The Adirondack Waterfest is coming to Penfield Museum in the Crown Point hamlet of Ironville. The 18th annual event will be held Friday, July 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is a free day of water-related exhibits and events, entertainment and food.
The Adirondack Waterfest is coming to Penfield Museum in the Crown Point hamlet of Ironville.
The 18th annual event will be held Friday, July 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is a free day of water-related exhibits and events, entertainment and food.
“It’s educational and it’s fun,” said Lois Sayward of the Essex County Soil & Water Conservation District. “We’ve invited all the youth commissions in the county and hope a lot of people will attend.”
The day’s activities will include music by Roy Hurd, a birds of prey demonstration, games, backyard bass fishing, a water-quality trivia contest and exhibits.
The emphasis of the Adirondack Waterfest, which is held in a different community each summer, is local water quality, watersheds, invasive species, septic system maintenance and shoreline erosion. It is sponsored by the Essex County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Greater Adirondack Resource Conservation and Development Council.
The Adirondack Waterfest was held in Ticonderoga in 2007. Last year it was in Lake Placid.
“This event showcases local businesses and organizations that are involved in water quality and gives them a unique opportunity to disseminate a large quantity of educational materials to a local audience,” according to a statement from the soil & water district. “Hundreds of people from surrounding communities attend to learn about their local water bodies through presentations, games, educational exhibits, nature walks and much more. An array of water quality issues are addressed, such as stormwater runoff, erosion and sediment control, wells, septic systems and watershed and lake health.
“It is an all-day event that is free and is funded by local non-for-profit organizations, city and county entities and private and state grant funding,” the statement reads.
For more information call the Essex County Soil & Water Conservation District at 962-8225.
Located in the Crown Point hamlet of Ironville, the Penfield Museum is the former home of Allen Penfield and reflects the 19th Century when mining dominated the regional economy. It is also the birthplace of the electrical age.
The hamlet of Ironville, on the National Register of Historic Places, is listed as the “Birthplace of the Electric Age” since it is the site of the first industrial application of electricity in the United States in 1831. The electricity was provided by a simple battery known as a “wet battery,” which in turn was used to power one of Joseph Henry’s electromagnets. The electromagnet was used in Ironville to recharge the magnetic prongs on the magnetic ore separator, a machine used to remove the iron from the crushed ore.
The magnet also became a novelty and people would come from miles to see it’s strength. Thomas Davenport, of Brandon, Vt., was so fascinated with the magnet at Ironville that he purchased it from Allen Penfield at a cost of $75. With the experimentation that Davenport did on that magnet, it lead to his invention of the electric motor in the mid 1830s.
Central to the museum is an exact replica of a large electromagnet now in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Penfield moved his family to Crown Point in 1828 to make his fortune in the mining industry. The home he build was occupied by three generations before becoming a museum which houses a collection of 19th Century artifacts memorabilia.
Crown Point iron was an indispensable product for the North in the Civil, War. Iron from Crown Point was used to construct the battleship Monitor.
The museum contains samples of iron ore mined by Penfield along with pictures of the mines in operation.
Rooms in the museum are furnished with original pieces once belonging to the Penfields. Other historic furniture is also on display.
Ironville was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The homes along the main street were all constructed in the early 19th Century.
Those buildings, besides the museum, include the Harwood House, a church, a parsonage, a boarding house and homes and barns that have been in use for 150 years and longer.
There are 10 stations along a self-guided tour. Year-round historical and recreational trails wander across the 500 acres of the homestead.
In the summer, hiking and camping are available near the Penfield Pond.
The museum is on the grounds of the Penfield homestead, known as the birthplace of the electrical age. But it contains much more than artifacts relating to mining and electricity; it is a museum of local history.