Old Fort Johnson

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Old Fort Johnson 

2016 Calendar of Events

Old Fort Johnson is located at the intersection of Routes 5 & 67 in the Village of Fort Johnson, approximately one mile west of Amsterdam. 

For more information on any of the events listed below please call 518-843-0300 or e-mail [email protected]


Upcoming Events: 

Last Saturday/Fall Festival :  October 15, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Enjoy the last day of our museum season with a day celebrating the Fall Harvest!  We will be making fresh apple cider on a historic press as long as the fruit holds out. The bake oven will be filled with baking bread and pastries to sample & a blacksmith will be demonstrating his craft.  The museum is open for guided tours on the hour at 11. 12. 1. 2 and 3:00.  Fun for the whole family. Free admission all day, although donations are always welcome.

Voices of the Past:    Friday, October 21, 7:00-9:00 pm  


We mark NY Archives Month with a special evening of 30-minute guided candlelight tours of Old Fort Johnson. Each room brings you a different voice from the past.  This year we hear historic accounts from travelers on the Mohawk Turnpike through the Mohawk Valley. Tour groups leave every half hour from 7:00-8:30 pm;   $5.00 admission, no reservations needed.

Holiday Tea at Old Fort Johnson - Saturday, December 3

Seatings at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm


Celebrate the holidays with an old-fashioned tea party in the decorated rooms of Old Fort Johnson. Enjoy tea & a tasty tower of sweets & savories for a good cause:  all proceeds support the restoration of the Old Fort.   $25.00 donation per person.  Seating is limited --- THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT

Due to the popularity of this event, PRE-PAID Reservations are required – call 843-0300 for details.

Events We Hope You Didn't Miss:

A Taste of History:   Soup Tasting  Saturday, September 10, 5:30-7:30 pm

Our annual fall fundraiser features a sampler of over two dozen of the county’s best homemade soups, breads and pies. Enjoy amazing regional cooking, while supporting the preservation of Old Fort Johnson.


Limited seating, advance tickets recommended.

$20 adults, $10 children includes soup samples, bread, pie, beverage and a commemorative mug.  Held rain or shine under tents in our beautiful gardens.

“Bright Mohawk Valley: A Concert of Irish Roots Music”

The Century Club, 130 Guy Park Avenue, Amsterdam

Special Spring Concert - Sunday, April 24 at 3:00 pm

Liaisons Plaisantes will perform selections of Irish and Irish-influenced music that have been part of the Mohawk Valley soundscape since the mid-1700s. The program includes tunes familiar to Sir William Johnson’s guests in colonial New York. (He was particularly fond of ballads from his native Ireland.)  Other selections, like Thomas Moore’s “Irish Melodies,” were written in the early nineteenth century and sung in parlors on both side of the Atlantic. The concert takes its title from a popular nineteenth century song written about the Mohawk River Valley. Its chorus urges a departing resident to "remmber “the bright Mohawk Valley and the one who loves you so true.” 

“Liaisons Plaisantes” is a quintet of re-enactor/historian/musicians best known for their performances of colonial period music at historic house concerts throughout the region. The ensemble consists of Susan Casler, Sue-Ann Wheadon, Marilee Urbanczyk, Ron Burch, and Olof Jansson, playing Irish whistle, violin, cello, guitar, and keyboard. 

Saratoga Arts made "Bright Mohawk Valley: A Concert of Irish Roots Music" possible with a Community Arts Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Opening Day:  Saturday, May 14 10:00-4:00


Our master baker, David Manthey, created his usual array of extraordinary culinary masterpieces in our outdoor oven. And inside the Fort we’ve got a new seasonal exhibit about the Mohawk Turnpike, New York's first Thruway along the Indian path that became Route 5.

Tuesday Garden Teas

Join us on the second Tuesdays of the summer months for Tea in the gardens of Old Fort Johnson. The cost is $20.00 per person and includes your choice of tea, savory sandwiches, assorted sweets, and fresh fruit.  Held indoors in case of rain. Seating is limited and places fill quickly.  RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.


Book your tea reservation by calling 518-843-0300. 


June 14 -  Afternoon Tea 1:00 pm

July 12 -  Afternoon Tea 1:00 pm

July 12 - Midsummer Evening Tea 5:00 pm

August 9 - Afternoon Tea 1:00 pm

Evenings at the Fort:   3rd Wednesdays 6:30-8:00 pm

June 15 

“Colonial Herb Gardens”

Alyson Montione kicks off our summer lecture series, “Evenings at the Old Fort,” with a presentation on the growth and uses of various plants found in colonial and Native American gardens of early New York.
Ms. Montione has been interested in plants, particularly herbs, and the Colonial era since she was quite young. She studied extensively with Betty Fikes Pillsbury at Green Spiral Herbs in Middleburgh, NY where she learned more about both traditional and modern herbalism. Last year she worked at the Palatine House in Schoharie, where she began to reestablish a historically accurate 18th-century garden. She is now the Program Director for the Schoharie Free Library.  She is stepping in to speak for Betty Pillsbury who was recently sidelined by an unexpected twist of fate (and ankle.)

The gardens at Old Fort Johnson have been newly enlarged with herbs and flowers that are all documented as growing in this area in the 18th century.  Punch and cookies will be served on the lawn after the talk, and attendees are invited to explore the gardens and read the detailed plant labels developed by our volunteers.


Evenings at the Fort:   3rd Wednesdays 6:30-8:00 pm


July 20

"Old Fort Johnson: 110 Years a Museum"

Come help celebrate the 110th Anniversary of the opening of Old Fort Johnson as a public museum. Join us for ice cream and a sampling of the entertainments offered at the Grand Opening of the Fort in 1906.

Evenings at the Fort:   3rd Wednesdays 6:30-8:00 pm

August 17
“Sam’s Sam, The Gallows Bird”
Ken Jones, Esperance Town Historian,  relates the story of Schoharie native, Sam Steenburg, who was hung for murder in Fonda in 1878. Sam's account of his crimes, his confession, trial and hanging were all covered extensively by local newspapers, providing a rare glimpse into the seamy underside of Amsterdam and the life of a local black man in the Civil War and afterwards. Copies of Ken Jones' book about this story - Sam’s Sam, The Gallows Bird - are available for sale in our museum shop.

August 27 - Outdoor Movie - “Fort Ti” 7:30 pm

George Montgomery stars in a classic Hollywood film about Rogers Rangers on New York’s colonial frontier.  Columbia actually premiered the film in Ticonderoga on May 8, 1953. It was a 3-D showcase, known by some as “the throwingest picture yet.” Wear your polarized goggles to get the full effect.

Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy our gardens beforehand. Don’t forget your favorite lawn chair, bug spray and a blanket for enjoying a movie in the great outdoors. Event is free & open to all.

Montgomery County Historical Society Annual Membership Meeting

Wednesday, September 21, at 6:30 pm

Bob Cudmore, local radio host, history columnist and author, will be the featured speaker at the 2016 annual meeting of the membership of the Montgomery County Historical Society, to be held Wednesday September 21, at 6:30 pm in Old Fort Johnson. All current members of MCHS are invited to participate.

Bob Cudmore began his radio career at WCSS as a junior at Amsterdam High School in 1962 and had a regular radio talk show on area airwaves until 2014. He still writes a weekly history column  “Focus on History” in Schenectady's Daily Gazette newspaper and hosts the weekly audio interview podcast "The Historians" at BobCudmore.com. 

The author of four books: Lost Mohawk Valley, Hidden History of the Mohawk Valley, Stories from the Mohawk Valley and the satirical book, You Can’t Go Wrong, he will share with us some of the many forgotten stories that he has recovered from Montgomery County’s history.