans include major capital initiatives, programmatic development and educational outreach,” Hill explained.

In June, the state Senate and Assembly unanimously passed legislation to establish a 13-member state commission to plan a statewide 250th anniversary celebration and to accept federal funding to assist municipalities and historical sites with programs and developments.

Members will be appointed to the commission as soon as Gov. Kathy Hochul signs legislation, which unanimously passed the Senate and Assembly, said Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, the Assembly sponsor.

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