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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

November, 2013

Lawrence Gooley: My Dad Lives On


Six days ago, I stood staring at an open casket, eyes locked on the face of my father. The funeral home had suddenly become familiar territory: Mom, at age 92, died just 15 days before Dad, who was 89. For more than a decade prior, my wife Jill and I saw them morph from my parents into what can only be described as our best friends. During that time, about 500 of our weekly Game Days cemented an unexpected bond and left us weak with laughter. Each session was like four teenagers gathering for hours of teasing and repartee. As >>More


November, 2013

State Nears Decision In Railroad Debate


State officials are nearing a decision on whether to open the management plan for a railroad corridor that runs through Adirondack wilderness. The future of the corridor has been the subject of public debate for a few years. At issue is whether the rails should be removed to create a multi-use recreational trail. The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation held meetings in September to gather input from the public. On Wednesday, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said staff at both agencies have been reviewing and evaluating hundreds of comments. Martens said a decision is not too far >>More


November, 2013

Become Part of the Local Underground Railroad


This Saturday my family and six of my son’s friends will be celebrating his birthday by becoming part of the Underground Railroad. It won’t be the typical birthday party, but it is the one that my son wants to share with his friends. Presented by the Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center and the Underground Railroad Historical Association, the North County Underground Railroad Experience will be held rain, snow or shine at the Willsboro 1812 Homestead Museum on November 23 from 6-9 pm. This trip through local history is a mere $5 per person. Participants will play the roles of escaped slaves >>More


November, 2013

Benjamin Haynes, North Country Architect


No matter how long a life lasts, the residue left behind is often fleeting, and within a generation or so, most of us are largely forgotten. But it’s also true that every life has a story, and many of them are worth retelling. I often glean such subject matter from obituaries, or from gravestones as I walk through cemeteries. A tiny snippet of information stirs the need to dig for more, perhaps revealing unusual or remarkable achievements and contributions. A recent example involves Benjamin Wood Haynes, a native of Westford, Vermont, who lived and worked in northern New York in >>More


November, 2013

Fred LeBrun: An Era of Private Sportmen’s Clubs Ends


As I write this, the debate is continuing to rage over how much motorized access should be allowed on former Finch, Pruyn lands sold to the state, but regardless of the decision, the age of private hunting and fishing clubs on those lands is quietly drawing to a close. We’re in the middle of a ten-year slide to oblivion for the iconic Gooley Club, the Polaris Mountain Club, and others, but this is a significant year in that slide. As of a year ago, there were thirty-three clubs leasing land from the Nature Conservancy, which bought the Finch, Pruyn properties >>More


November, 2013

New Book: When Men and Mountains Meet


Glenn Pearsall’s first book, Echoes in These Mountains: Historic Sites and Stories Disappearing in Johnsburg, an Adirondack Community (Pyramid Publishing, 2008), was well received for including the first documentary evidence that famed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady was indeed born in Johnsburg. Now Pearsall has brought forth When Men and Mountains Meet (Pyramid Publishing, 2008), subtitled “Stories of Hope and Despair in the Adirondack Wilderness after the American Revolution.” “The story of the Adirondacks is more than the history of great camps, guide boats and environmental protectionism. It is, ultimately, the story of a people and their relationship to the >>More


November, 2013

Celebrating An Adirondack Veterans Day


Sadly, Veterans Day doesn’t seem to get the press that Halloween does. Yes, I realize it doesn’t come with candy or ring the doorbell dressed up like a ninja. Instead it quietly rolls around each November 11th. Celebrated first as Armistice Day to commemorate the November 11, 1918 truce ending World War I, the name was changed in 1954 after World War II and the Korean War to honor all American veterans of wars.  So besides the individual town celebrations to remember those veterans that made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives as well as those that continue to >>More


November, 2013

Dave Gibson: Vote Yes on Prop 4


Perhaps I first heard of the Township 40 disputed land titles during the Adirondack Park Centennial year, 1992. It was probably that fall during a Raquette Lake cruise on the WW Durant with Capt. Dean Pohl. I recalled the issues when canoeing on the lake later that decade. My friend Dan and I paddled Raquette Lake, took the Marion River Carry en route through the Eckford Chain of Lakes. I was back paddling on Raquette Lake through some high winds and waves when our mentor Paul Schaefer died in July, 1996. I felt terribly that I was not with Paul >>More


October, 2013

New York’s Anti-Mask Law And Civil Unrest


The approach of Halloween together with recent news that the last scheduled criminal case stemming from the arrests of hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protestors had been dismissed, has swung the spotlight of history back on New York’s anti-mask law. It was one of the first tools used by New York City police to break up the Occupy Wall Street protest when it began in September, two years ago. Within days of donning Guy Fawkes masks, demonstrators were charged by police for violating the anti-mask law, section 240.35(4) of the New York Penal Law. Its origins go back to a >>More


October, 2013

The Story of Two Graves: Nat Foster and Peter Waters


In January 2010, the Weekly Adirondack reported that the St. Regis Mohawk nation agreed to be a “consulting party” for the East Side Pumping Station project, a station to be built along the Moose River behind the American Legion building in Old Forge. The tribe was contacted because a member was buried in the proximity, on the opposite side of the river, about one hundred eighty years earlier. That person, Peter Waters (a.k.a. Drid), was shot fatally by Nathaniel Foster, Jr. on September 17, 1833 at a location known alternately as Murderer’s Point or Indian Point, where the channel from >>More