The Treman Show

old postcard Enfield Falls State Park, Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes

An old postcard shows the beginning of the upper gorge in the upper section of Robert H. Treman State Park.

“The Treman Show.” Produced by the Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park, this award-winning* half-hour episode of Walk in the Park TV (#44) explores the trails, history, archeology, geology, and plants and wildlife of this scenic and historic park near Ithaca in New York’s Finger Lakes region. It will show on Ithaca, NY’s public access channel 13 this Thursday at 9 PM,  Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m., and again on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. Or, you can watch it right here anytime!

*This video, originally entitled, “Exploring Robert H. Treman State Park,” and part of the Nature Nearby series produced by Tony Ingraham for PEGASYS public access in Ithaca, NY, won first place as the best public access show in Ithaca in 2008.

Return to the Sea

Virginia Beach, Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay

Pier at Virginia Beach

In this Thanksgiving week episode of Walk in the Park TV, we go to the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay, to Hampton Roads, the Virginia Peninsula, and Virginia Beach. See the site of the Civil War battle between the ironclads Monitor and Merrimack, and where Blackbeard the pirate preyed upon colonial shipping. Find out about Christopher Newport and the founding of America’s earliest English settlements, and the destruction of the Kechoughtan Indians.

We stop by my childhood home in Hampton and take a look at where I attended until the third grade, George Wythe Elementary School, which leads us to Wythe’s 17th century home at Colonial Wiliamsburg;  while Martha Washington visits during the Revolution and where the Marquis de Lafayette celebrates the victory at Yorktown.

You can watch this episode online right here:

Or, if you live in the Ithaca, NY area and have a cable TV connection, you can see Walk in the Park during the next week on public access cable channel 13 according to the following schedule:

Thursday,  9:00 p.m. (Thanksgiving Day)

Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

Sunday,    10:30 a.m.

Tuesday,    8:00 p.m.

It also is shown at other times as the station manager chooses.

See all my Walk in the Park TV episodes and short videos by clicking here.

Walk in the Park TV Show!

Ithaca NY public access TV about parks, nature, history, concerts, news, environment

I have begun a new series on Ithaca public access television (PEGASYS) cable channel 13, called “Walk in the Park”! It is in a “magazine” format, with segments about various parks including events, park news, interpretation of cultural and natural history, park-related issues, and lots of photographs and video clips.

Each week, I will feature items posted on this blog and much more. The program runs half an hour. Soon after the show is recorded, I will post it online with a notice on this blog. I plan to create a page here with all of the shows and their summaries. If you don’t subscribe to Time Warner Cable TV in the Ithaca area, you will only be able to see the show online.

Each episode will run four times over the ensuing week. The first showing each week will be on Thursday and the final showing will be the following Tuesday.

Weekly Schedule through August:

Thursdays,                9:00 p.m.

Saturdays,             10:30 a.m.

Sundays,             10:30 a.m.

Tuesdays,              8:00 p.m.

In this week’s episode, airing first on July 12, I feature images and video from the shadows and reflections of Buttermilk Glen, a video of Ithaca’s Independence Day fireworks at Stewart Park, Newtown Battlefield State Park (with more information than last week’s blog post including bird photographs), Watkins Glen historical photos, and news from Robert H. Treman State Park about new trail features and a new exhibit in the Old Mill about the CCC camp in the park in the 1930s. Watch it here!

In future episodes, there may be guest appearances by park squatter and backwoods philosopher Ichabod. Click on his picture below to see his short commentaries and rants. But beware, they don’t call him “Icky” for nothing!

Ichabod park woods opinion nature humor

Ichabod emphasizes a point.


Park of the Week: Newtown Battlefield

View of the Chemung Valley from Newtown Battlefield State Park near Elmira, NY

View of the Chemung Valley from Newtown Battlefield State Park

One of the largest military campaigns of the Revolution is often ignored by history–the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign in the Finger Lakes region of what is now NY State. In the late summer of 1779, several thousand Continental Army troops marched through the lake country burning 40 or more villages and destroying crops of the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee people, most of whom were aiding the British. This campaign led to the US’s claim on the area at the end of the war. The Finger Lakes and what is now central and western NY had been Iroquois territory and never was part of colonial America. See our more detailed post about this from February, 2012.

re-enactment of the Battle of Newtown, Newtown Battlefield State Park, Elmira, NY

Scene from a re-enactment of the Battle of Newtown. Source: I Love NY

The only full battle in the march occurred near what was then called Newtown, southeast of present-day Elmira. The clash is commemorated at Newtown Battlefield State Park on top of a big hill with beautiful views of the valley, a picnic area, and a small camping/cabin area. Find out more at the state park website.

George Washington and the Finger Lakes

Though George Washington may never have visited the Finger Lakes region, he had great impact here.

George Washington

Like many Indian nations along the colonial frontier, most of the Iroquois, who call themselves Haudenosaunee, ended up supporting the British during the Revolutionary War. Britain had made peace with many Indian nations following their victory in the French and Indian War. In addition, the Iroquois had been long-time, well-established allies of the British during the colonial period. And to many Iroquois, the presence of the British government was perceived as the only restraint on large numbers of illegal white settlers encroaching on Iroquois territory that spanned across what is now New York State.

Joseph Brant, Mohawk

Joseph Brant, Mohawk political and military leader during and after the Revolution

Though the Six Nations Confederacy of the Iroquois was officially neutral, those who chose to oppose the Americans, along with their British and Loyalist allies, carried out very effective attacks on the frontier in the Mohawk Valley and in Pennsylvania. They became such a drain on the Continental Army’s resources that George Washington sent an army under Generals John Sullivan and James Clinton to carry out a scorched earth policy in the Finger Lakes region and areas nearby.


Thousands of troops burned perhaps more than fifty Haudenosaunee towns and destroyed enormous stores of grain, orchards, and standing crops in the late summer of 1779. Though few had been killed outright, this devastation caused terrible hardship and starvation for the Haudenosaunee people. It is said that the invasion earned George Washington the nickname among the Iroquois as the “Town Destroyer” (though this term for him may have originated earlier).

Burning the Town of Coreorgonel

The Continental Army burns the village of Coreorgonel in what is now Ithaca in September 1779. The town was occupied by Tutelo people, who had fled the British in Virginia in the 1750s and were taken in by the Cayugas of the Six Nations. Coreorgonel is now commemorated in the Town of Ithaca in Tutelo Park. Painting by Glenn Norris; image provided by the History Center of Tompkins County.

During Washington’s presidency in the 1790s, however, his image was rehabilitated among the Haudenosaunee. He was perceived as unusual among American leaders in taking stands to honor Iroquois territorial and national sovereignty. This culminated in the Treaty of Canandaigua in 1794, which gave official mutual recognition of national sovereignty between the Six Nations and the United States; a treaty, which, though violated at times, is still honored by both governments.