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Duanesburg in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Christman Sanctuary

 

—History —

 
Christman Sanctuary - Duanesburg, New York image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 12, 2008
1. Christman Sanctuary - Duanesburg, New York
Inscription. The Eastern New York chapter of the Nature Conservancy purchased the original 97 acres of this sanctuary in 1970 from Lansing and Lucille Christman, son and daughter-in-law of the late William W. Christman. William (Will) Christman devoted his lifetime to farming, nature writing, poetry, and over many years converted his farm into a nature sanctuary. The site is a registered National Historic Landmark listed by the New York State Historic Trust.
 
Erected by The Nature Conservancy.
 
Location. 42° 44.59′ N, 74° 7.719′ W. Marker is in Duanesburg, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker is on Schoharie Turnpike (County Route 74), on the right. Touch for map. The marker is at the Preserve's diminutive parking area, which is also the trail head. Marker is in this post office area: Duanesburg NY 12056, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Christman Sanctuary (approx. ¼ mile away); Home of William North (approx. 1.1 miles away); Christ Episcopal Church (approx. 2.2 miles away); William North (approx. 2.2 miles away); James Duane
Christman Preserve Parking Lot image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 12, 2008
2. Christman Preserve Parking Lot
The marker is at the Preserve's diminutive parking area, and at the hiking trail head, at left in the photo above.
(approx. 2.2 miles away); a different marker also named Christ Episcopal Church (approx. 2.2 miles away); Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church (approx. 2.3 miles away); Friends Meeting House (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Duanesburg.
 
Regarding Christman Sanctuary. The sanctuary was formerly part of the Christman Homestead, where William Weaver Christman was born on the Duanesburg farm in 1865. The Sanctuary had its beginning during the Blizzard of March 1888 when W.W. Christman and his wife began a winter bird feeding program on the 105 acre farm, as the Christmans sifted grass and weed seeds from the barn floor chaff and scattered them daily on the deep snow in the sheltered spots in the dooryard. W.W. Christmas was a lover of nature and an admirer of the works of both Walt Whitman and John Burroughs, and he corresponded with both of them. His library included a signed edition of Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Christmas was recognized for nature poetry and essays receiving the John Burroughs Memorial Association award for his book Wild Pasture Pine in 1934. During that same year Christman entertained distinguished guest poet
Christman Sanctuary Lean-to image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 12, 2008
3. Christman Sanctuary Lean-to
The open lean-to was built in 1934 by members of the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club. The Mohawk Valley Hiking Club sponsors a Thanksgiving Breakfast at the Preserve, an ongoing tradition that started in the 1930s. The Preserve's 30-foot waterfall can be seen in the background just beyond the lean-to.
Robert Frost and his wife.

A highlight of the Christman Preserve is the Bozenkill, with its thirty-foot waterfall and numerous lesser cataracts, which winds and cascades through the center of the sanctuary before dropping into a deep ravine at the foot of the Heldeburg Escarpment just east of the Sanctuary.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Another older and more traditional marker for the Christman Sanctuary is nearby, down by the Christman home.
 
Also see . . .  Christman Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary. Photos of the Christman Sanctuary which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Submitted on April 13, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.) 
 
Additional keywords. Christman Preserve, Delanson, Nature Conservancy, Bozenkill, Mohawk Valley Hiking Club, Schenectady Winter Sports Club, SWSC
 
Categories. Natural ResourcesNotable Places
 
Bozenkill Waterfall image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 12, 2008
4. Bozenkill Waterfall
The 30-foot waterfall on the Bozenkill is a highlight of a visit to the preserve. The word "kill" is Dutch for stream. Bozenkill means "Noisy Stream".
Wildlife Slithers Silently in the Sanctuary image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 12, 2008
5. Wildlife Slithers Silently in the Sanctuary
Another Waterfall in Christman Sanctuary image. Click for full size.
By Chris Szmyr, September 13, 2008
6. Another Waterfall in Christman Sanctuary
A Thanksgiving Tradition image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 27, 2008
7. A Thanksgiving Tradition
For many years now the members of the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club have held a Thanksgiving Day breakfast in the Christmas Preserve, as seen here at the lean-to on Thanksgiving morning 2008.
Christman Sanctuary Waterfalls image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 27, 2008
8. Christman Sanctuary Waterfalls
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 13, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 6,469 times since then and 105 times this year. Last updated on November 27, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 13, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   4, 5. submitted on April 14, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   6. submitted on October 15, 2008, by Chris Szmyr of Scotia, New York.   7, 8. submitted on November 27, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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