Johnson Hall State Historic Site’s 250th Anniversary Lecture Series, marking the building of the historic Johnson Hall estate, continues on Saturday, August 3.
Through October, on the first Saturday of each month, lectures that focus on the period surrounding the 1763 building of the home will be held in the first floor hall of the Johnson Hall, beginning at 11am. Refreshments will be available following each lecture in the Stonehouse. Regular public tours will be available after 1:00pm on these days.
On Saturday, August 3, Lois Feister-Huey will present “Archeaology at Johnson Hall”. A retired archeologist with the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, Ms. Feister-Huey directed many of the archaeological projects carried out at Johnson Hall in the past. The results not only found missing outbuildings, but also developed a better understanding and interpretation of the material culture of the Johnson family, as well as of their slaves, servants and visitors to the 18th century estate.
Before she retired, Ms. Feister-Huey consolidated the information from all the work done by both herself and those archeologists who preceded her into a 1995 single hard-covered volume entitled Johnson Hall Outbuildings, Landscape History and Forgotten Features: Documentary and Archeological Research Conducted between 1945 and 1991. This information is used by the Johnson Hall Site staff to enrich their knowledge and interpretation of Johnson Hall. In addition, she collaborated with Bonnie Pulis, former Education Curator at the site, to write the 1997 book Molly Brant: A Legacy of Her Own. Brant, a Mohawk Indian, was the lady of the house who, with Sir William Johnson, raised their family of eight children and served as a partner in the diplomatic relations with Native Americans during New York’s colonial period.
Additional lectures will include “Colonial Johnstown, According to the Daybook of Robert Adems, Sir William Johnson’s Bookkeeper” presented by Gayle Ann Livecchia on Saturday, September 7, and the final lecture on “Georgian Opulence – in the Wilderness, above the Hudson, and on the Seacoast” presented by Judy Anderson on Saturday, October 5.