Monday, April 13, 2009

Chancellor’s Sheep & Wool Showcase

Here comes the annual Chancellor’s Sheep & Wool Showcase at Clermont State Historic Site, which is the first in a series of 2009 celebrations at the museum in Germantown honoring the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration. The former Livingston estate has a strong Quad connection as one of its owners, Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, was a partner of Robert Fulton's steamboat project. During the showcase, you can listen to steamboat expert Travis Bowman explain the connection between Merino sheep and the first sailing of the Fulton steamboat in 1807.

The showcase takes place on Saturday, April 25 from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Admission is $8 per vehicle. Raindate is April 26. The Clermont site is located off Route 9G at the Columbia-Dutchess county border, just north of Tivoli.

Here is more information about the day's events from the museum:

Watch skilled sheep sheerer Fred DePaul demonstrate three centuries of sheep sheering traditions and technologies. See wool spun into yarn and thread by the Elmendorph and 1st Sunday Spinners then compare it to techniques of 200 years ago as demonstrated by the women of the 1st Ulster County Militia. See the yarn woven into cloth by the Trinity Weavers before you try out fabric stamping, stenciling, and natural dyeing techniques with the museum’s staff.

Greet herds of sheep and visit with llama on the grounds of Clermont. Hands-on activities for children abound including the opportunity to make fashion forward felted-bead necklaces in brilliant colors. Special children’s tours with a “Spot the Sheep” scavenger hunt are available in the historic mansion throughout the day—let your child bring home a sheepy souvenir from the experience. Join the well-known children’s author Hudson Talbott as he reads from his newest book River of Dreams at 3:30pm.

The whole family will enjoy the Celtic music of the David Godding Band and light-hearted dancing at 12:50 and 2 p.m. Hear steamboat expert Travis Bowman explain the connection between Merino sheep and the first sailing of the Robert Fulton steamboat in 1807. The artisan’s concourse will present craftspeople and purveyors of unique and curious goods to tickle your fancy with a variety of craft supplies and finished goods. Dazzling colors spring forth from every booth! Many of the Showcase’s best deals can be found at the Chancellor’s Silent Auction, an event to support the Friends of Clermont, who sponsor the Showcase.

In case of rain, please call ahead. The rain date is April 26. For more information on the Sheep & Wool Showcase, vendor registration, or volunteering as a knitting teacher, please contact Kjirsten Gustavson at 518-537-4240, or visit

Clermont State Historic Site features the mansion, formal gardens, scenic Hudson River views and miles of hiking trails. The Friends of Clermont is a private, non-profit educational corporation, founded in 1977 to support and supplement the museum education and historic preservation programs at Clermont State Historic Site. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Clermont is one of six historic sites and 12 parks administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in the Taconic Region.

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