Saturday, December 3, 2022

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WPBS-DT, Watertown’s public broadcasting station, is pleased to announce a new thirty-minute HD documentary entitled “Trail Blaze a Path Through History:  Central New York”.  This locally produced documentary will premiere online, Thursday, July 16th at and will broadcast Monday, July 20th at 10pm on WPBS.   Repeats will be aired Wednesday, July 22nd at 7:30pm and Sunday, July 26th at 3pm.

A free public screening of “Trail Blaze a Path Through History:  Central New York,” will be held Wednesday, July 15th at 5pm at The American Foundry located at 246 W Seneca St., Oswego, NY.  This century old former working foundry has 6,000 square feet of event space and a rustic charm that has served as the setting for hundreds of weddings, fundraisers, public concerts and other special events.  The doors open at 5pm and food will be available for purchase.  The 30-minute screening will begin at 6pm and conclude with an audience discussion and comments.  Seating is limited, so please register at  This screening is sponsored in part by WRVO Public Media and The American Foundry.

WPBS-TV’s latest documentary, “Trail Blaze a Path Through History:  Central New York,” focuses on the many stories that are Central New York’s history, stories that uncover a trail of innovation and reform that makes its way through Madison, Oswego, Cortland, Cayuga and Onondaga counties.

The story begins in the middle of the state, where a historic feat of innovative engineering began that would transform New York State into the Empire State.  The Erie Canal was conceived in 1817 and completed in 1825.  The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, New York showcases the hardship of the Canal construction and life on the canal.  In nearby Chittenango, the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum has preserved three original Erie Canal drydocks, circa 1855.

The Syracuse home of suffragist and abolitionist Matilda Joslyn Gage features an interesting link to the author of “The Wizard of Oz” books.  Oswego’s Fort Ontario State Historic Site played pivotal roles in several wars, from the Revolutionary War to World War II.   There, during WWII, Fort Ontario became a ‘safe haven’ for over 983 European refugees, whose fascinating stories are chronicled in the nearby Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum.

In Auburn, at the home of statesman William H. Seward, a bloody sheet hangs as a reminder of the other assassination attempt on the night President Lincoln was shot.  Just down the road, The Harriet Tubman Home tells the story of the former slave who served as spy, scout, and nurse during the Civil War and helped to free over 750 slaves.

The 1890 House Museum in Cortland contains some pretty innovative features – as it should, since it was the home of industrialist Chester Wickwire, who built an empire on weaving wire used in window screens and strainers. Other places featured in the documentary include Cazenovia Lake, Canastota, Peterboro, and Oneida. Trail blaze a path through the five counties on a quest to discover Central New York’s treasured history, its forward-thinking statesmen and landowners, and its courageous women.

WPBS-TV is a non-profit public television station serving approximately 650,000 households throughout Northern New York and Eastern Ontario. WPBS-TV’s mission is to educate, entertain and inform our two-nation audience through superior local and national content and media engagement in order to enhance the lives of those it serves.  More information about WPBS is available at, or by following WPBS on Twitter and Facebook.