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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

April, 2017

Adirondack Regiment Focus of Civil War Roundtable


On Sunday, April 30th, at 2 pm at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, Dallas Robinson will give a first-person presentation in the character of a member of the 118th New York Volunteers at the North Country Civil War Round Table. The “Adirondack Regiment” was formed from enlistees from Clinton, Essex, and Warren counties in 1862, and eventually was the first Union unit inside Richmond, the Confederate capital, at the end of the war. Robinson is a veteran Civil War re-enactor living in Norfolk, and gives presentations on the Civil War at local schools and in Masonic Lodges. Visitors who >>More


April, 2017

Diverse North Country: Canadians of Clinton County


Abutting Lake Champlain at the northeastern corner of New York State, Clinton County has long been a site of exchange and encounters. Local toponyms attest to French imperial ambitions in the colonial era: Champlain, certainly, but also Ausable, Point au Roche, Point au Fer, Chazy, and, facing Chazy on the lake, Vermont’s Isle La Motte. In turn, the historic sites of Crown Point and Ticonderoga are monuments to the strategic importance of Lake Champlain from a military perspective. By linking New York City and Montreal through the Hudson and Richelieu rivers, the lake was witness to the clash of empires >>More


April, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga Brings Education Onto Lake Champlain


Fort Ticonderoga recently received a grant from the South Lake Champlain Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation to support regional youth maritime educational programs. Aboard the 60-foot touring Carillon, each 90-minute narrated boat tour focuses on the historical importance of the Lake Champlain waterway through centuries of history, and highlights elements of geography, natural history, and lake stewardship. This experience enables students to better grasp the strategic importance of the Champlain-Hudson corridor in the 18th century and its role in the founding of America. Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 25,000 students per year through expeditionary learning, outreach programs, and onsite >>More


April, 2017

Adirondack Historic Preservation Award Nominations Sought


Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the historic preservation organization for the region, has opened nominations for its 2017 Preservation Awards. For over 20 years, these annual awards have recognized sensitive restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of historic structures, as well as individuals who have promoted historic preservation and community revitalization consistent with AARCH’s mission. Projects of all sizes and scopes are eligible for consideration. The deadline for nominations is July 1, 2017. A celebration of the 2017 award winners will be on September 18, 2017, at a farm-to-table luncheon at the Nettle Meadow Farm, a 2016 AARCH Presevation Award recipient in >>More


April, 2017

Tim Rowland On Adirondack Experience


“Good things,” said that wise old sage Homer Simpson, “don’t end in -eum. They end in -mania or -teria.” Yes, sadly, “museum” is an unpopular word. Which is why the magnificent Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake is changing its name (or its “identity,” as marketing jargon would have it) to the Adirondack Experience. Um, OK. Hey look, who’s to say; maybe it will catch on. All this time that people have been dodging museums as if they were passing out leprosy at the door could have been avoided if we’d just rolled with a friendlier, more active-sounding sobriquet. Perhaps >>More


April, 2017

1757: What Adirondack History Might Have Been


“These are mere deserts on both sides of the river St. Lawrence, uninhabited by beast or bird on account of the severe colds which reign there.”—Samuel de Champlain. “One cannot see a more savage country, and no part of the earth is more uninhabitable.” —Pierre Charlevoix, 1756. And about winters in the north: “It is then a melancholy thing not to be able to go out of doors, unless you are muffled up with furs like the bears…. What can anyone think, where the very bears dare not show their face to the weather for six months in the year!” >>More


April, 2017

Theodore Roosevelt in Maine: 19th Century Work and Masculinity


The Oneida Community Mansion House will host a discussion with historian Jason Newton about popular 19th century attitudes about work and masculinity entitled Teddy Roosevelt Among the Lumberjacks, on Sunday, May 7, at 1 pm. Newton will examine Theodore Roosevelt’s early adult experiences in the Maine woods and at Harvard in a discussion of urban elites’ views of masculinity. Ideas about “ruggedness” shaped everything from immigration policy to imperialism, while rejecting what was considered feminine. General admission to the program is $7 for adults and $3 for students with ID. (Members of the Oneida Community Mansion House are admitted for >>More


April, 2017

Steven Engelhart: What Makes Historic Preservation Irresistible


Our Vermont friends behind “Preservation in Pink” define historic preservation as “an eternally optimistic, inspiring field intent on improving present and future quality of life through the appreciation of our built and cultural heritage.” Although we are still a long way from being a nation or a region of true historic preservationists, we are increasingly becoming more preservation-minded as the intersections between preservation and common sense, community health, good stewardship, and sustainability becomes better understood. So what makes historic preservation so attractive, even irresistible? It’s About Beauty. People are drawn to historic buildings and communities because most are aesthetically pleasing >>More


April, 2017

Fact, Fiction On Chester’s Underground Railroad


The publication of a new book about the Underground Railroad in the Adirondacks, focusing on its supporters and their good work in the Town of Chester in Warren County, rides a high wave of public interest in this dramatic chapter of our history. No bookstore lacks a full-frontal display of Colson Whitehead’s explosive novel The Underground Railroad, with Oprah’s golden imprimatur on the front jacket. Regional scholarship is booming: in just the last decade, books and articles have documented Underground Railroad activity in Indiana, Buffalo, Detroit, Vermont, New York City, Pennsylvania, and the long flanks of » Continue Reading.


April, 2017

Telephone Party Lines Were Once High Entertainment


History is often said to repeat itself, or to come full circle, but the same is seldom said about technology, which by its very nature constantly improves and leaves old ways behind. But as a follow-up to last week’s piece on heroic telephone operator Ida Blanchard, here’s a look at an old way of doing things that has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts, buttressed by the capabilities of modern telecommunications. We’re talking here about telephone party lines. Yes, they’ve become a thing again, which should come as quite a surprise if you were lucky enough to experience the original. The >>More