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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

June, 2016

Farrand Benedict: Crossing The Adirondacks


A few years ago I learned of a fascinating but rather forgotten individual in Adirondack history. Along with his slightly older mentor Ebenezer Emmons and his younger contemporary Verplanck Colvin, he was among the first to accurately survey much of the Adirondacks. His name was Farrand Benedict. Farrand Northrop Benedict was born in New Jersey in 1803, the oldest of seven. His parents died in the early 1830s and he became something of a father figure for his younger siblings. Graduating from Hamilton College in 1823, Benedict studied law and engineering and taught surveying and mathematics in Virginia and in >>More


June, 2016

2016 Adirondack Coast Museum Days This Weekend


The Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance (ACCA) again celebrates Museum Days throughout the Adirondack Coast from June 4-5, 2016, inviting visitors and residents to explore the area’s wealth of museums, galleries, and cultural organizations. For these two days, participating locations will offer free admission, including demonstrations, exhibits, hands-on activities, and more. As the backdrop for many historical events and happenings, lakeside villages, charming hamlets and the historic city of Plattsburgh, the Adirondack Coast offers visitors the opportunity to relive some of the most pivotal moments in our country’s history. 17 Participating locations include: · Alice T. Miner Museum · Anderson Falls >>More


May, 2016

Dannemora Escapee Jack Williams: At First, Too Big to Succeed


As the one-year anniversary of the infamous Dannemora prison break approaches, here’s the story of an inmate linked to a pair of unusual breakouts, excerpted from my book, Escape from Dannemora. Despite media stories claiming early on that Richard Matt and David Sweat were the first-ever escapees from Clinton Prison, some in the past did it in even more spectacular fashion, and overall, hundreds managed to escape under various circumstances. Among them was Jack Williams, a participant in two Clinton exits involving unusual components featured in no other Dannemora escapes. Williams was sentenced to Clinton in January 1875, and six >>More


May, 2016

Losing a Dear Friend and Valued Historian


Lyon Mountain is mourning the loss of an important community member, one who also meant very much personally to me and my wife, Jill Jones. Rita Kwetcian, 85, passed away late last Thursday. Recently, when caring for her home became too difficult, she moved to 260 Lake Street: A Senior Resort Community in Rouses Point. Otherwise, her entire life was spent in Lyon Mountain, which happens to be the subject of my first book published through our new company twelve years ago. Back in 1980, I had interviewed more than a dozen Lyon Mountain residents, most of them former iron >>More


May, 2016

Railroad Seeks To Block Adirondack Rail Trail


The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society has asked a judge to prohibit the state from moving forward with a plan to remove 34 miles of railroad tracks between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. In a lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court, the nonprofit organization contends that the plan to divide a state-owned railroad corridor into a rail segment and trail segment violates the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and the state Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Law. It names as defendants the Adirondack Park Agency, APA Chairwoman Lani Ulrich, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and Basil Seggos, the DEC >>More


May, 2016

Two Jefferson County Men Who Made Good in Illinois


A pair of North Country men, born just a few miles apart in Jefferson County, left New York in their adult years and settled about 65 miles apart in Illinois, where each left his lasting mark. Together, their names were also attached to an institution in Arkansas that lives on nearly a century and a half later. John Budlong was born in February 1833 in Rodman, New York, about eight miles south of Watertown. The Budlong family has many historical connections dating back to the Revolutionary War. John attended several of the best schools in the region: the Rodman Seminary, >>More


May, 2016

Saranac Lake ‘History Matters’ Speaker Series Expanded


Historic Saranac Lake announces an expanded “History Matters” Speaker Series beginning this month. This new series will feature an event each month for the rest of 2016. The expanded series will include presentations by Dr. Ian Orme on the state of tuberculosis today, Dr. Neil A. Holtzman on Dr. Norman Bethune, and Mary-Nell Bockman on historic preservation in Cuba. Dates for each of the presentations will be announced soon. The series will kick off this Thursday, May 18, with a presentation entitled “Mythbusting the National Register of Historic Places,” which aims to help the owners of historic properties understand the >>More


May, 2016

Free Historic Walking Tours in Potsdam, Ticonderoga, Bluff Point


Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the historic preservation organization for the Adirondack region, will host a series of walking tours this spring in three communities with unique architecture. Free and open to the public, the tours will take place in Potsdam on May 14, Ticonderoga on May 21, and at Clinton Community College at Bluff Point on Lake Champlain on June 4. Participants will join local experts and historians in exploring the distinct styles, materials and building designs, and the fascinating history of these very different Adirondack places. The first two tours, “Potsdam » Continue Reading. The post Free Historic Walking >>More


May, 2016

Warrensburg-Glens Falls Trolley Program, Ceremony May 15


A program on the early 20th century trolley route from Warrensburg to Glens Falls will be presented at the Richards Library in Warrensburg on Sunday, May 15, at 3:30 by Paul Gilchrist, PhD. Warrensburg was the northern terminus of the Hudson Valley Railway’s trolley line from 1902 until 1928. The presentation of photographs, maps, and aerial photos will follow a ceremony unveiling a roadside plaque marking the location of the Schroon River hydroelectric plant that supplied the trolley line The ceremony will be held at 3 pm at the Warrensburg Farmers Market (across from Curtis Lumber on River Street). Refreshments >>More


May, 2016

Aviation History: Air Marking The North Country (Conclusion)


Shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, it was realized that airmarks could be used by enemy planes, so the order was given to remove 2,500 airmarks that stood within 150 miles of the nation’s coasts. Six weeks later, those marks were obliterated, undoing six years of labor—but shortly after, the blanket order was modified. Why? The absence of airmarks was causing military pilot trainees to become lost. The new order allowed airmarks within 50 miles of flight training airfields. The national program resumed after the war, with improved methods (including government-supplied plywood templates for lettering) and greater participation, but >>More