Posts Tagged ‘Essex County’

Friday, February 28, 2014

Plattsburgh’s Food from the Farm Day

 Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 3.41.03 PMLike most Adirondack gardeners, my family is just starting to think about starting seeds and planning our summer garden. At Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), they want to make sure that we are all aware that local farmers are not just thinking about what to plant, but have actually never stop growing and making local food available for our tables.

The annual  Food from the Farm event, in cooperation with Adirondack Harvest and CCE Clinton County, is just one way local farmers are making themselves available to let us meet the people that grow our food. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Diversity and the Adirondacks: A Demographic Stasis

Lyman Epps SeniorOver the last few weeks I have been making an argument that socioeconomic and racial diversity is a primary challenge facing the Adirondacks.  The core of the argument is that the Adirondack region is becoming ever-more sequestered racially as the rest of New York State rapidly moves towards a non-white majority and this poses problems for the future of the park.  This sequestration cuts both ways – the Adirondacks lose and an evolving population that does not have a relevant connection to the park loses too.

So far my argument has been rooted in experience, raising questions of equity and social justice along the way.  Proceeding from this experience I would contend that the my core argument is true prima facie – that is it is obvious to anyone with open eyes and a little breadth of experience in the world. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Real ‘Captain Phillips’ At Champlain Film Society

Captain PhillipsFebruary 2nd is going to be more than just the Broncos trying to best the Seahawks in the XLVIII Super Bowl, when the Champlain Valley Film Society (CVFS) brings Captain Richard Phillips to introduce the 2014 Oscar nominated film named in his honor, based on the harrowing experience of his capture and attempted ransom at the hands of Somali pirates.

It is easy for my family to get caught up in the animated version of pirates or the swash-buckling Johnny Depp characterization without realizing that real pirates do exist and there is nothing romantic and comedic about it. I remember reading the news stories when Phillips sacrificed himself to save his crew in the 2009 hijacking. Now is an opportunity to meet a true survivor. » Continue Reading.



Monday, January 27, 2014

Charles Shaw: Ace Attorney from Jay

CPShaw 01Among those to rise from humble Adirondack roots and pursue life in the big city was Charles P. Shaw, a native of Jay, New York, where he was born in 1836. “Humble,” meaning relative poverty, aptly described most North Country citizens in those early days. But Shaw may have had an advantage since there were two doctors in the family: his father, Daniel, and his grandfather, Joshua Bartlett. As educated men, they were more likely to stress among their family the importance of education.

For whatever reason, Charles was an excellent and precocious student. There survives in old newspapers an anecdote suggesting he was indeed an unusually bright pupil. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ADK Winterfest and Winter Trails Day

ADKLojski_newMy family spends a fair bit of time at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Adirondack Loj High Peaks Information Center. With Heart Lake being a popular gateway into the High Peaks, we hike their trails, drop off groups and introduce guests to its range of outdoor activities.

Since the Adirondack Park is a multi-season playground, the ADK Heart Lake Center is offering a free day full of winter opportunities to showcase that the 700-acre Heart Lake property is more than just a parking lot for the High Peaks. In conjunction with the 19th Winter Trails Day, ADK has gathered volunteers and staff to host its first Winterfest on January 11. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lost Brook Dispatches: Two Fiery September Anniversaries

1913 Army Tents at the Foot of GiantA year ago last April I wrote about the Spring 1903 fire season during which nearly half a million acres burned in multiple fires throughout the Adirondacks.  The largest fires were in Keene and North Elba; these had a personal relevance to me as they ringed Lost Brook Tract.  The one sweeping into the heart of the High Peaks from the north came within six minutes of consuming the entire tract before drenching rains stopped it.

Thanks to meteorological luck as much as the brave and exhausting work by men and women fighting their advance, the 1903 fires did not result in major losses to towns or settlements.  But there were incredibly close calls: the same drenching rains that saved Lost Brook Tract also saved Keene and Keene Valley from certain destruction: so imminent were the blazes in at least two directions that their heat could be felt and ash blanketed the hamlets.  Residents had buried their belongings and fled; only fate gave them homes to which to return » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Learning to Luge: The Fastest Sport on Ice

Luge2_newThis summer children are invited to test their skills at “the fastest sport on ice.” Based in Lake Placid, the USA Luge headquarters runs a series of free Learn-To-Luge programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 pm from the transfer station road to the dump throughout the summer months.

According to Recruitment and Development Manager Fred Zimny this is the third year for these local clinics where the mobile luge starting ramp is moved to the entrance of the Lake Placid transfer station (Dump Rd.) after hours and children ages 8-13 learn to slide on real luge sleds.
» Continue Reading.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Artist Sheri Amsel Creates Champlain Valley Map

champlain-mapThe artist Sheri Amsel has created a beautiful map of the Champlain Valley with illustrations of the region’s wildlife and habitats. It also shows the region’s many hiking trails. I suppose a hiker could fold it and put it in a backpack, but I’ll bet more people will frame it and put in on their wall.

Amsel, a resident of the town of Essex, made the map to draw attention to the natural history and beauty of the valley. “I think the Champlain Valley is an untapped resource,” she said.

The 24-by-37-inch map shows roads, hiking trails, lakes, wetlands, peaks, boat launches, fishing-access spots, and state campgrounds in the Champlain region between Ticonderoga and Willsboro Point. The map differentiates between dirt and paved roads. The trails are numbered and cross-referenced in a table that names the trails and gives the hiking distances. Although the map can be used for planning trips, for serious hikes, you should pack a topographical map. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, July 20, 2013

David Henderson: The Prince of Adirondac

Henderson MonumentIt was June of 2007 and I was ensconced in the Adirondack Museum library, fortuitously avoiding an unusually muggy early summer afternoon.  I had gone there to do a little research for a work of historical fiction that I thought I might write.  By then my interest in Adirondack history was in full thrall, which made holding the document I had been presented by librarian Jerry Pepper something close to a religious experience.

It was an original letter, written in 1826, well preserved though the paper was a bit brittle and slightly darkened with age.  The script was beautiful; fluid and robust but not embellished or overly fussy.  The writing was sincere, filled with a youthful wonder and spirit of adventure but at the same time composed with a powerful energy and purpose.  Its tone was mellifluous, phrased but unforced, the work of a superb natural writer.  All in all it was – and is – a remarkable document, a singular account of a journey from the early written history of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, July 13, 2013

McMartin House: Adirondac’s Last Building

IMG_6774Those  who visit the Upper Works trailhead pass through the remains of the most notable ghost town in the Adirondacks.   The ruined village is known by various names: Adirondac, the Deserted Village, Tahawus (mistakenly), Upper Works, McIntyre.

All of these names (some more historically valid than others) hearken back to the original settlement carved out of the wilderness more than a hundred and eighty years ago by prospectors eager to capitalize on the massive veins of iron ore to which they had been guided by Abenaki Indian Lewis Elijah Benedict in 1826.

However, the collapsing structures lining the old village street and ranging back into the woods date from a more modern era, most around the turn of the twentieth century and into the 1920’s (though the foundations of some are original to the mining village).  The last of them was abandoned as recently as the 1960’s.  Now the Adirondack forest is reclaiming them at its usual unrelenting pace. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, July 6, 2013

Upper Works: The Lost Settlement of Adirondac

Collapsing AdirondacIt was early afternoon of a warm, windless July day, eight years ago.  Bits of sunlight flecked the ground, filtered by the dark foliage of the forest stand in which I found myself.  Minutes before I had been with my family, gathered together in conference along a faint trail.  Now I was alone, off trail, pushing through a phalanx of young hardwood growth dotted with cedar, hemlock and spruce.  Though my wife and three sons were spread out in the woods somewhere within shouting distance, the only sound I could hear was that of my own labor, of leafy branches pushing past my ears as I forged up a steep and uneven rise.

As I have so many times in the Adirondacks I felt a deep sense of loneliness.  No doubt due in part to the nature of my quest I experienced that disconcerting and enchanting feeling of being unmoored from time, as though I might next encounter Alvah Dunning or Mitchell Sabattis at the top of the ridge… or more to the point, David Henderson.  I imagined that my explorations might channel me back in time more than a century, never to see my family again, instead to have to live a life out of any generation I have known, perhaps as a guide or trapper of old.  » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Visit To Crown Point Historic Site

crownPointHistoricSite_newCrown Point Historic Site is one of my child’s favorite places to go. It fits their criteria for a perfect day. It’s located near water, has hiking trails, a beautiful view and a Revolutionary War history.

No matter how old my children get, they always greets our arrival to Crown Point Historic Site with the same enthusiastic, “We love this place.”  While I spend more time gravitating toward the shoreline, they hit the grassy fortress walls, walking along the former paths of Pre-Revolutionary War British and French soldiers.

According to the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Crown Point was first fortified by the French in 1734 and referred to as Fort St. Frédéric. After numerous takeover attempts by the British, the French destroyed Fort St. Frédéric and retreated back to Montreal allowing the British to construct a larger fortress overlooking Lake Champlain. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Adirondack Independence Day Celebrations

fireworks_newThe Adirondacks can host some unique events and festivities and being a part of all or some of them can make for a great Independence Day.

Long Lake hosts a full July 4th of activities from face painting to live music, but it’s the bed races that will make a lasting impression. Four pushers and one rider in the bed will attempt to cross the finish line first. Yes, spectators are encouraged. Children will enjoy the field games at the Long Lake Ball Field starting at 10 am with egg toss, three-legged races, sack races and other classic games with prizes for everyone.

Ticonderoga holds to its moniker of the “Best 4th in the North” with a four-day celebration of food, vendors and carnival rides. Starting on July 1st, the music is free to enjoy but there is a $20 bracelet fee, which covers unlimited carnival rides. On July 4th, Ticonderoga has their own bed races, a parade, and live music. Carnival bracelets are only available from July 1-3, tickets will be needed to access the carnival rides on the 4th. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Adirondack Food: Time for Strawberries, Festivals

strawberriesfromgarden2_newThough we have had more rain than sun over the last few days, strawberries are starting to ripen and pick-your-own fields are planning on opening to the public over the next couple of weeks. Festivals are set to gesture in summer with all things strawberry. Rulf’s Orchard in Peru is holding their 2nd annual Strawberry Festival on June 29 with a petting zoo, vendors, strawberry shortcake eating contest and wagon rides to the U-Pick patch. Raquette Lake is whipping up fresh strawberry shortcake while Crown Point will host its 9th annual celebration of those delicious red berries.

According to Alexandra Roalsvig, Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Long Lake, the June 29th Raquette Lake Strawberry Festival is an opportunity for locals and visitors coming to the area to connect with summer friends, while supporting a worthy cause. The summertime dessert will be served starting at 11 a.m. at the Raquette Lake Fire Hall. » Continue Reading.



Monday, June 3, 2013

APA Schedules NYC Hearing On Finch Lands

Essex ChainThe Adirondack Park Agency has scheduled a hearing in New York City on various options for classifying of 21,200 acres of former Finch, Pruyn land and up to 24,200 acres of adjacent Forest Preserve. The classification decision will determine whether motorized access and recreation will be allowed on the lands and waters in question.

The hearing will be in the Downtown Conference Center at Pace University on Wednesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. The center is located at 157 William Street, 18th Floor, in Manhattan.

The APA plans to hold eight hearings throughout the state on the Finch, Pruyn lands, which the state recently acquired from the Nature Conservancy. The agency had previously announced the dates and locations of the other seven. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Where Exactly is the North Country?

north county eben holdenWhen New Yorkers say with pride that they come from the North Country, strength, courage and rugged individualism can be seen written all over their faces. In addition, everyone knows they have the ability to withstand abnormally cold and miserable weather, and to survive natural disasters, such as the Great Ice Storm of 1998. But, exactly where is the North Country?

Yes, it is in the northern part of New York State, but north of what? Yonkers? Albany? The Erie Canal? The Adirondacks?

The term North Country was first widely popularized for use in New York State by the author, Irving Bacheller, when his novel, Eben Holden: A Tale of the North Country, became a literary sensation in 1900. Bacheller was born in Pierrepont, St. Lawrence County, NY in 1859 and graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1882. Two years later, he founded the first U.S. newspaper syndicate and introduced the writing of Stephen Crane, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad to American readers. Bacheller retired from newspaper work in 1900 to concentrate on writing novels. Eben Holden: A Tale of the North Country was his fourth novel and it became a runaway best seller. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance Free Museum Weekend

cvtm_newFor the 6th year, the Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance (ACCA) has organized free admission to 14 participating museums, cultural centers and historical societies for the first weekend in June.

The Champlain Valley Transportation Museum’s Director and Fundraising and Membership Lisa Fountain says, “This weekend our Kids Station will be open on Saturday only. We will have crafts for parents and children to do together. This year we have our Robotics coach Justin Collins here with a robot demonstration. Kids can test the robot and play with it. Justin runs our Robotics Camp in the summer. He will be available to answer any questions regarding the camp.” » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 23, 2013

APA Schedules Hearings On New State Lands

Essex ChainThe Adirondack Park Agency plans to hold eight hearings around the state to explain options for managing 21,200 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands and up 24,200 acres of adjacent Forest Preserve. The agency also will gather input from the public on the management and use of the lands.

The APA board is expected to adopt one of the options—possibly with alterations—at its August or September meeting.

The state recently bought the 21,200 acres from the Nature Conservancy, which acquired some 161,000 acres from Finch, Pruyn & Company in 2007. The state intends to buy a total of 65,000 acres of former Finch lands over the next few years.

The APA has set forth seven options for classifying the lands so far acquired. All of them call for creation of a Hudson Gorge Wilderness Area. They differ mainly in the classification of the Essex Chain Lakes and in the degree of motorized access to the Essex Chain and the Hudson.

» Continue Reading.



Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Proposal for the High Peaks Wilderness

Marcy Dam 1Last week I set the table for a discussion on how better to manage and protect the High Peaks Wilderness, the centerpiece of the Adirondack Park.  My Dispatch offered no specifics; instead I asked readers for comments and ideas.  I got many good ones.  I paid attention to all of them and was influenced or informed by several.  Now it’s time to show my cards.

Allow me to preface my remarks by saying that while I think everyone who loves the park has a stake in the fate of the High Peaks area, I claim no definitive knowledge of what kinds of changes would be best.  We need to listen to experts in forestry, ecology, land use and the like and follow their lead. That said, I know the High Peaks better than most so I’m not merely being a provocateur here.  Additionally, I have a personal stake in this discussion that is shared by very few: a certain private parcel near and dear to my heart lies within this Wilderness.  » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 17, 2013

Hearings On New State Lands to Begin June 12

Essex ChainThe Adirondack Park Agency will kick off on June 12 a series of public hearings on the use and management of 22,500 acres of new state land, including the Essex Chain Lakes and parts of the Hudson River.

After the hearings, the APA will decide how to classify the lands—a decision that will affect how people can recreate and how accessible the lands will be. The state recently bought the former Finch, Pruyn timberlands from the Nature Conservancy.
» Continue Reading.



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