The late Richard “Dick” Merrill of Queensbury has been selected by the Adirondack Museum Board of Trustees to be the recipient of the 2009 Harold K. Hochschild Award. According to a press release issued by the museum:
The Harold K. Hochschild Award is dedicated to the memory of the museum’s founder, whose passion for the Adirondacks, its people, and environment inspired the creation of the Adirondack Museum. Since 1990 the museum has presented the award to a wide range of intellectual and community leaders throughout the Adirondack Park, highlighting their contributions to the region’s culture and quality of life.
Although Dick Merrill made his living as an engineer for the General Electric Company, he lived his life by giving time and talent to his community.
Merrill was President of the Southern Adirondack Library System and President of the Crandall Public Library – successfully completing an $18 million LEED certified expansion project that opened in December 2008 during his tenure.
He was President of the Chapman House Historical Museum and served as a member of the Adirondack Community College Foundation as well as the Warren Country Historical Association.
In addition, Merrill was elected to the Queensbury Town Board and served as deputy chairman. He was a member of the Queensbury Land Use Planning Board, the Indian Lake Association, and President of the Warren County Planning Board.
Dick played bagpipes for Adirondack Pipes and Drums, Inc. and served as the group’s treasurer.
Nicholas K. Burns Publishing published Dick Merrill’s book, Log Marks of the Hudson –a meticulously researched and comprehensive cross-referenced guide to a cornerstone of Adirondack history — in 2008.
In the company of his wife of fifty years Mary Merrill, Dick was also a valued member of the Adirondack Museum family. For many years, they organized a corps of volunteers in support of the No-Octane Regatta. The couple developed lively history-based programs for children and families that enriched the experience of thousands of museum visitors each year. They also originated hands-on classroom programs for students in grades K – 8. With son Dean Merrill, the Merrill’s delighted crowds at the museum’s annual Harvest Festival with their vintage steam-powered cider press.
The Adirondack Museum will formally present the Harold K. Hochschild Award posthumously to Dick Merrill on August 6, 2009. The event will begin at 3:00 p.m.
Photo caption: Dick Merrill with former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton during her visit to the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, NY in 2006.