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Adirondack Explorer

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Forgotten Lake George Photographers: The J.S. Wooley Project

An early 20th century Lake George photographer is about to receive the attention that many local collectors, historians and photographers believe he richly deserves. The photographer is Jesse Sumner Wooley (1867-1943), and the J.S. Wooley Project,  a collaborative effort of photographer Richard Timberlake, Bolton Landing collector and resident Matt Finley and the Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa, has already produced standing-room only slide shows and lectures at the Brookside Museum and Silver Bay, where Wooley was the official photographer from 1908 to 1923.  Another presentation will be presented at the Crandall Library in Glens Falls on October 15. The project >>More


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Adirondack Art: OK Slip Falls Inspiration

I climbed steadily over rocks and boulders, some the size of large pieces of furniture, for half a mile as I worked my way up OK Slip Brook. Sometimes in the thick growth along the shoreline, sometimes rock-hopping right up the brook itself. After a good 30-40 minutes, I came around a bend, crossed several sections of the brook at a gravelly section, and the falls came into sight ahead. OK Slip Falls – around a 250 foot drop – sun coming in from the side, dark rocks, a small drop visible at the top, then the water comes over >>More


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Waterway Navigation: The Moose River Lumber Company Cases

The books of Henry Harter and Harold Hochschild discuss the building of the short-lived Raquette Lake Railway, its millionaire owners and probable origins.  These include Mrs. Huntington threatening not to visit Collis Huntington’s Pine Knot Camp if she had to continue using the Fulton Chain steamers, riding on buckboard and boat carries beyond Fourth Lake.  Maybe Mr. Huntington, not finding an empty seat, got the idea after sitting on a keg of nails on one steamer ride. No doubt tycoons as Durant, Morgan, Vanderbilt and Whitney envied Dr. Webb’s ability to ride a private train to his Nehasane Preserve from >>More


Thursday, September 26, 2013

High Peaks Happy Hour: Rum Runners Weekend

Nearly a century ago, the bootleg trail from Canada to New York City ran smack through the Adirondacks. Bootleggers risked life and limb transporting locally distilled hooch and smugglers ran whiskey from Canada, eluding dry agents and spawning crime and corruption. Chestertown and its surrounding communities recently commemorated this period in history with related activities. It was a damp and drizzly Thursday night at Warrensburg’s Luck E Star Cafe where the Greater Warrensburg Business Alliance hosted a 1950s-era Car Hop. Among the vendors, we hawked books and passports as the drama unfolded. Those gathered were whisked from the 1950s to >>More


Thursday, September 26, 2013

With Fall Foliage Reaching Peak, It’s Artist Studio Tour Time

This weekend marks the 7th Annual Artist at Work Studio Tour (Sept 27-28-29) in the northern Adirondack region. Nearly 50 artists in the communities of Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Wilmington, Jay, Au Sable Forks, Bloomingdale, Onchiota, Rainbow Lake, Paul Smiths, Gabriels and Lake Clear are participating. Some artists have taken part every year; there are 12 “new” artists; and 2 other artists are in new locations. There are painters, photographers, potters, mixed media artists, fabric, jewelry, glass, wood and metalworkers, printmakers, and more. The Studio Tour is a free, self-guided event always scheduled the last weekend in September. Children are >>More


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Drug War History Events: The Great American Pot Story

Cannabis and its defining role in the culture wars and the ‘war on drugs’ declared by former New York State Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller forty years ago will be fully explored by award-winning investigative journalist Martin A. Lee in two separate events in the North Country on September 26-27.  Lee will also be speaking in Albany on September 28. All three events are sponsored by the freedom education and human rights project, John Brown Lives!, as part of “The Correction,” the organization’s latest initiative that uses history as a tool to engage communities in examining the past and addressing critical issues >>More


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

John Brown’s Tract: The Alexander Hamilton – Aaron Burr Connection

Adirondack historians routinely state that Rhode Island merchant John Brown obtained clear title to a 210,000 acre tract of land when he paid $33,000 at a Court of Chancery mortgage foreclosure sale in December 1798.  However, this transaction was not recorded in the Lewis County Clerk’s Office until February 22, 1804, more than five years later and five months after Brown’s death. Two days later on February 24, the Assembly enacted Chapter 6, Laws of 1804 which affirmed that the Brown estate’s title to the tract could not be extinguished in any way “by reason or pretext of the alienism >>More


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Diane Chase: Visiting Long Lake’s Steamboat Buttercup

I have found that being a parent is akin to being a magician. I am always trying to keep one step ahead of my audience and want to keep the show as interesting as possible. Since history surrounds us in the Adirondacks, it isn’t always the traditional locations like museums where I am able to best demonstrate an issue. The stories behind the Great Camps, the people that built neighboring towns and the industries that help shape the Adirondacks are all various ways that I’ve tried to relate my children to a sense of place. On a recent trip to >>More


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lake George Church Recommended for NYS, National Registers

The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended the addition of 20 properties, resources, and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Just one of the recommendations is located in the Adirondack Park, St. James Episcopal Church in Lake George. Just five are located North of the Mohawk River. “Survival of these noteworthy places is crucial in preserving the great diversity of New York’s communities,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Placing these landmarks on the State and National Registers of Historic Places will offer well-deserved recognition along >>More


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard As Boat Historian

The eccentric preacher and writer who became known as Adirondack Murray may have been the first to trumpet the region to tourists, but Seneca Ray Stoddard was not far behind. In fact, Stoddard’s photographs, maps and guidebooks had a more lasting and more salutary influence than anything penned by Murray. Without his photographs and maps, for instance, it is unlikely that the Adirondack Park would have ever been created. For Reuben Smith, the owner of Tumblehome Boatshop in Warrensburg (Warren County), Stoddard’s photographs are not merely of antiquarian or aesthetic interest. “Among the details of hundreds of landscape photographs are >>More