FacebookTwitterInstagram Youtube
Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

September, 2013

Brown’s Raid At Fort Ticonderoga This Weekend


An attack led by patriot Colonel John Brown will take British troops garrisoning Fort Ticonderoga by surprise (again) 236 years later during an upcoming event at Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, from 9:30am- 5pm.  The living history weekend and battle re-enactment will for the first time ever recreate what has become known as Brown’s Raid. Out of the hazy twilight before dawn on September 18, 1777 rushed Colonel John Brown’s men, catching the British and Brunswick garrison around Fort Ticonderoga completely by surprise. John Brown, no stranger to dangerous missions, helped engineer the first capture of Ticonderoga >>More


September, 2013

North Country Prisons: Hard Times in ‘Siberia’


In May 1973, Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed two controversial laws that would change life in the Adirondacks. The Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan, which the governor pushed through the state legislature, established new zoning rules for private land that aimed to protect open space and limit residential development. The other law set minimum prison sentences for drug users and pushers. “I have one goal and one objective, and that is to stop the pushing of drugs and to protect the innocent victim,” the governor insisted, promising that the harsh new penalties would stem the epidemic of cocaine and >>More


September, 2013

John Dempster: Watertown’s ‘Blindfold Champion’


Undaunted after the tough checker loss to August Schaefer, Watertown’s John Dempster remained in New York City and continued working on his game. Competitive teams representing the city were chosen from a pool of highly skilled players, which included Johnny. When the world champion, Wyllie, came to town again, he played against nine of the region’s best competitors and vanquished all but one, who managed a tie. The next two best finishers against the great Wyllie were Schaefer and Dempster. While John continued to win big matches, his efforts were now focused on memory development. The skills he learned, combined >>More


September, 2013

Adirondac: The Search for the Church of Tubal Cain


Today I return to my series on the McIntyre Mines, the Settlement of Adirondac and the romantic sense of the past the area embodies.  Being a ghost town and an area of historical significance dating back nearly two centuries, the remains of the works, village and private club possess an unmistakable aura of mystery. This sense of the unknown, of the forgotten lives and fortunes of those who partook of Archibald McIntyre’s enterprise, extends beyond the experiences of wondering visitors who are discovering it for the first time or the hundredth.  Indeed, despite the fact that the history of Adirondac >>More


September, 2013

Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again in North Creek


Teddy Roosevelt is not available to recreate his historic 1901 ride from the North Creek Train Depot, but nationally recognized Roosevelt reprisor Joe Wiegand will be on hand to fill those famous shoes. On September 14-15 the Saratoga/North Creek Railway (SNCRR) is providing historic train rides, recreations and special excursions surrounding the theme of Teddy Roosevelt’s famed ride from Tahawus to North Creek. “There is no place like the Adirondacks,” says Wiegand. “Teddy loved it there. He was able to explore the area as a youth. He published his first pamphlet about The Summer Birds of the Adirondack [in Franklin >>More


September, 2013

Watertown’s John Dempster: Competitive Checker Champion


When ESPN began broadcasting events like poker and eating contests, it was regarded as innovative (or disturbing, as in the case of eating contests). A major media member had turned its attention to games rather than sticking with the traditional sports world. Unusual though it may have been, the move was hardly groundbreaking. It harkens back to previous centuries, when popular games like chess and checkers received daily coverage on the sports pages of many of the world’s newspapers. And more than 130 years ago, an amazing North Country boy was mixing it up with the best of them in >>More


August, 2013

Public Meetings Planned On Future Of Historic Railroad Line


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) have announced that they will hold four public meetings in September about the management of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor, a 119-mile nineteenth-century rail line in the western Adirondacks. A bitter debate has raged in the Adirondacks over the past several years after rail-trail advocates began pushing to have the historic railroad tracks torn-up. In 2011, an organization calling themselves Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates began calling for the outser of the tourist railroad operation and for conversion of the rail bed to >>More


August, 2013

Adirondack Architectural Heritage Preservation Tours


This year Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) has offered 34 historic and notable destination tours that range from inside a maximum-security prison to horse-drawn wagon rides to an Adirondack Great Camp. Guided by field experts, the AARCH tours offer a diverse array of Adirondack architecture from the distant to recent past. “Our schedule this year starts in early June and ends in early September,” says Susan Arena, AARCH Program Director. “We offer second tours for places like Camp Santanoni and Dannemora because there is limited space. We balance that out by doing two tours.” According to Arena part of the value >>More


August, 2013

Students Consider Adirondack, Wilderness Act History


This summer, Union College student research fellows and Union College staff involved with the College’s Kelly Adirondack Center in Schenectady County visited the Adirondack cabin of National Wilderness Act author and chief legislative advocate Howard Zahniser, and that of Paul Schaefer, foremost Adirondack Park campaigner for wilderness and wild rivers in the 20th century. The two cabins, and the close friendship that developed between Schaefer and Zahniser help tell the story of where wilderness preservation began and how the Adirondack Park has served as a national and global model of wilderness history, preservation and active stewardship so proximate to villages, >>More


August, 2013

Local CIrcus Performers: Fred Kerslake’s Pigs (Part Three)


There were tough times when a lead pig died suddenly, forcing Fred Kerslake to regroup, find a new leader, and complete the training. But saddest of all was when he spoke of Jennie. In 1909, Rollo was the clown pig and a great performer. Kerslake called him “a wonder that does everything but talk, and after a fashion it actually does that,” referring to Rollo’s human-like responses to his comments. Rollo rose to fame after the death of his mother, Jennie, a very special performer and friend. Said Fred, “She was certainly gifted with the divine light of human intelligence. Not >>More