The History Train calls on the talents and expertise of a number of representatives of our historic area, with a unique venue provided by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. It promises to be a fun and informative ride from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid and back, engaging the community with the history of the Adirondack Tri-Lakes area.
Posts Tagged ‘Saranac Lake’
The term hobo means different things to different people conjuring up images of the Depression, freight jumping, and an independent spirit. For my family it brings up my grandfather’s stories as an orphaned runaway immigrant living on the streets of Brooklyn. His stories were colorful and glossed over a hard street life. After spending a brief time on the rails, he lied about his age to join the military where he would recall the first time he ate a meal until he was full. Years later he was able help others and always fed anyone that passed by or knocked on the door.
August 21st through the 24th nearly 80 artists from Washington, DC to Maine, Quebec and Ontario, will be converging on Saranac Lake for the 6th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival.
Beautiful August weather (fingers crossed) and all the aspects of our region: mountains, lakes, bogs, waterfalls, woodland trails, panoramic views, rivers, farm land, “Great Camps”, historic sites and our small communities are all part of the attraction.
The other, if you haven’t noticed, is the growing popularity of plein air painting. The Festival concludes with a fantastic Show & Sale on Sunday, Aug 24th, in the Town Hall in Saranac Lake from 12 – 3 pm. Over 200 wet paintings will be on display and available for purchase. » Continue Reading.
The Village Improvement Society (VIS) and Historic Saranac Lake are hosting a free public walking tour of VIS-owned parks on July 26, 10 am – 11:30 am. The tour will include Vest Pocket Park, Triangle Park and Denny Park.
During the tour, VIS volunteers will discuss the history of Saranac Lake’s parks. The park system was designed by the firm of the Olmsted Brothers, the same landscape architects who designed Central Park in New York City. Their plan for open space protection in Saranac Lake was submitted in 1907, but the Village Board decided it was too expensive. In 1910, a group of 10 Saranac Lake women banded together to form the Village Improvement Society with the goal of implementing the plan. VIS now owns and maintains seven parks in Saranac Lake: Vest Pocket Park, Triangle Park, the Herb Garden, Denny Park, Dorsey Park, Beaver Park and the Sunset Arboretum. » Continue Reading.
The New York Bicycling Coalition has kept a low profile in the debate over the future of the Adirondack rail corridor, but its proposal for the 119-mile corridor is similar to the one set forth by the state.
Last September, the coalition’s executive director, Josh Wilson, wrote the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to call for removing the tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to create a trail for biking and other non-motorized activities in spring, summer, and fall.
“NYBC believes that such a trail would be unparalleled in New York State and the Northeast,” Wilson wrote Raymond Hessinger, director of DOT’s Freight and Passenger Rail Bureau. “A trail on this segment of the Corridor would serve to connect three ‘hub’ communities of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Tupper Lake with multiple other access points in between.” » Continue Reading.
Supporters of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad continue to push for keeping the tracks at the Lake Placid end of the rail line and for creating a “rails-with-trails” option for bikers, hikers, snowmobilers, and others who want to use the state-owned corridor.
The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, which operates the railroad, said in a news release last week that a multi-use travel corridor best serves the public interest. “Rails and trails can exist and work successfully together,” it declared.
On Monday, a volunteer group called Trails with Rail Action Committee (TRAC) also voiced support for this idea. TRAC says it has been working with state officials “to identify recreational trails within the existing Remsen to Lake Placid travel corridor and looks forward to contributing to realizing the full economic potential of this important asset in the Adirondacks.”
Known as scoping sessions, the meetings will be held to solicit the public’s ideas for the 90-mile corridor between Old Forge and Lake Placid.
Following the meetings, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and state Department of Transportation will analyze the public comments and develop a draft management plan for the corridor. The departments will hold public hearings on the draft before issuing a final version of the plan.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said he hopes the final plan will be adopted sometime in the second half of next year.
An eclectic mix of antique, classic and newly designed wooden boats will be on display at the Seventh Annual Runabout Rendezvous event held along the shores of Lake Flower, in Saranac Lake, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., this Saturday, July 5th.
Visitors can spend the day and get lunch at the Knights of Columbus food tent, meet members of the Mohawk Hudson Chapter of the Antique and Outboard Motor Club, see original Adirondack Guideboats and meet their builders. There will be boat tours and rides and a wooden boat parade at the end of the day. » Continue Reading.
His work with children’s hospitals convinced Colonel Walter Scott that there might be help for Jessica despite her negative prognosis and seemingly hopeless situation. New and exciting progress had been made, especially by Dr. Russell Hibbs of New York City, whose surgical innovations helped change the face of medicine. Hibbs was the first to perform a spinal fusion, and made great advances in treating tuberculosis of the spine and hip.
At the request of Ferguson’s physicians, Hibbs conducted an evaluation and surprised everyone with his conclusion. Jessica, he said, would benefit from a spinal operation, and might well walk normally following therapy. After all she had been through, the hopeful news was stunning.
Colonel Scott and others encouraged her with best wishes, and in early September 1926, Hibbs performed the operation in New York City. Doctors had worried that Jessica’s weakened physical state might place her in critical condition after surgery. Instead, improvement was seen immediately, and with her usual upbeat outlook, Ferguson went right to work on recovery. » Continue Reading.
Mirror Girl. What an intriguing term. In the past, it has been applied to the prettiest coeds in sororities, cute girls in general, and particularly vain women. But in this case, it addresses one of my favorite historical stories linked to the North Country’s years as a tuberculosis treatment center. The patient was a young woman, Jessica “Jessie” Ferguson, born in 1895 in Mount Pleasant, New York, north of Tarrytown on the Hudson River. Her parents, James and Anna, were both natives of Scotland, a fact that becomes key to the story.
The young girl’s difficulties began in her early twenties when her father died, and Jessica was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bone, affecting her spine. In 1918, she lost the ability to walk. Doctors placed her in a cast that forced Jessica into a permanent reclining position.
In the early 1920s, Anna Ferguson moved her daughter to Saranac Lake, where they settled into a cottage on Riverside Drive on the shores of Lake Flower. Jessica’s situation was different from most patients, for the majority suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis, which affected the lungs. The vision most of us conjure is of patients on porches to benefit from the fresh air, something Jessica was unable to do. » Continue Reading.
Modern stand-up paddling (SUP) has become one of the fastest growing water sports. This weekend Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters is giving everyone an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about June 20-21 at the Lake Colby beach in Saranac Lake.
The history of SUP is long and convoluted with references found thousands of years ago of ancient cultures using boards and sticks to propel themselves through the water to fish or travel. The modern stand-up version is most often attributed to surfing because of the similar board shape. Around the Adirondacks, SUP is becoming a popular alternative to canoeing and kayaking. » Continue Reading.
Dewey Mountain Friends, the all-volunteer group dedicated supporting and enhancing Dewey Mountain Recreation Center, announced that more than 550 households and businesses have contributed $350,000 to the successful capital campaign to construct a new base lodge.
Dewey Mountain Friends is currently working with the town of Harrietstown – which owns the year-round, multi-use recreational center – to prepare the base lodge area for construction. Demolition of two defunct existing structures is expected to take place in June, and the new lodge will be in place by next fall. » Continue Reading.
With springtime finally here in the Adirondacks, it is time to think about water sports. My family is in the market for a few kayaks, but our pocketbook doesn’t always match our expectations. I do what research I can, test friends’ kayaks and ask question upon question.
This past weekend I was fortunate to be able to go to Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters Kayak and Canoe Free Demo Days at the Lake Flower boat launch in Saranac Lake. Though most of the kayaks were out of our budget, it was with welcome relief when a representative started by asking very specific questions regarding my family’s supposed usage and what my expectations are. This mini survey helped narrow down my options and helped me focus on my quest. » Continue Reading.
On Saturday, May 10, from 10am – 12pm, at the Adirondack Carousel, The Champlain Valley Association for the Education of Young Children will offer Family Fest, a free event for children and their families.
The day will include carousel rides, messy play art, popcorn and a free book for each child. All children must be accompanied by an adult. » Continue Reading.
The 3rd Annual Earth Care Coffeehouse in Saranac Lake will feature the music of Pete Seeger (who died this year at age 94) and will raise funds for the Hudson Sloop Clearwater and the environmental education programs Seeger helped to found over 45 years ago. This Saturday, May 3rd at 7:00 pm, in the Saranac Lake Presbyterian Church Great Hall, local musicians will celebrate Pete Seeger’s life and vision in a free event.
Each performer will lead songs that Pete Seeger sang and play original music based in the folk tradition. Musicians include: Alex Smith, Mason Smith, Curt Stager, Celia Evans, George Bailey, Duane Gould, Keith Gorgas, Nancy Bernstein, Lisa Meissner, Alex Markland and friends, and teenage fiddler Dana Holmland. Storyteller Karen Glass will share a Seeger favorite – Abi Yo Yo. » Continue Reading.
The month kicks off with a walking tour on May 1 as part of Saranac Lake’s “Daffest” Festival. A walking tour leaves Riverside Park at 10:30 AM. The group will stroll along the shores of Lake Flower, learning about some of the cure cottages that once catered to TB patients. The tour ends at the Bartok Cabin, where the great composer, Béla Bartók, spent the last summer of his life. The tour is $5 per person or free to Historic Saranac Lake members. A boxed lunch is available following the tour for $15. » Continue Reading.
Members of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee have chosen “Groovy 60’s” as the theme for the 2015 Carnival. The theme was chosen from among five ideas gathered from the public: Adirondack Fiesta, Beach Party, Groovy 60’s, Haunted Adirondacks and Prehistoric Park.
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival will take place on February 6 – 15, 2015. » Continue Reading.
In the off year election of 1918, New York voters elected a new governor (Al Smith) who later became the first Roman Catholic and Irish-American to run for President. In that same election, voters also approved a constitutional amendment to the “forever wild” Article VII (rewritten as Article XIV in 1938) permitting the construction of a state highway on forest preserve lands from Saranac Lake to Old Forge by way of Blue Mountain and Raquette Lakes. Until this highway was built, the road from Inlet to the north ended at Seventh Lake.
When the segment from Seventh Lake to Raquette Lake was completed in 1929, it became the route of choice to Raquette Lake from Eagle Bay, replacing what today begins at that place as Uncas Road and ends as Browns Tract Road ending at Antlers Road at Raquette Lake. Its name changes at Browns Tract Ponds. » Continue Reading.
My daughter recently turned eleven and in lieu of gifts, once again asked her friends to give money to the organization of her choice. We have always encouraged our children to choose ways to give back to our community whether it’s volunteering or raising funds. This year the non-profit of her choice was the Dewey Mountain Lodge campaign.
Oddly enough my daughter isn’t our child that skis as part of the Dewey program. We tried her in the Nordic program, but she just enjoyed skiing the trails at her own pace. (I think it is more likely that the racing and games cut into her time on the nearby playground.) I do know she really enjoys warming up at Pisgah’s Ski Lodge so it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to believe she has visions of watching her brother race next winter from the inside of the new Dewey Lodge. » Continue Reading.
These projects include a top-to-bottom renovation and restoration of Saranac Lake’s iconic Hotel Saranac, a new 120-room Marriot Hotel and convention center in downtown Lake George, and the new 90-room Lake Flower Inn on the shores of Lake Flower in Saranac Lake.
As a package this marks one of the biggest investments in tourism facilities in the Adirondacks since the expansion of the Sagamore Resort in the 1980s or the expansion of the Crowne Plaza in Lake Placid in 2004.
Two of the projects are in line for significant state funding. The Hotel Saranac is approved for $5 million in grants and tax abatements and the Lake Flower Inn is scheduled for a $2 million state grant. » Continue Reading.