Saturday, June 15, 2019

Summer Lectures, Shakers, and the Weather!

 I have been thinking about doing a Wednesday night lecture on the Shakers this year. The Town of Lebanon was actually settle by Shaker members who left the society to get married. They settled on land that became our current Town of Lebanon. (The Shaker settlement they left was New Lebanon.) 

What added to my Shaker thoughts has been the discussions about the terrible cold damp weather we have been having.  I said to friends that it was possible some of it is caused by lingering smoke in the atmosphere from this past years wild fire, which reminded me of a history story! The date was May 19th in the year in 1780.....

The sun shown bright red in many places before that date and was followed on the 19th by a black cloud that settled over an area that stretched from New York to Maine.  It was so dark that candles had to be lit at noon and the darkness never stopped until the following night. Since there was no weather or news broadcasts in those days it brought many to the conclusion that the “World” was coming to an end as predicted in Biblical teachings.

One famous scene attributed to this was a story made famous in a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier.  His name and the poem are called Abraham Davenport.  Davenport was legislator in Connecticut who when his colleagues wanted to adjourn a session because of the darkness exclaimed: “I am against adjournment.  The day of judgment, is either approaching or it is not, if it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment, if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty.”

The Shakers of then Niskayuna (Waterveliet) Colony were seeking new converts to their religion and were out proselytizing when the event occurred and received a record number of converts because of it.

Many years later (recently) the cause was confirmed to be massive forest fires in Ontario, Canada.  College researchers examining the scar damage on the growth rings of trees attributed the “Dark Day” to a fire in today's Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario.

The new lecture series is scheduled to begin in July, dates to be announced as we are delaying because of the stay tuned as they say!!!

Here is a video of today's work to restore the Shaker Colony of Niskayuna. Enjoy and come out to Eaton for our "Shaker Lecture:!

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