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Clarksville hosts trip to the past

Seventh annual community-focused Heritage Day set for Aug. 4

— Clarksville residents and those from the surrounding area will once again come together to celebrate their history at the seventh annual Clarksville Heritage Day and Car Show on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Although the day includes food, crafts, a community garage sale and children’s activities, the event is sponsored by the Clarksville Historical Society and most of the day’s happenings will focus on Clarksville’s past. Old-time artisans will give presentations throughout the day and a heritage booklet is available as a souvenir.

Janice Crooks, chairperson of the event, said younger children haven’t been exposed to older crafts and Heritage Day is a very educational experience as they view the demonstrations given by woodcrafters, blacksmiths and tinsmiths.

“They don’t know how a horseshoe was made or put on, or how a nail was welded,” she said.

Like last year, the Mt. Treadler Fiber Arts Guild will have a presentation on yarn and groups like the Onesquethaw Union Cemetery Association and New Scotland Historical Association will be on hand. David and Jean Jacques of Middlegrove will give woodturning demonstrations, while Joe Merli of Duanesburg will showcase his work as a blacksmith.

“It’s showing history is a way that is very personal,” said William Valosian, a tinsmith from Ballston Lake who will also be a Heritage Day presenter. “A website, show on the History Channel or a textbook can’t talk back to you.”

Valosian got involved with his hobby 11 years ago after another tinsmith gave a demonstration at the Saratoga National Historical Park, where he works. Now, Valosian himself does the demonstrations and also travels to share his knowledge.

Event goers will be able to see wares that would have been created out of tin in the 18th century for civilian and military life. Valosian will have tools on hand to show the techniques used to make smaller items like candleholders and cups. Other larger items will be on display pre-made, like bowls, document holders, canteens and teakettles.

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