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Trailblaze a Path Through History: Central New York, a documentary premiere

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Join us for a showing of a new documentary produced by WPBS-TV in Watertown for the Path Through History project. This 30-minute high definition film entitled "Trailblaze a Path Through History: Central New York" is locally produced and focuses on the many stories that established central New York's history. The stories uncover a trail of innovation and reform that makes its way through Madison, Oswego, Cortland, Cayuga and Onondaga counties.

Seating for the film screening is limited and registration is encouraged.

The film premiere will take place on Wednesday, July 15 at the American Foundry in Oswego. It is free and open to the public. Food and drinks will be available to purchase before the documentary showing and there will be time for mingling after the film. More details are below.

5 p.m. | Doors open; food and beverages available for purchase

5:50 p.m. | Introductions

6 p.m. | Film screening: Trailblaze a Path Through History: Central New York

6:30 p.m. | Concluding remarks, social time

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More about the film:

The story begins in the middle of the state, where a historic feat of innovative engineering began that would transform New York state into the Empire State. The Erie Canal was conceived in 1817 and completed in 1825. The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse showcases the hardship of the canal construction and life on the canal. In nearby Chittenango, the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum has preserved three original Erie Canal dry docks, circa 1855.

The Syracuse home of suffragist and abolitionist Matilda Joslyn Gage features an interesting link to the author of “The Wizard of Oz” books.  Oswego’s Fort Ontario State Historic Site played pivotal roles in several wars, from the Revolutionary War to World War II.  There, during WWII, Fort Ontario became a ‘safe haven’ for over 983 European refugees, whose fascinating stories are chronicled in the nearby Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum.

In Auburn, at the home of statesman William H. Seward, a bloody sheet hangs as a reminder of the other assassination attempt on the night President Lincoln was shot. Just down the road, The Harriet Tubman Home tells the story of the former slave who served as spy, scout and nurse during the Civil War and helped to free over 750 slaves.

The 1890 House Museum in Cortland contains some pretty innovative features -- as it should, since it was the home of industrialist Chester Wickwire -- who built an empire on weaving wire used in window screens and strainers.

Other places featured in the documentary include Cazenovia Lake, Canastota, Peterboro and Oneida. Trailblaze a path through the five counties to discover central New York’s treasured history, its forward-thinking statesmen and landowners, and its courageous women.

More information about the Path Through History project is available online.