Almanack Contributor Sheila Myers

Sheila Myers

Sheila Myers is an Associate Professor at Cayuga Community College and is currently writing a trilogy of historical fiction featuring the Durant family. Her first book Imaginary Brightness: A Durant Family Saga was published in 2015. The second book in the series, Castles in the Air: A Durant Family Saga, will be published in 2016. To learn more visit wwdurantstory.com/.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dr. Gerster’s “Notes Collected in the Adirondacks”

GersterWhile staying at Camp Kirby on Raquette Lake last summer I picked up the two volume Notes Collected in the Adirondacks 1895-1896 and 1897-98 (North Country Books, 2010) by Dr. Arpad Geyza Gerster, and edited by Sidney S. Whelan Jr.

The book is a transcription of the diaries kept by Gerster, who had a summer home on Big Island on Raquette Lake.

Gerster was quite a character. Born in Hungary in 1848, he was a surgeon in the Austro-Hungarian Army before emigrating during the Panic of 1873. Working first for Manhattan’s German Hospital, he became a renowned surgeon at Mt. Sinai Hospital, taught at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and served as President of the American Surgical Association.  Gerster was also an avid sportsman, a trustee of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, a lover of Italian opera, and an accomplished artist. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Yellow Days: Adirondack Forest Fires And Air Quality

May 31 Forest Fire Haze 002 - EnidWe tend to think of air pollution only occurring in cities, especially over a century ago when there were no air pollution regulations in place and the industrial revolution was in its hey-day. But it appears that air pollution plagued city-dwellers wherever they went.

I spent a day at the Adirondack Museum reading through the camp diary of the Stott family on Raquette Lake (1882-1900). One of the first entries in 1882 is a remark that it was the year of the ‘Yellow Day’ because for a week or so the sky had a peculiar yellowish color to it and the sun hung in the air like a hazy red ball, obscured by fire smoke that filled the atmosphere. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Rendezvous With History At Camp Kirby

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sun filters through the hemlocks and dapples the ferns on the forest floor as you walk the shoreline from SUNY Cortland’s Camp Huntington to the cabin in the woods called Camp Kirby.

Walking the mile path along the shoreline of Raquette is the only way to get back and forth between these camps unless you take a boat ride. Camp Kirby is available to rent for alumni of SUNY Cortland. We have been renting it with fellow alum friends for the past few summers. » Continue Reading.