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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

July, 2017

Hotel Saranac Celebrates 90th Year


Hotel Saranac was built in 1927, and opened its doors on July 1 of that year. Now celebrating its 90th year, it remains the last of the grand hotels that once populated Saranac Lake. When the hotel first opened, the first floor arcade was an open-air passageway that connected Academy and Main Streets and featured storefronts, restaurants and a landing to take hotel guests up to the second floor lobby. New Hampshire-based Roedel Companies bought Hotel Saranac in 2013 and will re-open the hotel this year after an extensive renovation. The Hotel Saranac’s arcade is being renovated with an upscale >>More


July, 2017

Pete Nelson: Adirondack Experience Gets Diversity Right


On July 1st I attended the grand opening of the Adirondack Experience’s new multi-million-dollar exhibit Life in the Adirondacks.  Situated overlooking Blue Mountain Lake, The Adirondack Experience (formerly the Adirondack Museum) is a regional icon with an unparalleled collection of Adirondack historical artifacts.  Their new exhibit, intended to interactively place visitors in the context of the Adirondack Park in all its human dimensions, is located in the former Roads and Rails building. Life in the Adirondacks is a dramatic change in approach and style for a museum renowned for its depiction of history through objects of every description from the >>More


July, 2017

Montcalm’s Cross Battle Re-enactment July 22-23th


On July 22 and 23, Fort Ticonderoga July will host a battle re-enactment highlighting the 1758 Battle of Carillon during the French and Indian War. Visitors will learn how the British amassed the largest army in North American history to date, yet was defeated by a French army a quarter of its size. Highlighted programming featured throughout the weekend brings to life the story of the French soldiers that protected their lines of defense. Visitors will meet the British and Provincial soldiers who fought to drive the French from the rocky peninsula and fortress » Continue Reading. View original post.


July, 2017

Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower Marking 100 Years


They started put being paid $60 a month for their half-year, all-weather stints in the fire tower. Overall, there were twenty-one Fire Observers on Poke-O-Moonshine from 1912 through 1988. Most came from nearby Keeseville, and the first three worked in the original wooden tower before the current one was built in 1917. That makes the fire tower 100 years old. It was part of a crop of standardized steel towers that New York State built in response to the catastrophic forest fires of the early 20th Century. Drought, high winds, lightning, heaps of logging slash, and sparks from lumber-hauling trains >>More


July, 2017

Gerald Chapman: Clinton Prison Alum, America’s First ‘Super-Crook’


Near the end of his twenty-two-year career, Gerald Chapman’s several reputations came together in headlines touting him as a Spectacular Mail Bandit, Jail Breaker, and Criminal Extraordinaire. But above all, he was most often referred to as a “super-crook,” placing him beyond the level of most American criminals, one whose exploits were followed closely by the public. A worldwide manhunt finally resulted in his capture in 1925, but a decade earlier, he had done hard time at Clinton Prison. Chapman, whose real name was believed to be George Chartres, or Charters, first ran into trouble in New York in 1908 >>More


July, 2017

A New Critical Edition of ‘The History of the Five Indian Nations’ (1727)


Cornell University Press has released a new Critical Edition of Cadwallader Colden’s The History of the Five Indian Nations Depending on the Province of New-York in America. The Critical Edition includes several essays that consider Colden’s original text across social, cultural, and political contexts. The History of the Five Indian Nations was originally published in 1727 and revised in 1747. In the book, Colden discusses the religion, manners, customs, laws, and forms of government of the confederacy of tribes composed of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas (and, later, Tuscaroras), and gives accounts of battles, treaties, and trade up to 1697. Since Cornell University >>More


July, 2017

Cranberry Lake Dam Marks 150 Years


2017 marks the passage of 150 years since a dam was erected at the outlet of Cranberry Lake on the Oswegatchie River. Originally a much smaller lake, the dam was built to help control the flow of water for downstream communities and their mills. The groundwork for this was laid in 1865 when the state legislature passed an Act declaring the Oswegatchie River a “public highway.” This lead to the formation of a Board of Commissioners and the construction of the dam, which took place late in 1866. The gates were not closed and the water impounded » Continue Reading. >>More


July, 2017

Blue Line Basics: An Adirondack Park History Primer


Noted land surveyor Verplanck Colvin raised the alarm about threats to Adirondack resources as early as 1868. In 1884, a state forest commission created this detailed map of remaining timber resources in northern New York. Later, a 1891 map included an outline of a proposed Adirondack Park, delineated by a line drawn in blue ink. This is considered by historians to be the first map of the Adirondack Park. Over time, the term “blue line”came to represent the actual boundary of the Adirondack Park. On May 20, 1892, New York Governor » Continue Reading. View original post.


June, 2017

Colvin Documentary Screening at Adirondack History Museum


The Adirondack History Museum will present a special screening of “Colvin: Hero of the North Woods” on Thursday, July 6 at 7 pm. Film director Bill Killon will be on hand to introduce his new 45-minute documentary. The film tells the story of Verplanck Colvin, who explored, surveyed and mapped the northern reaches of Upstate New York from 1872 to 1900. To protect the forest and watersheds, at a time when the idea of conservation was in its infancy, he proposed a state park for the Adirondack region of New York. Killon will take questions following the screening. Admission is free, >>More


June, 2017

Neil Litchfield, Lewis County’s Master Comedian (Part 3)


In early 1897, Neil and Stella Litchfield continued touring in the North Country, appearing at Canton, Chase Mills, Edwards, Lisbon Center, Oxbow, Massena, Morristown, Ogdensburg, Waddington, and other sites. For the next two years, they toured and performed while developing a new act for the future, a comedy sketch titled Down at Brook Farm. Ostensibly, it was loosely based on Brook Farm, a failed Utopian community founded in 1841 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The most popular characters Neil had portrayed during the past two decades — uneducated, pure-hearted rural folks — became the nucleus of the new act. Down at Brook >>More