NEW (But Familiar) MISSION [February 2016]
With the Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor now a certainty for Schenectady, it’s time for this weblog to again broaden its focus. Although no longer called Stop the Schenectady Casino, we will still be “working to protect our community from casino-made problems.” But, we will also be monitoring City and County government in general, along with self-proclaimed neighborhood or community action groups, to see whether our public and private “watchdogs” are actually protecting our community, enforcing laws or by-laws meant to protect its populace and environment, or instead shirking their duties.
All of our prior materials will remain, with links redirected to our new domain.
Our name “Snowmen at the Gates” refers to the legendary snowmen “standing guard” in a blizzard, on February 8, 1690, outside the open north gate of the sturdy stockade fence that was built to protect the little village of Schenectady. Although messages had been received from the larger outpost at Albany warning that a war party was on the way that evening, the appointed sentries apparently decided to leave their posts to have a tankard or two at the closeby Douwe Aukes tavern. That dereliction of duty allowed a band of 114 French soldiers and 96 Sault and Algonquin Indians to enter the stockade, burn down the village, and massacre, kidnap, or scare away its residents. (For information on our Header Image, which depicts the scene, see our About Page.)
A fuller discussion of the 1690 Schenectady Massacre and the Snowman legend, with cites and quotes from reference materials, can be found in our posting “have we learned the lessons of the 1690 Schenectady Massacre?“
- Ironically, two of our primary themes, Snowmen Leaders Allowing Danger to Enter Schenectady and Becoming a Casino Town, were further linked by the decision of Rush Street Gaming to open the Rivers Casino on February 8, 2017, the anniversary of the 1690 Massacre. See “our infamous February 8th“.
David Giacalone is the editor/proprietor of this weblog, and is solely responsible for all original materials, unless another author is otherwise noted. You can contact David by leaving a Comment. David is a retired lawyer-mediator, avid photographer of the Stockade, Mohawk River, and Downtown Schenectady, and 30-year resident of the Stockade, first as a homeowner and now apartment tenant.