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Adirondack Explorer

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

That’s ‘Grasse’ to you

As a subscriber, I wish to point out an error in the May/June issue of Adirondack Explorer. Your paddling article took me by surprise, sitting in my seat as the Clifton town historian here in Cranberry Lake. The river you’ve written about is the Grasse River, not the Grass River.

I am a third-generation year-round resident of Clifton, and as an old-timer here, when I say Grasse River I pronounce the e on the end, just as my father and grandfather before me did. It is an old habit that I cannot break. Most of the signs correctly spell the river’s name as Grasse, although some newer ones drop the e. I suspect those signs were ordered by newer employees unaware that a name pronounced by most as grass would be spelled with an e on the end. I am completely unaware of any official spelling change out of Albany, if there has even been one. In the meantime, Grasse is the correct spelling.

Mark Friden
Clifton town historian, Cranberry Lake

EDITOR’S NOTE: We used the spelling adopted by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

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