Pictured are Robert Weible (NYS Historian and Chief Curator of the NYS Museum) and Matthew Urtz (Madison County Historian) discuss edits for a Central Region iconic Thruway sign proposed at Governor Cuomo’s PATH through HISTORY conference Aug. 28 at the Empire State Plaza.
Barbara Bartlett (Lorenzo State Historic Site, and the PATH through History Central Region Coordinator), Pat Hoffman (Oneida Community Mansion House), Shannon Mantaro (Hamilton PCD), Bruce Mosely (Colgate University), Matt Urtz (Madison County Historian) and Dot Willsey (National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark) attended.
The conference was well-executed by the governor’s staff, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and the NYS Museum with warm hospitality, punctuality, and enthusiasm. The day started with hardhat tours behind the Capitol restoration projects. Small groups went backstage in the Governor’s offices. The entire group (200 approximately) met for Kenneth T. Jackson’s America Begins in New York: The Role of the Empire State In the National Narrative. Well known Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer delivered the luncheon keynote Lincoln in New York.
Facilitated Regional Break Outs were held for each of the ten state regions. Madison County is in the Central Region with Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, and Oswego counties. The total conference group met for the regional vision presentations to the governor in a room lined with one iconic sign from each of the ten districts. Bruce Moseley was the presenter for the Central Region. The Governor took notes as the ten reps spoke. Cuomo spoke to the conference with a powerful focus on highlighting the rich history that exists in New York State by showcasing more than two hundred of our most significant sites and historic milestones. His words and delivery were inspirational and motivational about NYS history. Shuttle buses then transported the conference to a reception at the Executive Mansion. Governor Cuomo shook hands and spoke about his new effort to highlight New York’s rich heritage, his aim to showcase New York State’s history and cultural significance, and his objective to promote tourism and economic development in communities in every region of the state.
At the conference, the Governor announced that the state will allocate $1 million to jumpstart ten regional heritage tourism marketing plans. In addition, Governor Cuomo unveiled proposed new road signs to be installed on major state highways to promote sites from New York’s history, and previewed a new website that will have additional information on the sites.
The Path through History will be marked by brand new signs that will be placed along the New York State Thruway and other major arteries to direct travelers to historic sites in the area. For more information: www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/PTHToursbyThemefinal.pdf