A three-person video crew from Florentine Films spent time in the Mohawk Valley in early September scouting locations and shooting video for possible use in a series of historic documentary films about the revolution. American.
New Hampshire-based Florentine is the Ken Burns-affiliated production company that has created PBS documentary series including Civil War, country music and the Roosevelts, among others.
Norm Bollen, Chairman of the Fort Plain Museum Board, met with a Florentine producer and showed her some Revolutionary War sites in the Mohawk Valley.
“And they came back with a film crew,” Bollen said. “We went out at 6 a.m. They like to do a lot of sunrise and sunset shots. It was pretty foggy the morning we were shooting. They were taking beautiful photos of the Palatine Church. They really liked it.
Built by German Palatine Lutherans in 1770, the church, between Nelliston and St. Johnsville, was spared destruction in a 1780 Revolutionary War raid led by British Loyalist leader Sir John Johnson.
Bollen said the filmmakers “were actually pretty excited about this stuff”.
“They texted me back,” Bollen continued. “Some things I can’t talk about, but they are interested in the area.”
Bollen said he hasn’t seen the script, but wonders where the Mohawk Valley will end up in the documentary series.
“It’s a quality company and they make great documentaries,” he said. “So we’re keeping our fingers crossed to get some good honorable mentions in there.”
Bollen sent Florentine Films information about how the American Revolution was a civil war in the Mohawk Valley. British Loyalists who had fled to Canada joined Native Americans and British soldiers in carrying out devastating raids on the valley settlements. Fighting continued here for a year and a half after the 1781 Battle of Yorktown in Virginia.
And Bollen said the Mohawk Valley was important during the Revolution because it was the route to the Great Lakes and the West.
The Fort Plain Museum and Historical Park, located on a hill off Route 5S just west of the village, was founded in 1961. Several of the key players in the organization of the museum include Bollen, Brian Mack and Wayne Lenig, who all started working on archaeology. dug on the site of the fort when they were teenagers.
The village of Fort Plain was originally named after the fort, an important military outpost during the Revolutionary War. An archaeological survey has excavated the palisade site of the original fort. Exploration unearthed barrack buildings, a dining hall, officers’ quarters, a small blockhouse and guardhouses.
In recent years, the museum has hosted American Revolution lectures at Fulton-Montgomery Community College and other venues that have drawn hundreds of people to hear talks from authors and other experts. The museum has an online bookstore and has placed a dozen historical markers in the area, which Bollen calls Mohawk Country.
Bollen said: “It was all a great success and gave us national reach. We are currently working on the expansion of the museum.
The museum hired Saratoga Associates, a well-known regional planning firm, to develop the expansion plan. Fundraising will then begin in earnest for what will likely be an $8 million project.
The renovation will include the construction of walking paths and picnic grounds at the top of the hill. The project will also include expanding the museum space and building the museum’s own conference center.
“We see visitors from all over the country all the time,” Bollen said. “We just want to see a lot more.”
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Reviews, Reviews