Curator to speak on the great horse influenza

FORT HUNTER — Travis Bowman, senior curator from the state Bureau of Historic Sites, will speak on “Epizooty! The Great Horse Influenza and the Erie Canal” on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Enders House adjacent to the Schoharie Crossing visitor center at 129 Schoharie St.

The talk will be preceded by a brief meeting of the Friends of Schoharie Crossing.

Refreshments will be served after the talk.

Post-Civil War America is commonly thought of as a time of rapid industrialization and mechanization, but horses and mules were at the heart of every transportation system in the country, according to a news release. With the horse influenza epidemic of 1872-73, every engine in the state effectively stopped working at the same time. Using collections from the new exhibit at Schoharie Crossing, Bowman will discuss the devastating effects of this epidemic that shut down the Erie Canal in 1874.

Bowman is responsible for the research, care and exhibition of the collections at the state’s historic sites and parks. Bowman earned a master’s degree and certificate of advanced study in public history from the State University at Albany and holds a bachelors’ degree in anthropology from Tulane University in New Orleans, La.

For more information about these events and more, call the visitor center at (518) 829-7516, email [email protected], or visit the Facebook page Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site.

By Josh Bovee

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