Featured Friend: Volunteer Profile

Featured FriendAs a volunteer for Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, Halldor Sigurdsson lends his photographic talents. Although he may humbly call it just an interest or a hobby, Hal’s experiences, both professionally and personally, are reflected in his ability to capture the essence of his subject.

Most recently Hal was announced as a First Place Winner in the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor 2014 Photo Contest in the “Fun and Festivities” category. The winning shot was of kayakers participating in a guided tour of the Schoharie Creek Aqueduct remains that was conducted by fellow Friend of Schoharie Crossing, John Naple.

Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is located on the Erie Canal and is home to several structures dating from the three eras of the canal’s development. The site’s largest structure is the remains of the Schoharie Aqueduct, which carried the water of the Enlarged Erie Canal over the Schoharie Creek.

The recognition that Hal brings to the site through this great achievement is immense. Thousands of visitors to the site witness the remains every year and they each take away their own memories, but now so many more may be able to see what the site has to offer – and so close to the Erie Canalway Bike Trail. Perhaps that will encourage people to explore the site further.

Remains of The Schoharie Creek Aqueduct (1841, used 1845-1916)

Remains of The Schoharie Creek Aqueduct (1841, used 1845-1916)

Schoharie Crossing Education Coordinator, David Brooks states, “Hal is a great friend of the site and his valuable time is appreciated. He is a vital component of what the site represents, and his contributions as a volunteer are multi-dimensional; as he not only participates in programs the site offers the public, but by capturing moments in time he creates a documentation that can be used to promote and engage others, demonstrating with great effect the purpose of our mission at Schoharie Crossing.”

Hal recalls accompanying his children to Schoharie Crossing on school field trips when they were in fourth grade. He and his wife walked the towpaths with their son and daughters when the family participated in the Girl and Boy Scout River-walk some years ago. Not to forget the many bike trips that they took with the kids along the bike trails. Schoharie Crossing is a special place they bring out of town guests to see.

To Hal, canals have always been a place where he feels he can go and connect to a part of American history.  Being inspired by the lovely scenery and getting to talk to some very interesting people when here are just two of the reasons he enjoys visiting the site.

“Not too long ago,” he states, “I ran into a couple from Russia with their children visiting Yankee Hill Lock. I thought it impressive that of all the places they could have seen, they thought it important to see the sites of the Erie Canal. These are the things that make it enjoyable photographing along the corridor.”

Tai Chi at Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center.

Tai Chi at Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center.

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