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Program: The Life of Fletcher Blaisdell in His Own Words

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A painting of the Blaisdell family farm in Coeymans. Contributed photo

RAVENA — Continuing with the 2023 schedule of programs celebrating Coeymans’ 350th anniversary, the Ravena Coeymans Historical Society will feature guest speaker John Blaisdell at 2 p.m. on Feb. 12. 

Blaisdell will share writings from the 1843-1865 journals of Fletcher Blaisdell, his second great-grandfather who built the family farm in Coeymans.

Spending his childhood on the family farm in Coeymans started by Fletcher in the 1830s, John was involved in all farm activities: plowing, getting in the hay, feeding cows, mucking stalls and milking.  

After graduating in 1957 from RCS, John was urged by his Uncle Tip to attend Clarkson College in Potsdam, where he earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering. After college, John entered the U.S. Army to complete a two-year active-duty obligation, attending officer training school at Aberdeen Proving Ground. 

After completing his military obligation in 1964, John entered North Carolina State University as a graduate student in mechanical engineering. Five years later, he graduated with a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

The majority of John’s professional career was involved in performing or overseeing the safety analysis for various operating nuclear power plants.

After retiring from Westinghouse Electric in 2015, John renewed his interest in genealogy and family history. In 2016, he joined his sister Linda, who had started a project to document Fletcher Blaisdell’s daily journals. Their collaboration continued, culminating five years later in a book, the subject of John’s presentation.

Fletcher Blaisdell, whose journals, written between 1843 and 1865, will be the focus of the Feb. 12 meeting of the Ravena Coeymans Historical Society. Contributed photo

Join in for an opportunity to take a journey with John Blaisdell about life in Coeymans during the 1800s. 

This program, open to the public, will be held in the museum on Mountain Road in Ravena.

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