Remember local history

Today, as local residents celebrate Independence Day, they should remember how much they owe the people who came before them, and helped blaze the path to freedom.

Better yet, we hope people will get out and visit the many historic sites in the local area that have a connection to the Revolutionary War.

There are many ways to start looking into that local history; one is by using the Path Through History website for the Mohawk Valley – www.mohawkvalleyhistory.com.

Visitors will find many suggestions about where to stop in Fulton and Montgomery counties to learn more about local history, both before and after America won its independence.

In Fulton County, sites include Johnson Hall State Historic Site and the Colonial Cemetery, both in Johnstown, and the Rice Homestead in Mayfield.

In Montgomery County, Fort Klock in St. Johnsville and the Fort Plain Museum & Historical park are among the places visitors can learn more about America’s Revolutionary past – and a variety of other topics.

We live in an area that is full of history, and it is worthwhile to get out and learn some.

While many things can be learned in books, visiting a place can help bring history to life in a way a book simply cannot.

Along those lines, it is nice to see Johnstown will have a weekend-long celebration of the city’s rich colonial heritage in September.

For the event, the Johnson Hall State Historic Site on Hall Avenue and the society will feature an encampment and a variety of demonstrations, culminating with a re-enactment of the Battle of Johnstown.

It was one of the last battles in the northern theater of the Revolutionary War, with 1,400 soldiers engaged in Johnstown on Oct. 25, 1781. Local American forces led by Col. Marinus Willett defeated British forces under the command of Maj. John Ross.

It is good to see history being kept alive. We hope people will take advantage of it.