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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

March, 2014

Unintended Adult Humor from Regional Newspapers


This headline from the Malone Farmer says it all about the hardy folks of the Adirondacks: we don’t fear earthquakes, we embrace them! While it’s good for a laugh today, don’t bother calling the editor with your critique: that item appeared in 1935, when the words “rouse” and “arouse” were used interchangeably. They both meant to wake someone up, or to get excited about something in general. Since that time, the word used in the headline is mainly connected with one particular type of excitement. While skimming old texts and newspapers from around the world, I often encounter amusing or >>More


March, 2014

A Seaplane Adventure:Buster Bird And Raquette Lake History


“Thunk-Ping” “Thunk-Ping” echoed through the woods as the head of the sledge came down upon the maul.  Rhythmically the forged steel struck the maul, driving the blade into the round section of the old oak deadfall’s trunk.  My hands tried valiantly to not retreat, but hold fast to the maul handle as my father sent the sledge’s head crashing down. Each summer we would split a deadfall and stack the wood in our shed for future fires in the Vermont Castings stove.  Beautiful sunlight barely broke through the thick canopy of white pine and spruce as we sweated within a few >>More


March, 2014

Lake Placid Hockey History Events Planned


The Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society has  announced the third program of its 2014 “Odds and Ends” Winter Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in the Legacy Room at the Lake Placid Convention Center.  The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. This program in the four-part series is titled,  “A History of Hockey in Lake Placid” presented by Denny Allen, Butch Martin and Steve Reed.  The Historical Society, the Olympic Museum and Northwood School will showcase a display of memorabilia. Denny Allen played high school hockey and graduated from Lake Placid High School in 1972. He went on play >>More


March, 2014

Peg Leg Line: The First Fulton Chain Railroad


Early Brown’s Tract settlers Albert Jones and his son Eri had gotten into trouble with the law in 1877 for mistreating Eri’s wife, leaving her in a critical condition to be cared for by a neighbor.  Around the same time, like many early Brown’s Tract pioneers, they were squatters south of Thendara on the Moose River middle branch called Stillwater. Albert had become sick and weak, presumably from a hard life as a businessman, lumber mill owner, rancher and breaker of horses for their Spanish owners in Mexico.  He claimed that if he was going to die, he wanted to >>More


March, 2014

Women’s History: Some Notable Adirondack Women


The Adirondack Region of New York State is known for not only for its scenic beauty, but also for the strength and stubbornness of its people. This is especially true of its women. The early years of its history featured women who were particularly strong and resilient. Phebe Cary was not only a woman, she was a full-blooded Abenaki. The story goes that at age 13 she was sold off by her father to William Dalaba. It is unclear if she was sold off by her father or whether William just paid her father a dowry. What is clear is >>More


March, 2014

Life and Times of the Raquette Lake Railway


After the Raquette Lake Railway opened to the public on July 1, 1900, life on the Fulton Chain changed forever.  For its prime mover, Collis P. Huntington, life ended at Camp Pine Knot in August.  Huntington’s death left W. W. Durant without favorable money sources and his Blue Mountain and Raquette Lake Steamboat Company, as well as the newly built Marion River Carry Railroad and its terminal properties, were sold to Patrick Moynehan in May, 1901, then sold to the Webb interests in 1902. I would like to tell the Railway’s story by telling the story of its stations.  When >>More


March, 2014

NYS Remiss In Champlain Heritage Grant Applications


The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has awarded Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) grants totaling about $80,000. Just seven of 21 funded projects are located in New York State. $54,000 was awarded to Vermont programs while just $27,075 was awarded in New York. According to a recent press release: “Heritage Grants support projects that highlight local heritage and commemorate the War of 1812 and the American Civil War. Ten commemoration projects will promote the anniversaries and support bicentennial/sesquicentennial programs and events. Eleven local heritage proposals will involve youth and students in the research and interpretation of local heritage, and >>More


March, 2014

Lawrence Gooley: Old Values and Modern Education


Recently announced changes in the college SAT test have elicited all sorts of opinions from experts, lay-people, and students. Some laud the changes, and some decry them. Most everyone agrees that change was needed, but it’s also clear that modifying the tests was a business-based decision to compete with the more popular ACT. The testing of college aptitude isn’t just a means of judging students’ capabilities: it’s also a billion-dollar business. One change involves dropping the essay requirement (the essay will now be optional). As a person who enjoys good writing, I also realize the limitations imposed on professionals who >>More


March, 2014

Getting to Blue Mountain Lake in the 19th Century


My trip to the Adirondacks from our home in Western Massachusetts ends when I see the water of Raquette Lake’s South Bay – a three-and-a-half hour drive.  OK, my wife insists the trip is not over until we unload the car, pack the boat, traverse the lake, unload the boat and schlep everything into the cabin.  A five-hour ordeal in her mind, but serenity fills me the minute I see the water. Be it three-and-a-half hours or five, our trip is nothing compared to the arduous travels my great-great-grandfather took to reach these shores. He had been among the very >>More


March, 2014

Charlie Herr: Building the Raquette Lake Railway


Driving to Old Forge, I pass the old Eagle Bay station, recalling that I had a tasty barbecue sub sandwich there in the early 1980s.  I continue, watching the hikers and bikers on the level path to my right, also watching for deer.  Passing North Woods Inn, I see a sign referring to a train wreck and, just around Daikers, the path to my right disappears into the woods. I once biked into the woods there and found a historical marker that told of the Raquette Lake Railway.  I decided to learn more about this railroad that, along with Dr. >>More