March 18th and 19th is the last Great Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend. Visitors can ski or snowshoe to Camp Santanoni, the restored 19th-century “Great Camp” in Newcomb and walk through the Main Lodge, boathouse and other buildings.
Volunteers from Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) will lead tours and talk about the history, design, and family life at this unique, state-owned historic site. Visitors may warm up by the wood stove in the Artist’s Studio on the shores of Newcomb Lake, and enjoy complimentary hot beverages (bring your own cup). » Continue Reading.
The state is considering buying the only two parcels it doesn’t own in the 34-mile rail corridor between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, which would remove a legal impediment to replacing the train tracks with a recreational trail. Another option is to obtain an easement that would allow the public to use the parcels.
Evidently, though, some kind of agreement with the landowners needs to be reached for the state to go ahead with its controversial plan to remove the tracks.
The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, which for years has operated a seasonal tourist train out of Lake Placid, has gone to court to block the removal of the rails.
After a hearing in late January, acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main Jr. asked the state to provide more information on the ownership of the corridor. Assistant Attorneys General Marie Chery-Sekhobo and Nicholas Buttino complied with the request in a memorandum of law sent to the judge last week. » Continue Reading.
The Town Board of Santa Clara has voted unanimously to amend the local Land Use Code to reestablish group camping on Eagle Island, located on Upper Saranac Lake.
Friends of Eagle Island (FEI) has been in discussions with the Town of Santa Clara to reestablish group camping on Eagle Island through a petition to amend the Land Use Code thereby enabling the camp to re-open. This multi-step process has involved; preparing and filing a petition for an Amendment with the Town Board, review of the Amendment by the Planning Board, a Public Hearing and the vote by the Town Board. » Continue Reading.
Parks & Trails New York (PTNY), the state’s leading advocate for parks and trails, recently released You Gotta Have Friends, a report summarizing the results of a census of the non-profit Friends organizations that support New York’s state parks and historic sites.
A Friends group is a group of individuals who work to support, steward, and promote a park or historic site, or multiple sites. The smallest are all-volunteer organizations, some of which are only loosely organized; others are registered non-profit organizations with regular meetings and bylaws. The largest Friends groups are conservancies and foundations capable of raising large sums of money for the care of their parks and historic sites. Currently there are 90 state park and historic site Friends groups in New York State. » Continue Reading.
The first of three Winter Weekends at Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb is set for Martin Luther King Day weekend, January 14-16. Additional open house events will take place during the President’s Day holiday weekend, February 18-20, and the weekend of March 18-19.
In the community of Newcomb, WinterFest is being celebrated on January 14, coinciding with the first Santanoni Winter Weekend. » Continue Reading.
For amateur photographer Nick Palmieri, the structure known as the “Keene barn” was always a welcome sight as he arrived in the High Peaks region.
“I’ve always called it the gateway to the High Peaks,” said Palmieri, who lives in New Jersey and runs the Save the Keene New York Barn Facebook page. “From an artists’ point of view that barn just sits in the perfect spot, just to make the scene perfectly beautiful.” » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the nonprofit historic preservation organization for the region, is expected to publish A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks this spring.
Architectural historian Richard Longstreth’s project to research, visit, document and photograph hundreds of historic structures in over 100 towns and hamlets in the Adirondacks took five years and nearly 10,000 miles of driving throughout the region.
This is the first book to document the architecture of the twelve counties in the Adirondack region, including a significant portion of the Lake Champlain watershed. » Continue Reading.
The little stone school house on Dudley Road is more than just the oldest schoolhouse in Essex County, it was the first schoolhouse in Westport. Built in 1816 from local limestone, the small stone school first opened to serve the first settlers of Westport, the Barber and Frisbie families. On October 10, the town of Westport will be celebrating the bicentennial of this small school.
According to nearby Camp Dudley, the Stone School House served local children for 100 years, closing its doors in 1916. During its tenure the school could serve up to 24 children and provide students with a library of 84 books. Now the school is an historic display, capturing a time before centralized school systems. » Continue Reading.
Great Camp Sagamore will hold a two-day presentation on cemetery and gravestone restoration on Tuesday, September 27th, and Wednesday, September 28th.
For many people, cemeteries are sacred sites, locations that not only provide spiritual comfort for both the living and the deceased, but also help communities maintain connections with their collective cultural history. Over time, however, many small cemeteries fall into disrepair and decay, as loved ones move on and communities grow. For its part, New York State is home to thousands of neglected or abandoned cemeteries, many of which are technically the responsibility of their surrounding communities. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the region’s historic preservation organization, will be presenting its Annual Preservation Awards on Monday, October 3 to eight projects that exemplify the preservation work being done in communities throughout the Adirondacks. These awards are meant to honor the best examples of sensitive restoration, rehabilitation, and demonstrated long-term stewardship by individuals, organizations, local governments and businesses. » Continue Reading.
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.
In honor of the newly renovated Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) in conjunction with the Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) has announced a formal Bluff Point Lighthouse Restoration Celebration to be held this Sunday, July 24th at the Peru Dock Boat Launch.
The schedule of events begins at the Peru Dock Boat Launch at 11 am featuring guest speakers from the NYS DEC and the CCHA, in addition to state and local elected officials. Transportation to and from Valcour Island will be provided by the NYS DEC starting at 1 pm. with free tours at the Lighthouse provided by volunteers from the Clinton County Historical Association from 1 to 5 pm. » Continue Reading.
The historic preservation organization Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) has opened nominations for its 2016 Preservation Awards. For the past 20 years, these annual awards have recognized sensitive restoration and rehabilitation efforts and adaptive reuse of historic structures that are consistent with AARCH’s mission of long-term stewardship.
Projects large and small in the Adirondack region that have been completed during the past two years are eligible for consideration. The deadline for nominations is July 20, 2016. Announcement of the 2016 award winners will be on October 3, 2016, at a luncheon at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall in Essex, a 2015 AARCH Preservation Award recipient. » Continue Reading.
The volunteer group Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower has just completed restoration of the Stillwater Fire Tower. One hundred and twenty-five people hiked to the summit to work on the tower, or attended planning meetings. Mostly North Country and Stillwater locals, but volunteers from all over NY, as well as NJ, MA, PA, DE and FL also took part. The group is partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, who purchased the materials locally and transported them up the mountain.
On Saturday, July 2, 2016, there will be a public Grand Opening celebration at the tower from 11 am until 3 pm. There will be an attendant in the tower to answer questions or help explain the views of the High Peaks in one direction, and the 195 wind turbines on Tug Hill in the other. An 1920 panoramic map and alidade will be on the fire tower’s new map table. » Continue Reading.
Sunday’s Bird Walk at Hadley Mountain (a part of our Adirondack Forest Preserve near the Warren-Saratoga County line) was a wash-out. Linda Champagne, intrepid newsletter editor for the Hadley Firetower Committee, was the exception. As we walked up the trail a ways, the drumbeat of rain on our heads slowed, and the migratory birds breeding and raising young here could not help themselves. They sang not for our sake but for the life force that seizes and keeps a territory, and a mate in the right habitat, with the right food for that species and its nestlings.
From the parking lot we heard the incessant song of red-eyed vireo; then a veery; an ovenbird; then a hermit thrush. The rain picked-up again, all song was drowned-out, and we headed back to the parking lot. On the way down, I noticed a red eft salamander crossing the trail. These are the dramatically changed terrestrial stage of the common newt or yellow spotted salamander. Having left their natal ponds, these efts are in the forest making a living until their return to aquatic life in a year, two or three, or more. Their dramatic red-orange color warns off potential predators, and fortunately warned me from stomping on him. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to Almanack founder and editor John Warren.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.