Almanack Contributor Enid Mastrianni

Enid Mastrianni

Enid Mastrianni, who lives in Glens Falls, spent most of her adult life in New York City where she earned a BFA in photography from Pratt Institute and a master’s degree in Political Science from the New School for Social Research.

She has been researching the life of Prestonia Mann Martin, (1861-1945) a writer, Fabian socialist, Adirondack utopian community founder, and descendant of prominent abolitionists.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gulf Brook: A Keene Pollution Case From 1900

The Willey house - Keene NyIn 1896, New York City resident Prestonia Mann purchased an Adirondack estate in Keene and set about to create a summer community based on the 1840s Massachusetts Transcendentalist utopian experiment, Brook Farm. She sent an invitation to her circle of acquaintances – mostly progressive social reformers and educators – describing the place she named Summer Brook in homage to the earlier colony:

It includes a large common hall, a cottage, and about twenty acres of land traversed by a fine trout brook. The region—at the northern end of Keene Valley—is in the noblest part of the great wilderness. The land lies 2,000 feet above the sea, upon a small plateau jutting out from among the foot-hills of Mount Hurricane, in the midst of wild and rugged scenery, commanding a splendid mountain range from Whiteface on the north to Tahawus on the south.

Unfortunately, a hotel upstream, The Willey House, was dumping all of their raw sewage into the same “fine trout brook”, known as Gulf Brook. » Continue Reading.