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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

January, 2014

America’s First Crisis: The War of 1812


The War of 1812, sometimes called “America’s forgotten war,” was a curious affair. At the time, it was dismissed as “Mr. Madison’s War.” Later it was hailed by some as America’s “Second War for Independence” and ridiculed by others, such as President Harry Truman, as “the silliest damned war we ever had.” The conflict, which produced several great heroes and future presidents, was all this and more. In America’s First Crisis: The War of 1812 (SUNY Press, 2014) Robert P. Watson tells the stories of the battles and leaders and shares the blunders and victories of the war. What started >>More


January, 2014

America’s First Crisis: The War of 1812


The War of 1812, sometimes called “America’s forgotten war,” was a curious affair. At the time, it was dismissed as “Mr. Madison’s War.” Later it was hailed by some as America’s “Second War for Independence” and ridiculed by others, such as President Harry Truman, as “the silliest damned war we ever had.” The conflict, which produced several great heroes and future presidents, was all this and more. In America’s First Crisis: The War of 1812 (SUNY Press, 2014) Robert P. Watson tells the stories of the battles and leaders and shares the blunders and victories of the war. What started >>More


January, 2014

‘Who Were the Adirondackers?’ Lecture Series Planned


“Who Were the Adirondackers?” a five-part “lunch and learn” series exploring the social history of the Adirondacks with Hallie Bond, will be held at Union College’s Kelly Adirondack Center in Schenectady, beginning Monday, Jan. 13. Bond was a staff member of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake for 30 years. Her writing on regional history and material culture has appeared in a number of scholarly journals, magazines and books. She lives in Long Lake with her husband, author and boat builder Mason Smith. The series is open to the public; the cost is $5 per presentation or $20 for >>More


January, 2014

‘Who Were the Adirondackers?’ Lecture Series Planned


“Who Were the Adirondackers?” a five-part “lunch and learn” series exploring the social history of the Adirondacks with Hallie Bond, will be held at Union College’s Kelly Adirondack Center in Schenectady, beginning Monday, Jan. 13. Bond was a staff member of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake for 30 years. Her writing on regional history and material culture has appeared in a number of scholarly journals, magazines and books. She lives in Long Lake with her husband, author and boat builder Mason Smith. The series is open to the public; the cost is $5 per presentation or $20 for >>More


January, 2014

Fulton Chain Steamers 101: Beginnings 1876-1895


Much has been written of the steamers that operated on the Fulton Chain from Old Forge to the “head” of Fourth Lake. Regional histories describe the first steamboats introduced as well as those of the Fulton Navigation Company’s service at the beginning of the 20th century.  After examining the newspapers covering early happenings in the region, I learned more about early public passenger and freight steamers. Having covered the pickle boats and mail boats in other articles, they will not be included here.  This work will be confined to only the steamers catering to passenger and cargo transport on the >>More


January, 2014

The Lake Placid Legacy of Willis Wells


Among the folks who played an important role in regional history and personified the traditional Christmas spirit was Willis Wells of Lake Placid. Long before Willis gained attention, his father, Duran, a Peru, New York, native, had become a North Country fixture, operating a peddler’s cart in the post-Civil War years. From the shores of Lake Champlain to the Paul Smith’s area, he supplied homes and farms with the daily needs of life, an important function in those early days when stores visited many of their customers. Duran was somewhat of a showman, adding to his popularity. His arrival at >>More


December, 2013

Ticonderoga Fort Fever Series Begins Jan 12


Fort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever” series begins on Sunday, January 12, at 2 pm with “Amazing Things! Highlights from Fort Ticonderoga’s Collections.” Participants will spend an afternoon with Curator of Collections Chris Fox examining some of the rare and important manuscripts, books, and objects in the Fort’s extensive collections. Highlights include the chance to get a close look at the autographs of many of the famous people who are connected with the Fort’s history, objects associated with important people from the French & Indian War and American Revolution, and rare weapons from America’s colonial period. Chris Fox is the Curator of >>More


December, 2013

Crime History: The Final Saga of Albany Jim


For decades one of the nation’s most wanted bank robbers, Albany Jim Brady, was now old, ill, and housed in the Westchester County Almshouse. Newspapermen came to interview him, asking about what were literally his old partners in crime. Animated by the subject, he told with obvious delight the story of a co-conspirator who once attempted a double-cross. The man was Julius Doherty, one of a gang of thieves Brady worked with in the Southwest. With a large bag of stolen money, they were returning to New York when Julius proposed the robbery of a jewelry store in Washington. Easy >>More


December, 2013

The Rise and Fall of Albany Jim Brady


In late 1888, having served a full term of 11 years, Albany Jim Brady was finally released from prison. He quickly hooked up with Sophie Lyons, who had recently left Ned after more than 20 years of marriage. Together Brady and Lyons traveled to Europe, where they were virtually anonymous. Putting their remarkable acting skills to work, they earned a small fortune from various scams, including a Paris heist of $200,000 in diamonds (equal to about $5 million in 2013). Returning to America in 1889, they visited the Detroit International Exposition & Fair and went right to work. Almost immediately, >>More


December, 2013

Warrensburg Children’s Logging Workshop Planned


The Warrensburg Museum of Local History has announced that a Children’s Logging Workshop will be held at the museum on Saturday, December 28 from 1 P.M to 3 P.M. at 3754 Main Street in Warrensburg. Children in grades 4-6 are welcome to participate. Following a brief introduction to the history of the museum children will learn about the local logging industry from logger Dick Nason, a retired Finch Pruyn forester. Personal experience and films will be used to acquaint the children with this rich history. Following the talk children will have an opportunity to build and design a log project for display. >>More