Market fair set to return

JOHNSTOWN – The 18th Century Market Fair at Johnson Hall State Historic Site will be held on the historic Johnson estate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine.

Throughout both days, colonial sutlers (vendors) will offer their wares for sale.

Demonstrations of 18th-century daily life will add to the event, including an encampment, colonial toys and games, blacksmithing, period stone and brick masonry, paint-making, and cooking.

On Saturday, foot races will take place, while on Sunday there will be demonstrations of colonial chocolate-making and period medicine.

Among the highlights of the two-day event are live 18th-century period performances by “Colonial Magician Mr. Bayly” and the Punchbowl Sisters’ “Punch and Judy” shows.

In addition, Robert Mouland will perform colonial music on period instruments, while Liaison Plaisantes plays music of the period throughout the day, as well as at the Saturday evening colonial dance.

The live performance schedule will be posted each day of the event.

Free self-guided tours of historic Johnson Hall will also be available and the Museum Shop will be open for shopping, featuring reproduction toys and games, souvenirs and a variety of books on the Johnsons and the 18th century.

Food and drink will be available for purchase, including cakes and other periods treats by The Georgian Kitchen.

While admission is free, donations will be accepted at various locations throughout the event to help support the Market Fair.

As there is no parking on the site during this event, a shuttle bus will be available to transport fair-goers from the parking lot at Johnstown High School (off Pearl Street).

Access to Hall Avenue will be restricted to residents with permits.

The event is co-sponsored by Johnson Hall State Historic Site and the Friends of Johnson Hall.

A separate, specially labeled shuttle bus will run throughout both days between Johnson Hall’s Market Fair, Canal Days at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site and Buck Moon Art Festival at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

The shuttle schedule will be posted at each location.

A “passport” will be available at each event to have stamped and entered into a raffle drawing.

Market Fair is a re-creation of an event first hosted by Sir William Johnson in 1772.

Johnson, who created his English Georgian estate in 1763, was the largest single landowner and most influential individual in the colonial Mohawk Valley.

His success in dealing with the Six Nations had a lasting impact on their relationship with the English, and largely influenced England’s victory in the Anglo-French struggle for control of colonial North America, according to a news release.

Today, the main house and flanking stonehouses, originally surrounded by a 700-acre farm, interpret Sir William and Molly Brant’s family life through guided tours of the period room settings, educational programs and special events.

Johnson Hall State Historic Site is located at 139 Hall Ave.

For more information on Johnson Hall, write to or visit or

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually.

For more information, call 474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.