Schenectady – Beyond the Pines

I had a workshop this past Saturday in Schenectady. (The name is Iroquois and means Beyond the Pines.)  I spoke about writing historical fiction.  Not that I’m an expert but I have learned a few things. I enjoyed sharing some of the tips I’ve learned these past few years.

Unexpectedly, I met an old friend, the Salvation Army officer that married my husband and I almost twenty years ago. He took me on a tour of the city and what a beautiful city it is. This is the city where Thomas Edison started GE. The city was also famous for building locomotives. Bounded by the Mohawk River, it was settled by the Dutch and then a variety of other immigrants. We ate at a long time Schenectady restaurant called Morrette’s. They had the best homemade potato chips.

My favorite part of the city is called Stockade. Why? Well, in the 1600s the early settlers were wiped out by an Indian attack. When they village – and it was a village then – it was enclosed in a Stockade. Really old houses, the oldest in the city, are sited on these streets. Some of them resemble the brick homes one sees in Williamsburg. One white house, the oldest in the city, has been added to over and over so it looks like connected blocks.

Erie street not only follows the path of the Erie canal; it IS the canal, filled in now. I think Will Rees will have to visit Schenectady!

I also want to give a shout out to the Schenectady Public Library. What a beautiful library.