Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Archaeology Update

Two amateur archaeologists, F. Andrew Wolfe, an engineer at SUNY, and his friend Denis Foley, an anthropologist at Union College, have been busy discovering buried remnants of the historic Erie Canal. Thought to have been destroyed, the men have learned through exploration and research that much of the canal was simply buried after it fell out of use and was covered over in the 1950s. This is fascinating work and will recover for our time some really interesting 19th century American history.

In another effort to recover lost history, the NYT reports on tours of the remains of New York's once majestic Pennsylvania Station, a glorious piece of architecture based on the Roman baths of Caracalla, that, in an unforgivable act of vandalism and stupidity, was leveled in the 1960s. But the underground portions of the station survived and are still a train station, and here and there are hints, teasing glimpses of the glory that once stood there. Tours are held the fourth Monday of every month, and sound fascinating; worth a look if you live in or are visiting NYC.

At Mount Vernon, the Distilled Spirits Council is restoring the distillery built there by the honored Father of our Country, George Washington. To celebrate the event, using the President's personal recipe, Jim Beam Master Distiller Jerry Dalton and helpers, dressed in appropriate 18th century style, whipped up a batch of presidential whiskey. The whiskey, described as being "spicy and aromatic," will be aged and bottled, and sold to benefit Mount Vernon.

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