More lore of the Upper Hudson

I enjoyed the interesting article “The Hudson’s mellow side” in your September/October issue.

I thought you would be interested in some additional information I have gathered on the subject.

The Blackwell Dam was built for Finch, Pruyn in 1909 by Jack Donohue. The dam was five hundred feet wide with a maximum height of nineteen feet. It had three sluiceways and two spillways. At high water, the flowage behind the dam covered 267 acres and reached up to Wolf Creek. In 1964, Finch, Pruyn attempted to rebuild the dam, but it washed out. The boulders in the photo with your story were left from that attempt.

The cross on the pine tree was a monument to one of the few river drivers who lost his life by drowning on the river. The date was May 1943. What happened was the river driver, a French Canadian, went into the Hudson to
cool off and got in over his head. He did not know how to swim and drowned. This happened on a Friday evening, and they could not get the undertaker to come and get the body. They took the body to Finch, Pruyn’s headquarters in Newcomb and put it in a root cellar. On Monday, the undertaker came from Tupper Lake to get the body.

Richard G. Nason
Nason is a retired forester and a forest historian.

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