A new history covering the Fulton Chain of Lakes region from Moose River Settlement to its boundary west of Raquette Lake is now available from North Country Books and selected regional bookstores.
Regular contributor to the Weekly Adirondack of Old Forge Charles E. Herr’s new book, The Fulton Chain: Early Settlement, Roads, Steamboats, Railroads and Hotels, documents the story of the stalwart folk whose lives shaped the Fulton Chain.
The book represents the first general history of the Fulton Chain region in almost seventy years. Herr says he hopes his work engenders new interest in the notable earlier works cited in his introduction to The Fulton Chain. » Continue Reading.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, three generations of the Crego family worked as wilderness guides in the Western Adirondacks. Along the way, they raised families, worked for prominent employers, adapted to new forms of transportation, and helped lay the groundwork for the conservation movement in New York State. » Continue Reading.
View’s House Tour by Boat offers an opportunity to tour the interiors of some of the most fascinating camps on the Fulton Chain. Twenty party barges will depart at 10 am on Saturday, August 13, from the Old Forge lakefront to give passengers an opportunity to tour the grounds and interiors of camps that boaters usually only view from the water.
Farrand Benedict, “Professor B,” surveyor and professor of mathematics and engineering at the University of Vermont in Burlington, wrote a proposal for a canal across the Adirondacks in 1846. His plan was to use the Black River Canal with its connection to the Erie Canal at Rome and build a railroad from Boonville, on the Black River Canal, to Old Forge. He was then going to utilize the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Raquette Lake, Long Lake, the Raquette River and the Saranac Lakes with various lock systems, dams, and inclines to the Saranac River for canal boat traffic. He also proposed another railroad to Keeseville and on to Port Kent on Lake Champlain. His objective was to stimulate commerce by using the canal to ship mining ores and logs out of the Adirondacks and to bring agricultural and finished goods in. These plans were stalled by the the expansion of railroads, which were faster and able to carry more goods, and the aftermath of the Panic of 1837.
In an 1846 report to the New York State Senate, Benedict fleetingly mentioned the possibility of another plan: “Extensive lines of small boat navigation… Thus the great mineral district of Newcomb may communicate with Long Lake, thro’ the Rich chain of lakes on the upper Hudson. ” Benedict did not expand on the possibility of a canal system to link the iron mines of Newcomb with the Long Lake, but the idea didn’t die there. » Continue Reading.
There is nothing better than a road trip on the Happy Hour Trail to reaffirm our belief that you always meet the nicest people in the Adirondacks. A full day of travel to interview and tour two breweries in the Old Forge and Tug Hill regions covered a lot of ground. Venturing through Eagle Bay, Old Forge, and finally to Lowville, we were met with happy, friendly faces at every turn. Without exception, whether they held the door for us at a convenience store or took time from their busy schedules to share their knowledge of brewing, every person we encountered was upbeat and friendly. Smiles on a beautiful day in the Adirondacks are definitely contagious. » Continue Reading.
While researching the Raquette Lake Railway, I found several historical traditions that were repeatedly used by authors in their works regarding the railroad’s origin. Below I examine these traditions and then provide my research on its origin from period correspondence and historical sources, including the rationale from the words of its builder, Collis P. Huntington. » Continue Reading.
When I suggested to my girlfriend Carol that we jog around Cascade Lake in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness, she endorsed the idea without hesitation. Not only is Carol a trail runner, but she also is an avid swimmer. You might say she is a little obsessed. When I mentioned that Cascade Lake has a sandy bottom, I could barely hold her back.
I had my own reasons for wanting to visit Cascade Lake. I was just finishing a guidebook (published in June by the Adirondack Explorer) called 12 Short Hikes Near Old Forge and wanted to take a few photos for the Cascade Lake chapter. » Continue Reading.
View, the arts center in Old Forge, has announced another opportunity to tour the interiors of some of the camps on the Fulton Chain. During View’s annual House Tour by Boat twenty houseboats will depart at 10 am from the Old Forge Lakefront on Saturday, August 15, to take passengers to get an exclusive look at the grounds and interiors of the camps that boaters usually only observe from the water.
This may be the last year for the popular House Tour by Boat according to View organizers, who say it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find camp owners willing to participate who haven’t yet done so. » Continue Reading.
In March, 1889, a group of Jefferson County business men and a Thousand Islands cigarette magnate (Charles G. Emery of Calumet Island Castle) purchased a block of overt 6,000 acres extending from Fourth to Seventh Lakes over to Limekiln Lake. They formed a club, the Fulton Chain Club, and advertised the region to attract wealthy investors, but failed at this venture and began selling lots to anyone. Within the Prospectus for this club is a description of the Fulton Chain region containing a valuable snapshot in time, 1892, of this area’s history.
A copy of the prospectus is held by the Adirondack Museum, from which the excerpts below were taken (my comments are in brackets): » Continue Reading.
I recently discovered an article written by Alexander Byron Lamberton, one of Old Forge’s earliest historical figures, that was published in Forest and Stream in March of 1876.
The article describes the first large-scale stocking of fish on Fulton Chain waters. Lamberton had only recently taken over as owner of the Forge House, and his story reads like an adventure tale: » Continue Reading.
Changes to public use facilities at the Fourth Lake Day-Use Area and enhancements to the Alger Island Campground are proposed under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) draft Alger Island Campground Unit Management Plan (UMP). The day-use area and campground are located in the Herkimer County Town of Webb.
The public is invited to comment on the draft plan by April 30th. The plan is expected to guide management of the campground and day-use area for the next five years. » Continue Reading.
According to a deed dated May 2, 1898, Duane Norton purchased sublots 48,49, 50, 51 & 52, lots 49-50 and part of 51 in Great Lot 8 and part of lot 51 and all of 52 in Great Lot 19, all being still then referred to as the “Munn Tract” purchased by James Galvin’s group in 1889.
An additional 5 acres were purchased by Norton to the rear of these lots. Who was Duane Norton? » Continue Reading.
Until Robert Maloney’s 1989 history, A Backward Look at 6th and 7th Lakes, local histories of the Fulton Chain region had mostly concentrated on the growth and development of the more populated First through Fourth Lakes of the chain.
Though my primary subject here is the popular hotel that existed on the north shore of Seventh Lake, I wanted to also supplement Mr. Maloney’s information with additional early history about Seventh Lake itself. » Continue Reading.
In 1896, Charles O’Hara had come from Glenfield and built Inlet Inn along the channel from Fifth Lake on land purchased from David Frank Sperry in 1897, operating it as a boarding house.
In November 1907, O’Hara purchased the Arrowhead from Albert C. Boshart and operated both hotels. But on the morning of September 23, 1913, the hotel originally established in 1893 on the shores at the head of Fourth Lake by Fred Hess, renamed in 1898 the Arrowhead by William Moshier, burned to the ground. While determining whether to rebuild, O’Hara leased the Eagle Bay Hotel for the 1914 and 1915 seasons. » Continue Reading.
On the south shore of Fourth Lake near the Herkimer – Hamilton County boundary is Holl’s Inn. According to a real estate ad in the Adirondack Express, the three story hotel on the six-acre parcel closed in 2006. However, Holl’s Inn continued to advertise rooms and meals as late as 2008 and housekeeping cottages until 2009 in the local summer guides. The hotel sold in 2013.
Operating as Holl’s Inn since 1935, the hotel and its property has had a long history beginning with the first travelers to the head of Fourth Lake. One of those travelers was Charles Pratt of Brooklyn, NY. » Continue Reading.
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