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Adirondack Explorer

Thursday, December 26, 2013

First Night in Saratoga, Saranac Lake

Before being introduced to First Night Boston years ago, New Year’s Eve celebrations were always a bit of a letdown for me. New Year’s Eve seemed to be a search for something better with enough alcohol to make waiting for the ball to drop remotely palatable. After experiencing First Night Boston, I knew if I were to leave the comfort of my home it would be to welcome in the next year surrounded by art, music and quality events. We have since gone to First Night events in Burlington and Binghamton and most consistently, Saranac Lake. Last year was the >>More


Monday, December 23, 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


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Up on a Hill and Thereabouts: A New Memoir of Ticonderoga

Up on a Hill and Thereabouts: An Adirondack Childhood (SUNY Press, 2013) by Gloria Stubing Rist is a memoir of growing up in Chilson near Ticonderoga, during the Great Depression.  In the 1930s, life for kids tucked away in the quiet woodlands of the Adirondacks was rich with nature and filled with human characters. This memoir contains the recollections of one woman who spent her childhood on the hillsides and in the woods near Ticonderoga. Rist served as Newcomb Central School’s school nurse for five years. Her father-in-law was Ernest Rist, a Newcomb politician in the 1920s through the 1950s. >>More


Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Novel: The Center of the World

Alternating between nineteenth-century Europe and present-day New England, Thomas Van Essen’s novel The Center of the World (Other Press, 2013) follows the great British painter J. M. W. Turner and his circle of patrons and lovers; and Henry, a middle-aged family man whose otherwise mundane existence is disrupted by the discovery of The Center of the World, Turner’s mesmerizing and troubling painting of Helen of Troy that was thought to have been lost forever. This painting had such devastating erotic power that it was hidden away and supposedly destroyed … until Henry happens to stumble upon it while vacationing at >>More


Friday, December 20, 2013

Have a brewski in honor of Ron Kon

Adirondack Brewery in Lake George has come up with a clever marketing campaign that features regional athletes and outdoor enthusiasts on its packages. The one shown here recognizes Ron Konowitz, the only person known to have skied all forty-six of the High Peaks. Ron, who lives in Keene, is president of the Adirondack Powder Skier Association, an organization that is pushing for more ski trails in the Adirondacks and for the right to maintain natural ski glades. Ron, a retired schoolteacher, also is the coordinator of the local fire department’s rescue squad.


Thursday, December 19, 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


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

1878: The Vice President and the First Lady Go Fishing

News in 1878 that Vice President William Almon Wheeler of Malone, a recent widower, would be taking First Lady Lucy Hayes fishing in the Adirondacks without her husband, gave New Yorkers something else to talk about besides President Rutherford B.  Hayes’s latest feud with New York’s U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling. Wheeler had been disappearing into the Adirondacks to fish since he was a poor boy growing up in Malone, the county seat for Franklin County, located on the Canadian border. By the time he became a lawyer, state legislator, bank executive and railroad president, his annual fishing trips became newsworthy. >>More


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Wintery Mount Marcy Snowscape

While on a mid-week ski tour in February 2009 I found the summit of Mount Marcy covered in untouched windblown snow.  It made for difficult skiing, but the shape and texture of the snow, along with a deep blue later afternoon sky, made for an excellent photograph. The post An Wintery Mount Marcy Snowscape appeared first on The Adirondack Almanack.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter Events, Lectures At Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” returns this winter with monthly programs January through April 2014. Programs take place on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. The cost for each program is $10 per person and will be collected at the door; free for members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga. January 12th, “Amazing Things! Highlights from Fort Ticonderoga’s Collections”—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 >>More


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Saga of Albany Jim (Part 3)

After his third prison escape in 14 months, Albany Jim Brady worked extra hard at avoiding lawmen. But he also stayed busy and was a suspect in several additional crimes: the robbery of New York City’s Metropolis Bank in early 1877; a heist of the bank in Keeseville, New York, a short time later; and hitting the Sixth National Bank in April of that year, a job that again smacked of Brady’s boldness: drilling upward into an office, accessing the vaults, and completing the theft during daylight hours. Perhaps it was such nervy and audacious robberies, year after year, that >>More