Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Big Boom: Old Hudson River Chain Recalls Logging History

courtesy Adam PearsallRecently my son Adam and his seven-year-old daughter Mckenna were canoeing on the Hudson River above the Feeder Dam in Glens Falls when they noticed a small tree growing atop an old stone pier about 30 feet from shore – and something more. Tangled in the roots, they found a large old rusted chain with links 4 inches wide by 6 inches long.

Sharing pictures with Richard “Dick” Nason, the unofficial Finch Pruyn historian and an authority on river log drives, it appears likely the chain was left over from the heyday of log drives on the Hudson River. The chain was found in the Big Boom sorting area. Logs were released from the Big Boom upriver and floated down to the sorting area where they were tallied by owners, identified by the owner’s mark stamped on the butt end of each log. The sorting area was used from 1851 to 1929. Dick suspects the chain may be from the late 1800s. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Stolen Stillwater Mountain Survey Bolt Being Replaced

original 1882 nickle plated copper marker station 77A party from the NYS DEC Region Six survey division, members of the Colvin Crew, and Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower will set a brass marker below the fire tower to replace the original survey bolt that was stolen and later recovered by Adirondack Almanack reader Kyle Kristiansen in New Jersey in 2013.

That 1882 benchmark found by Kristiansen was identified as Station 77 in Verplanck Colvin’s survey of the Adirondacks and had been located on the summit of Stillwater Mountain. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Adirondack Scenic Railroad Planning New Repair Facility

Adirondack Scenic RailroadThe Adirondack Preservation Society, operator of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, has announced the award of a $99,000 grant from The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties for a new repair facility.

This grant will supplement a $791,000 grant awarded by the New York State Department of Transportation, and help the Railroad leverage their “matching funds” obligation. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

History of Warren and Washington County Course

TopOWorld ViewSUNY Adirondack in Queensbury is offering a credit course in the history of Warren and Washington counties for the 2016 Fall semester.

The course spans from Native American occupation and the Colonial Wars, to the establishment of communities by Europeans and African-Americans, finally covering the homefront of the World Wars, the suburbanization, and the rise of tourism.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, September 5, 2016

‘Votes for Women’ Reading, Discussion Program In Canton

alice riggs hunt 1915The New York Council for the Humanities has joined forces with the St. Lawrence County Historical Association to offer “Votes for Women”, a monthly reading and discussion series that runs from September 10th thru December 17th.

At the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, participants will come together over the course of six sessions to discuss a variety of thematically linked texts with Dr. Melissane Parm Schrems, Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of Native American Studies at St. Lawrence University.

Participants in “Votes for Women” will explore the history of the women’s suffrage movement in our state and nation and discuss women’s – and by extension, our society’s – past, present, and future. The readings in this series include both fiction and non-fiction accounts selected by Dr. Schrems. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Alexander Hamilton Exhibit at Fort Ticonderoga

alexander hamilton swordFort Ticonderoga is now displaying a new exhibition, featuring rare Alexander Hamilton objects associated with this popular American revolutionary and later Secretary of the Treasury.

Fort Ticonderoga’s museum collections contain a number of pieces owned by Hamilton from his career as a young soldier in the Revolution through his brief tenure as the highest ranking officer in the US Army. The Hamilton exhibit will be on display through October 30, 2016. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Suffrage Movement’s Inez Milholland Centennial Update

Inez Milholland, 1913The campaign by the National Women’s History Project to honor Inez Milholland, America’s suffrage martyr, with the Presidential Citizen’s Medal is gaining ground. The medal, the second highest of civilian awards, recognizes Americans who have made significant contributions to the nation’s progress.

Citing her “vital” leadership in the suffrage movement, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) nominated Milholland (1886-1916) for the presidential award and called Milholland “a shining star in the pantheon of inspiring leaders” in the early 20th century. Speier nominated Inez for the medal earlier in 2016. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Chateaugay Olympian Karl Frederick: Literally A Shooting Star

1KTFred1920St1The 2016 Summer Olympics have ended, and as usual, they were quite the spectacle. Folks in the Adirondacks and North Country are perhaps bigger fans of the Winter Olympics, for obvious reasons: the games have been held twice at Lake Placid, and a number of area natives have attained lifelong dreams by earning a place on the podium. But a man born in this region achieved summer Olympic glory long ago, one of many highlights in a very accomplished life.

Karl Telford Frederick was born in 1881 in Chateaugay (northern Franklin County), where his father was a Presbyterian minister, which required a somewhat nomadic existence (five relocations in 14 years). Before Karl was three, the family moved to Essex on Lake Champlain, remaining there until 1888—not a long time, but sufficient to establish a lasting connection between him and the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Short History of The Beaver River Club

Joseph Dunbar’s Hotel at Stillwater, the original Clubhouse From its founding in 1893, and over the next 30 years, the Beaver River Club was the destination of many of the visitors to the Stillwater area.

It was the summer retreat of wealthy and influential families from Syracuse, Utica and to a lesser extent from throughout New York State. The decision to enlarge the Stillwater Dam and create today’s Stillwater Reservoir utterly destroyed this glittering outpost in the wild. Here is its story. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 19, 2016

A Walking Tour of the Plattsburgh Barracks Saturday

old base walking tourOn Saturday, August 20th, the Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) will be partnering with City of Plattsburgh Historian John Krueger to offer a Walking Tour of the historic Plattsburgh Barracks.

Starting the tour with the 1609 discovery of Lake Champlain, the tour will explore Lake Champlain’s military history that led to the Battle of Plattsburgh, paving the way for what is known today as the Plattsburgh Barracks/Post or, as to most locals, the Old Base.

Once housing the Army, Navy and Air Force, the Plattsburgh Barracks is a monument to the Plattsburgh’s military past. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fort Covington’s Big Bill Palmer, Watertown Football Star

P2A Palmer1903HdlineWtownOrangeIn 1903, after winning a national championship with the Michigan Wolverines college football team during the previous season, Fort Covington native Big Bill Palmer was working in Chester, Massachusetts. In subsequent years, homesickness, financial issues, and the supposed need to care for his ill mother were reasons cited by reporters seeking to explain his decision to leave the University of Michigan. The real issue, however, was his status as an amateur athlete. At the time, colleges were cracking down on the use of athletes who were considered professionals, and after winning the national title, Michigan discovered that Palmer, unbeknownst to them, had been paid to play football for Watertown in 1901. By the rules, any type of payment for play changed an athlete’s status from amateur to professional, so Michigan was unable to allow his return to the roster in 1903. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Webb Historical Association Garden Party Thursday

Goodsell residence 8-2005There will be a Garden Party on Thursday, August, 18th from 4 to 7 pm, to benefit the Town of Webb Historical Association on the grounds of the Moose River House Bed and Breakfast overlooking the Moose River. The evening will be host by H. Stuart deCamp and Jimmy Ortiz.

The event will be dedicated to William Seward Webb – the namesake of the Town of Webb.  Webb, along with his wife Lila Osgood Vanderbuilt, acquired over 200,000 acres of land in the Adirondacks, and owned a notable railroad. The Webbs established Nehasane Park, a 40,000 acre private preserve located west of Long Lake, and had Great Camp Forest Lodge built on Lake Lila (renamed by the Webb’s for Lila Webb). In addition to their Adirondack interests, the Webbs also owned several thousand acres along Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bobcat Ranney and Howard Zahniser: An Exchange of Letters

Bobcat Picture from Adirondack MuseumIn Summer 1946, at the invitation of Paul and Carolyn Schaefer, Howard and Alice Zahniser and family made their first trip to the Adirondacks, from their home in Maryland where Howard had begun work with The Wilderness Society. Zahnie, as he was known, had met Paul Schaefer and Schaefer’s mentor John Apperson that February at the 1946 North American Wildlife Conference in New York City. There, Schaefer and Apperson showed their film about dam threats to Forest Preserve wilderness in the western Adirondacks.

It was Wilderness Society policy that any threat to wilderness must be considered a national issue. Accordingly, at the Conference Zahnie offered Schaefer the Society’s help to fight the series of dam proposals in what became known as the Black River Wars. Paul had suggested then that Zahnie and family visit the Schaefer family and their Adirondack camp off Edwards Hill Road out of Bakers Mills, New York, the coming summer. It was there that he met Archie “Bobcat” Ranney.  The day the Zanhisers left Washington, D.C., a letter arrived from Ranney, addressed from Bakers Mills: » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Adirondack History: Old Wooden Water Pipes

wooden water pipes 1 When you turn on your kitchen faucet you probably don’t give it much thought, yet it’s a marvel of modern history.

For centuries, to get water into the house it was necessary to fill your buckets from a fast moving stream and lug them home. Later, you might have filled them from a well or cistern, but still had the chore of lugging them back to the house. Every drop of water you wanted for drinking, cooking or washing had to be transported this way and it was a seemingly endless task. In winter, you might have to carry an axe with you so you could break through the ice that had formed overnight. Here in the Adirondacks, wells were sometimes dug right under the house so getting water wouldn’t be quite so arduous, especially in winter. Common indoor plumbing with water to a faucet didn’t arrive in most homes in the Adirondacks until the 20th century. But there were exceptions, one of which was the LeRay Mansion near the town of Leraysville in Jefferson County. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Crown Point Encampment, Battle Reenactment This Weekend

British Landing photo courtesy of NYS ParksCrown Point State Historic Site will host its annual French and Indian War Encampment on August 13 and 14, 2016. This is the largest event of the year at the site and features authentically clad French, British, and Native American participants camped among the fort ruins. Guests to the camp are able to interact with the participants portraying various people of Crown Point’s past and also have the opportunity to purchase some of the 18th century wares produced and exhibited by artisans and merchants. » Continue Reading.


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