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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

October, 2014

The Samuel de Champlain History Center


“You can’t go home again” is an adage based on the title of a Thomas Wolfe book, but with a different meaning from Wolfe’s original intent. The adage suggests we can’t relive our youth, and in a wider sense can’t recapture what once was. If that’s true, I recently came as close as one can by visiting my hometown for a book-related event. The result was a Mayberry-like evening with a roomful of nice people, and a close-up look at the accomplishments of a dedicated historian seeking to preserve our heritage. I was raised in the northeast corner of New >>More


October, 2014

Mitchell Sabattis: Abenaki Adirondack Guide and Boatbuilder


When I walk the land around Matthew Beach’s original hut and William Wood’s shanty on Raquette Lake’s Indian Point, I imagine the Abenaki guide Mitchell Sabattis pulling into their landings in a canoe or guideboat made by his own hand. Indian Point was a waypoint for many a traveler boating through the Central Adirondacks. While it is impossible to know how often Sabattis visited those acres, we have written record of at least three occasions: his trips with Joel Tyler Headley in 1844-46, accompanying C. W. Webber in 1849, and an expedition of women who explored the region in 1873 >>More


October, 2014

Lost Brook Dispatches: A Lecture by on Wilderness by Bill Cronon


This week I attended the Third Annual Jordahl Lecture, established by the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in Madison, Wisconsin. This year’s lecture, intended to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act, was given by renowned environmental historian Bill Cronon. As we ponder revisions to both New York State’s Open Space Conservation Plan and the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP), Cronon’s presentation provides an interesting and useful historical perspective. Bill Cronon, for those who are unfamiliar with him, is one of the most important figures in the country in the ongoing debate over >>More


October, 2014

‘My Collection’ Exhibit Coming to Warrensburgh Museum


Local residents are asked to show off part of their own collections at the Warrensburgh Museum’s Holiday Exhibit, entitled “My Collection.”  The exhibit, sponsored by the Warrensburgh Historical Society, will run from December 6 through January 14, 2015. Many people have personal collections – from stamps to antique farm machinery.  The Museum is inviting townspeople to exhibit a sampling of their collections for this six-week holiday period.  Prospective participants are asked to submit an application with description and sample photo(s) for consideration.  Due to space considerations, the number of exhibitors must be limited, as well as the size and quantity >>More


October, 2014

Forge House History: The Forge Company Years


In October 1895, Victor Adams assembled a group of investors together in Little Falls and secured an arrangement with Garmon and Crosby to purchase a 50% interest in the Forge Tract properties. The group’s business plan was to enlarge and improve the Forge House, to build a two-mile railroad from Fulton Chain Station to the Forge House dock and to begin development of the tract into a resort town.  They would eventually also establish a transportation company that would buy the independent public steamers on the lower four lakes. The name of the syndicate would be The Old Forge Company, >>More


October, 2014

For Joe Bromley, An Arm and A Leg Were Enough


Among the motivating factors driving life choices are two that often go hand in hand: inspiration and perspective. People challenged by physical or mental disabilities inspire us by their achievements and provide perspective, as in, “Hey, if you can accomplish all that, maybe I should drop the excuses and try working harder.” In the world of sports, I think of major-league pitcher Jim Abbott, born with no right hand, but who played the field well and pitched a no-hitter, and Tom Dempsey, born with no fingers on his right hand and no toes on his right foot, but became a >>More


October, 2014

Restored Lake George Boathouse Gets Preservation Award


The Lake George Kayak Company has been awarded a Preservation Award by Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) for its restoration of an 1880s boathouse on Green Island. The boathouse now serves as the Lake George Kayak Company’s retail store, selling kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and boating-related gear. The restoration was completed in 2013. According to Kate Ritter, AARCH’s program director, the awards are presented annually to those who have “undertaken sensitive restorations or rehabilitations and demonstrated long-term stewardship.” The award was presented at an awards luncheon on September 29 in Inlet. The annual event is “a celebration of the work and care >>More


October, 2014

Harry McDougal: Back When Politics Was Truly Local


It may seem hard to believe, but politics were once truly local. A Congressional candidate was nominated by his party only after he had already served his community, usually in local and state offices, where his character and his abilities had been given a chance to reveal themselves. The erosion of locally-rooted politics has been attributed to the nationalization of congressional races by Newt Gingrich’s Republicans in 1994, to the proliferation of politicized and polarizing radio shows and television networks and to the tides of money from lobbyists and corporations flowing into local races. Once, even national elections were local, >>More


October, 2014

Forge House History: The Garmon And Crosby Years


Eunice B. Lamberton sold the 1,358 acre Forge Tract in 1888 for $10,000 to Dr. Alexander Crosby and Samuel Garmon. Dr. Crosby was born in Martinsburg in 1836. He began his medical practice in 1862 and moved to Lowville in 1867.  He rapidly built up a large practice and was for many years considered one of the most skilled physicians and surgeons in the state, often called in to testify at criminal cases.  In 1875, Crosby was elected to the State Assembly, was later a Democratic Party state chairman and was on both the State Board of Charities and Lewis >>More


October, 2014

Joel Headley: Among The First To Popularize The Adirondacks


And how solemn it is to move all day through a majestic colonnade of trees and feel that you are in a boundless cathedral whose organ notes swell and die away with the passing wind like some grand requiem. Still more exciting is it to lie at midnight by your camp fire and watch the moon sailing up amid the trees or listen to the cry of the loon, wild and lonely, on the wild and lonely lake, or the hoot of the owl in the deep recesses of the forest. – Joel Tyler Headley Many have probably heard of >>More